Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Response to a Meat Eater 's Response to a Vegetarian

I wanted to write a response to someone who claims everyone should eat humane meat, but my response did not fit in his comments section, as it quickly became 17 pages!  Here is my response.


You claim many times that “your point still stands” and the two main ideas of your point are that you feel it is fine to kill animals who do not have a sense of self-awareness and who do not realize there is a future.  It is interesting that in your comments section, even from meat eaters, there is a feeling of dis-ease and discomfort with your ideas.  People are reacting “with their gut feelings” because such a coldhearted justification to end a life seems wrong.  What does lack of self-awareness mean in death anyway; that they will not know it is they themselves who are being killed?  I hope to show that your points are not valid in evaluating who has a right to live.

It is not all right to take animals’ lives unless they are causing harm to you, or it cannot be avoided.  Animals nearly always kill other animals because they are hungry, or some territorial situation; but mainly because they are hungry.  We have an abundance of nonanimal food, so there is no need and no rational excuse to end animal’s life.  Animals were not meant to be separated and confined and genetically altered.  No other animal wears the fur of another. No animal is here to be useful products.
Some animals may never pass the test of being able to know there is a future, but what kind of a test is that for people to use against animals?  Should we perhaps give a test that uses animals’ strengths instead of human characteristics?  We are taking advantage of them by using a human abilities test as a justification to kill them. Pigs have a very strong sense of smell and can detect scents seven miles away and 25 feet underground.  If the criterion for being allowed to live or be killed is how powerful our noses can smell, pigs would be saved and humans would be off to the slaughterhouse. 
Especially as atheists, we know the value of this one life.  This is their one life; how wrong to cut it short and what a pitiful life we have created for them. 


12 billion animals are killed for food in the U.S. but this is not including the 51 billion sea animals worldwide each year for American’s consumption. Does anyone really think all these animals will be humanely taken care of, inspected and respected?

There is an animal kill counter on this site on the lower right, which is quite interesting.


You say it is not rational for people to be vegetarian, yet, I do not see meat eaters as being the people who will effect change as most do not want to give up any taste whatsoever, and are not committed to eating just “humane meat.”

Vegans are not a third party.  Your claim is, because we do not buy humane meat, we are not helping the drive away from regular meat or letting meat producers know what we want.  Do we really need to purchase a product to help?  Let’s see:

It is better for someone on heroin to use methadone, and methadone is an in-between for them – between heroin and drug free.  I support their use of methadone and have signed petitions to have methadone and clean needles supplied.  Yet I do not purchase methadone.  It is not required that I purchase a product in order to be helpful to their cause.  And the goal is not to have them be on methadone for life; it is to have them become drug free. 
Now, let’s do minor substitutions:
It is better for someone on a factory farm to use humane farming, and humane farming is an in-between for them – between factory farming and “not being eaten.”  I support their use of humane farming and have signed petitions to have humane farming and clean conditions.  Yet I do not purchase humane meat.  It is not required that I purchase a product in order to be helpful to their cause.  And the goal is not to have animals become humane meat; it is to have them not be eaten.

Who is driving the progress toward better animal conditions?  Vegans have been pushing legislations for years. Vegans are risking their lives going undercover to get footage and make people aware. We are passing pictures around the Internet, signing petitions, calling representatives on the telephone, writing letters to companies, articles in newspapers, and demonstrating.  Readers, do you boycott non-humane meat when you eat out and demand humane?  I recently went to every grocery store in my area with a list of vegan items that 130 vegetarians requested, was warmly received at each store and had a chance to highlight our growing population of vegetarians and vegans.  We regularly give out free foods and people around town love coming to our table where we have recipes, information, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and foods that pleasantly surprise people with how great vegan food tastes.  Vegans help animals.

Why all the discouraging words, such as, “You’ll never get everyone to go vegan.”  When I was young there was no talk of gay marriage and gays did not openly admit their sexualities.  Yet, during my lifetime, I have seen the tides turn and the majority of Americans support gay marriage.  Change happens. We’ll eventually get most people to become vegan.  According to Gary Yourofsky it might take 300 years, but every person who stops eating meat and dairy saves animals, and each animal counts.  It is estimated a vegan saves 200 animals’ lives per year.  If they eat a lot of small creatures like shrimp and clams, I am sure the number of animals saved is even higher. Why would vegans eat “humane meat” to make a meat company happy, and have animals killed for us, instead of having each vegan save 200 animals per year?

