In a paper published in the journal, PLoS ONE, scientists at Wageningen University in The Netherlands proposed that eating mealworms is a more sensible way of acquiring protein in the diet than eating chicken, pork or cattle. Per the article:


Compared to a kilogram of edible protein in meat from cows, chickens or pigs, production of the same amount of mealworm protein emits fewer greenhouse gases and requires much less land to grow. The findings support the argument that environmentally conscious eaters may do well to include beetle larvae in their diets. "This study demonstrates that mealworms should be considered a more sustainable source of edible protein," the team writes in a paper published yesterday in the journal PLoS ONE...Among the things that the worm-like larvae have going for them, they don't emit methane. Also, they are prolific. Depending on the species, females release up to 1,500 eggs over a lifetime. Larvae develop quickly and they convert their food into protein efficiently, at a similar rate to chicken but better than pigs and cattle.

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Most animals don't have a lot of choice about what to eat.  Crocodiles and Sharks are good examples.  I don't think there is a lot of thinking going on there....just eating machines really.  But I wouldn't harm one unless I needed to in self defense.  I prefer to leave wild animals alone.


In good conscience I differ with you at least on this. I don't care if there is a lot of thinking going on or not. If they are inhumanely eating animals that respond positively to love then my moral obligation in order to protect those who respond positively to love is to contain the eating machines. If this means killing them then so be it but I would not unnecessarily sacrifice potentially loving animals to cold blooded massacre by hopelessly ruthless predators. Very honestly, if you were swimming and a great white approached you with dinner on its mind would you want someone to save you if possible even if it meant killing the shark? If the answer is yes then I hold that you are maintaining a double standard. That is, you would be saying that you should be saved on the basis of your character but that others with the same character should not be saved. As far as I am concerned we can use all of the sharks and crocodiles that exist to help solve the world hunger problem by making food out of them. 

I don't understand your response.  I already said I had no problem killing an animal in senf defence...and that includes humans.  I don't see where the confusion is here.  I'm saying we shouldn't exploit animals or kill them as if they are a commodity.  They have as much right to their lives as we do.  OBVIOUSLY if any animal attacks you (including a human) you have the right to defend yourself.  Although I find it very amusing when a bear hunter ends up being killed by the bear.  People shouldn't pick fights.

Hi Pam: Firstly, I don't want you to think that I am criticizing you because, basically, I think you are coming from a very good place. However, I do in good conscience disagree with you at least on one point. You said:


I already said I had no problem killing an animal in self defence...and that includes humans.  I don't see where the confusion is here.


I believe in killing in self defense to. However, I would also kill in defense of some others. For example, to save his victims I would have killed the shooter who recently massacred elementary school students at Sandy Hook Elementary School if I could have. Given this I face a question: Should I for the same reason approve of killing great white sharks to save seals? To be philosophically consistent I must answer yes. This is why I care nothing about animals like sharks and crocodiles. By killing them we would save their prey some of which are animals that have the potential to love. I see you as defending animals such as sharks and crocodiles at least so far as in granting them their natural life styles. Therefore, I see a philosophical difference between us in which, to me, my position is more morally defensible than yours. However, let me again say that, basically, I think you are coming from a very good place.

I'm sorry John I don't see your point.  Are you saying it is ok to kill sharks because they kill seals???  What about the animals the seals eat??  Who decides which animals lives matter more.  If humans are in danger because a shark is eating people at the beach, then I can see why they might kill or relocate a shark.  But if we killed all sharks we might fuck up the ecosystem.  I may hate mosquitos because they have a preference for MY blood, seemingly over any human around me....but I wouldn't advocate killing all mosquitos because I'm pretty sure the ecosystem depends on them.  I don't advocate "fcuking with nature" if there is a viable alternative.  I don't think humans have gotten very good results out of that.


You said: Protein is SO not a problem.  Have you ever heard of anyone with a protein deficiency??

Yes, there IS such a thing as protein deficiency. It's called kwashiorkor, and occurs among vegans, people with eating disorders, elderly people and children when they don't get enough variety of food. At one point, I read an article about poorly-educated African mothers who were giving their babies flour mixed with water -- it LOOKS white like milk, and the babies were getting calories, but getting ill and dying from lack of protein. 

Now, I'm not saying that you can't get protein from vegetable sources; just that protein deficiency DOES exist. And when you make a flippant comment like that, it destroys your credibility.

As I said in an earlier post, the only people with protein deficiency are STARVING!!!  They are not getting enough calories.  And no, vegans do NOT suffer from this.  How fucking absurd.  Mycomment was not "flippant", it was accurate.  The only people with a protein deficiency are not getting enough calories and are therefore deficient in A LOT of things.  No one getting enough food has this problem. 

some plants have protein but not complete protein.

Quinoa and amaranth (plant foods) do have complete protein, see the USDA nutrients database.  All plants have protein (!)  Vegans don't need to get all their essential amino acids from a single food or even at a single meal, though.  Jack Norris, a vegan dietician, says the essential amino acid lysine may be a problem for vegans.  I don't have a problem getting enough lysine.  I get marginally enough methionine/cystine - but a low-methionine diet may be life-extending anyway :)

I've gotten a lot of exercise - bicycling (no car), weightlifting, Concept 2 rowing machine - without feeling a need for meat. Quinoa and amaranth are my vegan meat-substitutes since they have a lot of protein. Other vegans probably have different ones. The particular food one turns to after a workout is a matter of habit and culture. You can get the protein you need from a vegan diet. There are vegan bodybuilders and all sorts of vegan athletes.

I like to be light on my feet, and a lowfat vegan diet is also the easiest way to be thin longterm, I think.  And it may be life-extending; caloric restriction extends life in many different creatures and almost certainly does so for people.

