Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

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Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Horus » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:12 am

http://www.ecoguerilla.org/interviews/melanie-joy-interview/74/1072


Melanie Joy Interview

Melanie Joy is a social psychologist, professor, and personal coach. She has been involved in the animal liberation movement since 1989 and has worked as an activist, educator, and organizer. Her academic areas of specialization include the psychosociology of violence toward animals and humans and organizational behavior. She has written a number of articles and has been interviewed for magazines, books, and radio on her work. For more information about Melanie Joy please visit http://www.melaniejoy.org/.

EG: Tell us about your new book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism.

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows is the first book about not simply why people shouldn’t eat meat, but why they do eat meat. It explores the psychology of meat eating, which stems from the belief system, or ideology, that I call carnism.

In Why We Love Dogs...I provide answers to the following questions: Why do we love some animals and eat others? Why do meat eaters around the world tend to find the flesh of only a small handful out of thousands of animal species appetizing – and the flesh of all other species disgusting and offensive? How can humane people participate in inhumane practices without realizing what they’re doing? What are the social and psychological mechanisms that meat-eating societies use to prevent people from reflecting on their food choices when it comes to eating animals? How can we shift, as individuals and as a society, from a mentality that enables mass exploitation to a mindset of empowerment and compassion? How does eating animals negatively impact not only the animals, our health, and the environment, but also our psychological wellbeing?

By answering these questions, I hope to help meat eaters (carnists) become more aware of the invisible system that shapes their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors when it comes to eating meat, so that they can make more empowered and informed choices as citizens and consumers. I wrote the book hoping to invite meat eaters into the conversation, so that they could feel empathized with and respected. I also wrote the book to help vegetarians and vegans understand the system they’re working to transform and the meat eaters they encounter, so they can advocate and communicate with meat eaters more effectively. I hope my book will help vegetarians and vegans feel more grounded and empowered in their food choices and better able to articulate the reasons beneath their choice to stop eating animals.

EG: Why do we call some animals pets and other animals dinner?

The reason we love some animals and eat others is because there is an invisible, dominant belief system, or ideology, that shapes our attitudes and behaviors toward animals, conditioning us to love some animals and eat others. This belief system is what I call carnism. Carnism is essentially the opposite of veganism; we tend to assume it’s only vegetarians and vegans who bring their beliefs to the table, but when eating animals isn’t a necessity, it’s a choice—and choices always stem from beliefs.

Because for most people in the world today eating meat is a choice, I use the term “carnist” rather than “meat eater;” “carnist” accurately reflects that an ideology is at work when a person eats meat (consider how we don’t say “plant eater” when we describe a vegetarian). “Carnivore” and “omnivore” are also not accurate terms to describe those who eat meat. Carnivores are animals that need meat in order to survive, and omnivores are animals that are able to survive consuming both plant and animal matter. “Carnivore” and “omnivore” reflect one’s biology, rather than one’s ideology. “Carnist” is not meant to be a negative term, but merely a descriptive one. It only makes sense to have a name for someone who acts in accordance with the tenets of carnism, just as we have a name for someone who acts in accordance with the tenets of vegetarianism.

Carnism is a violent ideology, in that it is literally organized around physical violence. Meat cannot be procured without slaughter. And its tenets—beliefs and practices—run counter to the values of most people; most of us care about animals and don’t want them to suffer needlessly and intensively. So ideologies such as carnism keep themselves alive by utilizing specific strategies, or defense mechanisms, to hide the contradictions between our values and practices, allowing us to make exceptions to what we would normally consider ethical. The primary defense of the system is invisibility and the primary way the ideology stays invisible is by remaining unnamed. If we don’t name it, we won’t see it, and if we don’t see it, we can’t question or challenge it. And the victims of the system also remain invisible: the billions and billions of animals who exist as living commodities, the meat consumers whose health is seriously compromised, the environment, the workers in meat production plants—the system victimizes all of us.