Most of my life I have never heard of vegans.  Vegetarians were even quite rare, in my experience, and I did not know any at college.  Compare that with colleges these days!  In the future there will be meat made in a lab for die-hard meat eaters, and I do not mind that idea.  We are making great progress.
Only 2% of animals carry the Certified Humane label, when factory farming has been going on since 1927.  Currently, 95% of our eggs still come from battery caged hens, and nearly all sows are still in gestation crates.  We stop eating meat and dairy, we get them out very quickly.  We eat “humane meat” and petition for another foot of space for the pigs, and it takes years upon years and that foot of space can be taken away at any time.

In Missouri, in November 2011, a Puppy Mill ban was enacted so the state would no longer allow puppy mills.  In April, 2012, the state overturned the Puppy Mill ban.  This could happen with all the laws we have so slowly been able to put into place.  As the population increases or people stop paying attention and think everything is humane, the old ways could easily return as we can see from the Puppy Mill example.  (In many Amish farms and puppy mills, dogs are kept stacked in cages in a barn, forced to breed over and over and then shot when they can no longer breed.)


I can’t imagine any animal, dog or pig, in a small enclosure much of his life and your claim that is all he needs to be content.  How about happiness?  Why is happiness not a requirement?  Delirious fun?  I have seen the recent ads for humane meat with animals running freely, but since they showed “Happy Cows” for regular factory farmed dairy cows, seeing animals running free in the humane meat ads is not credible.  If you look at the Certified Humane standards for each animal, you will find out that pigs and chickens never see the outside of the barn.  Pigs have legs, with muscles, and they love to run.  How can it be called humane to keep them penned up?

Certified Humane rules:  Cows and pigs are castrated without anesthesia, cows are dehorned with a hot iron, prodded electrically “in emergencies only,” tails are docked with a rubber ring or hot iron. Chickens have the end of their beaks seared off with a hot machine that also cuts skin and nerve endings and takes a month to heal, but their beaks are deformed for life.  Certified Humane is about the best certification available too.  My feeling when reading all the rules is that it was more record keeping, such as how many dead animals there were, than kindness toward animals.  Here’s a great Certified Humane rule:  Take three chickens maximum by the legs in one hand when taking them to the truck to go to slaughter. 

Certified Humane keeps the cows pregnant by artificial insemination: The mother cows are restrained in a contraption while they are impregnated by a farmer sticking his arm all the way in to the cow’s rectum and grabbing her uterus while inserting a rod with a metal hook through the uterus and artificially inseminating her. They keep her continuously pregnant in order to get milk out of her.  The boys born to her become veal calves, so the people who drink milk or eat cheese support the veal industry.  All of the mother cow’s energy goes into milk production and her body muscles waste away in a few years’ time. 

Certified Humane has the “new veal regulations,” which gives the meat a light pink flesh because they are allowed a little movement.  How kind to give a youngster less than a yardstick to move in.

Animals have no food for up to 16 hours before slaughter with Certified Humane; their maximum transport time is 12 hours; and maximum holding time at the slaughter house is 10 hours.  Add up the maximum times and that is 38 hours with no food before being killed.  What happened to a Last Supper?!

The methods of slaughter must improve, as many miss the bolt and get their eye bolted or the wrong part of their brain and I have seen blood and goo flood out of cows’ noses at slaughter. 
What about the male chicks?  Everyone ignores the male chicks!  With egg production, boy chicks are not needed because they can’t lay eggs and are not bred to be meat, so the boy chicks are either ground up, or are thrown in a huge bin to slowly crush each other to death.  And the killing of male chicks happens, every day, whether regular farming, organic farming or certified humane.  UPCOnline.

There is a lot to fix.  It might be easier just to stop eating meat.


When you say an animal will not miss one year of life do you tell your readers that we are not cutting off 1 year of an animal’s life, but cutting off 10 to 20 years of its life with our factory farming?  You say animals have no worth, but we have bred them from their wild sources, to grow extremely quickly. They are kept indoors in controlled lighting so they will eat more, so how can they become anything to anyone and how can they display their true intelligence?  Chickens have full color light spectrum vision, beyond that of humans, yet we keep darkened barns with no variations of color.  (Karen Davies, United Poultry Concern.)  This is cruel in itself as they should be able to utilize their unique strengths.

I cannot find Certified Humane or any Humane meat company address what age the animals are slaughtered.  These are the typical ages they are killed for the typical farm animals under AHA rules: 

Broiler hens can live 10-20 years - they are killed at 6 weeks. 
Egg laying hens can live 10-20 years - they are killed at 1-2 years.
Dairy cows live 20 years – they are killed at 4 years.
Pigs can live 13 years - they are killed at 6 months.
Male chicks can live 10-20 years. They are killed at 1 day. 
Veal cows can live 20 years - they are killed at 4 months.
Meat eaters eat babies, toddlers and teenagers.

