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Question: Why Do You Eat Meat?

Why meat?

Q: Why do you eat meat?

     I just wanted to throw this question out there because ... well, I am curious as to the responses. Just a reminder, for the   I didn't think about the process, pain, suffering, and ultimately the death of the animal in order for it to be nicely packaged, put on display in the grocery store, placed on my plate, and then end up in my stomach.  For me there was a disconnect between the animal and the piece of cooked flesh on my plate.  It was just another piece of food to me — nothing more, nothing less.    

     As consumers we have a right to see how our food is processed. I encourage anyone who consumes the flesh of animals to watch the video Meet Your Meat (video length is 12:49 minutes).  If you were given the opportunity to kill the animal that you would be serving for dinner, would you do it? If no, why not?  I eat fruits and vegetables and during the spring and summer months I grow most of what I eat.  I do all of the harvesting and any necessary preparation etc. of the fruits and vegetables — no need for a middle man to do the dirty work for me! Granted, in the fall and winter I do have to shop at the grocery store for my fruits and veggies — at least until I master the technique of a having a fall/winter garden.

     I have heard from numerous people and have read various articles stating that we need to eat meat to be healthy — to live. Not only have I not consumed animal flesh in 16 years, I know of individuals who have not consumed animal flesh in 20/30/40+ years.  If we need meat to live, well then, I guess those of us who choose to eschew animal flesh must be the walking dead!  But not like the zombies you see on television that eat people — we would just ravage your gardens and farmers markets! We want your grains!

     Recipe time!!!

     Here is an awesome recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen for Peanut Butter Blondies (see picture).  I love peanut butter, organic is my favorite, and these little goodies are scrumptious.  My fiance, who is neither vegetarian nor vegan, found these peanut butter treats yummy! 

