Vegan / Vegetarian Choices

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joy.

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I started phasing out meat about 10 years ago when I got my first pet chickens. They each had their own little personalities and I just couldn't eat chicken anymore. After I got my first goats about 6 years ago, all other forms of meat had to go. They are full of personality, kind of like dogs. They feel happiness, fear, pain, contentment, anger, and excitement. They have their own little language, love their herd members, and miss them when they're separated. For me, I just can't justify killing and eating a living being when there are other options available.

I ended up with chickens in the first place for humane reasons. Most of the animals raised in factory farms (eg: the "normal" meat and eggs you buy at the grocery store) suffer terribly. I won't go into details, because it's disturbing and you can google it. Sadly, I find most people choose to ignore the suffering of food-producing animals, and I'm not sure why. I don't have a problem with humanely raised meat, eggs and dairy. A family member raises humane turkeys that have a great life roaming a grassy pasture, have great food and shelter, and are butchered humanely. I've reserved one for Thanksgiving for the meat-eaters in the family. I personally won't choose to eat it, but I can respect others' choice to do so. I cannot respect the choice to buy meat or eggs that come from factory farms.

Reducing or eliminating meat from your diet may be a good idea anyways: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/vegan-diet-cancer_b_2250052.html
 

fuzz-juzz

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As a main family cook and provider I do personally try and reduce our animal products intake or change how I shop for same.
Not just for cruelty and health reasons but also because of their environmental impact.
I try to make at least one or two meat free dinners per week.
I am aware that producing one burger costs a large amount of precious water, not to mention fuel etc to get it to my store. Same applies to vegan/vegetarian products, there is so much water involved in producing the same, plants aren't really growing out of thin air. It's false to think, that vegan/vegetarian diet has less impact on the environment.
I'm not supporting cruel raising of animals, it's something that's grown out of control and all it's all wrong. Partly because of profits and partly to be to supply large amount of meat/egg products to hungry population. We can all make the choices to reduce meat intake, refuse to buy cruelly raised meat etc... changes CAN happen. Few of the Australian supermarkets aren't selling caged eggs anymore because they were boycotted for a long time.
Now, while I respect other opinion and choices I am glad somebody on the other side is trying to respect mine.
Many vegans/vegetarians are trying to convince us otherwise. I on the other hand, won't ever come up to a vegan and say: "why don't you eat a steak or a burger, it's good for you bla bla". It's YOUR personal choice and your way of life, it's got NOTHING to do with me. My best childhood friend is vegan, while she was trying to convince me to go over to "her side" I never commented on how she should go back to eating animal products. I respect her way of thinking and her way of life, but I'm really getting tired of almost every single vegan on FB, Youtube, blogs etc doing the same.

I find all the animals cute and cuddly etc., but when it comes to differentiating animal for food and pets I can safely do so. I was raised with animals and they were always raised beautifully, when the time came, they were killed and eaten with respect. I can't really compare pig and a pet cat, some draw correlation or similarity there, yes they are animals, but one is food one is the pet.
I choose to eat animal products, because, that's how humans evolved, that's how we lived for thousands years, that's how our bodies are designed. Cavemen didn't eat vegetarian diet compensated with tones of vitamins and supplements. But again, if someone made up their choice, has time and money to invest in vegan/vegetarian diet, all fine by me.
 

mx6inpenn

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I started phasing out meat about 10 years ago when I got my first pet chickens. They each had their own little personalities and I just couldn't eat chicken anymore. After I got my first goats about 6 years ago, all other forms of meat had to go. They are full of personality, kind of like dogs. They feel happiness, fear, pain, contentment, anger, and excitement. They have their own little language, love their herd members, and miss them when they're separated. For me, I just can't justify killing and eating a living being when there are other options available.

I ended up with chickens in the first place for humane reasons. Most of the animals raised in factory farms (eg: the "normal" meat and eggs you buy at the grocery store) suffer terribly. I won't go into details, because it's disturbing and you can google it. Sadly, I find most people choose to ignore the suffering of food-producing animals, and I'm not sure why. I don't have a problem with humanely raised meat, eggs and dairy. A family member raises humane turkeys that have a great life roaming a grassy pasture, have great food and shelter, and are butchered humanely. I've reserved one for Thanksgiving for the meat-eaters in the family. I personally won't choose to eat it, but I can respect others' choice to do so. I cannot respect the choice to buy meat or eggs that come from factory farms.

