Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Meat in a test tube

Here's an interesting tidbit related to Buddhist vegetarianism:


Test Tube Burgers by 2009?
Talk about the polar opposite of grass-fed beef, this chilling Wired piece discusses the determined development by a few researchers to mass-produce meat grown in petri dishes, bioreactors and test tubes.

Dutch researchers are learning how to grow artificial pork meat from pig stem cells in hopes of producing minced meat in a bioreactor suitable for making sausages and hamburgers in a few years.

If you aren't completely turned off yet, experts for one non-profit group that funds research on in vitro meat believe the easiest way to "create" edible meat is to grow meat sheets: Layers of animal muscle and fat stretched on long flat sheets with the help of industrial-sized bioreactors.


I'm not going to comment on the wackiness of test tube burgers. What interested me is this phrase:

If you aren't completely turned off yet,

because as a vegetarian I find it rather ironic that meat eaters would be so 'turned off' by the notion of eating meat grown in a test tube while they seem to have no problem with the mass slaughter of thinking, feeling, breathing animals on a daily basis to feed their love of the taste of meat. You see, I'm "completely turned off" by the factory-farming and mass killing of animals that so many people either ignore or think is just a normal part of life - sort of like how we ignore or dismiss the 98,000+ civilian deaths in Iraq caused by US invasion forces, not to mention the 2,000+ US soldiers dead and the 20,000+ maimed or otherwise seriously injured. Just the price we pay to do what "needs" doing - except I don't really think we "need" to do either of these things. These are "wants", not "needs" and separating the two is important.

Sorry, not that Buddhist, but thought some might find it interesting...

55 Comments:

At June 28, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At June 28, 2006, Blogger MikeDoe said...

I'm OK with it.

I eat meat. If an animal doesn't need to die then that's good. Probably.

 
At June 28, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

Brought to you by Soylent red and Soylent yellow, high energy vegetable concentrates, and new, delicious, Soylent green. The miracle food of high-energy plankton gathered from the oceans of the world.

 
At June 28, 2006, Blogger earDRUM said...

To me, this looks like just another insane product from scientists with no consciences. I can't imagine there being no side effects from consuming such a "product".
Would we consider these meat sheets lifeforms? Hmmm... very strange.

We cannot continue to animal products for much longer. It is just too wasteful of the world's resources. There are too many people on earth to support such a wasteful way of life. Plus, there is no need. It is a total luxury.

Burgers may seem cheap and convenient. But they come at a huge cost. They cost a fortune to produce... using lots of fossil fuels and electricity. Cattle take up land space in our national parks. They destroy ecosystems, pollute ground water, and consume food that people could be eating. They use up massive amounts of water. They are pumped full of antibiotics, steroids and hormones (which all end up in our lakes and streams... causing mutations in fish... and eventually us people since it all ends up in the food chain.

We could be eating the plants that food animals eat... thereby eliminating all of that cost and destruction.

If people started making vegetarian and vegan meals more attractive (the way that other cultures have done for ages), I think it might catch on. We just need to learn how to cook properly.
Lots of people I know make fun of me for being vegetarian... as if it is a sign of weakness... as if "real men" have to hunt and kill animals.

I think we are too far removed from the realities of our food sources. I wonder how many people would be willing to kill cows, pigs and chickens in order to eat three times a day. I know that some people would. But I suspect that most people would quickly decide to eat plants, out of sheer practicality... if not out of compassion.
It surprises me that dog and cat owners are able to turn the other cheek when they eat other mammals. I suspect that most people try to deny their true feelings.

If you eat animals, I hope you are thankful for the sacrifice that was made so that you could live. Because it was not a necessary sacrifice.

I respect people's decisions. My friends, family and my son eat meat. I wish they didn't, but I respect their choices.

 
At June 28, 2006, Blogger me said...

Soylent green is PEOPLE! IT'S PEOPLE!!!!

