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BBSDTfamily's avatar

Has Anyone Read "SKINNY B!TCH" And Is Still Eating Meat?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6737 points ) April 6th, 2009

I found this book very informative and it inspired me to further research the meat industry. I haven’t been able to touch pork or beef since. Just wondering if this book affected others the same way, or if you took a different spin on it?

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85 Answers

casheroo's avatar

This girl I work with read it, and has been a vegetarian now vegan, since October. She keeps spreading the book around my work, I’m avoiding it. I like meat.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I loved meat too… especially ribeyes and bacon. If you have compassion at all for animals and want to become educated on how food makes it to your plate, read it! It’s up to you what to do afterwards.

ru2bz46's avatar

Mmmm…ribeyes and bacon! :P You struck a magical chord there!

I do have compassion for animals, and I abhor the way they are treated in the commercial meat system. I still eat meat, though. Am I a hypocrite? Not at all. I raise and/or hunt my own meat, or I buy it from friends/relatives who treat their animals with respect. I also prefer to kill, process and package my own meat, so I know exactly how it died and how the meat was handled.

crisw's avatar

@casheroo
“I’m avoiding it. I like meat.”

Would you say the same thing about any other practice that might be immoral? Do you avoid reading about Wal-Mart, for example, because you like shopping there? Don’t you think that plugging your ears about an issue and singing “La la la, I can’t hear you!” isn’t the best response to moral issues? Can you condone something immoral because you like doing it?

I haven’t read the book- hadn’t even heard of it. I’ll have to check it out, though.

jonsblond's avatar

We get a lot of our meat from the farm that my husband works at. He literally feeds the cows that we end up eating. I am one of the lucky ones who knows where their meat comes from.

That said, dairy cows suffer greatly. Where’s the call to stop drinking milk?

ru2bz46's avatar

@jonsblond I drink soy. :-)

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I agree with Jonsblond…. dairy cows have it the worst. Heart-breaking!

Likeradar's avatar

@jonsblond Can you link (either here or in a PM) for me some credible links about dairy cows? I’m not questioning you- I’m a veg because of animal abuse in the meat industry- I’d like to stop eating dairy and I need motivation.

jonsblond's avatar

@Likeradar I can provide a link in the morning. I’m stuck with the iPhone right now and have trouble doing so with this. I’ll have access to the laptop tomorrow. Sorry! I wish that I had blondesjon awake right now. He has learned a lot working on a farm the past 5 years. He’s a credible “link”. :)

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Read SKINNY BITCH by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. In a nutshell, besides being treated as money-making objects instead of living creatures, they are repeatedly artifically inseminated to keep them producing milk, then they are over-milked by metal tubes that leave sores on their teats (that is how the cow pus makes it into your milk). When they have the calves, they are taken away from the cows at a young age (males to go to veal which is cruel also) and many cows display violent signs of anger, confusion, and mostly grief when the calf is removed.

Likeradar's avatar

@BBSDTfamily Is organic milk made under the same conditions?

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Yes, “organic” only refers to the food that the cows are fed and the vaccinations…. healthier but still cruel in my book. Cow milk is SO fattening anyway… that is enough motivation for me!

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Likeradar Oh and I forgot to mention…. if you try soy/rice milk, you’ll most likely get used to it just like you became used to dairy milk. Most people I know of that’ve made the switch took about 2 weeks.

ru2bz46's avatar

@BBSDTfamily When I switched to soy, the change was instant. I like it.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@ru2bz46 Good for you! I am glad that you had such an easy adjustment!

Likeradar's avatar

@BBSDTfamily I’ve never even tried soy or rice milk… I pretty much never drink milk though. Cheese is a problem for me though! Which is more “milk-ish,” rice or soy?

ru2bz46's avatar

@casheroo Also, I going to agree with @crisw on the point she made. I know that will shock her. ;-) If you suspect something is wrong, you should read up on it to see if you can confirm your suspicions or lay them to rest. If you don’t like the way animals are treated in the industry, raise your own, find someone who does, or go hunting. If those options are not palatable to you, then you should consider giving up meat and/or dairy.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Likeradar My opinion is soy milk is the easiest to adjust to from dairy milk. There are fortified varieties that are WAY more healthier than diary…. oh my gosh, if you haven’t tried soy ice creams, buy some today! They are so less fattening (I don’t feel guilty about eating the whole pint!!) and SO GOOD!

