Survey Finds Young Farmers Optimistic But Concerned Over Activists

apple-farmingWhile the majority of young farmers in the United States are optimistic about the future of their industry, growing criticism of modern agriculture by activist groups is an area of concern.

That’s according to an annual survey conducted at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Conference last month in Tulsa, Okla. Eighty percent of the respondents said they were more optimistic about the future of their industry than they were five years ago, and 82 percent said they were better off financially than in 2005.

There are some dark clouds on that bright horizon. Eighty-five percent of respondents were worried that activist groups would have a negative impact on modern farm production methods.

“There’s been a lot of negative publicity surrounding agriculture from special interest groups, and there’s certainly a lot of concern from young farmers about how this information, much of which is false, could affect their operations in the future,” said Jay Yankey, chairman of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Committee.

Yankey cited “Food Inc.” and other movies, food writers who have been critical of modern food production methods, and animal rights groups that have actively lobbied to restrict modern livestock practices. In 2008 California banned caged egg production in a referendum after the Humane Society of the United States spent more than $3.5 million to convince voters the practice was cruel.

“I think there’s a certain amount of fear out there in the agriculture community … that it could spread to their part of the country and affect their livelihood,” Yankey said.

The survey showed that young farmers are just as savvy about using the Internet and social media as their peers, with 99 percent having access to and using the Internet and 72 percent with access to a high-speed connection. Nearly three-quarters of the young farmers and ranchers have a Facebook page, 10 percent said they use Twitter and about 12 percent post videos on YouTube.

“I make comments on news articles and things I see on the Internet that have false or misleading statements concerning agriculture,” Yankey said. “I know several members of the AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher Committee that blog regularly and post YouTube videos. … I know there are a lot more young Virginia farmers doing that kind of thing, doing their part to change perceptions about modern agriculture.”

What about our farmers in Clarke County? Are you optimistic about the future of your farms? Are you using social media to promote yourselves? Let us know your thoughts.

Comments

  1. The “activists” are somewhat paranoid about food being the source of all health ande longer lives. There is always some kind of news circulating with basic assumptions that are strictly hype and not founded on scientific or accurate information.
    My pet peeve is the assumption that all meat is tainted with antibiotics and hormones.
    This false info has been persistently presented by the press and it has been ingrained in the minds of urban folks who don’t have knowledge or experience in animal and food crop agriculture.
    It is heartening to see young farmers involved in agriculture because of the trends away from “factory farms and it is also wonderful to see the participation in educational programs(FFA,4-H etc)and Ag. organizations.
    Thank you for the opportunity to participate in discussing this important issue.

  2. Janet Weeks says:

    It is animal suffering that I oppose. Period. Modern factory farming and slaughter methods are cruel and inhumane and they will never be otherwise. The whole system must be shut down. The torture and killing of animals must stop.

    On the other hand, I do support my local, organic, produce farmers and I encourage all young farmers to head in this direction. “Farm Fresh to You” supplies all of my fruits and veggies, delivers them right to my door, and I look forward each week to a carefully packed box filled with fresh, organic, seasonal, diverse, colorful, delicious, nutritious, and extraordinarily beautiful produce. This is the wave of the future, my friends. This is what Americans want. This is what we need.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      OK…so…you advocate no beef, no chicken or turkey, no seafood of any kind? Since the harvesting and processing of these meat items requires the death of the animals in question, you seem to be advocating a lifestyle devoid of these sources of protein.

      I don’t recall the campaign that elected you spokesperson for all Americans. So, until that occurs, don’t presume that you speak for me. I’ll gladly buy organic produce in a minute, and I’ll serve it with fresh-butchered steaks or prok chops.

      • Janet Weeks says:

        Dearest Lonnie,

        I would not presume to speak for you or for any other free human. I speak for myself and for those who have no voice:

        I am the voice of the voiceless;
        Through me the dumb shall speak;
        Till the deaf world’s ear be made to hear
        The cry of the wordless weak.
        ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

        With Love,

        Jan

        • Lonnie Bishop says:

          [redacted] When you make a statement like this: “This is what Americans want. This is what we need”, and follow it up by stating that you speak for “those who have no voice,” you come across as uppity. Your goal may be noble, but your presentation is weak.

          • Janet Weeks says:

            Oh. Oops. So I’m human. Please pardon my uppity self. All I know is that I could never slaughter an animal nor would I pay someone else to do it for me. Gee, I wonder what was that greeting of yours the editors saw fit to “redact.” [redacted] when I care only to wish you well? How about we part in peace and simply agree to disagree?

  3. I too am one of those who supports my local farmers… I source my fresh fruits and veggies from a bi-weekly market – I’m pleased that as of yet, no one has introduced animal foods – “humanely” raised/slaughtered or otherwise… I think the community is beginning to understand that kind of “product” would really taint the overall wholesomeness of the market’s image… I know it would for me.

    I enjoy seeing the bounty of colorful, tree, bush and vine-grown foods… Farmers are to be commended for their contributions to provide these healthy goodies… I hope they continue to leave the cow and chicken parts out of the mix – for these would surly sully the joy in “good food”! 😉

    • Doug Landry says:

      Let’s not forget that our friendly, neighborhood farmers’ market does not have the requisite setup (refrigerated bins, etc.) to adequately present meat products. Honestly, think about what you want to write before you post it.

  4. SarahJames says:

    “Sully the joy” and “taint” the market. Wow. Can’t we all just get along? That doesn’t seem like a very tolerant approach to our neighbors. Besides, it has been proven in several studies that plants have the ability to communicate and chemically “scream” out when fruit is plucked or a leaf is torn. Strawberries communicate with local vines. Where do we draw the line? Some argue this is a red-herring, but look at Switzerland’s Ethics Policy. It isn’t a joke! Without spending too much time quoting research, here are just a few links:
    http://primaryperception.com/bio-web-letters/
    Popular Science, October, 1993, page 33.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/5149
    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080423/full/452919a.html

  5. As for my family and me we will eat meat prepared in a healthy manner. If you don’t like meat, then don’t eat it, but [redacted] before you distorted liberal animal lovers willl tell me what to provide for my family.

  6. Jack Lani says:

    Not only the young alone in going into or returning to their earlier agricultural ties. Many older folk are also. Spouse and I got tired of seeing the thousands of FDA food safety recalls. On retirement we returned to what we’d practiced earlier. We returned to producing all our own veggies and meats. We have every type of veggie along with rabbits, chickens, turkeys and cattle. Since we raise the food for our animals, no longer do we have worries over buying contaminated food. And no longer do we contribute to the wealth of foreign nations by buying foreign.

  7. Janet Weeks says:

    Name-calling does not serve any good purpose, Bill, other than to reveal your true nature and character. What could possibly be “distorted” or “liberal” about having compassion? What is distorted or liberal about loving animals? Do you not love animals? If you do, does that mean your are distorted and liberal? No one here is telling you what to eat or what to feed your family. I think you may be feeling defensive for some reason.

