Could Slaughterhouse Videos Come Out from Undercover?

In an interview at Food Safety News, Temple Grandin proposes putting live video from every slaughterhouse in the country on the internet:

I’m at the point where I want the industry to take all the mystery out of things. Some of the companies have video auditing and that’s good… but put a live feed out to the internet so anybody can look. What have we got to hide?

This would be a sea change for both the meat processing industry and consumers.  I wonder what level of interest there is in doing this among meat processors.  One might be tempted to think the large corporations would be opposed and small, local companies would be supportive since they have a better reputation with many consumers.  But Dr. Grandin says neither reputation is necessarily deserved:

Ironically, most of the big plants that are audited by McDonald’s and places like that, I’m not going to say they’re perfect, but an atrocity like this last video with the pitchforks in the udder, you’re not going to see anything like that.

What I get concerned about is the little local places that are not being audited. I’ve been involved in working with and training auditors for big plants and small plants…for the big plants the audits started 10 years ago, in 1999. The little plants, there was a five year delay for them. The big plants were just horrible when we first started and then when we walked into some of these little plants they were just as horrid. The thing I have found about little plants, they’re either really good or really bad. There’s like no middle road. It’s so dependent on the attitude of the manager.


It’s the big plants that started [paying attention to humane handling], let’s give them some credit where they need some credit. The big plants started the animal welfare conference, we’ve had that welfare conference for over 10 years. They’ve become more and more conscious of this. Cargill has been a real leader, they’ve put video auditing in all their pork and beef plants. They’ve been a total leader in that. It’s audited over the internet by third party auditors.

So for Cargill at least, the leap to making that video accessible to the public wouldn’t be a huge one, technologically speaking.  But in terms of changing the game and giving consumers the opportunity to make informed decisions without having to rely solely on secretly filmed video snippets posted by animal rights groups – it would be giant.

How would you feel about meat processing plants having live video feeds on the internet?  Would you watch in order to decide which companies’ standards and practices are acceptable to you as a consumer?

57 thoughts on “Could Slaughterhouse Videos Come Out from Undercover?

  1. I think Temple Grandin is amazing and has genuine insight into a world I’ll probably never understand. If she says to do it, I’d listen to her and do it.

    I imagine the “big brother” effect of always being watched will keep the workers at least appear to be ethically treating the livestock as they should be treated… and may keep those who aren’t as level headed from working in live video feed slaughterhouses to begin with.

  2. i think it’s a great idea…I believe that the smaller guys will probably complain that it’s too expensive, but with the record of animal rights violations, the transparency is necessary. Knowing there’s video filming you, will help prevent these violations, and I think it may make some people reconsider eating meat or as much of it, as the process is not glamorous, and meat eating is destroying our planet.

    bottom line, only good can come from it.

  3. Well, we have a very small local processor who would pass outside auditing without issue, I think. But what would be the cost to install and maintain an online system? This is a small family business where a thousand bucks could be prohibitive. Not to mention that they’re not technologically set up for anything like that at all – they still use an old fashioned cash register and have no web site of their own.

    Temple’s point about “the attitude of the manager” is a big one. It’s down to leadership, always. We see it everywhere – slaughterhouses, shelters, pet food companies, etc. Good leadership makes the difference.

  4. Do it. It’ll serve at least one of three purposes – 1) the aforementioned “big brother” effect, 2) if the “big brother” effect fails, it will provide evidence for prosecution and education, 3) it will reinforce the fact that even in a slaughterhouse with a 90% kill rate (considered a solid or even good kill rate at the slaughterhouses Ms. Grandin designs) there are still millions of sentient animals being rendered (read: torn apart) while conscious.

    Any animals rights activist in their right mind should consider this an ideal proposal, PROVIDED that it is done properly – uncensored, without having additional, non-taped kill floors, with video in the holding pens and watching transportation. Ideally, it could be coupled with footage of these non-humans living their lives as well. Let’s point out that a third party auditor could be anyone and could still be extremely biased – it’s not the same as having it on the internet for the public to see.

    I’ve always found Temple Grandin an interesting conundrum, and don’t always find her insights to be very genuine or as appealing as many people seem to. That being said, she knows what happens in slaughterhouses. She’s made a great deal of change towards the better. It’s not the kind of change I am looking for, necessarily, nor is it a stopping point, but it is change.

  5. I think we should put all births of babies on the internet.. also.. all operations.. how about embalming?? and how about videos of all fatal traffic accidents.let’s show all executions.. and. also any other thing we can think of…
    what is the ‘record’ of animal rights violations? animal RIGHTS.. what rights are being violated..??

    lots of talk about “animal rights” on this subject..
    I agree that if places want to video their own employees .. that is their right.. but to put a live feed on the internet.. no.. I disagree. What purpose could that possible serve except to feed the “animal rights’ people?

    1. You’re thoughts are frightening. lol.
      BTW all the above mentioned things are already on video and all over the internet.

      1. darn and here I am looking at dog training stuff.and bsl stuff. what am I thinking

  6. I’m seeing a highly rated prime time reality TV show. Surely it would draw more viewers than some of the current ones. Of course we would have to have careful editing to establish drama.

  7. Jan.. you mean like the 20 hours of video that was taken to create the couple of minutes of “high drama” in the Ohio dairy expose?? When these are released they should not be allowed to “cut and paste’.. but they do..

  8. I think it’s important to keep this proposal in context – it is merely a suggestion from someone in the industry, not a piece of legislation. The idea, as I interpret it, is to provide greater transparency to the public within an industry that has been targeted by activists as being abusive across the board. Dr. Grandin asks, “What have we got to hide?” I think the intention w/the live feeds is to reassure consumers that meat processing plants don’t have anything to hide.

  9. who would watch this? why do “consumers” need to see every detail of whatever? do we need to see live feeds of dairy farms, chicken ranches, how about harvesting of crops where many small animals are harmed/killed? Do we need live feeds of hunters? people fishing.. how about commercial fishing.AR’s certainly deplore most of that just look at the “sea kittens” being killed…ala PETA why just meat? The latest smear was dairy farms.. not slaughter.. I understand Dr Grandin’s theory but this just supports the idea that “meat is murder”..I do support random checks.. and video of that belongs to the employer that is checked at random by USDA inspectors.. .. that works for me..
    I can imagine all of the AR”s reading the Cargill is a leader having a cow over that one…!!!! LOL

    1. If anyone thinks showing video of slaughterhouses will stop normal people from eating meat, you are SO wrong. It would not stop me, or any of the people I know. Those animals were put on this planet by God to feed the people. Most Animal Rightists / vegans do not believe in God, so that won’t do anything for them, but those of us who think normally will continue to eat meat as long as possible. If some people choose not to eat meat, that is their decision, but how dare them try to force others into their vegan lifestyle. I HATE vegetables! They make me throw up! The day when an animal can hire an attorney to defend their “rights” with no human help to speak to an attorney for them, is the day when I will agree that they actually have “rights”. They are animals, they can’t hire an attorney, they don’t even know what an attorney is, or how to look in the phone book for an attorney, much less dial a phone. God made them that way for a reason, they are FOOD.

