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Soapbox: Arguments for a vegan lifestyle

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Posted: Sunday, September 4, 2011 12:15 am

   Have you heard? Bill Clinton has gone vegan. When he was president we heard about his affection for barbecue and burgers, but after having quadruple bypass surgery, Clinton has decided to embrace a meat-free lifestyle. And he’s not the only one: Brad Pitt, Alicia Silverstone, Weird Al, Mike Tyson, Moby, Ellen DeGeneres, Biz Stone, and many other public figures are vegans.

    Veganism, which was rarely mentioned in the media a decade ago, is becoming a household word. Oprah, Dr. Oz, and Martha Stewart all dedicated episodes to veganism last season. Even the Food Network, that mainstay of omnivorism, is featuring a vegan food truck on this season’s Great Food Truck Race, and two vegan bakers have won Cupcake Wars with their delicious dairy-free confections.

    Still, there aren’t very many vegans in Logan, and you might be wondering why someone would embrace this kind of a diet. Depending on which vegan you ask, you could get a number of different answers to your question. Many vegans are motivated by ethical concerns; others are principally concerned with their health. My answer is that I was first brought to vegetarianism as an 8-year-old who didn’t like the bare idea of eating animals, and as I’ve learned more and more about industrialized animal agriculture systems in the United States I have become increasingly compelled by the idea that veganism is the best basis for an ethical and healthy diet.

Ethical Issues

    For me, the most important issue that I consider when choosing my food is animal suffering and exploitation. Most Americans don’t realize the extreme abuse that is continuously inflicted on animals raised for food. A very small percentage of animals are raised on the family farms that populate our collective farm-animal imaginations; most animals are born and die in factory farms where they are mutilated, abused, and sometimes isolated and beaten, and where they suffer from illnesses and deformities brought on by genetic modification, inappropriate food, and a continual regime of antibiotics.

    Animal agriculture systems are also extreme users of land, water and energy, and are linked to climate change, air and water pollution, and threats to biodiversity. A vegan diet, especially one that relies heavily on home-grown and local food sources, is far gentler on the environment than a traditional American omnivorous diet.

    People often ask what the difference is between vegetarians and vegans. Vegetarians do not consume animal flesh, and vegans take it a step further: they do not eat meat or any other animal products, such as eggs and dairy products because these products are typically produced in the same abusive and exploitative systems in which meat is produced. People who embrace the vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons also avoid animal products like honey, fur, leather, and products that have been tested on animals.

Health Issues

    As a teenage vegetarian, I didn’t have a very healthy diet. I ate lots of refined flours, pasta, white rice, and cheese. As a result I often struggled with anemia, which seems to be something many people fear when they consider eliminating animal products from their diet. I now have more information about the health benefits of eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans, and I’ve discovered a wealth of nourishing vegan recipes that provide plenty of protein, iron, calcium, and all the other nutrients my family needs. In fact, plant foods are often more effective sources of these nutrients than animal products. For instance, bok choy and sesame seeds are better sources of calcium than cow’s milk and cheese.

    A well-balanced vegan diet has been linked to decreased rates of heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and certain autoimmune disorders.  Even mainstream organizations like the American Institute for Cancer Research are beginning to recognize the strongly-substantiated link between meat consumption (especially processed meats) and certain kinds of cancers.  

    In addition, virtually all cases of food poisoning and bacterial contamination can be linked back to animal agriculture. Often when people think they have the flu, they are actually experiencing the gastrointestinal effects of contaminated meat or eggs. For instance, researchers have found that in meat-eating households, there is more fecal bacteria in the kitchen sinks than in the toilets! And one-fourth of all fast food burgers are contaminated with parasites. It’s no wonder that vegans have been found to be significantly less-polluted than meat eaters!

    As more and more people learn about the cruel treatment that animals experience in the factory farming system, and about the health benefits of a vegan diet, I expect that more of our neighbors will be experimenting with vegetarianism and veganism. And the ensuing conversations about what we value, what we mourn, and what we want to change will enrich us all.

