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The humane food myth.

category national | animal rights | opinion/analysis author Monday May 25, 2009 10:48author by Bernie Wright - Alliance for Animal Rights (AFAR)author email berniew at esatclear dot ieauthor address PO Box 4734. D1author phone 0872651720 Report this post to the editors

Consuming animal flesh cannot be humane

The animal liberation movement has the mammoth task of exploding the myths behind so-called "humanely produced" animal products, such as cage-free and free-range eggs or meat that is "certified humane."
We try to expose the truth behind the marketing of food products that supposedly cause less harm to the animals used to produce them--foods that are meant to assuage the guilt of people who are concerned about animals (sort of) but who stop short of not eating them. Of course this eases their consciences about causing suffering to animals. It is a half measure.
unnecessary- dead pigs not humane food
unnecessary- dead pigs not humane food

Incorrect labelling is also part and parcel of the food industry myth.
The well-known Irish Fish company Wrights of Howth has been criticised by the Food Safety Authority for allegedly incorrectly labelling fish. A batch of salmon which had been highlighted and labelled as 'wild salmon' was found to be farmed under DNA tests, a court heard yesterday. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) brought the company and two directors of the firm to court for an alleged 42 breaches of the Food Safety Act 1998.
There is also more profit to be gained by selling animal flesh labelled organic or free-range. People buying these animal parts need to be better informed.
As we vegans know the better label to look for is "vegan,"…the Only label should be VEGAN, that is if you care enough about animals.

Related Link: http://www.afarireland.org
author by Mike Novackpublication date Mon May 25, 2009 15:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Important in ethics when you come to a different conclusion about two related situations that you make clear exactly what is the difference between the situations upon which you base coming to a different conclusion. Then naturally others who do not agree with you about that difference might legitimately diasgree about the difference in conclusions.

So ........ is it inhumane (is NATURE) inhuman that a cat kills and eats a mouse, even playing with it first? Are you willing to say yes, that there is someting evil and wrong about Nature? Or are you going to choose to argue that we humans are some sort of higher, better life form than the other animals?

You can of course get to a position in favor of veganism (or going farther, to complete "ahimsa" ala the Jains) by arguing that second way. But then how do you argue against some person who denies this essential difference between ourselves and OTHER animals, who is unwilling to aspire to some "higher being" status? Trying the first course (Nature is evil) will run into even more people disagreeing with the premiss.

PLEASE -- that's not intended as an aruement against ethical veganism, just a call to understand upon what premisses conclusions are based. I understand the arguement "we humans do not HAVE to act like (other) animals" and "it would be BETTER (higher, more noble, etc.) if we did not". But understanding the basis of another's thinking does not necessarily mean agreeing with it. Just because I might understand what Jains believe doesn't make me a Jain (sorry if the people reading this don't have enough "comparative religions" to know about the Jains -- one of the religions of the Indian subcontinent and there are a couple million Jains so not that minor a religion).

author by Roger Yatespublication date Mon May 25, 2009 22:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mike,

I am not entirely sure I follow your argument - but it certainly is the case that the philosophy of animal rights sees human beings as somewhat different to other animals. Animal rights philosopher Tom Regan describes human animals as "unique in Nature." However, as to whether that implies we are "better" or "higher" than other animals is open to question.

Usually we judge such criteria in a biased way, for example, by suggesting that humans are "better" because we have a sophisticated form of language, or we are rational moral agents or, for some, because we have souls. From an environmental point of view, it is a fair bet that nonhuman animals are "better" than human ones since they seem to be able to live without threatening the very survival of the biosphere.

So, rather than trying to judge things in terms of "better" and "higher", perhaps we should merely accept that there are differences among animals. Many humans (but by no means all) have the capacity to act as moral agents - this is a difference to be sure. We can celebrate that difference if we want to - certainly we should act on it - without trying to use it as a means of relegating others to lesser-than status, especially if we do that in order to exploit them.

Related Link: http://www.humanemyth.org/
author by Mike Novackpublication date Mon May 25, 2009 23:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Many humans (but by no means all) have the capacity to act as moral agents - this is a difference to be sure"

Precisely! Many people believe that is a difference IN KIND (from other animals) and not a difference IN DEGREE. In fact, they would find the counter claim that there is no hard, fast boundary between us and other animals disturbing.

