I, for one, welcome our hungry alien overlords.

I have a moral quandary – actually, no, more a dichotomy in desires between my cerebral cortex and my lizard brain.

You see, I like animals. A lot. They’re cute, and often fuzzy, and I’m an empathic soul (I cry in movies at the drop of a hat) and I really don’t want to eat animal flesh any more.

If for no other reason, it’d suck to be in the position where if we were invaded by aliens who floated down upon us from their orbiting broodships, wielding advanced space-cutlery and telekinetically tying techno-napkins around the casings that enclose their mighty glowing brains while informing us via telepathy that although we’re obviously sentient and intelligent, we’re not as intelligent as the Space Brains and also we’re very tasty so tough fucking luck, it’s off the cages and the killing factories for humanity…. and I couldn’t really complain about it because hey, we use the same argument about cows and sheep.

But on the other hand, meat is FUCKING DELICIOUS.

So you see my problem.

111 thoughts on “I, for one, welcome our hungry alien overlords.

  1. If you were a piece of grass, cows would eat you without a thought. You couldn’t even have a discussion with the cow about the moral quandary of her being delicious.

    That’s the difference. The aliens might be super bright, but we can still hold an abstract, moral argument about us tasting like alien chocolate.

    You think crocodiles contemplate the person-hood of their nom nom noms? Nope. Animals don’t have moral agency.

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    1. Animals don’t have moral agency
      Ha! Shows how much you know about animals. Even dogs grasp the notion of justice and moral right and wrong –not just behaviour to avoid punishment.The no-moral-agency claim is just a variant of the claim that animals (and/or women) have no souls, so it doesn’t matter in any way at all what you do to them. I’m sure such claims are made by people abnormally lacking in empathy, perhaps as a result of any of a number of conveniently contrived religions or moral philosophies.By your argument, we should be fine with eating babies. Babies, after all, consistently fail to demonstrate any capacity for moral reasoning.

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      1. By my argument _alone_ sure. But it’s not the only one for eating animals over people with no moral agency.

        And if you really believe that animals can understand justice when are you going to set up law courts down on the farmyard? Judge Fido presiding?

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      2. Red Herring

        The moral agency thing is a red-herring, as is the convenient notion of souls magically gifted to some organisms.Far more relevant is the capacity for suffering, mental or physical. We already do have courts for dealing with negligence and mistreatment of animals. As our awareness of animal minds grow (they’re not very different from humans. Even their dreams work in similar ways, 7× playback speed and all), I expect more consideration will be reflected in legislation.

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      3. Re: Red Herring

        I never mentioned souls, that was your comment.

        And yes, we have courts that deal _humans_ causing animal suffering, I doubt we’ll ever get courts dealing with animals causing animal suffering. That’s my point.

        A cat playing with a half-dead mouse for half an hour is not capable of regarding the mouse’s suffering.

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      4. Re: Red Herring

        I never mentioned souls, that was your comment.As I said before, the no-moral-agency claim is just a variation of the no-souls claim. It’s a distinction that is both false and as arbitrary as the distinction of not wearing shoes.…doubt we’ll ever get courts dealing with animals causing animal suffering. That’s my point. Ah, right-o. It’s not much use dragging animals to court if we can’t easily communicate with them and make sure they understand that lying in court is very naughty. (Dogs are terrible liars, BTW.)It’s perfectly foreseeable that we may be required to fairly judge an animal’s sentence according to the likelihood of it causing damage or harm. The issue of intent should be irrelevant (for both humans and animals) except to determine the likelihood of re-offending.A cat playing with a half-dead mouse for half an hour is not capable of regarding the mouse’s suffering. We’ll have to see what the cat thinks.In any case, whether or not a human is capable of such reasoning is hardly relevant. With many humans, the will to reason can be easily and efficiently eliminated. It’s easy to pick a distinguishing characteristic of other humans and use that to conveniently remove any regard for their suffering, however great, or pretend that they cannot suffer anywhere near to the same degree as real people.

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      5. Re: Red Herring

        It can be easily demonstrated that animals habitually do not wear shoes (unless the shoes are nailed on). It’s as an arbitrary and irrelevant discriminant as the capacity for moral reasoning.I doubt that it’s possible to demonstrate a lack of moral agency anyway, except though detailed examination of brain structures. That contemporary behavioural science has demonstrated animals displaying complex emotions and moral reasoning indicates otherwise.Human brains are not all that different to the brains of other mammals, though humans seem to act as if they have vast areas of their brains dedicated to rationalising what their primitive and ancient monkey and lizard brains decide to do.