  8. I hear people in the animal-product-for food industries regularly saying that we who care about the welfare of animals are spreading lies. I’ve got a simple solution. Let us in with cameras. Or, put live cams in your operations. Let the consumer see what their “food” dollars are supporting. Show the truth, the whole truth. Show me that the undercover footage I have is no longer accurate. Sure, there are some people who get their information wrong, but most of us who are trying to improve the lot of the helpless know that misinformation hurts our cause, the cause of the animals, so, we work hard to be accurate. I’ve got the video footage to back what I say. Show me and the rest of the world something different–put live cams, uncensored in your slaughter houses, in your stockyards, etc.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      The fact is that animal husbandry, to put meat on the tables of those of us who choose to eat it, is never going to be pleasant to others who view it as cruelty. Period. To serve meat, a creature must be killed to produce it. It’s not like you can eat a pig one ham at a time.

      But…it’s like a bumper sticker I once saw: “More people protest fur than leather because it’s easier to hassle rich old women than biker gangs.”

      • Tony Parrott says:

        Good point! It is easier to hassle old ladies rather than biker gangs.

        We in Clarke are very lucky to have our local farms. We have the ability to know where are food is coming from if you choose to buy local. People in the city don’t have that luxury. Apple or a cow you can get it right here.
        I don’t feel this article was only about animal rights.

        As for me I like bacon. Bacon is good, pork chops are good and I love a good steak. Sorry I just can’t wait around for that cow to die of natural causes. Oh, I like scrapple too and I don’t even know what’s in that.

        • Bond, James Bond says:

          Tony, scrapple is everything else they could not sell as an identifiable part.

      • ann alderman says:

        No, more people protest fur than leather because you don’t eat foxes and mink!

        It is like killing an elephant because you want his tusks – wasteful and stupid.

        If you are going to eat beef than you may as well wear the leather.

        BTW, I like scrapple too, sometimes it helps to be oblivious…

        • I protest leather AND fur (and animal exploitation in general). Just FTR, different cows are generally used for leather than for flesh – cows from India who are forced to walk hundreds of miles in all conditions, without veterinary care or enough food or water, to be taken to a state where they can be legally killed.

          • ann alderman says:

            “Everything but the Moo
            The multibillion-dollar meat industry profits from more than just animals’ flesh. The byproducts of meat consumption include fats and blood that are used in livestock feed, tires, explosives, paints, and cosmetics, organs that are used in pet food, and heart valves that are used in the pharmaceutical industry.(2,3) The skin of the animal, however, represents “the most economically important byproduct of the meat packing industry.”

            When dairy cows’ production declines, their skin is also made into leather. The hides of their calves, who are frequently raised for veal, are made into high-priced calfskin. The economic success of slaughterhouses and dairy farms are directly linked to the sale of leather goods.”

            http://www.peta.org/factsheet/files/FactsheetDisplay.asp?ID=58

            “The economic success of slaughterhouses and dairy farms are
            directly linked to the sale of leather goods.” (from above)

            …..AND livestock feed, tires, explosives, paints, and cosmetics, organs that are used in pet food, and heart valves that are used in the pharmaceutical industry.

            The fact is that beef is one of the most completely used products. There is very little waste. You may not like the conditions that factory raised animals are raised under and quite frankly I agree with you, but this article is about small, local farmers, who most, if not all raise free range meat and eggs. They are happy, well cared for, humanely raised and slaughered animals that are raised for food.

            My comment above was to point out the rediculous comparison between fur and leather. One is about waste in the name of vanity and one is about using the entire product.

            That said, we will probably never agree that it is ok for some to choose to eat meat and some to choose to be vegetarian or vegan. That is, I am happy either way but you will probably not be.

          • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1299802404123561313# Fast-forward to ~46 minutes to learn about where much of the leather in the US comes from. Better yet, I would encourage you to watch the entire video.

            I am well aware of all the byproducts of slaughtering animals for their flesh, and I fail to see your argument. The “lack of waste” of animal bone, flesh, skin, etc, makes it okay to harm the animal and our planet? None of those products are required for anything and the damage animal farming causes to the planet FAR exceeds the “benefits” that these products could provide. Are you aware of all the methane production from animal agriculture and the fact that it is more harmful to our atmosphere than all forms of transportation combined? Are you aware of the land waste and water pollution that results from animal breeding/farming? You mention that the cows in your video were not factory farmed and were raised and slaughtered “humanely.” A) 99% of the animals used for food in this country come from factory farms, B) even those who are raised “humanely” are still killed before their lives are complete, often at the same slaughterhouses as the factory-farmed animals, with the same faulty stun-guns; C) who gives you the right to decide when an animal dies?; D) This is how almost all of your “free-range,” “cage-free,” “humanely raised” animals actually live:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaw6RVaumTA&feature=related
            http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-thecruel.html
            http://www.peacefulprairie.org/freerange1.html#freerange2

            “Cage-free” and “free-range,” terms which can legally only be applied to poultry, are meaningless as you see in the links above. “Organic” merely means the food is (slightly) healthier for US, not the animals. The entire reason we have factory farms is due to the DEMAND for animal products. As long as we continue to perpetuate that demand… for any and all animal products, “free-range” or otherwise… we will see the conditions on factory farms. We will also continue to see abuses in other animal industries, such as fur farms, circuses, rodeos, animal research, etc.

            RE: “That said, we will probably never agree that it is ok for some to choose to eat meat and some to choose to be vegetarian or vegan. That is, I am happy either way but you will probably not be.”

            You are happy with some people not being vegan because YOU don’t want to be vegan and would prefer to continue eating animals and using their products, for your own personal benefits. My reasons for wanting everyone to be vegan go BEYOND MYSELF. That’s the difference. I’m absolutely not okay with causing unnecessary pain, suffering, and environmental damage and will never be. And I refuse to be shamed for feeling this way.

  9. I don’t wish to force anyone to do anything. My objective is to state my opinion about seeing dead animal parts at a vegetable market… For me, this is truly repulsive.

    Here’s a verbal image: Lettuce, eggplant, squash, carrots, beans, cukes, radishes, oranges, apples, strawberries, pears, chicken carcass/pig parts or cow pieces… Do you see that for me, what I consider “food” just isn’t marketed with the other things? And thus far, every vendor seems to “get it”… No one has brought anything other than fruits, veggies and the occassional homemade jams or baked goods. I like my market this way and hope they never change.

    I’m sorry if you find my likes contrary to yours… I am not mandating that anyone believe as I do… Just stating my view. And the truth is… A growing number of us just don’t see “animals” as “food”. If that’s okay with you?

    And SarahJames – If you don’t recognize the difference between sentience in plants or in animals the following quote by Leonardo da Vinci, maybe, just maybe, Leonardo can help answer the question a bit better:

    “Though nature has given sensibility to pain to such living organisms as have the power of movement, in order thereby to preserve the members which in this movement are liable to diminish and be destroyed, the living organisms which have no power of movement do not have to encounter opposing objects, and plants consequently do not need to have a sensibility to pain, and so it comes about that if you break them they do not feel anguish in their members as do the animals.” —Leonardo da Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci’s Note-Books, Arranged and rendered into English by Edward McCurdy, 1923, p. 130

    And if Leonardo da Vinci still doesn’t quite answer the question, here is another summation by Professor Gary L. Francione:
    http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/a-frequently-asked-question-what-about-plants/

    But in truth… Your intent was really not the concern with plants that suffer… It was really to confuse the issue and place animal feelings on the same level as the “pain” a carrot might experience when being plucked from the ground. Usually a five year old can see through this “argument”… But nice try anyway! 😉

    • Sarah James says:

      I am perfectly fine with people not seeing “animals as food.” Go for it! I have tried Vegetarianism (never tried Vegan) and it didn’t work for me. To each his own.I respect the right of others to put what they wish in their mouths. I do not like it when people like me are accused of “sullying” or “tainting” the market with my presence. That is rude. I don’t and would not say that about a Vegetarian or a Vegan.