      1. Actually, CeeJay you’re incorrect about many vegans not believing in “gOd”… In truth, their belief is that nonhumans were put here to foster our compassion for “others”… For those beings “less” than us.

        They believe in the King James version that states: Behold I have given you every herb and seed bearing tree; And for you it shall be meat”.

        They also believe that the Christ man traveled with the Desert Fathers who lived on a diet of flat cakes, grains, figs and other fruits… They were vegetarians and followed the doctrines of Ahimsa – Which means: “Least harm”. This would be from the Gospel of the Essenes.

        Most Eastern religions… Buddhists and Hindus are strict vegetarians.

        Now no one is trying to “force” you to a vegan lifestyle – Just wondering though… Since these innocent animals clearly do not wish to die – Isn’t “force” used on them? Don’t we “steal” a life they value – Even though they can’t express it in human sounds and articulations?

        Certainly infants or brain-impaired people cannot voice their “rights” but we respect them anyway… And even once, the American Indian, the black man, women and even children had no “voice” within the “law”… But things change. We evolve. We expand our circle of compassion — Yes, some of us even learn to like our vegetables… There is so much in the “cost” of not doing so.

        Finally: “they are FOOD” – They are sentient beings first – They are Earthlings just as we are.

      2. well I guess Bea answered the question.. Is veganism a religion? Seems that it is and like many cults and religion they try to foist their beliefs of on others.
        Bea.. you have no idea what animals think.. NONE.. you don’t know if they “wish to die’ or are putting your thoughts into an animal brain.. hmmmm ok I won’t go there..
        I suggest you take a quick buzz through Wesley Smiths new book “A Rat is A Pig Is A Dog Is A Boy” I know it won;t change your vegan soul.. but at least you will be more enlightened about infants and “brain impaired people” ( whatever those are..)

      3. Well no… I didn’t answer any question – I’m not of any “faith”… I’m an ignostic (not agnostic) meaning I’m truly “ignorant” as to whether or not their is a “gOd”. Still, does any of that matter? Don’t we try to lead ethical lives independent of (questionable) ancient teachings? Don’t we use our “free will” to do what we believe is right – regardless of a “higher deity”??? “gOd” has nothing to do with what is “good” or right…

        Hummm… Not “knowing” if an animal wishes to die or not — Most reasonable people can assume that if a being continues to consume food and struggles to avoid pain that they do desire to continue… It’s actually a biological imperative unique to animals – Unlike plants or rocks… It’s a very safe bet that animals wish to live. Trust me on this one. ;)

        I am very familiar with W Smith’s book and his justifications for using animals for man’s advancement. Funny though – The “necessary use” of nonhumans has been attached to not only experimentation that *might* improve man’s physical lot (?) but also to using their bodies in rodeos, zoos, circuses, trophy hunts, cosmetic testing, fighting & “sport”, exotic “furs” and exotic “pets”, and well nearly every frivolous “use” one can imagine.

        And we can also include the “use” of animals as “food” IF we live in a civilized world… We can (and many do) thrive on a plant based diet. So it is not as if it is “them or us” say as it might be for survival if we were talking about Inuits or bushmen… Our “use” extends to the mundane – The trite. The pleasure-seeking of their “tender” flesh. Their “use” is being made to satisfy a gluttony that goes beyond “them or us”… And some believe that their “gOd” did not intend it to be this way at all…

        Just curious though – Don’t you think it’s strange that if we were given “permission” to use animals that they also feel pain? Seems that that would be a very sticky point in the commandments of a “good” “gOd”. Or do you also question if nonhumans feel pain too? Maybe they really are no different than machines – just like Descartes theorized a few hundred years ago(?).

      4. God did not put animals on this earth for food. I have been a devoted Christian for all my life, and because of my adherence to the teachings of Jesus, teachings of love, of mercy, and of compassion, I do not support the torture and murder of the beautiful creatures God created to inhabit this beautiful earth–an earth I might add that humans seem well on their way to destroying. I oppose the butchery and the brutality humans have inflicted on the non-human animals and on this planet. I am a Christian. I am a vegan.

        Many meat eaters point to the Biblical account after the flood when God gave permission to the people to consume meat….what they haven’t considered is this:

        From Genesis 1: “And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.’” Genesis 1:29

        God gave the first humans, while in their state of PERFECTION, a vegetarian diet.
        Some will argue contrarily, referring to Genesis 9:3 in support of meat eating; where He says,

        “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.”

        In considering both of the above verses, their chronology must be taken into account as well: God gave the vegetarian diet to humans in their state of perfection; only after He had cursed them, driven them from the Garden of Eden, and condemned them to miserable, short lives die He allow them to eat meat. He gave them meat to eat only after the Fall, after they lost their state of perfection; he gave them meat as part of his CONDEMNATION; he gave them meat to eat as a food which would insure miserable, unhealthy, shortened lives–he gave them meat to eat, not as a gift, but rather, as a curse.

        Aside from all that, inspired or not, the account was written by a human, and I’m sure Moses was well-intentioned, but I am equally sure that much scripture was written to coincide with the desire at the time–what better way to validate the murder of creatures than to say that God gave permission for it?

        Most humans claim superiority over animals basing this claim on the greater intelligence given them, seeing this intelligence as proof that they stand as the apex of all creation. I argue otherwise.

        God created this splendid universe first; then he created magnificently beautiful animals–the gentle cow, the precious lamb, and the snuggly pup; the regal lion, the majestic elephant, and the intelligent hog; the furry little kitten; and the noble wolf. Everything He created BEFORE He created humans; He SECONDLY created humans, with whom He endowed with a superior intelligence which would render them capable of fulfilling their responsibility to Him, a responsibility that demands they care for His first creations, the planet, the environment, and the animals. Humans were put here to serve as stewards, as guardians of the earth and all that is upon it; we were not put here to maim, murder, and destroy.

        We should not harm animals; if one’s a believer in God, then look at this scripture:

        At Hosea 2:18, it says, “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” (Hosea 2:18)

        I’m sure all the writers of the Bible were “inspired,” whether or not they wrote actual commands from God; regardless, the Bible was written by well-meaning men who did not have the advantages of scientific knowledge that we have today…some writers at that time thousands of years ago thought that God wanted animal sacrifice…not true…in Hosea we see the enlighted view that God wanted us to be one with the animals and that God wanted us to have a covenant and live peacefully together.

        Moreover, if animals were intended as our food, then why create such a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and personalities? Why not just have a generic animal creature, docile and incapable of feeling pain? The lack of ability to feel pain would certainly make the caretaking and slaughter much easier.

        But no, we’ve got cows, tigers, eagles, chickens, leopards, pigs, cats, whales, minnows, zebras, parrots, snakes, lions, rhinos, etc, etc….if God created animals as food for humans, then all this diversity of species would certainly indicate a lack of efficiency on His/Her part.

        Finally, if you think that most vegans do not believe in God, then you might want to check out The Christian Vegetarian Association and the EpiscoVeg site, just to name a couple.

  10. Got no problem with it.

    The sites should not be available to minors.

    I worry about sickos, because there’s a fetish for everything, harmless or otherwise, but I’m sure anyone with an animal slaughter perversion can already get material.