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      6. I wanted to type something right there but I held back with MIGHTY WILLPOWER. Thanks for saying kinda what i wanted to say πŸ™‚

        To muerk: People really don’t give animals enough credit, even my fish have a social hierachy and exhibit pain or ‘happiness’ depending on their health and the suitability of their environment.
        As humans we have the choice over how we choose to live and how we choose to treat the other creatures we share the planet with. I don’t think there are many people out there who could walk through an intensive farming factory (and don’t be naive enough to think we don’t have them in NZ) and still think that it is ok to treat animals in that way.

        The thing is that most people are so divorced from the where they food comes from and how it got to their plates that they can happily turn a blind eye to the disgustingly cruel practices perpetrated every day. It’s not as if any of these food animals have a happy life down on the farm before being humanely slaughtered round the back of the farmhouse. I still wouldn’t eat meat if that was the case, but I’d be a lot happier about the whole farming industry if it was.

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      7. Just as a side note, we have a dog, cats and guinea pigs. We’ve had chooks including a rooster πŸ™‚ and fish. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time with horses. Animals aren’t stupid. They feel, enjoy, get miffed or pushy. I also agree that animals prior to slaughter shouldn’t be treated cruelly.

        When it chilly, I used to bring my chooks into the house and they slept on broomstick over the back of some chairs with newspaper underneath. Charlie, our rooster used to wake us up in the morning. Erk a erk a ERK!!! They were fully tame chickens. We bring our guinea pigs into the house at night and give them loves and plays. In winter they lived inside the whole time with their hay and veges.

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      8. That and that I understand animals.

        But animals can’t be held responsible for moral acts. Thus you could never convict a dog of biting the postman and send him to jail.

        Our old dog used to love to kill hedgehogs. She was so clever she learnt to torture them to death silently because if we heard her barking we would come and investigate and remove her “toy”. It takes time to kill an armoured hedgehog and it’s a gruesome slow death.

        She had no clue she was doing a “horrible” thing.

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      9. I’m not disagreeing with you that animals don’t have the same moral reasoning as we do which is the VERY REASON why we have the ability to decide how we treat them and why its’ important that we think about it rather than just doing it. We have voices and they don’t.

        In your first post you argued that because animals can’t hold a reasoned argument with us about whether we should eat them or not then that makes it ok. (ie. we can reason with our alien invaders but animals can’t argue with us). This sounds like utter bollocks to me and that was what i wanted to reply to.

        I’ve read other posts that you have made on JSRs journal so I know you are christian – surely, if that is your belief, god wouldn’t have wanted us to eat everything in our paths, but take care of and protect the creatures of the earth?

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      10. I’m avoiding referencing my faith, but I do think humans have a duty to care for the environment and the animals and plants living with us here. My biggest issue with eating animals is the environmental impact it causes. The same goes for dairying. However I have no moral problem farming animals and slaughtering them for food.

        However… I’m not keen on fishing because of the time it takes to kill and because nets are killers to other wildlife. I hate catch and release fishing – fish torture more like. And I’d be more tempted to eat a Japanese whaler than a whale. I’m also unkeen on hunting for fun.

        There are excellent reasons to be vegetarian and I can see the point of it. But I’m happy to kill a cow and eat it.

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      11. ok, so this is where you contradict yourself:
        “My biggest issue with eating animals is the environmental impact it causes.”
        But you are still happy to do it. If you can SEE and UNDERSTAND the impact this is having on the planet then it makes no logical sense to be happy to eat meat.

        What you are saying is, “I don’t like this, but I’m still happy to do it”.

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      12. It’s our source of heat, I care about my kids not getting sick. As soon as we can afford it, I would love a cleaner source of heat.

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      13. Everything we do has an environmental impact. Think about the toxic stuff in the computer you’re using to have this debate. Even eating vegetarian isn’t perfect. Think how much land has been deforested for rice paddies, or maize fields. What about the pest sprays, even organic sprays are toxic to some degree. What about the amount of sewage and rubbish each person creates?

