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The Ugly Side of Milk: Animal Cruelty

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  Mindful Living can be a real pain in the ass,eh?  
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Alternatives to milk that really taste good and have become comparable or less in costs. Oh, yea, they don't abuse animals.
Almond MilkSoy Milk


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Scientific research has shown that warm-blooded animals (this includes livestock) feel pain and the emotion of fear. In particular mammals, including food animals of this group, have brain structures that enable them to feel fear and suffering from pain, and it is likely that they suffer pain in the same way as humans. Fear and pain are very strong causes of stress in livestock and stress affects the quality of meat obtained from this livestock. Pain is usually the effect of injury and suffering, which also affects the quality and value of meat from affected animals.


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Scientific research has shown that warm-blooded animals (this includes livestock) feel pain and the emotion of fear. In particular mammals, including food animals of this group, have brain structures that enable them to feel fear and suffering from pain, and it is likely that they suffer pain in the same way as humans. Fear and pain are very strong causes of stress in livestock and stress affects the quality of meat obtained from this livestock. Pain is usually the effect of injury and suffering, which also affects the quality and value of meat from affected animals.


As George Bernard Shaw said, "A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses."

"The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion." --Mahaparinirvana

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." --Albert Einstein.

And none of this even mentions the bowel cancer and stinky breath.

Imagine millions of people walking through Supermarket meat sections or reading menus in a restaurant wearing blinders or driving by stray dogs or buying product tested on tortured animals or buying tickets to horse and dog races, circuses. Yea, circuses. We can curtail the abuse, but it would cost us. Blinders let us do whatever, without the guilt.
Excuses work. Like the excuse that, "If I don't eat meat, millions still will". Do you know how many animals suffer and die, just for you alone?
Even if we don't stop eating meat, we could lessen the cruelty. 

So chose: Blinders, Mindful Living.



in response to the article The Startling Effects of Going Vegetarian for Just One Day

By Kathy Freston, Huffington Post.


The positive impact of eliminating animal parts and fluids from our diet is incredible and vastly far-reaching.
Concerning the comment about humans being omnivores, colon cancer is directly caused by eating meat, as it festers and rots in your colon for long periods of time. Only true carnivorous animals, with the shortest digestive tracts, are naturally meant to eat meat as it passes quickly through their system. Not to mention the massive amounts of heart attacks, disease, stroke, etc, that directly results from human consumption of animal fats. Talk a walk through any of those wards in any hospital and you will see firsthand the results of a meat-centered diet.


Someone posted that "humans evolved to eat meat", and while that may be true, humans have also evolved to have a larger brain with which to look at the evidence for unsustainable practices and make a choice. Bottom line, just like with fossil fuels, air, and water, are current consumption practices with regard to meat are unsustainable. That's it. End of story. And that means one of two things: either the practice (at its current level) is going to have to go away or we are--unless we continue to evolve. Take that large human brain of ours, look at the situation, and make a choice. For some, apparently, a very hard choice. If we evolved to eat meat, then we can evolve to eat less, or not any at all. Or we can continue along our merry little ways right off a cliff.


It's amazing how stubborn the "humans are omnivores - so lets go to McDonalds" thinking is. It seems to be a feel good excuse to eat whatever the person wants. I wrote a chapter for a book several years ago that explores our "natural diet" and I invite anyone who is interested to check it out (it's a PDF file).


..which really seem hell bent on deflecting the fundamental point:

all things being equal, eating meat is an energetically inefficient thing to do.

Look people, energy is lost every time its transferred. Growing corn or whatever to feed to cows for you to eat is less efficient than growing things for you to eat (and uses more water too). Period. End of story! Of course agricultural practices affect this. Pasture raised beef is more energy efficient than grain fed beef, and processed foods of any kind are going to consume more resources. This article really does not dispute that. Obviously, switching from one heavily processed substance (meat) to another (veggie burgers) doesn't help as much as if you cooked your own damn beans from scratch, but it still makes a difference.

Secondly, the arguments demeaning the philosophy behind the calculations are illogical. If we consume XX pounds less meat, then the energy required to produce those XX pounds will be saved somewhere along the line (assuming the meat is not thrown away). Period. End of story.

Finally, arguments about the diet of primates are to be taken cautiously. Yes, our ancestors were omnivorous. They eat bugs, small animals (sometimes their own species) as well as fruit. I don't here much call for including some of those items in our own diet. In fact, most studies of these animals in the wild show they eat a far lower amount of animal protein than in a typical american diet (and the UN has concluded that an american diet is far more protien rich than required (ref available).

Full disclosure. I do eat meat. I enjoy it. I consumer about 1 # of animal protein per week and have done so for many years. That seems enough.


lot's of people love meat. This article is not about animal rights. The point of this article is to draw comparisons, and correlations. The author doesn't call for a 'no meat' day thinking it will actually have any impact. but if we all learned to eat less meat there would be less cows to feed and less starving humans--more healthy humans, and a cleaner environment. more sustainable. the author is simply saying we should wean ourselves off this outrageous meat-dependency--its like oil. Americans eat more meat, per household, per individual than almost every culture on earth. i don't have statistics for that, but i have travel experience and common sense--or uncommon sense. The American diet is very commercial.