Reducing or eliminating meat from your diet may be a good idea anyways: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/vegan-diet-cancer_b_2250052.html
As stated in a previous thread, I grew up raising animals for food and in a family of hunters. We had a pig named Sally at one time, my baby brother raised her as a 4H project. She was well cared for, actually rather spoiled. But her purpose was food. She had a good life and when it was time for her to be butchered, it was done as humanely as possible. I would have considered it a problem to let anything go to waste unnecessarily. I live in an area (the one I grew up in) with lots of farms and the option to buy locally raised meats and eggs from reputable sources that I know don't treat their animals cruelly.

I actually could live quite happily without eating meat for the most part. I wouldn't want to live without lard in my soap tho. I have 2 sisters that go through vegetarian spurts, they have no issue using my soaps. They know the waste product being used is better for the environment. And they aren't consuming it, so it doesn't violate their principles.

My issue with your comments on the other thread was about the seeming lack of respect for others' choices. I am always bothered by a group or person, whether religious, cultural, or other, expressing their opinion about their belief being the "right" way and failing to realize that what is good for them is not good for everyone, nor should it be expected to be.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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People tend to think of animals being that much higher than plants because of how they react to certain things. But plant a seed upside down and then roots will still go around the seed to grow downward and the stem will go around the seed to grow upwards, toward the sun. A plant will lean toward the sun, even changing position in one day.

While these reactions are more developed in many animals, it's still the same - a base instinct reaction. What makes a chicken then a "living being" and a plant not?
 

newbie

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You should read about the very complex and extensive communication systems that trees have. They recognize their kin, other trees that sprang from their own seeds, and will preferentially send them nutrients, although every tree is intimately and extensively tied to every other tree in its vicinity. Their communication system is compared to our own neural networks. Does that mean we should never use wood products?

All plants communicate, respond, and have more to them that we generally acknowledge. They are different from us but no less alive for all that. We eat them without thinking about it.

It can get very complicated quickly when you think about it.
 

earlene

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As a personal choice I stopped eating meat about 17 years ago. It's nothing I expect any of my family to do and I still cook meat for my husband at home and occasionally for other family when traveling.

If I could afford a personal chef who did the shopping and the preparation, and if I lived in an area where it would be feasible to do, I would be a raw vegan. I did the raw vegan thing for about 3 months and it's not that easy to do without a wide variety of available ingredients. It was actually easier to do while I was traveling than when I was at home, because I was traveling where there was more variety of produce. Where I live fresh produce is limited.

Anyway, I chose to become a lacto-ovo vegetarian (grains, fruits, legumes, vegetables, seeds, nuts, eggs, and dairy.) My only exception to that is that I will eat real Caesar dressing on Caesar Salad if it is available in a restaurant. Other than that, it is the only exception I have ever made to my vegetarian diet since I started.

As far as making soap with animal fats, up until recently I have not done because I just do not use animal fats in cooking, so did not have them in the house. BUT, I did use whatever soap I bought without considering if it was made with tallow or lard. It never bothered me if the soap I bought at the store was made with animal fat. So in theory it shouldn't bother me now.

I started making soap with lard for other family members originally to see what it was like for soaping, and because since I have no problem cooking meat for carnivores, why should it bother me to make soap using animal fats? That is me, not anyone else. Just me. Anyway, I do see that soap with lard does make a harder bar. So far I have only tested it myself by washing my hands after trimming the soap, but it's too early to have an opinion as yet. (No, I do not taste test meat containing foods, if you are curious.) I don't much like the odor, that I can assure you, neither while making the soap, nor while it is gelling, nor while it is curing. I have found that FO's do help with that, but the lard odor is still there early in the cure and I don't like it. But then I have a sensitive nose.

Am I going to bath with lard soap? I am undecided at this point. I really like most of the soaps I have made prior to trying the lard, so it seems to me that I have no real reason to use it at this point.