Nine states have gestation crate laws to give animals a little more room than those crates, but most of the states’ laws do not go into effect until 2019 or 2025 respectively.  California is ahead and will go into effect in 2015.  This means 41 states use gestation crates legally, and in those 41, we have the four largest pig producing states (61% of hogs, come from Iowa, North Carolina, Minnesota and Illinois).  

The words you repeat over and over in comments are that animals have no worth so they can be killed, and animals have no sense of themselves and no sense of the future, so they can be killed at any time.  Animals have extreme worth to their own communities with their own hierarchies.  They may have no worth to you, except for something for you to consume.  But they should have worth to you, because any captured animal should ideally be treated as a pet.  You made the distinction between animals being allowed to live or not by saying that we find value in our pets.  Ideally farms should not exist as producing food, but could exist as a haven for pets – more like an animal sanctuary.  I know people can change.

I was raised in Detroit and my ultimate fantasy growing up was to live on a farm.  I had no idea people killed the animals; I just pictured myself happy on my farm with my husband and the crew of men out taking care of the happy pigs, horses and cows, and coming in to my kitchen where I had apple pies and freshly baked bread.

In reality, one of the colleges I chose to attend was Spring Arbor College in Michigan because it was out in the most beautiful farmlands I had ever seen.  I took bike rides in the country from this college to try to find my dream farmer, but all were older and toothless.  As someone who loved the idea of farms that much, I now think they should be outlawed unless they are havens for animals to live their entire lives (yes, animals should be put down when they get old only if they are in severe pain, just like we do for our own pets).  But your idea of killing them early because they have no value is faulty, because you look at these animals only in their genetically fattened up state and from eyes that see a narrow view of what constitutes superior intelligence. 

So for someone like me, it took awhile for me to realize that farms should go away.  That was difficult for me to come to grips with, because I still loved my old fantasy of the farm.
You say you would like Proposition 2 in every state.

  • Requires that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.
  • Exceptions made for transportation, rodeos, fairs, 4-H programs, lawful slaughter, research and veterinary purposes.
  • Provides misdemeanor penalties, including a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or imprisonment in jail for up to 180 days.
As of November of last year, the farmers were confused and did not know if they could just make larger battery cages for the chickens, or how large a space animals needed to have.  I am not sure if anyone has clarified the rules yet.  It sounds similar to Certified Humane, and we know how inadequate that is!  California has been trying to get Proposition 2 enacted for twenty years.  Once again, animals are not even allowed to walk with these new and improved laws.  Of course, I still support these laws and also want them in every state because they are an improvement, but they are pitiful.


The cartoon that claimed methane from cows is negligible by comparing it to grass, showed grass giving off much more methane.  Yet, grass-fed beef would be doubly bad for the environment because it would take two acres of grass minimum for one cow for its grazing requirements. This is an extremely inefficient use of farmland.

Instead of one cow on two acres, kale can be grown and fill up the two acres and it can be cut and will re-grow.  It also will grow in very cold or very warm climates.  There are many grains and vegetables that can be intensely planted and are better choices for two acres than one cow. 

Let’s look at a few more statistics about raising animals on pastureland.  95% of Brazil’s Atlantic Coastal Rainforest is slashed and burned.  91% of the Amazon Rainforest is destroyed due to raising livestock.  You claim they will rebuild with national parks and biodiversity.  Greed does not build national parks or care about biodiversity.   

Our biggest problem with the clearing of tropical forests is that forests are where we get protection from excess CO2 as the trees absorb CO2 and give off oxygen.  You take my breath away takes on a whole new meaning.  In addition, they are clearing palm oil forests for grazing land, and palm oil products and orangutans are in danger of extinction because that is their natural habitat.

The waste runoff from farms causes illness and spread of diseases like E-Coli and salmonella.  The origin of E-Coli in vegetables and fruits in fields is from animals, as the fields are either sprayed with contaminated water or the soil is contaminated.  Even seeds become contaminated with E-coli due to animal waste runoff.  Flus such as Avian and Swine, and Mad Cow disease come from the animals being too close together or being fed improper foods. People who live near factory farms have respiratory problems, skin infections, nausea, depression and even die. Hog, chicken and cattle waste has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. .  After reading about the situation, I do not see how any farmer will actually report a violation and the immensity of pollution should make consumers want to give up meat and dairy.  Surface runoff from livestock caused 95,000 square miles of barren land with no life (R. Oppenlander). 

