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thomas

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This is how poultry should be kept:

poultry01.jpg

A chicken farm in the US (photo credit: Reuters)

And this is how chicken have been kept for decades in Japan:

poultry02.jpg


And here's why:

¥ ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥


If it was up to Japan's poultry industry these miserable conditions would be preserved for decades to come. The bribery scandal involving the former Minister of Agriculture, Takamori Yoshikawa, could stir a renewed debate about animal welfare: "A recent graft scandal involving a former agricultural minister has catapulted the issue of animal welfare into the spotlight, illustrating the great lengths to which the nation’s poultry industry went to preserve its decades-old yet globally criticized practise of confining egg-laying hens in small cages. Ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Takamori Yoshikawa is in hot water amid allegations that he received ¥5 million in undeclared donations from a former head of Akita Foods Co. - a poultry giant based in Hiroshima Prefecture - several times during his stint as farm minister from October 2018 to September 2019. The donations to Yoshikawa coincided with growing international calls for animal welfare that many domestic farmers at the time saw as incompatible with, and even as an existential threat to, Japan’s poultry businesses."

Conventional battery cages often involve multiple hens being packed into a small wire cage, where they are unable to move around or extend their wings. The European Food Safety Authority has stated that these housing systems leave hens susceptible to disease, bone breakage and harmful pecking. The global trend is now increasingly toward abolishing them. The most prominent turning point in recent years was a full-fledged ban on battery cages put in place by the European Union in 2012. With the ban, many farmers in the EU have transitioned to so-called enriched cages that allow space for perches and nesting boxes. In a greater stride toward animal welfare, there has even been a growing shift in and beyond the EU toward fully parting with cages, with more and more farmers opting for free range or barn rearing systems.


The fallout from the scandal continued to grow Tuesday when Koya Nishikawa, also a former farm minister, suddenly resigned as a special Cabinet adviser amid criticism over his own intimate ties with Akita Foods.

 

Uncle Frank

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Years ago we had large chicken farms with the cages here in Maine. The owner was forced to close the farms and move out of state. Even worse than the chicken treatment , he used illegal aliens and had them living in horrible conditions. The things people do for money & power make you wonder about humanity.
 

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Hello Thomas:

While the bribery scandal is a separate and concerning item, you first photo is a bit misleading in that it suggest that caged chicken production in the US does not exist, when in fact it has been the norm. There has been a movement to ban cages for all layers raised in the US. However, currently, "the vast majority of egg-laying hens in the United States are confined in battery cages." (Cage-free vs. battery-cage eggs)


I am not sure about broilers (Putting the campaign to help broiler chickens on the front burner) but it tends to show a similar trend, BUT these steps are not in place yet.

From an "trade site" - very interesting perspective for broiler chikens

The current thinking is that consumers won’t accept cage use for raising broilers, but if the bird is only in the cage for five weeks, will consumers care? If five weeks is too long, what about some future date where birds are marketed at 28 days of age?


And a key and interesting point:
There are several major advantages of caging (from a cost performance/production point of view)



Cheers
 

Lothor

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Hello Thomas:

While the bribery scandal is a separate and concerning item, you first photo is a bit misleading in that it suggest that caged chicken production in the US does not exist, when in fact it has been the norm. There has been a movement to ban cages for all layers raised in the US. However, currently, "the vast majority of egg-laying hens in the United States are confined in battery cages." (Cage-free vs. battery-cage eggs)


I am not sure about broilers (Putting the campaign to help broiler chickens on the front burner) but it tends to show a similar trend, BUT these steps are not in place yet.

From an "trade site" - very interesting perspective for broiler chikens

The current thinking is that consumers won’t accept cage use for raising broilers, but if the bird is only in the cage for five weeks, will consumers care? If five weeks is too long, what about some future date where birds are marketed at 28 days of age?