        Yes, I eat meat. It’s an excellent source of protein and iron. Fish has omega 3. Yes, we have a coal fire to keep warm over winter. We can’t afford other forms of heating. Most people burn coal here. Here in Greymouth there isn’t even a recycling scheme, everything goes into the landfill.

        Look at how much artificial estrogen gets into water supplies via urine of women. I don’t see people lobbying for that to stop.

        Everything has a cause and effect.

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      14. Please don’t say nets like there’s only one kind and they all catch things other than what the intend to, because this is simply not the case.

        Modern trawl nets have sealion escape devices (which are mandatory) that allow the animals to escape unharmed before they get trapped in the inswell of fish and drowned, and modern setnets have acoustic dolphin pingers that wake the dophins up do they don’t get caught in the nets while they are sleeping.

        Also trawl nets kill very quickly, and setnets don’t kill the fish at all, what are you talking about that slowely kill the fish exactly?

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      15. I read that trawling a net across the sea bottom is like putting a gigantic digger into the amazon and scooping up whatever is in it’s way :/ Tell me more about nets (because I don’t know that much excepot that most of the sea is dangerously overfished)

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      16. Well I have heard these stories about “Bottom Trawling” too, mostly put about the place by Greenpeace and others and it displays a fundamental misunderstanding about the fishing method.

        Most of the footage you will find of “Bottom Trawling” is very old and generally shows trawling using “Otter Boards” which isn’t even allowed in NZ, the footage is not from NZ and it is never noted when it was taken and where and by which company.

        There are a couple of things to consider when you think about the claims made by these well meaning but ill informed people, the claim that 1 trawl destroys 20% of the habitat on the bottom in that place.

        If this were true all habitat where trawling takes place would have been destroyed over 30 years ago because trawling takes place over the same ground, hundreds and thousands of trawls over the same sandy bottom areas.

        Claims that it destroys coral and rock habitats, well you can’t bottom trawl over coral or rocks anyway as it slices the nets into shreds and all the fish escape, so to argue this happens for any reason other than accident is odd.

        That it dredges up everything in it’s path, well having watched nets empty their catch onto the decks of ships many many times I have only very rarely seen the odd rock, that was small enough to get scooped up, 99% of the time it’s just full of fish, and those rocks are returned to the ocean, but I really never really saw that many.

        The rubber net rollers do bounce along the bottom touching occasionally, but they don’t crush anything, there is nothing there to crush, it’s mostly mud and sand.

        Also Bottom trawling is only one kind of trawling, there is also midwater and surface trawling, so it’s not like all trawling is bad because you might not like bottom trawling.

        To speak to your “most of the sea is dangerously overfished” statement, I will discuss in more detail if you like but to simply a response, I will say not in NZ

        And in other parts of the world only where it is economic to steam out using diesel and return with fish and still be able to pay for the diesel, so there is plenty of ocean with fish where they just can’t afford to sail to.

        Also in those places only dangerously low for commercial gain, the point at which they can no longer sell the fish and make enough to pay for the fuel is not the same as endangered from a extinction or species viability standpoint.

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      17. Yes, in NZ the mindset of the fishermen is somewhat different to other places, they are very much concerned with mitigation of seabird and seamamal bycatch because they enjoy these creatures and have no desire morally or financialy to kill them and also there is very much an idea that they will pass on their career to their children and part of that is making sure there are fish around for them to catch.

        We also have one of the most legislated fishing industries in the world, and there are mandated and voluntary restrictions on levels of catch that provide for a science based sustainability model that rivals most countries, who have in truth managed their fisheries badly or not at all, though many are moving to systems similar to ours in order to better protect their fish levels.

        We also have voluntary and mandated closed areas where fish stocks can rebuild, and these are closely and strictly policed using GPS tracking systems.

        I guess the main failing of our industry is that we do not toot our own horns about all the good things we are doing, so you really only hear from Greenpeace and the like who are firmly of the opinion that you can take a study done in another country that shows things are terrible and their practices are bad, and just make it apply to NZ without even finding out if it does.

        The fishing industry spends about 40million a year in Ministry of fisheries studies on industry impact on fish and population studies which is used to determine impact and set levels of catch and restrictions we also have our own scientists studying things to make sure we are not destroying our own livelyhoods.