Carnism is so entrenched that it essentially acts as the filter through which we see the world. In other words, we learn to look at the world through the eyes of the system, so we start seeing certain animals not as living beings, but as “food” from a very early age and we are discouraged from examining this perspective through our lives. In other words, carnism teaches us how not to think and feel when it comes to meat and the animals we eat.

EG: What is selective empathy?

Selective empathy is empathizing with only certain individuals or groups. We tend to feel more empathy for those we perceive to be more like ourselves; in other words, the more we identify with someone—see something of ourselves in him or her and see something of him or her in ourselves—the more we empathize with this individual. And the more we empathize with another, the more likely we are to treat him or her with compassion. Carnism blocks our sense of empathy for the animals whom we’re socialized to consume; we learn to think of pigs, chickens, and cows, for example, as fundamentally different from ourselves and from other more “humanlike” animals. Moving beyond carnism requires us to restore this blocked connection.

EG: Please present us with the facts about meat production.

Modern meat production is arguably the most brutal practice in the history of humankind. In the United States alone, ten billion land animals are slaughtered every year for their flesh and other body parts. These animals live in horrific conditions, crammed into pens and cages in CAFOs or “factory farms,” and treated as living machines, as units of production. They are often cruelly mishandled, die from disease or exposure before even making it to the slaughterhouse, live in filthy conditions, and many of them never see the light of day. It is not uncommon for farmed animals to be shackled and slaughtered while still conscious. The suffering of these creatures is unimaginable.
Moreover, carnism is a system of victimization, in that everyone in the system suffers. Meat production is a leading cause of every major form of environmental destruction, from deforestation to water depletion. Meat consumption is a leading cause of disease among humans; it’s been connected with the development of many types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and pandemic flus. Meatpacking is considered the single most dangerous and exploitative factory job in the United States. Carnism victimizes all of us: the animals, the environment, meat consumers, and meat packers.

EG: What will change the way people think about meat in general?

I strongly believe that by viewing meat eating not simply as a matter of personal ethics but as the inevitable end result of a belief system we can dramatically change the way we think and talk about the issue. While there are many things that will help change the way people think about meat (e.g., new information on the health hazards of a meat-based diet, a growing awareness of the environmental impact of meat production), I believe that by understanding not merely the truth about meat production, but the truth about carnism—the system that shapes our attitudes, feelings, and behaviors toward the animals who are raised and killed for human consumption—we can free ourselves from the constraints of the system to think freely and reconnect with our natural empathy for other living beings.

EG: Once you said, “Had I known that eating meat was a choice, I may well have chosen otherwise.” What did you mean by that?

What I meant was that I grew up as both an animal lover and a carnist. I loved animals and also ate them regularly. My carnistic mentality was such that I “just stopped thinking” when it came to eating animals. I didn’t realize that I was psychologically and emotionally disconnecting from the truth of my experience when I ate meat. I didn’t realize that I was acting in a way that was dramatically opposed to my core values, and I didn’t realize that I was making a choice when it came to eating meat. Eating meat was just a given, the way things were, the “normal, natural, and necessary” thing to do. The paradox of the system is that it conditions us to choose to eat meat, but at the same time it prevents us from realizing that we’re actually making a choice when we do eat meat.

EG: The book encourages readers to question their own authority. What we consider "normal, natural, and necessary" to consume?

In Why We Love Dogs..., I explain how we learn to trust authorities, even though those authorities are operating within a carnistic framework. These authority figures are our social institutions and the professionals that represent them, and such entities play a key role in promoting what I call the Three Ns of Justification: eating meat is normal, natural, and necessary. The Three Ns are actually myths, and they’ve been used to maintain and support virtually all violent ideologies. I explain that we need to question all authorities, including our own authority—the voice in our heads that guides our choices. Because we internalize carnism, taking in the system’s logic as our own, we inevitably develop a carnistic mentality. We need to be willing to question what we’ve been taught, what we’ve accepted as our own truth.
EG: Are you seeing progress in people's attitudes towards the animals?

