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 Post subject: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:56 am 
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BARF.
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...this, miraculously, is a happy column about food! It’s about a farmer who names all his 230 milk cows, along with his 200 heifers and calves, and loves them like children.
Hmmm. So should we infer from this that Bob artificially inseminates his daughters and sells their milk for profit?Is that sort of thing legal in Oregon?
Quote:
I asked about Jill, and Bob rattled off her specs. She is now producing about eight gallons a day, with particularly high protein and butterfat content. Jill’s mother was Jolly, a favorite of Bob’s. When Jolly grew old and unproductive, he traded her to a small family farm in exchange for a ham so she could live out her retirement with dignity.
Touching. I wonder how the ham felt about that.

Read on if your blood pressure could use some raising.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/opinion/sunday/kristof-where-cows-are-happy-and-food-is-healthy.html?ref=todayspaper

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:20 am 
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I generally like Kristof, and I think he is trying to reconcile his knowledge about what is wrong with the animal agribusiness and his experience growing up in Yamhill.

This may be Pollyannaish, but I think any systemic changes for the welfare of animals is going to come gradually as people start realizing (1) animals are living beings and (2) that treating them badly is resulting in negative consequences for us, so its really good to hear a farmer call for regulations...

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Like many farmers, Bob frets about regulations and reporting requirements, but he also sympathizes with recent animal rights laws meant to improve the treatment of livestock and poultry.

“You hate to have it go to legislation, but we need to protect the animals,” he said. “They’re living things, and you have to treat them right.”

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:37 am 
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Foer liked and admired some of the happy meat people he met. What stopped him from eating their product was that the animals were all eventually slaughtered in the same places and that generally involved transporting the animals which was stressful for them.
I think that eliminating the worst excesses of industrial agriculture is a good step. Regulation and vigorous inspection and reporting requirements is a step in the right direction. I am, however, an unapologetic welfarist.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:09 am 
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Colleen Patrick Goudreau said this on FB:

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My comment: It would be funny - if it weren't so sad - to continually witness how desperately we try to paint a happy picture of what is inherently violent and utterly unnecessary. Exploit females' reproductive systems and breed them at our will, but look! They're happy! Take away their babies, but look! They're happy! Take the milk of the females and kill them when they're no longer "profitable," but look! They're happy! Your attempt to demonstrate that this is the best we can do still fails. The nutrients we need are plant-based; we get calcium from cows' milk because they eat calcium-rich greens. We can stop going through the "middle cow" and go directly to the source ourselves: calcium-rich greens. And we skip the saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, animal protein, and lactose, which we're not supposed to be consuming into adulthood anyway! We're supposed to be weaned - just like the calves get weaned - and move onto solid foods. We don't drink our own human milk into adulthood, and we - just like every other animal on the planet - have NO physiological need for human OR non-human milk once we're weaned. When we stop trying to go backwards and actually move forwards, we'll stop seeing desperate attempts to make the ugly palatable. I look forward to that day.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:21 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Colleen Patrick Goudreau said this on FB:

Quote:
My comment: It would be funny - if it weren't so sad - to continually witness how desperately we try to paint a happy picture of what is inherently violent and utterly unnecessary. Exploit females' reproductive systems and breed them at our will, but look! They're happy! Take away their babies, but look! They're happy! Take the milk of the females and kill them when they're no longer "profitable," but look! They're happy! Your attempt to demonstrate that this is the best we can do still fails. The nutrients we need are plant-based; we get calcium from cows' milk because they eat calcium-rich greens. We can stop going through the "middle cow" and go directly to the source ourselves: calcium-rich greens. And we skip the saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, animal protein, and lactose, which we're not supposed to be consuming into adulthood anyway! We're supposed to be weaned - just like the calves get weaned - and move onto solid foods. We don't drink our own human milk into adulthood, and we - just like every other animal on the planet - have NO physiological need for human OR non-human milk once we're weaned. When we stop trying to go backwards and actually move forwards, we'll stop seeing desperate attempts to make the ugly palatable. I look forward to that day.
This sums up (most of) my objections to these types of articles; thanks for sharing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:43 am 
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Vantine wrote:
I am, however, an unapologetic welfarist.

You and me both, lady.