And a key and interesting point:
There are several major advantages of caging (from a cost performance/production point of view)



Cheers
Well, there are obviously advantages of battery hens in terms of performance or they wouldn't have been widely adopted, but I'd like to think that we can move beyond such thinking into animal welfare, and only one of the advantages - reduced disease - addressed that.
 

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Hi Lother,

No disagreement there. In fact, I think the ethical production (which is what it is- we should call it what it is IMO- If you are want to eat meat, you should not couch you habits in euphemisms - be it organically raised, and free range... - Remember, they still end up in the pot)

But I digress (FIY- I eat meat)

but better production would raise prices - a good thing- and make more opportunities for other [protein sources, including insects, lab produced food, vegetarian alternatives, etc.)

The state of meat production is appalling in general to which I was addressing my previous post.

Cheerts
 

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The state of meat production is appalling in general to which I was addressing my previous post.

Cheers
I'm also hoping that meat through cell growth and increasingly sophisticated meat substitutes will make intensive animal farming a thing of the past very soon. FYI - I gave up meat a year ago, though still eat fish and dairy but would like to cut down on those too.
 
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thomas

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I'm also hoping that meat through cell growth and increasingly sophisticated meat substitutes will make intensive animal farming a thing of the past very soon. FYI - I gave up meat a year ago, though still eat fish and dairy but would like to cut down on those too.

I have always wondered whether people working in or profiting from the meat industry can sleep well at night.

Anyhow, hats off to you, Lothor. Does your family support you on your path to vegetarianism?
 

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My wife instinctively feels like a meal isn't a proper meal without dead flesh but she's not grumbled much. These days, working from home, I do almost all my own cooking and my wife cooks meat for her and the boys when she gets in from work. My older son thinks I'm weird. He also doesn't get the not eating meat!
 
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thomas

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Share this with your son:




I love the "In a nutshell" series of videos.
 

thomas

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Just a minor update on the original bribery scandal: one former top executive of Akita Foods Co., Yoshiki Akita, 87, was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison, suspended for four years. I couldn't find any information on whether the former agriculture minister Takamori Yoshikawa was formally charged with accepting bribes. He announced his resignation from the Diet, citing health reasons and saying he "will not be able to carry out activities that will fulfil the people's mandate". (Wikipedia).


And I'm glad to announce that my wife and I have also started walking the path of vegetarianism. We still need to learn a lot. Our first experiences with soy meat were quite appalling.
 

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Hi Thomas

Good luck with your choice. I think that one issue for many people about the vegetarian “path” - which would prefer to call a vegetarian diet choice is that it is often tied up with other things that is does not necessarily have to connected to.

The vegetarian path suggests that it needs to be / or is some enlightened choice. To my mind, that is for the reasons that it’s such a turn off for many people.

Imo in the west it is bundled with a smug molarism which is not consistent with the other aspects of western life. Vegetarianism as an ethical is also very absolute in the west. A horrid thing to have a steak every now an then but a flight for a weekend away is ok.

End of rant. Haha

Not directed at you.

Good luck with it but If you are not an absolutist, you could try mixing soil a burger with real burger in pasta sauces and sign and it’s quite edible.

Cheers
 

thomas

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The vegetarian path suggests that it needs to be / or is some enlightened choice. To my mind, that is for the reasons that it’s such a turn off for many people.

Imo in the west it is bundled with a smug molarism which is not consistent with the other aspects of western life. Vegetarianism as an ethical is also very absolute in the west. A horrid thing to have a steak every now an then but a flight for a weekend away is ok.

End of rant. Haha Not directed at you.

I would like to believe that our decision wasn't based on dogmatism or moralism but on all the reasons cited in the "Nutshell" video above (which I still recommend everyone to watch). Also, we have no intention to proselytise or to condemn carnivores. :)
 

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Also, we have no intention to proselytise or to condemn carnivores. :)
DEATH TO ALL CARNIVORES!!!

