Author Topic: Pk and vegetarians  (Read 11072 times)

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2008, 08:09:30 PM »
tombb,

Would you agree to be a successful vegetarian one would need to get most of their protein from soy?  Even if they eat fish and eggs, most of the protein would have to come from soy and soy isolates just to get the raw amount of protein they need, wouldn't you agree?  Else, your carbs would just be through the roof...like 500g carb for every 100g protein or something like that.

If you agree on this, please let me know.

From my personal experience (~15 years not eating meat or fish for ethical reasons, basically being nice to puppies and kittens and less cute animals), no, that's not the case.

Most of my protein comes from dairy and eggs, which are both EXTREMELY lean and low calories sources of protein (fat-free cheese and milk, egg whites also naturally fat-free and carb-free, etc).
I hardly eat any soy ever, but I do eat various tasty foods that have a mix of high-quality proteins (usually whey + soy isolates).

There is no ethical reason for me not to include eggs (they are not fertilized and you can get from happy and well-treated free-roaming hens) or fat free yogurt, fat free or low fat cheese, and skim milk, (I prefer the taste as skim, and can get fat from other sources like nuts, flaxseed etc, and again milk can come from well treated cows who can earn their keep a little like we all do :P)

I would not eat fish for the same ethical reasons, even though it's obviously less endearing than puppy dogs and not as intelligent.


You are still getting your protein from animal sources, which is the only place I was coming from.  Though, a more diverse diet is always more beneficial, being ovo-lacto does help get you out of pigeonholing yourself in with soy.

Eggs = meat as far as I am concerned -- not ethically but definitely nutritionally....and milk is, to steal from Willgrind, liquid meat. 

My main concern is the vegetarian diet that is based heavily (25% of the diet or more) on soy products.

Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2008, 08:44:35 PM »
How do you determine ethicalness? I won't judge, I'm just curious.
Alec, since you asked, It's just being personally consistent across my moral/ethical decisions.

If I said "killing puppies is wrong!" and then said "bacon is ok because it's delicious", the next question would be "what if puppies are delicious too? Are you just saying one thing is wrong and another is right just because of taste? Because of cuteness? Intelligence? Are those really good criteria for you?", and the truth is of course I can't say they are good enough criteria for my personal standards and thinking, I wouldn't think it's ok to kill a dog or a person just because they are ugly or mentally challenged for example. And how would you respond to hypotethical and more advanced aliens (just an example to reverse roles) saying they want to eat you and you trying to say it's wrong?

That goes to the question of why you value life, or some life, and why, and where/how/why you draw the line.

I value giving the chance to others to live their life out, make their own memories and value them as unique. If you can't form any memories, and had a number of clones exactly the same as you, then you could destroy any of them without destroying anything unique and irreplaceable.

On the other hand, if you have a cherished house pet you probably consider their feelings, memories and uniqueness to be valuable and would think of it as an irreplaceable loss to trade them for a single tasty meal.

So in my personal view, things like fruit are ethically the equivalent of cutting your hair and nails, no harm done, plus you are doing what the plant intends you to do, eat its fruits in exchange for maintaining their genetic line (although no longer directly). Same for milk or eggs.

It's also a matter of effort vs consequences. If I was starving and the only way to survive was to eat meat, I would not have any hesitation, but that is almost never the case. If there is a rare painting in my path, I would take a few side steps to avoid stepping on top of it. There is no killing involved but it takes so little effort and it is still a waste to destroy something unique needlessly.

Chris, I can't say much about diets that don't include eggs and dairy, because I am not sure what their criteria and options are exactly. If for example they do it out of some weird belief that there is some bad substance in those products (again I don't know people's reasons against dairy and eggs), it would seem that they should have no problems taking supplements like casein and whey protein powders if they are purified enough (and they are).

And while I agree with you that vegan diets are much, -much- more restrictive (and possibly actually misguided if they do it because they think it's necessarily more healthy, as I said potato chips and candy are technically "vegan"), I just can't completely eliminate the possibility that with enough effort they could come up with well balanced nutrition even under those restrictions (practically very difficult, but theoretically not impossible).
Keep in mind my point about aminoacid balancing even from incomplete protein sources as long as you consume them on the same day, and even slower protein absorption is not always bad (casein is good because of the steady supply of aminoacids it provides over time). Plus as I pointed out to you previously, while "whole" soy has a lot of problems, soy protein isolate is purified enough to get around any of those problems.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2008, 08:49:53 PM »
Soy protein isolate and fermented soy has its own problems...but all that aside, everything has problems.  The main problem is getting all protein from 1 source -- restrictive diets typically punish the practitioner; too much of anything is not good.  Soy or otherwise.