        Yet environmentalists seem to be able to say emotional things with no basis of fact and we’re just supposed to eat it up, it’s not science and it’s not something a thinking person should put up with.

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      18. That’s really cool, I’m so glad to hear that NZ Fishing Industries are doing so much! It gives me a lot of hope. It’s a pity that more of this information isn’t out there because, really, for people like myself who are interested in farming and fishing practices you can try to get as much information as possible but it’s not always there for easy access.
        You know when you visit protected waters in NZ the fish are so much bigger and then when you snorkel/dive in non-protected areas the fish are smaller and there are less of them – do you think that the fishing industry is having this effect or is it just that the marine reserves have been set-up in places where fish tend to congregate?

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      19. You can find out all you want from a magazine called Seafood Magazine, it’s all in there and regularly, I know that’s not in the newspapers but they work on sensationlism not reasoned articles about nice stuff happening.

        http://www.seafood.co.nz/snz

        You can even read articles from it there.

        re: protected areas, that’s complicated and doesn’t take into account recreational fishers who are not restricted in the same way and sometimes just ignore restrictions that are in place, for example in the malborough sounds they have decided to close a lot of areas to fishing for blue cod, because it turns out that commercial fishers were taking about 15tonne a year, whereas recreational fishers were taking 150tonne a year, so it may not just be because of commerical fishing.

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      20. Thank you for all that excellent information! I really appreciate it

        I think that recreational fishers can have a bit of an ‘entitlement’ attitude towards fishing because they think it’s their right and that how can they be making an impact when they are just one little boat. But they forget that when everyone who fishes recreationally thinks this way it all adds up.
        The number of times I have been to Goat Island (a marine reserve north of auckland) and heard people saying that they would like to come back at night with a boat and catch some of the big snapper… it’s infuriating.

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      21. Yes it would be easy to confuse me for an anti environmentalist, but in fact I agree with conserving things when they need to be, and protecting things when they need to be and following best practices when they are warranted.

        Proper scientific environmentalism is a great idea, kneejerk emotional enviromentalism is dangerous and can sometimes damage the very thing you think you are protecting.

        You only have to see all the forests that have been cut down out towards Rolleston, because our government deciided to punish landowners who chopped them down by charging them a carbon tax rather than rewarding landowners who replant them.

        Not that I think man made climate change is as it is being described in the popular media, but the reality is if you think trees help reduce C02 then you should encourage people to plant them.

        And yes people attitudes to take levels of fish and shellfish leave a lot to be desired, considering how generous they already are, I can take 10 paua, and that should be more than enough for anybody.

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      22. I do think there is climate change. I don’t know how man-made it is or not, but I suspect that whatever we put into the environment is going to have an effect somewhere.

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      23. Oh absolutely, it can’t do anything but have an effect, however I think that effect will bear zero relation to what the climate change scaremongers are saying, meanwhile someones getting rich from saying otherwise.

        And as I shovel coal into my coal range and bask in it’s firey warmth I shall feel no guilt and will not even for a second feel that the planet will come tumbling down on me for doing so.

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      24. It’s quite a lot of domestic coal fires yes which is relatively meaningless.

        However bear in mind the entirety of the coal burnt during the industrial revolution amounted to a 0.0013% increase in global warming.

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      25. See here is where my understanding falls over. I’m fine with huge generic statements such as “lots of coal smoke bad” but that’s as far as my understanding goes.

        I’m honestly clueless re: global warming

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      26. The “climate change is caused by humans” weenies think that C02 drives climate change and more specifically that it heats up the planet, nevermind that the antarctic ice record shows the opposite, according to the ice record the temperature goes up and 800 years later the c02 levels raise an equal amount.

        This is all somewhat irrelevant anyway because everytime we have had a temperature increase humans have thrived, growing grapes in London for example.

        Now I’m not saying that a global temperature increase of say 4 degrees wouldn’t make humans have to move from some areas to live in others, but the idea that it would happen so quickly that we all die ™ is laughable.

        Also the idea that humans has done it is arrogant, the only thing with the power to change the temperature of a planet is the Sun, and the biggest greenhouse gas that exists is water vapour created by the Sun.

        It’s just a natural cycle and I do not think you’ll even really notice.

        And the greenhouse effect is what keeps us all from freezing to death so I personally don’t think we should try and “fix it”

        of course if you like being scared and buying lots of batteries you can believe whoever you like.