Naturally we would not expect the moral agency of other animals to closely resemble our own but then we are different species specialized to different existences. Equally obviously we would not expect to see the equivalence of moral agency in animals who live solitary almost all of the time. But take a social predator like the wolf. You think that a wolf doesn't "know" when it is being a good pack member or a bad pack member? Doing what it supposed to be doing when relating to otehr pack members. Be very careful if arguing "but they're doing it just by instinct -- we think about it and decide". Unclear both philosophically and scientifically if you could tell the difference -- in other words, WHY do humans "have morality", where does it come from? We are after all the sort of social animal which would need such a mechanism to regulate behavior relative to the group. Close to impossible to determine what WE are doing "by instinct". The error here is in imagining that while performing an instinctive behavior we would perceive ourselves as behaving as robots unable to consciously control oursleves. Not likely how the implementation would work (instead it would likely just feel good, natural, "obvious", "sensible" to be doing that behavior).

author by edpublication date Tue May 26, 2009 08:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Many humans (but by no means all) have the capacity to act as moral agents - this is a difference to be sure."

I like the way you phrase this. It recognises (when you say "by no means all") diversity within the human population, that we are different not only from animals but also from each other. The "capacity to act as moral agents" is different in humans, not only in what you may perceive as the "level of morality" or the emphasis a person puts on morals in their life, but also on what those morals are - "morals" are after all not clearly defined for most.

Personally, in the context of any kind of killing whatsoever (of animals or humans), I would find intent in killing to be the most significant factor to consider in the moral sense, with purpose coming second. The result of killing is what actually tends to steer peoples' moral "compasses" most of the time, as it is because of the resultant loss that we as humans find killing so objectionable.

What I'm getting at is that we tend to focus on the fact that a life was lost (because we feel emotional loss in the aftermath), rather than what I believe to be more important - the intent and purpose of the taking of that life. In the case of murder, it may have been self-defense, jealousy, business, sociopathy, many things. It is rarely a utilitarian act, with the possible exception of business where that utility is profit and personal gain.

The purpose of killing a (livestock) animal is for food, the intent is not malicious. Certainly while we are all aware of ongoing cruelty to animals, we can at the very least surmise that any cruelty arises out of neglect rather than malice. There is no deliberate intent to harm. Personally, this is why I draw the line at being opposed to animal cruelty, rather than the act of killing itself. I object to any act with malicious intent, on any person or animal, utility is very different.

However, as you said in the quite eloquent quote above, morality varies from person to person and your compass might send you in a different direction to mine. Ethical veganism is something I can respect, if not align with.

author by Biologist.publication date Tue May 26, 2009 08:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Many people believe that is a difference IN KIND (from other animals) and not a difference IN DEGREE."

This also applies to plants.

We share about half our DNA with plants.

A plant cell differs not a lot from an animal cell.

Scientifically,we,both plants and animals, are robots built by DNA molecules, for the propagation of DNA molecules.

After we reproduce our DNA we have done our "duty" and we are decomposed...we call it "death".

Vegans show no mercy to their fellow living beings, plants, I notice.
.

author by Roger Yatespublication date Tue May 26, 2009 10:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors



Biologist writes: "Vegans show no mercy to their fellow living beings, plants, I notice."

Actually many vegans do care about plants - in particular, about how they are produced. A growing number of vegan animal advocates, for example, recognise that there are problems in plant production - not least the numbers of nonhuman animals harmed during it.

Caring and being merciful are different probably. Whether plants deserve mercy in the sense that ethical vegans suggest many nonhumans do is questionable. The philosophy of animal rights is based on sentience (or, in Tom Regan's version, on someone being a subject-of-a-life). The theory suggests that being sentient creates rights but that does not mean that insentient entities are not important in any sense at all. It is a question of thinking about whether there is anyone there to be harmed or anyone there who wants to live.

It seems that there is a stark different between driving a knife into the head of a cabbage rather than the head of a lamb.

author by pauline mcguiganpublication date Tue May 26, 2009 19:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I can't speak of cat ethics, wolf ethics or Jain ethics (although I am a yogi and believe in the practice of ahimsa), but I would like to say that human ethics should evolve according to how the world we live in changes. As part of this evolution we should be educated as to where our food comes from and especially who had to suffer and die in order for us to eat. Before we can make an ethical decision we need to be informed of all our options from an early age, yet there is virtually no public education about a plant-based diet.