Would we consider these meat sheets lifeforms? Hmmm... very strange.

This speaks directly to one of the issues Zen tries to deal with - that of definitions. All definitions are decided on by humans. In this case some people would say "yes, they are life forms" and others would say "no" but this is simply an argument over a definition. The sheet of meat doesn't change if we decide one way or the other. Only the definition changes.

Sort of like the issue of the previous post "Brad is a zen master" or "no, he's not" - again, Brad hasn't changed regardless of what people may think of him.

Definitions impose artificial (imaginary, human-decided) boundaries on things. We need them to communicate and survive. Zen helps one minimize one's reliance on definitions and helps one understand their lack of external 'reality'.

 
At June 28, 2006, Blogger healthyscratch said...

I eat a lot of stuff that's unhealthy but tasty, and not quite as much stuff that's healthy but not so tasty. If "test tube" meat were proven to be healthy and tasty, I'd eat it.

I am one of the rare Texas carnivores who does hold eardrum and other true (as opposed to trendy) vegetarians in high regard. Vegetarianism is the correct path, and I am the weak one for not being able to follow it.

But my love for a prime medium-rare bone-in ribeye is often overwhelming.

 
At June 28, 2006, Blogger karen said...

I don't eat meat because I feel sorry for the animals. Then I started to read about factory farming and that kind of sealed it for me. If I had to kill an animal myself I just couldn't do it, so I don't eat it. That said, a few weeks ago I took a taste of my husbands Italian sub and it tasted so good. So, when the girls at work decided to order out, I ordered an Italian sub and I practically inhaled it. Then, I had a horrendous gallbladder attack with a pretty high fever,and missed a full day of work Since it has been many years since I ate meat, my body just couldn't take the fat overload. I grew up outside of Philly where cheesesteaks and subs were a staple of your diet and have never lost my taste for them. But it will be a long time before I try that trick again.

 
At June 28, 2006, Blogger Anatman said...

Eardrum, I don't see how this relates to insanity or conscience. Seems like an interesting investigation into how to go about producing a food source that may not waste so many natural resources and how to not make animals suffer.

As to whether 'meat sheets' would be life forms -- maybe. But we have no doubt that vegetables are life forms.

 
At June 28, 2006, Blogger oxeye said...

"Would we consider these meat sheets lifeforms? Hmmm... very strange."

even if these products are considered life forms lacking only a central nervous system.. without giving this a whole lot of thought, i think i am for it.. if it eventually prevents the suffering of a lamb or cow or whatever, without harming people, how can this be wrong?

 
At June 28, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

They're made of meat
By Terry Bisson, who says "From OMNI, April 1991. This story, which was a 1991 Nebula nominee, has been appearing around the internet lately without my name attached. Several people were kind enough to alert me, but the truth is I'm more flattered than offended."

-----

"They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"Meat. They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"There's no doubt about it. We picked several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars."

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take too long. Do you have any idea the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plamsa brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there is a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat!"

"So... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you getting the picture?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Finally. Yes, they are indeed made out meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"So what does the meat have in mind."

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat?"

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there? Anyone home?' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"

"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"

"Both."

"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome, and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in the quadrant, without prejudice, fear, or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say?" `Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they only travel through C-space. which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you have probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropiate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we can marked this sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interested on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotation ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the universe would be if one were all alone."

 
At June 29, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At June 29, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

Dan,
Here's your answer:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

 
At June 29, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At June 30, 2006, Blogger gniz said...

The idea that everyone should become vegetarian is exactly the kind of popcorn zen, PC crap that just about kills me when I read it.
You think that would be just great for the ecosystem, do you?
So instead of 8 billion people eating meat, we'd have 8 billion people eating grass and fruit and plants.
Dont fool yourself that the earth could sustain that any more than it can all of the meat eating that is happening.
The fact that we have a horrendous overpopulation problem would not be solved by everyone eating plants.
And you absolutely cannot avoid killing life. As long as you are alive you will kill other living creatures to survive. Get used to it, PC Zennies.

