T Nation

Veganism Contributes to Industrial Farming

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
miroku333 wrote:
I don’t give a shit about whether food is organic or not, btw.
so mass-produced cruelty free food is fine with me.

You wanna talk about cruelty…lets talk about what would happen to cows if we weren’t killing them. Have you ever seen a cow? They’re really dumb animals. Do you honestly think that the modern domesticated cow would survive without human intervention?

You ever watch the discovery channel? Now THAT’S cruel. We’re doing the poor bastards a favor with the one-and-done in a dark room that they’re getting now…

Cruel is an entirely relative term. To a 5 year old, what people do to cows is cruel, but compared to what would be happening if a cougar or panther got a hold of those cows, what people do is pretty fucking humane. If you are really concerned about the best interests of animals, make sure that the meat you are consuming is coming from animals that are being raised and slaughtered humanely.

Go ahead and keep chomping down your alfalfa-soy patties though, your position of moral superiority does little, in reality, to keep those poor defenseless animals from being eaten by something.[/quote]

you didn’t read my second post, did you? :wink:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
eightprops wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
eightprops wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
In fact, organic and free range is the equivalent of poverty.

What does this even mean?

LIFTICVSMAXIMVS: It means that poor people would starve if all farmers were to switch to organic and free range farming only.

eightprops: So, industrial style farming is the reason poor people aren’t starving today?

It is the reason why more people can afford to eat more food and the reason why there are no starving people in industrialized nations like the US.

LIFTICVSMAXIMVS: Organic food might get cheaper but regular food would become more expensive.

eightprops: Regular means chemically and/or genetically altered?

Regular means cheaper and not all the hokey, organic BS marketing.

LIFTICVSMAXIMVS: People in developing nations farm organically because all the western technologies are too expensive to them. As a result they do not produce enough food.

eightprops: In reality, western nations sell their surplus grains/produce to developing nations, undermining the local farmers/producers. This usually leads to the downfall of local agriculture and the rise of further dependence upon industrialized nations. The Jamaican dairy industry is a perfect model of how this works.

Undermining? Does the US undermine Japanese farmers by selling the Japanese food they cannot grow themselves? Usually if low scale agriculture cannot compete it is because they don’t produce enough. It is not a bad thing when they get put out of business so that they can redirect their labor to new and more productive activities. You would have the government destroy the “surplus” food so as not the “undermine” unproductive farmers that live in other poor nations? Even giving it away would still put the under-producing farmers out of business. Better to trade with them, I say.

LIFTICVSMAXIMVS: They live in poverty and they don’t consider what they are doing to be “environmentally friendly” living. They want chemical fertilizers and bio-engineered seeds to put food in their bellies.

eightprops: In reality, these bio-engineered crops render non-altered crops sterile when they cross polinate. The bio-engineering companies essentially destroy adjacent plots of “organic” land and then claim their patented products are being grown illegally. The original farmer is forced into debt for “stealing” and usually ends up losing land.

Well this a political problem not an explicit farming problem; one that I agree with you about. This happens because of government protectionism and regulation. Only the super-rich and politically connected farmers benefit from regulation leaving all the poor subsistence farmers scratching at dirt patches. It does hurt family farming in the long run. The only solution is to outlaw political lobbying so that there is always a level playing field.

LIFTICVSMAXIMVS: In terms of quality of life, producing less food – i.e., organic and free range farming – does not lead to better quality food, per se. It just leads to less food that is more expensive.

eightprops: I’d say it’s a little more complicated than that. Not to say you don’t have any valid points. Just that there are always more sides to the story.

I’d suggest reading Guns, Germs, and Steel for starters on how developing nations/industrialized nations came to be, and how this has influenced modern day agriculture.

Again, I’m not saying you don’t have any valid points, just that it’s a bit over-simplified to say that “organic and free range is the equivalent of poverty.”

See, the thing is I don’t have a problem with organic farming, per se. I have a problem with the uneducated liberals not realizing there is a trade off to be made between industrialization and eco-friendly farming. This was already mentioned before.

