Vegans, Vegetarians and Omnivores

Hey Everyone,

Well, I just got done watching the documentary called “Cowspiracy”. It’s on Netflix if you would like to see it.

After watching it and from previous research, I know that factory farming animals creates a TON of greenhouses gases and does a ton of damage to the planet. Not only do we have to grow all the grain for them and feed them, but they also destroy land and create huge amounts of methane. All these facts are facts, there is no arguing them. All these facts include the production of eggs and dairy products as well.

Obviously we need to cut our meat consumption, I understand that. Justin and I already do that, not because we don’t like raising animals for meat or we were worried about the environment, we simply can’t afford it. I get absolutely no self-righteous feeling from not eating meat. It’s also obvious that hunting is not a viable option since there are not enough deer to feed everyone. I know we all think deer are rampant pests, but there aren’t enough to feed everyone, every year, forever.

That being said, we know agriculture is doing significant damage to the planet through industrial farming of crops. Not nearly as much as animals, but still a large amount. (P.S. I don’t agree that the animal figures included farming crops for the animals, I feel like they should be separated, but I understand why they were set up that way)

So where do we go from here?

Do we all become vegetarians and vegans and quit eating meat, dairy and eggs? A lot of people will say that it’s not possible to be healthy with those lifestyles, but it is. It’s been proven medically, scientifically and all that jazz, you can be vegan and be healthy IF YOU PAY ATTENTION to nutrition. You can’t be Vegan and only eat potato chips, it doesn’t work

The “Cowspiracy” documentary would have you believe that backyard farming with any animals or animal byproducts (manure) is not sustainable. And  they may be right. Buying grain from the store to feed your animals is not sustainable. Of course all these documentaries would have us believe that we must change this instant or the world will end. Things are gonna get worse on this planet before they get better, but you can’t ask the entire planet to change their whole lifestyle and diet in 10 years. It’s NOT going to happen. I could show this video to 1000 people and of those 1000, I can guarantee that less than 100 will make a significant change in their diet. And less than 25 will give up meat and animal products because of it. It’s not that simple.

I believe the homesteading and backyard farming movements are doing good things. When animals are kept in a small scale and managed properly, their waste products don’t end up in the river and they aren’t overpopulated and shoved into a tiny barn to be fed antibiotics until they die. A lot of homesteaders take great pride in taking care of their animals and providing them with good lives. Now if we could find a way to produce their feed (barley sprouts are popular right now) without a ton of input, that would be great. If animals were totally free-ranged once, it can be done again. Especially with smaller animals like poultry.

Vegan “Compassion” and Killing Animals

A lot of people become vegetarian or vegan because they believe it is more “compassionate” toward animals. However noble this makes you feel, it’s a load of crap.

Plants can obviously feel pain and react to it as well. (See the link below)

Can Plants Feel Pain?

Every living creature on this planet reacts to damage. The only reason no one cares about plants is because they don’t react quickly and they don’t have a brain. This is an obvious display of our range of compassion. We only care about it’s feelings if we can see, hear or experience something similar to our own experiences. In many ways, plants are better than animals. Many plants will sense attacks and release hormones or chemicals to warn other plants, thereby sacrificing themselves for the entire forest. Plants bleed (sap), plants send electric signals (like a nervous system) and plants communicate on a much more advanced level. For instance, scientists have found that plants, such as trees, will connect roots with other trees to receive signals. Therefore, when one tree a mile away gets attacked by something, the other side of the forest knows LONG before the animals or the people do. This is pretty advanced stuff that no one seems to care about when they talk about compassion.

My Thoughts

Eating meat at the current rate is not sustainable, they are totally right. However, I don’t think going Vegan is the answer. Industrial agriculture still kicks out a ton of pollution and organics are quickly being covered in more and more chemicals as people buy into the USDA. However, growing your own food and cutting your meat consumption is a good idea.

Justin and I are searching for ways to make our plants and animals support one another. We are trying to create a tiny oasis of sustainability. It’s going to be a long, tough journey and we’re going to make mistakes, but we’re going to try. I believe we are doing something worth doing. We have cut down our meat consumption to fit our financial needs, but we will continue it past the point of need most likely. I grew up in a house where you ate a large amount of meat at every meal. To not have meat every meal meant someone hadn’t gone grocery shopping. Now Justin and I eat meat only at dinner. Only recently we starting eating deli meats for lunch because 2lbs of meat last us over 2 weeks worth of lunches.

You know, maybe this is the thing. We’re working really hard to make this work and to be sustainable, at least, that’s the ultimate goal. But it seems like just when something really good gets a foothold, something comes along to say it’s worthless and that it won’t ever reach the ultimate goal. Well, here’s the thing, we’re taking steps to make the world better today and in the future, at least we’re doing something. It’s going to take generations to reverse the damage people have done to this planet.