    It should be the facility’s choice to offer this to customers/the public. Let the market decide whether it values transparency in slaughter practices.

  11. Well, if they ever do install cameras in slaughterhouses seems to me they’d start with chickens first. After all, there are about 9 billion of them that go through the “process” of becoming “meat”. And the USDA, “producers” and consumers are so certain that their death is a good one “poultry” and rabbits aren’t even covered by the “Humane” Slaughter Act. So it all MUST be running as planned. Yes?

    And I do hope that when it comes to pigs and cows that the cameras don’t get shy at the killing boxes -That final moment when an innocent animal is killed won’t be a “show stopper” but surely it’s the most dramatic place to be…

    I’d like to see this footage shown at the meat cases as well- As an advantage to people who don’t use the internet or for those who may have forgotten the “humane” scenes.

    I wonder though… If there’s a bit of “suffering” to cow #3257 or pig #2555 will the consumer be able to ask – “Which of these *cuts* or pieces came from that particular animal? They seemed to have a very unhappy death and I’m not comfortable with that…” Or for those more inclined to the opposite – Maybe the “fight” of the animal would be their preference? Who knows, maybe the meat industry might even be able to charge more for such “specialty” items???

    Cameras in slaughterhouses opens up such a wide variety of new “entertainment” options as well: We could have “Tuesday nights at the stun room”, “Thursdays at the eviscerating station” and “Saturdays at the head-dropping area or hide pulling machines…” Ah yes, we can take full advantage of consumer’s “sensibilities” when it comes to satisfying their “demand” for “fresh meat”. Who knew we could someday bring such “civilization” and technology back into our caves? Club in one hand – Gourmet popcorn in the other… Sounds just grand!

  12. Bea.. while you are scarfing down the popcorn.. perhaps you could watch a video of “bunny rabbits” mice, birds etc being chopped up alive by the columbine that harvest that corn.. let’s face it nothing gets out alive.. not even us..maybe the back of the Orville Reddenbacker package could have a “have you seen my mother” picture of a bunny… PLEEZE..
    this proposal.. and it is just that.. has some good and some bad.. and some in between.. but you can count on the AR’s to make sure you get the full force and effect of their “message”.. by the way Bea.. do you own a cat?

    1. Oh I agree that there is no way to avoid all harm… Never said there was. But also – We aren’t deliberately breeding these bunnies, mice and birds and intentionally placing them in the fields… Then eating what’s left, no are we? That… “The intent” makes all the difference in the world.
      Oh – And I have a dog who has not eaten “meat” in almost two years. His vet is perfectly fine with his health. Next…

      1. OK Bea.. I asked.. do you own a CAT not a dog.I am not sure what “meat” in quotes not sure what you healthy dog is eating.. my dogs eat meat.. not in quotes.. we don’t always deliberately breed wild animals..they are quite capable of doing that all by themselves.. nor do we always deliberately breed all domestic animals..they also manage quite well. would you prefer NO more domestic animals?? because if we did not breed them.. or allow them to breed .. and then use them what would be the purpose of having them? Eat whatever you want.. and leave the rest of us alone.. oh and throw a hot dog to your poor dog.. see if he eats it.guaranteed he will love you for it. LOL

      2. No… Sorry I don’t “own” a cat – But I don’t “own” a dog either… Still, I do know people who share their homes with felines and they are quite healthy on a plant based diet as well… Granted it’s more complicated with cats – But with omnivores – like dogs and humans it’s very simple to get protein from vegetable sources… After all – isn’t that what all the herbivores are being “fattened” on?

        “…because if we did not breed them.. or allow them to breed .. and then use them what would be the purpose of having them?” Well gee, you do realized that they said the very same thing about women and human slaves once. I think every being has their own “purpose” for life… And that is the living of it.

        As far as “throwing a hot dog at my dog” — Why on earth would I contaminate his system with the remains of a carcass that has probably been fed the remains of a carcass too? It’s no secret that farmed animal feed contains slaughterhouse and road kill remains:
        Not to mention all the antibiotics and pharmaceuticals. No thanks – The vet is super happy with his health and I’m fine with that.

    2. feeding an obligate carnivore a vegan diet is tantamount to animal cruelty.. but if the cats NOT owned by your friends are able to go outside don’t worry they make up for their owners abusive non care..supplementing their diet with the same rats, mice, birds and bunnies that are sacrificed when you eat your vegan harvested meals. nuff said.. bye Bea Elliot..

      1. Perhaps they will supplement their diet with squirrels, lizards, bugs and such – And they will do so without the first ethical regard. But then that’s what separates the mice from the man – We know better and as moral agents can choose a wiser course.
        Peace to you alice in LALA land…

  13. I like the suggestion provided by the folks at Polyface Farms in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma – glass walls in slaughterhouses.

    I think (all previous sarcasm aside) that the idea is a good one. I agree with Heather – the sites should have an age limit.

    Temple Grandin is nothing short of a genius. When it comes to promoting humane treatment of food animals, if she thinks that it would improve things, I’m inclined to agree with her.

    Not sure that I would watch – I grew up on a farm, I know what it looks like – but I would surely get some reassurance just knowing that they were confident enough in sending the stream out there.

  14. Eating meat, milk and eggs causes unnecessary suffering. We can each choose not to cause that suffering. Alice is aptly named, being in LALA land. Very selfish.

  15. Andrea wrote:

    “the record of animal rights violations”

    Using animals in the first place violates their right not to be property. The rest of this is window-dressing, an attempt to police these operations so that they handle their property in a way that helps people feel better about using and killing animals against their will.

  16. Again, really not a concern for those of us who believe in evolution, and hence, a biologically appropriate diet.

    I suppose if you believe that a sentient being created all life on earth, it’s an easy jump to “we were made to be vegans”.

    However, fossil record shows that even cavemen hunted. Cavemen.

    In fact, nutritional anthropology shows that we started to decline in overall health with the invention of agriculture and grains into our diet. We were much healthier as hunter-gatherers.

    You can have your mythology – when choosing what to eat and what to feed my carnivorous pets, I have biology.

  17. Actually all indicators of evolution say that we will broaden our circle of empathy to include more “others” as we progress. Our moral compass has always pointed towards compassion.

    And secondly, since our planet and resources are finite we must, if we are to survive, find more efficient ways of feeding ourselves. Animal agriculture is a total loss regarding long term sustainability.

    Finally, the caveman logic and “biology” is also quite questionable. Early man was an opportunistic omnivore… We ate grubs, carrrion and anything else we could (safely) find. And regarding the decline in health? For the first time known to man, children being born today are predicted to have a shorter life-span than their parents. The backward trend has begun.

    You’d think with all the valid reasons to opt for a plant based diet, that our “civilized” world could make more effort to evolve past their “canines”. Simply because something was, or might have been once is hardly any reason for maintaining the status quo.

