Animal Agriculture & Factory Farms

What's your stance?

Vegan - I love animals!
2
13%
Carnivore - and don't tell me what to eat!
10
67%
Not sure/undecided
3
20%
 
Total votes : 15

Re: Animal Agriculture & Factory Farms

Postby Tora » November 29th, 2016, 7:19 am

Azdgari wrote:To the second point, I just don't find your logic compelling. If placed in human context, your logic would suggest that children who are born to warlords for use as child-soldiers, and wouldn't be alive if not for being bred pretty much specifically for war, are therefor ethically fine to use as seen fit. 'We bred them for this purpose so that justifies our actions' doesn't do it for me.

The difference is that Humans and animals are fundamentally different. Cows, pigs, and other farm animals aren't humans so the same logic doesn't apply. People aren't born and raised to be eaten and if someone tries that they should be shot. These warlords are sick and twisted. Humans and animals aren't equal. In that situation the warlord is an absolute piece of human trash.

Azdgari wrote:You draw a very hard line between humans and non-humans

Yes I do. I have no empathy for these animals. They aren't humans. Call me speciesist if you please, but honestly I don't care about them. They are lesser and they always will be till they develop the ability to speak, reason, and contribute in some form or fashion to the world. They are meant to serve a purpose for humanity. I know I sound like I'm completely heartless, but I just don't feel for them. A cow doesn't give his life for you like a dog. A pig doesn't serve people. The only animal I care for besides humans are dogs, because they can do a lot more than just be food. I still will save a person over a dog, but certainly would rather save a dog over a cow. Farm animals are just that in the end. You can take a farm animal anywhere, but in the end its just a pig or a cow or a sheep and will do nothing more than serve as food.
Tora
Never Forget

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

Always Remain Hopeful

Posts: 22355
Joined: May 25th, 2012, 4:10 am
Location: Acherus: The Ebon Hold
Nickname(s): Tim; Torasaur; T-saur; Rora; Goku
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 129

Re: Animal Agriculture & Factory Farms

Postby Azdgari » October 11th, 2018, 11:32 pm

Hey Gemini--I've been thinking a good bit about climate change and reducing carbon impact and all that jazz recently, even before the recent UN report came out, and I'm curious about your perspective on this. I'm trying to move away from beef/pork to chicken/fish, which I see as a very strong way to not only reduce my footprint personally but to contribute to an economic push away from those sorts of meats.

To clarify that, the thought is that the fewer people consume beef, the lower the demand, and ostensibly those agricultural resources would be devoted to other more sustainable livestock (e.g. chicken/fish). As I type this, I realize this doesn't account for non-food products that come from cows, but I imagine that's definitely a secondary driver of cows as livestock as compared to food. But maybe I'm wrong and you can call me out! Anyway, I figure you can alter supply-side behavior in that way more effectively with food than, say, turning off lights. It's important to turn off lights, but the electric company can't exactly change their behavior much in response.

Anyway--you brought up the fascinating point earlier in this thread on how the distribution (and degradation) of arable land, versus the amount of pastureland, raises serious questions about the sustainability, from a 'feeding-humans' point of view, of a widespread move to vegetarianism. To what extent do you think that conflicts with the oft-cited goal of moving away from livestock-as-food due to their considerable carbon impact? Are there innovations like vertical farming, increasing yield through genetic modification, topsoil restoration, or other techniques that could increase the amount of arable land, or the productivity of available arable land?

I am, as I've said before, not very well educated on agricultural science, and have only 'hobbyist' understanding of climate science. But I'd love to learn more about the intersection between these two fields.
Guess the Member with Kitva Hyperlink: show
"Hates me
Nothing but facts
Male"

"...Woeler?"

"ya"
Azdgari
big, wide turns

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

Posts: 1972
Joined: March 19th, 2010, 3:01 pm
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 114

Re: Animal Agriculture & Factory Farms

Postby DGFone » October 12th, 2018, 12:00 am

Since this topic was brought back up, I recently came across this interesting bit of information:

Currently, the world produces enough food to feed an estimated 10 billion people, i.e. a food surplus. So when you here a question of "how can there be hungry people", it's a question of food distribution, not production. But if all of the current land producing area was converted to using only organic food, the food amount would only feed four billion people, slightly over half the current global population.