Seriously, well done and start off simply. For example, if you're making Japanese curry from those cubes, meat can very easily be substituted with a can of chickpeas, mushrooms, and other protein sources.
 

tomoni

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I would like to believe that our decision wasn't based on dogmatism or moralism but on all the reasons cited in the "Nutshell" video above (which I still recommend everyone to watch). Also, we have no intention to proselytise or to condemn carnivores. :)
Hi Thomas,

Thanks for your reply. But since I am always ready for a scrap- have at it!

All kidding aside, I do wish you good luck with this, as eating i) more healthily (which technically does not need to exclude meat - and IMO should include meat protein, in reality with how meat is normally served and consumed- cutting meat would probably be healthier in some ways) ii) in a more environmentally friendly way (sustainable if you prefer) and iii) ethically is always a good thing.

Best of luck!
 

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DEATH TO ALL CARNIVORES!!!

Seriously, well done and start off simply. For example, if you're making Japanese curry from those cubes, meat can very easily be substituted with a can of chickpeas, mushrooms, and other protein sources.
Ouch...

Actually, I take that back- I am not "always read for a scrap". haha

Great suggestions, and as a carnivore, I am always open to meat substitutes to some degree. Actually I guess that would make me an omnivore.

There are however (currently) still some avid reasons to eat meat (better protein source in spite of what soy people would say) and taste (and the funny thing for me is when people say it takes like beef or tastes like chicken. Seems meat is still the standard for good taste- haha) .

I definitely think we need some "SIN tax on meat" or a least passing of sustainable and environmental costs on to the producers (and ultimately the consumer). But before we get there, I would like to see higher costs for private jets among other things!!!!

Cheers

Peter
A reasonable CARNOVORE omnivore
 

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In order to save the world from cow , pig , lamb and chicken farts (methane gas) destroying the atmosphere and causing global warming , I will continue to eat these dangerous animals and save the world.


200.gif
 

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And I'm glad to announce that my wife and I have also started walking the path of vegetarianism. We still need to learn a lot. Our first experiences with soy meat were quite appalling.
In the U.S. I could do this but not in Japan. I mean come on... yakiniku, kushiyaki, shabu-shabu, carbonara, sushi, sashimi, gyu-don, unagi, oyakodon, kaisen-don.
Not to mention tonkatsu, tonkotu ramen, asari miso-shiru, kara-age, ebi tempura, negi-toro, nasu-miso
 

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Tomoni - I'm hoping that the rapidly developing technology of cell-based meat production will remove some of the arguments for eating animal-based meat that you pointed out. Still, nice to come across an informed omnivore. The fetishization of meat, particularly beef, in Japan is utterly depressing. No TV feature on travel in Japan seems to be complete without a close-up of someone popping bits of dead cow in their mouth.
mdchachi - I basically see the fight to prevent the world from environmental meltdown as being as urgent as the fight to protect your country in a war, and sacrifices are necessary in war. Intensive animal production has an enormous impact on the environment, and it's recently been argued to be far larger than previously thought (see this article - I was the proofreader!). Reducing or meat and dairy consumption is not a great sacrifice in the scheme of things.

 

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Tomoni - I'm hoping that the rapidly developing technology of cell-based meat production will remove some of the arguments for eating animal-based meat that you pointed out. Still, nice to come across an informed omnivore. The fetishization of meat, particularly beef, in Japan is utterly depressing. No TV feature on travel in Japan seems to be complete without a close-up of someone popping bits of dead cow in their mouth.
mdchachi - I basically see the fight to prevent the world from environmental meltdown as being as urgent as the fight to protect your country in a war, and sacrifices are necessary in war. Intensive animal production has an enormous impact on the environment, and it's recently been argued to be far larger than previously thought (see this article - I was the proofreader!). Reducing or meat and dairy consumption is not a great sacrifice in the scheme of things.

Hi Lothor

Thanks for your and and informed reply (and the interesting link).