Below is the video with Richard Oppenlander with many statistics about environmental problems of raising animals and trolling the seas for fish.  If you watch this video, I recommend starting at about 23 minutes into the video.  That is where it starts to get really good.!


Do you eat “sustainable fish?” Last year 300,000 whales and porpoises died, caught in the huge nets so you could eat fish labeled sustainable.  Alaskan Pollock is labeled sustainable.  We catch 3 million tons per year of Alaskan Pollock.  How is that sustainable?  Do you eat fish from a fish farm and think it is safe?  The U.S. imports heavily from unregulated overseas fish farms (R. Oppenlander).


You claimed that many cruel conditions shown in PETA videos have long been abandoned.  I have to wonder what has been abandoned.  Here are two recent videos of regular farms, as most pigs are in regular farms, not organic or Certified Humane farms. The first video is about Smithfield Farms, filmed in 2010.

Please make sure you watch whole video, but pay attention and listen right from 20 seconds to 1:05 seconds.  It isn’t a gross part, but you can see the every day conditions for sows and how these pigs react.

This next one is a bit upsetting in content, but everyone should know what goes on.  This is a 2011 investigation of Iowa Select Farms in Kamrar, Iowa.

Do you really think another foot or two of space for these pigs will make them content?

There are 17 more videos on Mercy for Animals showing turkeys, chickens, fish, sheep, and cows.  Many are recent investigations.  There are also videos on Angels’ Animals,, PETA (Meet your Meat), HALAL videos, people who get into barns and post videos, and many more.  Some of these videos helped convict animal abusers in a court of law, and caused companies to commit to change.  You say you never see any evidence that animals are in pain, but slaughterhouse workers claim they are struggling and in extreme pain, and are often cut up alive.  I wonder how you have missed the fact that many of them get sliced on before they are dead if you have done so much research?  How can you miss them trying to moo minutes after having their necks sliced?  Workers say they have seen animals trying to swim in the boiling bath that is supposed to soften their fur. 

Here are the 17 recent investigations:


This is scary!  Each industry makes its own guidelines to avoid government regulation and unbiased audits by outside companies. USDA-FSIS pre-approves product labels based on producer testimonials only. The agency does not check on-farm compliance with meat and poultry claims. USDA-AMS neither preapproves nor verifies label claims for shell eggs.

Global Animal Protection claims 5 point standards for animal protection, but none of the standards have been implemented into law. (From a Humane Myth video on YT.) 
The large meat companies not only misrepresent their products with names such as  “Sustainable” and “Happy Cows,” but they try to keep the public from knowing what is truly going on down on the farm by pushing for Ag Gag bills that criminalize undercover videos or any documentation of abuse. They are also trying to ban people from filming at auctions so no one can know the animals fall over and over from weakness while people uncaringly bid on their next meal.  The states with some form of Ag Gag laws are Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and Utah.  Indiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina have Ag Gag laws in consideration.  Our country is a long ways from doing anything to help animals without activists investigating the companies. 


Useful animal products reduce the value of life.  A loved pet should not be thought of in terms of what it can produce for you.  We have stuck animal parts in just about everything, but most products look to me like it would not be difficult to substitute a nonanimal product.  Animals were not meant to be linoleum.
We already have nonanimal products: detergents, soaps, shampoos, make up, cleaners and more.  We do have nonanimal glue.  It’s called Elmer’s.  (Despite the rumors, there are no animals products in it.)  We can make switches over time and improve our nonanimal products greatly.  Based on previous ingenuity, if more scientists work on making this transition instead of “streamlining the killing of animals,” we will develop and market nonanimal products which will be exciting. 

Anyone who feels we must use animals for buildings and does not think we will ever come up with inexpensive enough lab synthetics, I thought of a solution.  Wait until all pets and wild animals automatically die and collect them, the animals that have died at The Humane Society, and all the humans who die, and take their body parts for your buildings.  It is much kinder and more resourceful than killing live animals for the same use.
I even think the 22% agrowaste can be made into something else besides feeding imprisoned animals. (Someone pointed out agrowaste can be used for biofuels.)  ADM makes all sorts of foods and products from corn and soy, and I bet they would welcome the challenge.  I live in the soy capital of the world and smell ADM every day. Most of my state of Illinois is corn and soy, with most it field corn for animal use.  Field corn as far as the eye can see; not corn for human consumption.  We can do much better. 
Most of our leather comes from China.  Leather is a horrible product.  To keep the cows’ skin from decomposing they use very toxic chemicals.  It is reported that in China they dump the leftovers of the animals they don’t use into the river. (Google China leather toxic imported river.)