Complementary proteins still means you need to eat tons of carb in relation to said protein..thus making it a bad choice for most athletes that want to be insulin sensitive...

Vegan's whole protein source is pretty much isolated soy & isolated hemp protein.  One comes with its own risks when consumed in mass quantities and the other doesn't have such great absorption -- thus why no one really uses it aside from vegans.

Offline Kineticstorm

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2008, 01:15:44 AM »
Wow, I didn't expect to get so many responses so fast but this is awesome.
As for becoming a vegetarian, note I did not ever say vegan, I still plan to eat eggs and drink milk, I have come to this conclusion for many reasons. I have seen time and time again evidence saying that vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease and obesity. I am also strongly opposed to factory farming that is often used in agriculture today. Surveys show that if the grain used to feed livestock were instead used to feed humans, we would be much closer to solving world hunger. Finally, I am giving up meat for the same reason that I am working on giving up soda and alcohol. That is, without any real reason, society seems to push people into believing that if you don't use it, you are somehow not normal, or substandard, and the constant bombardment of this thinking has come to subconsciously influenced my everyday thinking, something I have recently realized while recovering from my sprained ankle.
Side note: It is true that protein is not a vitamin, thanks for catching me on that.
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2008, 04:59:24 AM »
well i disagree with your reasoning for being vegetarian -- as I disagree with most ethical reasons to be vegetarian -- but i respect your decision.

Do know that you need to eat a lot of milk, isolated whey protein and eggs to satisfy your very high protein requirements as an athlete.  Keep this in mind and it will be easier for you to stick to a vegetarian routine.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2008, 05:48:23 AM »
After I posted I felt I may owe you an explanation for my reasoning -- you should understand tombb is going to come back and write a 4 page essay with his points outlined, as well, so be prepared for that :P

I have seen time and time again evidence saying that vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease and obesity.

So does anyone who increases their quality of food and goes to a more "Paleo" style of eating.  A diet rich in natural whole foods will always have less disease than a diet rich in processed grains and sugars.  This is easily seen by comparing hunter-gather societies to western societies/diets.  The only difference between vegetarian diets and more conventional western diets is a higher degree of natural foods (vegetables) rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber with lower GI carbs overall.  Most vegetarians stumble upon this and just assume its the vegetarian diet when it is really the quality of food.  Hunter-gatherer societies that eat lots of meat, fish and veggies show longer lifespans than normal people and lifespans that are as long or even longer than vegetarians...with reduced risk of both diseases you outline above.

I am also strongly opposed to factory farming that is often used in agriculture today. Surveys show that if the grain used to feed livestock were instead used to feed humans, we would be much closer to solving world hunger.

This just isn't true.  Even if we DID give all the grain to starving countries, it is a band-aid to the problem.  Diets rich in grains without protein lead to a bloated belly look.  I tried to find images on google but couldn't -- just watch any documentary on starving nations and you will see what I am talking about.  The point is, giving all the grain to the third world may help people not feel hungry for a month, maybe, but it is hardly a solution.  We would need to get everyone in these nations something more like milk or eggs with corn as opposed to the grain we feed cattle.  Why not boycott High Fructose Corn Syrup so that they stop making it and send all that corn to the third world?

Even if I didn't convince you here, you can still eat grass fed meat and free-range chicken.

Finally, I am giving up meat for the same reason that I am working on giving up soda and alcohol. That is, without any real reason, society seems to push people into believing that if you don't use it, you are somehow not normal, or substandard, and the constant bombardment of this thinking has come to subconsciously influenced my everyday thinking, something I have recently realized while recovering from my sprained ankle.

Soda and alcohol are bad for you.  Meat is not bad for you.  Granted, as tombb said, it is not necessarily proven to be good for you but the only meat proven to be bad for you would be processed and preserved meats like commercial jerky, bacon, or pre-prepared meat.