BTW, my favorite hand washing soap is Egg Soap, which includes added egg yolks in the recipe. One of these days I'll make some using my SIL's duck eggs because she also likes the Egg Soap and she raises ducks. I'd much rather make soap with them than eat them, but apparently duck eggs taste really good to some people.

Regarding people who try to press their agenda on others regarding dietary choices, I get more of that from meat eaters than I ever got from non-meat eaters. SO many people have challenged me and attempted to lecture me about what they believe to be an unhealthy dietary decision on my part. My doctor went so far as to have blood work done to try and convince me that my diet was playing havoc with my nutritional status. He was surprised to discover that my numbers are all good, except for vitamin D and that is not at all unusual even in meat eaters.

Anyway my doctor is satisfied that I do eat well enough to meet all nutritional needs after all, so I was happy to have been able to convince someone with proof that my dietary choice is right for me. For the most part I avoid discussing my dietary choices unless I am in a restaurant and need to ask questions regarding the menu, as it just seems to bother some people. In fact I have a cousin who adamantly believes vegetarianism is deadly and is quite vocal about it whenever the topic is mentioned in his hearing. I just don't participate and often leave the room if the discussion is broached when he is around. It's not worth the aggravation, especially if I am trying to enjoy a pleasant meal. (This only happens every few years at family reunions, so not too terribly awful.) I also have a nephew with Asperger's who adamantly argues (about anything really) that I cannot call myself a vegetarian because I eat eggs and cheese. But that's his Asperger's talking.
 

IrishLass

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My doctor went so far as to have blood work done to try and convince me that my diet was playing havoc with my nutritional status. He was surprised to discover that my numbers are all good, except for vitamin D and that is not at all unusual even in meat eaters.
Alas, such was not the case for me. I was a vegetarian for 7 years- (6 months of which I was 100% vegan/raw food-only), but as it turned out it did not play well with my body chemistry, no matter how badly I wanted it to.

My doctor situation was a little different than yours, though. Being vegetarian-friendly, he was very supportive of my decision to go vegetarian, but cautioned me that a vegetarian diet, although wonderfully healthy for some people, was not compatible with everyone's body chemistry- which incidentally went in one ear and out the other with me at the time- but to be on the safe side, I agreed to have him monitor my blood-work periodically, and as it turned out, I'm so glad I did.

To make a long story short, my body was just not able to synthesize/absorb enough vegetable-based protein for it to be able to keep functioning properly, no matter how much concentrated veggie protein I ate and/or what myriad of different variables we tried. Trust me, I tried everything and tried very hard, but it was a losing battle. My blood-work numbers gradually got worse and worse over that 7 year period and my weight got dangerously low enough that my family and friends started voicing their concerns to me.

Pretty much what was happening was that my protein-starved body started cannibalizing itself for protein, and I began to experience weird symptoms in different parts of my body. At the urging of my doc I eventually made the reluctant decision to gradually re-introduced meat back into my diet, which thankfully turned things around and caused things to function normally in my body again, and my blood-work finally started coming back with good numbers (and they continue to remain good with my omnivore diet).

At the very beginning of my 7-year sojourn into vegetarianism, I admit that my attitude was a bit of an annoyingly cocky, pro-vegetarianism-for-one-and-all type of attitude, and no one could convince me of any other mindset, but the school of hard knocks had its way with me and taught me that my doc was right- vegetarianism is not compatible with everyone's body chemistry.

My revised attitude is that if folks want to be vegetarian or vegan or carnivores or omnivores, that's their choice and I have no bone to pick with them- it's their personal business not mine- and by the same token what I eat is my own business, not theirs. After all, I'm not privy to their personal medical records/history and how their body chemistry responds to things, and they aren't privy to mine.

For what it's worth, I still eat lots of veggies, but I make sure to eat a good helping of meat, too.


joy said:
I cannot respect the choice to buy meat or eggs that come from factory farms
.

What about those that don't have access to more humanely grown meat or eggs, or cannot afford the higher prices of such to feed themselves or their families?


