Just curious......

Tom4

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i just have a question i really want answered please, why is there vegan meat substitutes ?
 

rogerjolly

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Lou has given the reason for this. It is the profit motive. The vegan perspective is this:

Newbie vegans often find it hard to break the habits of a lifetime. They might be “comforted” by a vegan rasher that has red “meaty” bits and white “fatty” bits.

Established vegans are likely to find such food to be absolutely obnoxious because it is pretending to be something they find utterly abhorrent. Established vegans do not need to have “brown things” on their plates.

Vegans generally though do welcome faux meats in the supermarkets because they result in fewer animal deaths and less suffering.

But remember that such foods are considered to be junk….. more healthy than the “real” thing but not to be recommended.

Roger.
 
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Mischief

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There are long term vegans who like meat analogs. Many people find the flavors and textures of the foods they grew up with comforting. There's no reason to sneer at them for that.

Not eating meat analogs, or just eating whole foods, does not make one morally superior over other vegans.
 

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There are long term vegans who like meat analogs. Many people find the flavors and textures of the foods they grew up with comforting. There's no reason to sneer at them for that.

Not eating meat analogs, or just eating whole foods, does not make one morally superior over other vegans.

If people can eat them and still get enough nutrients otherwise from whole foods to stay healthy then more power to them. I don't eat faux meats but I do drink beer (which is obviously not a whole food) and am still much healthier (proof in the blood test) than before I went vegan. Moral/immoral in such areas only comes into play if too many indiscretions lead to problems/deficiencies and the person goes back to eating animal products. Non vegans often mock vegans who say "you didn't do it right". However, it is true you can "do it wrong", especially if one's diet is calorie or nutrient deficient by either not eating enough whole foods or only sticking to a very narrow type. For instance: Only fruits, or a majority of calories from fiber-deficient stripped grains too often and for too long.
 

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As someone who doesn’t usually offer comment on what people eat/don’t eat, I have said “you didn’t do it right” on several occasions. I don’t really know if there can be a true medical reason why someone would not be able to thrive on a vegetarian or vegan diet and I hate to judge, but I do think it can definitely be done wrong which would cause a person to feel sick and not thrive.
 

Bob Who

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The companies making these products aren't just marketing to vegans. Other people are potential customers for products. Anyone looking to reduce their meat consumption, trying to accommodate another person's vegetarian or vegan dietary preference , or may just be curious about the product, can use these in substitution in their own recipes, and may be more inclined to do so if it resembles familiar animal based ingredients.
 

Lou

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The companies making these products aren't just marketing to vegans. Other people are potential customers for products. Anyone looking to reduce their meat consumption, trying to accommodate another person's vegetarian or vegan dietary preference , or may just be curious about the product, can use these in substitution in their own recipes, and may be more inclined to do so if it resembles familiar animal based ingredients.

I think the companies making these products are not marketing to vegans. and never have. Sheesh. It would have been dumb to market a food to just a few percent of the population. especially when vegans were just hippies who just made all their own stuff from beans.

Heck, until just a year or so, most of these products weren't even vegan. I remember back in the day looking thru the frozen patties and only finding Boca burgers to be vegan. Quorn used eggs. and most of the others either contained eggs or cheese.

But there definitely has been a sea change. Putting Vegan on your label is now considered a good thing. I guess even increasing your market by a small percent can be a difference-maker. Vegan used to be a word that the marketers avoided. Now it seems that they like it.

When you flip on the TV and see some long line outside a restaurant to get vegan food, I doubt there are more than a few vegans in that line.

The positive take away is that regular people have gotten the message to decrease meat consumption and look at these products as a way to do it.
 
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Tom4

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thanks for all the responses 👍🏽 i don’t think i could stop eating meat completely but i agree with your points. i eat chicken, fish and beef all sourced locally as i’m an agricultural engineer so i know a lot of small scale farmers round my area, i know they treat the livestock well and i catch fish myself, do any of you believe there is a more sustainable way of eating meats in that we don’t harm the environment as much ?
 

Emma JC

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thanks for all the responses 👍🏽 i don’t think i could stop eating meat completely but i agree with your points. i eat chicken, fish and beef all sourced locally as i’m an agricultural engineer so i know a lot of small scale farmers round my area, i know they treat the livestock well and i catch fish myself, do any of you believe there is a more sustainable way of eating meats in that we don’t harm the environment as much ?

As this is a vegan forum, it is unlikely that you find anyone here with suggestions for eating animals in a more sustainable way. It is challenging to eat an animal without harming the animal, it is difficult to eat animals without harming yourself and eating "less" animal products is about the only thing more helpful for the environment than eating no animal products at all which is, of course, our recommendation.