Yes; this is the case at least in the United States (I’m not familiar with statistics from other countries). The number of vegetarians is on the rise, vegetarian organizations are growing in size and strength, meat substitutes can be found in virtually all major grocery food store chains, “vegan” is becoming a household word in some parts of the country, and more and more books and articles on the consequences of meat production and consumption are being published.

EG: Do you think the environmental movement is becoming more compassionate towards animals?

To my knowledge, the dialogue between vegan activists and environmentalists is starting to open up more. I have no doubt that most people in the environmental movement do in fact care about animals and the impact of meat production on the planet. The dialogue between vegans and environmentalists (and this distinction is often a false dichotomy—many people are both vegans and environmentalists) has been historically problematic for a number of reasons. My hope is that understanding carnism will help unite animal activists and environmentalists, as we can see that we’re all fighting for a common cause.

EG: Is eating soya causing damage to the planet?

I can’t comment on this because I don’t have enough evidence to discuss it fully.
Last edited by Horus on Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Ben Fats » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:30 am

bestiality is a crime just so you know
CHAINSMOKERS

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Andrew_TA » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:57 am

that green is kinda hard to read
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Horus » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:06 pm

Sorry for my bad choice of coloured fonts. Have changed it now.

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Postby clancy » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:22 pm

Interesting article. I like the shift in perspectve and the challenging of the 'normal' for diet choices.

Selective empathy is a misnomer though.

Anyway... It sparked an interesting conversation on eating and our beliefs at work. Why will a meat eater be so furiously opposed to whaling but quite happy to eat pork / beef? Where does the differentiation come from? Is it purely size? Intellect?

Why don't we eat horse?

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby xSUSPECTx » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:46 pm

cows arent endangered... um?

but i thought it was a good article, if slightly more divisive than it wants to be.

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Postby the croc » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:34 am

clancy wrote:Interesting article. I like the shift in perspectve and the challenging of the 'normal' for diet choices.

Selective empathy is a misnomer though.

Anyway... It sparked an interesting conversation on eating and our beliefs at work. Why will a meat eater be so furiously opposed to whaling but quite happy to eat pork / beef? Where does the differentiation come from? Is it purely size? Intellect?


Why are animals sentient and plants not? Plants eat, rest, reproduce, protect their young, act altruisticly, communicate, defend themselves, commit suicide. Where is the line? Is it because their time scale of living is different that they are inferior? What is it that separates plants and animals?

clancy wrote:Why don't we eat horse?


Ukrainians do as well as other Eastern European countries.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Andrew_TA » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:05 am

my parents ate horse is japan..

plants don't have nervous systems...
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby the croc » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:07 am

Why do vegetarians/vegans value nervous systems so highly?

How would their value system be affected by research like this?:

Etaerio - A Plant News Weblog: Do Plants Have Intelligence?

Plants do not think in the way humans do, but they do take in information and respond to it. Plants take cues from their environment to ‘decide’ when to send up shoots, set buds or abscise leaves. Some plants react to attacks by predators by releasing chemical warning signals that are sensed by other plants in the area. Scientists are debating whether these reactions should be considered intelligent.

Researchers are studying signal transduction to learn more about how genetic and hormonal orders are carried out by plants. At present our understanding of the complex interactions of genes and environmental stimuli is limited. Recent research has found that plants have neurotransmitters very similar to those found in humans. A new field, plant neurobiology, has arisen to study the chemical mechanisms behind the growth of plants and their responses to the environment.