“Gun’s, Germs, and Steel” is a flawed book. Industrialized nations came to be for the simple fact that capitalism was able to take root in the Christianized world; whereas the rest of the world still, for the most part, holds fast to their quaint communal belief systems. Trading always makes people better off which is why I laugh at some of the economically ignorant things I was “forced” to respond to in your post.[/quote]

“Gun’s, Germs, and Steel” is a flawed book. Industrialized nations came to be for the simple fact that capitalism was able to take root in the Christianized world…"

Pretty clear that you didn’t read the book.

Aside from that, my point is that nothing is as simple as you make it out to be. That’s not to say that you are wrong. Your points are absolutely valid, albeit a little black and white. It’s just that in a world influenced by sociological, economic, political, environmental, and hitorical factors, it’s impossible to say that “x” or “y” is THE reason “z” is going to cause poverty or starvation.

[quote]eightprops wrote:
Aside from that, my point is that nothing is as simple as you make it out to be. That’s not to say that you are wrong. Your points are absolutely valid, albeit a little black and white. It’s just that in a world influenced by sociological, economic, political, environmental, and hitorical factors, it’s impossible to say that “x” or “y” is THE reason “z” is going to cause poverty or starvation.
[/quote]

Well, I am not saying choosing what one wants is a simple matter. But the choices are pretty simple in and of themselves. It is a choice between industrialization or poverty.

And are you really going to make the statement that I haven’t read “Guns Germs and Steel”? Funny, I read it a long time ago in my liberal heyday. Anyway, the whole book makes a very incorrect generalization right at the outset – it’s entire thesis is predicated on the idea that it was the geography of the Europeans that gave them their advantages… this is not true at all. It was the Geography that turned them into tough people but this toughness was not enough – look at North America as a direct antithesis of that – it is also a great climate with tons of resources. Europeans were also the direct benefactors of Christian ethics which the rest of the world did not have. It is these ethics that allowed capitalism and thus industrialization to flourish.

You can have all the resources you want and need as well as a “perfect climate” to use them in but with out the proper ideas to bring about action it doesn’t matter anyway. It was Christianity that brought about the idea of property rights which is the reason why Europe was the first continent to become industrialized. Nothing long term and far reaching can happen with natural resources until people know how to use them efficiently – this is where capitalism comes into play.

“Guns Germs and Steel” is simplistic at best and at worst propping up false notions of reality.

[quote]miroku333 wrote:
MarvelGirl wrote:
Vegans don’t want real world solutions. They just want the world to morph into this magical place where people and animals dance on rainbows hand in paw.

They’re goddamn hippies.

Edit: You bring up a good point though. My sister is a vegetarian who has been considering becoming Vegan. If anything would change her mind, I think your argument would be it, so thanks.

yeah fuckin hippies, compassion for life is for suckas.
they’re also scrawny and weak as shit.

I should know, I am one. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t give a shit about whether food is organic or not, btw.
so mass-produced cruelty free food is fine with me.

[/quote]

I respect your decision about being vegetarian/vegan whatever you are lol. Yet I’m just curious.

How did you build up the bulk of your physique and strength. Was it through a wider range of foods.

Or was most of it built through more of a vegetarian way?

If you did build it the “conventional” way. Do you think you could’ve achieved your level of mass/strength via vegetarian ways from the start?

Do you feel it would’ve been a lot harder versus just eating conventionally? Or it made no difference?

I have seen nice physiques (pretty rare though) built through vegetarianism. Yet I imagine it was a lot more pain staking. I find most vegetarians who are built, to have actually got most of their size/strength from regular diets of meats, veggies and grains. Then later turned over to the other side.

This is where I have problems with some of these folks. You’ll then have some hardcore skinny vegan/vegetarian (When most real sound vegetarians agree most don’t eat nearly enough) saying so and so built his physique from the ground up this way. When most really didn’t.

[quote]Carlitosway wrote:

I respect your decision about being vegetarian/vegan whatever you are lol. Yet I’m just curious.

