Hi, AuroraLily. I recommend picking up a copy of "Living Among Meat Eaters" by Carol J. Adams.<br><br><br><br>
Here are some of her suggestions:<br><br>
"This is part of our animal nature."<br><br>
"Is the eat-or-be-eaten model the one we want to adopt and encourage?"<br><br>
"Humans spend most of their time denying their connections to animals, until they want to justify eating animals."<br><br><br><br>
And for why you went veg*n:<br><br>
"Just because. I'm not trying to be difficult or evasive, but it's just because it felt right. I can't be more precise than that."<br><br>
"I'll tell you why I decided to become a vegetarian, if you will tell me why you choose to continue to be a meat eater."<br><br><br><br>
Good luck and remember you don't have to justify your actions to anyone. (Something I have to remind myself of frequently.)
Actually, people have never really given me a hard time about not eating meat, other than the universal question of "how do you get enough protein?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=""> When asked why I'm vegetarian, I've always responded with "Because I love animals", which pretty well cuts off any questions of the type you describe.<br><br><br><br>
But in response to the "natural" comment, I would say that physical fights/killing each other to settle disputes is also "natural", indiscriminate sex is also "natural" to our species, as is simply taking anything we want/need. However, our intelligence has allowed us to develop a sense of moral conduct.<br><br><br><br>
As far as animals eating animals: Again, we have the intelligence (should we choose to use it) to adopt a moral code, to consciously realize that we are doing harm to other living creatures, and to avoid such harm. Intelligence,like any other power, bestows obligation and responsibility as well as benefit.
Yes Keegan - I'm where you are I think.<br><br><br><br>
We CAN live without meat.<br><br>
If we CAN live without meat - it's a moral obligation to not kill to get food that is....well..... OPTIONAL.<br><br><br><br>
As for the arguement of B12 and Omega3 etc.<br><br>
It is the year 2003 (last time I checked)<br><br>
we are modern - we have supplements<br><br>
Supplements that allow us to live WIHOUT meat (animal products)<br><br>
So..... back to original statement (rinse and repeat) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="">
Tell them, they have a wrong idea about what is natural for us.<br><br><br><br>
Meat eating is not natural for us, and certainly not getting more than half of our calories from animal products.<br><br><br><br>
I don't have much time now, but for the longest time in our evolution, we lived in Africa where fresh fruit was abundant. Would you chose th go hunting, when you have all the fresh ripe fruit you want at an arm's stretch? No you wouldn't. But a lion would. That's the difference between our nature and the nature of carnivorous animals.<br><br><br><br>
BTW the overwhelming majority of animals are plant-eaters. Cranivorous animals are quite an extreme example in nature, generally speaking. And there can not be many carnivores in nature (certainly not 6 billion!!), because it's so inefficient.<br><br><br><br>
And the other argument is true too. Many animals rape, kill and eat young (even their own!), the males keep harems, they are cannibales, etc. You find the freakiest things in nature - you could "justify" just about every human behaviour with examples from nature. So this argument is ridiculous.<br><br><br><br>
Fact is - when looking at nature, we should not look at the "majestic" lions for examples - but at the "stupid" monkey. Because THAT's where we come from!
I find discussion like this facinating.<br><br>
Particularly when you don't have any fanatics involved - just people talking <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=""><br><br><br><br>
Oatmeal - good point on the monkey thing (though I bet the 700 club would take issue.....hahahaha)
Hippo's are scary but awesome creatures!<br><br>
They are so peaceful, but I sure wouldn't want one mad at me!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/shocked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="">
i also make the point that we have a choice and power NOT to eat animals and this is the choice i make.<br><br><br><br>
i like to point out that if it's so natural to eat meat, try running after a cow or a pig, jump on his back and take a big bite out of his hide ... see how far you get <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="">
I think a alot of meat eaters find veg*ns threatening to some degree. By choosing this lifestyle for ethical reasons you are challenging their own values without having to 'do' anything but live by your principles. I've had people become aggressive with me over my choice and I am by no means a preacher!! As mentioned above carol Adam's book is really helpful. I bought it last year when I finally made the leap into vegan land (for extra supposrt) and I still go back to it whenever I feel the need and always find it helps.