  18. We are not in a backward trend regarding lifespan. Our children on average will live longer than we did when all things are considered. What we are seeing are more long term irreversible damage to internal organs in strict vegans who will not replace the essential nutrients found only in meat. Biology is everything and it does not recognize morals or philosophy. You were born an omnivore for a reason and it has to do with the survival of the species. The meat you eat is sustainable because it can be fed and grown on land that cannot grow soybeans or other crops without fertilizers and chemicals. This is a myth put out by animal rights zealots. The majority of the available land for food grows grass only without chemicals. Herbivores turn this grass into high yield protein that supports optimal health and brain development in humans. Bea’s comments are typical animal rights propaganda and have nothing to do with science or reality. The typical human being must have meat in some form to survive past the 20 year mark from when they first become a totally meatless vegan. Notice I said typical as 1 out of 5 human beings cannot eat any gluten or grain products without damaging their digestive system. Most human beings can produce their own B12 for about 10 to 15 years before they will begin to suffer the effects of lack of B12 in their diet. Some less time before they will show the effects of lack of B12. As for feeding the world on crops examine the countries that try and notice the poor condition of their children and their adults in brain and organ health. It is quite poor. The key to healthy eating is moderation not ignoring human nutritional needs. Overeating is the problem not meat. Notice that the people most overweight eat mostly carbs and sugar products. Again it is not what you eat, but how much you eat. As for developing children at any stage not being given high quality digestible protein in meat should be labeled abuse. Vegetables have their own qualities but despite what you would like to think you are built as an omnivore and you cannot change it you can only shorten your life by ignoring it.

  19. Dr Rosset – You say that life span is not decreasing “all things considered”. Do you mean the high fat, sugar and processed foods in the typical American diet?
    From the National Institues of Health:
    “Over the next few decades, life expectancy for the average American could decline by as much as 5 years unless aggressive efforts are made to slow rising rates of obesity…”

    However, some secrets to longevity seem to be rooted in a plant based diet:
    This Is the World’s Oldest Living Person: 120 Years!A Palestinian woman Amash rises every morning at 5am, walks unaided, and attributes her longevity to a diet rich in vegetables.

    He is thought to be the fifteenth oldest living Human being whose age 112 years old… His diet consists mainly of vegetables,

    The Japanese island of Okinawa, with a population of a million, has 900 centenarians. Studies show their diet is extremely rich in anti- oxidant producing fruit and vegetables. They also eat a lot of tofu and soya products which seem to produce higher levels of one hormone, DHEA.

    On the island of Sardinia, 125 miles off the coast of Italy resides about 10 times more centenarians than in America. Their diet is mostly plant-based…

    In these cultures it is apparent that “meat” is a very insignificant part of their nutritional intake. The elder Japanese for example, may have eaten fish once or twice a month and in very small proportions.

    The point is – These people did sustain themselves largely on a plant based diet… And while eating small amounts of “meat” did not effect them negatively, it certainly was not eaten in a quantity that would establish any “benefit” for it’s consumption – AT ALL.

    It seems to me that “high quality digestible protein” is an oxymoron…
    Proteins come in various forms that are also highly digestible. These forms include legumes, lentils, soy, nuts, nut butters, as well as other vegan/vegetarian favorites like tempeh and seitan. Tempeh is derived from soy proteins and seitan is derived from wheat proteins, all of which are highly digestible. The bottom line is that as long as the body gets what it needs, from a nutritional standpoint, then that body will function absolutely as intended. By providing adequate protein, then there is no abuse being inflicted upon anyone in the form of malnutrition.

    Furthermore, your “20 year mark” of people not surviving without “meat” is totally incorrect.

    Perfect example is Donald Watson – Founder of the Vegan Society who lived for 5 decades – Well into his 90’s on a total plant based diet.

    T.Colin Campell, author of the China Study is another person as fit as one could imagine – and vegan for over 35 years…

    If you’re concern is with B12 – B12 can be supplemented… For me I’ve found the best way is with nutritional yeast. It’s inexpensive, delicious and is “b12” fortified. Just a few sprinkles as a seasoning in a daily meal provides for “b12” needs.

    I was wondering Dr Rosset – could you cite anyone – anyone (beside the infant that was starved by vegan parents – And NOT on a vegan diet) – That has died from lack of b-12? Or died from lack of consuming “meat”? Given that you’ve said we should all be dead after 20 years – Most people I know should be dead already or soon approaching such — And this is certainly not my reality.

    Yet, we all know there are many, many people in hospitals due to clogged arteries, strokes and heart issues and diabetes… Much of this due to diets high in animal fats.

    And you stress that “1 out of 5 human beings cannot eat any gluten or grain products” – That may be so… And those people should avoid grains. As the 73% of people who are lactose intolerant should also avoid all dairy products…
    Strange though, studies show that the best source of calcium comes from leafy green vegetables – Yet oddly, the USDA is doing everything it can to push “dairy” products on to consumers as “healthy”. Old myths die hard for many reasons – Economics being the hardest nut to crack…

    But really… If you are looking at what is “shortening lives” – These things are hardly found in the fruit and vegetable isles of your local grocery store. I still say we can thrive on a plant based diet.

    Your other points about land use and sustainability are also anchored in yesterday’s technology. Your idyllic scenarios of “free range, grazing” animals accounts for less than 1% total meat that is eventually processed in the US. According to the thoroughly researched book by JS Foer “Eating Animals” – There is enough of this “free range” meat to sustain an area the size of Rhode Island…

    You also don’t mention dwindling water resources or fossil fuels used in meat production. Both are intense. Could we just look at what it takes to process, transport, freeze and cook a pound of flesh as opposed to a few pounds of beans which require very little water in “processing” no refridgeration in transport, in stores or in home storage; And only a fraction of energy needed to finally cook… The scale tips way to the side of protein through beans and not flesh.

    There are also advancing systems called Urban Farms which could sustain large communities on a plant based diet.
    These technologies use minimal water, provide for their own energy needs through vegetable waste and also require no pesticides, insecticides or the killing of wildlife. In short, if you want to feed the growing population of humans: Leave the cow behind.

    Finally, I’d like to go back to the main issue of this blog topic – Someone said “Temple Grandin is nothing short of a genius”. There is another brilliant person who also has autism and is an animal right’s activist as well. He wrote a fantastic reply to Grandin’s invention of the “stairway to heaven” — (Her view of the killbox). His name is Jim Sinclair and the essay is titled “If You Love Something, You Don’t Kill It”:

  20. wow “Bea Elliot” much have a lot of time on his/her much that maybe she should think more “globally” instead of narrow focused thinking on places that actually have hospitals.. and where people get treatment for disease.. .. a trip to Rwanda perhaps?? Mostly plant based is not vegan.. is it? Lack of B 12 and other vitamins have killed millions of children overseas and in nations that cannot afford food at any cost.. take a trip.. call us when you get back.. take your yeast to them..make it a project to save 20 lives with veganism..cults always like to tout their successes.. science continues to trump them every time..
    Frozen vegetables take just as much water to produce as anything else.. and have to be harvested by diesel tractors . and farm equipment or do you think every veggie garden is hand cultivated and harvested? and how you ever got the idea that veggies don’t need to be refrigerated in stores or in transport is beyond me..but truly it is not about that.. it is about the constant drumming of the vegan drum to inflict their nonsense on the rest of us.. eat you yeast.. and leave the rest of alone.. lectures become boring and make me want a rare steak… lots less cooking than a pot of beans..