      Actually, I had already read Prof. Francione’s blog before I posted. He is an Attorney and a Philosopher who is on what he feels is an important mission. I wonder how he knows plants are not “sentient?” Just from appearances and what we think with our “five year old” common sense? Well, research is proving otherwise. He does not give valid studies to prove his statement. So, we have decided we are on equal par with animals, but not plants, because even though we have discovered they communicate, they aren’t conscious beings? Several Eastern religions believe even the water and rocks of the Earth are sentient. I repeat, where do we draw the line? I also suppose you did not read the Swiss Bio-Ethics policy which does in fact state, “living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive.” So, there are some groups (Jains and Fruitarians) who will not eat something that, when harvested, kills the plant, or will wait for fruit to drop before they consume it. If that is what they choose to do, so be it. I draw my line here, you draw it there, they draw it elsewhere. We should not be rude or judge one another (I am speaking to myself here as well!).

      Blessings to all of you on this post. Be kind to one another. I think that is why Bea uses smiles, she is trying to express kindness which is not easy in comment sections.

      • Sarah, if vegetarianism “didn’t work” for you, you likely were not eating the right foods. None of us humans are that different, biologically. Secondly, no one said “your presence” was tainting the market. Bea said that animal products would taint her produce market. There is no need to be defensive. No one is criticizing animal eaters here. We are criticizing animal cruelty.

    • ann alderman says:

      I am glad to say that my farmers market (clarkecountyfarmersmarket.com) has a bountiful selection representing all of the local area farms, vegetable and animal, as well as a local barbeque caterer and sometimes vintners. I shop them all.

      • Me too, Ann! The Clarke Farmer’s Market is a Saturday highlight. I noticed they are already open and we stopped by there last week. Thanks for the link!

  10. first of all, “they” are not activists. “they” are presenting an alternative. an activist is merely and sometimes blindly opposed with out any idea for improvement. so lets drop the word activist, please. the use of that word only creates misunderstanding for the rest of the article.

    any change in u.s. agriculture will not come immediately from a sweeping set of legislation. our current agriculture industry did not happen over-night…it evolved and it can evolve again. if and when it changes, hopefully for the better, the idea is not to leave farmers in the dust purely for the sake of environmental concerns or treatment of animals. god forbid it does. there is great concern for the well-being of farmers, as there should be, in the adjustment to a dare i say “sustainable” system of agriculture in this country. remember, it’s not farmland without farmers.

    for the whole “humane” raising of animals. yes, i am all for the practice and the methods of farming it entails, but humane is such a horrible term to describe it. if we treat livestock like humans that means we’re treating them well? no. you treat a cow like a cow. plain and simple….what do cows like to eat? grass. not corn. humans like to eat corn. what do cows and other herbivores like to do? wander in a field. not live in a close confined cow city. humans like to live in cities.(for some strange reason)

  11. For Eric, Lonnie, Bill, and anyone else who believes animal farming is essential and that activists are misinformed:

    http://archive.kpft.org/mp3/100324_220001vwr.MP3
    Former animal farmer and current vegan, Harold Brown discusses the realities of animal farming, as well as the lack of necessity of the practice. I also highly recommend watching “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home” when it becomes available on DVD. http://www.tribeofheart.org/ (trailer is viewable on website)

    @ Lonnie specifically– there are plenty of non-animal sources of protein. I’ve been vegan for 3.5 years and during this time have run a 3:07 marathon (in 80-degree weather) as well as several 18-minute 5k’s. Also take a look at this: http://www.veganbodybuildingbook.com/ Humans do not require animal protein for optimal health, and, in fact, we are better off without it.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      Bully for you, Pam. You have the time, the desire, and whatnot to go vegan and run all those miles. Yippee!

      I never argued that there weren’t other sources of protein. All I defended is that it comes down to a matter of personal taste. Many of us, including myself, prefer the taste of red or white meat, and are thus grateful to the farmers who raise said animals for that purpose. Others, such as yourself, find sustenance through other means.

      My beef (pun intended) is with those like the other poster above who, like a modern-day Lorax, pontificate about the virtues and “speak for those with no voices.” This forum has been illuminating, but I don’t see either side ceding or gaining ground.

      • Lonnie, I would say it’s not a “matter of personal taste.” I used to enjoy animal flesh and secretions, as well. Then I learned that A) the animals and environment were suffering to satiate my appetite and B) humans have evolved to be better suited for herbivorism. And, so, I discovered new foods that meet my nutritional requirements and taste just as good. I could have just said, “Well, I like the taste of meat and milk and therefore I will keep consuming them.” But what good would that do? Instead, I made a conscious decision to help the animals, the planet, and myself. I have not lost any “time” to vegan eating or food preparation. And the “desire” to go vegan is available to anyone. We can and should “speak for those with no voice.” Why would this side of this discussion cede? We have no reasons to.

        • Lonnie Bishop says:

          Right…and as long as you portray yourself and those who think like you to be more enlightened than others, therein lies a fundamental flaw in your position.

          So…realze that, on here, it appears to be a draw. Farmer’s markets are not equipped to properly display meat products, so they’re usually not there. You find sustenance through other sources (legumes, etc.), and that’s your personal taste (i.e. preference). Others, like me, follow a more omnivoric diet, and that is just as fine. It doesn’t make me any less enlightened, or barbaric, than you.

          It’s a draw. Let’s leave it at that.

          • Lonnie, I just went over quite thoroughly how it is NOT a personal preference. It appears you did not read the post you are responding to (surprise!). It is NOT “fine” to intentionally induce torture upon other feeling beings or deliberately harm the planet! Could you honestly tell me that you would be okay with inflicting pain upon a human or companion animal? It’s the same thing. It is only our ingrained speciesist notions that tell us otherwise. Could you honestly tell me that you would be okay with us deliberately dumping waste into our limited sources of water? With animal farming, we are. You have a problem with me and “those who think like [me]” sharing our knowledge because you simply do not want to believe it or want to change. That’s all it comes down to. You do not care. And based on this conversation, it appears that you probably never will. Which is truly sad.

          • Think of it this way, Lonnie — if I told you that dog fighting or human child abuse was wrong and stated why, would my portrayal of myself as more “enlightened” on the subject matter be a “fundamental flaw?” Sleep on that.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            No, because I would agree 100% with you that dog fighting, human child abuse, and the like are heinous and should be stopped.

            But…you are now attempting to equate human child abuse and dog fighting with the butchering of a cow to produce steaks, tenderloin, leather, etc.? Wow…that’s a stretch, as they are so not apples-to-apples.