How did you build up the bulk of your physique and strength. Was it through a wider range of foods.

Or was most of it built through more of a vegetarian way?

I have seen nice physiques (pretty rare though) built through vegetarianism. Yet I imagine it was a lot more pain staking. I find most vegetarians who are built, to have actually got most of their size/strength from regular diets of meats, veggies and grains. Then later turned over to the other side.

This is where I have problems with some of these folks. You’ll then have some hardcore skinny vegan/vegetarian (When most real sound vegetarians agree most don’t eat nearly enough) saying so and so built his physique from the ground up this way. When most really didn’t.[/quote]

Yes, I admit to using a varied diet in the past, especially rich in animal proteins. It was not uncommon for me to consume a gallon of whole milk a day, and I bought eggs 5 dozen at a time.
beef, chicken, pork, and fish consumption was like my job.

Is it harder to get the calories and protein needed as a vegan? absolutely. It’s not impossible though, and I’m not the only vegan powerlifter, there are some (stronger than me, I might add) that have been lifetime vegans.

now whether we promote industrial farming…

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
eightprops wrote:
Aside from that, my point is that nothing is as simple as you make it out to be. That’s not to say that you are wrong. Your points are absolutely valid, albeit a little black and white. It’s just that in a world influenced by sociological, economic, political, environmental, and hitorical factors, it’s impossible to say that “x” or “y” is THE reason “z” is going to cause poverty or starvation.

Well, I am not saying choosing what one wants is a simple matter. But the choices are pretty simple in and of themselves. It is a choice between industrialization or poverty.

And are you really going to make the statement that I haven’t read “Guns Germs and Steel”? Funny, I read it a long time ago in my liberal heyday. Anyway, the whole book makes a very incorrect generalization right at the outset – it’s entire thesis is predicated on the idea that it was the geography of the Europeans that gave them their advantages… this is not true at all. It was the Geography that turned them into tough people but this toughness was not enough – look at North America as a direct antithesis of that – it is also a great climate with tons of resources. Europeans were also the direct benefactors of Christian ethics which the rest of the world did not have. It is these ethics that allowed capitalism and thus industrialization to flourish.

You can have all the resources you want and need as well as a “perfect climate” to use them in but with out the proper ideas to bring about action it doesn’t matter anyway. It was Christianity that brought about the idea of property rights which is the reason why Europe was the first continent to become industrialized. Nothing long term and far reaching can happen with natural resources until people know how to use them efficiently – this is where capitalism comes into play.

“Guns Germs and Steel” is simplistic at best and at worst propping up false notions of reality.[/quote]

Ok, now this is getting interesting. And let me start with an apology. My statement that you had obviously not read the book was baseless. I’m sure you did read the book. However, I disagree with your judgement of it.

The book reiterates several times that activities outside of hunting and gathering (metallurgy, art, etc.) were made possible due to the steady supply of food, and a more sedintary lifestyle. This lifestyle was made possible by environmental factors such as climate, and soil bioavailability.

So, if you expound on that, it would be reasonable to say that religions(a non hunting or gathering activity), such as Christianity, and anything stemming from Christianity (capitalism, conquests, industrialization)were all byproducts made possible due to this new food plentiful, sedintary lifestyle (made possible by the environment). And though the proper environmental conditions are necessary to achieve this lifestyle, the lifestyle is not a necessary product/outcome of that environment(which could explain why NAmericans did not adopt this lifestyle). Therefore, the statement that the book is flawed based on it not mentioning Christianity as the root of industrialization is flawed logic. Christianity very well could be the root of industrailization, but Christianity was a byproduct of those other factors.

Either way, we got waaaay off topic: “Veganism contributes to Industrial Farming”. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t… I’m gonna go eat some meat now.

[quote]eightprops wrote:
The book reiterates several times that activities outside of hunting and gathering (metallurgy, art, etc.) were made possible due to the steady supply of food, and a more sedintary lifestyle. This lifestyle was made possible by environmental factors such as climate, and soil bioavailability.[/quote]

Not sure I agree that the degree of bioavailabilty in the environment was greater in Europe than in warmer climates.