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      27. Really? Hmm. -Unfortunately i cannot remember where i heard this, but i seem to remember the person was someone who should have known what they were talking about. Has the practice of bottom trawling been altered at all in the past decade or two to make it more environmentally friendly? -Is it even a concern at all?

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      28. read my reply to Magdelene which explains it in detail, yes it has changed slightly and no it’s not really an issue for a number of reasons also explained in my reply, in short, it’s not what they think it is and doesn’t happen where they think it does.

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      29. Well the fish have to die at some point, whether in the net or when hauled out to suffocate on deck. No? Or are they iced so quick they go unconscious?

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      30. Deep sea fish die instantly as they can’t live at the pressure levels any higher than where they usually live, the action of trawling them up kills them fairly quickly, with setnets they are killed when they are brought out of the water to stop them flipping all over the place and with longline they are headed as they come up out of the water so die instantly.

        I have never seen hundreds of fish gasping for air all sitting in bins or fish pounds it just doesn’t happen, even recreational fishers hit the fish on the head when they remove it from the water to stop it dancing all over the place.

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      31. But animals can’t be held responsible for moral acts. Thus you could never convict a dog of biting the postman and send him to jail.

        You’re quite right, we don’t send the dog to jail. We send him to sleep. Which makes the rest of your argument flawed in that respect.

        As for the dog, it wasn’t doing a horrible thing. Like you said, it takes time to kill a hedgehog, and if it made any sound then it would lose its kill (“if we heard her barking we would come and investigate and remove [it]”). You are wrong to call it a toy. Even if it was not killed for food, it was killed to ensure that the dog’s predatory skills were not slipping. One day, when called upon to do so, she’d have been able to provide tasty hedgehogs for her pack. If animals can’t have moral reasoning, then they can’t have mere ‘play’, either.

        – Gremlyn

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      32. You’re quite right, we don’t send the dog to jail. We send him to sleep. Which makes the rest of your argument flawed in that respect.

        We kill dangerous dogs because you can’t reason with them that their behavior is morally bad. You could argue this for some humans too and indeed we do, hence the defense of insanity, although we don’t kill our amoral murderers we just lock them up for life.

        If animals can’t have moral reasoning, then they can’t have mere ‘play’, either.

        Why? As said previously by Danny, babies don’t have moral agency but babies play. Likewise toddlers.

        Suzy (our old dog) was doing what gave her pleasure. I don’t think she was rationally thinking out that this behavior would hone her predator skills for future need. It wasn’t “horrible” in her head, because dogs are incapable of the moral issues re: torture for pleasure.

        If you think animals can have moral agency, go and convince a great white shark not to eat you because you would suffer. Or how about this salient tale about a man who stupidy anthropomorphized grizzly bears.

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

        Nom nom nom.

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      33. Happy Food Animals

        Hehe. I’m avoiding a certain brand of eggs that claim to be free-range but displays a picture of a chicken in an open field and therefore displays a peculiar kind of ignorance of chickens and their fear of attack from the air.

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      34. Re: Happy Food Animals

        Our chooks liked to hide in amongst our bushes. And they were always _very_ wary when the big planes went over-head. But they would wander over the lawn, especially when their food was scattered there. I think they preferred a human doing guard duty though. Although that may just be because we were the food bringers.

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  2. Eat in the states for a month – it’ll sort that ‘Meat is fucking delicious’ response right out. πŸ™‚
    All of their meals seem to consist of really poor quality meat, badly prepared, with cheese.

    Well, that’s what put me off eating meat anyway. Except that I found not eating meat to be too difficult – I have dinner at my mother’s once a week and she just can’t grasp the vegetarian concept. I still go over for dinner and she says things like “Now, I know you’re a vegetarian, so I made you corned beef”. Thanks mum. Is beef still made from cows, or did they change that?
    My compromise is that I refuse to pay for meat. A ‘Freegan’, if you will. Thus, I still maintain the smugness of not financially supporting the meat industry, while occasionally enjoy a little meat when I have to.

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  3. I do, indeed. If we’re not supposed to eat cows, why are they stuffed full of steak? Lambs are cute and frolicky and when I was a kid I used to bottle-feed the orphans on my parents’ farm, but all in all, I just prefer them on my plate at Hay’s, still pink but not bleeding and with that beautiful blackcurrant jus they do. I was vegetarian for a year when I was at high school, but meat is just too yummy.