Would you not be more annoyed by the fact that people who think they are more healthy because they are vegetarian?  This is similar to how people think they are healthy because they are training for a triathlon.  Triathletes are *not* some sort of uber-healthy yet they are consistently held to a higher level of fitness than most other athletes.  This same statement is true of vegetarians.

I think when you become vegetarian you will realize that you don't get ostracized as much as you think for not eating meat.  In fact, i get much more ostracized than any vegetarian when I eat about 3 pounds of food in one meal...1-1.5 pound of that meal usually being meat.  When I eat like that then tell people I don't eat bread, the looks I get are much more chastising than the looks vegetarians/vegans get.  Vegetarianism is a well accepted methodology in our society...people won't really chastise you for it.

Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2008, 05:49:03 AM »
Kineticstorm, I can tell you that the lower heart disease and obesity from being vegetarian are not from science.
It's again a case of confusing causality for coincidence.  Your main risk factor for heart disease is being sedentary middleclass in a developed country, and maybe living near McDonalds and DunkinDoughnuts.
Not that McDonalds is necessarily all bad, but most people don't just eat salads and apple slices there and can easily go overboard :P
As I said, just not eating meat will not lower your risk of heart disease and obesity, especially if you replaced it with french fries, deep-fried blooming onions, potato chips and candy.

As far as your concerns with factory farming, I don't really know if you looked carefully at all sides of the issue (are you really sure that ending world hunger is that simple for example?), but personally I would think you would have a bigger impact on the world in that respect if for example you studied alternative agricultural means, or worked to support and pass legislation to regulate them in a more productive way.

With my ethical concerns, the killing part is the problem, so I don't have a way around it. It seems that in your case however, you don't disapprove of eating milk or eggs or even killing itself, but you disapprove of the current legislation or inefficiency of resource use, so it seems you would address those best by approaching them directly. 

While I might be a bit biased and understand more if you did it also because you don't like to kill cute animals, you can of course have your own reasons and make your own choices, just make sure that you checked carefully that they are based on solid arguments, there's a lot of pseudo-science, conspiracy theories and other nonsense out there to sort through unfortunately among the few points that might be legitimately valid.  If it's important enough for you, you might want to try to spend one day of literature or internet research, first trying to prove and then trying to disprove a claim or view, which generally really helps having a more complete and accurate understanding of any issue.

Chris, I can imagine you don't share my exact ethical views, as I explained in details above, but I am curious to hear of why you actually "disagree" with them, a much stronger position.  Is your justification based on a religious reason, like that you believe certain animals were created on purpose to be killed and it's a sin to choose not to?

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2008, 06:22:22 AM »
Tombb,

I didn't mean any sort of offense by saying I disagree with them.  If I agreed with your reasons, I would practice that way of life.  If I don't agree with them, I don't.  I respect them, but don't agree, so I am sorry if you take that as being stronger than just not sharing them - to me not sharing and disagreeing are one in the same.

I don't agree with it because I have absolutely no problem with killing things.  Is this religious?  No, I am agnostic.  It is more based in the fact that there is nothing wrong, in my eyes, will killing things for a purpose.  This is the natural order of things, as I see it.  I don't favor cute animals compared to not-so-cute ones.  I have eaten rabbits and i have eaten alligators -- two total different sides of the "cute" spectrum.  I have killed hamsters and cute cuddly little mice in the name of science.

If you are opposed to killing animals then you would be pretty opposed to studies on animals.  I can understand that, but again don't agree. Studies on animals have been invaluable in determining the science and nature of our bodies and the bodies of most other animals.  Hell, studies on humans were even thought to be cruel and un-holy when early anatomists started cutting up the dead.  However, if that never happened, we would have no idea how a fetus actually grows or anything about our gross anatomy...and modern medicine would be even further behind where it is right now.

Do I get upset when, in the name of science, I kill a cute little hamster and it turns out we can't even use the body for experimentation?  Yes, that certainly is a shame, but a necessary part of science.

Have you ever seen Chimpanzees on a hunt?  They hunt down other monkeys -- members of their own primate family, and brutally rip their bodies apart for food while they are still alive.  This is the natural order of things.  The animals we eat today don't live glamorous lives like those you might see "in the wild" but things like cows can't even survive any more without human intervention.  They would just get eaten alive by wolves if we suddenly abandoned farming and agriculture  -- driven to extinction.  I would much rather eat my steak than have some wolf eat it -- I'm sure the wolf feels the same way.