You wondered what vegans think about hunting.  If a person like an Inuit lives in some remote land and cannot afford other ways to live and eats to survive, then they can hunt.  But most hunters do not have the aim to take out animals quickly and accurately.  Online I speak to avid hunters and when I say animals are often not killed instantly, they never deny it.  Think about all the drunks with guns that take to the woods to kill for fun each year. 

Here is a video by that shows “sharpshooters” shooting deer.  Five minutes later, all the deer are still alive.  You claim death is not painful, but the process of death is very painful, whether it be a slit throat or a bullet that did not hit the target in exactly the right place.!


You like to say people suck at math.  I do suck at math, but even I can see that the bicycle example you use is faulty.  When the author states that the bicycle is only 10 times as efficient as a car, he is adding in the carbon dioxide and methane produced from the bicyclist, but when he speaks about the car, he does not add in the carbon dioxide and methane produced by the driver in the car.  He mentions it in an offhand way, but did not add it in. The driver is a needed component in order for the car to drive, and there are calories expended and food needed.  Also, the bicyclist statistics added in all the repair items and safety items and the carbon dioxide and methane needed in order to produce those, but in the car example, the repair and safety items of the car are not listed.  Adding in repair and safety item production and a person’s energy expenditure would greatly increase the difference between a bicyclist and an automobile to much more than ten.  I’ll let you do the math. 


Phobia definition is an irrational fear of something.  Bulimia and anorexia could be defined as phobias.  They are conditions a person cannot easily stop but wants to stop, where the person feels shame, guilt and extreme fear.  Being vegan is not a phobia.  We make a conscious choice, are happy with our choice, and feel proud of who we are and our choice.  We know we save animals every day that we do not eat meat or consume dairy.  You claim we do not eat free range meat and therefore we have a phobia because you see nothing wrong with free range meat, and conclude we should have no reason not to eat free range meat.  But we see a lot wrong with free range meat, as delineated in my Certified Humane sections.  Meat eating is not appetizing or healthy or moral.  


One thing humane farming does not address is what is done with all the unwanted animals.  The reality is that many male cows are killed because they were born to dairy cows to be dairy, but they turned out male.  The ones who are not outright killed become veal cows.  Some female calves are killed as well, if the farm cannot hold any more dairy cows at that time and they cannot be easily sold.

But how will the rest of the farms become humane, with the increase in population and the higher demands for meat?  You say the factories will become more streamlined?  I cannot imagine any faster production.  Slaughterhouse workers speak of the dangers and the speed in which they work.  Animals are often still alive when cut up as it is; there are some things that cannot be sped up any more.  
Laws passed do not mean laws enforced when it comes to animals.  There is currently a 28 Hour Law where trucks must stop every 28 hours for animals go get food and water and exercise, but birds are excluded; and the law is not enforced anyway. Birds are excluded from the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (stunning required), and the HMLSA allows animal ritual exceptions. Ritual exceptions need to be stopped immediately!  How barbaric! There are several Halal meat videos on YouTube.  Look for the ones where you must sign in because of the violent content.  I nearly fainted several times watching the pain on the cow’s face and it took me three separate efforts to watch one certain video.  There are Halal videos where cows have their esophagus ripped out and they flail around for several minutes.  

Here is an interesting article from the slaughterhouse workers’ perspective:  It is a verification about animals being cut up alive.

There is very simple math here:  zero people eating meat or dairy equals zero animals being tortured and killed for food.  It may take 300 years, or it may come in a huge swoop after another meat disease outbreak.


By your logic of animals not having a sense of the future so they can be killed and won’t know they are missing anything, you could then sneak up on a human from the back when they are on Facebook because they are “typing and in the moment” and shoot them or slice their necks from behind.  They will not know what hit them and there will be no loss for them and will not know they are missing anything.

My dog has congestive heart failure and has about a year to live, on medications.  I take those medications away and she dies within 3 days.  I keep her on the medications because I know she would want to live.  You may call that anthropomorphizing, but I call it truth.  If she were able to say whether she wanted to die immediately, or go on having countless treats every day, check on rabbits and birds and squirrels in the back yard and sniff all over the place, and get pet and cuddled, she would most likely choose life over death. My dog’s life benefits her; her life benefits my life and our family’s lives, and brings a smile to relatives and friends.  Animals have worth and value to themselves and to us. Cows and pigs are no different than my dog.  Just because they are hidden away in a barn forced into another human induced lifestyle does not mean they are any different than our pets.  Cows can be very friendly and loving.  Even when my dog is a pest I’m her caregiver and it is my duty to care for her.  Farm animals should have the same type of caregiver.  Your statement that you trick your cat to get it to take its medicine is not the same as tricking an animal to take away its life.  Since you take your cat to the vet and give her medicine, I think you actually realize you want your cat to live more than a year into the future and you know your cat would want to continue living.   

