Although sometimes over the top in regulation, some countires in Europe are far ahead here; for instance, in my country of birth, the Netherlands, people will pay more for free-range foods, be they eggs, meat or whatever (let's not forget sustainable fisheries). Australia is not as advanced but in its capital city, where I live (and people have relatively high incomes and high education levels) even the big supermarkets sell lots of organic produce, buth vegetable and animal. However, rules are confusing and free range eggs, for instance, are not consistent in how "free range" the chickens are.
Count me in! Except I have access to eggs from farmers in the nearby countryside where I absolutely know where my eggs are coming from ( I am able to see the chickens from which these eggs are produced). If I can't see the chicken, I don't buy the eggs. But of course, this is not possible for many. So clear labeling is an asset and yet, the eating of eggs is not a requirement .... just a convenience which would include an employer.
One must also consider other things, such as infection risks in free range animals - we have had food poisoning cases from free range eggs.
Sure, but in the US they have to deal with antibiotics. Canada is close at hand. We have also had food poisoning from agri-business of both plants and animals. Mass production of food has its liabilities too and meat even more so!
But just about all beef and lamb, in this big country, is free range and grass fed, although some "premium" beef is finished in feed lots.
Really? I'm aware of the same factory farm operations in Europe as in the US and in Australia.
Again, not the end of the world if there is room to move and shade for the animals.
Sure, but only about 4 or 5% of animals raised for food even need shade as they don't get to see sunlight.
OTOH in a big country, long distance transport of livestock is also an issue.
Yes, I know, as I happen to live in a big country. When there is a traffic jam, we have the opportunity to run to the transport trucks and give thirsty animals a drink as they are being transported and in dire need. It seems that, because they end up on our dinner plates, their needs are not generally met while in transport (and otherwise).
In the end, though, humans are omnivores, biologically,
Sure we are! We have a few canines to prove this point. When we run out of plant protein, we do our best to survive and then we go hunting! This is an explanation for the mass production and consumption?
and agriculture has always been about crops that provide staples and animals that provide extras (meat, milk, eggs, wool, leather, etc. etc. - I have a book at home called "Pig (number)"; the pig with that number was slaughtered and the book lists *all* the uses the animal's tissues were put to; meat is only the beginning... very interesting, and if one wants to argue for a veg*a*n world, all these products will need to come from somewhere else. And of course already it is somewhat hypocritical for ARAs to want fake fur and plastic shoes when these are made from non-renewable and polluting resources. Real fur, and leather, are sustainable (and frankly, much nicer to wear too)). I also saw an interesting article just this week about how important for developing brains and children ;
Yes, yes, yes. I have read similar literature, and it is rational. But agriculture has never meant what it means now ..... In smaller communities, it meant feeding and clothing the members of that community. But now we have an economic system which is so intertwined and complicated .... so much so, that we are sending animals on journeys (Australia) to faraway places that don't even have basic animal welfare considerations. These practices cannot be equated with our formal needs for survival, as much as we justify these practices for current economic needs. Plastics are produced and sold anyway .... not that anyone needs them. I see the freighters in my own harbour and I know they are full of plastic "stuff" which no society needs. It's bogus trade deals which has us "cooperating" for a system which is just ruining the planet anyways.
Here is the abstract:
Humans evolved a uniquely large brain among terrestrial mammals. Brain and nervous tissue is rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Docosahexaenoic acid is required for lower and high order functions in humans because of understood and emerging molecular mechanisms. Among brain components that depend on dietary components, DHA is limiting because its synthesis from terrestrial plant food precursors is low but its utilization when consumed in diet is very efficient. Negligible DHA is found in terrestrial plants, but in contrast, DHA is plentiful at the shoreline where it is made by single-celled organisms and plants, and in the seas supports development of very large marine mammal brains. Modern human brains accumulate DHA up to age 18, most aggressively from about half-way through gestation to about two years of age. Studies in modern humans and non-human primates show that modern infants consuming infant formulas that include only DHA precursors have lower DHA levels than for those with a source of preformed DHA. Functional measures show that infants consuming preformed DHA have improved visual and cognitive function. Dietary preformed DHA in the breast milk of modern mothers supports many-fold greater breast milk DHA than is found in the breast milk of vegans, a phenomenon linked to consumption of shore-based foods. Most current evidence suggests that the DHA-rich human brain required an ample and sustained source of dietary DHA to reach its full potential.
For me, proof is in the pudding. My husband is now 66 (!) and has been vegan(except for the odd egg) since he was 21. He is healthier than most 40 year olds I know. He just had a bone analysis done because we were concerned about osteoporosis and the results came back that his bones are more solid and dense than a 40 year old. How is that for someone who hasn't eaten any dairy for 45 years? Almonds? Kale? Chard? Almond 'milk'? There are plenty of individuals who are hale and hearty with either a vegan or vegetarian diet. Animals as the "best" protein is a marketing strategy for an industry which employs people. It's a paradigm that is changing and will evolve as people become more aware of the lack of necessity. "Meatless Mondays" should be substituted with "have a steak on Monday". if you so desire. Sure, we evolved with hunting and meat eating, but we have NEVER, in the history of humankind, treated animals in the way we do now ..... And how we rationalize and justify such treatment is a testimony to how we can rationalize and justify just about anything.
But we have never treated animals in such a way as we do now. Not ever!
and it was published in the Journal of human Evolution by Brenna and Carlson ("Docosahexaenoic acid and human brain development: Evidence that a dietary supply is needed for optimal development").
I'm not going to get into this right now. Suffice to say that I know many 60+ vegans who are hale and hearty!
Food for thought in more than one way especially for those who want to have a vegan pregnancy......