Melissa Lambert is a PhD student in the Environment & Society department at USU.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • shdware posted at 9:50 am on Fri, Sep 9, 2011.

    shdware Posts: 987


    "I decide what is and what isn't ethical for me."

    Treading a fine line there. I think I understand what you mean to say, but what you decide might not correlate to what is actually ethical. I agree with you on the milkshake though.

  • Bart posted at 9:17 am on Fri, Sep 9, 2011.

    Bart Posts: 738

    For me, drinking a milkshake is ethical. I decide what is and what isn't ethical for me.

  • Ninja Pig posted at 8:49 pm on Thu, Sep 8, 2011.

    Ninja Pig Posts: 91

    I just enjoyed a home-made chocolate chip milkshake. What THAT ethical? Have I committed a sin? If so, where is the right confessional for such offenses?

  • jfb posted at 8:00 pm on Thu, Sep 8, 2011.

    jfb Posts: 5

    Its precisely because of our similarities other animals have to us that we ought to give them ethical consideration.

    I give consideration to other people because of their potential suffering and joy. Others enjoy life have an interest in their lives continuing. Anyone with any experiences with animals knows they too suffer. They are part of that "others". They play, enjoy life, and try to avoid suffering, pain and death for all the same reasons humans do.

    FreedomWallace is right on. I would add that even other apes rape, kill, steal, wage war, and engage in infanticide. These are normal, natural and prevalent behaviors for many animals and species, especially other apes. We don't use the behavior of animals, or what is "natural", to guide our own behavior except when its convenient.

  • FreedomWallace posted at 5:55 am on Thu, Sep 8, 2011.

    FreedomWallace Posts: 211

    There is a lot of evidence of cannibalism for some of our early ancestors. We are animals as Bluto stated... what is considered ethical changes in time. Survival of the fittest... those who adapt to changes the best... I'm just grateful for the choice I have to eat meat or not... for the research that shows the nutritional value of items... based on what we know now - and knowing that we're always discovering new things - I am going to base my diet on what makes me feel best. And I think you should too. :)

  • Bluto posted at 6:06 pm on Wed, Sep 7, 2011.

    Bluto Posts: 7627

    Ya, O ...

    I know.

  • chipper posted at 5:32 pm on Wed, Sep 7, 2011.

    chipper Posts: 1023


    Love that you have a sense of humor. That got you several point with me.[smile]

  • Little Al posted at 9:09 am on Wed, Sep 7, 2011.

    Little Al Posts: 3103

    Bloto , Me's think that kind of contamination happens with more than just vegetation ..YUCK...

  • orion posted at 6:55 am on Wed, Sep 7, 2011.

    orion Posts: 5151

    Bluto. Your last statement/deduction is just plain weird.

  • Bluto posted at 11:26 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    Bluto Posts: 7627


    As I said, I don't have trouble with your message of nutrition. It's your 'meat is murder' generalization with which I take issue. Eating meat is not an ethical matter. Killing a fish makes no noise. Killing a bovine doesn't either if it is done right.

    We are animals, you and I. I will not apologize for that. I don't think you should either.

    As for contaminated vegetation ... I believe some of that E-Coli is coming from workers carping in the fields and not giving a dammm about it.

  • Gary Olsen To The R posted at 9:56 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    Gary Olsen To The R Posts: 569

    @Curly- You're talking about "Silent Running" I haven't seen it yet (Hard to find), but it has been on my list for a while because it's in my book "501 must see movies" That I got from Borders a few years ago. Looks cool because sci-fi is the best genre in my opinion. :)

  • Gary Olsen To The R posted at 9:49 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    Gary Olsen To The R Posts: 569

    Would you consider Soylent Green a Nutritional part of a balanced breakfast, Missy?

  • CurlyF posted at 9:42 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    CurlyF Posts: 633

    The droids were Huey, Dewey and Louie. . . .still trying to remember the movies title.

  • CurlyF posted at 9:40 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    CurlyF Posts: 633

    What was the name of that movie back in the 70's with Bruce Dern in it that was about him being the last human on a space station that was raising crops in space? He had robot droids that helped with the planting, cultivating and harvesting. Pretty cool movie . . .wonder if that's possible with animals as well. Then you could have your steak AND potatoes with your glass of milk.