As you are an agricultural engineer I imagine that you can tell us all how much more sustainable it would be for humans to simply eat the plants that are fed to the animals. How many gallons of water it takes to produce one pound of animal flesh for human consumption? the ratio of energy used/lost from the seed to the table when the plants are processed through animal digestive systems and then their flesh is consumed by humans?

I am sure that all the local fish, chicken and cows are so happy to know that they are dying so that locals can eat them and that their flesh doesn't have to travel too far before being made into dinner. Sorry for the sarcasm there.

Thank you for coming to visit with us here and we hope that if you stick around that you will be able to realize, for yourself, that there is no need to eat animals. The animals you are eating eat plants, most of the largest animals on earth eat only plants, let's cut out the middleanimal and just eat the plants ourselves, no?

Emma JC
 
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Lou

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As this is a vegan forum, it is unlikely that you find anyone here with suggestions for eating animals in a more sustainable way
Emma JC

Somewhat beside the point, but we recently had our little "like buttons" revamped. and although I had been initially happy with the new system, I can now see a need for a "Double Love" button. Cause Emma deserves one.

❤️❤️❤️
 

Lou

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(is there) a more sustainable way of eating meats in that we don’t harm the environment as much ?

Leaving aside the ethics and health issues and since you asked the question with the phrase "more sustainable" -- Of course, there is. the present industrial agriculture system sucks so hard you would be hard-pressed to invent a less sustainable way.

Last year I read the book The Omnivores Dilemna and was very taken with a system described as Slow Food. I would hope that as an Ag Eng you would have heard of it. Maybe even studied it. But it also wouldn't surprise me if it was never mentioned at all. I believe it originated in Italy a hundred years ago so maybe you would have learned about it in a history of agriculture class. Or a survey class.
Anyway if you haven't read the book, I do recommend it. Slow food isn't vegan because it does involve livestock. but I found the book a real pleasure to read regardless.
In the Omnivore's Dilema the slow food movement was represented by a trip to Polyface farm and conversations with Joel Salatin.
The Slow Food Movement does have several headquarters in England so I think you could very easily find out more with just a little googling. I've also included some links at the bottom.



 
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Tom4

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i notice someone said about the amount of water it takes to raise stock etc, most farmers i know have dug wells and their pushing for their farms to be self sufficient so taking water from rivers or wells they don’t always use the mains water like we do, solar power etc, i used to work in a horticultural sector on an industrial scale and they had 3 huge burners constantly burning wood chippings to heat the greenhouses which has a terrible effect on the environment, not to mention the water needed for plants that is taken from the grid, and even the use of chemicals to make sure no insects are able to consume the plants. we actually used to release 1000’s of insects into the greenhouses to then slaughter a week later with chemicals as by this time they will have done what they needed to do. plant based diets aren’t ethical either on the mass scale they are produced. in my opinion, the movement should be aimed more towards industrial scale farming and not so much towards farmer fred who’s just trying to feed his family. i haven’t heard of slow food movement but i shall look into that 👍🏽
 

Emma JC

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These stats are from 2014

A 1/3-pound burger requires 660 gallons of water. Most of this water is for producing beef (see below).

1 pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water, which includes irrigation of the grains and grasses in feed, plus water for drinking and processing.


1 slice of bread requires 11 gallons of water. Most of this water is for producing wheat (see below).

1 pound of wheat requires 132 gallons of water.

1 gallon of beer requires 68 gallons of water, or 19.8 gallons of water for 1 cup. Most of that water is for growing barley (see below).

1 pound of barley requires 198 gallons of water.

1 gallon of wine requires 1,008 gallons of water (mostly for growing the grapes), or 63.4 gallons of water for 1 cup.

1 apple requires 18 gallons of water. It takes 59.4 gallons of water to produce 1 cup of apple juice.

1 orange requires 13 gallons of water. It takes 53.1 gallons of water for 1 cup of orange juice.

1 pound of chicken requires 468 gallons of water.

1 pound of pork requires 576 gallons of water.

1 pound of sheep requires 731 gallons of water.

1 pound of goat requires 127 gallons of water.

1 pound of rice requires 449 gallons of water.

1 pound of corn requires 108 gallons of water.

1 pound of soybeans requires 216 gallons of water.

1 pound of potatoes requires 119 gallons of water.

1 egg requires 53 gallons of water.

1 gallon of milk requires 880 gallons of water, or 54.9 gallons of water for 1 cup. That includes water for raising and grazing cattle, and bottling and processing.

1 pound of cheese requires 600 gallons of water. On average it requires 1.2 gallons of milk to make 1 pound of cheese.

1 pound of chocolate requires 3,170 gallons of water.

1 pound of refined sugar requires 198 gallons of water.

1 gallon of tea requires 128 gallons of water, or 7.9 gallons of water for 1 cup.