> The fetishization of meat, particularly beef, in Japan is utterly depressing
I would go a step further and say the gluttony in general found on Japanese TV is depressing.

I agree that
>in Japan seems to be complete without a close-up of someone popping bits of dead asparagus in their mouth.

I think that the gluttony extends to all sorts of food (though beef is the Star!) in Japan.

Hi mdchachi

Yes, I am with you on the delicious taste of beef as well. I think that it is the overconsumption that is the main problem, which is encouraged by artificially suppressed pricing (subsidized corn feed as one example; and I mentioned before ignoring environmental impact when costing).

When I was a kid - middle class family - (oh no- old man stories), a steak was a super treat because it was expensive. But these days a steak can be bought fro 800 yen and up. But vegetable cost more.

Incidentally, veggies can also be a problem as their natural skins are replaced on a wider and wider scale but more convenient, pre-peeled and cut, wrapped in a plastic. :) (mdchachi, we have to fight back!! - haha)

Cheers
 

mdchachi

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our decision wasn't based on dogmatism or moralism but on all the reasons cited in the "Nutshell" video above
You do realize that virtually all activism these days starts with seemingly innocent videos on YouTube or other social media. Then the next thing that happens is that somebody gets radicalized and people get killed (or refuse to take vaccines). So I'm not going to view that video in case it breaks my willpower.
True story ... my niece became a vegan when she was 16 or 17 after watching videos, probably similar to this one. We all thought it was a phase that would quickly pass but she's still a vegan over 5 years later, bringing endless shame on the family. I heard she's relented and eats eggs now in the interests of her health/nutrition but they have to be the expensive type.
as urgent as the fight to protect your country in a war
This brings to mind this radio segment that I heard recently where a guy felt this way about climate change and ended up divorced and estranged from his kids. Don't lose sight of what's important...
Interesting article. It made me think though, perhaps cramming animals into small cages is actually better for the environment. The smaller footprint should result in less habitats destroyed and less energy consumption. I don't think that's the conclusion he intended. He spends a lot of time on animal agriculture but then his conclusion takes a leap to "we all must go vegan." I mean why not at least make an exception for meal worms? Or shrimp. I never hear anything about excess methane from shrimp farming.

I'm being a little tongue in cheek here. I'm not trying to have a debate as I can't argue against the point that factory animal farming is bad for the environment, animals and our health. But... in the words of Vincent from Pulp Fiction, bacon tastes good.
 

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You do realize that virtually all activism these days starts with seemingly innocent videos on YouTube or other social media. Then the next thing that happens is that somebody gets radicalized and people get killed (or refuse to take vaccines). So I'm not going to view that video in case it breaks my willpower.
True story ... my niece became a vegan when she was 16 or 17 after watching videos, probably similar to this one. We all thought it was a phase that would quickly pass but she's still a vegan over 5 years later, bringing endless shame on the family. I heard she's relented and eats eggs now in the interests of her health/nutrition but they have to be the expensive type.

This brings to mind this radio segment that I heard recently where a guy felt this way about climate change and ended up divorced and estranged from his kids. Don't lose sight of what's important...
Interesting article. It made me think though, perhaps cramming animals into small cages is actually better for the environment. The smaller footprint should result in less habitats destroyed and less energy consumption. I don't think that's the conclusion he intended. He spends a lot of time on animal agriculture but then his conclusion takes a leap to "we all must go vegan." I mean why not at least make an exception for meal worms? Or shrimp. I never hear anything about excess methane from shrimp farming.

I'm being a little tongue in cheek here. I'm not trying to have a debate as I can't argue against the point that factory animal farming is bad for the environment, animals and our health. But... in the words of Vincent from Pulp Fiction, bacon tastes good.
Mdchachi brings up an interesting point: perhaps cramming animals into small cages is actually better for the environment.

-and that is probably correct. So, one of the issues of the environment get attached to and perhaps over-ridden by the ethical considerations.