I like meat as much as the next person, but I don't need to eat it in vast quantities. It is not healthy. And as she has clearly demonstrated--really bad for the earth, our home, our air, our water, our land. And fast food meat--is not meat. Its chemicals and shit.

The more auto commercials, ab-training and drug ads i see on alternet the less sophisticated the audience becomes. meat is bad. religion is evil. religion dosn't make people good. it cloaks malcontent. --(as the mainstream ads increase i noticed the religious crowd has also flocked to Alternet--i see a lot more faith-mongerers here. As the money pours in from commercial interests, the alternet content is dumbed-down...a frog in a pot.)


Every person I've known personally with a B12 deficiency has been a meat and dairy eater. No, B12 is not in plants, it's in the bacteria on plants, in streams and such. But since we've polluted our environment so badly we now scrub every vegetable and sterilize all the water, so that kills the naturally occurring B12. B12 can be easily obtained from nutritional yeast, most breakfast cereals, most soymilks, ricemilks, hempmilks, etc, now contain it, just to name a few sources. Animals get their B12 from eating plants, just another example of how the extra step of animal production, and the violence and waste of resources involved with it, can and should easily be eliminated, just go straight to the source. Growing as much as possible of your own produce is the way to go, and don't scrub it to death. Any vitamin deficiency mentioned above is easily avoided by a properly varied vegetarian/vegan diet. Those telling you the opposite have much more of an agenda behind their words. Our child has been vegan since conception, and is an extremely strong and vibrant child. All vital nutrients are very, very easily obtained through a properly varied vegetarian/vegan diet and lifestyle.


Dried beans and dark green leafy vegetables are especially good sources of iron, even better on a per calorie basis than meat. Iron absorption is increased markedly by eating foods containing vitamin C along with foods containing iron. Vegetarians do not have a higher incidence of iron deficiency than do meat eaters.



The Need for Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for cell division and blood formation. Neither plants nor animals make vitamin B12. Bacteria are responsible for producing vitamin B12. Animals get their vitamin B12 from eating foods contaminated with vitamin B12 and then the animal becomes a source of vitamin B12. Plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 except when they are contaminated by microorganisms or have vitamin B12 added to them. Thus, vegans need to look to fortified foods or supplements to get vitamin B12 in their diet. Although recommendations for vitamin B12 are very small, a vitamin B12 deficiency is a very serious problem leading ultimately to anemia and irreversible nerve damage. Prudent vegans will include sources of vitamin B12 in their diets. Vitamin B12 is especially important in pregnancy and lactation and for infants and children.

Sources of B12 for Vegans

Reliable Vegan Sources of Vitamin B12 The Vegan Resource Group

A number of reliable vegan food sources for vitamin B12 are known. One brand of nutritional yeast, Red Star T-6635+, has been tested and shown to contain active vitamin B12. This brand of yeast is often labeled as Vegetarian Support Formula with or without T-6635+ in parentheses following this new name. It is a reliable source of vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a food yeast, grown on a molasses solution, which comes as yellow flakes or powder. It has a cheesy taste. Nutritional yeast is different from brewer’s yeast or torula yeast. those sensitive to other yeasts can often use it.

The RDA for adults for vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms daily (1). About 2 rounded teaspoons of large flake Vegetarian Support Formula (Red Star T-6635+) nutritional yeast provides the recommended amount of vitamin B12 for adults (2). A number of the recipes in this book contain nutritional yeast.

Another source of vitamin B12 is fortified cereal. For example, Nature’s Path Optimum Power cereal does contain vitamin B12 at this time and about a half cup of this cereal will provide 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 (3). We recommend checking the label of your favorite cereal since manufacturers have been known to stop including vitamin B12.

Other sources of vitamin B12 are vitamin B12 fortified soy milk, vitamin B12 fortified meat analogues (food made from wheat gluten or soybeans to resemble meat, poultry, or fish), and vitamin B12 supplements. There are vitamin supplements that do not contain animal products.

Vegans who choose to use a vitamin B12 supplement, either as a single supplement or in a multivitamin should use supplements regularly. Even though a supplement may contain many times the recommended level of vitamin B12, when vitamin B12 intake is high, not as much appears to be absorbed. This means in order to meet your needs, you should take a daily vitamin B12 supplement of 5-10 micrograms or a weekly vitamin B12 supplement of 2000 micrograms (4).

We store between 2 and 5 micrograms of vitamin B12 and only excrete a very small fraction of this each day. Nevertheless, over time, vitamin B12 deficiency can develop if stores are not replenished with vitamin B12 from the diet or from supplements. Although bacteria in the large intestine of humans do produce vitamin B12, this vitamin B12 does not appear to be absorbed (5) and is not adequate to prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency (6). Although some vegans may get vitamin B12 from inadequate hand washing, this is not a reliable vitamin B12 source.