-Aaron

 
At June 30, 2006, Blogger Anatman said...

gniz: "So instead of 8 billion people eating meat, we'd have 8 billion people eating grass and fruit and plants. Dont fool yourself that the earth could sustain that any more than it can all of the meat eating that is happening."

Aaron, for the record, I eat meat, and have no intention of stopping at this time. But what you wrote is simply wrong.

The production of beef is very inefficient when compared to the production of vegetarian food.

The land, water, energy, etc. that go into producing enough beef to sustain one person would be able to sustain many more people if those people were eating vegetables, grains and legumes. It is a question of efficient energy transfer.

 
At June 30, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

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At July 01, 2006, Blogger DB said...

eardrum said

"I wonder how many people would be willing to kill cows, pigs and chickens in order to eat three times a day.
----------snip---------
I suspect that most people try to deny their true feelings.

If you eat animals, I hope you are thankful for the sacrifice that was made so that you could live."

This was both a bit too provocative to ignore and so politely phrased that I'm forced to decloak and deal with it.

I'll say at the outset that my choices are mine; I don't urge them on anyone else, but eardrum's comments seemed to invite the response so...

How many people would be willing to actually kill something in order to eat? Damned few, but I count myself one of them. I don't eat a lot of beef, but I eat plenty of deer. Yes, I killed them. I know what it takes to do it. I know the psychic cost to myself to turn a living animal into a dead object.

You're absolutely correct that many people deny all this goes on when they're sitting in the drive-thru at McDonald's. My own position may be morally questionable, but it's consistent. I won't eat what I'm not willing to kill. That doesn't mean, by the way, that I eat ONLY what I've personally killed.

And yes, I'm very grateful for what is essentially a sacrifice for my sake. I firmly believe that humans are predators and that to deny that legacy is to deny part of ourselves.

I don't kill wantonly, but I do kill, and so I eat. I believe that in so doing, I'm more fully in touch with the total human experience than someone who denies these things happen.

 
At July 01, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 01, 2006, Blogger gniz said...

If you think killing or not killing, eating or not eating meat, smiling or not smiling, makes you more awake and aware, you are fooling yourself.
Being awake and aware is being awake and aware and you can have all the precepts you want and be a buffoon.
An example of this type of thinking is embodied in the Catholic priesthood. Denial of self, denial of your deepest darkest urges, does not make you a Buddha. It makes you someone who is very caught up in the outer appearance of being good.

Aaron

 
At July 01, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

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At July 01, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

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At July 01, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

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At July 02, 2006, Blogger gniz said...

Dan

I never said that doing whatever the hell you want and acting like an asshole made me or anyone else more aware and awake.
But the fact that i go on these blogs and make useless noise, I dont consider being an asshole.
I consider these discussions to be nothing more than a distraction from the rest of my life.
If it is more than that to some people, I guess i need to be more understanding of that.

Aaron

 
At July 02, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

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At July 02, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

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At July 02, 2006, Blogger grisom said...

"They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"


Hey, a while ago I saw this film adaptation of the story.

 
At July 02, 2006, Blogger me said...

Factory farming of animals to feed humans is horribly wasteful of resources. Hunting wild animals is less so, but feeds far fewer people obviously (and if hunting is overdone, such as mass fishing, that leads to serious environmental problems).

Humans are omnivores who have learned to hunt. Physiologically, we don't "need" to eat meat to be healthy (plenty of iron-man vegetarian althletes) but it takes education and money to change -something in short supply for most of the world.

Not eating meat doesn't make a Buddhist 'more aware' but I argue that being more aware naturally leads to less meat eating. (Obviously, there is more to meat than the taste, although most people consider the taste to be the primary issue - above issues such as an increase risk of heart attacks, cancer, environmental degredation, e coli poisoning, etc).