What you are really saying with your idea of killing animals that do not know about the future tense is that life is not worth living and that living has no worth.  I disagree.  Even though I have no purpose and a few generations after I’m gone there will be no memory of me, I am thankful for having had the chance to live.
Some humans are bumps on logs, consuming chips and beer in front of a T.V.  They do no good and they do harm by sucking up resources. Animals are more beneficial than they are.  Animals have more value because they keep populations and pests in balance in nature and add to beauty and interest and love.
Why do you use this arbitrary “self-awareness” and sense of the future rule?  Could pigs have self-awareness in a pig manner; meaning, they use their own assets for self-awareness?  Pigs have a very strong sense of smell, so they most likely smell themselves and are aware of their own personal boundaries because of smelling where the body is and where it is not. 

By your definition you could have every single bit of life on this earth besides humans killed (you said you can freely kill any animal that does not have fully human level consciousness).  I will assume though, you meant you can kill every single thing on this earth except chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, dolphins, magpies and jays, and one horse, as they have passed the test for self-awareness.  You can see that your foundational rule is faulty, as our lives would be so less beneficial and we may not even survive if we kill too many animals, such as ones that eat pests.  But whether they are beneficial to us or of no benefit, animals should have their own rights.

The people who made up the criteria for who gets to live had to have some line to draw in the sand, so they came up with self-awareness and knowledge of the future.  Whether animals know they will die has nothing to do with the morals of whether we can take an innocent animal’s life.  Pete Singer made many people uncomfortable when he assigned a worth to animals based on their ability “help” the world, saying a human has more right to live than a rat. Do we measure humans’ right to live by whether they have the potential to help someone, or do they simply have the right to live?  And are humans really more helpful or just more helpful to our own culture?  It is disputable whether humans do help the earth, because the earth might be better off without humans.  We destroy almost everything on earth. 

“Destroying an animal humanely is not cruel.” How do you destroy an animal humanely?  Slaughterhouses are extremely inhumane, from the transport, to the bolt gun that can miss, to chutes to shackles to stunning water that only paralyzes chickens but does not take away any pain, to boil dip to the cutting up while still alive.  Even hanging the chickens upside down forces their abdominals to press on their hearts because they have no diaphragms.  Dying is indeed painful.

Other methods of killing are also unacceptable.  Killing cones are very popular on small farms and are promoted as humane, but are extremely cruel.  The farmer stuffs the chicken or turkey down head first in a cone so it is “hugged” (notice word choice they use) - in other words, they can’t flap their wings or do anything to help with the pain when their carotid arteries are cut.  They can suffer from 4 to 8 minutes fully conscious depending on whether both arteries are cut or just one, and whether one jugular is hit or both. Dr. Neville G. Gregory, Expert - Applied Animal Welfare Aspects, Royal Veter College, England.  I had a conversation with him via email a few years ago.

And I have nearly fainted several times trying to watch Halal videos.  The “you don’t know what animals are feeling” does not seem to jibe with the expressions and cries as they are slowly dying and restrained.  


I must take issue with the statement, “Pigs have evolved to be eaten.”  Wild pigs run up to 30 miles an hour and a non-genetically altered pig loves to run as well.  Wild pigs have tusks and they fight. They do not lie down and say, “I’m here to be eaten.”  Farmed pigs have not “evolved” to be eaten either.  In a few instances they have eaten the farmer.
Sheep have been shown to remember faces for months and also to recognize other sheep in photos.  A horse has been shown to self-reflect.  This video is of a horse showing self-awareness.  If you listen to what is being said, it will be very clear he recognizes himself in the mirror because of where he “points,” and because he does not try to protect his owner from the “other horse.”  Watch the test.

Is it fine to kill the sheep but not the horse?  Or do we move the goal posts so the horse can be “justifiably” killed?


Would you like to have a mediocre life or a fantastic life? Why should we not give animals a fantastic life?  Do you keep your cat in a cage large enough for her to turn around for her entire life?  No, you give her the best life you possibly can, not just what the meat industry calls “content.”  I am not of the Peter Singer mold where he says we should just leave wild animals alone.  In general, that statement is fine, but we can control deer populations through birth control measures instead of hunting and we can help animals have better lives.  That would benefit all of us because of the happy vibes from helping others who can’t help themselves.  It will be difficult to know how much help to give or how little, but we should strive to face that challenge instead of using the difficulty as an excuse to not try to help animals.