crisw's avatar

One humane option for milk is to find a local farmer who has goats. I raise goats myself. I have never sold a goat for meat and never intend to, and there are quite a few other goat raisers who do the same. Goats really enjoy being milked (grain time!) and you can do it by hand- they also tend to have fewer milking-machine related problems than cows do. You also don’t have to separate the babies and the moms- many goat raisers let the babies stay in a “playground” with the other kids for part of the day, then milk the moms (who enjoy a little kid-free time to hang out with their friends) then let the babies back in with Mom for the rest of the day.

ru2bz46's avatar

Yes, my sister raises both goats and sheep. She is trying to do just as @crisw says, but one of her new lambs was trampled in a stampede of the other sheep. She’s using the extra goat milk to help nurse the lamb. Maybe next time she has kids will I get some goat milk from which to make yogurt and cheese. :P

asmonet's avatar

Read it.

I still eat piggies.

Big whoop.

asmonet's avatar

@BBSDTfamily: Not all dairy farms are like that, or animal farms for that matter. It varies from farm to farm. Just like any other system.

Kelly27's avatar

I haven’t read it, I might check it out someday but to be honest I like meat and I am not sure reading this book would change that for me.

crisw's avatar

@Kelly27
“to be honest I like meat and I am not sure reading this book would change that for me.”

I like meat too. I didn’t start hating it just because I became vegetarian- I just realized that I couldn’t morally defend eating it any more.

Kelly27's avatar

@crisw I realize all the moral issues surrounding this and I would be all for having better regulations and to find ways to make it more humane but I just know that for me personally I don’t think I could ever completely cut meat out of my diet.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@asmonet I never said “all farms” as in small country farms that produce for families or small communities… especially where I live there are many farms such as these where cattle graze in pastures all day long until they meet their doom. I was clearly referring to mass meat marketing, which is what I said I have a problem with.

SuperMouse's avatar

I read it and I still eat chicken, not as much as I used to though. I don’t eat beef or pork, but I never really ate those to begin with. I like rice milk better than cow’s milk so that was an easy switch for me.

Fast Food Nation had me off of fast food for a while, but I eventually went back to it, just like The Jungle had me swearing that there was no way I was ever going to eat a piece of meat again!

casheroo's avatar

@crisw Sorry, I guess I don’t fall for “sensational journalism”. I’m not going to read a book, trying to tell me how evil eating meat is. I’ve seen my husband butcher meat. I’ve talked to the farmers directly. I know the man who owns the best foie gras farm in Hudson Valley. I know exactly what happens to animals. It is a shame, but people need meat. We’re omnivores.
@ru2bz Yeah, I’m not going hunting, nor can I raise animals. But, I’ll still eat meat. I eat cage free chicken, and try to buy all natural meat….Maybe if it were more affordable, more people would buy organic.

My thing with this is, vegetarians/vegans are so fucking angry over how animals are treated, that they attack people who eat meat, instead of doing anything to fix the problem. Have any of you gone to congress and tried to fix the problem on how animals are treated? Have you gone and saved any animals from being treated inhumanely from a farm? What have you done, other than stop eating meat, and trying to berate people who do eat meat? Tell me that.

Also, cow milk is fattening, but children under 2 (between one and two) need that fat. Human breastmilk is best, but people seem to shun any children that are breastfed past 1, even though WHO recommends it up until 2 years old, not just to avoid another animals breastmilk.
A lot of people I talk to drink raw milk. I’m too freaked out to ever drink raw milk, but I hear it’s quite tasty and safe.

jonsblond's avatar

@Likeradar Here’s a link for you. Hope this is what you are looking for.

crisw's avatar

@casheroo
“What have you done, other than stop eating meat”
Well, let’s see here. I served on the board of an organization for about a decade. I’ve spoken on animal issues before the governments of several cities, counties, and states. I’ve visited legislators. I’ve run initiative campaigns. I’ve spoken to civic and political groups.

I could go on, but your intimation that “vegetarians do nothing” is incorrect and offensive. Although I have my qualms about Proposition 2 in CA, for example (which will eventually phase out battery cages for hens and farrowing crates for sows), it was passed almost entirely because of the hard work of many animal groups.

asmonet's avatar

To be fair, if you took a breakdown of the group as a whole, I’m sure it’s a very small percentage who actually have the same convictions as you crisw. And while it’s great you do it…their appearance and actions as a whole hasn’t caught up with you.

