Friday, September 04, 2009

Good Reasons to Go Vegee

Click post title to go to reaction to a video filmed by the Humane Society of chicks being tossed into a grinder at a factory egg farm. The article further describes why hogs must be castrated and their tails cut off, to avoid a horrible urine taint to the meat caused by male hormones and to prevent, in tightly packed hog pens, hogs from chewing at each other's tails and bleeding to death. These procedures are performed without anesthesia.

There is not much humane in big meat animal raising operations. In fact, the process is inhumane start to finish, disgusting, barbaric, heathenistic and is nothing at all like the old days, when families routinely each raised a few farm animals, allowing them healthy free ranging lifestyles, before the day they were quickly humanely killed and butchered.

This process has become streamlined for profit and production. The animals are packed tightly and treated unalive, often injected with horrible things to make them grow faster or to offset their unhealthy diets of things that particular animal does not naturally eat.

Raise your own farm animals. Hunt. Or, go vegee.


  1. Great post: thanks for it!

  2. Hello... But I really wonder - is there anything "humane" about raising/killing or hunting animals when none of it is "necessary". Seems like using animals for these frivolous reasons - make "humane" an easy (but untrue) disclaimer.

    We don't "need" animals in order to thrive. Indeed, more doctors are recommending a plant based diet all the time. With that in mind, no matter where an animal comes from, if it is healthy and killed just for it's flesh or fur -I just don't see how it can be called "humane"...

    Thanks for inviting comment.

  3. Egg plants aren't such good places either.

    I went on an all raw diet last Saturday, and am down six pounds. I just can't eat enough raw things to keep weight on.

  4. I posted my comment, and then saw Bea's comment. I agree that animals shouldn't be killed simply because a person enjoys eating them. However, I normally do eat fish simply because after several years as a vegetarian, I was sick pretty much all winter one year, and really craved fish. I don't know what they have that my vitamins and minerals' don't. but I went back to eating them even though I feel a little bad about it.

  5. I love almonds and pumpkin seeds. What about nuts, Snow, to keep on that weight?

  6. I AM eating seeds and nuts--the two you mentioned plus cashews, sunnies, and peanuts. I mostly just throw them into the blender along with everything else. As for what is raw, there seem to me to be some gray areas like popcorn, cheese, and pasteurized juices.

  7. Hi Snowbrush... I get the part about fishes - My husband still eats them as well, every few months. But he doesn't get factory farmed fish - I suppose that's how he justifies it (for now).

    For some, it's very hard to relate to fishes and reptiles... They aren't the "cutest" animals - And their bodies seem so "other" to us... It's hard to remember that they feel pain too...

    But eating raw must be a challenge - It would never work for me... I love oatmeal way too much! :) But about the cheese - you do know about the rennet in it right?

    Just wondering... some people have never heard of rennet - I certainly never did when I was eating dairy...

    Anyway - for the weight... avocados can pack on pounds... peantut butter too and coconut milk - all very high in calories :)

  8. My sixteen year old son would never agree to a vegetarian diet - his idea of a vegetable is french fries....He is growing and hungry all the time - without meat, he just doesn't fill up. And, there's not much else he cares for. He would, of course, be the first to condemn brutal slaughter of animals, but the last to give up eating meat....

  9. Bea: "t he doesn't get factory farmed fish - I suppose that's how he justifies it (for now)."

    Me either, but that's partly because I don't want something that was raised in crowded tanks and spent its short life swimming around in shit--not to mention being fed who knows what.

    Bea: "I love oatmeal way too much!"

    I eat it twice a day, but you don't HAVE to cook it, you know. Just soaking it makes for a pretty tasty dish. I also enjoy barley, rye, and triticale. I often mix my grains. What kind of oats do you eat--groats, steel-cut, rolled?

    Bea: "But about the cheese - you do know about the rennet in it right?"

    No. I'll look it up.

  10. Looks like most US produced cheese and even British produced cheese now uses GM rennet, from soybeans. I had no idea the traditionally made European cheeses used calf stomachs to extract enzymes (rennet) that coagulate milk. Looks like in some cheeses, cream cheese and cheaply created mozorella, citric acid is used to coagulate the milk.

    Until you wrote that, I never even had heard the word!

    Rennet, from wikipedia:

    Traditional method
    Dried and cleaned stomachs of young calves are sliced into small pieces and then put into saltwater or whey, together with some vinegar or wine to lower the pH of the solution. After some time (overnight or several days), the solution is filtered. The crude rennet that remains in the filtered solution can then be used to coagulate milk. About 1 gram of this solution can normally coagulate 2000 to 4000 grams of milk.