  • Gary Olsen To The R posted at 9:28 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    Gary Olsen To The R Posts: 569

    I know what ya mean Missy. I've been advocating for years to try to get more people to wear helmets when riding motorcycles (something that actually matters), but It's a far cry from ever fully happening. This fight (your fight), is pointless. Meaningless and unnecessary.

    I've always prided myself on my ability to outwork every co-worker I have ever worked with (I always put them to shame and they hate me for it). I would not be able to do this if I lived the kind of diet you recommend. I would faint daily and would barely have the strength to speak. I don't know how you can function on a diet like this, but I admire you for it. A true survival story that you have shared with us. Keep up the good fight Meliss :)

  • missy posted at 8:56 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    missy Posts: 7

    Chipper- Well, I've been concocting a plan to tie up everybody in Logan and force-feed them kale, but the logistics are pretty complicated so in the end you don't need to worry about it ;)

    Bluto- Definitely check out that link that Kendal Bates posted below--and that whole website, actually, has tons of nutritional information. The foundation of it all is produce--lots and lots of vegetables! I'm really not trying to out-green anyone; in fact, I would absolutely love it if everyone cared as much about this issue as I do.

    FreedomWallace- I do have kids. I know I already recommended some other books to you, but a really great book about planning plant-based diets for children is "Disease Proof Your Child" by Joel Fuhrman.

    MediumCharge- I have this sneaking suspicion you don't actually care how I respond to your rhetorical question.

  • Gary Olsen To The R posted at 7:36 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    Gary Olsen To The R Posts: 569

    Here's something informative you may enjoy Meliss: (It even starts with a joke about Bill Clinton- funny coincidence)

  • jfb posted at 7:22 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    jfb Posts: 5

    Meant "no more or less true than any other diet" - I think I had a typo that was autocorrected.

  • jfb posted at 7:21 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    jfb Posts: 5

    From the ADA: "Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence." Its interesting they came out with such a strong statement of support. You'd find a group of dietitians saying any diet should be well planned and I think that's no more or less true than any other idea. I do agree it might be easier to plan a meat diet for some because that's what we're used to eating. I agree with Melissa's experience on finding a new routine, and once that's found, its just as easy. I personally haven't found it difficult at all to get complete nutrition from a vegan diet in 10 years of eating vegan. I've had different nutrients checked from time to time and have never been low in anything. Plenty of the foods most most people eat now are fortified and there is centrally no reason to stop buying fortified foods as a vegan too.

    Its interesting how quickly we consider some foods like cow's milk essential due to marketing. We have only been doing it as a species for maybe 8k years, are the only species to drink the milk of another species, and the only species to drink any milk past infancy that I know of. Outside of European descendants, the genes for digesting milk are significantly less common and in many areas completely absent. Milk is for babies!

    Being vegan can definitely force a change in your routine, which can take some getting used to and experimentation, but its been well worth it for me.

  • MediumCharge posted at 5:44 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    MediumCharge Posts: 127

    I'm thinking I'll have ice cream with hot fudge and almonds after my rice and chicken casserole dinner. Melissa, is that okay with you, or is there some ethical considerations I should be mindful of?

  • FreedomWallace posted at 4:11 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    FreedomWallace Posts: 211


    Do you have kids?

    I have often wondered if I should bring up my future kids as vegetarians or vegans.

  • DL in DEN posted at 2:27 pm on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    DL in DEN Posts: 3079

    Vegetarian and vegan diets have a positive effect on many who have some medical conditions, such as type II Diabetes, some thyroid conditions, diverticulosis,and obesity. When I tried it I found that I couldn't gag down enough leaves, nuts, and berries to maintain weight, never mind gain it.

    If eating meat violates your sensibilities or ethics, I see no reason to try to talk you into it.

    There are plenty of foods that aren't meat or dairy that are bad for you. It can be challenging to get complete nutrition from a vegan diet, and a lot of proponents seem to have ties to the dietary supplement industry, and I have little respect for those snake oil merchants.