Everything is a trade off- perhaps it does not have to be- but in reality many things become a trade-off.

Which is more ethical, raising animals in cages, letting people in southern countries suffer from food shortages, saving "cute animals" vs the "uncute", reduced progress southern countries dictated by northern countries that already done their environment damage and continue to do and so on….

While I do not agree with all Mdchachi stay (even tongue in cheek), without agreement on priorities, action that is ethical and equitable can be elusive.

Cheers
 

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This brings to mind this radio segment that I heard recently where a guy felt this way about climate change and ended up divorced and estranged from his kids. Don't lose sight of what's important...
Interesting article. It made me think though, perhaps cramming animals into small cages is actually better for the environment. The smaller footprint should result in less habitats destroyed and less energy consumption. I don't think that's the conclusion he intended. He spends a lot of time on animal agriculture but then his conclusion takes a leap to "we all must go vegan." I mean why not at least make an exception for meal worms? Or shrimp. I never hear anything about excess methane from shrimp farming.
Giving up meat two years ago did nothing more than mildly irritate Mrs Lothor, who thought that "Greta made me do it"! Never mind the fact that I was vegetarian for a while in my 20s, long before I met her.

Anyway, regarding the cages. For chickens (where basically the choice is somewhere between large barns and battery farms because of their attractiveness to predators - see Thomas's photos), the difference in the land use between the two extremes is likely to be very small compared with the amount of land used to grow crops for chickens to eat. There are various estimates for how much land is required to feed a human and they tend to run into acres, so I assume that the amount needed for a chicken dwarfs the amount of space needed to give it freedom of movement in a large barn. I don't know about other animals, but I guess the situation is similar.

Tomoni - I didn't get the point you were making about letting people in southern countries suffer from food shortages. I would imagine that the freeing up the vast amount of land used in countries such as Brazil that is currently used to grow soya and other crops just to feed animals so that people in northern countries can have cheap meat would help increase food security for southern countries.
 

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Hi Lothor

I didn't get the point you were making about letting people in southern countries suffer from food shortages.

It was not a point about "food production" per say and the shift of resources, but rather that much is made of the ethics of food production, but the ethics issues are not consistent when more efforts are made for animal rights than for human rights, for cute animals versus the ugly ones and so on.

I will be more inclined to worry about the ethics of animal consumption when the ethics of death distribution (and to my mind other more pressing problems are addressed).

Sorry for the lack of clarity in my previous post. - Just musing out loud.
 

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I will be more inclined to worry about the ethics of animal consumption when the ethics of death distribution (and to my mind other more pressing problems are addressed).

I'm sorry, but I don't see why we cannot address both issues at the same time. As far as animal welfare is concerned, I subscribe to Gandi: *


The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

*The quote above is not by Gandi.

And I am pretty sure he referred to all animals, not just the cute ones.
 
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tomoni

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I'm sorry, but I don't see why we cannot address both issues at the same time. As far as animal welfare is concerned, I subscribe to Gandi:


The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

And I am pretty sure he referred to all animals, not just the cute ones.

Hi Thomas

I'm sorry, but I don't see why we cannot address both issues at the same time.


I am not being sarcastic but look around. In a perfect world...

I approach this from a more pessimistic point of view based upon of behavior of humans to date. If we we were able to address many issues at the same time and had the "character to do so (political will, moral courage, feeling of shared humanity), we would not be in the terrible situation that we are in now.

At best, I will hope that humanity can do enough not to cause ourselves to go extinct.

As far as Gandhi:

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.


Yes, but quoted as a a stand alone sentence shifts the meaning a bit to suggest that "animal rights" are his main concern. The moral "lesson" I think that he was trying to make is that because animals are complete under the control of society and unable to act to protect themselves, the society's treatment of them reflects upon the society. It does not exclude "humans", nor prioritize animals, IMO.

cheers
 
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