    1. Ah, nothing supports the carnist-model of oppression by throwing out insults like “cults”. Veganism is not a cult – it is a dietary choice based on moral and ethical principles…unlike carnism, which is a dietary choice based on tradition and concepts of “normalcy”.

      Science has not trumped anything in regards to veganism – there is ample scientific evidence that a plant-based diet is healthy, often much more healthy than the current SAD (standard american diet), which ends up killing a boatload of people in this country annually. And countries that adopt the SAD diet tend to fare just as poorly with rising rates of osteoporosis (most common in dairy-consuming countries) and heart disease. This is not difficult information to find.

      But alas, I doubt you care. Your accusations of being “cult-ish behavior” and the classic, though utterly boorish response of “I want to eat a bloody hunk of flesh” proves that.

  21. The transport argument is so full of holes you could use it to wash your veggies.

    Vegetable transport is MASSIVE. The vegetables are picked while unripe, and if they are not processed or frozen immediately, they lose much of their nutritional value pretty quickly after picking. They are artificially ripened, and come from all over the world.

    The free range chicken I buy, on the other hand, comes from a farm just outside of town that conveniently can produce chickens, cows, eggs and other products (did I mention that egg is THE most digestible form of protein, while soy must be processed at great length to compare in regards to bioavailability?) YEAR ROUND.

    Living in Canada, our growing season is about three months long. If we didn’t eat meat all of our fresh food would come from thousands of kilometers away.

    As for soy, go ahead and eat all you want. Over 90% of soy is genetically modified, and the vast bulk of that is owned by Monsanto, a company well known for ignoring safety while concentrating on its bottom line.

    Hamsters were recently fed a diet high in GMO soy and the third generation GREW HAIR IN THEIR MOUTHS.

    So tell your grandchildren to enjoy their mouth beards. In the meantime, I’ll be eating free range organic eggs with some free range sausage – made with local cheese, vegetables from all over the world, and fruit from even further.

    My marathon running aunt (former vegetarian) was not getting enough energy from veggies and had to begin eating meat in order to be healthy enough to be a contender.And I’ll be sure to mention to my 92 year old grandmother on my husbands side, and my 98 great-grandmother on my father’s side that their diets (which are both heavy on lean meats, particularly my great-grandmother) are unhealthy and will lead to an early grave.

    And finally, vegans need to stop villifying animal fats. You’re still drinking the Kool-Aid from a few decades ago when the government and the veggie lobby told us to throw out our butter in favour of margarine. We now know that butter is the healthier choice. Hydrogenated vegetable oils are a KILLER.

    1. Why do carnists constantly assume vegans only eat soy? Is it that you cannot think outside the box?

      Like you, the majority of my food comes from local sources – my parent’s garden, a nearby CSA, and – at the very least – within state (California). And none of it involves dead animal carcasses or their by-products. Apparently this is an amazing feat…

      You can get non-hydrogenated vegetable oils. True fact! In fact, even the saturated vegetable oils are far healthier than animal fats.

  22. In regards to your “studies”, here’s what the wiki has to say about the matter:

    “A 1999 metastudy[57] combined data from five studies from western countries. The metastudy reported mortality ratios, where lower numbers indicated fewer deaths, for fish eaters to be .82, vegetarians to be .84, occasional meat eaters to be .84. Regular meat eaters and vegans shared the highest mortality ratio of 1.00. The study reported the numbers of deaths in each category, and expected error ranges for each ratio, and adjustments made to the data. However, the “lower mortality was due largely to the relatively low prevalence of smoking in these [vegetarian] cohorts”. Out of the major causes of death studied, only one difference in mortality rate was attributed to the difference in diet, as the conclusion states: “vegetarians had a 24% lower mortality from ischemic heart disease than nonvegetarians, but no associations of a vegetarian diet with other major causes of death were established.”[57]

    In “Mortality in British vegetarians”,[58] a similar conclusion is drawn: “British vegetarians have low mortality compared with the general population. Their death rates are similar to those of comparable non-vegetarians, suggesting that much of this benefit may be attributed to non-dietary lifestyle factors such as a low prevalence of smoking and a generally high socio-economic status, or to aspects of the diet other than the avoidance of meat and fish.”[59]

    The Adventist Health Study is an ongoing study of life expectancy in Seventh-day Adventists. This is the only study among others with similar methodology which had favourable indication for vegetarianism. The researchers found that a combination of different lifestyle choices could influence life expectancy by as much as 10 years. Among the lifestyle choices investigated, a vegetarian diet was estimated to confer an extra 1–1/2 to 2 years of life. The researchers concluded that “the life expectancies of California Adventist men and women are higher than those of any other well-described natural population” at 78.5 years for men and 82.3 years for women. The life expectancy of California Adventists surviving to age 30 was 83.3 years for men and 85.7 years for women.[60]

    The Adventist health study is again incorporated into a metastudy titled “Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?” published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which concluded that low meat eating (less than once per week) and other lifestyle choices significantly increase life expectancy, relative to a group with high meat intake.[61] The study concluded that “The findings from one cohort of healthy adults raises the possibility that long-term (≥ 2 decades) adherence to a vegetarian diet can further produce a significant 3.6-y increase in life expectancy.” However, the study also concluded that “Some of the variation in the survival advantage in vegetarians may have been due to marked differences between studies in adjustment for confounders, the definition of vegetarian, measurement error, age distribution, the healthy volunteer effect, and intake of specific plant foods by the vegetarians.” It further states that “This raises the possibility that a low-meat, high plant-food dietary pattern may be the true causal protective factor rather than simply elimination of meat from the diet.” In a recent review of studies relating low-meat diet patterns to all-cause mortality, Singh noted that “5 out of 5 studies indicated that adults who followed a low meat, high plant-food diet pattern experienced significant or marginally significant decreases in mortality risk relative to other patterns of intake.”

    Statistical studies, such as comparing life expectancy with regional areas and local diets in Europe also have found life expectancy considerably greater in southern France, where a low meat, high plant Mediterranean diet is common, than northern France, where a diet with high meat content is more common.[62]

    A study by the Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, and Institute of Physiological Chemistry looked at a group of 19 vegetarians (lacto-ovo) and used as a comparison a group of 19 omnivorous subjects recruited from the same region. The study found that this group of vegetarians (lacto-ovo) have a significantly higher amount of plasma carboxymethyllysine and advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) compared to this group of non-vegetarians.[63] Carboxymethyllysine is a glycation product which represents “a general marker of oxidative stress and long-term damage of proteins in aging, atherosclerosis and diabetes.” “Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may play an important adverse role in process of atherosclerosis, diabetes, aging and chronic renal failure.”

    So here we have a few studies done, not ONE of which proved that the vegan diet was beneficial. A few suggest as such, but just as many suggest that a vegan diet is as healthy as a meat based diet. The studies championing vegan diets are inevitably paid for by vegan groups. In addition, every study seems to agree on one thing – that a veggie based diet with a moderate amount of quality meats is the healthiest choice.

