Graham Hill: Why I’m a weekday vegetarian

| February 14, 2012 | 25 Comments

www.ted.com We all know the arguments that being vegetarian is better for the environment and for the animals — but in a carnivorous culture, it can be hard to make the change. Graham Hill has a powerful, pragmatic suggestion …TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http Watch a highlight reel of the Top 10 TEDTalks at www.ted.com
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  1. crudhousefull says:

    Probably did more to reduce meat intake than all the pure veggie presentation. I was a vegetarian for 3 months and now I started eating meat again. Wish me luck folks…the next time will hopefully be for much longer

  2. NeutralExistence says:

    @void110

    Who said we have to keep breeding/killing them, you seem to be missing my point…. I am all for us searching for less harmful solutions to our food problems, but I am stating that it needs to be a gradual process, otherwise everything is going to be effected. One cant change 100+ thousand years of diet in a couple years time, we need to think of alternatives, and maybe instead of risking loosing these species, we could help them back into nature slowly.

  3. NeutralExistence says:

    @void110

    That “piece of chemistry” is the building blocks for all life as we know it, one cant really even try to contrast our newly formed consciousness to DNA, which has taken many a millennium to reach its state of perfection. You think its better to moralize, then rationalize? I think the definition of intelligence is quite subjective frankly, for I know cellular life can problem solve, and personally consider the pro-creation of life in itself to be intelligence.

  4. void110 says:

    @NeutralExistence Survival and reproduction is all that matters to a piece of chemistry which can accurately be described as a virus (DNA).

    Unlike DNA we have intelligence and the ability to empathise. Surely the greatest thing ever to be produced by blind natural forces.

    Killing (or preferably neutering) the last remaining factory cows would be worse than continuing to breed and kill them in far greater numbers and keeping the factory farms going? I think not.

  5. NeutralExistence says:

    @void110

    Well existence is a good one, living… On a biological level, the only thing that matters is creating more successful copies of one’s cell’s. To take it above that can hinder a species existence, we have proven this many a time…

    I suppose you assume we wont find some other purpose for the millions of cows we have if we just all of a sudden stopped eating them? I don’t even want to imagine what all the “cow factories” would figure out as a good solution…

  6. void110 says:

    @NeutralExistence What value is there in keeping species going from the point of view of the members of a species? Do you think the last two pandas on earth will know or care that they are the last of their kind?

    99% of the species which have ever existed are now extinct.

    The welfare of conscious beings (human and otherwise) is all that matters. Conservation is a massive waste of time and resources.

  7. NeutralExistence says:

    @void110

    In no way was that an argument supporting the treatment of domesticated bovine, but one must consider how to best go about changing the mentality of man gradually, as to reduce the risk of destroying entire species. Like I said look how we treat the things we don’t eat, simply turning into vegetarians isn’t going to stop the suffering of these animals, nor will it change the mentality that made us think these actions are okay.

  8. void110 says:

    @NeutralExistence If we didn’t eat cows there would be less of them bred. Less of them to suffer needlessly and die largely for human desires, not needs.

    Extinction means nothing to extinct species since non-existent beings can’t suffer or be deprived of anything.

    It’s down to human vanity why we arbitrarily keep species going, not animal welfare.

    I could torture you for the rest of your life but it’s okay because I’d be keeping you alive, right? That’s your logic.

  9. crudhousefull says:

    Probably did more to reduce meat intake than all the pure veggie presentation. I was a vegetarian for 3 months and now I started eating meat again. Wish me luck folks…the next time will hopefully be for much longer

  10. NeutralExistence says:

    @void110

    Who said we have to keep breeding/killing them, you seem to be missing my point…. I am all for us searching for less harmful solutions to our food problems, but I am stating that it needs to be a gradual process, otherwise everything is going to be effected. One cant change 100+ thousand years of diet in a couple years time, we need to think of alternatives, and maybe instead of risking loosing these species, we could help them back into nature slowly.

  11. NeutralExistence says:

    @void110

    That “piece of chemistry” is the building blocks for all life as we know it, one cant really even try to contrast our newly formed consciousness to DNA, which has taken many a millennium to reach its state of perfection. You think its better to moralize, then rationalize? I think the definition of intelligence is quite subjective frankly, for I know cellular life can problem solve, and personally consider the pro-creation of life in itself to be intelligence.