            My problems with your line of reasoning (not you, personally…get it straight), are that (A) you presume incorrectly that I don’t care about cruelty to animals and such; (B) you presume incorrectly that I am ignorant of the ideology those who think like you espouse; (C) you call it sad that, in a rational attempt to cease fire, I didn’t sign on with your way of thinking.

            You persist in painting yourself as someone more moral, more noble, more conscious than someone like me, simply because you have awakened to “the truth” and now you want to share your “knowledge” with us. You claim it’s not a personal preference, yet you repeatedly use personal pronouns and phrases like “our knowledge” that show it is a personal choice you made to both go vegan and preach the vegan gospel to the heathen carnivores amongst us.

            Yet, what you fail repeatedly to accept is that I have said it is great that you feel the way you do. That is your preference, and one obviously shared by several on here. That is fine. You also fail to accept the fact that I don’t share your beliefs on this matter. I, by choice and not by ignorance, am an omnivore. As such, I support programs like the FFA animal auction, because I know that any animal I purchased there was raised humanely and then I know that the butcher I take it to handles it appropriately. I also purchase products from traditional stores.

            Our views, on the matter of certain animals being bred for meat consumption, will most likely not change no matter how many pixels we lgiht up on here. Respect that I disagree with your lifestyle preference. It’s a draw, lady. Sleep on that.

          • That was exactly the answer I was expecting. You see the infliction of pain as okay when it is directed at certain species of animal (cows, pigs, etc), but not others (dogs, humans, etc), despite the fact that all of us feel pain equally, are emotional beings, and have the same interest in survival… are apples to apples. This is due to speciesism, something many of us (myself for the first 26 years of my life) are guilty of. It’s not really our faults – our society drives this into us from the time of birth. I don’t blame you or anyone else (including myself for all those years) for being inherently speciesist. But to get beyond those ingrained notions, we have to listen to those who already have done so. If I hadn’t listened to anyone else, I would never have gone vegan myself. I used to say I could never give up meat or milk…especially cheese!… but I opened myself up to a new way of thinking. And I am proud to be saving some animals and opening up friends, family, and passersby (via leaflets) to veganism. But it’s not enough for just us 1-2% to be vegan. Neither the animals nor the planet can continue on this way. Please see my comment under Ann’s post above on the demand for animal products resulting in factory farms, as well as the realities and prospect of “humane” farming.

            I don’t “presume you don’t care about animals or are ignorant” about anything. I’ve merely been responding to what you have been writing.

            How does my saying “our knowledge” show that killing or not killing animals is a personal preference? My simply having knowledge of how the system works and the effects on the animals and the environment makes it a personal choice?? What? I am sharing my knowledge so others, including yourself, if you so choose, can join in preventing the abuses. Also, I don’t think I am necessarily more noble, or moral than you. I am simply aware and awakened, which I was not before age 26. I think you need to lose this “vegan gospel” idea that you (and many others) have in your head. It’s stigma. Before I was vegan – even when I was lacto-ovo veg — I used to think vegans were wacko. Then I saw a few videos that changed my life and made friends with vegans. I quickly learned that veganism was not so strange afterall.

            You continue to say that I should “respect that [you] disagree with [my] lifestyle preference,” (and again it’s not a lifestyle preference, as I’ve discussed ad nauseum) yet insist that I respect your less ethical choices. If you disagree with my “choices” to not kill, why do you expect me to agree with your choice to kill?

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            Again, ma’am, you persist in continuing a discussion that folks are tiring of.

            When you persist in using qualifiers such as “I am awakened” or “I am enlightened” and the like, you infer that you are somehow better than someone like me…and that is a fundamental flaw in your argument. I don’t expect you to agree with my personal choice to be an omnivore, but I do expect you to not look down your nose at me because of that choice.

            Your entire lifestyle conversion at 26 years of age was a personal choice YOU made. YOU saw the videos. YOU did some research. YOU made friends with vegans. Thus, despite your confusion, you have illustrated exactly how it IS a personal choice you made. YOU have made it your personal choice, your personal preference, to not only life the life, but also preach the benefits of that lifestyle to others. If it weren’t so personal for you, I doubt you’d be so fired up on here and reluctant to give it a rest.

            It is fine and wonderful for you to live that lifestyle, and even to discuss it with others. However, I draw a line when you begin to belittle me or others and imply that we’re not as “enlightened” as you are. This discussion has ended in a draw, lady. Please – let it go at that.

          • Doug Gibson says:

            “Speciesism” has, I believe, is there because humans – given our inherent omnivore leanings – have always searched for meat either on the hoof, the wing, or the fin (and sometimes the belly scales).

            Also, I have seen the argument for it supported by Judeo-Christian folks who adhere to the “God gave Man dominion over the Earth” credo found in Genesis. Additionally, in the law passed down from God through the Israelites, certain classes of animals were deemed “unclean,” but meat from animals was not completely ruled out. Finally, I found a few references to how, in 2 seperate miracles, Jesus actually aided His disciples by helping them catch so much fish their nets and boats began to fail (which prompted them to follow Him), and turned a meager lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish into such a feast for 5000 men and an unknown number of women and children that there were 12 baskets of bread and fish left over. He didn’t just focus on the bread; He also ate fish and blessed it and passed it around.

            So…ma’am, your ideas might indeed be noble. Your desire that we all become vegan might be grounded in a sincere and real desire to make a better world. But, as the earlier posts have shown, it will take mroe than your persistent and haughty postings to convince me, or – so it would seem – Lonnie and others, to give the lifestyle you advocate a try. Rather, it seems like all you’re doing is turning them off to your ideas by being so persistent and pushy about them.

          • Lonnie, I just wrote to you “I don’t blame you or anyone else (including myself for all those years) for being inherently speciesist” and “I don’t think I am necessarily more noble, or moral than you.” My whole point in that last post was that I DO NOT think I am “better” than you or “belittle” you. If you feel belittled, it is due to your own unnecessary defensiveness.

            I have not given this conversation “a rest” because you keep pulling stuff out of nowhere (such as all of the above) and throwing it at me. If that ceases, I will cease commenting.

            Doug – same as I told Lonnie – I am not being “haughty,” or “pushy.” I’m simply responding to Lonnie’s bitter and defensive comments in an honest manner. Forgive my honesty. Next time I will agree that murdering for our tastebuds is perfectly fine because it’s a personal choice, just like murdering dogs is a personal choice. [redacted]

          • Wow, apparently the moderator of these comments does not want me mentioning that I don’t care what God, Jesus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster think. That’s free speech for ya.

            Statement of Editorial Policy – The Clarke Daily News is dedicated to promoting cultural acceptance in our community. Statements that do not add intelectual value to the community dialogue but rather appear to be designed to offend other cultural groups will be removed at the sole discretion of the Clarke Daily News editorial staff. – CDN

          • By the way, Lonnie, you keep mentioning a “draw.” Why? A “draw” would imply that this is some sort of contest, as opposed to a conversation. This sure isn’t a contest to me. It is nothing more than a very tiring conversation.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            Lady, there’s nothing bitter about what I’ve said to you. I highlighted the flaws in your arguments, or reasons why you might not get the converts you hope for, and you seemingly can’t stand it that I’m not swayed by your emphatic points.

            Phrase things however you choose…the simple fact of the matter is that you live your life how you choose to live it, and I live my life how I choose to live it. You think I perpetuate the inhumane treatment of all animals; I don’t see it that way.