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Rachel Jewell March 29, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Thank you for the invite John, however, I must decline! Just like how you would not be offended by my ordering something with peanut butter (I prefer the taste of organic), I would not be offended if you ordered something off the meat menu. My fiance eats animals, eggs, dairy products etc. and we are able to have civil meals together. I have yet to blurt out "Corpse Muncher" while he nibbles on the dead flesh of an animal! Again, thank you for the invite. :)
Tom McGains March 29, 2012 at 04:30 PM
God intended us to eat meat plain and simple. I hunt because it is the cycle of life and technically plants have meat in them because they excess of animals that die go into the nutrients in the soil. And about not getting enough protein from vegetables is somewhat true. You can get it from soy, nuts and other sources. But fish, chicken and beef are much better sources of dense proteins that help you live more healthy and stronger. And soy has been tested time and time Again and is not very effective at rebuilding torn and damaged muscle as where meat proteins are. I will continue to eat meat because cows are on this earth to be eaten plain and simple.
Richard Ian Tracy March 29, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Well, isn't THAT convenient? What else does your god say that conveniently matches what you want to do? If he/she has any thoughts on the modern holocaust of factory farming, I'd like to hear them. As for vegan muscles ... I refer you not only to gorillas and bulls ... but also to the swathe of vegan body builders & athletes who are champions and at the top of their game. http://www.bestveganguide.com/vegan-athletes.html http://www.cok.net/blog/2012/01/want-eat-look-and-feel-pro-athlete-go-vegan
Le'ah Keturah-Sarah Krzywkowski March 29, 2012 at 05:32 PM
'garlic mustard'? hmm... i have to look that one up! i recently bought a north american herb guide for finding medicinal and edible plants/herbs that grow all around us in forests and such. i wonder if its in there. (sure, i could look it up on the internet, but i want a chance to use this nifty field guide ;o)
Mark T March 29, 2012 at 06:28 PM
God intended us to eat meat, plain and simple? I don't think so. He intended us to be fruitful. That means being full of fruit. He didn't say "be meatful". He also didn't say be cruel, merciless and kill innocents. Oh wait, checking my Bible, he actually did say that was okay. Not unto animals, but unto other people. And He also committed these acts upon humans. There is nothing plain and simple about it. We must awaken and use our superior intellect and compassion. There is nothing wrong with showing compassion to others.
Richard Ian Tracy March 29, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I think I'm developing a crush on Mark T ... (-:
Holly Barnes March 29, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I have a great deal of respect for people that can go without eating meat. You look great and like you said, your health is there. Maybe you can share your daily nutrition diet with the rest of the group? I would love some health dinners you make.
joe ponikarovsky March 29, 2012 at 07:13 PM
aside from the other points already made...if we're "meant" to eat meat, then why are we the *only* species that must cook it to avoid sickness/death from consuming it? and it's total BS that we need meat for the vast amount of energy our brain/body requires. you just need calories. calories = energy (yes, it's that simple). i've been vegetarian for 18+ years, including 8 years of college/grad school getting degrees in computer science and 6+ years of working in my field. obviously, the lack of meat hasn't held me back.
Brandon Scullion March 29, 2012 at 08:29 PM
The back and forth from the beginning of the comments caused me to stop reading. Why don't people respect one another anymore? I eat meat but more lately eat it more sparingly. I also consume much more produce than I ever did. I will never be a vegetarian but have dated them in the past. I respected them and they respected me - it also gave me an appreciation for cooking without meat. So with all of that, here is a movie some of you might be interested in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MvAM97VDE8&feature=share
Nik Addison-Crichton March 29, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Hey Rachel, Just thought I would stop by and show my support. Keep on doing what you are doing, spreading the love and vegan education. I haven't read all the posts I gave up after two or three. I find them uneducated, blinkered, rude and pathetic. It's an obvious post about respecting, not enslaving, exploiting and murder so why feed the trolls when you can feed us with your lovely vegan goodies! :) Keep on keepin' on and don't let the bastards grind you down! HUGS, Nik xox
Le'ah Keturah-Sarah Krzywkowski March 29, 2012 at 11:20 PM
yep Zee, the FDA standards are horrid. I am disgusted at the things they allow to be put into food. As soon as a stopped buying processed foods, switched to most organic ( what I am able to afford) and began making condiments, breads and sauces from scratch I noticed my skin allergies got better and my asthma let up a bit.
Le'ah Keturah-Sarah Krzywkowski March 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM
The above is the price we pay for freedom of speech. some crappy comments, some encouraging, some destructive and demeaning. The "why do you eat meat?" question sure invited MANY answers for carnivores now didn't it? So now you know how some people feel about it and where they are coming from ( I think. You have a lot of courage to post a title like that on any Patch blog!) I wanted to write earlier that I love the recipe you posted for peanut butter blondies!! For some reason I have been craving peanut butter lately, so this recipe will be perfect! We have some gluten sensitivity around here so I may tweak it a little with almond and brown rice flour, which shouldn't offset the flavor too much. And cut down the amount of sugar with some Stevia ( issues with blood sugar). And btw, my sister studied nutritional anthropology at Miami U, and she is vegetarian. She has also worked in the peace corps as a nutritional counselor in Rwanda...and has had great success in educating others about proper nutrition, with a meat free diet. She has taught me many helpful techniques for adding protein to the diet which I wouldn't have even thought of ( such as building up the gluten in bread by kneading it for longer and using whole wheat flour instead of white) and utilizing seeds like quinoa rather than grains. also as she points out and there are numerous evidence based studies that show the harmful effects of soy products on the digestive tract. Almond or rice milk is better.