As one of your earlier criticisms of me, you said I did not agree with mainstream scientists or doctors in nutrition; but why would I need to agree with them?  You are not a mainstream ancient historian and I do not intend to believe what the mainstream historians say.  In a conservative majority, I do not agree with the mainstream ideas on most subjects.  I do not think I have to accept mainstream doctors on all subjects, as most of them spend very little time learning about very low fat diets.
I don’t believe it’s a “cure-all” and neither do the medical doctors who advocate a vegan diet.  Dr. McDougall states it does not cure all diseases.  I remember him stating the diet does not reverse the brain damage already done from any disease, but can slow or stop the progressions of certain diseases, like Parkinson’s and in the case of Multiple Sclerosis it can stop the progression if caught early. Type II diabetes and many other diseases can be helped, prevented or cured.  


I am convinced by the Starch Solution and the writings in the “hot topics” section of the “medical info” section of Dr. McDougall’s website with its many referenced articles.   His book, The Starch Solution has 381 references, most from scientific journals.  The Last Heart Attack by Sanjay Gupta that showed Dr. Esselstyn’s pictures of artery clog reversal and strengthening, and was a very convincing documentary.

Yes, Dr. Esselstyn’s website is bizarre; like some childishly colorful, huge magazine ad page.  I noticed it as well, and also felt that way about Dr. Neal Barnard’s page, but I do like what Dr. Barnard says.  Here is a page that is well worth researching. This diet is not easy; it’s not what most people want to eat. That also is convincing because it is not another diet with high protein meat and a little veges and fruit. Totally the opposite, and with very low oil.    
Visuals can be convincing too.  This is just a fun video about the leaders of the popular diets.  There are three of these videos published and although there are thin meat eaters, the fact that these are the diet experts makes one wonder!


It was amusing you used the Rational Wikki article to say that I had been duped by Forks Over Knives (which I have never watched), because the Wiki article can be spotted very easily to be taking words out of context, and I could easily answer its criticisms.  Rational Wikki criticized that the low fat, high starch diets were slightly different:  The diets do differ in small amounts, such as whether to use honey or not.  The vegans do not use honey for moral reasons, while Dr. McDougall allows honey as a sweetener although no food is required. Other issues that differ between all these doctors is whether to have a very small amount of oil or no oil (most say as small as possible), whether to have a very small amount of meat or no meat.  Dr. McDougall has 2 ounces of turkey every other Thanksgiving just to show that he is not vegan, because vegan is a loaded word (we are hated as much as atheists – try being a vegan atheist), and he wants to stress his diet is about health.  These are all minute differences.  All agree that more than a minute amount of meat is damaging, as it has fat laced throughout its grains.  Rational Wikki also criticizes that the low fat, starch and plant based diets are sometimes called “Eastern” ways of eating, and the high fat, high protein diets Western.  He claims it is because the doctors were trying to portray the mystic quality of the Eastern area, but there is nothing mystical about eating rice, grains and vegetables, and no rationality for such a statement.  Rational Wikki claims not all of the East has a rice based diet which is true, but if you look at the link I have underneath by Dr. McDougall, he is very specific what each area eats.  The entire Rational Wikki article looked like weak excuses with no substance in the excuse.

Regarding health, many of the studies that come out are funded by a certain industry, such as the National Dairy Council or a particular olive oil company.  That is what happened with the latest tests about olive oil being beneficial.  They never use a 7% to 10% fat diet as the control group.

Most people I know say their weight is due to genetics.  I found this information very interesting and am writing from memory, but you can google “Tarahumara diabetes” and find a lot on this subject. 

The Tarahumara Indians live in rural South America.  They can run races up to 400 miles at once and put our ultramarathoners to shame.  Their diet consists of a corn based diet; corn tortillas, beans, veges, very rarely a small amount of wild meat, fruits and a high carbohydrate low alcoholic beer.  They have almost no Cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease.  They are called “The people who will live forever.”  Their genetic equivalents are the Pima Indians of Arizona.  They have the highest diabetes rate of any group in the world.  One of every two people has diabetes. They are obese with all the diseases of the typical Americans, such as osteoporosis and Cancer. They eat the high protein, high fat, Western American diet and their cholesterol levels reflect it.  Yet these two groups are genetic equivalents!  Further, if they take a few Tarahumara Indians and start to feed them the American high fat diet, their cholesterol levels and blood pressure rise.  No, I do not think if I eat like them I will run 400 miles at once, but this shows the health of a low fat diet, and eating more than a tiny bit of meat is too much fat for the body.   