            Let me ask you this – hypothetically speaking, let’s run with the argument that some 6 billion humans suddenly signed on to your way of thinking. Rich nation, poor nation – it no longer matters. Animals are now totally off all menus. That now leaves billions of cows, goats, rabbits, sheep, turkeys, chickens, bison, catfish, and other “farm raised” animals with no purpose but to live. Other than fairly feral bison, catfish, and the like – where do the rest of these billions of animals go? Do you propose that they be simply turned loose in the wild? You think that won’t cause an ecolgical snafu?

          • Lonnie,

            First of all, I don’t appreciate being referred to as “lady” or “ma’am.” I’m not calling you “guy,” “man,” or “sir.”

            You have not highlighted a single “flaw” in my argument. All you are saying is that I should respect your views, which I don’t, just as you do not respect mine. You raise points and I respond to them. That’s it; nothing more.

            Your “what if the world suddenly went vegan” question is a good one and one that is raised often. The world is not going to go vegan overnight. Over the course of this (desired) change, we can — as many people are — rescue and adopt animals and care for them. There are many donation-supported sanctuaries around the globe and there can be even more. As more people discontinue purchasing animal products, less animals will be bred. Over time, the numbers of existing animals will reflect the more natural numbers we would see if we were not deliberately breeding them by the billions each year. With fewer animals in existence, there will be less pollution and waste.

          • Editor: I was responding to Doug’s comment about how God and Jesus say it is okay to eat animals. I was saying that I make my own decisions based on conscience, rather than letting a being who I believe to be fictional make them for me. I fail to see how that statement did not add intellectual value to the conversation. I have a feeling you were personally offended because of your own beliefs in God. Both you and Doug are free to believe whatever you want. I never said otherwise.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            Calling it a “draw” simply refers to how neither side seems to have a stronger argument. As far as your personal comments about the existence of God in reply to Doug’s posting…I think what me highlighted was a good counterpoint to your going on about the history of speciesism. Again, you have made a personal choice, and desire earnestly for others to join you and make similar choice. You are welcome to that belief. Just as I am welcome to believe differently. So…it’s a draw.

          • Lonnie, you want to call it a “draw” so that you don’t have to try to defend your side of the conversation; not because “neither side seems to have a stronger argument.” You haven’t made any argument in favor of exploiting animals; you’ve simply stated that you enjoy doing so and wish to continue to do so. This conversation should end, indeed –it should have ended a week ago– but by no means is it a “draw.”

          • Jules Winnfield says:

            Seriously? Your evidence of animal having emotions is a zealot activist and a movie with lambs bounding through a field? Wow!
            I think that wraps it up pretty well.

          • You might want to read the book and watch the movie before you judge that idea, Jules. But do we really need books and movies as evidence, anyway? Have you ever had companion animals (dogs, cats, etc)? Have you never seen them get excited or sad about something?

  12. “Once one’s farm and one’s thoughts have been sufficiently mechanized, industrial agriculture’s focus on production, as opposed to maintenance or stewardship, becomes merely logical. And here the trouble completes itself. The almost exclusive emphasis on production permits the way of working to be determined not by the nature and character of the farm in its ecosystem and in its human community, but rather by the national or the global economy and the available or affordable technology. The farm and all concerns not immediately associated with production have in effect disappeared from sight. The farmer too in effect has vanished. He is no longer working as an independent and loyal agent of his place, his family, and his community, but instead as the agent of an economy that is fundamentally adverse to him and to all that he ought to stand for.”

    – Wendell Berry, 3rd generation Kentucky farmer.

  13. So what if plant did actually feel pain and were capable of suffering? What if it were known that grass cried a silent scream when it was cut… Or that a fruit was in agony when picked… Would this make much of a difference? No, because it is the very least of suffering and harm that we can cause and still survive. No one is saying we should sacrifice our lives by not eating what MUST sustain us… But clearly, animals do NOT fall into this rhelm.

    We know for fact that they feel boredom, lonliness, fear, happiness and pain – Why do so many seek to find other “life forms” that “might” feel these things – when they aren’t even prepared to address this suffering either? Seems like a ploy to make what suffering we do know exist seem trite and easy to dismiss. Just because we can’t stop all suffering doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attempt to ease what suffering we can.

    I only have one question to those who say it is a “choice” to kill/eat animals because of “taste”… At what point would you be willing to forego gastronomical satisfaction? IOW what amount of agony would an animal have to endure for you to be turned off by his or her body parts? Say if there were two plates placed before you – And you were told that one plate held meat in which the animal died a relatively “easy” death… But the other – a better “cut” of meat, more skillfully prepared and much more appetizing was gotten from an animal who suffered a brutal and horrific slaughter… Would you choose the “inferior” but “humane” meat? Or the “more delicious” but cruely acquired one? Maybe I’m wrong, but I think most people would care enough to “sacrifice” the total “dining experience” for their ethical standards… No one wants to think their food is made from misery.

    Now, if we can all agree that no death is pleasant… That each being struggles to hold on to his life – That no slaughter is “happy” – And that killing doesn’t inspire visions of gleeful joy – Does it not become clear why a vegan might find their delicious (and healthy) food the “right” choice? And that seeing blood next to beautiful love apples is a total turn off? No offense… Just stating my POV.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      Actually…you’re using your “point of view” as a bludgeon to browbeat those of us who do not think like you want us to think. You’re not going to win this argument on here, so…like was suggested to the other poster…let’s leave it at a draw. You can support your point of view, but so can I. Neither is necessarily more right than the other.

      • Wow, I just saw your response to this now. A “bludgeon to browbeat those of us who do not think like you want us to think?” Do you seriously think vegans have a vendetta against you, Lonnie? My, my. IT’S NOT ABOUT US. It’s not about you, me, Bea, Janet, Doug, or anyone else on this comment thread. Why didn’t you answer any of Bea’s questions? If it’s a “draw,” then you must have a good response to those questions which makes *both sides of the argument strong,* right?

        • Lonnie Bishop says:

          Wow…you just don’t know when to quit, eh?

          I have explained my position several times, but apparently you need one more go-round.

          It is a draw because both you and I can offer up strong reasons and opinions to support our respectives viewpoints. You decry all forms of animal cruelty, the use of animals as food items, and the heinous manner in which some of them are killed and processed.

          I, and apparently severl others on here, prefer to be omnivores. I prefer to get farm-raised animals (such as those raised by the kids in the FFA program) and take them to a reputable butcher known by my family for several years. If that options not available to me, then I’ll look to another vendor.

          Discussing vegan vs. omnivorism is really a subjective (read – personal & emotional) matter. You, Bea, and otehrs made a personal choice to not eat animals, or to protest animal cruelty in all its forms – and you include animal husbandry.

          I disagree with that sentiment. Attempting to compare domesticated animals, bred over generations (and, in some cases, centuries) to be food for humans, with outright and abject cruelty to animals (through such heinous thigns as dog fighting) does not work, as it is not an “apples-to-apples” comparison.

          Do all animals suffer? Sure they do. Do I prefer animals I intend to eat to be killed in a humane way that minimizes suffering? Absoultely. I also don’t like some of the tactics of the large facory farms, and on occassion have written to the powers that be to express my concerns: to the companies, to my congressmen, even to the Sec. of Agriculture.