I think the main issue, for me, is that I don't believe we are that different from our primate counterparts.  We eat what we need to in order to survive.  We have just mastered doing this efficiently.  Good for us, that means I can eat a huge steak every night while those lower on the food chain have to scrounge around for their food.  The fact that I don't have to scour the lands for a good meal does not make that good meal any less delicious or necessary.  I would rather eat the animal that is already dead than try to live off of it's milk and eggs.

...but that's just me and my opinion because you asked.

« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 06:24:44 AM by Chris Salvato »

Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2008, 07:47:35 AM »
Well, just to explain further my views, I am not againts killing in general as I said. In the right extreme circumstances (as the -only- choice left, in self-defense or protecting others), I wouldn't have a problem killing anything, people included.

But where we are at least as good as primates, dolphins, dogs, etc and I would argue much better at it, is making choices for ourselves.  Yes, I can kill this puppy or eat that steak or sit on the couch all day eating as much food as I possibly can, and just act in an unfriendly way to others when it satisfies my immediate needs and desires.  That might be my "natural" tendency, but I can instead have dreams and aspirations to be a better person, and look at inspiring examples and follow them.

I don't hate a wolf for living its normal carnivorous life. But I am more inspired by say the dog and kitten that grew up to be basically friends. Do I feel obligated to kill every dog in the neighborhood just because some other bad-tempered monkey somewhere else would? No, I like to make my own decisions. (similarly I express disapproval differently than other primates, I have a strict no-throwing-@#$% policy) :P

And as far as using animal for science, it's again a matter of tradeoffs, it's clearly easier to use humans for science, since at least you can ask them, but there is a big difference between using an animal to save millions of lives or to put something between the bread slices in your BigMac.
Of course I would put more effort than others in designing my experiments to avoid unnecessary hurt or killing, but in real science you often have to face ethical decisions like doing nothing and causing much more death and destruction or cause much less harm to prevent it.


So I guess where we disagree is on assumptions that I must be against using people or animals for science, or that I should do things a certain way because of examples of that behaviors in others.  You can show me a documentary of primates on a hunt, fine. I can show you documentaries of people committing genocide, torture etc.  Both are not examples I am aspiring to imitate anytime soon, regardless of how "natural" they might be considered by some, I choose differently. >:(

Where we instead have a genuine difference of views is in the relative value we place on some lives, I imagine everything except other people's pets is worth less than a slightly better meal, which is fine, that's ultimately a personal choice.
However I wonder what you would say if you had a pet, say a dog you actually cared about, and wanted to stop someone from killing it for a purpose (say a delicious Chinese meat dish), is the only thing wrong there the fact that it belongs to you and he would be damaging property? If you can say that, then I would say your views are self-consistent, if not, you might be applying a double-standard without exploring a valid reason (e.g., maybe it's ok to kill things as long as you don't get to know them, which is not a satisfactory reason for me but perhaps you are comfortable with it). ???

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2008, 08:44:36 AM »
Just because you can get attached to something doesn't place a higher value on it in the grand scheme of things -- just to you.

I can really love that tree in my front yard because it was the tree I grew up climbing or the first tree in which I built a treehouse.  Does that add value to it?  Only to me.  I wouldn't want it cut down to make my lawn look more groomed...but others would not hesitate to rip down that tree.

Similarly, I can really love the house I grew up in so much that I wouldn't want to tear it down.  However, once I sell it, for whatever reason, I can go back 2 years later and see it was leveled to build a 5 story condo.  Would that sadden me as a death would sadden me?  Likely so.  But that doesn't mean it is more valuable to the world just because I am emotionally attached to it.

Would I eat my pet dog?  No, unless I was starving and it was already dead.  Would I eat dog meat that I personally hunted and killed?  Yes. 

The difference again is emotional attachment.  I don't care if someone else is attached to this animal.  Humans are capable of getting attached to a piece of cloth (ever see a 4 year old and their "blankie"?)  That doesn't mean I wouldn't use that blankie as a trap to catch my dinner if I found it in a heap of garbage and had no attachment to it.