    OTOH, humans are happier to drink milk from a cow mammary than from a human one, and the whole chicken ova thing? ew.

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    1. Man, that meal at Hay’s we had was fantastic – been back?

      I was watching John Doe today, and came a cross a wonderful quote. After following an investigation into a meat warehouse, one of the characters was describing the method of killing the pigs, when his partner said “I like to think of my bacon as coming from a magical happy place”

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      1. Yup, we went back for our universary last year, and the food was JUST as good. Karl’s never as enthused as I am, but frankly the man has no palate and I wish I could cook that well.

        So, y’know, the next time you’re down…

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    2. Human milk is so sweet and thick. I was quite surprised at its taste.

      Still, I’m seeing the issue of having a 300 head shed for milking women. Not to mention removing the baby boys and lopping of their testicles and fattening them up for the works.

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      1. Mm, so sweet, so easy to freak out RPers with.

        And hey, you could just milk ’em while they’re getting their legs waxed and their nails done, they may not even notice.

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  4. You should perhaps try raising the tasty meat beasts sometime. It doesn’t matter how cute and fuzzy and lovable the little buggers are, there comes a day when one of them does something that changes your mind about all this. Weather its escaping on a daily basis forcing you into a cycle of whining neighbors and nailing up sheet iron, or breaking into the laundry and stealing their next weeks sack of grain, or most likely being stroppy buggers and butting or biting you.

    I tells you nothing tastes better than vengance. πŸ™‚

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      1. Actually there’s probably millions of vegetarian farmers globally, the poor ones in developing countries who farm crops. Meat is expensive and also a religious taboo for many Hindus and Buddhists.

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  5. If the Space Brains invade, they’ll eat you whether you’ve been snacking on cow candy or not*, so you might as well enjoy your time here.

    * Vegetarians will be either sold off as strange “Organic” HumanSnacks, or given to toddlers still being weaned off of their birthing-pod’s nutrient gland.

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  6. It really isn’t that hard to be vegetarian these days. Although it does tend to make some people who do eat meat feel the need to try and “convert” you back to meat. There is sanatarium “vege mince” and “tender pieces” which are a textured vege (soy and wheat) protein which make a good meat substitute. And “vege bacon” is also quite nice. They’re not meat and they don’t taste like meat out of the can/packet etc but when cooked like meat they tend to taste very similar. It is often not the meat but the accompaniments and texture that we miss.

    I would suggest that you try it. If you don’t like where meat comes from you don’t have to eat it. There are lots of things that taste/feel good etc that are bad for you/others which we don’t do for that reason. And being vegetarian tends to mean you try other things and eat a more varied diet than you would if you were not. The main thing is to make sure you eat enough – a lot of people don’t eat very well when they become vegetarian and give up just because they don’t know how/what to cook. But once you pick up those skills it is really easy. For a start I don’t have to defrost my dinner 8 hours before I eat it.

    Even if you find you still eat meat occasionally you’ll still be helping a little. And at least you’ll know you tried. If you want I will be happy to pass on some recipes and tips – I’m sure all your other vege friends would be able to do so too.

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    1. I find eggplant has a wonderful “meaty” texture. But I just don’t like tofu. We eat meat, but vege is just as important for the kids and some meat eaters sort of forget that vege can be a main meal. Meat is also very expensive. I often cook meatballs that have grated veg and mashed chickpeas in them. It’s cheap and healthy.

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      1. Another good option if you want a “main” without meat is mushed beans (kidney beans are good) with mashed kumera. You can then mix it up (I use a food processor and add cashew nuts or cashew butter). I add flour, an egg or oil if needed untill it has the right texture. I then roll the mixture in to balls and lightly fry or grill them. It is so so quick and tasty it would be great for someone with kids.

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    2. I have tried various textured vegetable proteins which vege-lovin’ folk have assured me “are just like” meat.

      They’re not.

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      1. I’ve never come across anything that is “just like” meat. There are lots of things that are yummy and that can take the place of meat quite nicely in a recipe but meat they ain’t. I know that when I’d just stopped eating meat I thought most of those things were pretty crappy but now that I’m not looking for meat flavours so much I can enjoy them for what they are.