Personally, now that I have woken up to the unnecessary torture and killing we inflict on non-human animals and can see the way to survive without any other animal having to suffer torture or be killed, that is the path I choose to follow. Veganism. And I believe that the more of us who do it, the better it will be for all (human and non-human) animals on the planet.

To Biologist: that tired & silly old argument about vegans showing no mercy for plants - when there is proof they are sentient beings or when a potato, lettuce, or tomato tries to escape when it's picked from the ground, I'll reconsider whether or not to eat them. Until then, there are too many beautiful sentient beings being unnecessarily tortured and killed that need to be focused on and liberated.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Tue May 26, 2009 22:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"And I believe that the more of us who do it, the better it will be for all (human and non-human) animals on the planet.

In other words, for a non-human animal predator it would NOT be better (or we need to discuss this) either for itself or for it's non-human animal prey (which in the absence of normal predation would increase in numbers till its food source was destroyed).

I was intending to take seriously the question/proposition "do you consider NATURE to be cruel/evil/etc.?" To a large extent our attitudes might depend on whether we perceive ourselves as part of the natural world or as something to some extent apart with the most common beliefs along the lines "yes natural but also plus something else which the non-human do not share" (that's contrasted to other sorts of beliefs that might, for example, consider all living beings to be both natural and enspirited or even all things, living or not).

Remember that I am not being critical of animal rights or veganism as a choice. But if and when we say "all people should" then we need to understand our basis because we are also saying that "all people must share this basis" (or another that would lead to the same conclusions) and that there is something wrong with the people who have a very different basis.

EXAMPLE --- what precisely is wrong with the person who says "I want to walk in beauty, balance, and respect with all of Nature". That's their "basis" -- they perceive "good" in being a member in good standing (we'll use Leopold's expression) of the community of Nature. Tell them what's wrong with that (besides that it won't lead to the conclusions you want).

author by Astronomer.publication date Wed May 27, 2009 08:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Do you consider NATURE to be cruel/evil/etc.?"

These are human concepts.

I live by the cruel sea.
A tsunami cares nothing about killing hundreds of thousands of humans in a horrific manner.

Not to mention Gamma Ray Bursts in the cosmos which can vaporise the earth in a second...if we are in the way.

Like the one seen just a few weeks ago:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8022917.stm
.
"A second-long burst of intense radiation, radiating away more energy in the blink of an eye than the Sun will during its entire lifetime of billions of years."

To mother nature we humans are microscopic insects....here today... gone tomorrow.
.

author by Tiger Woman.publication date Wed May 27, 2009 08:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's not all "one way cruelty".

Just yesterday a tiger took his revenge:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0527/...3.htm

The Tiger...by Blake.

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
.

author by cryptid iosafpublication date Wed May 27, 2009 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not to mention an excellent source of easily digested protein which couple of grammes for 16th of an ounce contains less cholesterol than chicken and includes trace minerals & forever banishes arguments over legs versus wings & all such sundry family squabbling and trauma of sibling rivalry rooted in what is often perceived as unfair division of a clucky's limbs. For a bunny rabbit as wqe know has four limbs and each is roughly the same size after a good stewing. & a bunny rabbit with myxomatosis has ugly skin ulcers and a 99% chance of dying horribly of pneumatic collapse in a forthnight. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myxomatosis

Generally as Bernie probably knows, rabbit farmers (Such as are plentiful in Catalonia where I live) take great care to behead the bunny and its telltale myxo eyes and then skin it before packaging it up for the consumer. Be it an organically fed bunny with myxo or a bunny fattened on E numbers it still makes a cheap dinner treat when given a good stewing. Basically make a veggie stew with half a glass of red wine added and one rabbit cut into quarters. Here's a good recipe : http://southernfood.about.com/od/venisongame/r/bl30317q.htm

Or you could be inhumane and just let it die out there in the field infecting all its little bunny chums.

up to you.

author by Catladypublication date Wed May 27, 2009 23:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It seems to me that Pauline's comment most directly addresses the core issue of this post in that she highlights the fact that it is impossible to make a true moral or ethical choice without being first educated about the facts surrounding an issue.

