Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME FORUMS BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:37 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 13725
Location: Florida
Thanks: 1810
Thanked: 704 times in 558 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)
Highscores: 8

Post Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
Please use this thread for discussion of Chapter 4, The feedlot : making meat. ::111




Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:01 pm
Profile Email YIM WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Laughs at Einstein


Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 433
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
Ew. Yuck. **brrr**


Okay, sorry. Had to get that out of my system.

[Still can't quite. Hopefully Mad will come in, and put a more intellectual spin on this...]

How do I reconcile what I know now (what I probably knew before, but ignored) to the meat in my freezer?

Can I come back to this? Thanks.

"All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."

Loricat's Book Nook
Celebrating the Absurd




Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:51 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
The Pope of Literature


Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2553
Location: decentralized
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
I found this chapter interesting mostly because it fleshed out what I basically already knew.

A little background. For about three years -- most of my time in college -- I was completely vegetarian. Well, as completely vegetarian as you can be without getting rude about it. The decision to drop meat from my diet wasn't really an ethical one, as it is with many people. Rather, I was interested in making decisions about my diet -- taking control of what I ate was part of making myself responsible for, well, myself.

After three years, I decided that I had taught myself enough discipline that I could drop some of the self-imposed restrictions without having to worry about backsliding all the way into my previous eating habits. I'm no longer vegetarian, but I almost never eat beef, pork or any other four-legged critter. I eat fish and foul in limited quantites. And for the most part, I was (and continue to be) happy about not eating much meat. And a very large part of that reason is ethical. (See how that works? What started out as a not very ethical, but not unethical, decision morphed into an ethical consideration. Funny the way these things happen.)

I say that my contentment with not eating much meat is ethical in part because it lessens my responsibility in the economic structure that result in feed lots. To some degree, since at least college, I've been aware that our system of food production rests on a foundation of cramming animals into unnatural environments and forcing them to behave in ways they never evolved towards. And I think distancing ourselves from that system is an ethical matter.

What I didn't know, and what made this chapter particularly interesting for me, were the details of this systemization of meat.




Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:49 pm
Profile


Post Re: Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
I have been waiting for the discussion to get to this chapter. This is when I really got hooked on the book. Because of allergies, etc., I have to get my protein from beef. For various reasons, nothing else works for me. I'm like a flash from the past, living on vegetables and meat with a little grain, like a hunter-gatherer :) Anyway, in terms of the ethics of eating meat that is treated in the way we handle beef in feedlots, in a second I would become a vegetarian after reading that chapter. I found it appalling! I agree with you Mad that it is an ethical matter. No question.

I did a lot of research after this chapter on the practices of raising beef in Canada, hoping against hope that I could close my eyes again and go back to my previous oblivion. No such luck. What I read about Canadian practices is a little less dire than what Pollan presents in the book, but I could not pursuade myself that it was not just written from a different perspective. So, I'm left with eating meat from cows who are fed corn, at least in the "finishing" process, and lived miserable lives at the end. In Canada, we do okay by the cows up until the last 30 to 60 days, which are spent in a feedlot eating corn. Until then they are raised on pasture in the summer and forage in the winter. I investigated other methods of raising cows, like organic farming or pasture raised beef, but there really is very little of that around. Too expensive for the farmers and, since not many people would choose to have their eyes opened, no one would be willing to spend the money on a more ethical product cuz they don't know about feedlots. Like me a few weeks ago.

I always thought our feeding of antibiotics to cows was to keep them (and us) healthy. Something like - A cow is a big investment, so let's keep it healthy. I had no idea that the feedlot process is just an industrial method of staving off inevitable disease and death long enough to get the cow to market. And as for the forced weaning of the young cows **shudder** But even though the process as described in the book is stomach turning, I'd still rather be aware than continue to have my eyes closed. I eat less beef now. I also thank the cow that is feeding me when I do eat beef.

In terms of the ethics, we are programmed to be omnivores, as evidenced by our anatomy and physiology. So my eating a cow is no different than a hawk in my back yard tearing into a sparrow or mourning dove. I can accept that. I don't want to be a vegetarian on that basis. I believe myself to be an animal same as any other, programmed for a role on earth. And my role happens to include being an omnivore. It is the treatment of the animals that bothers me. If that cow had a nice life on earth, albeit shorter than it might have had, I would feel better about slaughtering it for dinner. Pollan gets more into that later in the book, which I found really interesting.




Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:41 am
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Laughs at Einstein


Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 433
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
As I mentioned earlier (somewhere!), I'm producing a forum on food security, taking place in a few weeks. I'm also the manager of the local Farmers' Market...so I'm wrapped up in this issue on all levels.

I've never been one to care much for organic or not, never really thought about it at all, until now. It's not just the book (or this chapter in particular)...it's that I've become more and more aware of the distances food has to travel to get to me. If all truck drivers went on strike tomorrow, the average supermarket would be out of food in 3 days.

What I wanted to say here was that just this last Saturday, I found out that there is a local farmer who will sell you chicks in the spring, and then he raises them. When you want a chicken, you go and get one, slaughtered & plucked by them (or by you, if you want the experience?). My vendor was telling me he buys 50 every spring -- one a week, essentially, although he says he gives some away. (SolinaJoki -- I'm in the Okanagan Valley, in BC...so this kind of thing is available in Canada, but it's not widely known.)

"All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."

Loricat's Book Nook
Celebrating the Absurd




Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:23 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
The Pope of Literature


Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2553
Location: decentralized
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
SolinaJoki: I investigated other methods of raising cows, like organic farming or pasture raised beef, but there really is very little of that around.

Later chapters kind of present organic farming in much the same light, too, so I'm not sure modern organic farming is much of a solution. It lessens the problem to some degree, I take it, but equivicates on so many others that we can't really treat it as more than a paliative to the larger problems.

But even though the process as described in the book is stomach turning, I'd still rather be aware than continue to have my eyes closed.

Agreed; an unexamined life is no life at all.

In terms of the ethics, we are programmed to be omnivores, as evidenced by our anatomy and physiology.

I don't see the ethical problem as a question of whether we should or shouldn't eat meat. I sympathize with the point of view that it might be unethical to kill and eat other animals, but I also think that our biology makes it implausible to take an ideal ethical stand on the matter. Rather, the ethical dilemma as I see it is that of how we get our food and what we make the terms of our relationship to that food. Even if meat is a product, is it right to treat the cow as a product? Is it right to treat the cow as nothing but, from the consumer's point of view, the product that it will become? Those, I think, are the central questions. There are all sorts of auxilary questions as well -- the processes involved in turning cattle into food on an industrial scale are wasteful and polluting -- but I think that most of those can be traced back to the central question of how we conceptualize the animal and what that entails for our relationship to it.

Loricat: I'm also the manager of the local Farmers' Market...so I'm wrapped up in this issue on all levels.

Remind me to bring up Gene Kahn's statement about working in the farmer's market when you get to chapter nine.

...it's that I've become more and more aware of the distances food has to travel to get to me.

I really think that's one of the central issues here -- so much of the industrial food process seems wrapped up in the problems of shipping food over long distances and preserving food for long periods of time. If we made a principle of ensuring that the majority of the food we ate (say, 80%) can from sources within five miles of our home, solutions to all of the peripheral problems would follow in the wake.




Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:32 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Laughs at Einstein


Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 433
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
when you look at it that way -- this book being about the distances that food has to travel -- then in some ways it's a sequel to Mark Kurlansky's book Salt...the history of the world through the lens of salt -- our need for it in our bodies, and for preserving food.

"All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."

Loricat's Book Nook
Celebrating the Absurd




Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:12 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
The Pope of Literature


Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2553
Location: decentralized
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
Do you recommend "Salt", Lori? I keep seeing it on bookstore shelves, but haven't gotten around to cracking the spine yet.




Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:26 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Professor

Silver Contributor

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 3542
Location: NJ
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 5 times in 5 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
I recommend SALT! I just read it a few months ago after looking at it on the bookstore shelf for over a year.

Very good read. I love the way he structures world history through salt colored eyes!

Mr. P.

Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!

Mr. P's Bookshelf.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Profile YIM WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Laughs at Einstein


Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 433
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 4 - The feedlot : making meat
Totally! It was one of the first 'cultural histories' I ever read, and it is the standard by which I compare them. Informative, interesting, accessibly academic instead of slightly intellectual pop culture in style.

In a lot of ways, it changed the way I see the world. (Who'd 'a thunk salt was that important?!?)

"All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."

Loricat's Book Nook
Celebrating the Absurd




Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

BookTalk.org Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Featured Book Suggestions
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
    

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books






BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSBOOKSTRANSCRIPTSOLD FORUMSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICY

BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Science Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOur Amazon.com SalesMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism BooksFACTS Book Selections

cron
Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2011. All rights reserved.
Website developed by MidnightCoder.ca
Display Pagerank