        On the whole, and especially for new veggies, I’d suggest going for the meatless meals you already enjoy and expanding out from there rather than trying to recreate the the meat experience out of mucked-about soy beans.

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      2. Well of course they’re not just like meat. They’re soy beans and wheat mush. But it does help when you really want to try a meat based recipe but don’t want to add the cow. I also think it is helpful when you’re trying to find something to put on that section of the plate as it were.

        Personally I don’t want to eat something that tastes too much like meat. I had a very convincing “vege fish cake” once and it made me feel ill because it tasted too much like the real thing. So I’m really not the best person to comment on what tastes like meat or does not.

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  7. In keeping with my new moving to the country and eatin a lotta peaches lifestyle I have decided if I’m going to all keen on the cooking and eating of the animals, I shall have to be just as keen on the slaughter and butchery of those same animals, and by that I mean I’m going to learn to kill em and chop em up and will do so at the next opportunity which will likely be in a couple of months when I make haggis and sausages from a sheep.

    I shall be making something from pretty much every part of the sheep save the genitals and brains and hooves, I shall save such activities for when I’m feeling even more adventurous, though I may never eat the genitals just as professional courtesy amongst blokes.

    I shall not be a cowardly omnivore

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  8. To be quite honest I feel your pain. I must admit tho that while not vegetarian I have modified my eating habits to minimise it’s reliance on the meat industry.

    To be quite honest most of us eat _way_ more protein than we need anyway. Biologically speaking humans need a block of protein (meat protein) about the size of a deck of cards every 3-4 days. Anything beyond that and you’re shitting out the tasty, tasty cow.

    Personally I’ve tried to keep my meat consumption down to about the above and I go for free range meats where I can in order to minimise cruelty (yes I understand the irony of eating less meat because meat farming has a huge impact on the environment then choosing to eat meat from the least ecologically friendly type of meat farming).

    I _personally_ am keeping an eye on the increasingly successful attempts in Japan to create vat grown meat that is taste and texture analogous to animal raised meat. It’s more efficient, doesn’t harm animals and should be ethics free for the “don’t hurt the animals” breed of vegetarian (though I have seen some claim they wouldn’t eat it because the cow the original cells were taken from was “harmed” by the taking of some cells.)

    On a side note… if the intelligent Space brains come flying out of the sky surely they will want to be at peace with us as they would be good Christian space brains? I am of course assuming that if aliens existed Jesus would have died on the cross for _their_ sins too? Even if they didn’t know it?

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    1. Clealy, the sample meat should be some of your own – moral issue neatly circumvented, plus I bet manflesh is tasty as.

      Tess? Did Jesus die for the superintelligent Space Brains? Yes or No? Either way, please explain your answer.

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      1. Oh no. I’m so not going there.

        Although I have had this conversation with my Catholic friend. She was lecturing at Canty in math but is now in Brussels doing more study.

        But here… this conversation could serve no useful purpose.

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      2. good on you.. it’s good to see you realising the in-defendability of your stance.

        I’m all for people having wacky beliefs as long as they don’t try to dress them up as “logical”.

        “Faith is what you have when all the evidence points to the opposite of your beliefs being true.”

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  9. I was about where you are nine years ago feeling guilty about the consumption of flesh and also trying to return to a healthier lifestyle. I didn’t stop eating meat all at once but rather increased the number of meatless meals I was eating and started limiting the types of meat – I think I cut out pork first then all red meats, then chicken, and finally fish over the course of a year or so (really picky stuff like gelatine came quite a bit later again). We still do eggs and dairy but aim for organic and/or free-range where we can. I’m certainly healthier and happier for it and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything in culinary terms.

    Tofu can be delicious or totally blah depending on how you prepare it – tasty marinades are your friends. I’d stay away from the “mock meat” products at first – some of them are quite tasty and they are handy but probably taste a bit odd when you’re still used to “the real thing”. I’m now at the point where I find the smell of meat and especially fish pretty yucky so, given time, tastes really do change.

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  10. It’s tricky but there are some DELICIOUS alternatives that I think you would find are almost as good. Soames and I get ‘fake’ chicken from an Indian spice shop in Royal Oak and ‘fake’ beef, lamb etc from a Chinese buddhist shop in Mt Albert which has such an array of fake meats it’s quite astonishing. They have many things we haven’t tried such as vege ‘gibblets’ and ‘chicken gizzards’ and such which are quite frightening.
    Maybe you and Annette should come over for a not-meat dinner?

