Meat-Free diets could end world hunger

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Crouton, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    I try not to use statistics and figures because most of my education on this stuff is based on low level psychology, I can usually tie most of what I want to say to the functionality of the brain because it is responsible for most of us. I just try to remove notions of good and bad in a debate because it can scare off people on the opposing side and misrepresent who people really are.
     
  2. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    Overead, do you think she's even gonna look at the references I provided... some people have their own truth... they don't need anything else
     
  3. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Crouton I love you and I'm sorry everyone is attacking you :* let's not eat meat together
     
  4. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    I'm actually not eating meat since Sunday :D
     
  5. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    There in lies a fault. Debate shouldn't be arguing a person it should be arguing against a point of fact and a stance. Thus the presentation of evidence isn't trying to "defeat a person" its instead trying to present a valid claim and stance with evidence of the informed background.
    This is never more true than on the internet where debates are not simply two or three people in a panel arguing back and forth and where there are many who can take either side or even start new concepts and introduce them into the flow.
     
  6. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    Attacking? I misinterpreted her saying something about guilt and then tried to persuade her to be more neutral with blame. If anybody ever feels attacked by something I say all they have to do is remember I said it and return to reality where I'm just some bony guy on the internet that is over ambitious and kind of a humanist that is probably deluded and shouldn't be taken too seriously.
     
  7. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    and so it was... but I just mention, that certain person, will give no f... about those facts... And that, too, is a fact.
     
  8. Gayle Miller

    Gayle Miller New Member

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    I had written out a reply to the points raised but I was timed out, so shortened version.

    1) Climate changes are already affecting many countries, world water levels, sinking islands and causing global disasters. Human factors, toxic spills, insects, drought, soil problems etc could destroy plants causing many people globally to starve.

    2) If crops failed there would need to be an alternate food source. Fishing alone in already over fished waters would not provide for everyone.

    3) Governments, rich people and businesses would be more likely to build on the land that had been used for grazing etc. Look at the rainforests. They cleared vast areas with no regard for the wildlife and have not helped any of the starving nations by doing so.

    4) Meat industries are not the cause of the people going hungry. Class systems that keep the impoverished poor, governments taking the food parcels that are dropped into poor lands and confiscating resources that have been donated by richer countries, holding a debt over the heads of the countries that are already impoverished so they have no hope of getting out of their predicament etc is the cause. Over indulgence will continue regardless of whether people eat meat or not.

    5) A meat free diet can be just as detrimental to a persons health as a meat eating one. A person would have to ensure their food is completely nutritionally balanced and in places like Scotland Vitamin D is a rare source and most of our supplies are used up well before winter. In order to have a healthy amount we need to supplement our diets. Lack of nutrients can cause many health problems and if a person doesn't know how to balance their food they can end up with severe problems.

    6) Waiting lists would not be shorter. Elderly people are living longer so need more medical care, people are born with birth defects that require surgery, heart disease can be caused by many factors, cancer is often inherited, obesity can be caused by many factors not just over eating.

    7) Beauty industry is the problem not the health industry. With images of stick thin people being the norm many believe that is what beautiful is and undergo strict diets, plastic surgery, poisonous injections to get rid of a few wrinkles, caking themselves in chemicals used in the production of cosmetics and over exercising which puts their bodies under greater stress.

    8) The only bonus to a meat free planet would be the humane treatment of animals. However, materials and products that are made from those same animals will still be required and will not stop the animals from being killed. The only way to change things would be for the entire planet to act for the greater good of all mankind and that is not going to happen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  9. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    in my not so well researched and probably poorly thought out opinion...

    1) advance hydroponics and any other technology to grow crops in buildings. Place said technology and crops into skyscrapers to maximize farmland while minimizing the horizontal space said farm takes up.
    2) Where else can we grow food? Is underground a viable option with the above technology? Are there edible plants that can be grown purely underwater (like seaweed) and utilize that space while creating a safe haven for the various fish types at the same time. can we genetically engineer crops to grow in that environment without risking the ecosystem?


    While I have no problem with folks going vegetarian for whatever their reasons may be, I do not see forcing us to forego meat as a species to be beneficial. With #1 I would hope that we could free up the land and solve the problem and keep our meat (though animal processing facilities need to be entirely reworked in themselves, but that's a different story.)
     
  10. Gayle Miller

    Gayle Miller New Member

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    Good points Dreamscaper. That may very well be done as we lose more and more land due to increased populations. I'd wager thoughts along those lines have already been discussed by the experts.
     
  11. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    There's one point that has not yet been raised in this whole debate and that is the role of herbivores and carnivores in an ecosystem.
    Sunlight is harvested by plant photosynthesis and is turned into chemical energy by the plant. A herbivore eats the plant, uses some of that energy for metabolic processes and stores the rest. A carnivore (or omnivore) eats that animal, harvests that energy, uses some of it for metabolism and stores the rest. The cycle continues.....