  • CurlyF posted at 11:53 am on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    CurlyF Posts: 633

    Is washing and peeling potatoes considered "waterboarding" ?

  • Little Al posted at 10:59 am on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    Little Al Posts: 3103

    I was mowing my lawn last night and I keep hearing these little voices " No, No, " WTH ?

  • posted at 7:35 am on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.


    Interesting stuff.

  • FreedomWallace posted at 6:58 am on Tue, Sep 6, 2011.

    FreedomWallace Posts: 211


    Why were they recalled? Think about it.

    Most of the time they were fertilized OR contaminated by animal manure or if the water used to irrigate was infected... so yeah it can be linked back to animals.

  • Bluto posted at 10:06 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    Bluto Posts: 7627

    If you have some interesting information about my health, I'm all ears. I know I eat poorly frequently.

    But meat ain't murder sister. The only ethics involved here is the 'I win because I am going to out-green you. I care more than you!"

  • orange posted at 9:57 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    orange Posts: 248

    "In addition, virtually all cases of food poisoning and bacterial contamination can be linked back to animal agriculture."

    This is not true. How many times has spinach or sprouts been recalled in the past few years?

  • DenverDoug posted at 6:42 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    DenverDoug Posts: 1011

    I agree shdware. Without necessarily earmarking a certain night as being "meat free," I have drastically reduced my meat consumption. Unfortunately, to be true to the vegan cause, my consumption of eggs, cheese and other dairy products should have also been reduced. If anything, with less meat in my diet, my consumption of these other products have increased.

    I worked with a vegan at a restaurant about 20 years ago who told me that if he ate any meat or animal byproducts he would get physically ill, even if he didn't know he was eating it.

    I informed him that the marinara sauce he so loved to dip his bread sticks in was made with pork fat -- and not a small amount either....large amounts of pure pork fat. Several other people who knew how the marinara sauce was made validated me. I asked him if he'd ever gotten sick from the marinara sauce and he just walked away.

    The point I'm getting at is that even those people who think they are being careful to totally eliminate animal meat and products from their diet will find doing so to be very difficult.

  • chipper posted at 6:30 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    chipper Posts: 1023

    I have no problem with what Missy advocates to the extent that she isn't advocating mandates--forcing people to eat as she would have them eat.

  • shdware posted at 4:08 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    shdware Posts: 987

    Regardless of your feelings on being voluntarily proselytized by written word on the boons of being a Vegan, you can't deny that it couldn't be a bad thing to at least cut down the amount of meat that we eat as a society.

    We have meatless Mondays. I've also discovered TVP works well in sloppy joes and with taco seasoning for Mexican night. But I'll also eat meat.

  • shdware posted at 4:07 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    shdware Posts: 987

    Regardless of your feelings on being voluntarily proselytized by written word on the boons of being a Vegan, you can't deny that it couldn't be a bad thing to at least cut down the amount of meat that we eat as a society.

    We have meatless Mondays. I've also discovered TVP works well in sloppy joes and with taco seasoning for Mexican night. But I'll also eat meat.

  • missy posted at 3:22 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    missy Posts: 7

    mking- I think that if everyone paid as much attention to where their food comes from as you do, the world would be a better place.[smile]

  • missy posted at 3:08 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    missy Posts: 7

    FreedomWallace- Thanks for your comment! I haven't read Skinny B* but if you are interested in reading more on this topic, I recommend Eating Animals (by Jonathan Safran Foer) and The China Study (by T. Colin Campbell). They are a couple of my favorites.

    Orion- I think that's a really important question and I don't have a good answer for it. Use of animal products is ubiquitous in our society and hard to avoid--and it's all very unpleasant once you start learning about the nitty-gritty of how and why those products even exist. I'm a believer in doing my best though I will never be perfect: learning something new every day, doing my best to eliminate one product at a time, trying to share what I learn with other people. I admire your thoughtfulness, Orion!