I recently had a discussion with my Leaving cert students on the subject of veganism. They asked why I was vegan, I told them. They pressed for more detail, I gave it. The lesson focus was on persuasive techniques, a core element of the Leaving Cert English course. Admittedly, being the teacher, i have a better command of these techniques, but I must say that one student's reply seemed to sum up the root of the problem of continuing human AND non-human exploitation quite well.... She simply asked

"Why don't you just stop thinking about it and do it anyway?", "it" being the tortured animals when eating meat, the children in Sweatshops when buying clothes etc, and all the other examples I had mentioned during the lesson)

I do however believe that, as Pauline mentioned, EARLY education can make all the difference in forming an ethical basis on which any individual can build their future lives. As the article above mentions, education is a priority for the vegan movement. To have any real hope of success, future generations need to be made aware of the fact that their easy choices have real consequences for others. Only once we know the facts can we make a true choice.

author by Catladypublication date Thu May 28, 2009 00:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You said
"But if and when we say "all people should" then we need to understand our basis because we are also saying that "all people must share this basis" (or another that would lead to the same conclusions) and that there is something wrong with the people who have a very different basis.

EXAMPLE --- what precisely is wrong with the person who says "I want to walk in beauty, balance, and respect with all of Nature". That's their "basis" -- they perceive "good" in being a member in good standing (we'll use Leopold's expression) of the community of Nature. Tell them what's wrong with that (besides that it won't lead to the conclusions you want). "

We say "all people should" all the time without ever really questioning it....

All people should.... respect others, be tolerant of other colours and creeds, not harm children.... the list is endless.

Anyone who does not follow this moral code is seen as deviant by society (racists, child abusers etc.).

Your argument is unconvincing as it does not apply to even a majority of cases where we say "All people should", never mind all such cases.

I doubt anyone would object to a person walking in beauty, balance and respect with nature. If a person walks this path they are causing no harm. However, it cannot be said that the modern meat industry, with all it's vices, has anything to do with walking in such a way. If you are relating your argument to the original post, I'm afraid I fail to see the connection.

In a nutshell, I cannot see how or why we can object to a lifestyle which seeks to harm not, to cause no suffering and to respect the world we live in along with its inhabitants. If that lifestyle leads to unnecessary pain, siffering, death and destruction, I can and do object to it.

I have, for example, no moral objection to humans choosing to eat animals, human or non-human, which have died from natural causes of by accident. I do object to taking sentient life for selfish reasons/personal gain (as distinct from euthanasia). To put this in practical terms I would have less of a problem with someone digging up my deceased cat/friend/sister and eating him/her than someone killing my living cat/friend/sister for any reason whatsoever. (Although I would obviously be upset for sentimental reasons of my own in the former scenario).

Of course, as you mentioned here, we all operate on a different moral basis. Mine is that we do not have the moral right to hurt/kill/exploit others for selfish reasons or personal gain of any kind. The point is that I have come to this stance through education - about the ways in which we DO exploit/hurt/kill others in the course of everyday life.

Without education, we cannot really be blamed for continuing the cycles of abuse.
Without the facts our choices are not true choices.
Without knowledge, we are doomed to repeat past mistakes over and over and over....

author by Mike Novackpublication date Thu May 28, 2009 03:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"I doubt anyone would object to a person walking in beauty, balance and respect with nature. If a person walks this path they are causing no harm. However, it cannot be said that the modern meat industry, with all it's vices, has anything to do with walking in such a way. If you are relating your argument to the original post, I'm afraid I fail to see the connection."

The abuses of the modern meat industry has NOTHING to do with the abstract question "is killing and eating an animal wrong?". To argue that it does, that you can get from A to B is roughly equivalent to saying "keeping a STOLEN painting is wrong" implies that "keeping a painting is wrong".

And apparently you seem to think that "a person walking in beauty, balance and respect with nature" would find something wrong with killing and eating an animal. I chose those particular three terms because all possible transaltions (it would mean all three) of an ethical term for "proper morality" of one of our native cultures. Sorry, but thsoe people doing right by thir eyes might not be doing "no harm" by yours (or perhaps even mine). They do kill and eat animals (in a RESPECTFUL manner -- which is not at all necessarily the same thing as you would judge kind, good, merciful, etc. etc.).

Education will NOT lead us to agreement. That is in no way intended to devalue education (just getting us all to agree isn't one of the things it can do). Nor is this about FACTS -- though again a dispute about the facts of the matter can lead to different ethical conclusions even where the disputants share the same moral basis. But the major differences of opinion here are not disagreements about facts but different ethical/moral values.

author by Vet.publication date Thu May 28, 2009 08:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Myxomatosis is a disease which affects rabbits. It is caused by the Myxoma virus. First observed in Uruguay in the late 1800s, it was deliberately introduced into Australia in 1950 in an attempt to control rabbit infestation and population there.
It was introduced illegally to France in 1952 and as a result spread to the rest of Europe:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myxomatosis

Outside of Uruguay, Myxomatosis is a cruelty imposed on rabbits... BY HUMANS.