          So, for all of those reasons, this conversation is a draw. You defend your opinions with heartfelt zeal, as do I. IN the end, free speech wins the day. Please, let this be the final explanation you need from me.

          • The issue is not that I “don’t know when to quit.” As I wrote under the other thread:
            “you want to call it a ‘draw’ so that you don’t have to try to defend your side of the conversation; not because ‘neither side seems to have a stronger argument.’ You haven’t made any argument in favor of exploiting animals; you’ve simply stated that you enjoy doing so and wish to continue to do so. This conversation should end, indeed –it should have ended a week ago– but by no means is it a ‘draw.’”

            You haven’t been able to explain to me how abusing and exploiting domesticated animals is any different than abusing and exploiting pigs, cows, or chickens, who are just as sentient and emotional. I asked you how they were “not apples to apples” and you have not given a response. If you have one, please do share. I’ve also explained to you (and Ann) the realities of terms like “humane,” “cage-free,” “free-range,” etc, as well as how the demand for ANY animal products results in the perpetuation of factory farming (which you claim to be against) and yet you continue to state, without responding to any of those points, that the animals you feast on were treated well. If you don’t like factory farms, the solution is to abstain from any and all forms of animal exploitation, regardless of whether those specific animals you dine on were from truly “happy farms” or not. I’m not telling you what to do; I am responding to your concern about factory farms and desires to prevent cruelty, as I have been throughout this conversation.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            I have, repeatedly, expained my side of this debate. You, repeatedly, refuse to accept that and leave it at that.

            You persist in telling me, and those who feel as I do, what to do, for you just now did it again: “If you don’t like factory farms, the solution is to abstain from any and all forms of animal exploitation,…”

            The fact that you refuse to accept that others can have solid, yet different, opinions on the subject reflects more negatively on you than on anything else. You persist in using terms such as “animal exploitation” and the like, and that’s fine. I do not define animal husbandry of domesticated animals as “animal exploitation.” Thus, as we both seem dug in to our beliefs, it remains a draw. Accept that reality.

          • Let me spell this out again. You are against factory farms. Yes? What I was trying to explain is that the DEMAND for animal products is the reason we HAVE factory farming. There is simply not enough land for “humane” farming around the globe. That is why factory farming exists. Purchasing animal products from any source perpetuates the demand, and thus, perpetuates factory farming. Hence, if you are against factory farming, the solution would be to discontinue consuming animal products from any source.

            Yes, cows, pigs, and chickens raised for food are domesticated. I was responding to your “Attempting to compare domesticated animals…” line where, by “domesticated,” you were referring to dogs and cats. How does the fact that pigs, cows, and chickens (and other animals typically eaten by humans) are also domesticated change anything? If anything, that seems to further reinforce the point, no? And what is your response to my sentience and emotions comment? I’ve asked for it several times. No response… Ah, right, because you don’t have one.

            I love how this conversation is going completely in circles. I ask you to explain something, you say you already did, I ask you to tell me again since I apparently missed it, and you tell me again that you already did explain it… so, what’s that explanation? I await your 15th “I already told you and it’s a draw” response.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            Lady, at no point did I refer to dogs and cats as the “domesticated” animals being discussed. My reference was to an earlier posting equating animal husbandry to dog fighting. Don’t insert words where none were.

            Apparently, you are now merely responding to my posts simply because they show up. If you had actually read it, you would see where I state – quite clearly – that all animals do suffer, meaning that they do feel pain and emotions. The way I see it, while animals raised for human consumption do suffer pain and (ideally) a swift death to provide meat for my table, they have been bred for that purpose – to provide food. To me, that is different than such heinous acts as cock fighting, dog fighting, bludgeoning baby seals for fur to make coats, etc.

            Be careful with your smugness, as you might get rainwater up your nose.

          • Right Winger says:

            Y’all are about to drive me out of my mind.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            I hear ya, RW. My postings on this matter are done. Some will never leave it be.

          • Jules Winnfield says:

            Animals have emotions? How exactly do you measure that? While humans have had differing views of animal emotion, the scientific examination of animal emotion has led to little information beyond a recognition that animals have the capacity for pain and fear, and such responses as are needed for survival.

            “How do you feel today Mr Pig?”

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            Have at her, Mr. Winnfield. LOL! I gladly tag out of the ring…

          • Lonnie –

            1)I have asked you kindly to stop referring to me as “Lady.”

            2) This is the line I was referring to:
            “Attempting to compare domesticated animals, bred over generations (and, in some cases, centuries) to be food for humans, with outright and abject cruelty to animals (through such heinous thigns as dog fighting) does not work, as it is not an “apples-to-apples” comparison.” You replied with “cows and pigs are domesticated.” My reply was, right, they are not. What is your point?” What was your point?

            3) How am I being “smug?” I am merely responding to YOUR posts and YOUR concerns with HONESTY. YOU stated that YOU are against factory farming. I did not put those words in your mouth. I have been telling you (trying very hard to) that factory farming is the result of the DEMAND for animal products, no matter where YOUR animal products came from; that eating any animals/animal products will result in factory farming. I’m not “telling you what to do.” YOU are against unnecessary animal cruelty and I am saying THIS is how to solve it. I’ve stated nothing but FACTS. You can’t argue with facts. If you still want to eat animals, I can’t change that and have not tried to. I’ve merely responded to your concerns and told you what I believe to be a solution. Take it or leave it.

          • **”right, they are domesticated,” rather

          • “Right Winger:”

            Here you go:

            http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Lives-Animals-Scientist-Explores/dp/1577315022

            http://www.peaceablekingdomfilm.org/ — I posted this one already, but here you go again. You should watch that when it becomes available; particularly the scene with the lambs being reunited with their mothers and running after them, with both the mothers and babies crying. Mother cows also show visible signs of grief (searching for their babies and bellowing) for up to 2 weeks after their calves are taken from them at birth.

          • **pardon – that last comment was directed at Jules Winnfield, not at Right Winger.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            Actually, here’s where you misquoted me:
            “Yes, cows, pigs, and chickens raised for food are domesticated. I was responding to your “Attempting to compare domesticated animals…” line where, by “domesticated,” you were referring to dogs and cats. How does the fact that pigs, cows, and chickens (and other animals typically eaten by humans) are also domesticated change anything?”

            At any rate, (A) I never meant offense by using “Lady” and apologize for demeaning you in that way, (B) regardless of anyone’s ample defense of their position you are unyielding in your prescriptions to us on how to change things, and (C) you and I define certain things differently, and thus there is no seeing eye to eye on the matter.

            I wish you well in the years to come.

          • FACTS are unyielding, Lonnie. Did you read my last comment to you? I have no idea what you are saying RE the “domestication” paragraph, nor what you were saying before, but whatever.

            This conversation has failed because you went into it thinking we were against you and your values and therefore took on a defensive position, when really we were trying to help you support your own stated values. You ignored my repeatedly stated “it’s not about you,” “I’m not telling you what to do,” and “I’m not saying I am more noble or moral,” comments because you were too deep in your own defensiveness and decisions to process those lines. You’re probably reading this very paragraph in the same manner. I understand this because it is human nature. I tried to tell you that, too –that I understood where you were coming from– but even *that* was perceived as me trying to sound arrogant – the exact opposite of what I was trying to achieve. I’m sorry this conversation was such a bust.

