Strolling with a skeptical biochemist
I hope 1 out of 2 is not bad. I consider myself to be a humanist, but I am also an omnivore. My first thought about applying humanist principles to eating habits is that a humanist should not be a cannibal.
But a humanitarian *should* be -- after all, what do vegetarians eat?
Animals are friends, not food.Do wolverines subscribe to that idea?Somehow, it's so universal, until, well, it's not.Glen Davidson
Carrots are my friends.
I didn't watch the whole thing - there are a number of serious flaws early on to make me question the remainder of the content - at least at the level of her claims vis-a-vis the environmental impacts of animal vs. plant agriculture. This is a large and complex issue, but the general concept that animals = higher CO2/other environmental impacts than plants is not really true. For example, per mass, chickens are as efficient a source of protein as plants in terms of their CO2 footprint. Monoculture of plants has a large environmental impact on resident species; an impact that is greatly reduced with free-range animal husbandry.Reality is that farming of any sort is not overly environmentally friendly; large tracts of land are cleared of their natural fauna & flora. Chemicals - in the form of industrially produced chemicals or "organically" derived "natural" chemicals - ravage waterways. CO2 footprints are typically quite large, regardless of the crop of animal being farmed. Methane emissions are large; from both plant (esp rice) and anima (esp. cattle) farming. The pro-vegetarian lobby has done a good job using the animal numbers to make animals seem like a bad environmental choice. The reality is far more complex; free-range cattle farming is "green" in its water use and relatively small impact on the land; conversely, it is "non-green" in its CO2 emissions. Plants are "green" in their methane emissions (ignoring rice), but have high CO2, chemical and monoculture burdens.I agree that there can be ethical issues; especially with factory-style farming. But oddly the ethical issues of monoculture - species extinction, reduction of biodiversity and high chemical burdens - never seem to be mentioned in the discussions of animal farming. I guess, for the vegitarian lobby, the only animals whose suffering matters are those raised on farms...
A true humanist should recognize that he is an animal.
I could go on a half-hour rant about this issue and various related ones, but I'll just stick to saying that her premise, " Why Vegan Values are Humanist Values", is, in my opinion, wrong.Dave Bailey