crisw's avatar

@asmonet
“And while it’s great you do it…their appearance and actions as a whole hasn’t caught up with you.”
The important thing that may be forgotten here is that what I do, or what anyone else does, to follow up on convictions is entirely irrelevant to whether or not those convictions are correct. If eating meat is immoral, it’s immoral no matter whether or not the person telling you so has leather shoes :>)

asmonet's avatar

Agreed, just…us meat eaters might take it a bit more seriously if we didn’t get yelled at more than approached and you know, no one was wearing those leather shoes. :P

crisw's avatar

@asmonet

I don’t think I’ve ever yelled at anyone for eating meat (although I will happily debate until your eyes or fingers fall off), and my favorite shoes are my strictly leather-free Tevas. Are we OK now? :>D

asmonet's avatar

Yeah, we’re good. :)

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@crisw I see you have decided that you know all there is to know about the meat industry. Since there are errors in your response, I encourage you to research it more thoroughly. Everyone should become educated on how their food gets to their plate, and it’s up to them to decide to be compassionate or not. Whether or not it is wrong, immoral, or whatever is a matter of opinion. That facts, though, are that animals have the capacity to love, they have a central nervous system and feel real fear and pain just like humans do. If it doesn’t matter to you, that’s your choice.

crisw's avatar

@BBSDTfamily

I’m a bit confused because you’re implying that I’m for the meat industry when, in fact, I’m an animal activist and a vegetarian of 26 years. Are you sure you’re talking to the right person? Which “errors” in my responses are you talking about?

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I am SO sorry crisw! I chose the wrong “c” from the list…. my post was in response to Casheroo. My apologies again, my friend!

casheroo's avatar

@BBSDTfamily I was wondering why you directed that to @crisw who is a vegetarian lol (or is it vegan?)
I know animals can love, I know they have feelings. Where did I say they didn’t? I love animals, but I also think some are meant to be eaten.
You implying that I am not compassionate, just because I eat meat..well, I’m sorry but if you’re going to come down to personal attacks then responding to you is not worth my time.

crisw's avatar

@casheroo
“some are meant to be eaten. ”
What, exactly, does that mean? And how is it an ethical justification, rather than a rationalization?

ru2bz46's avatar

@crisw I see it as a truism.

crisw's avatar

@ru2bz46

Something isn’t true unless you have evidence that it’s true. You don’t make it true just by saying so.

casheroo's avatar

@crisw Some as in some animals are meant for eating…example: cats are not for wating, cows are for eating.
I really don’t know what you want from me, I feel like you’re attacking me for my eating meat. I don’t see what the big deal is. Would you like every single person in the world to stop eating meat? Would you like us to stop milking cows, so they’re in severe pain? Would you let them just roam the streets? What would be your ideal vegetarian world?
I need meat, I’m human and we need meat. I’ll admit, not in the excess that some do, but mine is more of a once or twice a week sort of thing. My son gets more, for the iron intake. And I don’t agree with how the animals are treated, but I don’t have the time or energy to change that. I’m not passionate enough. All I can do is eat my natural hormone/antibiotic free meat, and hope they killed it humanely.

ru2bz46's avatar

@crisw From Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry: tru·ism
Pronunciation: \ˈtrü-ˌi-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1708
: an undoubted or self-evident truth ; especially : one too obvious for mention
— tru·is·tic \trü-ˈis-tik\ adjective

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@casheroo That’s the thing Casheroo… we don’t need meat… there is nothing that we get from meat that we cannot get elsewhere, therefore eating me is a choice and not a necessity. If we didn’t mass-produce cattle the way the meat industry requires us to do, there would be no need to milk cows and there certainly wouldn’t be any roaming the streets. We simply would have far fewer.

crisw's avatar

@casheroo
“I don’t see what the big deal is. ”
That’s the root of the problem. Sentient beings are suffering and dying so you can experience something pleasurable. I see that as unethical. I’m not attacking you; I’m questioning the morality of eating meat.

If you don’t agree with how the animals are treated but you still support the industry that treats them inhumanely, and if you wish not to learn more about the industry because, as you said above, you like meat, then you are, indeed, complicit in an unethical act.

