Vegetarian Chickens - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-06-2003, 09:54 PM
 
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This has probably been discussed before but it is something that always simultaneously irritates and humours me.....



I don't know if Americans have this, but in Canada we have these ads for a brand of meat called "Maple Leaf Prime." One of the latest ads is for "grain fed" Maple Leaf Prime chicken. I believe the commercial says something along the lines of the fact that the animals are not eating animal byproducts makes them much healthier for YOU (the meat eater).



OK, I realize that is the concept behind grain fed meats. But, do these people not see the inherent contradiction in their advocation of people to eat vegetarian chickens? They are endorsing a vegetarian lifestyle for the chickens, yet at the same time encouraging people to be non-vegetarians by eating the vegetarian chickens, which are healthier for you because they ARE vegetarian. Does anyone else see the ridiculousness to this? How can they make the fact that the animals do not consume animal byproducts a selling point? They are saying that vegetarian diets are healthier!



Anyhow, I sometimes feel like writing those idiots a letter just to point out to them what idiots they are, but I get tired of fighting the same old battles.



Does anyone else have any wonderful stories like this?
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#2 Old 08-07-2003, 12:22 AM
 
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i dont know if this fits in this thread or not, but i think it falls under the category of "what are they thinking?!?!"

there is a BBQ restaurant near where i live, i think it is a national chain (famous daves). anyway, the inside is decorated with pictures painted of pigs licking their lips, drooling over BBQ RIBS!!! does that seem sick and wrong to anyone else? promoting canibalism among pigs?!?! just seems really gross to me.
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#3 Old 08-07-2003, 12:36 AM
 
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I believe you are reading too much into the commerical.



People are naturally omnivores, which basically means they can eat/digest meat or plant protein. Chickens are not. To force a chicken to go against it's nature and eat meat is taking the risk of introducing new illness and diseases, which may spread to the human population.



People have the choice to be vegetarian or not, and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. Chickens do not have that choice and, when they are forced to eat meat, they introduce a vast array of illnesses to both the chicken population and, possibly, the human population.



That's all the commerical is saying - naturally vegetarian chickens that are allowed to be vegetarian are healthier to eat vs the other ones. There is no contradiction.
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#4 Old 08-07-2003, 01:45 AM
 
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I wonder if they prevent the chickens from eating bugs. Chickens love to eat bugs -- which makes them natural omnivores, too, though not in the same way as humans.
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#5 Old 08-07-2003, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kristadb

That's all the commerical is saying - naturally vegetarian chickens that are allowed to be vegetarian are healthier to eat vs the other ones. There is no contradiction.



Chickens are not "naturally vegetarian". They are omnivores, and they eat practically anything, from bugs to snakes and small mammals. To foist a vegetarian diet upon them is, in fact, to act in violation of their natural tendencies.



I think Meatless has a point.



ETA: I do realize that many chickens are fed questionable animal by-products, in which respect the flesh of a vegetarian chicken might indeed be healthier. But the chickens are not "allowed" to be vegetarian; they are made to be vegetarian. I'm not sure that the flesh of a veg chicken would be healthier than that of a chicken who is allowed to eat bugs and worms.
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#6 Old 08-07-2003, 04:41 AM
 
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I agree with you Meatless. That sort of advertising is annoying, as is the pig eating pigs, tasteless & gross. There is some controversy in the type of animal byproducts that are in the feed being given to farm animals, some of it is really nasty therefore it makes for semi-contaminated meat. So the angle is "eat the vegetarian chickens, they're more pure and healthy" not so much because they're vegetarian (like someone else pointed out, they may of eaten insects and other little critters) but that they aren't eating feed of a questionable origin/quality.



I disagree with kristadb however, I do not believe humans are natural omnivores. Just because you "can" do something, doesn't make it natural or healthy. If we eat raw meat, we get sick (and can die). We do not have razor sharp talons or teeth. We don't have a short intestinal tract. We aren't fast like cheetahs, etc. This stuff has been said many times and I'm not an expert. But it's explained well in Diet for a New America & Vegan - the ethics of eating.
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#7 Old 08-07-2003, 04:41 AM
 
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A lote of the butchers here have pictures of pigs dressed as butchers on their signs. My omni boyfriend has always found this somewhat disturbing, whereas I never really thought about it.
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#8 Old 08-07-2003, 07:37 AM
 
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Quote:
butchers here have pictures of pigs dressed as butchers on their signs

It is as if they were advertising to buy one of their legs, the pigs, eh the butchers. Or does it matter who, pigs are genetically more like humans than most of us like it to be. The South Sea cannibals called human meat long pig.