What I think I get caught up in is this:
Quote
That might be my "natural" tendency, but I can instead have dreams and aspirations to be a better person, and look at inspiring examples and follow them.

This implies to me that you view yourself as a better person for not eating meat and killing animals.  That is all fine and well if that is your belief.  I won't try to change that.  However, I don't believe that refusing to eat something that was killed brings anyone to a level making them a "better person".  I do believe that if you resist the tempation to sit on your ass all day and eat BigMacs that definitely makes you a better person since you are, directly, fighting natural tendency for the betterment of yourself.  Again, I don't believe that eating meat makes someone a "worse person" nor does refusing to eat meat make someone a "better person".

These animals are already dead and can't survive without us these days, anyway.  We may as well take advantage of the fact that they are readily available as protein sources, and damn good ones at that.

Offline Patrick Yang

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2008, 08:52:03 AM »
Interesting discussion here.

When I eat like that then tell people I don't eat bread, the looks I get are much more chastising than the looks vegetarians/vegans get.  Vegetarianism is a well accepted methodology in our society...people won't really chastise you for it.

This is true.  I've got several friends on the sliding scale of vegetarian to omnivore, and I get a lot more crap than them (sometimes from them) about not eating starches and grains.
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2008, 09:00:58 AM »
Interesting discussion here.

When I eat like that then tell people I don't eat bread, the looks I get are much more chastising than the looks vegetarians/vegans get.  Vegetarianism is a well accepted methodology in our society...people won't really chastise you for it.

This is true.  I've got several friends on the sliding scale of vegetarian to omnivore, and I get a lot more crap than them (sometimes from them) about not eating starches and grains.

Slightly OT, if you are having a hard time putting on weight, you might need more carbs.  You may be carb tolerant, and this is more likely because you are Asian.  Might be worth the experiment by adding sweet potatoes to your diet for a while and see if that makes things easier on you.  Just a suggestion to throw out there.

Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2008, 09:18:35 AM »
Chris,
killing or not killing, eating or not eating, -neither- makes you a better person.
Choosing and making sure that your choices are well thought out and motivated rather than just doing whatever your most immediate tendencies might suggest, -always- makes you a better person, regardless of the actual conclusion or decision, it would be a waste to not use our ability for complex thought.

The point I was making is that it's not just emotional attachment that makes me not kill you or a pet dog. The notion that they are capable of being cool people or pets if I took the time to get to know them is what makes me value their life and existence more than a hint of extra flavor in my next meal.

Someone might get emotionally attached to a pencil, but really it's easy to get over that and say, look, it's a pencil, millions exactly like that one, move on.  If it was very unique, say the last pencil remaining in the world, it would have more intrinsic value due to that and would be more of a waste to just use it as firewood to cook a random meal.  And if it was sentient thing, talking and learning, capable of feeling pain, sadness and happyness, and with big aspirations for its future, and asking you to spare its life, there would be again more reasons to not just destroy it just to make a fire, regardless of whether anybody is emotionally attached to it or not.

For that matter, if emotional attachment was really the only thing preventing you from destroying life, I would expect you would kill a lot of people all the times if you knew you were not going to be caught, but I imagine you somehow have a criteria for considering people's lives, even those that you wouldn't get emotionally attached to or ones that are annoying or physically different from you (ethnicity etc) or less intelligent (mentally challenged) more valuable than meals or the many more advantages that you could gain from killing them.
Then I think I would ask weather that criteria doesn't at least in part apply to animals to different degrees, and weather that shouldn't make you consider them more worthy of being allowed to live their lives than an inanimate object.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2008, 09:30:21 AM »
Leafy vegetables are just as alive as a dog.  No nervous system though, so they don't have the things you're interested in -- like "happiness" but they are still unique.  Every house is unique.  Every tree is unique.

Every carrot is unique.  By you eating the carrot, you destroy its chances of reproduction, not enhancing them.  Your logic is flawed here that you are allowed to eat plants based on the fact that this helps them live and spread...which for many plants, is just not the case.

Also, have you not seen the natural tendency to be repulsed by eating one's own species?  It is a rare occurrence for more life forms to do that.  Humans are no exception.  I would have no problem eating anyone though if they were dead and I was starving.