    G Reeper, here are just a couple of research reports linking animal agriculture with climate change:

    Of course if any of you would like clarification on specific points that you think are exaggerated, please let me know and I'll provide sources.

  • finlay11 posted at 3:01 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    finlay11 Posts: 1

    In regards to all the comment about the author's sources and their lack of credibility - I actually looked at the sources the author mentions below and all the information comes out of studies published in very respected peer-reviewed scientific journals. These are the same journals that all of your primary-care physicians, nurses, cardiologists and other health care professionals are reading in their daily practice.

  • mking posted at 2:59 pm on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    mking Posts: 210

    I would venture to guess that a vegan diet is more healthy than the fast-food, diet many Americans live by. But that doesn't mean that a vegan diet is the ONLY healthy diet or even the most healthy diet. I think it is smart to minimize going out to eat, meat consumption, sugar consumption, and white flour consumption. But that doesn't mean you have to go vegan to be healthy. You also don't have to go vegan in order to make sure that animals are treated humanely or to make sure your food is free of hormones and other chemicals. For instance, I raise my own chickens and I feel no guilt whatsoever eating their eggs. They are probably the most spoiled chickens on the planet. There are also local farms you can buy animal products from who treat their animals very well. It's a matter of learning about your food and body and making smart choices, not just jumping straight to a vegan lifestyle.

  • catlover posted at 11:42 am on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    catlover Posts: 122

    I have several family members who are vegetarians and my granddaughter showed me the documentary "Food, Inc." After watching it, I have somewhat changed my eating habits. If you want to watch an excellent documentary (whether you are vegetarian, meat-eating, considering vegetarianism, never plan to be a vegetarian, etc) it is an excellent documentary about food in our country. It is available through Netflix.

  • G Reeper posted at 10:48 am on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    G Reeper Posts: 97

    Of course, the "climate change" thing fits right in with the other exaggerations of this letter.

  • orion posted at 10:39 am on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    orion Posts: 5151

    I have been evolving into a vegetarian-vegan for a number of years now for most of the same reasons jfb cites in the first two paragraphs.

    I have a difficult time nourishing myself at the expense of another life form that must experience the trauma of slaughter.

    Less than a week ago, being in a ocean setting, I tried a fresh fish dinner. Couldn't eat it. I wound up feeding the fish to a passel of cats nearby.

    Although I still consume dairy products, I am also cognizant of the fact that there are unscrupulous abuses in hormones placed into feed or animals injected with chemicals to grow bigger and faster in order to produce more milk or hatch more eggs. Certainly not good for the animal, and ultimately, probably not good for me.

    But where to draw the line? Do I not wear leather? What about products, medicines, etc. that are beneficial at the expense of animal experimentation? How does one sift through all the grey areas?

    How is it possible to be a true 'vegan' in every sense of the word?

  • G Reeper posted at 10:37 am on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    G Reeper Posts: 97

    Animals are linked to "climate change?" That alone lets you know this gal is a missionary of a bad religion.

  • G Reeper posted at 10:34 am on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    G Reeper Posts: 97

    Well, I enjoy eating my meat. It's nobody's business that I do.

  • jfb posted at 9:32 am on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    jfb Posts: 5

    I went vegetarian almost 15 years ago (and vegan over 10) because I realized I wanted to minimize suffering I contributed to. I don't know how anyone could think Melissa's article is hate speech. I have no animosity toward those who raise livestock. I count hunters among my friends and family. I talk to and buy from farmers at the market and I truly appreciate all they do for the valley and for me.

    I hadn't made the connections between what was on my plate and my love for animals before I went veg. I knew my pets felt joy and pain and experienced life - anyone who has lived with a dog will tell you that. It took a while for me to realize the implications my existing beliefs should have had on my diet. However the animals are raised or killed, I knew being a part of that wasn't consistent with other things I held true. I think its worth everyone examining that for themselves.

    Like Carl Lewis (10 time Olympic medalist and SI Olympian of the Century), Edwin Moses, Scott Jurek (ultramarathon), Salim Stoudamire (NBA), Desmond Howard (NFL), Pat Neshek (MLB), Georges Laraque (NHL), John Salley (NBA), Mac Danzig (MMA) and many more, I later found veganism would help, not hurt, my health and fitness. Whereas before I couldn't imagine running a 5k, 15 years in I'm training for ultramarathons.