Honestly, I liked the article and here's why: he talked, at every step of the way, about what large scale animal "agriculture" looks like. He used the word "tortured" to refer to the meat most people are eating. I think that's huge. In the New York Times!

While I would love to see a vegan world, I am under no illusions that it is going to happen any time soon. So, for the animals who will live and die before that wonderful day, I want them to experience the least amount of suffering and torture possible. And I think that, for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, being told they have to give up their tradition/comfort/taste preferences makes them defensive and angry. Being told "there's a better way" might open the door. And since "humane" meat is substantially more expensive, if you are committed to only buying it, it follows that you will eat less meat, which in itself is wonderful, but could also lead to realizing meatless life is pretty great.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:50 am 
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j-dub wrote:
Vantine wrote:
I am, however, an unapologetic welfarist.

You and me both, lady.

Honestly, I liked the article and here's why: he talked, at every step of the way, about what large scale animal "agriculture" looks like. He used the word "tortured" to refer to the meat most people are eating. I think that's huge. In the New York Times!

While I would love to see a vegan world, I am under no illusions that it is going to happen any time soon. So, for the animals who will live and die before that wonderful day, I want them to experience the least amount of suffering and torture possible. And I think that, for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, being told they have to give up their tradition/comfort/taste preferences makes them defensive and angry. Being told "there's a better way" might open the door. And since "humane" meat is substantially more expensive, if you are committed to only buying it, it follows that you will eat less meat, which in itself is wonderful, but could also lead to realizing meatless life is pretty great.


Well said.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:13 am 
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j-dub wrote:
Vantine wrote:
I am, however, an unapologetic welfarist.

You and me both, lady.

Honestly, I liked the article and here's why: he talked, at every step of the way, about what large scale animal "agriculture" looks like. He used the word "tortured" to refer to the meat most people are eating. I think that's huge. In the New York Times!

While I would love to see a vegan world, I am under no illusions that it is going to happen any time soon. So, for the animals who will live and die before that wonderful day, I want them to experience the least amount of suffering and torture possible. And I think that, for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, being told they have to give up their tradition/comfort/taste preferences makes them defensive and angry. Being told "there's a better way" might open the door. And since "humane" meat is substantially more expensive, if you are committed to only buying it, it follows that you will eat less meat, which in itself is wonderful, but could also lead to realizing meatless life is pretty great.
I understand all this, and the pragmatist in me is in complete agreement - less suffering is obviously always better. But my honest, gut reaction is that I am sick to death of witnessing/listening to the elaborate psychological and rhetorical gymnastics people - including the otherwise liberal press - will engage in to convince themselves and/or their readers that they feel good about something that they feel (or feel they should feel) bad about. Claiming to "love" someone while stealing the milk intended for their babies for profit is disingenuous at best, and cynical and twisted at worst - the way I've always understood it, "love" (to say nothing of "dignity") doesn't include trading someone for a ham.

I recognize that "being told they have to give up their tradition/comfort/taste preferences makes them defensive and angry" is an accurate description of how some people experience the fact that the meat, dairy, and egg industries are cruel and exploitative. But those people need to grow the fork up and comprehend that there is more at stake than what they're used to having for lunch, no matter what Grandma used to serve every Sunday afternoon. I just can't summon any genuine sympathy for the "trauma" of contemplating a bacon/cheese/egg-free life, especially when it's stacked against the brutal realities of what it takes to provide the "comfort" of those familiar preferences. Which, at the end of the day, is all they are.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:26 am 
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I wish I could ask Kristof and Bob what happens to the male calves. Are they happy and healthy too? Does he have fields of bulls running around? Do they have names?

Quote:
As long as I’ve known him, Bob has had names for every one of his “girls,” as he calls his cows.


Quote:
This isn’t to say that Bob’s farm is a charity hostel. When cows age and their milk production drops, farmers slaughter them. Bob has always found that part of dairying tough, so, increasingly, he uses the older cows to suckle steers. That way the geriatric cows bring in revenue to cover their expenses and their day of reckoning can be postponed — indefinitely, in the case of his favorite cows.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:36 am 
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Its interesting to read the comments, because you have several people defending their dairies saying that their cows are just as happy as those at Organic Valley.