Plant neurobiology: an integrated view of plant si...[Trends Plant Sci. 2006] - PubMed Result

Plant neurobiology is a newly focused field of plant biology research that aims to understand how plants process the information they obtain from their environment to develop, prosper and reproduce optimally. The behavior plants exhibit is coordinated across the whole organism by some form of integrated signaling, communication and response system. This system includes long-distance electrical signals, vesicle-mediated transport of auxin in specialized vascular tissues, and production of chemicals known to be neuronal in animals. Here we review how plant neurobiology is being directed toward discovering the mechanisms of signaling in whole plants, as well as among plants and their neighbors.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Andrew_TA » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:20 am

for me, i see cows, chickens etc. the same as us because we all feel pain in the same way.. brain/nervous system

show me that a tomato plant can get hurt and feel the pain the way i've seen cows do so and i'll stop eating them i guess
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby the croc » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:23 am

I'm playing Devil's advocate here somewhat Andrew. I was vegetarian for threes years with stints of eating vegan within that time. Over that period I spent a lot of time arguing with arrogant arseholes about the reasons for eating why I did. The reason I started eating meat again in the first place is because I got a job where my meals were cooked for me in an industry where being a vegetarian was equated with general faggotry/being a greenie and a sure-fire way to eventually getting your head kicked in.

I saw Dr Aryan Tavakkooli MBBS FRACP speak at the Organic River Festival last week. She also spoke at the Vegetarian Festival in Wellington last year. The topic of her talk was Our Diet – Leading Towards a Sustainable Future - Or Killing Our Planet? which was basically on this:
More and more New Zealanders are becoming aware of the reality of climate change and are taking steps to lead lives that are more environmentally friendly - we are recycling more, buying more green products, reducing our consumption of fuel – yet there is one change that we can all make in our lifestyles that would have a far greater impact on preventing the destruction of our beautiful planet….Few of us realize the huge impact that our dietary choices have on not only our health, but our environment.


I agreed with 90% of what she had to say, but she still based her main conclusion on seriously flawed premises. Unfortunately she is also a dogmatic vegan, and when another lady at the end of the talk asked her questions about the long term sustainability of modern agriculture, environmental impacts of monocropping, soil drawdown, the use of fossil fuels as fertiliser and the fact that all of her figures were based on the use of fossil fuels as fertiliser (which is incredibly important when discussing feeding the entire world's population on a purely vegetarian diet) she simply fobbed her off.

It's a huge issue and there are no easy answers but dogmatism at any level is unhelpful and stifles debate. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind on anything, each to their own, I'm just simply trying to raise issues that perhaps haven't been thought through to their ultimate conclusion before.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby clancy » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:36 am

Suspect wrote:cows arent endangered... um?


My understanding was that the whales who are 'whaled' are not actually endangered. Groups like sea shepherd are concerned with 'conservation' not endangerment (there is a difference). I am quite happy to be wrong in this however.

Also do you think that we* don’t eat whale primarily because of endangerment ? I’m pretty sure there is a perceived differences in animals which is greater than simply the preserving a species. Eg: Lots of dolphins aren't endangered but most westerns cultures would be horrified to eat dolphin.

clancy wrote: Why don't we* eat horse?


We = nz / majority western culture. And the reason why other cultures eat horse is why I asked. Where is the distinction / differentiation made? Is it because of times of warfare and starvation (in Europe and elsewhere) when eating horse was normalized?



the croc wrote:I'm playing Devil's advocate here somewhat Andrew. I was vegetarian for threes years with stints of eating vegan within that time. Over that period I spent a lot of time arguing with arrogant arseholes about the reasons for eating why I did. The reason I started eating meat again in the first place is because I got a job where my meals were cooked for me in an industry where being a vegetarian was equated with general faggotry/being a greenie and a sure-fire way to eventually getting your head kicked in.


What a douche. If your worried about being perceived as a faggot because of your dietary choices and let the dominant culture (your work) supersede any of your own convictions, they must have been pretty shallow concerns in the first place.

However -

the croc wrote:I agreed with 90% of what she had to say, but she still based her main conclusion on seriously flawed premises. Unfortunately she is also a dogmatic vegan, and when another lady at the end of the talk asked her questions about the long term sustainability of modern agriculture, environmental impacts of monocropping, soil drawdown, the use of fossil fuels as fertiliser and the fact that all of her figures were based on the use of fossil fuels as fertiliser (which is incredibly important when discussing feeding the entire world's population on a purely vegetarian diet) she simply fobbed her off.