As Brad pointed out, if one admits a difference between killing a human and killing a cow, then one should admit a difference between killing a cow and killing a plant. Yes, killing is necessary, but we can minimize the harm we do.

I think that would be a good blog post topic I might develop - the difference between an emphasis on "doing good" versus "minimizing harm" as alternative ways to be.

All wars were started by people who thought they were doing 'good'.

 
At July 03, 2006, Blogger MikeDoe said...

me:
"... (Obviously, there is more to meat than the taste, although most people consider the taste to be the primary issue ..."

The fact that we find meat so tasty is a very strong indicator that it is meant to be part of our diet.

A study was done where people ate what they wanted when they wanted and kept a diary. Although they did not have 3 squares a day, over the course of the study they ended up with a balanced diet.

Turning vegetarian may be a 'moral' position and it may be in-line with some Buddhist teachings but I would suggest that becomming vegetarian is actually going against biology.

It may actually be possible to produce a healthy vegetarian diet but I believe it is very difficult to do so.

I note that in one his books HH Dali Lama notes that he eats meat on alternate days because his body seems to need it and is less so when he does not eat meat.

In contrast I have found that many long term vegetarians that I know tend to have similar characterstics namely:

1. low levels of body protein (i.e. muscle) suggesting that muscle has been consumed as a source of nutrients.

2. Poor skin condition - it usually looks thin/translucent and
tends to have a greyish rather than pinkish tint to it.

These are just my amateur observations.

I always find it interesting that so many vegetarian products attempt to emulate meat rather than vegetables.

 
At July 03, 2006, Blogger oxeye said...

Aaron, just a thought.. you have mentioned more than once that you entertain us on this blog when you are bored. when you seek a little distraction, when you want some diversion. you seem to want to escape from the monotony of your life and have a little fun. have you ever thought of getting a girlfriend?

 
At July 03, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 03, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

mike doe,

" The fact that we find meat so tasty is a very strong indicator that it is meant to be part of our diet."

well you could argue against this buy pointing out that people find fatty sugary deliciousness like cakes and chocolate tasty but there's no reason why we should infer that that stuff is meant to be part of our diet. conversely, many people find greens untasty but that doesn't indicate that they shouldnt be part of our diet


" I would suggest that becomming vegetarian is actually going against biology."

almost the entire sub continent of india is vegetarian and most pf them looked fine to me. in fact outside the west meat is a rarity in almost everyone's diets.

early man lived a mostly vegetarian existence only eating meat when there wasn't anything else about (true).

our bodies are not actually designed very suitably for eating meat. we can't eat it raw and even when cooked red meat is very hard to chew properly. our teeth are not those of a carnivore or even much of an omnivore's. bears are omnivoreous, look at their teeth!

we don't actually digest red meat. it just sits in our gut and rots slowly. scientists at harvard actually wanted to officially take red meat out of the food groups entirely but they were put under pressure by the beef industry so they never did.


It may actually be possible to produce a healthy vegetarian diet but I believe it is very difficult to do so.

i know quite a few vegetarians and vegans and
they all seem fine to me(personally i am a pescatarian - that's right i hate fish, the little bastards- so my health can't really be used as evidence ). u only need a pretty small amount of protein a day; far less than is in the average serving of meat. one of my friends was even a fruitarian (nuts are technically fruits so thats where the protein comes from) for 8 years. he was fine. he only stopped cos it was a ridiclous hassle ensuring he got the correct amount of nutrients everyday. the point is tho that even that kind of diet can be done while still remaining healthy.