Better to humanely put a rabbit down than give it that horrible disease.
.

author by sarah-jpublication date Fri May 29, 2009 11:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello, I'm a veggie and thinking about becoming vegan...... I want to research it before I start, in terms of having a full understanding of the ethical arguments in favour of veganism, and also practical issues such as buying and cooking food...... Are there any must-read books that people would recommend?

Thanks a million......

author by John Carmody - ARANpublication date Fri May 29, 2009 14:27author email arancampaigns at eircom dot netauthor address author phone 0872391646Report this post to the editors

Hey Sarah! Awesome news about you wanting to become vegan - a good shot would be, VEGAN FREAK 'Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World'. It's really great. Also you should get in contact with the Vegan Society in the UK who are full of amazing knowledgeg too.

Let ARAN know if we can help you out with support and advice, it's what we are here for! Your in good company, so well done again.

Related Link: http://www.ARAN.ie
author by Roger Yatespublication date Sat May 30, 2009 14:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Hi sarah-j. It is indeed good to hear that you are contemplating and researching veganism. The following resources should help you:-

Compassion: The ultimate ethic, an exploration of veganism by Victoria Moran.
Making a Killing: The political economy of animal rights by Bob Torres.

There are quite a few sociological studies about people who go vegan. A recent one is by Barbara MCDonald called "Becoming Vegan" in http://www.allbookstores.com/book/9780205594931/Arnold_....html

Other research here: http://www.psyeta.org/S-and-AFullLTxt.shtml

Gary Francione's blog site: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/about/

One of the easiest ways to get up-to-date info on veganism in Ireland is through Vegaplanet: http://www.vegaplanet.org/?cat=5

A famous book is Diet for A New America by John Robbins - video version here: http://sites.google.com/site/animalrightsviolations/lin...s/vid

Finally, consider Twitter. A 'person search' using "vegan" will bring up lots of people - recipes/news clips/ideas etc, etc on veganism.

Hope that helps.

author by catladypublication date Sat May 30, 2009 22:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mike your logic is flawed. In the sense that you interpret things from my post in your own way, which were never stated. I am not about to respond to your flights of fancy.

The one thing I DID state was that education would be a benefit. Perhaps we do not have the same definition of the word, but when I say that education helps people become vegan, I speak from experience. I never stated that it would change everybody's minds. Of course it wont! That's why the AR movement needs a wide variety of tactics, from education to direct action!

In addition, by education, I do not mean the odd flyer..... I mean every child should be brought into an abbatoir and shown where their burger/sausage comes from. Watch the calf/cow/pig/lamb die.Then be told they can eat a meat diet or a non-meat one and be very healthyy. I have enough faith in children to be confident that most would change..... My point is that without BOTH sides and REAL facts, no choice is a real choice.

author by sarah-jpublication date Sun May 31, 2009 00:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks ever so much John and Roger. I will definitely look at some or all of these. John , I will definitely stay in touch with that website for ongoing info if I do decide to commit to veganism. Roger, thanks, I'm definitely interested in the sociological work on the subject. I'm just finishing my degree, I studied sociology and loved it.

Thank you both again : )

author by Roger Yatespublication date Sun May 31, 2009 09:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Hi sarah-j (again!)

Since you have studied sociology, these resources should also be of interest...

http://roger.rbgi.net/

http://human-nonhuman.blogspot.com/

Good luck with your vegan-relevant research.

RY.