I related this story in another thread: I saw a commercial, where the rooster was fed on corn and happy to have strong muscles which comes to your plate. Arrgh!

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#9 Old 08-07-2003, 09:01 AM
 
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I don't consider eating bugs and worms making them not vegetarian. Also, having been around chickens for a long time, I've never ever seen a chicken eat a small mammel and have always choosen grain over worms. even our feeding documentation said that they prefer a grain diet. I apologize if I am wrong.



In any case, they aren't supposed to be eating beef, poultry, etc.
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#10 Old 08-07-2003, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kristadb

I don't consider eating bugs and worms making them not vegetarian. Also, having been around chickens for a long time, I've never ever seen a chicken eat a small mammel and have always choosen grain over worms. even our feeding documentation said that they prefer a grain diet. I apologize if I am wrong.



In any case, they aren't supposed to be eating beef, poultry, etc.



No need to apologize! My chickens have actually eaten up a couple of mice, and they devour worms with an enthusiasm that they never display when eating grains. I'm quite sure that the vegetarian chickens in question are not allowed to enjoy their bugs and worms. Like Meatless, I do find it slightly ironical that chicken-producers should advocate a "healthy" vegetarian diet for chickens (omnivores), while encouraging human beings (also omnivores) to eat meat.
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#11 Old 08-07-2003, 12:05 PM
 
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Ughh ... I hate the Maple Leaf chicken ad where the predident (or some other high up twit) sits there in his office talking about the all-vegetable feed the chickens gte . He eats a bowl of this dry feed while these stuffed ckickens sit on his leather couch clucking and supposedly laughing .





Another one of these pathetic ads is like a dog show (like the ones where the run them around this arena and judges look them over). Except in this case chickens are being looked at by a judge and people run them around on leashes .





Bloody pathetic ... I can't watch those ads now ...so I start flicking (when I watch TV which isn't too much anyway)
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#12 Old 08-07-2003, 12:39 PM
 
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I don't know about vegetarian chickens for meat, but Eggland's Best Eggs are from vegetarian chickens and have 25% less fat and like 20% more vitamin E than other eggs. My mom bought them recently and I was like "woah, thats weird."



She just likes them cause they have the little stamp on them...

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#13 Old 08-07-2003, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kristadb

I don't consider eating bugs and worms making them not vegetarian.



Because bugs and worms grow on trees, along with fish.
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#14 Old 08-07-2003, 03:03 PM
 
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well, yah!
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#15 Old 08-07-2003, 09:31 PM
 
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Chickens are herbivores. In biology, a herbivore is an animal of which their diet consists mainly of plants. Not always though. Pandas don't eat bamboo day in, day out. They also eat a few bugs, yet they are still herbivores.



But naturally, chickens don't eat meat, aside from the odd bug, so feedng them a plant-based diet will make them healthier. And we've all heard horror stories about ground up dead chickens being fed to other chickens, and if the box of eggs says its from vegetarian-fed hens, then you can guarantee that this hasn't happened.



Of course, I'm no expert.
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#16 Old 08-07-2003, 09:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by RGR

ETA: I do realize that many chickens are fed questionable animal by-products,



Just like humans. So much for the "it's natural to eat this and that" argument. It's not natural for eat AS much animal products as most omnis do, yet many of them seek to justify it with the "natural" explanation.



Hmmm OK maybe this was offtopic?
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#17 Old 08-08-2003, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Loki

Chickens are herbivores. In biology, a herbivore is an animal of which their diet consists mainly of plants. Not always though. Pandas don't eat bamboo day in, day out. They also eat a few bugs, yet they are still herbivores.



Um, no. Chickens are omnivores. As I said, bugs are not the only living 'n' crawling things that they eat. Lizards, mice, snakes, slugs - basically, being scavengers, chickens'll eat pretty much anything they have access to, even maggot-infested carrion. You don't have to take my word for it, of course, but I do speak partly from personal experience.



ETA: I merely find it disturbing that farmers should put omnivorous chickens on a plant-based diet, so that consumers can enjoy the flesh of vegetarian chickens. Chickens are not naturally vegetarian. Of course they will survive on a veg diet, and possibly even thrive on it, but I find the whole raise-them-vegetarian-then-kill-them-for-meat concept quite ironic (and pretty repugnant).
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#18 Old 08-08-2003, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oatmeal

It's not natural for eat AS much animal products as most omnis do, yet many of them seek to justify it with the "natural" explanation.