IrishLass :)
 

lsg

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We live on a farm and we grow our animals for sale and for food. As long as our animals are given a good life until the time they are slaughtered, I have no qualms. DH and I were both raised on farms, so we were used to animals being used as protein. We have our own eggs and milk. My milk cows each have a name and personality. They come when I call them, so I don't think they are afraid of any ill treatment. If you knew what grain farmers poured into the soil to raise soybeans, corn, wheat etc., you wouldn't want to eat grain either.
 

TeresaT

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I started phasing out meat about 10 years ago when I got my first pet chickens. They each had their own little personalities and I just couldn't eat chicken anymore. After I got my first goats about 6 years ago, all other forms of meat had to go. They are full of personality, kind of like dogs. They feel happiness, fear, pain, contentment, anger, and excitement. They have their own little language, love their herd members, and miss them when they're separated. For me, I just can't justify killing and eating a living being when there are other options available.

I ended up with chickens in the first place for humane reasons. Most of the animals raised in factory farms (eg: the "normal" meat and eggs you buy at the grocery store) suffer terribly. I won't go into details, because it's disturbing and you can google it. Sadly, I find most people choose to ignore the suffering of food-producing animals, and I'm not sure why. I don't have a problem with humanely raised meat, eggs and dairy. A family member raises humane turkeys that have a great life roaming a grassy pasture, have great food and shelter, and are butchered humanely. I've reserved one for Thanksgiving for the meat-eaters in the family. I personally won't choose to eat it, but I can respect others' choice to do so. I cannot respect the choice to buy meat or eggs that come from factory farms.

Reducing or eliminating meat from your diet may be a good idea anyways: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/vegan-diet-cancer_b_2250052.html
Once again, your condescending, better-than-thou attitude is showing. There are people in this country that cannot afford to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, let alone organic fruits and vegetables. How the heck are they supposed to buy "humanely raised" meat, dairy and eggs? They are struggling to purchase crappy ground beef that is 20% fat to begin with. They're buying chicken wings because they cannot afford chicken breasts. There are things known as "food deserts" and "urban blight." Ever hear of them? This is one of the richest nations on the face of the earth and every single day all across America food is thrown out. Perfectly good food. Perfectly edible food that can save a family from starving. Instead of throwing the food away, grocery stores and restaurants should be able to donate that to food banks, shelters and other institutions that provide food for homeless and low-income families. But they can't and/or won't. Because this great nation has laws against it. Yep. Congress would rather see the food thrown away than given away. Because that's America.

I don't need you to tell me how great vegetarianism is and how it's going to save me from cancer. I don't need PETA to tell me why eating meat or wearing fur is murder. What I need is for someone to stand up and say wasting food is flat out wrong and start feeding the people of this nation that don't have the food they need. Share the love. Share the food. Share the wealth. No one in America should go to bed hungry. And no one in America should be sleeping on the streets or in cars. Yet they do. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I am sure people at food banks and homeless shelters do not care if their food is "humanely raised" or organic. I'm sure they're only thinking, "Thank God I get to eat today."

I'm done.
 

BrewerGeorge

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This thread may get me into trouble; I've never yet voiced any controversial opinions here.

First, I should say that I have plenty of respect for vegetarianism as a lifestyle. It can be done (for most) easily and healthfully with dairy and/or eggs. I have four daughters, currently aged 29 down through to 15, and every single one of them has decided somewhere in their middle teens that they want to be vegetarian. So far that phase passed in two, one is still to young to tell, and it has only stuck with the oldest who is vegan.

However, I have no similar respect for veganism. To put it mildly, I consider it a First World conceit. (Yes, my oldest daughter is vegan; we have just agreed to disagree and don't talk about that anymore.) The fact that there is not one single traditional diet based solely on vegetable products in all the world tells me all I need to know, but science has reaffirmed that it is very difficult to be a healthy vegan without 20th century technological support and supplementation. The primary concerns are vitamins D2/D3, B12, and the amino acids lysine, tryptophan, methionine, and phenylalanine See here for an overview of the care, time, and money required to obtain and eat healthfully as a vegan - and compare that to simply eating an egg or some cheese.