    Again, I quote Michael Pollan = “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

    What seems to have happened here is people noted that those who ate a diet BASED on meat were not as healthy as those who ate a diet BASED on veggies. The vegans took it one step further, extrapolating that if you were healthy eating *mostly* veggies, imagine how healthy you’d be if you ate ALL veggies! Unfortunately, SCIENCE DISAGREES.

  23. Lastly, since you seem to have easily dismissed the death of a vegan baby… here are three.

    Instead of requesting proof that vegan diets KILL, how about some proof that vegan diets are indeed healthier than plant-based diets (ie those who eat eat meat as part of a healthy diet).

    And by proof, I mean a properly devised and executed peer-reviewed and published study not funded by interest groups.

    Best of luck.

    1. How about you provide evidence? It’s pretty darn easy to find! In fact, there’s a whole book on it. Channel the power of the google-fu!

  24. Mouth Beards.. MOUTH BEARDS.. I just spit my “dairy product” all over my keyboard.. LOL.. that is HYSTERICAL..thask for the great laugh.. made my day.. mouth beard.. sniggle..

  25. Thanks for proving my point.. veganism is a cult.. people who think that others are “morally less than’ they becasue of thier diet.are are “cultists.. hmm think I will have a hot dog with that steak.. lol ..
    Rwanda anyone.. they love vegans there…one way tickets are available..

  26. vegan cultists all live in places where “fresh foods” like tomatoes are available to them year round.. lol California is NOT an example.. say .. say Alaska…and heck Hamilton.. of course veganism is healthy.. there is a WHOLE BOOK on there.. Nah nah nah… my food is better than your food you boorish person.. ( but at least you won’t have a mouth beard.. LOL. LOL

    1. I can see you have nothing to support your irrational position, so instead you offer insult after insult in the hopes of detracting from that lack of evidence.

      Thanks for playing!

  27. I have to say I too am amazed that everyone assumes vegans eat a lot of soy. Considering that *most* people are eating animals that consume *mostly* soy. Anyone who eats the 99% of meat that is in the US today is consuming an abundance of soy – Just from a different direction of output.

    And then there is this maddening focus on longevity. I know smokers that have lived well into their 90’s and I know of children who have died of cancer. At some point exceptions become rules… I’m not a dietitian, and I can’t speak for everyone – But regarding my own 56 year old body – It hasn’t felt this “young” or energetic for more than a decade prior to eating plant based meals. I could go on about specifics, but I think good health is something you don’t even know is gone – Till you loose it – And get it back again. And there is nothing that has been proven to me that consuming meat increases health or longevity. Nothing.

    But the thing I have found similar about all those who defend a meat based diet… Everyone sitting pretty behind their laptops in their comfy homes, all wish to cite the reason *they* eat animals is that meat/B-12 is necessary for the Inuits, the bushman or other tribal cultures. No one is saying that people who have no access to other choices should not do what they have to do to survive… But really, are there any here who could not “live” without eating animals?

    So, it all becomes a matter of “taste” and desire and habit… And this is where vegans get called to the block because they “judge” others by their diets. Wrong. It’s not a criticism of the food – But of the unnecessary killing it takes to get it. There’s a difference, I do not look critically because my neighbor chooses to eat carrots instead of peas; Or beans instead of sprouts… None of those foods has a deliberate intent to harm – Or a willful act of ignorance that it does so…

    To the blog owner – Thank you. You’ve been kind in letting all sides speak their minds. I’ll now disengage myself from this post as I believe we are all at an impasse. I truly wish everyone the peace the world so longs for… With a reminder that it begins with what’s on our plate.

  28. It just tickles me pink when vegans use “plant based” models as their proof.

    The two terms “vegan” and “plant based” are very different ideals, and NOT interchangeable. If you’re going to argue a point, first figure out what point you’re trying to make, then find research that confirms that point – not a vaguely similar point.

    Better luck next time.

    Oh, and I can’t take credit for the term “mouth beards” – a friend of mine (who happens to be studying nutritional anthropology) coined the term when I showed her the study.

    And do I really need to point out the ignorance involved in a vegan from California touting her ability to find local food year round? Didn’t think so.

    1. A vegan diet is a plant-based diet. That is not a question, it just is – whether you like it or not. I mean, are you seriously arguing that a vegan diet is not plant-based?

      Just like Alice, all you can offer is ad hominem attacks. Because I’m from California, therefore I’m ignorant? Good try, but big fat failure of logic.

      Check out LocalHarvest. More states (including Alaska) offer near year-round CSA boxes than not. Alaska has a few CSAs that offer YEAR-ROUND locally grown produce and other products.

      But I’m sure even after checking it out, you’ll opine on how it’s impossible for anyone outside of California to have year-round locally grown produce.

  29. “I do not look critically because my neighbor chooses to eat carrots instead of peas; Or beans instead of sprouts… None of those foods has a deliberate intent to harm – Or a willful act of ignorance that it does”… so…

    so Bea drifts off with a the message of peace and love to everyone.. to begin again on a blog near you..she/he does not “look critically’ at her/his neighbor.. unless of course they are having a barbecue.. Happy Independence day everyone.. give thanks to those who have made it possible to be here today with the freedom to speak our minds..AND eat what we choose.. so far..

  30. You are welcome Rinalia.. when someone takes a stance and defends that stance by saying says “there is a whole book about it” what would you expect.. there are whole books about all sorts of things.. that does not make them true..and when someone asked for peer reviewed evidence when you make a statement and you rebut with “how about you providing it” it does not bode well for you.
    I really don’t give a “fig” what vegans eat but since their cult insists that they attempt to make ever omnivore ( not carnist as you like to say)feel like a murder.and that they, the kind and gentle cult vegans are some higher form of life well you do expect some rebuttal don’t you…
    I don;t need to “support my position”.. I am a normal person who does not care if you eat fruits and nuts.. or soy .. or spinach ( but watch out for the e coli)unit it comes out of your ears.. but the babies DID DIE.. and you shine that on..
    why .. because to most vegan cultists.. animals are just as important as babies…

    1. Carnism identifies the system allowing people to see one group of animals as “edible” and another group as “inedible”. A carnist is a person who eats animals while acting sentimental about other animals. It’s simply identifying a habit/tradition that has long since been left unidentified. Like gravity, carnism exists whether you wish to believe it or not.

      And the fact that you are so vituperative and nasty when discussing this with people indicates you DO IN fact care. You have something against people who choose to put their compassion into action and refrain from participating in the senseless and unnecessary slaughter of 10 billion land animals (in the United States) annually. Your perogative, of course. Mine is not to be a part of a system that is cruel and not needed for the survival of most human beings.