Just to throw yet another wrench into the gears.
Image
DGFone
Got wings

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

Watch me soar

Posts: 11851
Joined: March 14th, 2011, 6:14 am
Location: Flying several thousand feet off the ground.
Nickname(s): Planes, DGF, DG
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 136

Re: Animal Agriculture & Factory Farms

Postby Sigurd » October 12th, 2018, 5:06 pm

I don't eat red meat like pork amd beef because there's a lot of resources that are used to produce that meat. I eat poultry and fish however. As with treatment of animals I do believe that cows and pigs are sentient beings and that is a factor that must be considered, however, I believe feeding humans are more important. If We can treat farm animals well at the same time that is a good thing. Regarding organic food I believe that is an obsolete method, the chemicals we use are most cases harmless and non-organic food means higher yields. There are probably some chemicals out there who are really bad that should be banned but then it must be proved by science that it is bad.
Until I'm home, I'm on a distant road
Sigurd
User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

Fridge?! Clock?! Mushroom?!

Posts: 3514
Joined: May 12th, 2012, 3:29 am
Location: Sweden
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 14

Re: Animal Agriculture & Factory Farms

Postby epxriri » January 3rd, 2019, 5:12 pm

I am a vegetarian, that's my choice. Modern conditions allow living without meat. Sometimes I really scared about the things we make with our own planet... We kill animals, we cut forests, we have polluted the ocean... We have to stop it somehow, there's no choice. I really care about the environment and I stopped using plastic bags and bottles. I even started using a bamboo toothbrush to reduce the usage of plastic. Maybe it's silly but at least something...
epxriri
User avatar

Years of membership

Posts: 14
Joined: September 19th, 2018, 12:06 pm
Pride Points: 0

Re: Animal Agriculture & Factory Farms

Postby Regulus » January 4th, 2019, 2:31 am

There are a few things that I find that rarely get considered in this topic:

Yes, humans are supposed to eat meat. It's not culture; it's biology. Throughout human history, most--if not all--humans have consumed any kind of meat that has been available. Name even just one culture that avoided eating meat of any kind, and there might be some reason to suspect it was just a bad habit that we adopted. But it's not. We evolved to eat meat. That's the end of the story.

Farming only vegetables is often said to be a more efficient way of feeding the human population... except no, it's not. Calorie for calorie, meat can be as efficient, if not more efficient than a purely vegetable based diet. It's true that it takes fewer resources to make a pound of beans compared to a pound of beef--but that beef contains way more calories and way more nutrients.

I have heard vegans say that our meat consumption is the main cause of climate change. Except, again, this is just simply wrong. Agriculture, in total, accounts for only around 10% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. It's a very, very small amount in the grand scheme of things. And sure, you could say that methane is a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is... and that's not necessarily wrong. But methane is only in the atmosphere for 10 years, compared to the 100 or more of carbon dioxide. The long term effects are different. You can't compare eating more bananas and broccoli to driving a Prius.

Furthermore, as DGFone pointed out, organic farming isn't sustainable. If we all agree to only buy organic, there will not be enough food for everyone. GMOs and factory farming allow us to produce more food than we really need--which should be a good thing. It is devastating to the environment, but that's really more of a result of the politics of it rather than the science itself.

I'd also like to end this by saying that meat isn't even unhealthy. Humans have been eating meat for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years. Those who lived in early human civilizations didn't opt for low fat diets or organic veggie taco burgers over a nice grilled steak. Ancient humans ate animals, and they ate or used every part of the animal, including the fat, feet, and organs.

Of course you can always argue that factory farming is unethical--and it clearly is--but don't we have bigger problems too? What about that T-shirt you're wearing that was made by child slaves in Vietnam? Or, what about the iPhone you're using that was assembled by poor-ass workers in Taiwan who would be happy to make more than 10 cents in a day? To me, factory farming is one of those things that we just have to ignore for now. Not because it isn't wrong, but because thinking about it makes you realize how depressing the world really is. There are so many injustices we should be worry about, but it's out of sight and out of mind for the most part.
Regulus
Is differentiable...

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

But convergence is not guaranteed.

