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Jonathan Safran Foer: Eating Animals

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Tommy Jefferson Avatar
Tommy Jefferson
Posted: 09.01.10, 07:16 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by mr_svperstar So what this debate really comes down to is the morality issue. This is simply an issue of regulation. It took a law to get seat belts in cars, and when it comes to eliminating the horrific scenes of factory farming we require the same approach. I question the morality of your belief that men with guns should force other people to live the way you want. Perhaps you should examine both your moral premise that Violence is a Good Way to Solve Social Problems , and the track record of success for government solutions to big problems such as terrorism, hurricanes, war, and education.
mr_svperstar Avatar
mr_svperstar
Posted: 09.01.10, 05:17 AM
There are so many problems with this talk. Religion is an accidental, man-made tool used to control the ignorant, anyone invoking it as a solution to any of lifes problems has instantly lost a little of my respect. Referencing PETA also damages your credibility. Penn and Teller's expose on PETA really opened my eyes to their organisation. Simply put they are deluded, hypocritical, terrorists. Nor can I accept the whole "environmental" or "sustainability" aspect. We have created an advanced society and denying us the benefits of that society is simply ludicrous. These people seem to yern to be ancient farmers or prehiostoric cavemen, struggling from meal to meal with no creature comforts. We face ad campaigns telling us not to use a heater in winter, or A/C in summer, to sit in dark rooms, not watch TV, don't use clothes dryers, cut back on travel, buy a more fuel efficient car, and now it is even extending to controlling our diets. My question here is this, do we really have a vast array of problems with efficiency, dwindling resources, available farm land, over fishing, food supply, water supply, pollution, energy production, climate change, traffic congestion, housing, etc, etc? You say we can't ignore the elephant in the room when it comes to the emissions from agriculture, but you seem quite happy to ignore the beached blue whale flapping hysterically beside said elephant as it slowly dies a painful death. I think he is a little more obvious than the elephant. Of course, I refer to our own population, it is at the root of all the other issues, and while nothing is done about it I find is very difficult to take these fringe battles seriously. It would be like giving a deck hand on the Titanic a bucket in an attempt to save the vessel. Completely fruitless. A side note on this sustainability issue is the claim that 90% (was it?) of our food goes to producing meat given it requires 6-25 more resources to produce. I don't dispute those stats, but let's say we live in PETA world and everyone is a vegetarian. Well congratulations, the vast majority of agriculture is no longer required, and while that might sound nice from the space saving and efficiency standpoint of sustainability, what about the 90% of workers who are now out of the job? Not simply the meat workers, but all the vegetable/grain/soy producers who have now lost by far their largest consumer. Devastating on jobs, the economy, and general human welfare as the country spirals deeper into recession with more welfare payments and less income from taxes. So what this debate really comes down to is the morality issue. This is simply an issue of regulation. It took a law to get seat belts in cars, and when it comes to eliminating the horrific scenes of factory farming we require the same approach. Farming can and should be done humanely, which would completely disarm the extremists who interpret the suffering issue as "meat should be off the menu, period", and therefore want to enforce their deluded views on others, and restrict the freedom of people who simply enjoy a given food source. The inarguable fact in this whole debate is that meat is food, case closed. Fault doesn't lie with people who choose to eat meat, or even the industry that produces it. Where is the government?
Mark Sullivan Avatar
Mark Sullivan
Posted: 07.25.10, 10:13 PM
Do I care how the animals I eat are reared and slaughtered? Yes, to a degree. It is no religion for me, however. Am I concerned that there are too many chickens in a coop and they cannot run around? No. Do I bestow human like qualities on animals? No I do not. Am I concerned that animals get growth hormones or antibiotics? No I am not. They are raised for our food. We all know this. Ranchers and slaughterhouses do what individuals used to do when we were an agrarian culture. I do not disrespect ingredients when I cook and I do have a profound sense of thanksgiving for the food I have, but on my list of the priorities in my life, the way livestock is raised does not even register. I know this may sound cold to you and others, but that is how I feel. My greater point is that I am sick of moral busybodies trying to tell me how I should live or what I should care about. We are bombarded on a daily basis by "experts" who see themselves fit to tell others how they ought to live - billboards, commercials, politicians. Worrying about how livestock is raised and slaughtered is a millionaire's problem. There are BILLIONS of people who would see the table scraps off this young man's table as the most splendid of meals. I say grow as much food as possible in as safe an clean a manner as possible, using a sound, prudent cost/benefit analysis and make sure the supply is abundant so that the world's people may nourish themselves. The single Mother in Detroit just wants affordable food for her family. Is she immoral or wrong not to think about how the animals were raised? Must everything be politicized? I do not need this man to look out for me or to love me or to figure things out for me.