  31. Carnism is a “term ” coined by vegan fanatic Melanie Joy (in 2001) the same as “factory farm ‘puppy mill” and lots of other language brought to the fore by animal rights cults.. My dogs eats animals.. I feed other animals to them.. cats can only survive on eating other flesh.. we keep dogs and cats.. for lots of reason.. some of them sentimental.. but sometimes for work ( ie seeing eye dogs) “groups” of animals are always seen as edible by other groups of animals.. at least the omnivorous and carnivorous animals ( which are most of them) you would take a natural carnivore like a dog and deny that a dog needs meat to live. and feed it grains.. animal abuse as far as i am concerned..
    To compare gravity with “carnism”.. really ?? LOL.. someone needs a class in physics.. ( the word carnism is not even recognized by spell check.. )
    Lots of things “exist” carnism is not one of them..
    refrain from whatever you want to refrain from.. perhaps reproduction might be a thought.. but leave the rest of us out of your nether world of veganism..
    Do you have any idea what will happen to “farm animals ” of they are no longer needed?? they will be extinct.. and that I am sure is fine with you

    1. Simply because you do not wish to recognize a reality does not deny its existence. Patriarchy exists. Racism exists. Sexism exists.

      And yet many willfully ignore all or opine that realities faced by hundreds of millions of people do not exist. Some go so far as to claim they are terms made up by angry women, gays and disgruntled people of color.

      Let’s not forget we believed the earth was the center of the universe. It was ‘fact’. Denial of such ‘fact’ got you killed. Nevermind the reality.

      Carnism is reality. It is the psychological condition that allows you to eat cows while petting your dog. It is a system that permits us in the United States to slaughter 10 billion non human animals a) when we don’t need to; b) who are just as engaging, intelligent and emotional as dogs and cats and c) in our case (America) react in disgust when other people eat dogs. It’s a reality that now has a defined term. People often called carnism a cognitive dissonance (it’s a real term too!) and now we’re just identifying the animal-agribusiness system that oppresses non humans and humans alike. If I get to adhere to a set of values called veganism, why on earth wouldn’t you get to have your own term too? Only fair!

      I know, I know. Big concepts. But you have spell-check, so I’m sure you’ll figure it all out. I mean, spell-check is clearly the end-all, be-all when it comes to identification.

      We sure as heck aren’t going to come to terms on this issue. And now, Alice in LALA land (how apropos), I’ll leave you be. Ta-ta! (Another word, by the way, unrecognized by Microsoft’s spell-check!)

  32. The presence of millions of healthy vegans, and their generally healthy profile, puts an end to the claim that vegan diets are not healthy. The patients filling the cardiac wards and dialysis centers are meat-eaters. For no-nonsense info on vegan diets, check out and as well as the American Dietetic Association, which has once again stated that well-planned vegan diets are safe for everyone, including children and pregnant moms, and may confer specific health benefits.

    In the developed world, feeding children the animals they love – without them knowing the full extent of suffering inflicted upon the animals – may be considered a form of emotional child abuse. It tricks children into unwittingly participating in cruelties to which they are, in all likelihood, opposed.

    The animal agriculture industry is complicit in this abuse, intentionally advertising unhealthy, fatty products to kids and parents. The animals who are bred to overproduce flesh, milk, and eggs, who are stolen from their mothers and families, and are killed as babies as young adults, are either ignored or, at best, ridiculously romanticized in these advertisments.

    Feeding your kids dairy may increase their risk of diabetes and a myriad of other diseases. Reaearch from independent peer-reviewed studies shows that eating even small portions of certain processed or grilled meats significantly increases the risk of cancer. Meanwhile, I was just reading about vegans who scored a perfect eight hundred on their math SAT and who set the American record in the ultramarathon.

    Finally, there seeems to be a misunderstanding of the word “omnivore” in this article. It means animal products are optional. We don’t need them, we can thrive without them, and in the “developed” world we have the opportunity – if not the obligation – to choose peaceful, non-violent, non-exploitative, compassionate diets.

  33. WOW – didn’t think this topic would need an english/science lesson.

    OMNIVORE – (from Latin: omni all, everything; vorare(infinitive) to devour) are species that eat both plants and animals as their primary food source. They are opportunistic, general feeders not specifically adapted to eat and digest either meat or plant material primarily.


    Need me to repeat it? No really, I will, in case you don’t fully comprehend the idea yet…

    Feeding animal products = abuse, huh? Tell that to all the vegan children who are unhealthy. Tell that to all those who don’t end up in the news. Tell that to the mother cat, feeding her kittens, or the mother bear (omnivore!) feeding her cubs fish and other animals. Get a grip, nature is vicious.

    Does that mean we have to be? No. As I have stated before, my diet consists of grass fed, free range meats and poultry whenever possible. These items would be more readily available if our governments stopped subsidizing corn and soy. If these items cost their proper amount, tofu eaters would be paying free range meat prices, and free range meat prices would come down a bit – once the realization dawned that at their ACTUAL cost, corn and soy are too expensive to feed to animals.

    Millions of healthy vegans settle it, eh? How about millions of healthy smokers? Marijuana users? Drinkers? Stressed out business people? They’re only healthy – until they are not. They are ticking time bombs of medical disaster, most of them. No one would EVER consider this to be a true study of health and of biologically appropriate substances.

    The agriculture industry has enough problems without your uneducated criticism. The food chain is skewed the way it is because of corn and soy subsidies. It’s far more cost effective to grow corn for cattle than it is to grow lettuce for people – particularly in the colder climates, where it’s next to impossible. In the winter here it gets to -40, -50 or more with the wind. We don’t exactly have a climate that produces a long growing season, or even weather that a greenhouse could survive in for that matter. It gets so cold that the gas freezes in the lines AS YOU’RE DRIVING. However, cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens and goats survive well on stored grain – and there you have it.

    “Feeding your kids dairy may increase their risk of diabetes and a myriad of other diseases. Reaearch from independent peer-reviewed studies shows that eating even small portions of certain processed or grilled meats significantly increases the risk of cancer. Meanwhile, I was just reading about vegans who scored a perfect eight hundred on their math SAT and who set the American record in the ultramarathon.”

    LMAO – are you kidding? You think that a number on a test vouches for the health of a diet? Give your head a shake. Honestly, I’ve listened to enough of this “because we SAY SO” drivel since Shirley initially posted the topic and I am SICK of it.

    Dairy = Diabetes? Really? Now, I’m no fan of dairy – although I will eat ice cream and cheese, I do not believe that there should be a set number of dairy “servings” suggested for health. This is an unnatural food for us, just as processed foods are. However, I disagree from a scientific standpoint. Research has discovered that the mutation in genes is not FOR intolerance, but rather that the mutated genes belong to those who are lactose TOLERANT. Genetics, clearly saying – you are not meant to eat this. Now, research re: diabetes? I have not read a single piece that was done as a proper study and published in a peer reviewed journal, AND illustrated a direct correlation between dairy consumption and diabetes. I have read several studies put out by interest groups and not published (or published in industry owned magazines) but even these showed only a weak correlation. It’s just as possible that it was a contaminant or another dietary factor. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but let’s stick to what we KNOW to be true.

    As for grilled meats, this seems to be proven only when the meat is cooked at very high temperatures for prolonged periods (well done or charred) and only when this type of meat is consumed regularly. Occasional consumption has proven no correlation.

    As for SAT scores, I found that link – WOW, ONE whole vegan got 800! Way to go! You scored as high as a 10 year old! What a feat!