"low levels of body protein (i.e. muscle) suggesting that muscle has been consumed as a source of nutrients"

you're american right? you guys are all fucking huge tho! (not fat, well that too, but just muscly) a thin guy looks anorexic compared to your average american man. if you put that same skinny guy in pretty much any other country in the world (except for canada and australia (huge) and the uk (not really huge but lots of fat people) he would look normal. again in india almost everyone's skinny but they dont look unhealthy. just skinny.


as for they greyish skin this probably has more to do with lack of B12 (i think its that one. actually maybe thats the stuff in pantene pro v) B12 is most easily found in meat but it doesnt only occur in meat. it occurs in lots of fruit an vegetables too, its just they tend to be the less tasty ones so the vegetarians you know probably dont eat enough of them

being vegetarian is good for you. honestly!

if anyone wants to dispute any of the empirical claims i've made (eg. the thing about harvard) i'll find web links documenting them.

 
At July 03, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

mikedoe,
ooops, just read some of your blog sorry for accusing you of being american (;¬) . but it's still true that skinny doesn't mean unhealthy. you're body mass index can be suprisingly low without being clinically underweight.

 
At July 04, 2006, Blogger grisom said...

dan wrote:

if anyone wants to dispute any of the empirical claims i've made (eg. the thing about harvard) i'll find web links documenting them.

I'd like to read more about that Harvard thing, if you would be so kind. I remember hearing something similar about the entire dairy food group, too.

B12 is most easily found in meat but it doesnt only occur in meat. it occurs in lots of fruit an vegetables too, its just they tend to be the less tasty ones so the vegetarians you know probably dont eat enough of them

It's also in milk and eggs, which is probably where I get most of my B12.

 
At July 05, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

ok grisom, i'm on it. the friend who told me is a science journalist an she's gonna find the story for me. i'll let you know when she gets back to me.

 
At July 05, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

ok grisom, i'm on it. the friend who told me is a science journalist an she's gonna find the story for me. i'll let you know when she gets back to me.

 
At July 05, 2006, Blogger grisom said...

ok grisom, i'm on it. the friend who told me is a science journalist an she's gonna find the story for me. i'll let you know when she gets back to me.

Cool, thanks.

 
At July 09, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

ok,

i got confused about who originally told the story to me. my friend was no help but i found this extract from a website called

http://www.newstarget.com/z019396.html.

it mentions a book by marian nestle called food politics which is where the story about eating no red meat came from. it mentions it in this extract. i also found the free download for a food pyramid called the honest food guide that explicitly denies that red meat is in any way good for you:

" So the idea that any food can be part of a healthy diet is really absurd. It's just a defense. The USDA food guide is essentially promoting this idea that any food can be part of a healthy diet. There's an interesting book called "Food Politics" by Marion Nestle. Marian used to work at the USDA, and she was part of the process of creating the original food guide pyramid. She has fascinating accounts of how this was done. For example, they would get information from doctors and nutritionists, and they would decide, within their own group, that they were going to have a statement that said, "People should consume no red meat." That's a nutritionally sound position.

Ben: Right.

Mike: But then, as soon as industry got word of that, lobbyists came in, and there was a lot of political pressure applied. Senators, congressmen and congresswomen were suddenly getting calls from their constituents, which included cattle ranching companies and meat packers, and they were putting pressure on this group at the USDA, so this original statement that said, "People should eat no red meat" went though this really interesting evolution. They decided to tone it down, and they changed it to say, "People should eat less red meat." Then they decided to change it even further to say, "People should eat more lean meat." So the science supports the idea that people should eat no red meat or very little red meat if any, but the ultimate statement that came out of the USDA was, "People should eat more red meat, as long as it's lean meat." "

http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_546.cfm


http://www.honestfoodguide.org/downloads/HonestFoodGuide.pdf

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

Both those links refer to the same guy, "Mike, The Health Ranger," who doesn't seem to have any formal educational credentials in nutrition. He also says you shouldn't use flouride toothpaste, any dairy products, crackers, or fruit juice. He claims that after his health transformation, he was 'Instantly grasping the "big picture" of any concept, including quantum computing, nanotechnology, homeopathy, the politics of medicine, etc.'

Paint me skeptical.