Douglas March 30, 2012 at 01:23 AM
@Rachel, I stand corrected. This is a vegan blog. However, since you asked why we eat meat then telling someone off for answering is silly. And that is why I felt the need to come down on Zee.
Douglas March 30, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Just a thought. And I am sure the vegans here have been asked it before. If you are not eating meat for the sole reason of health you can ignore this question, but if you are not eating meat due to animal welfare then I am curious. Do you wear suede? leather? snakeskin? Do you own a computer with parts made by human beings (meat) that are treated poorly? (and if you own a computer chances are the answer is yes)
Richard Ian Tracy March 30, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Zee said she was a vegan for health reasons initially -- I am the opposite. I went vegan for ethical reasons. Once I knew, I couldn't un-know. I don't know how people do it. Then again, I was a vegetarian for a decade thinking that was this huge ethical leap when really it was a tiny step. I gave up leather immediately when I became vegetarian in 2000. I don't think most do -- but it seemed logical to me. I thought it hypocritical to keep wearing their skins. There is NOTHING leather or suede in my wardrobe. There might be some wool somewhere that hasn't worn out yet -- but I won't buy anything else/new made of animal products. Being vegan is not about being perfect -- it's about doing the best you can. I'm sure I have made and will make mistakes and if you searched long enough, you'd FIND something I've missed, not thought about or possibly don't know about yet as an issue. I'm a Mac guy ... so I'm sure my MacMini and iPod were made in China at least in part with questionable labour. I don't have any beautiful answer for that quandary, I'm afraid -- without my Mac, I couldn't do the work that I do for the animals.
Richard Ian Tracy March 30, 2012 at 02:25 AM
... continuing on ... As I said -- I'm not perfect. No vegan is. I just do the best I can and make the most compassionate choices possible with the information available. Many would say I make "great sacrifices" ... but I don't feel that way at all. Knowing what I know, they are the only choices I can make. Maybe I'm missing the denial gene! :-) I dunno. I often joke I can't "turn my brain off" -- and, as I said before, I cannot un-know what I know. I am, in all seriousness, a very happy vegan. I don't think I could be at peace and NOT be vegan. I feel embarrassed that I didn't go vegan sooner.
Garry Kanter March 30, 2012 at 02:49 AM
I eat a lot less meat because nearly all commercially available livestock is factory grown, and requires daily feedings of antibiotics in order to live in their own feces. I'm not supporting that any longer, now that I know about it. That practice of using antibiotics daily puts us all at a risk that is too great and not necessary. Eliminate the antibiotics, and the animals pretty much have to return to the farms, is how I see it. Where they belong, in the same natural cycle with the crops.
Rachel Jewell March 30, 2012 at 03:57 AM
@ Holly Barnes: Thank you for the kind words! With each blog I post I plan on sharing a little recipe. A lot of what I eat is raw fruits (love red seedless grapes) and veggies. Breakfast is usually a nice warm bowl of oatmeal with raisins and/or fresh fruit with a little bit of vanilla extract and cinnamon (and maybe a bit of non-dairy milk). When it comes to lunch and dinner, well, it just depends upon how motivated I feel! I usually prepare two meals for dinner, one for my fiance (he eats meat) and one for myself, so sometimes I just keep my meals simple. I do have two cookbooks, "The Happy Herbivore" and "The Everyday Happy Herbivore" by Lindsay S. Nixon that I refer to often for meal ideas/recipes. I'll make sure that the recipe in my next blog is a recipe for dinner!
Rachel Jewell March 30, 2012 at 04:09 AM
I currently do not take B12, however, I have been looking into purchasing some B12 (in liquid form - I detest taking pills). When it comes to B12 I would like to error on the side of caution and make sure that I am getting the necessary amounts. ...
Rachel Jewell March 30, 2012 at 04:26 AM
According to the Physicians Commitee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), "... 80 percent of antibiotics used in the United States are administered to animals on farms." - AND - "Two million people contract antibiotic-resistant infections annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." I agree with you that this practice is a "reckless usage of antibiotics." It's scary what is deemed acceptable practices when it comes to our food - the antibiotics, the hormones, the GM foods, etc. The best we can do as consumers is to take proactive measures in educating ourselves about what is in our food. * Here is the link for the full article: http://pcrm.org/media/online/oct2011/salmonella-mrsa-e-coli-danger-antibiotic
Rachel Jewell March 30, 2012 at 04:51 AM
@ emily_b: Your dad worked in an abattoir? I couldn't imagine all the things he must have seen. Do you think working in that type of environment affected you dad in any way? Definitely not the type of place one would take their kid for "Take Your Child to Work Day" (at least in my opinion). How did you feel about your dad working at an abattoir? I have yet to come across someone who either works in or knows someone who works/worked in an abattoir. Sorry, for all of the questions - I guess I'm curious.