Tempeh, miso, sea vegetables, and other plant foods are sometimes reported to contain vitamin B12. These products, however, are not reliable sources of the vitamin. The standard method for measuring vitamin B12 in foods measures both active and inactive forms of vitamin B12. The inactive form (also called analogues) actually interferes with normal vitamin B12 absorption and metabolism (7). When only active vitamin B12 is measured, plant foods including fermented soyfoods and sea vegetables do not contain significant amounts of active vitamin B12 (8).

Very small amounts of vitamin B12 have been found in plants grown in soil treated with manure (9). It is not clear whether this vitamin B12 is the active form or the inactive analogue. In any case, the amounts are so small that more than 23 cups of organically grown spinach would have to be eaten every day in order to meet the adult RDA for vitamin B12 (9,10).


Fortified Foods

There are many vegan foods fortified with B12. They include non-dairy milks, meat substitutes, breakfast cereals, and one type of nutritional yeast.

The "Daily Value" for B12 found on food labels is based on 6 µg, which was the RDA in 1968. If a label says a food has, for example, 25% of the Daily Value of B12, it has 1.5 µg (25% of 6 µg = 1.5 µg).






One cup of the soy milk I drink contains 50% of daily B12 I need. Read lables.
After a little while, you'll know which foods you need.
It's hard Not to get the nutrients you need, if you eat heathy stuff.

My choice over milk. They have version with extra clcium or Omega 3, etc. and most supermarkets carry it. Shop around and you can find it as cheap as milk, ounce for ounce.

So what is it you feel you'll be missing if you give up meat, besides maybe a heart attack, high cholesterol and maybe colon cancer?


The following paragraph and tables are from The Vegan Resource Group. An excellent reference for anyone considering vaganism

It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often much, protein. Fruits, sugars, fats, and alcohol do not provide much protein, so a diet based only on these foods would have a good chance of being too low in protein. However, not many vegans we know live on only bananas, hard candy, margarine, and beer. Vegans eating varied diets containing vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds rarely have any difficulty getting enough protein as long as their diet contains enough energy (calories) to maintain weight. [See the sections on Pregnancy, Lactation, and Infants and Children (pages 176-197 in Simply Vegan, 4th edition) for details about protein needs during these special times.] Their nutrition section link here.

Breakfast 1 cup Oatmeal 6
  1 cup Soymilk 7
  1 Bagel 9

Lunch: 2 slices Whole Wheat Bread 5
  1 cup Vegetarian Baked Beans 12

Dinner: 5 oz firm Tofu 11
  1 cup cooked Broccoli 4
  1 cup cooked Brown Rice 5
  2 Tbsp Almonds 4

Snack: 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 8
  6 Crackers 2
TOTAL 73 grams
Protein Recommendation for Male Vegan [based on 0.8-1 gram of protein per kilogram body weight for 70 kilogram (154 pound) male] 56-70 grams
Breakfast: 2 slices Whole Wheat Toast 5
  2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 8

Lunch: 6 oz. Soy Yogurt 6
  2 Tbsp Almonds 4
  1 Baked Potato 4

Dinner: 1 cup cooked Lentils 18
  1 cup cooked Bulgur 6

Snack: 1 cup Soymilk 7
TOTAL 58 grams
Protein Recommendation for Female Vegan [based on 0.8-1 gram of protein per kilogram body weight for 57.5 kilogram (126 pound) female] 46-58 grams


Table 2: Protein Content of Selected Vegan Foods

Tempeh 1 cup 41 9.3
Seitan 3 ounces 31 22.1
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 29 9.6
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 18 7.8
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 6.7
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 13 6.4
Veggie burger 1 patty 13 13.0
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 12 4.2
Veggie baked beans 1 cup 12 5.0
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 12 5.7
Black-eyed peas, cooked 1 cup 11 6.2
Tofu, firm 4 ounces 11 11.7
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 10 5.7
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 9 3.5
Tofu, regular 4 ounces 9 10.6
Bagel 1 med.
(3 oz)
9 3.9
Peas, cooked 1 cup 9 6.4
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), cooked 1/2 cup 8 8.4
Peanut butter 2 Tbsp 8 4.3
Veggie dog 1 link 8 13.3
Spaghetti, cooked 1 cup 8 3.7
Almonds 1/4 cup 8 3.7
Soy milk, commercial, plain 1 cup 7 7.0
Soy yogurt, plain 6 ounces 6 4.0
Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 6 3.7
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 6 3.3
Whole wheat bread 2 slices 5 3.9
Cashews 1/4 cup 5 2.7
Almond butter 2 Tbsp 5 2.4
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 5 2.1
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 5 13.0
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 4 6.8
Potato 1 med.
(6 oz)
4 2.7

Sources: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18, 2005 and manufacturers' information.

The recommendation for protein for adult males vegans is around 56-70 grams per day; for adult female vegans it is around 46-58 grams per day (see text).


It is generally said that to produce just one pound of beef it takes:

12 pounds of grain
55 sq feet of rainforest
2500 gallons of water