I guess I just want some credit for doing my best. Justin and I cannot afford to be vegetarian or vegan, especially with organics. And during the winter I don’t want to eat strawberries that have travelled 5000 miles when I could buy a 1/2 hog and only have it travel 25 miles. That may not be the most sustainable thought on the planet, but I’m trying. I’m doing what I can with what I have and I think that’s important. Instead of telling the people trying to make a change that they are wrong, give them some credit and keep attempting to improve. That kind of change doesn’t happen overnight.

What are your thoughts?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments! Be respectful of course, but I would like to know how you feel about it. Should we all go vegan? Is backyard farming the answer? What’s the best course of action? It’s tough to answer and I can really see no clear, realistic path to take besides to try my best and keep working toward my goals.

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. butchcountry67 says:

    I live in a small village surrounded by farms , and I agree that something has to change, I see miles and miles of crop , along with that come the pesticides and chemical fertilizers , the amount of diesel and gas fumes being spewed into the environment is unreal , tractors and combines are pretty much exempt from vehicle emission codes and laws.

    and yes plants do feel pain just as all life does, vegetarians just fool themselves into believing that plants do not.

    Small scale animal husbandry is possible, free range chickens and goats do fine with grasses and garden scraps, you can also feed chickens spoiled dairy such as milks yogurts and such , I actually grew up on a free range chicken/turkey farm and Dad made a deal with a milk company, twice per month a big delivery truck would come and drop off all the sour milks cheeses yogurts, etc. we fed our chickens and turkeys this , 2000 happy turkeys and 5000 happy chickens.

    Hunting is not sustainable for everyone, small scale is fine, if you know a hunter you can often buy/barter/trade for some wild game to supplement your groceries , if you are a hunter a deer usually yields 40 to 60 lbs of meat that should be enough to keep 2 people going for a good long while.

    you can not be faulted for trying to be as eco friendly and as self sustaining as possible, as you gain knowledge and experience in your attempts , you set an example for others to follow , you become part of the growing movement and that is a good thing, you become an educator to the masses , if 1000 people read your blog , and just 1 reader goes out and begins to change their lifestyle and work towards the goal of being environmentally responsible and self sustaining … then my friend … your endeavors are a huge success and your message is being heard and understood .

    1. Thank you. That makes me feel a lot better about it. I believe we can find a way to make it work. We just have to keep trying.

  2. Jonnie says:

    I agree with you, 100 %. We can do more to feed ourselves the right way, and put those greedy industrial farms out of business. It would be better all around, by raising food organically, it would be better for the people, and the earth, and eating less meat, would be better for our health.

  3. This is an excellent post. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  4. If you cared so much about plants feeling pain, then you wouldn’t want animals raised for food, because they eat a darn ton of plants to grow and be kept alive. And then we kill the animals. So basically anyone who is actually concerned about plants and animals, would go vegan. Otherwise if you use the “plants” excuse, you’re just using a hypocritical reason not to stop harming animals.

    1. I’m not using any excuses to not go vegan, I’m just not going to be vegan. I’m merely pointing out what many vegans refuse to acknowledge. There is no way to eat on this planet without killing something. I think we should consume less meat, but I personally am not giving it up. Animals will continue to eat other plants and animals. I refuse to value one life more than another because plants eat the decomposed bodies of other plants and animals. There is no moral superiority, everything eats a dead something else.

      1. You know plants have no central nervous systems, brains, or sentience. If they did, they’d be able to run away from predators. Vegans use and harm way fewer plants and animals, and if you valued any life at all, you’d be vegan. It’s simple.

      2. I and many scientists have proved that plants in fact do not have brains or nervous systems. However it has been proven that they react at an amazing speed to damage or predators. That is sentience. The reason they can’t run is that they don’t have legs. Instead they have developed bad flavors, spikes and poisons to stop predators. Vegans are very caught up on sentience, which is just another way of saying that they don’t care about eating things unless they scream when you bite them.

      3. I’m referring to feelings and emotions. If you think you can compare the emotions of an animal to a plant, then that’s a shame. It is not the same as a plant reacting to stimuli. Forcibly impregnating animals, stealing away their young, tying up them up, and killing animals IS NOT equal to cutting up a carrot. And if you truly did not value the life of animals over plants then I’d be worried, because that’s essentially saying you see no problem with ending a life over cutting grass. Kinda scary.