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      1. Fake meats

        That’s funny. The fake meats at Pack ‘n’ Save tend to make me want to barf, too. They try to pass it off as beef, but I don’t count the grey, waterlogged corpse of a zombie swamp cow as real meat.

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  11. Well, if the aliens were bent on eating us, I’d rather they hunt us down eat us ceremonially than keep us forever in factory farms, confined to stalls maintained by a robot librarian, eventually to be turned into some bland, unidentifiable meat product to be thoughtlessly consumed by plebian aliens far, far removed from the actual killing.Anyway, I’m more concerned about the life the animal had before it was turned into yummy goodness.

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  12. I can’t replicate meat but I reckon I could cook you something you’d really enjoy. Infact, I would like to accept the challenge! I bet I could make a delicious butter-chicken without chicken

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  13. *shrug*

    I was vegetarian for a while. A really bad vegetarian, because I hate beans and soy products hate me. I also got rather chubbeh because all I ate was rice and potatoes and pasta and cheeeese, mm cheeese.

    I think it was a good experience, because I learned a lot about the meat industry and became aware of where my food came from. I feel okay eating meat now because at least I’m aware of what went into getting that delicious roast chicken onto my plate, or that steak in my belly.

    Vegetarianism is a rather nice luxury that we have, as people living in a developed country. The meat industry in general (the US specifically, I don’t think NZ is quite as awful) is crap, but I don’t think my dietary choices area really going to make a hell of a lot of difference.

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    1. Re: *shrug*

      “but I don’t think my dietary choices area really going to make a hell of a lot of difference.”

      Everyones choices make a difference!
      Not, that I’m saying your choices are bad but they DO make a difference. We’re all just small pieces of the puzzle, but we each make up a piece of the whole.

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    1. I don’t miss meat at all. I used to love fish and thought I would miss it horribly but i really don’t and, in fact, walking into a kitchen where fish has recently been cooked is near the top of my list of things I find distasteful. I do miss the speed and cheapness of fish and chips though.

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  14. JSR! Eat lots of soy!

    I would love to see you with big bouncy DD’s. Make sure you wear something low cut and sassy.

    (About soy… and in women it can realllllly fuck with your hormones. Me for example – when I was eating it I started getting periods every week and a half. I once had one that lasted a month. :O…)

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  15. I don’t think I’d worry about normal dietary levels of soy (ie a couple of tofu based meals a week and a splash of soy milk on the morning cornflakes). An infant consuming soy based formula for every meal over the first year of its life or a body builder using a lot of soy protein shakes (or whatever it is they do) would be a very different story.

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  16. Duuuuude, you totally brought all the Vege-nutters out of the woodwork! πŸ˜‰

    Although, I must say that your friends list has a very interesting and varied bunch of people on it.

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  17. I think your best plan is probably the suggestion I made the other day to cut down the amount of meat you eat – it’s not a perfect solution, but probably a reasonable compromise, since I don’t see you being able to give up meat entirely. Also, if we were eating less of it we could afford to get the free-range meats, which are still killed eventually of course, but treated more humanely during their life span…

    If you want me to try making meatless meals sometimes, let me know. I’ll hit up for some recipes πŸ™‚

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    1. And a lot of the tastes we like you could have without meat e.g. they do the butter chicken sauce with cubes of paneer (a soft cheese) in it as well – just as delicious!

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    2. Even organisations like PETA that are pretty radical in their promotion of vegetarianism suggest starting with a few vege meals a week and moving from there as your tastebuds and cooking skills progress. That sort of gradual cshift is easier to stick with that a sudden, extreme change too.

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  18. The defence of insanity is used to prove that the convict is not capable of rational thought, thus conferring them a lesser penalty. Your argument was in favour of the irrational receiving a stricter punishment.

    Babies and children play to hone their skills for later life, and adults likewise to ensure they do not get rusty. Play is not without purpose, which is what I meant by ‘mere’ play.

    Finally, you mistake inability to communicate as inability to reason. This is, if you will excuse the pun, a fatal error. The animals we have managed to open communication lines with have proved time and again ability to reason and rationalise on remarkable levels of complexity.

    – Gremlyn

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