  12. void110 says:

    @NeutralExistence Survival and reproduction is all that matters to a piece of chemistry which can accurately be described as a virus (DNA).

    Unlike DNA we have intelligence and the ability to empathise. Surely the greatest thing ever to be produced by blind natural forces.

    Killing (or preferably neutering) the last remaining factory cows would be worse than continuing to breed and kill them in far greater numbers and keeping the factory farms going? I think not.

  13. NeutralExistence says:

    @void110

    Well existence is a good one, living… On a biological level, the only thing that matters is creating more successful copies of one’s cell’s. To take it above that can hinder a species existence, we have proven this many a time…

    I suppose you assume we wont find some other purpose for the millions of cows we have if we just all of a sudden stopped eating them? I don’t even want to imagine what all the “cow factories” would figure out as a good solution…

  14. void110 says:

    @NeutralExistence What value is there in keeping species going from the point of view of the members of a species? Do you think the last two pandas on earth will know or care that they are the last of their kind?

    99% of the species which have ever existed are now extinct.

    The welfare of conscious beings (human and otherwise) is all that matters. Conservation is a massive waste of time and resources.

  15. NeutralExistence says:

    @void110

    In no way was that an argument supporting the treatment of domesticated bovine, but one must consider how to best go about changing the mentality of man gradually, as to reduce the risk of destroying entire species. Like I said look how we treat the things we don’t eat, simply turning into vegetarians isn’t going to stop the suffering of these animals, nor will it change the mentality that made us think these actions are okay.

  16. void110 says:

    @NeutralExistence If we didn’t eat cows there would be less of them bred. Less of them to suffer needlessly and die largely for human desires, not needs.

    Extinction means nothing to extinct species since non-existent beings can’t suffer or be deprived of anything.

    It’s down to human vanity why we arbitrarily keep species going, not animal welfare.

    I could torture you for the rest of your life but it’s okay because I’d be keeping you alive, right? That’s your logic.

  17. masusomasuso says:

    lame & TED unworthy

  18. NeutralExistence says:

    @jessiebrickley

    How do you think they would be kept if we didn’t eat them? Look how we treat things we don’t eat, I am sure a lab monkey would love to trade places with the cow. I think the cows have it pretty good compared to the monkeys who are tested on, and put through all sorts of cruel bullshit. At least when its food we have that little bit of guilt to keep us from making it go extinct. Stopping eating them would make entire cow species disappear, or worse.

  19. jessiebrickley says:

    @NeutralExistence Cows kept in terrible environments, being fed food their stomachs weren’t ever supposed to process, polluting the environment and using a significant amount of water vs no cows being born, raised and slaughtered within the system? I choose no cows. Organic, grass fed cattle will never be able to feed the same number of people that intensively farmed cows do, so clearly a change must occur in the choices of consumers. We must change our methods of farming, as well as our diets.

  20. IWantSoundKnowledge says:

    Vegan!!!!!!

  21. NeutralExistence says:

    @acousticatmosphere

    I guess the hardest part is to change within, and if people are truly able to give up a meat eating lifestyle then no doubt we will see things change fast. Personally however I think that organic methods of farming etc.. are a better method then stopping eating meat altogether, since that would also eliminate our need for the animals. We must change our methods of farming, instead of our diets, or at least that seems the most efficient.

  22. acousticatmosphere says:

    @nerdymom2 yes I am aware anything can be purchased. I love to cook nonetheless. Thanks anyway

  23. nerdymom2 says:

    @acousticatmosphere no you can just buy vegan cheese. go to your local health food store and ask the worker their. its basically dairy free cheese.

  24. acousticatmosphere says:

    @nerdymom2
    I have yet to try it or make it for that matter! Got a got recipe? ;0)

  25. acousticatmosphere says:

    @NeutralExistence and do nothing to defend against it. We as a species should not and cannot afford to cause such destruction, especially with the exponential population expansion and loss of the worlds natural ecosystems. Any steps towards the reducing of suffering to me seems like a good thing. Sometimes logically things need to be taken in steps, despite how frustratingly obvious the answers seem to be. Thanks for being like minded.

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