I contend civilization is just the culmination of the division of labor which is as much to do with the environment as it is to do with ideas in general. As to who did what first or why is just a matter of random chance in this regard.

Though heck, maybe Christian mythology owes itself to the environment so in a way the environment was responsible for European dominance.

Solid!

:slight_smile:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
eightprops wrote:
The book reiterates several times that activities outside of hunting and gathering (metallurgy, art, etc.) were made possible due to the steady supply of food, and a more sedintary lifestyle. This lifestyle was made possible by environmental factors such as climate, and soil bioavailability.

Not sure I agree that the degree of bioavailabilty in the environment was greater in Europe than in warmer climates.

I contend civilization is just the culmination of the division of labor which is as much to do with the environment as it is to do with ideas in general. As to who did what first or why is just a matter of random chance in this regard.

Though heck, maybe Christian mythology owes itself to the environment so in a way the environment was responsible for European dominance.

Solid!

:)[/quote]

LIFTICVSMAXIMVS. I have a question for you. Do you really think that free-range animal products and organic food are not better than the industrialized versions? I agree with you that industrialized food allowed for the eradication of starvation in rich countries. I agree that no person can know whether or not eating organic and free-range products can help them live longer. Still, you seemed to say that organic and free-range foods are no different in minerals/vitamins/macro content. Do you think this or did I read into your statements too far?

[quote]Green Man wrote:
Still, you seemed to say that organic and free-range foods are no different in minerals/vitamins/macro content. Do you think this or did I read into your statements too far?[/quote]

Yes, that is what I think.

It seems to me that the quality of any cell matter would be determined by the sufficiency of the required nutrient supplied not what the source of that nutrient is. Indeed all the ailments of biology attributed to nutrients are either attributed to to little of a it or too much of it. Nothing whatsoever to do with where it came from.

How does a plant cell know that the fertilizer is real horse shit or synthetic horse shit?

As to free range meats being better for us all I can say is that I seem to not have nightterrors as much when I eat it than when I don’t :wink:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Green Man wrote:
Still, you seemed to say that organic and free-range foods are no different in minerals/vitamins/macro content. Do you think this or did I read into your statements too far?

Yes, that is what I think.

It seems to me that the quality of any cell matter would be determined by the sufficiency of the required nutrient supplied not what the source of that nutrient is. Indeed all the ailments of biology attributed to nutrients are either attributed to to little of a it or too much of it. Nothing whatsoever to do with where it came from.

How does a plant cell know that the fertilizer is real horse shit or synthetic horse shit?

As to free range meats being better for us all I can say is that I seem to not have nightterrors as much when I eat it than when I don’t ;)[/quote]

To me, that is thinking on too small of a scale. Research has been done to try and copy the state of natural soil, but that doesn’t mean that the soil on crop fields is the ideal for crop growth. I don’t mean ideal in yield. I mean in quality of macronutrient content and vitamins/minerals/phytochemicals. It is too reductionist to say that a cell can’t tell the difference in nutrients when how plants process nutrients, how chemicals work in an ecosystem, and how we process plants in our body involve a larger picture than just cellular makeup. There has been evidence of greater levels of phytochemicals in organic food.

All that being said, I don’t eat organic fruits or vegetables but that’s because I can’t afford them without how much I eat. I don’t think that people who support organic and free-range farming should be looked down upon at all simply because they are buying the best food money can buy.
Another question I have would be if you think that eating grass-fed beef instead of industrial over a long period of time would make a difference in weight/health and if not, why not?

[quote]Stronghold wrote:

You wanna talk about cruelty…lets talk about what would happen to cows if we weren’t killing them. Have you ever seen a cow? They’re really dumb animals. Do you honestly think that the modern domesticated cow would survive without human intervention?