Marcin1971 Avatar
Marcin1971
Posted: 06.15.10, 04:08 PM
Quote: Originally Posted by Mark Sullivan His well polished façade of being a kind, patient, broad minded guy with no axe to grind is somewhat convincing, but once he gets going, his tyrannical impulse comes out frequently for all to see. I would love to listen to this a few times and recount number of times he declares, "We don't need to. . .(eat meat, hunt, eat eggs, etc.)" He is a moral busybody who believes himself in possession of the truth of how we all ought to live, which just happens to be the way HE lives - go figure. His mentioning the number of footnotes in his book as an attempt to establish gravitas and to imply that "experts" are on his side and that this book is serious. I am unconvinced. I would also like to count the times he proclaims things as "wrong." He is entitled to his opinion, but his arrogance is really offputting to me. I don't quite understand your criticism, what do you not agree with? Do you think it is moral the way we rear animals for food and clothes? What exactly are you unconvinced about, do you believe that factory farming is humane and efficient way to produce food? Could you please be more constructive and elaborate more on your criticism of this man and his book? This is serious question I am genuinely interested.
riddlemethis Avatar
riddlemethis
Posted: 02.08.10, 04:59 PM
Jonathan doesn't make a very promising start with his claim that it is impossible to visit a farm! I won't even mention his deliberate obscurantism via the emotive use of story telling. This all sounds almost religious despite masquerading as a 'scientific investigation' . . .go figure!
Mark Sullivan Avatar
Mark Sullivan
Posted: 01.16.10, 10:14 PM
His well polished façade of being a kind, patient, broad minded guy with no axe to grind is somewhat convincing, but once he gets going, his tyrannical impulse comes out frequently for all to see. I would love to listen to this a few times and recount number of times he declares, "We don't need to. . .(eat meat, hunt, eat eggs, etc.)" He is a moral busybody who believes himself in possession of the truth of how we all ought to live, which just happens to be the way HE lives - go figure. His mentioning the number of footnotes in his book as an attempt to establish gravitas and to imply that "experts" are on his side and that this book is serious. I am unconvinced. I would also like to count the times he proclaims things as "wrong." He is entitled to his opinion, but his arrogance is really offputting to me.
Cpl.Fuck Avatar
Cpl.Fuck
Posted: 01.10.10, 12:26 PM
Hippy.
paintnsculpt2010 Avatar
paintnsculpt2010
Posted: 01.10.10, 12:46 AM
This gentle man, with his reasonable message and his factual book, sheds light on the horrors of factory farming and the global destruction it causes. Thank you Jonathan. Robert Stagemyer, Artist
farmerjoe Avatar
farmerjoe +
Posted: 01.09.10, 04:54 PM
Meat can be an excellent way to make benefit of less productive land by way of grazing animals. Feeding grain screenings, byproducts, spoiled, and contaminated (mycotoxins, deoxynivalenol) grains to animals is necessary to make value of those waste products. That is what I do, turn waste land and products into meat. If you are in SE Saskatchewan Canada, PM me for directions because visitors to the farm are always welcome. We farm what we get paid to grow and generally the premium associated with organic or free range is far less than would be required to switch. The argument for factory farming is economic. And the northern people of Canada DO HUNT TO EAT. Air freight to rural areas is expensive and gardening is limited to a very short season on poor soils. Part of the thrill of hunting is eating what you hunt (artisan moose sausage is wonderful), much as the thrill of gardening is eating the beautiful artisan vegetables.
activehosting Avatar
activehosting
Posted: 01.08.10, 06:06 PM
Very nicely articulated. I'd like to hear more.
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