Posts: 10982
Joined: September 29th, 2011, 1:19 am
Location: W⋅N²=(40.498°)³, W²⋅N=(57.345°)³
Nickname(s): Reg, Regs, Last Person to Post
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 205

Re: Animal Agriculture & Factory Farms

Postby Azdgari » January 4th, 2019, 5:57 am

Responses below... just food for thought to keep the conversation going. Gonna take Reg to the cleaners. I guess I'm in a really debate-y mood. Especially since I eat meat copiously.

Regulus wrote:There are a few things that I find that rarely get considered in this topic:

Yes, humans are supposed to eat meat. It's not culture; it's biology. Throughout human history, most--if not all--humans have consumed any kind of meat that has been available. Name even just one culture that avoided eating meat of any kind, and there might be some reason to suspect it was just a bad habit that we adopted. But it's not. We evolved to eat meat. That's the end of the story.

This doesn't do much for me. Humans aren't really 'supposed' to eat meat, anymore than we're 'supposed' to do anything. The only thing we evolved to do was keep genes and behaviors that improve fitness. For a long time, eating meat was an essential part of a diet necessary to stay alive and pass on genes. That is no longer the case, as you can have a perfectly healthy diet without meat, so our biology couldn't care less about whether we eat meat or not.

Farming only vegetables is often said to be a more efficient way of feeding the human population... except no, it's not. Calorie for calorie, meat can be as efficient, if not more efficient than a purely vegetable based diet. It's true that it takes fewer resources to make a pound of beans compared to a pound of beef--but that beef contains way more calories and way more nutrients.

I'd be interested to see your sources about the energy/resource efficiency on a per calorie/per unit of meaningful nutritional content basis. A cursory google revealed lots of conflicting results, but I confess I didn't spend the time to come to a conclusion for myself. Gem had some interesting points earlier on in the topic too.

I have heard vegans say that our meat consumption is the main cause of climate change. Except, again, this is just simply wrong. Agriculture, in total, accounts for only around 10% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. It's a very, very small amount in the grand scheme of things. And sure, you could say that methane is a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is... and that's not necessarily wrong. But methane is only in the atmosphere for 10 years, compared to the 100 or more of carbon dioxide. The long term effects are different. You can't compare eating more bananas and broccoli to driving a Prius.

No, it is not the #1 factor. However, 10% of a huge problem does not qualify as 'very very small' in my opinion. Drug costs are less than 10% of US health spending, but that doesn't mean their cost isn't a massive issue. While methane's life in the atmosphere is shorter, it's subjective to say that fact outweighs the fact that it's many times more powerful. Besides, unless I'm mistaken, the effects it would have more broadly (i.e. through feedback systems such as increasing temperatures temperatures, leading to a higher concentration of water vapor) are likely to extend beyond that decade, no?

Furthermore, as DGFone pointed out, organic farming isn't sustainable. If we all agree to only buy organic, there will not be enough food for everyone. GMOs and factory farming allow us to produce more food than we really need--which should be a good thing. It is devastating to the environment, but that's really more of a result of the politics of it rather than the science itself.

I would need to learn more about what 'organic' even means, but I agree. I support GMO big time, but factory farming and treatment of animals in them likely has enough nuance to merit discussion.

I'd also like to end this by saying that meat isn't even unhealthy. Humans have been eating meat for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years. Those who lived in early human civilizations didn't opt for low fat diets or organic veggie taco burgers over a nice grilled steak. Ancient humans ate animals, and they ate or used every part of the animal, including the fat, feet, and organs.

While meat isn't unhealthy, "We've always done it" and "Our ancestors thousands of years ago did it" don't do much for me. Our ancestors thousands of years ago lived to the ripe ages of what, 30? I can name an awful lot of bad habits we can justify if the criteria is "Ancient humans did this too."

Of course you can always argue that factory farming is unethical--and it clearly is--but don't we have bigger problems too? What about that T-shirt you're wearing that was made by child slaves in Vietnam? Or, what about the iPhone you're using that was assembled by poor-ass workers in Taiwan who would be happy to make more than 10 cents in a day? To me, factory farming is one of those things that we just have to ignore for now. Not because it isn't wrong, but because thinking about it makes you realize how depressing the world really is. There are so many injustices we should be worry about, but it's out of sight and out of mind for the most part.