Now that I've put my foot in it, let me ask a less confrontational question: As parents, what have you done (or think you would do) with a minor child who declared himself vegetarian/vegan in an omnivore household? Does age matter in how you react? For instance, I handled all four of my girls teen bouts with indifference and some minor accommodation. "I do the cooking, and we're having this for dinner, but you're welcome not to eat it or eat peanut butter sandwich or whatever." My accommodations would be things like - say - buttering corn or potatoes at tableside rather than in the kitchen. However, I don't think I would have allowed a child under 10 to eat separately from us. Conversely, I fully accommodate my nearly-30, adult daughter's diet when she's around (though I don't like it) and will make entirely vegan meals. I'm a darn good vegan cook, too. ;) It's all about the umami.
 

IrishLass

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This thread may get me into trouble; I've never yet voiced any controversial opinions here.
No worries- you're good. :)


BrewerGeorge said:
Now that I've put my foot in it, let me ask a less confrontational question: As parents, what have you done (or think you would do) with a minor child who declared himself vegetarian/vegan in an omnivore household? Does age matter in how you react?
Based on what happened to me when I went vegetarian and vegan as an adult, if they were my minors that wanted to go vegetarian, I would firmly put my foot down and say no and give them an education based on the very real and truthful evidence that in spite of all the anti-meat hype out there, not all people do well on a vegetarian diet. If they still insisted on harping on it, since they are growing minors that I'm responsible for and whose bodies are still developing, I would tell them it is out of the question until they are 16 when we will bring it up with our family doctor. If he gives the green light and we set something up to have their blood work consistently monitored periodically, I will agree to it. But if at any point between 16 and adulthood their blood work shows that things are on a downhill spiral and every adjustment we try isn't working, they are going back on a meat diet until they are no longer minors and I'm no longer legally responsible for their well-being.


IrishLass :)
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I think it's a very valid point. Only with modern means can someone have vegetables of enough types all year round, plus additional intakes from supplements or processed products
 

lionprincess00

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You should read about the very complex and extensive communication systems that trees have. They recognize their kin, other trees that sprang from their own seeds, and will preferentially send them nutrients, although every tree is intimately and extensively tied to every other tree in its vicinity. Their communication system is compared to our own neural networks. Does that mean we should never use wood products?

All plants communicate, respond, and have more to them that we generally acknowledge. They are different from us but no less alive for all that. We eat them without thinking about it.

It can get very complicated quickly when you think about it.
I thought exactly of this as I was reading the op! Here is a good example of communication between trees warning their neighbors of danger, telling other trees to reduce water consumption in drought, etc etc. There was some online news articles recently on this subject as well.

Video about trees from the bbc
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/37365079
 

fuzz-juzz

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Once again, your condescending, better-than-thou attitude is showing. There are people in this country that cannot afford to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, let alone organic fruits and vegetables. How the heck are they supposed to buy "humanely raised" meat, dairy and eggs? They are struggling to purchase crappy ground beef that is 20% fat to begin with. They're buying chicken wings because they cannot afford chicken breasts. There are things known as "food deserts" and "urban blight." Ever hear of them? This is one of the richest nations on the face of the earth and every single day all across America food is thrown out. Perfectly good food. Perfectly edible food that can save a family from starving. Instead of throwing the food away, grocery stores and restaurants should be able to donate that to food banks, shelters and other institutions that provide food for homeless and low-income families. But they can't and/or won't. Because this great nation has laws against it. Yep. Congress would rather see the food thrown away than given away. Because that's America.

I don't need you to tell me how great vegetarianism is and how it's going to save me from cancer. I don't need PETA to tell me why eating meat or wearing fur is murder. What I need is for someone to stand up and say wasting food is flat out wrong and start feeding the people of this nation that don't have the food they need. Share the love. Share the food. Share the wealth. No one in America should go to bed hungry. And no one in America should be sleeping on the streets or in cars. Yet they do. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I am sure people at food banks and homeless shelters do not care if their food is "humanely raised" or organic. I'm sure they're only thinking, "Thank God I get to eat today."

I'm done.
Amen to this.