    Your marathoner is in the minority – most runners find that they can’t subsist on a vegan diet. Not only that, but he only broke the American record – he still only won silver. Oh, did I mention that he’s been benched ever since due to unexplained injury. Riiiiight.

    And lastly, let’s look at heart disease. Sure, eating a whole ton of fatty animal products and getting no exercise is bound to cause problems. As many problems as consuming a high fat non-animal based diet and getting no exercise.

    In fact, the only thing that they’ve proven is that a vegan diet lowers cholesterol – even though there is a great scientific divide in regards to cholesterol and its effect on heart disease. Many people have high cholesterol and never experience an infarction – many others have low cholesterol and drop dead from a heart attack. We haven’t nailed this one down yet, although I am certainly in agreement that mass consumption of large amounts of fatty, processed animal based food is bad for you.

    The healthiest person I know is my marathon running aunt. She was vegetarian, then vegan for many years until health problems kept cropping up and leaving her unable to compete. She began introducing eggs, fish, chicken and shellfish, and her health has never been better. She will eat red meat or pork on occasion, but it’s a treat, not standard fare.

    Again, I submit the Michael Pollan line “Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants”.

    Plant based does NOT equal vegan.
    Omnivore does NOT equal herbivore.
    Carnivore does NOT equal omnivore or vegan.

    Even herbivore does not equal vegan, as many herbivores are known to eat animals, just as many carnivores consume a certain number of plants.

    If you want to share your opinion, that’s fine – thanks to Shirley, this blog is a place for these kinds of discussions, and opinion certainly plays a HUGE part in how we feed ourselves.

    Unfortunately, I would suggest sticking to science if you’re going to prevent it as science. Otherwise, you merely look foolish.

  34. “Carnism is reality. It is the psychological condition that allows you to eat cows while petting your dog. It is a system that permits us in the United States to slaughter 10 billion non human animals a) when we don’t need to; b) who are just as engaging, intelligent and emotional as dogs and cats and c) in our case (America) react in disgust when other people eat dogs.”

    Um… sorry, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

    What you’re describing is called NATURE. N-A-T-U-R-E. That’s what it’s called when apex predators allow animals that would otherwise be considered food to remain living because they perform a service.

    Check out the following photos:

    Two beautiful examples of symbiosis.

    Our dogs, by explanation of ethologists, are generally considered as a symbiotic or parasitic relationship.

    Nature understands this relationship, and it is present in all walks of life, from plants to apex predators.

    As such, we receive benefit from our pets in the form of affection, assistance, and even work. We receive benefit from cows as food.

    Both animals are beneficial, albeit in different ways. This is not cognitive dissonance (I suggest reading “Mistakes Were Made – But Not By Me” for a more thorough look at the science of CD and how it affects our outlook), but rather mutualism with our pets AND our food animals.

    That is, they all receive benefits from their symbiotic relationship with us – namely, that their species’ would not exist if it weren’t for human intervention. They owe their biological success to us, just as we owe our biological success to them.

    As far as Carnism goes, well I have to agree with Alice – the term was indeed coined for shock value, ie “puppy mills” “factory farms” etc.

    Just as their is no “milling” involved in high volume dog production (not that I’m defending the practice) and no “factory” found on a CAFO, the term is not explanatory of the situation.

    From the Wiki –

    Carnism was coined by social psychologist Dr. Melanie Joy in 2001.[7] Dr. Joy claims that because carnism is a dominant, violent ideology it has remained unnamed and invisible so that meat eating has seemed a given rather than a choice; according to Joy, when eating meat isn’t a necessity for survival, it’s a choice, and choices always stem from beliefs. Joy maintains that because of the violence inherent in carnism (modern meat production requires intensive and extensive violence toward animals), the system uses a set of social and psychological defense mechanisms to distort people’s perceptions and block their awareness and empathy when they eat meat, enabling humane people to participate in inhumane practices without realizing what they’re doing.”

    This article needs MAJOR overhauling, for several reasons.

    -“carnism is a dominant, violent ideology”

    Riiiiight. Me eating an egg is certainly my subconscious exercising it’s dominance over the chicken and the eating of the egg itself is violent – after all, I prefer my eggs scrambled!

    -“according to Joy, when eating meat isn’t a necessity for survival, it’s a choice, and choices always stem from beliefs.”

    This is where we disagree. I believe that while some people may survive on a vegan diet, plenty of people will fail to thrive. Even small amounts of meat balances the vegan/vegetarian diet in ways supplements can not.

    -“modern meat production requires intensive and extensive violence toward animals”

    No, it doesn’t have to. Does it? Certainly. But the dollar talks, and as more people begin voting with their wallets, things will change. We’re already seeing organic free range cruelty free meat and meat products showing up at your local grocery store – unheard of just ten years ago.

    -“the system uses a set of social and psychological defense mechanisms to distort people’s perceptions and block their awareness and empathy when they eat meat”

    This is my favourite one… LOL. Are you kidding?? I grew up on a dairy farm, raised chickens, turkeys and ducks for eggs and food, took the animals to be killed humanely and was frequently present for the actual butchering – my dogs and cats eat raw food products and the only way to get them for free is to literally stand there with a giant bucket and snag things before they end up in the rendering bucket – like tail, trachea, rib bones, leg bones, liver, heart, etc.

    I know every bit of what goes into growing animals as food – right from cash cropping soy (which we used to do) to slaughter. Our animals were ALWAYS raised with serious thought and action going into ensuring that their days on this earth were pleasant, which in my opinion is the ideal.

    When I was about 10 or 11 (and already a member of Greenpeace, thanks to my veggie eating aunt’s influence) a friend of mine made friends with one of the dairy cows. We didn’t name her, instead choosing to call her by her tag number, 44. She was extremely placid even as a calf, and even the day she calved her first baby out in the field by herself, she allowed my friend and I a front row seat, even allowing us to touch and comfort her as she went through the process.

    When 44 died, we ate her.

    When her calf, and her subsequent calves, died – we ate them too.

    Dairy cows have a pretty short lifespan, all things considered, and rather than sending these animals to rendering plants, we chose to have them butchered. Because they were pastured 8 months of the year, grass fed, consumed organic feed and were never given any type of product to increase yield, only medical treatments of illness, the meat was as close to organic as you could find – and was going to be thrown out.

    We ate it, proudly. Every animal on the farm was eaten eventually, except the old roosters, who were fed to the dogs. The dogs were buried – but then, the dogs shared our bed, the farm animals our land.

    This is not cognitive dissonance. This is not “carnism”. This is BIOLOGY.

    Thanks for coming out, better luck next time.

  35. “Carnism is reality. It is the psychological condition that allows you to eat cows while petting your dog. “‘

    really?? I can find not medical source that claims that “carnism” is a psychological condition at all.. not one.. asked several friends who are psychiatrists .. they have never heard of it…although one did say he probably has it as he often eats a steak while petting his dog.. does that mean he has the “condition”?? please advise so he can get appropriate counseling. He is desperate to know…

    meanwhile how about vegans just being vegans and stop trying to change the world.. most of really don’t give a rat’s ass about your diet.. so if you are really NOT a cult.. then you would be satisfied with that right?? Please say yes.. and stop lecturing the rest of us humans…

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