  • stanley posted at 8:35 am on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    stanley Posts: 69

    When you resort to sensationalism and questionable sources for the sake of convience, you have lost all credibility. I hope you do a better job of choosing sources for your academic studies.

  • Perk posted at 6:23 am on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    Perk Posts: 1

    I'm conscientious! When they ask if I want my milk bagged, I tell them I prefer mine "free range." I just let it roll around in the back of the Durango.

  • FreedomWallace posted at 4:58 am on Mon, Sep 5, 2011.

    FreedomWallace Posts: 211

    I think if more people payed attention to how they feel after eating meat they would eat it less. I feel lethargic, and cloudy minded after I do...

    I am not vegetarian... once in a great while I'll eat free range chicken...

    My father- strong alpha male - became vegan for what he said was only going to be for a few months to get healthier. It got rid of a lot of problems he had, lost some weight, and feels more energized than ever.

    I think that most men feel that it's "manly" to eat meat.

    The book that turned me over was "Skinny B*tch" - AMAZING. Have you read that Melissa?

  • missy posted at 10:57 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    missy Posts: 7

    Hi Stanley: you may want to read the Solomon et al article a bit more closely. The quotation that you pulled is referring specifically and only to the manure that they collect from the Rutgers farm for the purposes of experimentation. It makes no such claims about manure in general; in fact, the articles cited in the background section of the article make it abundantly clear that E.Coli is transmitted through cattle feces. In this particular experiment, they injected E.Coli into previously "clean" manure samples so that they could experimentally track the transmission mode. And what they found was that E.Coli does indeed move from manure-contaminated soil and irrigation water into lettuce plants, including through the root systems.

    If you have any research on hand that suggests an alternative hypothesis for how E.Coli gets onto lettuces and other vegetables (other than via bovine feces), I'll certainly read it.

    And the reason I chose the link to present the information about fast food burger content is simply because I thought the video discussion would be more interesting than just linking to the academic articles themselves. But you can always search for the articles and read them in their raw form; they contain the same information that I cited. None of the articles I linked come from any advocacy organization; they are neutral scientific articles published in reputable journals.

    And for any owners of small family farms who are offended by this op-ed, I'd ask you to observe that I focus on factory farming systems in my section on ethical issues. I made no claims about the conduct of any small family-owned operation in particular.

  • stanley posted at 10:18 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    stanley Posts: 69

    Yeah, Missy, I checked out your "sources". I would expect a PHD student to find reliable sources that do not have a bias. Your reference on vegetable contamination coming from animal agriculture stated that the mechanism by which lettuce was contaminated was not known, but the HYPOTHESIS was that it came through irrigation water. From that same article, they spoke of trials done with manure from dairy cattle at Rutgers University. I quote directly from the article, "Manure collected from the farm for inclusion in research experiments is routinely screened for the presence of E. coli O157:H7 and is consistently negative."

    And, how interesting, that the MD associated with is a director of the national Humane Society--which we all know has their own agenda and they commonly use sensationalism. half-truths, and lies to further it.

    You are welcome to your opinions, but don't propogate your opinions as truth.
    Every farm family in this valley is offended and incensed by your false claims as to how they run their businesses and care for the animals that their own welfare depends on.

  • Winterbuzz posted at 9:49 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    Winterbuzz Posts: 2

    As for "overpriviliged ingrates" - I think drawing unrelated lines between respecting life and creation of any kind and advocating for responsible choices verses housing cows in mansions shows that perhaps Gary should worry more about furthering his education than calculating the cost of someone else. Oh, and this only costs two cents, "privilege" is spelled with only two i's.

  • missy posted at 9:35 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    missy Posts: 7

    Sounds like you know a thing or two about hate speech, Mr. Gary.

  • Gary Olsen To The R posted at 8:52 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    Gary Olsen To The R Posts: 569

    @AgentWTF: This tripe doesn't read out like an intelligent essay. It feels more like a hate speech.

