Happy Meat

And I'm not talking about a good night in bed.

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16/11/2012 at 12:01
Peter Collins wrote (see)
Strangely Brown wrote (see)
Peter Collins wrote (see)

I thought one of the problems with our meat-eating world is that so much good land is given up to growing feed for animals. I'm not sure how this squares with having to tear up fields, hedges and trees to plant more crops. We have more than enough being used for agriculture already.

Animals still die when you replace it's natural habitat with a ploughed field to grow veg.  Right?



My point is that we wouldn't have to tear up any more natural habitats... we've largely done that anyway with intensive livestock farming. I don't think it's true that we'd have to tear up any fields or natural habitats to grow more veg; simple transformation of what we already use for livestock.

Hi Peter,

      Sorry, I hadn't seen that you addressed me earlier.  I don't think I made myself very clear, apologies.  What I was trying to get at is that regardless of what your diet is, animals have invariably perished to get your food on the table.  If we all foraged in the wild, we will be taking some poor animal's meal off them and they will dwindle in number as will their prey and their prey etc.  If we grow veg, when we first turn the field over, remove trees and generally upset the whole ecology of the area, the same happens.

      The point I was clumsily making is that if your sole priority for not eating meat is that you don't like the idea of things having to die for you to get a meal, you're going to have an almighty struggle eating anything that was pacify your guilty conscience.  In many ways, I have guilt in killing a wild animal for food that I don't have in rearing animals for food.  In the wild, the animals are part of our living world, part of the planet that engulfs us.  Their raison d'être is not to fill our bellies.  In livestock, they are given a life at the behest of human beings in order that they later feed us.  That's the deal and so long as the animals are well cared for and given a decent enough life, it's a deal that is entirely mutually beneficial and guilt-less as far as i'm concerned.

16/11/2012 at 12:45

That's not how I understand it at all Johnny - I thought that the enzyme in the gut needed to tolerate lactose was meant to diminish with age - in other word we are supposed to naturally "grow out of" being able to consume milk (of all kinds).

Therefore, if you continue to consume milk through and beyond infancy as we learned to do with the advent of pastoralism you do not lose the intolerance. It has nothing to do with a genetic mutation. 


16/11/2012 at 19:42

As I understand it, that is the situation with the original form of the gene. In north european populations the mutated gene allows continued production of LPH(?) into adulthood in a majority of people. Globally, the mutation is present in a minority of people but there is a different mutation with similar effects in African pastoralist populations.

Anyway, you are right that we cannot learn tolerance, we either have the right gene or we don't.

(must go away and find where I read that!)

16/11/2012 at 20:00

As I said above Strangely Brown should we feel guilty about eating wild food? Deer live up on the moors in a wild state. I believe that they are there because people enjoy hunting them (and have done for hundreds of years) and they taste nice. They are not so much wild as need little assistance to live on the moor. Whilst I do not particularly like seeing people on the moor with high powered rifles, arguably it is part of the management of the herd. People also tend to release vast quantities of Pheasant on and around the moor to shoot. Every year thousands of them get splatted on the roads which brings me to the suggestion (above) that roadkill is the ultimate free range food. Whilst I have been tempted I cannot bring myself to stop and collect their dead and dying carcases. Up to the point they are shot or splatted they appear to enjoy a decent life. But I still seem to stick to the farmed varieties.


Just looked back to see who suggested roadkill is the ultimate freerange food and it was you! You are correct but it is a bit messy in practice! I did put a dustbin bag in the car for this purpose but have not actually done it (yet)

Edited: 16/11/2012 at 20:06

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