    A lot of domesticated herbivores (cows, sheep, goats, horses etc) have evolved to eat grass. Ruminants have specialized fermentation vats (rumens) in their abdomens to break down the cellulose in grass and derive energy from it. The cecum in horses, rabbits and guinea pigs has a similar function. Simple stomached animals such as dogs, cats, humans and pigs CANNOT digest the cellulose in grass and other plants. To us it's simply fibre and it is utterly worthless for obtaining food energy from.

    The only way we can harvest that food energy is by eating the animal that ate the grass. I would argue that everyone becoming strictly vegetarian ignores that entire source of energy. There's a lot of grass in the world!

    Feeding plants to animals that we can consume directly (such as grain) doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me from an energy-saving perspective or an animal welfare perspective necessarily. (I refer everyone to the meat vs vegetarian debate where I have made multiple posts on this very subject). Feeding grass to animals that are adapted to eat it however, does make a lot of sense to me from both perspectives. Besides, grass grows just about everywhere and not all land is arable for crops.

    I also agree with many of the posts here that world hunger will not be solved by everyone simply switching to a vegetarian diet. Socioeconomic disparity has a lot to do with starvation and that is a much more complicated issue than a simple worldwide shortage of food.

    As for the health benefits of being vegetarian, I'm not convinced that it matters one way or the other. Most diseases have multifactorial causes: diet, genetics, exposure to toxins or harmful things in the environment, and exercise/lifestyle are just a few factors influencing whether or not your body becomes diseased. Scientific studies try to determine the relationship of one variable to another (in this case, meat consumption to increased risk of disease), but the problem is that it's darn hard to control for all of those other variables. If they did a study on a bunch of identical clones that lived under identical conditions and who were forced to follow the same exercise regime every day, they could maybe sort out the exact relationship by feeding one group meat and the other a vegetarian diet. In reality, that just can't be done. In short, it just doesn't make sense to blame everything on diet. Nutrition is only one aspect of maintaining a healthy body (and I know vegetarians who eat far more french fries than salads!). Anything eaten to excess isn't necessarily good for you.. whether it be beef or broccoli. Moderation in all things and a balanced diet strike me as reeking of plain common sense, no matter what you choose to eat.
     
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  12. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    These are the current up to date facts that we have now. There hasn't been any new ones yet to trump out these ones so this is what we have to work with at the current time, and these reflect the current world that we live in. Any future facts would represent changes that have not happened yet. And yes, the wastage in Western society is disgusting. So much good food is thrown out, it makes you sick. If only more of that food made it's way into the hands of those who need it.

    If the space cleared was used to grow crops, and if the crops we already grew were used to feed humans and not livestock then there would in fact be more food if we ate less meat. The world is ruled by money and greed, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't at least try to help it. I think many people see these issues as too big and too complicated so don't even attempt to try anything.

    Yep, but there must be something in a vegetarian diet that helps when we keep getting statistics like we do.

    Meat-eater chance of heart attack - 50%
    Vegetarian chance - 29%
    Vegan chance - 4%

    I'm glad it made you think, that was the goal of this thread to begin with. I first became interested in this back in High School. My Grade 10 Environmental Science teacher was the first one to teach me about this and it's stuck with me the last 5 years and has spurred me to do more research. My teacher, and ancient fat old man who I swear had been at the school for 50 years, was teaching us about efficient energy chains. He described how the vegetarian diet is the most efficient way or processing energy and if the whole world was vegetarian then there would no longer be hunger in the world. I didn't believe him straight away but after so much more research I am seeing the truth to his words.

    Also it's good to hear you are considering vegetarianism. It's probably the best decision I've ever made. Good for your health, ethical and good for the economy and the environment. Just good all round, there's really no negatives.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  13. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    Sorry, which references are you talking about? There's so much stuff going on in this thread and I'm trying to keep track of all of it. I may have missed them. Or at least I didn't see any so far. It's already up to the fourth page and I'm still trying to answer posts on page one.

    Nevermind, I just found them. I'll go through them later when I have more time. The only reason I hadn't yet is as I said, I'm still trying to go through page one. This thread is a nightmare to keep track of.

    Haha, I don't care that people are attacking me, they are more just riled up. I didn't come here to start a fight, I simply wanted to share information. The problem of what is happening here is that people are seeing the truth, it isn't pretty, they don't like it and therefore are getting defensive. It's a common reaction to news like this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  14. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Btw one thing, if people (well mostly girls in this case) want to be a part of making this world a better place and stop the wasting and throwing away stuff. I got one thing to say. Mooncup. The end.
     