The problem with basing your decision on which dairy to buy milk from on "how happy the cows are," is that none of us can really speak for the cows (even though people like Temple Grandin and Bob claim to).

And people say vegans anthropomorphize!

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Last edited by Tofulish on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:36 am 
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Desdemona, you've expressed my own thoughts on this perfectly.

Yes, treating animals kindly some of the time is better than abusing them all of the time. But you want a forking medal for that?

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:29 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
I wish I could ask Kristof and Bob what happens to the male calves. Are they happy and healthy too? Does he have fields of bulls running around? Do they have names?


My late grandfather was a dairy farmer, and according to my mother, he hated that the male calves would be slaughtered, but it was an unavoidable part of farming. He had a no veal rule at his house, which my mom also has. She taught me and my sister that veal was wrong when we were very young. It's just that all the other meat is okay (and of course dairy is super important)!

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:56 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
I recognize that "being told they have to give up their tradition/comfort/taste preferences makes them defensive and angry" is an accurate description of how some people experience the fact that the meat, dairy, and egg industries are cruel and exploitative. But those people need to grow the fork up and comprehend that there is more at stake than what they're used to having for lunch, no matter what Grandma used to serve every Sunday afternoon. I just can't summon any genuine sympathy for the "trauma" of contemplating a bacon/cheese/egg-free life, especially when it's stacked against the brutal realities of what it takes to provide the "comfort" of those familiar preferences.

Everyone has some sort of cognitive dissonance though. There's plenty of cruel and exploitative industries out there that vegans take part in too. We all have blind spots when it comes to sustainability, kindness and compassion.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:02 am 
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pandacookie wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
I recognize that "being told they have to give up their tradition/comfort/taste preferences makes them defensive and angry" is an accurate description of how some people experience the fact that the meat, dairy, and egg industries are cruel and exploitative. But those people need to grow the fork up and comprehend that there is more at stake than what they're used to having for lunch, no matter what Grandma used to serve every Sunday afternoon. I just can't summon any genuine sympathy for the "trauma" of contemplating a bacon/cheese/egg-free life, especially when it's stacked against the brutal realities of what it takes to provide the "comfort" of those familiar preferences.

Everyone has some sort of cognitive dissonance though. There's plenty of cruel and exploitative industries out there that vegans take part in too. We all have blind spots when it comes to sustainability, kindness and compassion.


Not me. I only eat free-range, organic dirt.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:41 am 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
pandacookie wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
I recognize that "being told they have to give up their tradition/comfort/taste preferences makes them defensive and angry" is an accurate description of how some people experience the fact that the meat, dairy, and egg industries are cruel and exploitative. But those people need to grow the fork up and comprehend that there is more at stake than what they're used to having for lunch, no matter what Grandma used to serve every Sunday afternoon. I just can't summon any genuine sympathy for the "trauma" of contemplating a bacon/cheese/egg-free life, especially when it's stacked against the brutal realities of what it takes to provide the "comfort" of those familiar preferences.

Everyone has some sort of cognitive dissonance though. There's plenty of cruel and exploitative industries out there that vegans take part in too. We all have blind spots when it comes to sustainability, kindness and compassion.


Not me. I only eat free-range, organic dirt.


you are killing so many microbes.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:30 pm 
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I think changes are good but people always seem to make multitudes of exceptions based on cost/convenience. So although they may talk a lot about eating 'happy meat', it seems that is an ideal for them rather than reality. It reminds me of all the Paleo people who talk about eating animals that are grass fed (supposedly roaming relatively free on farm lands) when in reality, very little of their meat consumption lives up to their ideals. So they tend to talk a lot about something equivalent to 'happy meat' while eating burgers at a regular old burger joint.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:51 pm 
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Someone in my nutrition class was talking about how she only ate happy meat. I stayed quiet.


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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:44 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
I am, however, an unapologetic welfarist.


Organic Valley blows but places like Carman ranch are a huge step in the right direction (but I am a militant welfarist with deeply unethical utilitarian tendencies).


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 Post subject: Re: Yet another stupid "happy food" article from the NYTimes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:40 pm 
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linanil wrote:
So they tend to talk a lot about something equivalent to 'happy meat' while eating burgers at a regular old burger joint.



This has been my experience: "Some meat isn't as bad as other meat, so.....omnomnomJack In The Box!"

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