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Dairy or chicken

Discussion in 'Transitioning' started by jc999, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. jc999

    jc999 Member

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    Hi, I have recently become vegetarian, primarily over environmental concerns. I would like to eventually transition to being vegan but for now I am just vegetarian.

    I have read that the dairy industry produces more CO2 emissions than that of chicken. If I had to have one of dairy or chicken, considering my reasons for being vegetarian, would you therefore recommend quitting dairy and eating chicken? Or are there more things I should consider? Thanks a lot in advance for any help
     
  2. Sax
    Daring

    Sax Active Member

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    I don't know how the numbers compare in terms of carbon emissions. Or in terms of suffering inflicted. But I think in concept dairy is more cruel than meat, sexually violating both bulls and cows, stealing the baby calf, milking the grieving mother while sending the orphaned baby off to become veal, beef, or yet another dairy cow.

    I would say dairy. Do whatever you think gives you the best chance of successfully transitioning though.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Lou
    Joyful

    Lou Active Member

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    Wait. What?

    this reminds me of a trick question. Which disease is worse? Bubonic Plague or Small Pox.

    On my vegan journey, my first step was to stop buying milk. Not all dairy. just milk. that was the biggest percentage of my dairy consumption. And it was about the easiest thing to do. Just buy soy milk instead. I was also motivated by an article in my local paper. It turns out that at the time PETA was suing the California Dairy Board for their Happy Cow Ad Campaign: False advertising. BTW, they lost. But in the meantime, I became interested and stopped drinking milk.

    Also when analyzing this kind of stuff you need to not just consider carbon but all the greenhouse gasses (GHG). Cows and chicken produce other greenhouse gasses. And some of them, even if produced in smaller amounts have very large consequences in global warming and also persist in the atmosphere longer. I'm talking about methane mostly.

    I did find one source that had some numbers.

    " Breaking down the 4.2 percent EPA figure for livestock by animal species shows the following contributors: beef cattle, 2.2 percent; dairy cattle, 1.37 percent; swine, 0.47 percent; poultry, 0.08 percent; sheep, 0.03 percent; goats, 0.01 percent and other (horses, etc.) 0.04 percent."
    https://caes.ucdavis.edu/news/articles/2016/04/livestock-and-climate-change-facts-and-fiction

    This particular study I don't' quite like, tho. I think the 4.2 percent number is a gross underestimation. to give the authors some credit they do mention the higher number that I subscribe to. The scientists who came up with the 18 - 51% number take into account the fuel used to transport food to the livestock and then the fuel used to transport the livestock to market. They even include the GHG produced in growing the food for the livestock. How the scientists account for these things is why the range is so large. But still 4.2%??

    Give it a day or two, I'm sure Forest Nymph will have something to contribute to this thread.
     
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  4. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Honestly you're on a vegan forum so we're all going to say neither. But since I study environmental science I'm going to say that the most sustainable way for you to be a vegetarian is to actually only consume goat's cheese if you eat dairy. I mean you can say "I'll eat cow's cheese once every two months" and I'm not sure that's as terrible (from an environmental standpoint, and considering supply and demand) as eating and drinking cow's milk/cheese every single day or several times a week.

    I think there are people who call themselves "vegan" who are actually just strict vegetarians who will eat some dairy or eggs on special occasions, like holidays, weddings, or while having a hang-over, and I do think those people - again from a strictly environmental standpoint - are still doing a lot of good. For the animals? Maybe not so much.

    Chicken is out dude. No. NO.
     
  5. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    It confirms what I said about goat cheese, still more sustainable than cow's milk or chicken flesh. Thanks Lou
     
  6. Forest Nymph
    Wishful

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    ....meat is always bad. Meat is gruesome, meat is murder, there's no way to justify flesh, EVER, as dark as the commercial dairy industry may be, I live in a county that has zero factory farms and is known for dairy farming, and the cows all wander around in grassy areas and they're really just like the smiling moo cows on commercial packaging, it's a heart warming sight, since some of the farmer's refuse to ever slaughter these cows. I'm not saying that makes even small dairy farming ok, but if I compare this less cruel and more natural form of dairy farming to raising chickens just to murder them, I'm going to say...I'd rather you have a grilled cheese than a roasted hen.

    The psychological implications of consuming flesh are absolutely foul, too. That's another reason I hate lab meat, well that and the fact that at this juncture lab meat has a carbon foot print not worth its production.
     
  7. jc999

    jc999 Member

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    Thanks for your advice, it's certainly very interesting to think about from a totally different point of view
     
  8. jc999

    jc999 Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I guess that confirms that if I was changing my diet for purely (100%) sustainability reasons - which I'm not saying I am - it would make more sense to cut out dairy and not chicken, if I HAD TO have one, which again, obviously I do not
     
  9. jc999

    jc999 Member

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    I definitely appreciate your comments but you didn't necessarily answer my question but instead brought in lots of other (very valid) factors to consider. And while I know it is very naive and simple to see it just from a sustainability point of view, at this stage - in what is a pretty big life change - I am happy to think about it that simply if it gets me motivated in the initial stages of this positive change. But thanks for your input on the goat's cheese, that's something I hadn't considered before
     
  10. jc999

    jc999 Member

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    Also I really didn't mean any disrespect or offence by asking such a question on a vegan forum, so sorry if I did!
     

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