This is important and needs discussion. I've got some ideas / questions concerning this as well.

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby the croc » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:37 am

clancy wrote:
the croc wrote:I'm playing Devil's advocate here somewhat Andrew. I was vegetarian for threes years with stints of eating vegan within that time. Over that period I spent a lot of time arguing with arrogant arseholes about the reasons for eating why I did. The reason I started eating meat again in the first place is because I got a job where my meals were cooked for me in an industry where being a vegetarian was equated with general faggotry/being a greenie and a sure-fire way to eventually getting your head kicked in.


What a douche. If your worried about being perceived as a faggot because of your dietary choices and let the dominant culture (your work) supersede any of your own convictions, they must have been pretty shallow concerns in the first place.


There's a little more to it than that bro. When I wasn't eating meat I always said I wanted to eventually have my own small farm where I could grow my own animals and have home kills etc. My objections were never to killing animals per se, it was more to do with welfare concerns of factory farmed animals/quality of life/environmental concerns of industrial farming etc. I had a job trapping pest animals for five months while I was vegetarian. I'm realistic enough to know that if you care about conservation/saving New Zealand flora and fauna then this is necessary work. I didn't get any joy out of it but I believe it was for the greater good.

I was then given a chance to work on deep sea commercial fishing boats. This is something I always wanted to do in order to see these boats in action for myself, not rely on dubious information from third party groups. We live on board for 5-6 and have to eat what's cooked for us, there is no choice. Eating vegetarian simply isn't an option, especially on Kiwi and Ukrainian/Russian boats. In terms of dealing with other crew any differences are picked up on and in high pressure/high stress environment the consequences can be serious. I've seen new crew been picked on for 40 days straight and they nearly lost the plot and I've met people who have been locked in their cabins for days because they flipped out and were a danger to themselves and other crew.

Yes I made choice to take this job and yes I compromised some of my own beliefs to get on there but at the end of the day I wouldn't change anything. Maybe that still makes me a douche in your eyes but it doesn't really bother me either way. Anyway enough about me.

From Lierre Keith's The Vegetarian Myth:

Vegetarian's, like everyone else in urban industrial culture, have no concept that plants need to eat, that soil is alive and hungry....But eventually the question has to be answered: fossil fuel or manure?


That was written in the States, and I think those of you on here who garden are pretty aware of that, but the end question is still integral.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby clancy » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:57 am

Fair enough, and it's good to have a bit more context. Like you, I don't have major issue with killing animals / it's the distance between the animal and the eater I don't like, the terrible lives some of them have and inhumane way they are killed. And the attitudes of meat eaters ( but thats a separate issue)

I probably should have held my tongue in calling you a douche. I have had friends who have tried deep sea fishing and simply couldn't handle it. It would be shit to be in that situation (commercial fishing)

For my garden - which we eat out of everyday, I use a mix of comfrey, wood chips, seaweed and manure.
The comfrey is growing on the wasteland that is the boundary. The wood chips come free from my old work / community garden. The abourists (oak fella's) have a dumping spot in the city and after six months and some lime it is beautiful soil. Seaweed comes off the beach at my mums place after storms. And the other day I went and picked up cow and sheep shit in cornwall park.

Obviously we aren't completely self sustaining, but there are alternatives to using manure or fossil fuels, at least at a small scale level.

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby the croc » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:36 pm

Cheers Clancy, I'm glad we can have reasonable discussion about this.

I think that's the major crux of the issue is the idea of scale. Backyard vege gardens that might exist for 10-20 years pretty healthily without any animal/fossil fuel inputs. But I still think these soils will eventually be exhausted. And if we care anything at all about the survival of future generations we should be looking at avoiding this at all costs.

I think if we want to create truly sustainable food growing systems we need to realise that animals are an integral part of this. Just look at any natural ecosystem, there is a reason all those animals exist. Life works in cycles, animals eat, animals shit, bacteria and bugs eat animal shit, they provide nutrients to the soil, the soil feeds plants, plants are eaten by animals, animals are eaten by other animals, they shit and so on.