      4. I personally think it’s kind of scary that you think plants don’t feel in any way. You just keep trying to justify one kind of murder over another. I’m not torn up about cutting grass or eating plants, but I’m not torn up about eating animals either. Plants aren’t like animals. You have told me that plants don’t feel and I proved you wrong, then you told me they don’t react, and I proved you wrong, now you are trying to tell me that they don’t have feelings again. Just because animals have a wide range of emotions doesn’t mean plants don’t have any.
        Now I really don’t care if you agree with me or not, but I would really think twice about telling people that they are “scary” because they don’t agree with you. The fact is, if you use gas, plastic or electricity you are using animal byproducts in the form of oil. That’s not very vegan. If a single person drove a car to get one of your vegan foods to the store, it’s not vegan anymore. Your plants you eat, ate animals to grow, it is literally impossible to be totally vegan. If it’s a way of life that works for you, please, by all means, do it. You aren’t hurting me by being vegan. But get off your moral high horse because you aren’t any better than anyone else for being vegan. It’s that simple.

      5. You don’t understand veganism at all. And you’re making things up, because I never once said plants don’t react.. I agreed that they do. But they do not have emotions like animals do. There is a difference. Science will never prove that plants are on the same level as animals arguments, because they are not. And I think you know it, but you seem like one of those people who just likes to annoy vegans.

      6. That’s fine, you are allowed to think whatever you want. I just refuse to value one life more than another. I’m sorry I’m upsetting you with my fair treatment towards life. I’m not trying to annoy vegans at all, I think it’s great if you’re vegan, that’s awesome. But I don’t think vegans should have a superiority complex because of their lifestyle, which you have displayed over and over. That’s what bothers me, not your veganism.
        And, yes I do understand veganism perfectly. In fact, the agreed upon definition states that you use no animal byproducts of any kind. This means that you must give up any soil where an animal has pooped or died (which is all soil), give up oil, plastics and any other petroleum based products. I’m not misunderstanding your lifestyle, I’m merely pointing out the impossibility of it and the hypocritical aspects. It’s similar to Plato’s Republic in that it’s a golden idea, the perfect situation, but not at all possible.
        However, I do encourage you to keep being vegan. I am making the conscious choice not to be, because of my previous statements and what I think is right. I don’t believe veganism will fix the world, so I’m trying to live the lifestyle that I think will help the most.

        P.S. I see that you didn’t say they “don’t react”. I assumed when you told me they didn’t have nervous systems or brains you meant they couldn’t react to outside forces intelligently.

      7. That is not the definition of veganism. Veganism is avoiding animal exploitation as far as possible. No one can help the fact that an animal has died on some soil, and it is not exploitation to plant things there. A vegan lifestyle definitely helps the most. On top of other things humans must do, you can’t say you’re an environmentalist if you use animal products. Every other choice available that is non-animal will be better in some way for our planet. And there are a million and one sources I can find that attest to that. And it IS moral superiority to eat our fellow beings. Like I said, you cause more plants to be eaten by being a carnist than by being a vegan, and you are clearly avoiding that inconvenient fact.

      8. That is the definition, I just looked it up! LOL. You are hilarious! And that’s fine, call me whatever you want. I never said I was and environmentalist. I said I was a homesteader and we clearly eat meat and eggs since we raise them ourselves. Like I said, moral superiority is for the birds, it’s just a way for people to make themselves feel special or above everyone. Vegan philosophy states people aren’t above animals, I don’t see why it’s so hard to appreciate plant life the same way.
        Like I said, I don’t want to argue with you, please continue your way of life and I’ll live mine.

  5. BarML says:

    I am new to cattle ranching having married into the business a few years ago and just want to say that not all cattle are raised in feed lots. Ours graze many acres of land all year. We do farm to produce the feed they need in the winter and use less chemicals than farmers use for human food. They are fed in the fields in the winter and the only ones we keep in corrals, which are a few acres of space, are our first time moms so that we can assist if necessary. If you want to help spread the word about responsibly raised meat, encourage people to buy direct from the ranchers or farmers.

    1. I totally agree, I think people should be buying directly from farmers that they know and trust. I think one of the big things we need to look at is responsible farming. For instance, in the documentary there were statistics about acres of public land turned into desert because of over-grazing. That’s not the animal’s fault, that’s the ranchers fault and we need to teach people, or hold people responsible for how they farm.
      You should ALWAYS buy local and from people you trust.

      1. BarML says:

        If a rancher owns his land, it is in their best interest to look after it. When the land is held by large corporations who just rent it back for profit is when the land gets neglected. It is really a shame. People need to remember that there is no more land or water being created. We need to take care of what we have. Good job in making people think and talk about this.

      2. Thank you!
        A lot of the ranchers in the movie were using public land and not taking care of it. While they were destroying it, they were getting paid for it as well. It was quite a mess.

  6. Wavesong says:

    Damn straight. It’s not what is eaten, but how it is produced. Monocultured land is dead land. Countless mammals, amphibians, insects, worms and other bugs are killed with this method, so soy ain’t guilt free at all (and I wouldn’t eat that crap if I were you). Less lawns, more gardens! Less extra rooms, more chicken coops! Less paving, more prairie-type pastures with grazers aerating the ground!

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