I don't kill animals and people on the regular for food because I do not need to.  If this was 10000 years ago, that might be different.  If I need to kill something to get its meat, then i will.  I have no need to because I have a convenient grocery store where I can get all of my meat -- less time hunting...this lets me spend more of my time thinking about how much i enjoy it and how great it is that I don't need to hunt for it.  Meat is necessary to my lifestyle just as much as it was to my paleolithic age counterparts and for the very same reason.  A beneficial, abundant source of protein.  It was just as convenient to them to kill a buffalo as it is to us to pick it up in the store.  Sure, they could have lived leaving all of the buffalo alone and searching for chicken eggs, just as you do now...but they aren't as easy to come by and are still, comparatively speaking, less convenient that eating a big meatloaf.

The benefit is still the same -- more convenient sources of abundant protein.

By the by, you eat a whole lot less protein than I do.  I can consume up to 3 or 4 pounds of meat in a day.  I am simply not exaggerating on this...that kind of protein consumption would be nearly impossible to keep up with on eggs and dairy alone without supplementation in gross quantities -- which has dangers that come to light quite regularly.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 09:34:06 AM by Chris Salvato »

Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2008, 09:55:52 AM »
carrots, leafy vegetables, etc are not as unique as you seem to think. The small differences in shape and development are generally as unique and interesting as random scratches on my Playstation. If you destroyed it but bought a replacement, no harm done, scratches are not so important. If you killed my best friend or my dog, you couldn't just replace them even if you could clone their bodies. Their memories, personalities and thoughts, and therefore their potential to live out the rest of their lives freely would be forever lost.

If you for some reason believed that small genetic differences of a carrot should be preserved and passed on, you would only need to keep a single cell of it, you can reconstruct that exact carrot from it in however many copies you want.

Uniqueness of subtle scratches or even being "alive" or biological are not very meaningful criteria. Bacteria are alive, but again all you need is a single bacterial cell to make however many more exact copies as you want.
But if even a non-alive, non-biological thing, like a computer, suddenly became sentient, and turning it off meant losing that forever, that would be just as bad as killing an animal or a person.
That's why I value some lives like those of people and animals, not because it tends to be rare for members of the same species to eat each other... Sure, everybody likes to eat dead people when in desperate situations, that has nothing to do with finding out why you value some lives and not others.

I would say that the benefit of a slightly more convenient protein source than, say, the superior quality and lower cost of protein powders is a separate consideration from ethical views, you first figure out how much you value or not value some life or another, and then you measure it against convenience and act accordingly.  Otherwise you might be tempted to bias your ethical arguments based on convenience and taste, without really facing up to whether or not you are using them as criteria.

On a side note, you only really need at most ~200g of protein a day, that is so easy and cheap to get from better (and much cheaper) sources than meat (a few glasses of whey, casein etc), no disadvantages there.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2008, 10:41:23 AM »
IMHO, the scratches on a PS2 or a Carrot are no different than the scratches on our consciousness that we call knowledge, intelligence and behavior.  After all, these elements are nothing more than synaptic connections within our brains and don't make us special.  With my view in mind, scratches and knowledge are the same thing -- artifacts of the experience and life of the organism.  This makes a dog or person just as special as a carrot. 

You can never make the same carrot as it will be subject to different environmental factors as this is just the arbitrary nature of the universe.  This is same in the fact that you can never make my best friend again as it is subject to the same arbitrary. nature of the universe.

One way to go with this is that it is all sacred and must be protected.  The other way to go with it is that its all natural and subject to the laws of survival that allow it to kill me and me to kill it.  You choose the former, I choose the latter.

Supplemented isolated proteins are not as beneficial as whole foods.  In fact, often times they carry dangers, especially in large quantities.  This makes them a poor choice for long term use as a main source of protein.  Processing of anything ingested subjects it to a myriad of unknown factors.  For example, isolating soy or whey protein in aluminum vats will leave high concentration of aluminum -- too much aluminum = heavy metal poisoning.  This is just the name of the game.  Processing ALWAYS yields dangers.  Meat, by nature, is not processed -- simply slices off the bone.  Sure, we have issues with things like hormones and grass vs. grain fed, etc. If thats really a concern to you, then get grass fed, hormone free meats.