Tim Torrence March 30, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Joe, I'm sorry you and everyone else who responded to my post misunderstood. I am not speaking from a personal perspective. I am speaking from an evolutionary perspective. First our ancestors did not cook meat to make it safe to eat. If that was that case we are giving cavemen far too little credit. Some how, some way, most likely by accident or trial and error they discovered that cooking meat made their tummies feel better. Eating meat gave early man a stable food source with high caloric intake. You cannot compare modern humans who have benefited from all those years of evolution with those that did not. The size of your brain and your ability to assimilate knowledge is built on all those evolutionary steps and I'm sorry to say but it would be scientifically dishonest to say eating meat did not benefit mankind. I am not, nor have I ever knocked anyone for cutting meat from their diet. It a choice they want to make. I posted from an historical perspective backed with scientific fact. One thing that can be known for sure when you do read through this thread is that there is one basic theme. Most of the people who are posting here against a diet of meat are not actually against eating meat they are against the process of acquiring the meat. Even meat eaters can get behind that and most do. But some are so far out there that they reference infanticide and cannibalism and some literally chase posts down to belittle "meaters". These people I can safely ignore.
Tim Torrence March 30, 2012 at 05:58 AM
I did not have enough room in my last post to include this but you may find it helpful in illustrating my point. I am not positive but I would have to say this chart is based on serving size but again not positive. Considering the source I have to believe the data. You will see the large jump in foods such as meat and those with high sugar content. http://www.ntwrks.com/~mikev/chart1.html
Terry Kraus March 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Rachel - obviously you chose a very highly charged topic and I found the remarks educational. Good points made on both sides ... when people aren't being rude. Obviously, this is an emotional subject. Could you create a weekly menu suggestion in one of your next articles? Very interested in trying this out - not sure I could do this "cold turkey" - sorry for the meat reference. Even Dr. Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Center suggests if we must eat red meats, then the portion should be no larger than what we can hold in the palm of our hands (- not a quote so don't hate on me). Unfortunately I do like meat, fish and milk products. I think I could toss red meats & poultry without a seond thought, but ice cream and cheese may prove difficult to give up. Thanks for the article and giving us something to "digest"!
Michael Rice March 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I eat fish like Jesus did....and occasionally I'll eat 100% grass fed, organic beef in the form of a nice thick filet or strip steak. Oh, and I also enjoy the organic milk and cheeses they help produce. Yummy!
joe ponikarovsky March 30, 2012 at 01:33 PM
(post continued. by the way, the tolstoy message when you type too much is brilliant!) tim - i understand you were speaking from a historical perspective, and that's fine. but i'm just trying to make the point that our bodies cannot process raw meat naturally, without us getting sick. has it been that way since humans first started consuming it? well my understanding is that our tolerance for meat has only improved over time; so likely, yes. also a point worth mentioning is that it's far easier for the human body to break down fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc to get nutrients from them than it is for us to do the same from meat. we just process it more efficiently to get what we need. does it mean that's all we should eat? no. does it mean we get what we need more efficiently eating such things? yes.
joe ponikarovsky March 30, 2012 at 01:35 PM
tim - well, i agree with you that people get too bent out of shape over this. rachel asked a legit question (although i guess a potentially volatile one) and people from both sides maybe took it too far. which does nothing to further their points nor respect between each other. really, a person's diet is not worth so much bickering. i personally have no problem with anyone eating meat; i think people make far bigger mistakes with their diet and you can be healthy and eat healthy with or without meat. i think it's more important that people consider their diet as a whole than to just look at meat; there's more factors to consider. what's in the food you're eating (have you ever looked)? where does it come from? is it organic? is it local? do you need the calories its providing? do you need the nutrients? your body's a machine and you should provide it energy as such; getting people to think about what that means is more important than just "don't eat meat."
Rachel Jewell March 30, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Hi Terry! I appreciate your interest in trying out some vegan recipes. I will see what I can come up with in regards to a weekly menu! I think there is a misconception that being vegan means eating nothing but grass clippings and foods devoid of flavor! I think that may have been part of the reason it took me so long to go vegan - vegetarian no problem, that was doable! I must say that since going vegan I have tried foods and spices that I would not have tried otherwise. And as odd as it might sound after about 2 weeks without any dairy products (wasn't really a big fan of dairy to begin with) I no longer had the cravings for cheese, or sour cream, etc. Granted, if you are a hardcore consumer of dairy products it might take a bit longer to reduce/elimate those cravings. My sister is a pescatarian (still eats fish, eggs, and dairy) and she told me that she could not give up her cheese! She also told me prior to becoming a vegetarian that she could never be a vegetarian. Never say never I guess! Here is a link to a video discussing the addictive nature of chocolate, cheese, meat and sugar. I found it to be very interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VWi6dXCT7I
r March 31, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I'm an ethical vegan and I have been for years I couldn't be happier or healthier . I have a ton of recipes to share but you could also request cookbooks from any of the libraries . Rethinking the way you see food and how it sustains you isn't as hard as people think and it's better for the environment .
Ralph March 31, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Mmm, this morning for breakfast I had me a chicken omelete. Waited for the mother hen to lay some babies, killed her, chopped her up and cooked her in her babies. That's good eating!

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