    Today this method is used only by traditional cheese-makers in central Europe: Switzerland, Jura, France, Romania, and Alp-Sennereien in Austria.

    [edit] Modern method
    Deep-frozen stomachs are milled and put into an enzyme-extracting solution. .

    Alternative sources of rennet
    Because of the limited availability of proper stomachs for rennet production, cheese makers have looked for other ways to coagulate the milk since at least Roman times. There are many sources of enzymes, ranging from plants, fungi, and microbial sources, that will substitute for animal rennet. Cheeses produced from any of these varieties of rennet are suitable for lacto-vegetarians to consume. GMO-Microbial rennet (see below) is used more often in industrial cheesemaking in North America today because it is less expensive than animal rennet, whereas cheese from Europe is more likely to be made from animal rennet due to tradition.

    Vegetable rennet
    Many plants have coagulating properties. Homer suggests in the Iliad that the Greeks used an extract of fig juice to coagulate milk.Other examples include nettles, thistles, mallow, and Creeping Charlie.

    These real vegetable rennets are also suitable for vegetarians. Vegetable rennet might be used in the production of kosher cheeses but nearly all kosher cheeses are produced with either microbial rennet or Genetically Modified rennet. Worldwide, there is no industrial production for vegetable rennet. Commercial so-called vegetable rennets usually contain rennet from the mold Mucor miehei - see microbial rennet below.

    Microbial rennet
    Some molds such as Rhizomucor miehei are able to produce proteolytic enzymes. These molds are produced in a fermenter and then specially concentrated and purified to avoid contamination with unpleasant byproducts of the mold growth. At the present state of scientific research, governmental food safety organizations such as the EFSA deny QPS (Qualified Presumption of Safety) status to enzymes produced especially by these molds.

    The flavor and taste of cheeses produced with microbial rennets tend towards some bitterness, especially after longer maturation periods.[2] These so-called "microbial rennets" are suitable for vegetarians, provided no animal-based alimentation was used during the production.

    Genetically engineered rennet
    Because of the above imperfections of microbial rennets, some producers sought further replacements of natural rennet. With the development of genetic engineering, it became possible to use calf genes to modify some bacteria, fungi or yeasts to make them produce chymosin. In 1999, about 60% of U.S. hard cheese was made with genetically engineered chymosin[3] and it has up to 80% of the global market share for rennet[4]. By 2008, approximately 80 - 90% of commercially made cheeses in the United States and Great Britain are made utilizing GMO-based rennet. Today the most widely used genetically engineered rennet is produced by the fungus Aspergillus niger.

    Cheese production with genetically engineered rennet is similar to production with natural calf rennet.

  11. Oatmeal "you don't HAVE to cook it" - suppose not - I do though - There's not a variety I don't like... along with the other cereals - farina, barley, etc.

    I could live on grains - I really take "staff of life" seriously. :)

  12. Strayer, thanks for the rennet info. I was just involved in an interesting discussion on Bea's blog that was prompted by all this. I had never heard of Steven Best. Imagine that.

  13. Hi Snowbrush... Yes, Steve Best is quite the impassioned philosopher. I enjoy his writings and appreciate his POV.

    Just in case you didn't know too, as with the rennet here's a bit more about the dairy industry:

    I never associated "veal" or killing calves when I was eating dairy either. It's amazing how these little "secrets" are so well hidden from us.

    But, knowledge is power - and there's certainly a lot to learn on the web. :)

  14. I watched the film recommended by Bea. The group that did it does many films about how animals are exploited. It's a hard job, no doubt, and I admire them for it.

  15. Snowbrush - Glad you took the time to watch and that it made a difference... I was vegetarian till a few years ago... Just in my happy la,la state never questioning how eggs or milk made it to my fridge. My heart sank when I made the discoveries. I never imagined and thought I was doing all the "right" things regarding animals...

    I'm very certain as time progresses more people will be made aware... maybe then we can focus on a better way? There is so much truth that we are disconnected from:

    Anyway, thanks for making me feel so welcome here! :)

  16. Bea: "Anyway, thanks for making me feel so welcome here! :)"

    Bea, remember, we're on Cat Woman's Blog, and are only writing to one another, as it were, by her generous indulgence. If you will be so kind as to come to MY blog, I promise you that I will go all out to make you feel welcome there.

  17. "Bea, remember, we're on Cat Woman's Blog" Oooops! I never realized that. So sorry Cat Woman, no harm intended. :)