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Sitting on a humane meat panel
http://forum.theppk.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=25799
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Author:  abbierae [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Sitting on a humane meat panel

So, on Wednesday night I am going to a screening of American Meat, and then sitting on a panel to represent vegans in a discussion on "humane meat." I am going to try to and find the movie online so that I can watch it ahead of time, but I wanted to try and anticipate the arguments that the movie and the other panelists will make, and find some neutral sources of information to counter those arguments if I can.

I just agreed to this and it's happening in two days, so I would love the PPK's help in thinking this through. There's a good chance this will be futile, but I felt like I couldn't say no. I work in urban ag, so they can't accuse of me not being pro-farmer, at the very least!

Author:  ashley [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

I'm having a hard time understanding what that documentary is even about. The benefits of organic meat? My first question, which the trailer totally doesn't answer, is WHAT is humane meat, and what does that have to do with organic?

Author:  acr [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

i keep thinking this thread title says "human meat panel."

Author:  ashley [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

That'd be a far more interesting panel.

Author:  abbierae [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

ashley wrote:
I'm having a hard time understanding what that documentary is even about. The benefits of organic meat? My first question, which the trailer totally doesn't answer, is WHAT is humane meat, and what does that have to do with organic?


Right? In any case, I am guessing that it will come down to a love-fest for "sustainable" animal agriculture. And to that, my arguments are:

- Animal agriculture is not very sustainable, period. It takes so many more resources to produce meat that a plant based diet is still the best option if you are looking to reduce your environmental impact.

- Regardless of how an animal is raised, you are still taking life for the sake of taste. In the US, no one is suffering from lack of protein, and it's easy to meet your nutritional needs, with food that tastes good, on a vegan diet.

Author:  abbierae [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

acr wrote:
i keep thinking this thread title says "human meat panel."


If only. That is a much more exciting and engaging topic.

Author:  littlebear [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

The only argument I can think of for animal agriculture is to help fertilize fields and soil. Obviously, you don't need to kill the animal in order to have that.

Author:  vegimator [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

If that comes up, you could also point to veganic agriculture and the emergence of products like "One" brand bread (the first veganic commercial food product I've seen).

Author:  pandacookie [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

I see that an Outreach Sponsor is the Weston Price foundation which can't be good, though they have a number of partners listed.

I would try to keep a sense of humour through it, as that would likely work better than trying to get into overheated discussions if they are appealing to emotions rather than facts. I think often the small farmer working th' land is seen as an American Tradition, which is more of an emotional argument, but that may not be where they are trying to go.
I think the two points you listed above are good, along with stressing that traditions are not necessarily needed, should it come up.

Author:  lycophyte [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

abbierae wrote:
acr wrote:
i keep thinking this thread title says "human meat panel."


If only. That is a much more exciting and engaging topic.


You should see if you can get the first word in edge-wise and start talking as if that WAS the topic.

"Well, if the humans were raised on a vegetarian diet and not fed leftover human remains..."

Author:  Loomi [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

Yep a bit of cannibalism would really be 'sustainable meat'.

It seems to me that often the aims of 'sustainable' and 'humane' are, often, conflicting. 'Humane' surely requires more space, more land. Which, really, makes it unsustainable on any sort of large/ global scale and a product for the privileged. It's not gonna feed the world, especially with the rise in meat consumption in India and China, and general global population increase. Perhaps it's an obvious point, but it's something that these sorts of peoples seem conveniently blind to.

Author:  jordanpattern [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

Maybe be a big ol' downer and talk about the class issues inherent in "sustainable/humane" meat? Even if you assume for the sake of argument that it is better for the animals and environment, there's no way to make it accessible to low-income and perhaps even lower-middle-class folks, so it's essentially just another luxury product for those who can afford it that doesn't address the issues of accessibility.

Author:  acr [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

Loomi wrote:
Yep a bit of cannibalism would really be 'sustainable meat'.

It seems to me that often the aims of 'sustainable' and 'humane' are, often, conflicting. 'Humane' surely requires more space, more land. Which, really, makes it unsustainable on any sort of large/ global scale and a product for the privileged. It's not gonna feed the world, especially with the rise in meat consumption in India and China, and general global population increase. Perhaps it's an obvious point, but it's something that these sorts of peoples seem conveniently blind to.

i saw jonathan safran foer when he was promoting eating animals, and this was something he focused on toward the end of his talk. there is no way to meet the existing demand for animal products with a free-range approach because of resource concerns, and it seems impossible to argue that this justifies leaving everything about the livestock industry the way it is. he tried to make the point that anyone who is choosing "ethical" meat because of concerns about animal welfare or farm conditions or hormones/antibiotics or whatever is kind of swapping out one obvious and immediate problem for a different problem that is less demonstrable but still important, and the only way to address both at once is to reduce meat consumption. afterward a friend asked me what i thought about ethical meat, and i told her i didn't think there was any such thing--at least not for people like me and her, who are in a position to be somewhat choosy about what we eat--because obviously people can survive without meat, and no matter how you go about it, raising animals for food probably isn't going to be associated with more positives than raising plants. we never had another conversation on the subject, but she started cutting animal products out of her diet a little bit at a time, and now she's so close to vegan that i'm willing to count it as a victory. so, based on my highly scientific sample of one, this is an effective argument. i mean, you have to be talking to someone who gives a shiitake about stuff in the first place, but if you're not, it won't matter what you say.

eta: i am now seeing "sitting on a human meat plane," which is my favorite misread yet.