I had pretty much the same thought but I didn't want to sound too harsh.
While some cry over chickens and lambs no one seems to cry over many dead that die every day, completely unnecessary.
We turn blind eye to every war, every starving kid in this world but we can't ignore dead chickens?
To solve inhumane in humans we have to have a hard look at ourselves first. Solve our issues and stop being so horrible to each other. Then worry about chickens...
I can't debate about whether I'm going to eat tofu or chicken today meanwhile dozens of kids died from hunger. I just can't... I'm happy to be alive, healthy and with a full tummy. I do my best for this country and this world but I can't change anything by myself.
 

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I always do my best to try and see things from both points of view. Oddly enough a friend of mine sent me this video just last week that I think is appropriate at this time...

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0O_VYcsIk8[/ame]

This video is made to be satire, however by watching it a vegan who acts this way can see how a non-vegan views their unsolicited opinions. If someone wants to be a vegan, go for it. I am all for personal freedom. But you know that anger you feel when someone challenges your vegan lifestyle... that is how us non-vegans feel when you challenge our lifestyle. Live and let live... that sort of thing.
 

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Steve85569

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My neighbor is vegetarian and some of my friends are either vegetarian or vegan.
I am an omnivore.
Growing up "who are we having for dinner" was an honest question about what was going to be served as the main course. To me it's just part of the circle of life. In order for me to live I will of need kill. Whether it is plants only or plants and animals I will need to take life to keep living.

For me the question is how can I best honor that life ( lives) that have been use up so that I could continue.

Steve
 

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No worries- you're good. :)




Based on what happened to me when I went vegetarian and vegan as an adult, if they were my minors that wanted to go vegetarian, I would firmly put my foot down and say no and give them an education based on the very real and truthful evidence that in spite of all the anti-meat hype out there, not all people do well on a vegetarian diet. If they still insisted on harping on it, since they are growing minors that I'm responsible for and whose bodies are still developing, I would tell them it is out of the question until they are 16 when we will bring it up with our family doctor. If he gives the green light and we set something up to have their blood work consistently monitored periodically, I will agree to it. But if at any point between 16 and adulthood their blood work shows that things are on a downhill spiral and every adjustment we try isn't working, they are going back on a meat diet until they are no longer minors and I'm no longer legally responsible for their well-being.


IrishLass :)
Speaking as a nurse, this is exactly what I would say to do. Those young bodies need all their nutrients, and pre-teens and teens often do not eat the best diet if left to their own devices. Your responsibility is to get them to adulthood as healthy as possible.

I think at 16 (if they have gone through puberty), with the knowledge and consent of the doctor, they can start learning how to manage a vegetarian diet and learn to cook their own foods that will maintain their health. It is their choice, after all, and if they want a different food than the rest of the family, they need to cook it. I absolutely would not cook their special food for them. They also need to, on a weekly basis, write out their weekly diet and prove to you that all the nutrients are met. This is their choice, they must learn to manage those nutrients.

Above all, you need to remember that you are not raising children, you are raising future adults. You must have them start as they mean to go on, or they are going to get into some real trouble nutritionally.
 

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You should read about the very complex and extensive communication systems that trees have. They recognize their kin, other trees that sprang from their own seeds, and will preferentially send them nutrients, although every tree is intimately and extensively tied to every other tree in its vicinity. Their communication system is compared to our own neural networks. Does that mean we should never use wood products?

All plants communicate, respond, and have more to them that we generally acknowledge. They are different from us but no less alive for all that. We eat them without thinking about it.

It can get very complicated quickly when you think about it.
Plants have no neurological tissues let alone a nervous system; therefore, I disagree with the idea that they have something similar to animal neural networks, if that was meant to imply an ability to feel pain or emotion. Joy was clear that pain, emotion and personality sway her not to eat animals. She was also clear that this is just a choice, regardless of her tolerance for others who do not decide the same.

Not picking on you newbie, but ALL organisms respond to their environment, not just plants and animals. It is essential for survival and reproduction. I'd also say communication, especially when used loosely like it is here, is important for perpetuating species through time. These are both important mechanisms for adaptation and evolution.
 

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At what level do we take it? We often class fear as an emotion but it is in many cases just an instinct. A deer will react to a breaking twig in an instinctual way, not an emotional one. So is it okay to eat deer? Do fish have emotions? I don't think so. They might instinctively recognize the shape that comes to the tank just before the food comes, but that is all.
 
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