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Dean Pomerleau

Americans Report Eating Less Meat

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A Gallup poll found Americans are self-reporting they are cutting back on meat, mostly for health reasons. Here are two relevant tables tallying the data. Hopefully the trend will continue for the well-being of people, animals and the planet!

--Dean

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Interesting. Thanks!

So, for 35% "concern about animal welfare" is not a factor at all?!

Makes me ponder if universal basic health coverage is a good idea, after all....

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On 1/28/2020 at 8:56 PM, Ron Put said:

Interesting. Thanks!

So, for 35% "concern about animal welfare" is not a factor at all?!

Makes me ponder if universal basic health coverage is a good idea, after all....

If your perspective is coming from a materialist/atheist view, isn't concern for food animals just a quaint, ultimately meaningless,  emotional response?  Or is the idea that one's attitudes towards animals could easily cross over to humans and that would be bad for your own wellbeing?  

Along those lines, Amazon prime (and maybe other streaming services) has a great documentary called One Child Nation I highly recommend.  It is shocking what governments (communists?) have done, and this policy just ended in 2015.

In the 2019 Sundance U.S. Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary One Child Nation, Chinese-born filmmakers Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow) and Jialing Zhang expose the devastating consequences of China’s One-Child Policy through the stories of those who lived through it.

I am only reminded of this because of a comment I read in the Wuhan, corronavirus news, people were talking about how disgusting the open food markets were in China and one guy was talking about his visit where he saw a pig in a cage in one of these markets (they call it a "wet market" because they kill the animals right there for the customers).  The pig was obviously upset, grunting, and foaming at the mouth.  At first the guy didn't know what was wrong, but then coming around the other side he saw that someone had sliced a big slab of meat right off of one side of the pig.  Such vile disregard for animal life helps you understand how they could also do the things that were done for so long under the one child policy (see the documentary).

 

Edited by Gordo

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It's also interesting to notice that the general trend drifts in an opposite direction with respect to the recent trend of carnivore diets. Common sense is evidently prevailing.

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14 hours ago, Gordo said:

The pig was obviously upset, grunting, and foaming at the mouth.  At first the guy didn't know what was wrong, but then coming around the other side he saw that someone had sliced a big slab of meat right off of one side of the pig.

Crazy.

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On 1/29/2020 at 3:48 PM, Gordo said:

If your perspective is coming from a materialist/atheist view, isn't concern for food animals just a quaint, ultimately meaningless,  emotional response?  Or is the idea that one's attitudes towards animals could easily cross over to humans and that would be bad for your own wellbeing?  

Along those lines, Amazon prime (and maybe other streaming services) has a great documentary called One Child Nation I highly recommend.  It is shocking what governments (communists?) have done, and this policy just ended in 2015....

"[C]oming from a materialist/atheist view, isn't concern for food animals just a quaint, ultimately meaningless,  emotional response?"

Quite the opposite. Cruelty to other beings is only rational if one believes that a deity made humans "special" and that other species are not "ensouled" and are thus effectively automatons, which are created by the deity with the booming voice solely for the benefit of "special" humans. Logically, evolution implies otherwise -- the cow which was killed for one's hamburger was sentient, capable of processing pain and fearing death.

A fetus, on the other hand, doesn't have the above attributes (and the Catholic Church effectively condoned first trimester abortions (before ensoulment) until the late 1800s, when church attendance started dropping...). China has done a lot worse things than the "one child" policy. In fact, there is a very good argument that China did the right thing, as they had repeated famines prior to the draconian measures to reduce their population explosion.

Population growth is the greatest threat to the planet and even though few are talking about it, it's the only real way to reduce climate change. When Africa's population surpasses that of Asia by the end of this century, even if everyone was driving Teslas and using solar power, the impact on the planet will still be there. Those on the "right" oppose family planning mostly on religious grounds (the "multiply" command delusion), while those on the "left" oppose it because nowadays it applies mostly to populations in the developing world. At the end, with all the implementation-related atrocities, China did what places like India and Africa should have done.