  15. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    lmao Em :D
     
  16. Blackness

    Blackness Well-Known Member

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    First of all, poverty and horrible unevenness when it comes to distribution of wealth and resources is what is the cause of world hunger. Earth has the capability to feed over 10 billion people if the need arises. Hopefully we'll bring our population down in time to avoid that.
    Secondly, most of your "facts" are no facts at all, as they both lack references and are intuitively illogical. Third, people who eat fish and dairy are more healthy than vegans. Fourth, it's not actually the meat that kills people, it's the lack of proper exercise combined with industrial leftovers and hormones used in the growing and processing of animals.
    Fifth, the same applies to vegetables and fruit. It's all full of pesticides, and hence carries a similar risk to meat when eating industrially grown food. (which is over 90% of food today)
    Sixth, humans ARE omnivores by nature, that's why we have those sharp teeth called canines, and that's why we have enzymes specific for meat digestion. Seventh, both plants and animals are living creatures, to consider one to be more worthy of life than another is hypocritical. Just cause one doesn't have a nervous system means its consciousness has intrinsically less value? Bullshit. It's your ability to feel compassion to things similar to you that make you feel for animals. The less similar they are, the less compassion one has. After all, killing a puppy and killing a worm isn't the same, eh.

    Now, I'm a vegetarian too, but if you plan on convincing people that vegetarianism is a solution for anything, bring solid, unbiased and verifiable proof. Otherwise all you will cause is anger by people you patronize. And that helps neither them nor you.
     
  17. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I can only say that if anyone really thinks "world hunger" will be solved by everyone turning to a vegetarian diet, that you are incredibly naive and have completely missed the point. The problem isn't world hunger, it's overpopulation. If you feed the starving and goodness forbid keep them alive to reach sexual maturity, then they have more babies who likewise will need extraordinary measures in order to survive... to reach sexual maturity and again have more babies.

    There is no escaping it, Darwinism works on every level of the Animal Kingdom, that's including humanity.

    I have no problem with the herd being thinned through disease and starvation, it's as natural and necessary to our survival as the sun rising every morning.



    And btw, I'm about 75% vegetarian and I'm at my proper weight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  18. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I know I keep just throwing in random sentences but I don't know enough to write giant paragraphs.

    My point is, and I just thought of it: sure it won't solve world hunger. but if people as a whole at less meat, fruits, vegetables and grains, etc. would be cheaper and more accessible. Impoverished people at least in america would get a choice to eat something healthy over having mcdonalds for every meal. and sooo much grain, etc. is wasted feeding animals. so in addition to having farmers focus more on crops instead of livestock, there would simply be more of the stuff we already have left. And it would make it a lot easier to cut down on world hunger if there is a surplus of grain. It would give people the chance to help.

    And if we're talking about vegetarianism being 'healthy' or whatnot, I've gained twenty pounds of muscle weight since becoming a vegetarian. and i don't even eat that well. so it's possible to get the right nutrients with less or no meat.
     
  19. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I believe that in today's world one of the most effective things you can do as an individual is to choose carefully what you buy. That extends to everything, not just food (as Em's suggestion has already shown...lol).

    I have to disagree that vegetarianism is more "ethical" and "good for the environment". As was discussed (at length :)) in the other meat vs vegetarian thread, I can't distinguish a moral difference between taking the life of a plant and taking the life of an animal. I have to eat to live and to do that I have to take the lives of other organisms. I can't help that so I don't feel morally responsible for taking those lives whether they be plant or animal ones. Furthermore, if we accept that starvation is a result of poverty and that is a result of socioeconomic disparity rather than a worldwide shortage of food, then how can we conclude that vegetarianism is more "ethical" than eating meat?
    I'd argue that growing crops is no better for the environment than raising animals. Cash cropping often equals factory farming. A field has to be worked (and growing up on a farm I know that means it has seen a tractor going over it at least 3 times: ploughing, discing and seeding minimally). Then there might come herbicides and pesticides with their associated run-off into groundwater, followed by harvesting. In the case of grain that might mean swathing followed by combining if you don't have an all-in-one combine anyway. That field has probably seen a diesel tractor 5 times by then, not to mention all the native plants that mono-culture of crops has replaced. I might also point out the issues with genetically modified food crops as well.
    Organic farming probably does a lot better for the environment, whether plants or animals are raised but that is only going to make problems with socioeconomic disparity worse. Organic food is expensive, as anyone who has ever been to an organic grocery store will know. Until we fix that socioeconomic disparity, I can't see how increasing the price of food is going to solve world hunger.
     
  20. Gayle Miller

    Gayle Miller New Member

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    S J Faerlind did you read the articles on plants feeling pain? Always makes me wonder when I'm in the supermarket and I see the fresh fruit section. ;)