          • Right Winger says:

            It’s a Venus-Mars thing.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            BTW…cows, chickens, and pigs ARE domesticated animals.

          • …Yeah…And?

  14. Yeesh. Can the thread hijacking cease?

    Most of these comments are leaps and bounds away from the content of the story. Surely there has to be a number of web forums available for pontificating about food choices and the glory of anthropomorphism?

  15. Jules Winnfield says:

    I have never seen an article illustrated by the comments quite like this. The premise is that young farmers are optimistic, but are fearful of the impact “activists” will have on their ability to maintain a business and standard of living.

    The comments have illustrated their perception of the “environment” splendidly.

    While the majority commenting support farming and the sustainable trends that these young (and older) farmers are using and cultivating (heh), there is a loud minority that see the practice of farming as a platform to exalt their social agendas.

    The concerns of the farming community have played out in the “blogosphere” just as they are perceived in the real world…

    • Observe the first comment, which started it all, by Eric J. Myer DVM.

      • Thumbs down, why? Did that comment of Eric’s not lead to the rest of the conversation? Check out the “rating” on it, too. Then look at Janet’s post below it and Lonnie’s incredibly rude post which followed… track the rest of the conversation from there. Then come back and decide whether that “thumbs down” on my comment here –or, for that matter, on any other thread– was really deserved.

  16. Hasn’t this domesticated dead horse been beaten to death already?

    Pam’s had her 15 minutes – can we close out comments now?

    • Jules Winnfield says:

      No because it hasn’t been flogged to death in a humane manner…

      • As with animal farming, the attempts at using humane methods have failed. In this case, it was because the person who started the conversation had his mind made up and was defensive from the beginning, refusing to comprehend that what was being told to him was in support of his stated values, rather than against.

    • Oh, believe me, I wanted it to end weeks ago! I’d thought Lonnie was finished after I answered his question about what would happen to all the animals, but nope… he came back for more! If questions are asked, I respond.

  17. Lonnie Bishop says:

    Agreed!

  18. carriage-free chicago says:

    Lonnie and his fellow meat eaters would in no way, ever be compliant in saying that there should be cameras insinde slaughethouses so the public can see the truth about where their “food” comes from. The beef, prok and dairy councils and lobbyists work tirelessly and uber-aggressively to keep any cameras OUT, so that the routine abuse, horrific conditions, brutal mutilations (de-horning, castration, tail-docking, ear-notching, branding, etc, etc) is NEVER seen by the public. The average American has no idea whatsoever what innocent animals go through in factory farms across the world, and factory farmers and people like Lonnie need it to stay that way. Their fondness for the taste of bacon or steak supercedes any animal sufferning or living an awful existence before a painful slaughetr. Their appetite matters more to them than anything we can say. They are selfish, apathetic people, so lets stop arguing with them. Let them live their miserable and small lives, free of ever challenging their own beliefs, or evolving in any way from the status quo.

    • Right Winger says:

      I do know what happens at slaughterhouses. I still like beef/pork/chicken/lamb/ostrich/deer/veal. Just because some people have chosen to remain at the top of the food chain while others choose not to is no reason to berate them or say that your lifestyle choice is better than theirs.

      You’re vegan. Good for you. For me, the snap of a raw vegetable is just a terrifying scream coming from a voicelss plant that wasn’t humanely harvested.

      • RW, you just reinforced CFC’s point that “Their fondness for the taste of bacon or steak supercedes any animal suffering or living an awful existence before a painful slaughter. Their appetite matters more to them than anything we can say.” Ie, even knowing of the conditions in slaughterhouses and factory farms, many people still don’t care.

        We’re at the top of the food chain? Hmm, that’s interesting… I’d like to see you in a ring with a lion or tiger or sharing swimming quarters with a shark… Now, assuming you now realize we’re not at the top of the food chain, think of this: if a lion or tiger was chasing you, would you surrender and let them shred you to pieces? Or would you rather avoid pain and suffering and continue living? Can a lion or tiger make a conscience-based decision to not harm another mammal? Not really. Can lions and tigers survive without consuming animal flesh? No. Can humans make a conscience-based decision to not harm another mammal? Yes. Can humans survive without consuming animal flesh? Yes, and we are better off without it.

        • Right Winger says:

          If I were planning to be in a ring with a lion or a tiger, then I would be sure to arm myself with the proper caliber of weapon to dispatch them if I felt my safety were at risk. If I were planning to be swimming with a shark, then I’d arm myself with the proper implement to defend myself in case the shark were to attack me. I can adapt and overcome threats, that’s what puts me at the top of the food chain.

          Bottom line, you are arguing your point to a group of people that have no intention of changing the way they choose to live. We’re not asking you to change yours either. But resorting to name calling in any type of discussion because one side disagrees with the other is just plain counter-productive to one’s cause.

          • If you were “planning to be in a ring with a lion or tiger or planning to swim with sharks?” Do I have to explain to you that I was referring to unplanned attacks for which you were not prepared with external armor? Wowwie. Good luck adapting by growing fangs and claws when you need them.

            “Bottom line, you are arguing your point to a group of people that have no intention of changing the way they choose to live.” Does this not mirror CFC’s line “Their appetite matters more to them than anything we can say. They are selfish, apathetic people, so lets stop arguing with them.” He didn’t “resort” to anything in referring to you, Lonnie, and the other defensive folks on here as mouth breathers. He made some pretty clear points, which, as with the rest of the points made on this thread, none of you were able to respond to (that, in and of itself, was one of his points…).

            No one ever asked you or anyone else on this thread to change your lifestyle. Folks have asked questions, raised concerns, and were responded to with honesty about how to apply their own stated values. They (including you) have simply responded critically and defensively when it was not necessary or called for. And why would you ever ask me to change my lifestyle, anyway? What would be the reasons? Wow, we hear that one a lot (again, from defensive folks when not even telling them to change their lifestyle). Again, you bring up the name calling because you have no better defense and feel you need to defend yourself, when you do not. How great it would be if you would simply realize that you did not need any defense. No one is attacking you. It’s not about you. And it’s not about us.

          • My point with the lion/tiger/shark bit (in response to your “humans are at the top of the food chain” statement) was that if given a choice when being attacked by someone who is naturally higher on the food chain, you would likely choose to live. You replied that you would bring proper armor (when given that opportunity), hence, would indeed prefer to live than to have your life ended early by someone who is naturally higher on the food chain. You have proven my point. We know that non-human animals also desire to continue living and avoid pain, just like we do. So your position on the food chain, even if you were at the “top” (which you are not) is completely irrelevant.

            This discussion is concluded. Farewell.

          • Right Winger says:

            And you continue to say that my (and others) choice to eat meat is the wrong one, regardless of any point we make, it’s just not good enough for you.

            Get over your self-righteousness.