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So you would be in favor then of not only China, but every country having a one child policy?  You might want to watch that documentary first to see how that goes down first. 

Quote

Cruelty to other beings is only rational if one believes that a deity made humans "special"

 

 

One could argue that cruelty is never rational.  Even less so if you believe in some deity that put you in charge of being a good steward of the planet. 

But I'm more interested in why someone who is non-religious even cares if a cow has a short life or a long life?  Evolution has made humans very special compared to other animals - this is why humans pick how long a cow lives instead of the other way around.

 

Edited by Gordo

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I am not sure how you get to your assumptions, but they are false on this topic.

First, my "perspective" is not to "to kill off millions of people." My perspective is that aid should be tied to concrete family planning measures, so that dramatically reducing child mortality doesn't result in population explosions in areas least able to deal with it. Mind you, overpopulation among poor, uneducated populations is the chief driver of fervent, militant religiosity, and resource competition, and the resulting violence and mass migrations.

Second, I don't really see the logic in you "cow" question. I believe that a cow is sentient, just like you or me, with all the basic attributes I listed above. The cow's world is is no different than yours or mine -- it starts when sentience emerges and it ends when sentience ends. Thus it is logical that as a moral being I should not cause needless suffering to the cow, nor end her world because I feel like eating steak. Which is why I don't eat meat.

It's generally very poor reasoning to think of morality as somehow exclusive to religion (usually the specific religion of the "thinker," of course :).

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You said "there is a very good argument that China did the right thing" in reference to "One Child Policy", maybe I misinterpret you there, but China killed off millions of human babies under that policy, you can see disturbing images of this and intervierws with the people who carried out the policy in the above documentary.  At any rate, populations seem to "self modulate", in most developed nations fertility is in rapid decline, below replacement in many cases.  I don't think morality is exclusive to religion at all.  Every culture has its various moral values.  Very few groups in history though have had any qualms about eating meat.  Evolution has resulted in many species of animals that almost exclusively eat meat, making it seem pretty natural (not that humans are in this category).  That cow is going suffer one way or the other, whether you eat it or let it age and decline over time, in fact the later will almost always involve far more pain and suffering.  Then again if humans didn't eat them, we wouldn't breed them, and they would probably go extinct (as predators would see to that).

Edited by Gordo

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Maybe we shouldn't base our global policy views on Amazon Prime movies. :)

As modern medicine and hygiene made inroads in rural China in the 20th century, infant deaths dropped dramatically and the population exploded, more than doubling in less than 50 years. The subsistence farming most rural Chinese were engaged in was not able to provide enough food, so there were repeated famines every decade or two, through the 1960s. The Great Leap, which forced industrialization, certainly contributed much, but one cannot, and should not, overlook the population explosion.

Yes, in this case China did the right thing, as far as social policy goes. The implementation, like many acts of the Chinese government, is another matter. Keep in mind that the policy affected city dwellers, with rural Chinese and minorities largely exempted.

Infanticide, however, was not nearly as widespread as the anti-abortion crowd in the US has claimed. Most of the reduction in birthrates was achieved through birth control and probably very often, abortion (which is what really riles up the religious and where the “millions of babies killed” nonsense come from).

At the end, far, far more adult, sentient Chinese have died from famine during the 20th century, than baby girls have been drowned in buckets.

Again, population explosions are often the result of transfers of knowhow and aid, which ensure survival and rapid procreation without the balance of family planning. 

Religion is the main reason for the decoupling of family planning. In terms of religiosity, the US is more akin to the Third World than to the First, and unfortunately at times this is reflected in its global projection, with stuff like the Mexico City policy, which every Republican president resurrects in order to appeal to the Bible Belt. 

https://www.voanews.com/africa/africa-record-largest-population-growth-over-next-40-years

 

And I don’t even understand the logic in the argument that because carnivore predators kill to eat, so should I.

Predators kill humans too. Humans enslave, torture and kill humans, as well as animals. I’ve even been in a village where ritual cannibalism was supposedly still practiced. None of it leads to the conclusion that I should do these things.

Cheers.

Edited by Ron Put

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