    @winterbuzz- I can help you round up all the farm animals in the valley so you can put them in a mansion that you can pay the rent for. You'll need to go by there a couple times a day to feed 'em and every night brush their teeth, read them a story, and then tuck 'em in.

    @Missy- Jeez this is worse than some of the stuff I write. Heck, it's worse than what Stephanie Meyer writes. I hope you didn't pay too much for your education.
    All of my hard working farmer forefathers that settled College Ward and this valley would turn over in their graves if they saw the ramblings of an overpriviliged, well fed ingrate that have appeared in this paper today.

  • Gary Olsen To The R posted at 8:22 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    Gary Olsen To The R Posts: 569

    oops meant to say Bacon instead of ham (The 2nd time)

  • Gary Olsen To The R posted at 8:21 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    Gary Olsen To The R Posts: 569

    Don't kid yourself Melissa. If a cow ever got the chance, they'd eat you and everyone you care about!

    (Some lines from The Simpsons:)
    after recently visiting a petting zoo Lisa is objecting to the lambchops the family is eating for dinner:
    Bart: "Oh, get a hold of yourself Lees. This is Lamb, not A lamb".
    Lisa: "What's sthe difference between this lamb and the one that kissed me?"
    Bart: "This one spent about two hours in the broiler"

    Homer: (to Lisa) "So you're saying you're never gonna eat meat again?"
    Lisa: "No"
    Homer: "What about Ham?"
    Lisa: "No"
    Homer: "ham?"
    Lisa: "NO!"
    Homer: "Porkchops?"
    Lisa: "Dad! Those all come from the same animal!"
    Homer: "Yeah right Lisa. A WONDERFUL, MAAAGICAL animal"

    Homer: Marge? Since I'm not talking to Lisa, would you please ask her to pass me the syrup?
    Marge: Dear, please pass your father the syrup, Lisa.
    Lisa: Bart, tell Dad I will only pass the syrup if it won't be used on any meat product.
    Bart: You dunkin' your sausages in that syrup homeboy?
    Homer: Marge, tell Bart I just want to drink a nice glass of syrup like I do every morning.
    Marge: Tell him yourself, you're ignoring Lisa, not Bart.
    Homer: Bart, thank your mother for pointing that out.
    Marge: Homer, you're not not-talking to me and secondly I heard what you said.
    Homer: Lisa, tell your mother to get off my case.
    Bart: Uhhh, dad, Lisa's the one you're not talking to.
    Homer: Bart, go to your room !

  • Winterbuzz posted at 8:00 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    Winterbuzz Posts: 2

    What an interesting and well thought out oped. Thanks for writing it, while I eat meat, you have given me a lot to think about. I'm concerned with the smug criticism of statements like "A MEAL SERVED WITHHOUT MEAT IS JUST A SNACK!!" a statement I could get off a bumper sticker when the author is accusing you of regurgitating talking points. Wow. Way to discredit your own silly argument. People are so smug about eating meat, it makes me sure that no one here has given it any critical thought. I am saddened about how little respect people have for life anymore. Life of any sort. It's all about feeding a human desire with little or no regard to life or creation itself. I'd love to see the rest of the comments that oppose your view, articulate it in such a thoughtful way as your original article. I suspect us meat eaters have little ground to stand on. "As for me and my house..." and "God made 'em out of meat." Wow, people. Way to use religion and God as a way to fuel ignorance. God created these animals, and even if you think God created them for you, how you quickly dismiss his creation as something to quickly consume is kind of disgusting and disrespectful.

    Thanks again for the thoughtful oped and the links you included. My family has already moved to a more meatless diet, but I know there is more to be done and should be done. Well done.

  • missy posted at 7:51 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    missy Posts: 7

    Kendal Bates, thanks for the support! [smile]

  • missy posted at 7:49 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    missy Posts: 7

    Hey folks! The author here. Some of you mentioned that there are no sources in the op-ed, which is true because citations are not a traditional component of an op-ed. But if any of you are interested in researching my claims further, I'm happy to provide references for any of the information in my editorial.