You are right Melis.<br><br>
Just by our actions we can be a threat.<br><br>
That "threat" felt by the other person is mostly guilt when you get right down to it.<br><br><br><br>
That's why I feel it's important not to push it - and turn guilt into anger/hostility (leave the guilt there - - let it grow.....it might blossom into a veg*n) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="">
Frankly, I don't even try to argue against the idea that eating meat is "natural." (Every time I watch Discovery or Animal Planet I see that it is perfectly natural. And yes, I have canine teeth.)<br><br><br><br>
What I <i>do</i> say is that 1) factory farming animals is NOT natural; and 2) eating meat may be natural, but it's <i>not necessary</i>.<br><br><br><br>
Then I add, "When global destruction takes place and I'm living naked in the woods, if I get hungry enough to kill an animal with my own hands, then maybe I will. But under circumstances less extreme than that, I can't see any acceptable reason to take a life."<br><br><br><br>
Veganchick: I love this! "Humans spend most of their time denying their connections to animals, until they want to justify eating animals."<br><br><br><br>
Mouse/Oatmeal: So true: there are so many aspects of society which aren't necessarily natural but which we generally value.
I would explain to people that this form of evolutionary determinism is a fallacy. It assumes that nature is purposeful (they could change it inot a theological argument but I have that one easily covered too). There is no natural diet for humans. One cannot assume that because humans eatign meat in the past occured that eatign meat is natural and even if it were possible for such a thing to be natural, it would not imply that it is necessary. What humans have are needs for certain nutrients and not certain types of food. If we get all those nutrients, our bodies don't care where they came from. Because we can get all the nutrients (and often much more easily) from more ethical (and IMO better tasting <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=""> ) sources, veganism is clearly the ideal choice here.
well, after much thought, i actually repose the questions.<br><br><br><br>
first, i don't think that meat-eating is per se immoral. I think that it can be immoral (as mentioned before) if it is unnecessary for an individual to eat meat in order to survive. To place that in the positive, if a person can survive and thrive without eating meat, then they should not eat meat. but then, the word "survive" has so many connotations, not simply refering to bodily well being.<br><br><br><br>
that being said, it is up to an individual to determine whether or not it is necessary for them to eat meat. It is natural to us (we are omnivores by biology), and we can choose any number of diets. Some bodies may require different nutrient spectrums and amounts of certain macronutrients from certain sources than others. Essentially, what is good for one person may not be what is good for another person.<br><br><br><br>
Instead of trying to convince them about what is "natural" it is better to ask people why they eat what they eat and whether or not it is appropriate and why. if an individual discovers (through research and experimentation) that it is not necessary to eat meat in order to survive, then why continue to do it? are there other factors beyond bodily needs? and if so, how important are they and how do they function for you, as an individual, in your own small society (family, friends, etc).<br><br><br><br>
Second, if after all that research and experimentation the individual determined that it is necessary for them to eat meat, and thereby find the most humane means of aquiring it, then perhaps they are correct in the decision that they have made for themselves. In this instance, i wouldn't chastise or try to convince them.<br><br><br><br>
To me, it is more important that people make informed food choices--regardless of what they're eating--that an individual eats conscientiously.<br><br><br><br>
I find that this more "liberal" approach to convincing "meat eaters" to be the most effective methodology. The idea being:<br><br><br><br>
"i will support you either way, but have you ever considered that a vegetarian diet is natural to us, as omnivores, and therefore, may be a better diet for you than the one you are consuming, not only for health reasons, but also for social and moral reasons? If you haven't, perhaps you should consider your diet, how it serves you (health wise, socially, and morally), and whether or not it is an appropriate diet for you.<br><br><br><br>
if you discover that the diet that you consume is the best for you, then we won't discuss it further, except in friendly exchange. but, if you discover that another diet may be more appropriate, i would be happy to help you in any way that i can!"<br><br><br><br>
to date: 17 more vegetarians; 4 vegans; 14 people off dairy (still on moderate/low meat consumption, whole grains/whole foods diet); 19 people on whole foods diets with organic, local sources of meat and dairy products, low meat consumption.<br><br><br><br>
that equals 54 people who are now eating more humanely and more conscienciously!<br><br><br><br>
not too bad, since i've only been using this method for 2 or so years. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=""><br><br><br><br>
it's all about "no pressure" and "pro-choice." you'll be amazed at what people come to on their own. And, if they don't want to discuss it at all--meaning they don't even want to consider their diet. Just let it go. it works best that way. eventually, they'll come to it on their own!
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by AuroraLily</i><br><br><b>In a debate (conversation) with an omni, how do you challenge their idea that eating meat is 'natural' and also the idea that animals eat animals? Thanks.</b></div>
I don't see why you would need to challenge that! Eating meat is natural, and many animals do eat other animals. What's there to challenge? Agree with them and then move on to a different point.
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