You're obviously pretty onto with your gardening Clancy, but there would be may vegans/vegetarians who find it unacceptable to use animal manure on their gardens, even if they collected it themselves. I'm wondering have you ever looked into human urine/excrement as a fertiliser source? I came across these books a few months ago, I would be interested in reading them. Again it's another example of cultural biases, human manure systems are relatively common in Asia but most Westerners would call you a freak to even consider it:

http://www.fishpond.co.nz/Books/Science ... 964425835/

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http://www.fishpond.co.nz/Books/Home_Ga ... 903998489/

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Lierre Keith's (previously vegan herself for over 20 years) assessment of vegan agriculture is perhaps a little unfair and snarky but still raises some interesting points:

So here is agriculture without animals, the plant-based diet that is supposed to be so life-affirming and ethically righteous. First, take a piece of land from somebody else, because the history of agriculture is the history of imperialism. Next, bulldoze or burn all the life off it: the trees, the grasses, the wetlands. That includes all creatures great and small: the bison, the grey wolves, the black terns. A tiny handful of species - mice, locusts - will manage, but the other animals will have to go. Now plant your annual monocrops. Your grains and beans will do okay at first, living off the organic matter created by the now-dead forest or prairie. But like any starving beast, the soil will eat its reserves, until there's nothing - no organic matter, no biological activity - left. As your yields - your food supply - begin to dwindle, you've got two options. Take over another piece of land and start again, or apply some fertiliser. Since the books, pleading and polemical, say that animal products are inherently oppressive and unsustainable, you can't use manure, bone meal or blood meal. So you supply nitrogen from fossil fuel. Do I need to add that you can't produce this yourself, and that its production is an ecological nightmare, and that one day the oil and gas will run out?

Your phosphorous will have to be made from rocks. There's a reason for the popular image that equates hard labour in prison with chopping rocks. How will you mine it, grind it, or transport it without fossil fuel, using only human musculature and without using slavery? For your potassium, you'll collect wood ash, try some cover crops, and hope for the best.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby clancy » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:47 pm

Just a quick post to say I piss on my compost / comfrey tea every chance I get.

will read your post properly soon.

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby the croc » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:11 pm

clancy wrote:Just a quick post to say I piss on my compost / comfrey tea every chance I get.

will read your post properly soon.


Haha good man. My flatmates weren't too keen when I asked to collect their urine.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Horus » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:02 am

They were prob worried you would analyse it for drug content!
:lol:

I have managed to freak out a few flatmates in my time by asking them to urinate on the vegie garden. Oh well. :(

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Dead Kid » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:43 am

Why do meat eaters around the world tend to find the flesh of only a small handful out of thousands of animal species appetizing – and the flesh of all other species disgusting and offensive?

Because they haven't bothered to try thinking for themselves. Then again, I haven't yet encountered an unusual meat which made me wish I was eating it every week.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby xSUSPECTx » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:14 pm

Dead Kid wrote:
Why do meat eaters around the world tend to find the flesh of only a small handful out of thousands of animal species appetizing – and the flesh of all other species disgusting and offensive?

Because they haven't bothered to try thinking for themselves. Then again, I haven't yet encountered an unusual meat which made me wish I was eating it every week.

guess you havnt tried crocodile

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Dead Kid » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:24 pm

Guessed correctly, +1 point. Will get around to it eventually I suppose.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby the croc » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:30 pm

Dead Kid wrote:
Why do meat eaters around the world tend to find the flesh of only a small handful out of thousands of animal species appetizing – and the flesh of all other species disgusting and offensive?

Because they haven't bothered to try thinking for themselves. Then again, I haven't yet encountered an unusual meat which made me wish I was eating it every week.


You could say the same about plant based diets though too. I know a number of vegetarians who have incredibly uninteresting diets. That being said I also know vegetarians/vegans who are awesome cooks and are always on the look out for new foods.