Problems can coexist, and shying away from problems because "there's a bigger fish" seems counterproductive. Yes, there are ethnic cleansings taking place in Myanmar, but that doesn't mean your local soup kitchen should close its doors. Similarly, I the fact that there are bad labor conditions in Vietnam and Taiwan shouldn't prevent someone from taking simple steps to improve the sustainability of their diet. The way I see it, simply changing our consumption preferences (assuming price/geographic accessibility, granted), we can incentivize a relatively painless market transition towards more sustainable meats.
Guess the Member with Kitva Hyperlink: show
"Hates me
Nothing but facts
Male"

"...Woeler?"

"ya"
Azdgari
big, wide turns

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

Posts: 1972
Joined: March 19th, 2010, 3:01 pm
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 114

Re: Animal Agriculture & Factory Farms

Postby Regulus » January 5th, 2019, 9:50 pm

Azdgari wrote:For a long time, eating meat was an essential part of a diet necessary to stay alive and pass on genes. That is no longer the case, as you can have a perfectly healthy diet without meat, so our biology couldn't care less about whether we eat meat or not.


That's what people say, but the fact that it's not what the overwhelming majority of people do suggests something else. You can have a perfectly healthy diet without meat, but unless you're careful, you are at risk of malnutrition. And, for the most part, that's equally true for any diet. The simplest and surest way to ensure you're getting enough nutrients from your food is to eat a variety of foods.

I'd be interested to see your sources about the energy/resource efficiency on a per calorie/per unit of meaningful nutritional content basis. A cursory google revealed lots of conflicting results, but I confess I didn't spend the time to come to a conclusion for myself. Gem had some interesting points earlier on in the topic too.


The results are mixed depending on where you look and how you evaluate it, but as an example of something I found, there's this.

No, it is not the #1 factor. However, 10% of a huge problem does not qualify as 'very very small' in my opinion. Drug costs are less than 10% of US health spending, but that doesn't mean their cost isn't a massive issue.


That 10% is actually 9%, and it's for the entire agriculture industry--meaning it's caused by a little more than just the methane from cow farts.

Besides, unless I'm mistaken, the effects it would have more broadly (i.e. through feedback systems such as increasing temperatures temperatures, leading to a higher concentration of water vapor) are likely to extend beyond that decade, no?


That much is true, and the feedback loop caused by all greenhouse gases is what makes the problem as scary as it is if you start to think about it.

While meat isn't unhealthy, "We've always done it" and "Our ancestors thousands of years ago did it" don't do much for me. Our ancestors thousands of years ago lived to the ripe ages of what, 30? I can name an awful lot of bad habits we can justify if the criteria is "Ancient humans did this too."


The average age of death of a person in ancient times was much younger, yes. However, that is because infant and child mortality was very high. Chances are, if you could survive to the age of 18, your life expectancy would be roughly the same as we would expect today.

I don't say this as an appeal to tradition. I say this because I see humans as being little more than machines, which evolved to survive and reproduce. Since the dawn of civilization, our technology has exploded--but we really are animals ourselves underneath it all. Evolution is a very slow process, and so we are not very well suited to life in a modern society.

If our evolution kept up with our pace of technology, we would have bodies that could tolerate sitting still for prolonged periods of time, we would be able to hold up to the intense g-forces of vehicle crashes, and we would be more resistant to psychological stresses like depression and suicide.

We live very unnatural lives, and that's probably part of the reason why--despite having most or all of our basic needs met in a 1st world society--we're all just so unhappy most of the time. Our biology tells us we're really not supposed to live like this.

Problems can coexist, and shying away from problems because "there's a bigger fish" seems counterproductive. Yes, there are ethnic cleansings taking place in Myanmar, but that doesn't mean your local soup kitchen should close its doors. Similarly, I the fact that there are bad labor conditions in Vietnam and Taiwan shouldn't prevent someone from taking simple steps to improve the sustainability of their diet. The way I see it, simply changing our consumption preferences (assuming price/geographic accessibility, granted), we can incentivize a relatively painless market transition towards more sustainable meats.


Fair point.
Regulus
Is differentiable...

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

But convergence is not guaranteed.

Posts: 10982
Joined: September 29th, 2011, 1:19 am
Location: W⋅N²=(40.498°)³, W²⋅N=(57.345°)³
Nickname(s): Reg, Regs, Last Person to Post
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 205

Previous

Return to The Den

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 41 guests