          • Doug Gibson says:

            CFC- “Their appetite matters more to them than anything we can say. They are selfish, apathetic people, so lets stop arguing with them. Let them live their miserable and small lives, free of ever challenging their own beliefs, or evolving in any way from the status quo.”
            CFC- “I dont expect any of you mouth-breathers to answer that, because you have yet to answer a single other question being posed to you, except to say “cuz I like bacon” or “cuz I like burgers”. [redacted]”
            Pam- “Right on, CFC.”

            It would appear, from just these few posts, that the bulk of the name-calling and insults and the like come from you two. While it may be becoming the norm, as on some cable talk shows, it still does not really advance any sort of dialogue, and makes the utterer of such things look shallow-minded and immature. And, to cheerily chime in with an agreement only reflects on you as someone who supports such shallow-minded and immature rants.

          • Right Winger says:

            “Do I have to explain to you that I was referring to unplanned attacks for which you were not prepared with external armor? ”

            You’re the one who stated this about lions and tigers:

            “… I’d like to see you in a ring with a lion or tiger or sharing swimming quarters with a shark…”

            If said lion or tiger were in a ring, then you are implying that I would be entering the ring of my own free will, so of course I would properly arm myself. If I went into a ring without protection, then by my sheer stupidity, I should die. Social Darwinism. Now, if I were to be in a ring with a venus fly trap (a carnivorous plant), I’m pretty confident that I could handle myself without having to grow instant fangs and claws.

            I saw an infomercial recently for one of those mandolin-slicer-dicer things. I was amazed at the humane treatment given to the vegetables when they were sacrificed for human consumption. The tomatoes did release a bit of fluid, but all-in-all, I don’t think they suffered. The sweet potatos did put up some resistence, though.

  19. carriage-free chicago says:

    Poor Lonnie, he keeps ignoring fact after fact after fact. And he keeps calling it a “draw” despite the fact that the vegans and vegetarians posting keep on bring questions and facts to him and he cant seem to address any of them, nor can anyone on here who sees no problem with animals being abused and killed simply because they like the taste. Why do you keep saying “its a personal choice! quit pushing it on me!” and “its your thing! i dont want to hear about it!”? How exactly does it become YOUR personal choice…to abrogate another living things right to life? How is it YOUR personal choice to take away another living things personal choice? I dont expect any of you mouth-breathers to answer that, because you have yet to answer a single other question being posed to you, except to say “cuz I like bacon” or “cuz I like burgers”. [redacted]

    • Right on, CFC.

    • Right Winger says:

      You lose credibility when you resort to calling people names when they disagree with you.

      “…I dont expect any of you mouth-breathers to answer that, because you have yet to answer a single other question being posed to you, except to say “cuz I like bacon” or “cuz I like burgers”.”

      • How did CFC “lose credibility” by applying a term to a group of people that describes their behavior? RW, this is the type of response people give when they realize they can’t come up with a valid defense. “But, but… you called me a NAME!”

        • Jules Winnfield says:

          What about chicken eggs in this conversation? CFC said, “YOUR personal choice…to abrogate another living things right to life?” How is it YOUR personal choice to take away another living things personal choice?”
          Can I eat chicken eggs or is there a right of life there?

          Answer carefully because I think I know where you stand elsewhere….

          • Jules, I’ve posted several links above that describe how egg farming is harmful to both the mother hens (who not only suffer during egg production but are also ultimately killed for cheap meat once they are “spent”), as well as the male chicks (who, 99% of the time, are ground up or suffocated at birth because they are not of use to the egg or meat industries).

            Here you go again:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWyXmANaFH8
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaw6RVaumTA&feature=related
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ0YWK3Fwgc&feature=related

            I’m not sure what you mean by “Answer carefully because we know where you stand elsewhere,” but I chose to answer with the truth, as I have been doing throughout this conversation. Take it or leave it.

            This conversation has just gone around and around in circles, with defensive folks insulting those who are trying to help them apply their stated values and accusing them of trying to preach or belittle others. CFC entered the conversation late and witnessed the same. My final words of advice: if you don’t want to know the truth about a given matter, don’t ask questions.

            Bye.

          • Jacob Lassiter says:

            Wow I’m just watching this conversation and it’s plain to see he was trying to get you to compare it to abortion. [redacted]

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            I find it real interesting, Pam, that those who don’t agree with you are now labeled “defensive folks insulting those who are trying to help them.” Sounds pretty high-minded of you to label folks like myself thusly.

            As for CFC, gradeschool-level name calling really doesn’t solve anything, nor does it make anyone inclined to give ear to anything you might have to say. You seem to infer, with that lame attempt at a slur, that someone like myself is a step or two above drooling or Neanderthal-level thinking.

            My preference for calling it a draw is because both sides, illustrated by both Pam and myself, can adequately support his or her arguments. Unfortunately, Pam and now you don’t accept anything I’ve posted as a defense of my position, because you continue to label it something other than “facts” or “the truth.” She and you have staked out a claim that your version of things is “the truth” and thus nobody else could possibly be correct.

            Humans, in the natural order of their “habitats,” are indeed considered “apex predators.” Obviously, if you introduce a human into a situation that is not the “norm” (i.e. a ring with a peeved tiger or lion, or a body of water with a shark), then we become more like prey and less like a predator. But, such an analogy doesn’t work for the initial discussion.

            Sharks, lions, and tigers have not bred humans over centuries to be food items. A shark sees a human (from below) kicking about and its brain tells it, “Yum! There’s a defenseless seal.” -cue “Jaws” music here-)

            Humans, by contrast, have spent the better part of the past centuries breeding feral qualities out of cows, goats, chickens, llamas, sheep, turkeys, and various other species of animals to be cultivated as food items. Why? Because we have the mental capacity to develop the tools, machinery, and related production methods to do so, and our forefathers generations ago selected animal species docile enough to domesticate in such a manner. Doug, in a much-earlier posting, referenced a Judeo-Christian source for some of that thinking (which so appalled you that your subsequent posting was moderated into oblivion by the editors). The point is, each of your points has been countered, and you refuse to acknolwedge this, and you end up looking shallow-minded and defensive because of it.

            Do some factory farms go too far? Yes, perhaps they do. As I’ve stated, do I like inhumane methods of producing meat for my table? No, I do not. I have protested abusive methods, and I support methods that are humane and minimize animal suffering. But, just as you choose to be vegan, I choose to be an omnivore and include meat in my diet. You, however, see no value in my choice and persist in labeling it in derogatory terms; CFC takes it a rung lower on the ladder and calls me a “mouth-breather” in a misguided attempt to prove to be some sort of wiseacre.

            All the two of you have accomplished, judging by the votes on here (which you don’t seem to like if they are not in agreement with you – based on this post from 4/9 – “Thumbs down, why? Did that comment… whether that “thumbs down” on my comment here –or, for that matter, on any other thread– was really deserved.”), is align more folks with RW, Jules, and myself than with your cause. You erroneously mistook my few-days-silence on the matter as a sign that “No response… Ah, right, because you don’t have one.” Wrong – I was out of town on vacation for a few days. Don’t be so hasty to jump to conclusions.

            We have listened to your arguments, we have given counterarguments, so it’s a draw. Give it a rest. This is my final post on the matter. If you wish to prolong this by insulting me, or continuing to bemoan how I am “defensive” or don’t listen to you and your “truth” or whatever, then that certainly is your choice.