1 gallon of coffee requires 880 gallons of water, or 37 gallons of water for 1 cup. “If everyone in the world drank a cup of coffee each morning, it would ‘cost’ about 32 trillion gallons of water a year,” National Geographic notes.

Emma JC
 

Emma JC

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Here is a great 3.5 minute video, I just watched, of Dr Neal Barnard addressing this topic head on and so succinctly and beautifully (or is that handsomely lol).

Emma JC

 
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Lou

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Here is a great 3.5 minute video, I just watched, of Dr Neal Barnard addressing this topic head on and so succinctly and beautifully (or is that handsomely lol).

Emma JC


On my bookshelf, I still have my Diet For a Small Planet, that I bought in '76.
 
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Forest Nymph

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I hated most meat as a child, and I became vegan four years ago and I still like "meat analogs." Honestly I think there's some pretentiousness in the, uh, vegan community, about this.

I remember the first time I had a vegan buffalo chkn ranch wrap at Native Foods in LA. I said, this is what I always wanted chicken to taste like. I have never forgotten that. I also have a friend who eats chicken and fish (no red meat "for the environment") and she also prefers vegan nuggets to chicken nuggets.

I love Tofurky and Field Roasts. I don't want to eat it every day, but I go through phases. I legitimately eat more tofu though.

I think vegans who act like meat analogs are disgusting or beneath them aren't helping anyone. You don't like the taste or texture, fine, but acting like it psychologically scars you to eat Gardein gets on my ******* nerves.

That said, the closer an analog gets to meat, the less I have enjoyed it. I like Beyond Burgers a lot less now that they're "improved" to be "meatier." It really did turn me back towards (admittedly also cheaper) veggie burgers made out of things like grains, mushrooms and nuts.

Vegans and vegetarians are human. They enjoy familiar cultural foods, but don't want to hurt animals in the process.

A better question I challenge you to ask is: why do nuggets, patties, hot dogs, and fish fingers look so little like the animal they came from, and why do children specifically prefer those foods? Could it be because many people didn't want to stare at a fish eye, chicken bone, or pig's head to remind them of what they were eating?
 
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Forest Nymph

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I think the companies making these products are not marketing to vegans. and never have. Sheesh. It would have been dumb to market a food to just a few percent of the population. especially when vegans were just hippies who just made all their own stuff from beans.

Heck, until just a year or so, most of these products weren't even vegan. I remember back in the day looking thru the frozen patties and only finding Boca burgers to be vegan. Quorn used eggs. and most of the others either contained eggs or cheese.

But there definitely has been a sea change. Putting Vegan on your label is now considered a good thing. I guess even increasing your market by a small percent can be a difference-maker. Vegan used to be a word that the marketers avoided. Now it seems that they like it.

When you flip on the TV and see some long line outside a restaurant to get vegan food, I doubt there are more than a few vegans in that line.

The positive take away is that regular people have gotten the message to decrease meat consumption and look at these products as a way to do it.

I mostly agree with you, but meat analogs have been around for about 100 years and yes they were targeted at vegetarians and vegans, principally by Seventh Day Adventist companies like Kellogg's (originally cereal products were intended as an American vegetarian alternative to eggs and bacon, and variety away from oatmeal), Loma Linda and Morning Star foods. Their goal wasn't domination of the capitalist market, but discouraging people from eating meat for religious or health reasons, so they didn't care that the population was relatively small.

Loma Linda was vegan at least forty years ago, as PETA founder Alex Pacheco was observed to enjoy Big Franks straight from the can in the early 1980s. I know Morning Star was vegetarian, but the vegan Boca burger has been around since the early 00s, at least maybe longer.
 
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Lou

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A better question I challenge you to ask is: why do nuggets, patties, hot dogs, and fish fingers look so little like the animal they came from, and why do children specifically prefer those foods? Could it be because many people didn't want to stare at a fish eye, chicken bone, or pig's head to remind them of what they were eating?

That is a great question. Maybe it should be its own thread or two.
I also remember reading or listening to someone go on about this. My guess it was Colleen Patrick Goudreau. it was a long time ago so I can't remember.

There is a cultural thing wrapped up in there too. Chinese families serve fish with the head still attached. I've only seen it in movies but the pig with an apple in its mouth.

In the NE Soft shell crab is served on toast with their little legs hanging off the side. In many places, crabs are served in the shell and you have to crack them open yourself. And let's not forget the lobsters.

In one episode of the West Wing, Leo was telling Sam that he had to stop taking his daughter to seafood places cause the first thing she would do is go over to the lobster tank and name all the lobsters. and then no one wanted a lobster.

But they don't make chicken nuggets in the shape of chickens or chicken parts. Although Dr. Praeger's has a fish stick shaped like fish and also has a whole line of veggie patties shaped like dinosaurs and stuff.

And of course, there are animal crackers.
 
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