There are plenty of plants that are inedible because they taste like shit, as do plenty of meats. This is really just the left wing/right wing argument in the other thread all over again.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Dead Kid » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:02 pm

the croc wrote:You could say the same about plant based diets though too.

Perhaps not quite to the same degree. How many people are going to say they don't eat pears because they look too cute, or they don't eat berries from trees which grow in gross muddy swamps, or they don't eat cucumbers because they feel an intimate relationship with them?
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby xSUSPECTx » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:05 pm

^^^haha

men will admit they dont need to eat meat around the same time they admit that skirts are more comfortable

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby FC » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:06 pm

Dead Kid wrote:
the croc wrote:How many people are going to say they don't eat cucumbers because they feel an intimate relationship with them?


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:



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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Horus » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:10 pm

Many Scottish and Arab boys already admit that skirts are more comfortable.

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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby Dead Kid » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:28 pm

Suspect wrote:men will admit they dont need to eat meat around the same time they admit that skirts are more comfortable

It'd be quicker to just evolve into carnivores.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby the croc » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:43 pm

Dead Kid wrote:
the croc wrote:You could say the same about plant based diets though too.

Perhaps not quite to the same degree. How many people are going to say they don't eat pears because they look too cute, or they don't eat berries from trees which grow in gross muddy swamps, or they don't eat cucumbers because they feel an intimate relationship with them?


Yeah fair point, I took appetising to mean solely taste/texture rather than other concerns.

But then we just go back to the question of why in this culture do we find some animals so appealing and plants less so?

There are plenty of examples of other cultures holding particular plants in reverence because they were recognised as being keystone species and integral to the survival of the ecosystem that those people survived in. Aidan, I'm guessing you will probably laugh at this to but according to Stephen Buhner in The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth the understanding of almost all non-industrial cultures is that "humans are the offspring of plants". Lierre Keith carries on: "Some cultures consider trees our parents. From an evolutionary perspective, that is a simple truth, but it's one that this culture, including the subculture of vegetarians, does its best to forget, even when science backs it up."

Stephen Buhner wrote:Among widely diverse nonindustrial cultures the members whose speciality was plant medicines, vegetalistas, described their experiences remarkably similarly irrespective of culture, continents or time. The vast majority... told interviewers that they did not obtain their knowledge of plant medicines from the exercise of reason or through trial and error. They were uniformly consistent in saying their personal and cultural knowledge of the additional actions of plants came from "nonordinary" experiences, specifically: dreams, visions, direct communications from the plant, or sacred beings.


Maybe this is bullshit psuedo-science, maybe they were talking in metaphors, maybe they were just fulltime buzzy cunts, I don't know but I like to keep an open mind.

From a purely mechanistic point of view this kind of thinking is absurd (plants as sentient beings able to communicate with humans at some level), but there are plenty of reasons why a purely mechanistic point of view is absurd too.
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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby FC » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:48 pm

the croc wrote:Aidan, I'm guessing you will probably laugh at this to but according to Stephen Buhner in The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth the understanding of almost all non-industrial cultures is that "humans are the offspring of plants". Lierre Keith carries on: "Some cultures consider trees our parents. From an evolutionary perspective, that is a simple truth, but it's one that this culture, including the subculture of vegetarians, does its best to forget, even when science backs it up."


Its a simple oversimplification. Id be keen as to see some vegetarians chowing down on some blue-green algae though.



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Re: Why humans love dogs, eat pigs, & wear cows.

Postby the croc » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:02 pm

FC wrote:
the croc wrote:Aidan, I'm guessing you will probably laugh at this to but according to Stephen Buhner in The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth the understanding of almost all non-industrial cultures is that "humans are the offspring of plants". Lierre Keith carries on: "Some cultures consider trees our parents. From an evolutionary perspective, that is a simple truth, but it's one that this culture, including the subculture of vegetarians, does its best to forget, even when science backs it up."


Its a simple oversimplification. Id be keen as to see some vegetarians chowing down on some blue-green algae though.



Aidan


Yeah I agree with you on the oversimplification part.
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