When you compare cabbage pickers and say that issue is more important than how cows are treated, #1, we can help both, #2, people at least have a voice and can speak through many different media, #3, vegans are constantly told “I care about people” by other people, as an excuse to do nothing to help animals.  If you constantly cared about people only, or cared about people first, animals would never have anyone to speak for them.  I did sign petitions and spread information about pesticide sprays getting onto workers because they are told to pick strawberries right after spraying when the fields are still wet with pesticides, and a few young men reported getting sprayed while picking, and I get emails from United Farm Workers.  I also signed some petitions and wrote some letters to government officials through the UFW website, dealing with educational issues. But you are right that boycotts are not always the best idea.  I did not boycott Wal-Mart because of their poor treatment of employees, because in my town people were still applying to Wal-Mart, as it is one of the few places to work.  I did not want to take away their jobs in a boycott.  But in the case of being vegan, our choice not to consume animals directly saves animals’ lives, and helps other food industries.  You also say that vegetarians would not give up cabbage.  My mother was a vegetarian for 30 years, and our whole family boycotted grapes and lettuce in the late 60s, early 70s; before you were on solid food.  Those boycotts had success in many ways, including spreading awareness and bonding before the Internet.


How about veal calves?  At what age do you take them away from their mothers with humane farming? The newest regulations are for a veal calf to have up to 3 feet of space, or less than a yardstick.  This is humane farming at its best.  Most are not raised so humanely and they are tethered or kept immobile.  Humane farming produces light pink meat instead of tan meat and people think it is wonderful.  So are you humane if you eat pink veal?

We have made very little progress and pigs are still in cramped quarters.  Nine states have small alterations to laws, with California as the best.  Yet most will not be enacted for anywhere from a year up to ten years.  We have had since 1927 to improve factory farms; the track record is not good.

It is obvious animals need space.  They have legs with muscles and they have lives they are supposed to live including leaping, running, being with family, sniffing around and being curious.  Factory farming has taken their natural intelligence away.

Why does everyone look at animals as something to get a product from?  We have to change our whole world’s perception of animals.  We would have a much more positive world if we actually helped the animals’ lives be a little easier, while giving them space to live their own lives.

The meat in these photos below were actually served at Meatopia and the people raved over the beauty of the centerpiece (the pig), and the whole cow on the grill.  This is a huge festival celebrating “humane meat” which is endorsed by John Mackey, a vegan, who is on the board of directors for HSUS.  And who better to sell humane meat but a gentle vegan?  What a great advertisement for humane meat!  Yes, John Mackey, who asks customers to come up with “the next big idea” for bacon. Where do you think his loyalty really is, the animals or his money? 

(Readers, there should be two photos here, but they may not show up on my blog.  Article continues underneath - almost finished!)

I think this topic of animal’s rights should not be a separating topic but a joint topic to rally people to help.  After all, you tell people to eat less meat and eat more veges and fruits and exercise because it is healthy, and I tell them the same, and also try to get them to make their sides, including starches like rice, bigger and their meats smaller or nonexistent.  Our message in this regard is similar.  Most people want to do things to help their health, and I see a lot of people willing to make some changes. 

We should be gleeful that we can avoid having to cause misery to animals, and it should be lapped up by the public.  All of us can share in the joys of giving more and more freedom to animals.  Instead, sides are drawn and the word “vegan” has a nasty connotation, which I have never understood. 

You ask why we do not stand up to friends more?  I can only speak for myself.  I work in other ways.  I posted a few vegan posts on Facebook and commented that perhaps I was going a little overboard with my enthusiasm.  I did post one picture of veal calves in their new “Certified Humane” hutches to show how awful they looked, as I thought people should know.  My cousin, who I spent years tracking down as no relative could find him, unfriended me and said he would not be proselytized to about any subject.  It was a sad day to lose a relative because of his dislike of seeing how animals live that he eats.  One more example of why I do not get angry with friends is, if I ever do become angry and give dagger eyes to someone (which I did to a meat eater who antagonizes me at work and butts into all my conversations) I feel I lower myself; and the reason I gave the dagger eyes is because I did not have rational facts at hand.  But we all have the ability to block images out of our heads, as people do when they pick out meat at the supermarket, and vegans try to block images so we can sit with friends while they eat.  Believe me, the food does not look appetizing.

In conclusion, I’m not buying your argument for humane meat, and I am not buying your humane meat.