Also, blanket statements like "you only need 200g of protein a day" just do not work in the nutritional world.  I perform better, feel better and think more clearly when my diet is very rich in protein.  I always have.  1# of meat, depending on the cut/animal, has about 100g protein.  Even with 3# of meat a day I am only getting 300g a day from meat.  With other sources, I may get around 350g.  This is not so high when you consider the fact that i do VERY high intensity strength work and have a natural, individual need for more protein. We are talking about roughly 2g/lb of weight, which is not that much higher than some experts recommendation of 1.5g/lb for high intensity athletes.  Hopefully you see why meat is the most convenient for me...and as you can tell, convenience is not my major motivating factor -- its convenience coupled with no ethical obligation to these life forms.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 10:48:57 AM by Chris Salvato »

Offline Alec Furtado

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2008, 10:47:16 AM »
I'm not sure why you keep bringing up killing dogs, tombb. It's pretty much against Western culture to kill any pet such as a dog or cat. Mice/hamsters too since theres like no meat, but they do have use in high school lab dissection experiments :P.

Cattle on the other hand was domesticated for food, not for being a pet, although I have heard of a few that have treated them as pets, living in their house and whatnot.

Everything goes back to how you assign value to things in your mind. There's an entire spectrum and I don't think it's logical to completely judge what wavelength is correct and moral/ethical, except that I think we can safely say the extremes should be avoided. Whatever anybody chooses, I hope it's the one that leads them to be a better person to have a more positive impact on society.


As South Park says, no one single answer is ever the answer... :P :D
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 10:55:23 AM by Alec Furtado »
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Offline tombb

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2008, 11:25:33 AM »
Alec,
The only reason I mention puppy dogs and kittens is because usually people can relate to why I might not want to kill those, not just because they are not popular dishes, but because they are accustomed to the idea that they can have thoughts, memories, feelings and personalities.  Ultimately I prefer puppies to cows pigs and chickens by a lot too, but not enough that I can't see the similarities and still want to avoid killing them when possible too.


Chris,
I would like to emphasize that I do not think that everything is sacred. On the contrary, to me nothing is sacred or guaranteed preservation, not even people.
But more importantly, what you are suggesting is a false dichotomy,  those two extremes, never killing anything or killing everything, are not at all the only two choices.
Rather, the middle position that I adopt is that each life can be evaluated on its relative merits, rather than assigning everything the same min or max value. If I have a choice to spare only one life between a puppy and a fish, I would probably spare the puppy. Between a dangerous crazed dog that already killed people and a fish, I might spare the fish, etc.

And I don't see how you can compare random scratches with valuable information and the desire of something to live their life happily, again it's a matter of degrees, do you really blanket everything as equally worthless? Even on inanimate objects, the random scratches on my table are way less valuable than the years of data, experiments and pictures I have stored as scratches on my DVD (especially if that's the only copy). Yet you are suggesting I must care equally for the scratches on the table or the shape of a carrot, that does not follow, things are valuable to different degrees.
And while your neuronal connections might be what you identify as you, the random crookedness and scratches on a carrot are not used by the carrot to identify itself, nor by anybody else.  The carrot doesn't care about their pattern, you don't care, nobody cares. The patterns in Einstein's brain are something he cared, his friends and families cared about and we all care about and are thankful for, they advanced our civilization and would have been a great irreplaceable loss if they had been destroyed prematurely. They are not the same as scratches on a table or a carrot  ::) >:(


About protein supplementation:
Supplemented proteins are better than whole foods when "part of this nutritious breakfast". They have exactly what you need and none of what you don't want or could get from better sources. They are great for long-term consumption too. They are cheaper and yet often mixed in just the right amounts and combinations for best performance and health, according to our best knowledge which is quite a lot.

About the aluminum can example, I don't know who uses those, but you have -exactly- the same problem if you store meat in aluminum or sprinkle aluminum powder on top of meats, the point is, don't do it.
There is no need to have any sort of contaminant in your protein powder, and no negative side effect from such protein supplementation. If you know how to process things properly, you make things better, not worse.