    Here's a discussion about the parasites (and other stuff) that is in fast food hamburgers:

    And here's the abstract for just one scientific study that analyzed the fecal bacteria content in kitchen sinks: (Other studies have found that there is 200 times more fecal bacteria on the average person's cutting board than there is on their toilet seat.)

    Some of you (incl. stanley) mentioned recent E.Coli outbreaks on spinach and other plant foods. That's correct, but the E.Coli came from animal agriculture in nearby factory farms. E.Coli is present in nearly 9 percent of cattle, and it's transmitted through their manure. Plants themselves do not produce E.Coli (or salmonella, or virtually any other food-borne illness). There are numerous studies that have been done to analyze the transmission path of E.Coli; here's a link to just one of them:

    If you'd like sources to further investigate any of my other claims, I'm happy to oblige!

  • agent_WTF posted at 7:44 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    agent_WTF Posts: 138

    Fact: ya'll should listen to her because she's smarter than you are.

  • posted at 6:19 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.


  • common sense posted at 5:49 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    common sense Posts: 87


    Her sources have no credibility. Ms. Lambert is simply spewing the talking points put out by the extreme radical animal rights groups such as PETA and HSUS.


  • Helio Felix posted at 5:42 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    Helio Felix Posts: 669

    I'll give you 1 compelling argument AGAINST a vegan lifestyle: Bacon.

  • common sense posted at 5:39 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    common sense Posts: 87

    FACT: The meat industry in this country is the MOST regulated agricultural industry there is. If you don't beleive it, take a trip to a foreign country sometime and go to a meat market.

    FACT: The threat of contracting E.coli or Salomonella is exponentially higher from eating fresh produce imported from Mexico.


  • jmbeef posted at 4:52 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    jmbeef Posts: 10

    While I disagree with most of her argument, I am more concerned about Melissa's casual usage of facts and statistics to support her claims. I would have guessed that in her educational quest to earn her PhD she would have at learned to be more objective in her assertions and cite her sources used.

  • Bluto posted at 4:29 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    Bluto Posts: 7627

    Good crimony ...

  • it'sneverdull posted at 3:47 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    it'sneverdull Posts: 23

    Parasites in 1/4 of all fast food burgers? Wow. Where did you come up with that? Moderation is the way to go.

  • CurlyF posted at 1:26 pm on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    CurlyF Posts: 633

    If you choose to be Herbie the Herbivore . . .good for you! Have fun with that, live long and prosper. As for me and my house . . . Beef; it's whats for supper. Plus you can find research out there to support just about anything . . .I'm sure there is a study somewhere that supports drinking your own bath water and riding your bike behind the Mosquito spray truck as being healthy . . . just look at Bill Clinton.

  • stanley posted at 10:46 am on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    stanley Posts: 69

    There is so much in this article that is false, that it is hard to know where to start the rebuttals. So let's start with " In addition, virtually all cases of food poisoning and bacterial contamination can be linked back to animal agriculture." That statement is laughable. Have you not followed the news for the last year or so? What about all those nation-wide break-outs caused by contaminated vegetables?

  • Blob posted at 10:25 am on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.

    Blob Posts: 112

    I'll be enjoying a grilled steak today and it isn't unethical.

  • posted at 8:23 am on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.


    I don't know much about vegans or the cruelty to animals stuff, but a plant-based diet has been proven to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, auto-immune disorders (MS, Lupus, etc), arthritis, bone and ligament disease, and a bevy of other major and minor health issues. If you won't do it for the animals, do it for yourself.

    Also, when I look at that list of illnesses, and think about the projected deficit spending of Medicare and Medicaid, I wonder if nutrition isn't going to be the greatest weapon in fighting our country's future economic travails. A hard sell in a state that boasts one of the highest number of eating joints per capita in the U.S....

  • posted at 7:03 am on Sun, Sep 4, 2011.


    Ladies and Gentlemen: Start your engines.

    If god didn't want us to eat animals he wouldn't have made 'em out of meat.


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