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A thread in which we discuss ethics relating to a vegan lifestyle

I will warn you before this thread even starts, it's in food fight for a reason, as there will be PROS and CONS discussed about following any and all parts of a vegan lifestyle.

By the way, hi, vegweb! if you feel like banning me after I start this thread it's been a good time, thanks!

Basically, I would like to discuss how veganism came about in your life due to ethics, if you think it is all you can do, if you think it is truly the best thing ethically, etc.

I will start with my story and current feelings. I first went vegan for sustainability reasons. It hit me in a biology class that if I want to be sustainable (always one of my biggest passions), I will eat lowest in the trophic levels, this led to me being vegetarian and pretty much immediately going vegan. Vegan also came with a bit of an AR reason, since ultimately it was some PETA propaganda I picked up when looking for vegan recipes (I ate all vegan at home when I was LO veg, but would sometimes eat a brownie or something prepared by others). I also wanted to be vegan to be healthier, since I knew that it would cut a lot of shit out of my diet. In the years that followed, my reasons and diet have changed immensely (but always vegan--duh).

I still find sustainability to be a HUGE reason, though I am an ardent supporter of permaculture, and in a permacultural system, the sustainability argument holds little weight (in fact, some could say it would be less sustainable to not eat animals, though I do not know where I stand on that issue). I have a hard time getting produce from a permacultural system, which is unfortunate, since I would ideally only like to support agriculture that is that sustainable. I am currently working on growing pretty much all my own food,, but it will be a couple of years.

In terms of AR, obviously I believe that factory farming is wrong. I personally have just believe that we need to end our exploitation of animals and reliance on them for ANYTHING. I was just musing the other day how I think it funny that vegans will not eat some animal product that doesn't kill the animal but supports the killing of it systematically (like milk supporting the veal industry) but they all adopt their PETS ("companion animals") from shelters which euthanize the animals if no one gets them. Sure, you saved your animals life, but by keeping the pet system going you have killed countless others. I'm not trying to indict anyone here, but just showing how fine these ethical lines can be. I certainly think that it is wrong to kill an animal for nothing but our own pleasure, though I do not think that it would be wrong to kill an animal if we had to for something like self defense or if it is needed for human health (yes, I do think that our health is more important than an animals life, sorry, in order for any species to be successful they must eat what they are designed to with no regard for another species welfare).

Which I suppose brings me to my last point, health. Health has been the biggest thing keeping me vegan for the last 7 years. Why? Because, ethically, I do not think that there would be a problem eating foods that are going into the trash that are of animal origin. I am sure most people would agree with that statement. As I have worked in numerous food service establishments in the last 7 years I have had AMPLE opportunities to eat meat, diary, and eggs that was just thrown away (what a sad sad shame for those animals lives that had to give them up just to sit in a landfill, makes me want to cry just thinking about it). I have, especially in the last few years, preached veganism for health like there is no tomorrow. As many of you know, I took on a quite serious vegan diet, eating simply, low fat, low protein, high carb, no grains, tons of veggies and fruit, etc. I basically went on and off between that diet (basically all raw) and a more conventional McDougal type approach (Essylstein, Campbell... What they all teach)... The holy grail of health, right? Well, I did feel marginally better on the raw version (I think grains are the devil, for multiple reasons and I will get into that below), but have increasingly began to feel worse and worse. I can't really explain that much other than much more limited thinking ability and incredibly strong lethargy. I also thought back to when I first stopped regularly (daily) working out and it was, lo and behold, probably about 5 months after I first went vegan.
Well, I have a pretty strong opinion that supplements are bullshit, and since I was feeling not-so-super neurologically, I decided to get my b12 checked. LOW. You know what else was low? D... What the hell? I live in sunny San Diego and get TONS of sun. This was also at the end of the summer that I got tested, when one would probably have the highest levels of D from sunlight. So starts my distrust of veganism as the ultimate health plan. Sure, people see results reversing disease, or get healthier due to eliminating lots of other bad things from the diet, but how about long term? I started reading, and trying my best to not let my bias towards veganism sway what I was reading and I found.. A lot. So many people have health problems on vegan diets. And I found this gem http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/09/22/forks-over-knives-is-the-science-legit-a-review-and-critique/ (<--- Do not read this unless you want to forever not trust Dr. Campbell again) and read that and her critique of the chine study. Well! Looks like the basis of why veganism is healthier is a little sham-y.

Then, I found this interview, which led me to posting this thread. http://letthemeatmeat.com/post/863965328/interview-with-an-ex-vegan-tovar-cerulli I agree with what much of this guy says. I have long avoided grains because I do not thing, as a vegan, they are ethical both because of stolen habitat from animals, and then because the machines used in harvesting kill many many animals. All of my reasons for eschewing grains came flooding back to me when I was reading that guys interview, even thought here I am trying to to eat grains so that I can feel better (not working). I do believe that people (even vegans) do not think enough about where their food is coming from and how ethical it is. I am striving to grow all of my own food (lots of fruit trees :)), but until then, I am stuck eating things that I do not know everything about. It does seem like the simple thing to do is say "I'm vegan and that's what I do for the animals"... but is it really enough? Is it good for you? Is every single death and useful one? How can we make it so in our own lives?

Just FYI, I am still "vegan", I do not know where my diet is going at the moment as I still have a very strong ethical pull towards veganism, though if it was merely an intellectual thing I think that my veganism would be shot out the window. I'm just emotionally attached.

Hate me yet?

He eats like a horse already! He eats more than I do, and probably more than dad. Always finishes dinner and says, "i'm still hungry".....gets 2nds and 3rds....I don't know WHAT we will do during his spurt!!!

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He eats like a horse already! He eats more than I do, and probably more than dad. Always finishes dinner and says, "i'm still hungry".....gets 2nds and 3rds....I don't know WHAT we will do during his spurt!!!

It's amazing what an adolescent boy can eat.  I was bone thin and ate five meals a day....breakfast, lunch, after school, dinner, bedtime......in nursing school I learned that some boys can consume up to 4000 calories a day to sustain the growth.  It's no wonder my dad worked 60 hour work weeks when my brother and I were teenagers.  LOL

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dang. I still have a lot to say, but I'm pretty sure it's all been said in one way or another.

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I want to hear!

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