You ever watch the discovery channel? Now THAT’S cruel. We’re doing the poor bastards a favor with the one-and-done in a dark room that they’re getting now…

Cruel is an entirely relative term. To a 5 year old, what people do to cows is cruel, but compared to what would be happening if a cougar or panther got a hold of those cows, what people do is pretty fucking humane. If you are really concerned about the best interests of animals, make sure that the meat you are consuming is coming from animals that are being raised and slaughtered humanely.

Go ahead and keep chomping down your alfalfa-soy patties though, your position of moral superiority does little, in reality, to keep those poor defenseless animals from being eaten by something.[/quote]

Some contemporary ethicists would argue that there is a key distinction that you’re missing. They would say that what occurs in nature is not cruel. What humans do to animals, would be however. Humans’ capacity to reason, which animals in the wild do not have, would theoretically mean that the only cruelty that could be caused would be by agents who possess not only sentience but rationality as well. An example of their claim would be if a mountain lion killed a baby compared to a man killing a baby. One could be called cruel, the other not.

That being said, I have doubts that the premise that killing animals is cruel is sound at all.


.

Vegans should all get together and brew up a pitcher of “special” kool-aid. Fucking POS hippies. Man I love critters as much as the next guy but don’t start giving me shit when I’m purchasing 14lbs of chicken breast. I don’t give you shit for weighing 105lbs, and dressing like a ragamuffin.

plants have feelings too

didnt you guys watch The Happening?

my mom is a vegan not because she gives a shit about animal rights, but because she hates the taste of meat.

[quote]Green Man wrote:
There has been evidence of greater levels of phytochemicals in organic food.[/quote]

This is the problem I have. As a philosopher I try to analyze language as well as the natural laws that bring about certain phenomena.

All life is organic. Some of the nutrients our bodies require are not chemically organic so why is “organicially grown” food better in quality for us? I contend that the word “Organic” is just a marketing term and has nothing whatsoever to do with human health or even science.

Also, it should be understood that phytochemicals are not a requirement to sustain human life – though they have certain disease preventative properties. All plant food except those that are super refined have these in them as part of the chemical make up of the plant cell. No plants can develop without phytochemicals. To say that a plant that is grown in organic fertilizer is better in phytochemicals is very misleading because most of the research one will find shows how scientists are trying to improve these qualities in plant foods synthetically with bioengineering – not thru organic farming.

[quote]
Another question I have would be if you think that eating grass-fed beef instead of industrial over a long period of time would make a difference in weight/health and if not, why not?[/quote]

I think that as long as a person is getting the minimum required nutrients to sustain basic life and activity that person will be healthy. The key is not what we eat, but rather how much we eat – human beings are opportunistic eaters by nature; we do not require a specific diet to obtain nutrients. I think humans had to adapt to a more varied diet because we do not have any intrinsic hunting abilities or any other means with our bodies to obtain food (for example, we have no specialized tools affixed to our bodies like a trunk or a long neck). Nearly every animal in the wild eats a specific diet that is made possible by its specialized body with little if any variety in food sources. Humans do not nor have they ever. Also humans have a very different digestive system than other animals so the food we eat also has to have the nutrients pretty readily available or else we will not absorb them.

A bigger influence in our health, I think, is our activity level. I think a person that is moderately active can eat whatever he wants with no ill effects, provided he is eating a “balanced” diet and not eating more or less than he needs.

If you are more than moderately active and you eat more than you need you will carry extra muscle mass and less body fat than the average person (even fat people that are inactive have more muscle than those that under eat). The key is the intensity level of the activity. More intense activity levels will demand more adaptation from the body; it will also try to physically change itself to make work easier – for example, making us stronger or increasing the size of our muscles to store more energy.

I think once your digestive system breaks down the food you eat into its constituent chemicals the body just absorbs them via osmosis. Obviously digestive health is very important in this regard but other than that the body cannot know or care how it gets what it needs to sustain life. As long as food is not toxic and not rejected by the body it is “healthy” to eat. Obviously, anything can become toxic to us if we eat too much of it.