The 200g is not such a blanked statement, as you know there have been several studies on this, and the extra protein above that proportional to your weight doesn't show much of an effect whenever you actually test it rigorously. It won't necessarily hurt, but that's why I made that statement, to put things into the proper ballpark framework.
Now, you obviously enjoy eating larger amounts of meat than most, good for you. I personally eat a decent amount of protein and good-tasting protein powders and supplements, but definitely not as much as you. Not because it's not possible, I would also probably not feel like eating as much meat as you do either even if I did not have ethical reservations against killing animals. And I am sure other people out there could easily match or surpass your protein intake with protein powders, if they like that, it's quite easy as it's cheaper, more purified and readily available.

Offline Kineticstorm

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2008, 11:35:16 AM »
ok, well I wasn't really looking to start a fight but ok.
First of all, Chris I live in a town that for many years was sustained primarily by a meat packing plant, and if you think that hamburger and other meat is not processed then you are sadly mistaken. Also your equating the existence of a carrot to the existence of a person is flawed by one simple argument, that is carrots do not possess the ability for thought and sensation, not an opinion, but purely biological. Eating an animal or person, unless dead by natural means does cause pain. If you don't believe me, try watching a video of a pig screaming as it is killed sometime. PETA has them up all over their web site. Also back to working at a meat packing plant, if you've never had to kill and clean the animal you eat, at least 1 time, I don't believe you have earned the right to eat that animal. It is a horrible and emotionally deadening experience, even for omnivores. I don't mean to attack you, even though that seems like what I am doing, but I felt like I should point out flaws in your arguements.
As soon as you stop pushing yourself, stop trying to reach your paragon, the day that you become content with your abilities and place in life, that's the day you start dying.

Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Pk and vegetarians
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2008, 12:19:55 PM »
ok, well I wasn't really looking to start a fight but ok.

Thanks for your input.  I don't consider this a fight - at this point it passed into a discussion about ethics.  I believe this sort of discussion is healthy when exploring your dietary options.

First of all, Chris I live in a town that for many years was sustained primarily by a meat packing plant, and if you think that hamburger and other meat is not processed then you are sadly mistaken.

Lots of meat is processed -- especially meat at a meat packing plant.  Meat packing involves mechanical separation of meat products and a gross amount of dangerous preservatives -- particularly sodium nitrate and other similar nitrates that preserve the meat for months to years.  Nitrates have shown direct links to cancer but without them the meat industry would suffer greatly because of the gross amount of preserved meats we consume -- things from commercial jerky to deli meat to hot dogs to packaged hamburgers -- none of which i would recommend.

Meat from a butcher is NOT processed.  You can even see them cut it straight off the animal if you ask them to go into the back, in most cases.  You can even watch them ground the beef that they cut off for use in your hamburgers.  With this in mind, I never said to eat packaged meat like the meat you get at a meat packing plant -- in fact, I am very much against this as it has been proven time and time again to be unhealthy.

Also your equating the existence of a carrot to the existence of a person is flawed by one simple argument, that is carrots do not possess the ability for thought and sensation, not an opinion, but purely biological. Eating an animal or person, unless dead by natural means does cause pain. If you don't believe me, try watching a video of a pig screaming as it is killed sometime. PETA has them up all over their web site.

The fact that we can send action potentials down a very specific type of cell (i.e. experience pain, thought and sensation) does not make us any better than carrots.  We are all living things -- just different kinds of life.  Segregating something based on the fact that it is a plant is still a segregation of life.

As far as a pig screaming, would it make you happier if we anesthetized the animals first so that they couldn't scream or saw death coming?  The PITA videos do little to sway me, i have seen them all.  I accept death as a part of life.  I don't cry when I see a gazelle struggle for its life when a lion attacks it for food.  Similarly, I won't cry when I see a pig squeal when humans kill it for food.

Also back to working at a meat packing plant, if you've never had to kill and clean the animal you eat, at least 1 time, I don't believe you have earned the right to eat that animal. It is a horrible and emotionally deadening experience, even for omnivores. I don't mean to attack you, even though that seems like what I am doing, but I felt like I should point out flaws in your arguements.

I have cleaned, gutted and killed my own food (and my science experiments...) before.  I am familiar of the feelings you explain but you get over them quickly.  The only reason it takes any sort of "getting over" is because it is something we are not exposed to at a very young age.  People in other countries and on farms, however, are...and i have yet to meet someone who is raised on a farm that is also a vegetarian -- but that is neither here nor there.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 12:28:25 PM by Chris Salvato »