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Red is for ethics.

Green is for resources.

Blue is for dietary info.

This post is twofold. (1) To get some irritation off of my chest about the conversations commonly had about food. Sarcasm included here. (2) To loosely organize arguments by type of animal and animal product such that whatever stage someone is at, I can start with the pressing environmental need to eliminate red meat, wheedle someone down to pescatarian, etc. Basically to determine what motivates a given individual the most, and figure out at what tier a given person is willing to go.

Scant few people are ready to jump into even vegetarianism with both feet upon first conversation, and for some people you have to start even slower than that, or you get shut down and no possibility of improvement is reachable at all.

Industrial practices for slaughter and meat processing that harm humans directly are not elaborated upon in each subset here, but know that large animals such as 900 lb aggressive pigs are prone to injuring people in their desperate attempts to live, PTSD has been recorded in slaughterhouses, and that gathering ocean animals is most often a dangerous profession foisted upon people by seafood demand, also.

Usually, that's what you need to start with in the conversation with the average person. Humans.

Unfortunately, animals just aren't as big a concern.

(rages internally)

So here we go.

1. Accepts Eating Red Meat: Basic normie. Is probably unaware that red meat is linked to human global hunger, poverty, and that eventually the misuse of land space will cause food scarcity on a grand scale. Has little to no interest in the world around them and most likely mindlessly clocks a numbing 9 to 5 day job.

IS probably aware that red meat causes cancer and heart disease, but does not have enough self-compassion for discipline.

2. Accepts Eating Chicken and Turkey: Probably doing it or promoting it for health reasons. Probably goes to the gym and has a subscription to one of the many oodles of workout apps.

Probably not doing it for environmental reasons, though it does improve slightly upon large animal ag.

Is probably unaware that chickens have their own language. But honestly, I can’t come up with a lot of ethical defenses for turkeys. They’re pretty dumb. But if you own a finch, a cockatiel, or lovebird, you're a hypocrite.

3. Accepts Eating Fish: Probably got stuck at the omega-3 DHA and EPA issue. Or, just couldn’t empathize with fish-eyed stares. Treat with understanding and patience.

Complex, because there are dozens of different fish species and at least four different ways to source them, though it is like pulling teeth to try to find out where exactly fish come from because the information is not readily available to the consumer.

Is probably aware that fish populations are on the brink of collapse, but some combination of factors keeps them from acting on it.

4. Accepts Eating Shellfish: Is probably unaware that shellfish cause the most allergic reactions with no prior incidents, due to high toxicity content.

(Meat is also the leading cause of choking incidents. I wonder if we have more wimpy swallowing muscles than a proper predator like a crocodile or a lion that rapidly tears huge chunks of raw flesh in competition over each other in groups, or is it just that, like the rest of our digestive system’s suitedness to plants, our throat is narrow and used to receiving juicy sweet fruit and savory nuts?)

Ethically and resource wise, one of the most defensible consumptions. Shrimp nets do not kill dolphins and tortoises like fish nets do, nor are they as endangered as fish because they're so tiny and they can reproduce rapidly.

So, better for the environment, but more poisonous to the human system. Ironic, huh?

5. Accepts Eating Cricket Flour Products such as cookies and meal bars: Probably the most practical of any position, especially resource-wise, but maybe ethically, too, when factoring in animals harmed by plant farming practices such as songbirds killed in olive gathering and mice ground up in harvesting equipment. Also, human and child slavery, usually POC, involved in some staple crops. Solves DHA and EPA without resorting to obscure, complex-to-produce means that may or may not be able to meet billion-strong demand.

6. Accepts Dairy: Thinks that they’re in the clear, while financially supporting veal. Or, if they are buying local, doesn’t put together the math of having more and more babies for more and more clunky resource consumption, but not being able to slaughter them.

Dietary and capitalistic issues with small farm dairy are too complex to be covered in one to two sentences. Besides, not only is true no-slaughter dairy practically unavailable, except in select markets, the environmental and human food resource concerns more than outweigh these things.

When debating dairy, I almost always lean on environmental arguments and not gross-out attempts common to the vegan community.

7. Accepts Eggs: Much better, in terms of animal welfare and resources, but still ignores concerns about chickens’ physical health due to being bred for eggs. May be alleviated by selecting chicken breeds that have a lower laying rate!

8. Accepts Honey: Is probably unaware that honey bees are an invasive species killing off native pollinators.

9. Accepts a ‘90% or 95% vegan’: Is sensitive to the human condition and the difficult place the stress of modernism puts us in.

10. Accepts only Pure Veganism: Pedantic. Probably has anxiety, as I do. Controlling. Has probably alienated a lot of people and put the cause back instead of advancing it.

11. Has no food cause to champion whatsoever: A robot drone of the capitalist machine. Differs from someone who accepts red meat but may desire reform in the industry. Best not to engage if showing signs of hostility towards any ethics, and no receptiveness, because if it encounters anything that makes it uncomfortable, it will poison those on the fence and spread more hostility to other drones like a virus.

Bonus Round:

Accepts Hunted Meat:
Again, a practical position that, barring for instance, the re-introduction of wolves to all of the continental U.S., is probably necessary for the transition period to avoid deer dying from starvation from overpopulation, but will be phased out eventually. Eating boars is ill-advised for the same reasons domestic hogs is. Probably more so, because they don't receive any vet care and therefore are even more overrun with things like Hepatitis E and natural parasites that do not bother the hog's system as much.

Deer hunting enables some independence from the capitalist machine at the very least.

Accepts Eating Pork. Is probably unaware that pork causes far and away the most severe medical issues of ANY type of meat.

(I have an entire separate Google Doc with the science on just how rancid pork in general is)

Is either unaware that pigs are smarter than dogs, or so thoroughly brainwashed into being unfeeling that this makes no difference.

Has probably never tried one of the many brands of delicious pepperoni and bacon stand-ins. Their loss.
 
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