The first resort that many people, when confronted with their own inconsistencies in how animals are treated, have is the same few arguments about cows running loose in the streets. These are, of course, mere diversions and not serious objections. As fewer people eat meat, fewer animals will be raised for it until, eventually none are. No bovines in Times Square! And, were that day to come, the planet would be much healthier for it- and so would we.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I agree with CRISW 100%. Many people say they don’t agree with the meat industry yet support it by buying their product (meat). The excuse I hear often is, “I won’t make a difference myself, so why bother changing my lifestyle?”. My reply is- If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.

casheroo's avatar

@BBSDTfamily When you say “we don’t need meat” are you referring to Americans, or all humans?
I don’t view myself as part of the problem, as I’ve stated repeatedly..I eat meat. I do not consume a large amount.
“If you are asking people in New York, London or Tokyo to reduce their meat consumption for the good of their health and the environment, that is reasonable.”
Reasonable is asking people to lower their consumption. Some humans do need meat.
“Livestock production remains an essential pathway out of poverty in many poor countries, where increasing consumption of animal products also helps reduce malnutrition among the poorest communities.”
source
I don’t eat enough meat to hurt the environment. I’ve just gone my research and I feel confident that my family is not part of the problem.

nayeight's avatar

I read that book. Well actually I listened to the audiobook, which was even worse because there are cows and pigs squealing in the background. Of freaked me out for about a week but then my mom made some amazing fried chicken and I got over it. Do I care if the chicken died humanely? No, not really, it’s dead. Then the next week I had a big juicy burger from Hardees . Did I care if it had all sorts of hormones in it? Sorta, but I still wanted to enjoy that burger. I’m not going to live my life eating nuts and tofu just because I feel bad that animals are being killed. They are being killed everyday, not just by us but by other animals. Life is short and I’d rather live my life enjoying all of the beautiful foods out there rather than wasting it by limiting myself to eating animal friendly foods when they are going to die anyway.

crisw's avatar

@nayeight
There’s another one of the fallacies that recurs again and again- “they are going to die anyway.” First of all, they are dying because of the people who support the industry that kills them- if the industry disappeared, they would not die. Secondly, would “they are going to die anyway” really be a good excuse, in any other situation, for condoning cruelty? Think about the ramifications of that one a bit.

Yes, life is short. And we have two choices in this life- to try and live as ethical a life as possible, having as little negative impact on the beings with whom we share this earth, or living just for short-term pleasures, no matter their impact on another. Do you really want to live in a world where everyone is only concerned with their own desires, no matter their impact? Who cares if the rainforests are burning? I want that hamburger. Who cares if children are working in sweatshops? I want my cheap Wal*Mart crap. Who cares if animals suffer hideously in a trap? I want my fur coat. Is that really how we want to live our lives?

nayeight's avatar

@crisw The whole world will never stop eating meat, let’s be realistic here. There will always be a meat industry – ethical or not. And I don’t think it’s unethical to eat animals. You do.

crisw's avatar

@nayeight
“And I don’t think it’s unethical to eat animals. You do.”
Well, that means that you must, then, have an ethical defense for eating animals. What is it?

nayeight's avatar

I really don’t besides the fact that they taste AMAZING! If I was a chicken, I would want to eat me too. Especially if I was cooking in a pot with yummy curry spices and veggies. I don’t see everything this in this right and wrong, black and white world that you do. Sometimes shit just makes you feel good and curried chicken makes me feel good. So I try not to think about the poor chicken that died with its throat half slit, hanging on some conveyor belt about to be boiled alive and I eat it anyway.

crisw's avatar

@nayeight

As I intimated above, I certainly hope that the refusal to think ethically doesn’t carry over into the rest of your universe.

If everyone were to abide by the rule “Do whatever you like if it makes you feel good, even if it harms others” this world would be a pretty awful place to live in. I would far, far rather live in a world where everyone actually gave some thought as to how their decisions impacted sentient beings than in one where such things are of no consequence. Hell, rape makes some people feel good- does that make it OK? Beating people up makes some people feel good- does that make it OK?

casheroo's avatar

i don’t get why people have to justify all their actions. i never ask people to justify every single action they make. someone thinks that they’re right, and have formed an opinion, they will not change it. i know that this happens to me with certain subjects, my view is the “different” one, but i still feel i am right. but i don’t feel the need to justify it to others, they can do as they please

crisw's avatar

@casheroo
” I don’t get why people have to justify all their actions”

Not all actions require justification- only those that have the potential to affect others. Any time that an action directly affects another, it requires justification. This should be fairly obvious from a logical standpoint- if we are free to harm others without justification, then ethics has little meaning. The burden of proof is on those who wish to commit an act that has potential to cause harm.

casheroo's avatar

Who am I harming? Animals? Animals are not humans. There’s your justification.
yes, they have feelings, yes they feel pain, but they are NOT humans.

nayeight's avatar

@ crisw You keep saying others like animals are other people, when they are in fact animals. They aren’t people. They don’t have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

nayeight's avatar

I don’t feel bad for the animals, I feel bad for you. Spending all this time on something that in the end, you really can’t prevent. Animals are going to die, some will be good deaths, some will be horrible ones. Either way they’re going to end up on someone’s plate if not yours. I’m getting bored with this, so good luck either way. I hope you save some pigs or something.

crisw's avatar

@casheroo
So what is the morally significant. ethically relevant difference between all animals, on the one hand, and all humans, on the other? Animals are sentient, can feel pain and experience pleasure, can have lives that can go better or worse for them. There are no morally relevant traits that paint a bright line between humans and all other animals.

asmonet's avatar

I’m gonna put it out there.