Ummm, I'm not sure I understand...



Sorry
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#19 Old 08-08-2003, 03:15 PM
 
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When I was a kid, we'd visit my grandmother's for dinner and she would often make fried chicken. After dinner, the big thing for the kids to do was gather up the bones and go throw them to the neighbor's chickens.



Those chickens went *nuts*. They'd fight for the tiny scraps of chicken meat left on the bones. We'd stand there amazed and entertained by their cannibalism.



In retrospect, I think we were wrong to do it (though the neighbor didn't mind, she gave them scraps herself). And I also find it disturbing when I look back on it, mostly because the child me found it so entertaining to watch. But this removes any doubt from my mind that chickens will choose a completely herbivore/vegetarian diet over an omnivorous one.
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#20 Old 08-08-2003, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kristadb

People are naturally omnivores, which basically means they can eat/digest meat or plant protein. Chickens are not. To force a chicken to go against it's nature and eat meat is taking the risk of introducing new illness and diseases, which may spread to the human population.



Hrm. My grandmother had chickens and it seemed that they would eat whatever they could grab including worms and grasshoppers. Now granted, the factory farming industury is as much about creating a market for animal products as satisfying one. But to say that chickens are strict vegetarians is a bit of a stretch.[/B][/QUOTE]
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#21 Old 08-08-2003, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Feliner

I disagree with kristadb however, I do not believe humans are natural omnivores. Just because you "can" do something, doesn't make it natural or healthy. If we eat raw meat, we get sick (and can die). We do not have razor sharp talons or teeth. We don't have a short intestinal tract. We aren't fast like cheetahs, etc. This stuff has been said many times and I'm not an expert. But it's explained well in Diet for a New America & Vegan - the ethics of eating.



But at the same time, we are fairly poorly adapted for a strict vegetarian eating pattern in the wild. Our teeth lack the strength to process most natural seeds and grains without extensive pre-processing. Our digestive tract is likewise not capable of processing the most abundant forms of vegetable matter. Certainly it's been said many times but is a misconception become fact the more frequently it is repeated?
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#22 Old 08-09-2003, 01:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by RGR

Quote:
Originally posted by Oatmeal

It's not natural for eat AS much animal products as most omnis do, yet many of them seek to justify it with the "natural" explanation.

Ummm, I'm not sure I understand...



Sorry



Hehe. What I mean is that the average American gets something like 50%+ of his/her calories from animal products. When you talk about vegetarianism etc to them, many will say that it's "natural" for humans to eat animals, that's their explanation of their meat consumption. My point is that it's certainly not "natural" for us to eat that many animal calories. One just needs to look at the health effects of it.



If, say, it would be natural for us to eat 10% of our calories from animal products, one could argue that vegans are closer to the natural state then the average omni, hehe.
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#23 Old 08-09-2003, 01:54 PM
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So basically the point is that just because were omnivores, it doesnt mean that we should eat meat?



Well, I completely agree. I know I came off sounding as if I believe its a bad thing for omnivores to be put on a veg diet, but honestly, that wasnt my intention.



If it were possible to put even my chickens on a vegetarian diet without incarcerating them, I would definitely take that option. However, a vegetarian chicken is a captive chicken (because free-roaming chickens eat pretty much what they want, vegetarian or not) and one who is likely to be cruelly exploited (the Maple Leaf Prime ad is a case in point). Free-roaming chickens will follow their natural omnivorous instincts. In the case of confined grain-fed chickens, on the other hand, well, we breed them in captivity, we force upon them a diet that they would possibly never choose if they were free, and then we slaughter them for their flesh. In effect, they are made to be vegetarian solely to add value to their flesh. The whole idea is distasteful to me.



Thats all I was trying to say, but now that Ive reread my posts, I cant believe I came so close to espousing the omnivores should eat meat because its natural argument.
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#24 Old 08-09-2003, 02:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by RGR

Thats all I was trying to say, but now that Ive reread my posts, I cant believe I came so close to espousing the omnivores should eat meat because its natural argument.



I didn't assume you were saying that. I was just reminded of the "meat is natural" argument that we encounter so often. Mine was an offtopic remark, I just ranted a bit
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