To some extent, good health is just about eating less.

are there some animals such as great white sharks or crocodiles that you don't have a heart for? They are cold bloodedly ruthless and amount to killing machines that inflict inhumane death on victims at least some of which respond positively to love.

Personally, I don't have a heart for mosquitoes :)  It's just a personal reaction to having my blood sucked. 

I was wondering if Pamela would eat lab-grown meat, if it were tasty enough. I wouldn't.


Eeeewww, no I don't want lab grown meat either.  I don't miss eating meat, dairy or eggs in the slightest.  I feel great and all my bloodwork is perfect.  Think I'll keep eating my veggies! 

I'm not too fond of mosquitos either...they seem to prefer me to all other humans.  Still I prefer to avoid them than kill them.  And once the little sucker is already stuck to my arm, killing it is pointless since the damage is already done....big bump...itchy for days.

Off to make sauteed kale and portabello mushrooms with some yummy lentil loaf.  Blueberry tofu-cheesecake for dessert.  "Oh, I'm such a deprived vegan!!" /sarc

I think a bolt to the brain is much more humane than being killed by wolves nipping at your heels, bringing you down, and then chewing you to death. I agree that animals should be raised in comfort, and killed as mercifully as possible, but I don't agree that they shouldn't be eaten for moral reasons.

Cows don't have the brains to know that the animals in line ahead of them are being killed. They don't have the concept of death, and they don't know they're going to die. Don't attribute intelligence when it isn't there. I've worked with cows -- they're ANIMALS! Evolutionarily, they were prey animals, and have always been eaten.

And please don't insult the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust. They DID know what was happening to them, and there was no rational reason for their murder -- they were innocent human beings, plain and simple. They were NOT animals!

Your Holocaust analogy is what makes your arguments untenable, bigoted and insulting. Notice I said your arguments, not you -- I hope you have the ability to learn.

Of course they know what is happening to the cows in front of them.  That may be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard anyone say.  Think this through..slowly.  If an animal did not knwo the animal next to it was being killed, it would just stand there watching...and be killed next.  Whole herds would just stand their gaping while they were picked off one by one.  OF COURSE they know what is happening!!  Recognizing that one of your fellow species is being killed is probably a pretty frigging early evolutionary adaptation for animals. absurd...I can't believe you even said that.

Yes, cows are animals.  Humans are animals.  I didn't say cows were as intelligent as humans...I said they can suffer, feel pain and distress.   Apparently you have NO empathy.  You sound absolutely heartless.  I'd like to never meet a person like you in real life. 

And please don't insult the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust. They DID know what was happening to them, and there was no rational reason for their murder -- they were innocent human beings, plain and simple. They were NOT animals!

Yes...they were animals.  Bi-pedal apes.  Just like us.  Not different from other social animals.  Just smarter....on average.

Your Holocaust analogy is what makes your arguments untenable, bigoted and insulting. Notice I said your arguments, not you -- I hope you have the ability to learn.

I've learned plenty already.  The fact that you think I would be improving myself if I became a heartless bastard and a speciesist speaks volumes about your personal morality...or should I say lack thereof.  Again, you seem positively vile....not just your arguments....YOU!

Yeah, the easier access to high-calorie, high-protein food may have partially caused the shift to larger brains and smaller guts.  I don't know if you've noticed, looking around at your fellow Americans, but getting a high-calorie diet is no longer as much of an issue.

Also, the shift to more of a hunter behavior could have triggered the rise in intelligence, not the addition of the meat itself, to the diet.  Higher intelligence tends to happen in hunter species.  You're running afoul of correlation and causation.

Meat is a very efficient source of nutrients.

If you mean calories, when you say nutrients, that's a point, but why does that matter?  Who has problems getting enough calories, nowadays?  Calories-per-dollar is more important for people in poverty-stricken areas, so they're not going to eat much meat, anyway.

If you're referring to essential vitamins and minerals, you'll do much better with a wide assortment of vegetables.  Who cares if we have to eat more biomass to get the same calories?  Your digestive tract will thank you.  It does better when you give it lots of fiber and roughage.

There is some evidence that a modest quantity of lean meat even strengthens muscle fibers in the heart.

Although, I bet you'll come out ahead, in terms of heart-health, by cutting out cholesterol, getting a lot of exercise to strengthen your heart, and getting all of the amino-acids you need from the many lean vegetable sources.  I usually get over 120 grams of protein a day, from mostly vegetable sources.  My heart has plenty of material to work with.

Our digestive and nervous systems have evolved on a diet that included meat.

... which isn't any more valid of an argument than it was the first time you made it.

I would not be surprised if we find that we perform best on a diet that includes large amounts of vegetables and fruits along with some nuts, berries, eggs, and meat.

Well, let me know when we find that.  Until then, you're making shit up and spinning wildly to justify your choice of diet, with no evidence.

Damn, I have a perfect comparison to theistic arguments that resemble exactly what you just said.  It's the sort of fine-tuning nonsense that they often pull up.  I hate when people start with the bullshit, "You're arguing like a theist!"  But this one lined up so perfectly with arguments I've heard them make, and I wanted to share.  I just can't put my finger on it, with a Google search, and my 15 minutes for editing is about to expire.

It's the classic, ultimate, Argument from Ignorance.  I've heard lots of apologists follow up the fine-tuning argument and God-of-the-Gaps with something about how as we learn more about science, we're going to find that new science proves God.

Sure, it hasn't happened YET ...

At any rate, I would hesitate to jump into any extreme diet.

Veganism isn't an extreme diet.

And we can think of cleaner, more environmentally-friendly ways of dealing with the meat issue.

What's cleaner than not eating it?  Did you mean to say that we can come up with other, less-effective ways to clean up our environment, compared to not giving a damn and despoiling it whenever we feel like it?


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