author by Partisanpublication date Wed Jun 03, 2009 13:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It seems that you people, like many veggie/vegans/animal liberationaists care more for other species than your own and care more for the young of other species than the young of our own human species.
We are omnivores that is how we evolved, how we successfully adapted to all sorts of climates, environments and ways of living. We began as hunter-gatherers not just as 'gatherers.' Therefore an omnivorous diet is both the healthiest and most natural for us and for our young, while vegan diets are wholly unnatural and not even terribly healthy - we need fat in our diet for instance and saturated fat at that. Vegan diets do not provide sufficiant fat, do not provide sufficiant calcium, sufficiant available protein and other essential nutrients, particularly for children. We will be taking part in a hugely hazardous experiment if we go down the vegan path and we will lose not only entire species but all the biodiversity that goes with them.
Some ten or so years ago there was a huge fuss from animal rights groups and others, when it became known that cattle were being fed rendered down meat, from sheep mainly I believe. Quite rightly since cattle are a herbivorous species. However when we as an omniverous species are persuaded, cajoled or when all else fails scolded into becoming herbivores it is seen as something wonderful and virtuous! People going vegan are congratulated, they do not deserve congratulation but condolence. People we will die off if we go vegan - wake up. High quality, grass fed organic meat, milk, butter and eggs from free-range chickens are entirely healthy and furthermore ecologically sound and humane. Slaughter methods also can be humane, too often they are not sadly, but well run local abattoirs can and do exist. Eat as we are designed to eat, or wave good-bye to lambs in spring forever. Or do you want to see a lifeless countryside given over, more than it is already to monocultures of cereals?
See the Weston-Price website for some interesting, instructive and surprising information.

Related Link: http://www.weston-price.org
author by Partisanpublication date Wed Jun 03, 2009 13:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A better link for the Weston-Price Foundation http://www.westonaprice.org/

The one I gave earlier seems to have been corrupted, or hijacked or something.

Just like to say that I agree with Ed above (Morality) Case very well and nicely stated.

Related Link: http://www.westonaprice.org/
author by Roger Yatespublication date Wed Jun 03, 2009 17:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors


One should be most careful relying - at all - on the Weston Price Foundation who may have distorted the views of dentist Weston Price.

T. Colin Campbell comments on the Foundation here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxb7XPm_SxU

The vegan diet is fine for human beings - but all people have to be educated about nutrition regardless of what they eat. There is a consistent pattern of evidence that shows that a meat-based diet is harmful in human animals. See: http://www.eatveg.com/Eat-your-veggies.htm which discusses these issues and includes this section:-

"Staunch proponents of an all-vegetable diet that does not include dairy products contend that all animal proteins--including dairy products--rob the body of calcium and thus should be avoided. It's a complicated story for the uninitiated," said Colin Campbell, of Cornell University, lead investigator of a long-term dietary study in China. But in areas of the world where calcium intake is low, such as China, rates of osteoporosis are also much lower than in countries where dairy food and meat consumption is high, he said.

"But many experts also caution that the strictest vegetarian diets, the ones that cut out all animal flesh and dairy products, may not always be palatable--or necessarily safe and appropriate--for everyone. Special care is needed for example to make sure that infants and children on these diets get enough calories. Infants and children as well as pregnant and lactating women may also require supplements to meet nutritional needs for proper growth and development.

""Vegans eat only food of plant origin, the new federal Dietary Guidelines note. "Because animal products are the only sources of vitamin B12, vegans must supplement their diets with a source of this vitamin. In addition, vegan diets, particularly those of children, require care to assure adequacy of vitamin D and calcium, which most Americans obtain from milk products."

author by Catladypublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 02:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are a scream!
Yeah yeah wouldn't it be great if the world ate organic???????????
FACT: people will die you idiot.
Yeah lets eat kind meat!
FACT: It doesn't exist! Throat slitting is not kind by anyones standards!
Yeah lets eat nice kind eggs!
FACT: and forget about the millions of chicks thrown alive into mincing machines?
lets eat organic!
YAY!!! Same suffering, without the pesticides! So worth it! and so makes me innocent!!!!!!!!!!

author by Pete.publication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Because animal products are the only sources of vitamin B12."

Not any more.
It can now be made artificially....."synthesized".

See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12

Quote:

"Vitamin B12 cannot be made by plants or animals[5] as only bacteria have the enzymes required for its synthesis. The total synthesis of B12 was reported by Robert Burns Woodward[6] and Albert Eschenmoser,[7][8] and remains one of the classic feats of organic synthesis."

(6)..........
Khan,AG and Easwaran,SV (2003). "Woodward's Synthesis of Vitamin B12". Resonance: 8–16. http://www.ias.ac.in/resonance/June2003/June2003p8-16.htm.

(7)........
Eschenmoser, A. and Wintner, C. (1977). "Natural Product Synthesis and Vitamin B-12". Science 196: 1410–20. doi:10.1126/science.867037. PMID 867037. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/867037.

(8)......
Riether, D. and Mulzer, J. (2003). "Total Synthesis of Cobyric Acid: Historical Development and Recent Synthetic Innovations". Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2003 (1): 30–45.
.

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