I think red meat is a great source of protein, iron, and B12. I think in moderation, red meat is going to kill you a lot slower than Cheetos. I get most of my protein from dairy foods (whey, milk, cheese) which are also verboten "because they don't contain fiber," according to the Health Ranger. One of the same things he criticizes about red meat.

Well, so what? I know dairy foods don't contain a lot of fiber. That's why I eat a bran muffin with my protein shake in the morning. It's why people should (and often do) eat veggies with their steaks, if they choose to eat steak. I don't, but I'm not going to tell anyone else they shouldn't.

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

jules,

ooops. you're right. didnt look at it properly. however, the book mentioned by marian nestle is genuine it is true that the cattle lobbyists fought to get red meat in a prominent place in the usda food pyramid. here is a link to the harvard food pyramid (the one i was going on about originally). although red meat is in there note that it is in the same bracket as candy. although you can eat candy you wouldnt really say it was a neccessary part of your diet. same applies to red meat....

http://bellsouthpwp.net/r/s/rsnmar/LinkImages/HarvardHealthyEatingPyramid.jpg

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/press/releases/pyramid.jpg

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/pyramids

dammit, this is like the 5th time i've tried to put the link up!the other links didnt show up properly for some reason. one of these two should work

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

I'm skeptical about how much even medical professionals and nutritionists know about the human body and health. How does acupunture really work? Why is there a placebo effect? Why can Eskimos eat practically nothing but red meat and fat their whole lives and not have health problems because of it?

That being said, I mostly follow the nutritionists advice because they know more than I do. But I always apply a heapin' helpin' of common sense to whatever the latest health fad is. A decade ago they were telling us that butter was killing us and we should switch to margarine. Which has now been proven to be a lot worse than butter. It doesn't clog the arteries as much as butter does, but it puts you at higher risk for cancer. I wouldn't eat that "splenda" stuff if you paid me to do it.

Handy HTML tip of the day:
Use the 'a' tag for links, like so:
HTML tutorial

Harvard School of Public Health
Food Pyramid

 
At July 10, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

Well, I guess Eskimos eat a lot of fish too. But practially no fiber, veggies, fruits, or grains.

I guess my point is that we're all different, and what is fine for Eskimos would plug most of the rest of us up like we'd swallowed racquetballs.

 
At July 14, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

Because Oscar Meyer has a way with B-O-L-O... D-N-A

 
At July 18, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

i don't agree with a lot of what peta does but this video really demonstrate's what we all know deep down: eating meat is severely wrong

 
At July 19, 2006, Blogger Jules said...

Those repulsive images inform me that I don't like watching animals suffer.

Some of what they say in that video is true. I think we should avoid killing if we can. Some of it is exaggeration.

The argument that "it takes more food to feed the animals than it would to feed starving third world people" assumes that food animals are exclusively fed items that people could eat, and it assumes that these human-edible foods could be effectively distributed to starving people.

There is some truth to the argument, but there are no simple black and white rules that work 100% in every situation. It's always complicated.

I imagine watching people (especially myself) starve to death would be equally repulsive. In certain situations I don't believe killing in order to eat is wrong at all. I still wouldn't like it very much, but it would beat the pants off starving to death.

 
At July 19, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

"Those repulsive images inform me that I don't like watching animals suffer."

right but don't they also inform you that you don't like making animals suffer?

 
At July 19, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 19, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

they aren't really exagerrating about the food being fed to animals thing

 
At July 19, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

" and it assumes that these human-edible foods could be effectively distributed to starving people."

do you realise the apples i buy in the supermarket are grown in england flown to south africa to be waxed (!) and then flown back to england to be eaten by english people all before the apples have a chance to even go slightly off. if they can do that then flying some corn, oats and soy to starving people shouldn't prove too difficult.

 
At October 25, 2006, Blogger Ed said...

I've heard a lot of debates between Buddhists regarding the practice of eating or not eating meat. Probably the wisest thing I ever heard was the person (forget who he was) who said, "It's not about what we're eating, but what's eating us."

 

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