I completely agree with casheroo.

crisw's avatar

@asmonet
Care to attempt to answer the question I asked her?

asmonet's avatar

Not particularly, I’m in the middle of my cheeseburger.
NOM NOM NOM

ru2bz46's avatar

@asmonet Stop! You’re making me hungry!

asmonet's avatar

NOM NOM NOM
NOM NOM NOM
NOM NOM NOM

ru2bz46's avatar

@asmonet and @nayeight I’m meeting a friend here for a Squeezeburger tomorrow. NOM NOM NOM NOM (Main link: http://www.thesqueezeinn.com/)

asmonet's avatar

Yummy Meat Eaters = Win.

jonsblond's avatar

Can I read Skinny B!tch while eating a juicy bison burger?

asmonet's avatar

Yes, in fact…. I’ll join you.

charlie_salazar's avatar

I have The guys equivalent on my ‘to read’ pile, its called Skinny Bastard. Honest

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I agree that “commercially” produced meat is abusive to the animals, and also loaded with the chemicals used to fatten them quickly. I haven’t turned vegetarian though. We get our pork from our neighbor (her hogs live better than many humans), we raise our own chickens and a rifle puts venison in the freezer. We know exactly where our food comes from.
I do believe that we (in the US) eat far too much red meat. Besides the health effects of doing so, this is a staggering waste of feed and water to raise these animals. In the short term, we can go a long way towards mitigating climate change by eating less meat and converting the excess cropland to energy crops (feedstock for biodiesel or alcohol fuel), grown in a soil-conserving manner. We can also save a lot of energy by not eating out-of-season fuits and veggies that have been shipped thousands of miles. Root cellar, canning and freezing see us through the winter with no vitamin deficiencies.

philosopher's avatar

@BBSDTfamily
I have not eaten read meat in at least seventeen years. Organic Red meat has no antibiotics or hormones.
I eat only organic or minimally processed Bell and Evans chicken. I eat only wild fish. I eat tons of fruit and vegetables.
If you want to eat Red meat you; can find organic Red meat. Whole Foods has it. You can buy it on line.

jazmina88's avatar

cow pus in the milk>>> eeeeew….I like hemp milk…..kinda nutty.

Coloma's avatar

None of this is new news, there is no new news under the sun.

I was a raging, militant vegan back in the 70s.

Eat little meat still, buy free range and organic and…have passed the torch.

Never touch veal or fois gras and boycott down products as I keep geese and love them dearly.

I have also kept hens and eaten their eggs but not the chickens themselves.

There is no superiority….eat what you choose and listen to your body.

Idealism is great, but it can go too far….the middle path is where it’s at.

Great…don’t eat meat, but also take to heart that being a vegan with an over inflated ego doesn’t make you above it all.
It’s all old news with few changes in the last 35 years or so.

Old hippies know best.lol

thekoukoureport's avatar

A great book for you is Guns, Germs, and Steel. Which after reading you will learn that if we hadn’t domesticated animals, we would still be hunter gatherers and you would be asking this question with a drum or smoke signals. It’s nice that we in our society have the luxury of actually never being hungry, so that we can sing about the blessing of soy.

Aster's avatar

I’ve never seen rice milk. I hope it’s not as thick and sweet as this almond milk.

Uberwench's avatar

Can’t say that I’ve ever been convinced by propaganda—especially not poorly argued propaganda.

jlelandg's avatar

I watched that Dirty Jobs show and I recall that farm treating the cows quite well. I didn’t see any udder sores on any of the cows on the carousel.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Most of the people I know who read it had done so after or shortly before reading Lierre Keith’s “The Vegetarian Myth”, and therefore were smart enough to realize that industrial meat production isn’t the only way to get meat. They made their choices accordingly.

Nullo's avatar

@crisw Some people, like myself, derive their ethics from a faith that has given carte blanche on diet. No ethical quandaries there.

dabbler's avatar

If the point of not eating animals is compassion, then IMHO if you attack other people for eating meat you are missing the point.

SundayKittens's avatar

Just finished it. Vegan ever since, and I live and love in cattle country.

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