Author:  Vantine [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

Is it still true that regardless of how they are raised, the animals are still slaughtered in the same places as the industrially farmed animals? I know that's one of Foer's arguments against eating meat in Eating Animals. No matter how much he liked the farmers, the trip to the slaughterhouse and what happened there was still stressful and cruel.
You might want to see what happens to those "humanely" raised animals that those farmers are raising.

I think that JoPa's argument about class issues is really good.

Author:  Shy Mox [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

Another point is practicality. Who eats humane animal products all the time, no exceptions? You still go to restaurants and eat whatever they give you, you eat chocolate bars who's milk comes from god knows where. I know a lot of people who make the humane meat argument but never question anyone in a restaurant about where their products come from and whether they're free range or organic or whatever. Veganism is far more accessible and practical for most people.

Author:  quagga [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

Not commenting on the thread, except to say thanks for mentioning this movie. I checked the website and let my local animal activist friends know about the Sacramento screening, so now maybe we'll set up some sort of outreach/activism for the event.

Hugs to the PPK for amplifying my vegan radar! :)

Author:  ZoeTate [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

My biggest problem with humane meat (and eggs, and whatever) is that I always suspect that they just slap a "happy meat" sticker on there without making any substantial changes - sort of like the conditions of "cage free" chickens. Maybe I'm cynical but unless I raised and slaughtered the meat myself (not gonna happen) I would never trust that it was anything other than standard factory farm/industrial slaughterhouse.

Author:  littlebear [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

Vantine wrote:
Is it still true that regardless of how they are raised, the animals are still slaughtered in the same places as the industrially farmed animals? I know that's one of Foer's arguments against eating meat in Eating Animals. No matter how much he liked the farmers, the trip to the slaughterhouse and what happened there was still stressful and cruel.
You might want to see what happens to those "humanely" raised animals that those farmers are raising.

I think that JoPa's argument about class issues is really good.

That isn't quite true. In California birds can be slaughtered at the farm. Cows do have to go to a slaughter house, the same as factory animals, but chickens and turkeys can be slaughtered on the farm.

Author:  littlebear [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

ZoeTate wrote:
My biggest problem with humane meat (and eggs, and whatever) is that I always suspect that they just slap a "happy meat" sticker on there without making any substantial changes - sort of like the conditions of "cage free" chickens. Maybe I'm cynical but unless I raised and slaughtered the meat myself (not gonna happen) I would never trust that it was anything other than standard factory farm/industrial slaughterhouse.

You can now get "humane certified" products which are inspected and grown in accordance with certain practices. I'm not trying to promote happy meat, just want everyone to know the arguments against what vegans are gonna say!

Author:  Moon [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

I believe there are, in some places, mobile slaughter trucks that come to the farm and do the job.

Author:  abbierae [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

acr wrote:
Loomi wrote:
Yep a bit of cannibalism would really be 'sustainable meat'.

It seems to me that often the aims of 'sustainable' and 'humane' are, often, conflicting. 'Humane' surely requires more space, more land. Which, really, makes it unsustainable on any sort of large/ global scale and a product for the privileged. It's not gonna feed the world, especially with the rise in meat consumption in India and China, and general global population increase. Perhaps it's an obvious point, but it's something that these sorts of peoples seem conveniently blind to.

i saw jonathan safran foer when he was promoting eating animals, and this was something he focused on toward the end of his talk. there is no way to meet the existing demand for animal products with a free-range approach because of resource concerns, and it seems impossible to argue that this justifies leaving everything about the livestock industry the way it is. he tried to make the point that anyone who is choosing "ethical" meat because of concerns about animal welfare or farm conditions or hormones/antibiotics or whatever is kind of swapping out one obvious and immediate problem for a different problem that is less demonstrable but still important, and the only way to address both at once is to reduce meat consumption. afterward a friend asked me what i thought about ethical meat, and i told her i didn't think there was any such thing--at least not for people like me and her, who are in a position to be somewhat choosy about what we eat--because obviously people can survive without meat, and no matter how you go about it, raising animals for food probably isn't going to be associated with more positives than raising plants. we never had another conversation on the subject, but she started cutting animal products out of her diet a little bit at a time, and now she's so close to vegan that i'm willing to count it as a victory. so, based on my highly scientific sample of one, this is an effective argument. i mean, you have to be talking to someone who gives a shiitake about stuff in the first place, but if you're not, it won't matter what you say.

eta: i am now seeing "sitting on a human meat plane," which is my favorite misread yet.


This is a great point to make in this crowd, I think. Presumably, if you are attending a documentary on agriculture, you give half a shiitake.

boober, come draw us a human meat plane!

Author:  elouise [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

What?!

Author:  abbierae [ Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

elouise wrote:
What?!


It's at DU on Wednesday night! Come sit in the front row so I can roll my eyes at you.

(For real though, I wouldn't ask you to sit through this bullshiitake.)

Author:  Mars [ Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

acr wrote:
i keep thinking this thread title says "human meat panel."

I keep seeing 'sitting on human meat' and thinking that sounds like a fabulous idea!

Author:  Sra. Nooch [ Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sitting on a humane meat panel

Dr Melanie Joy?

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