Feb 4, 2010


I wasn't even going to blog about the Mercy For Animals dairy investigation. I figured enough had been said about it: ABC'sWorld News Tonight with Diane Sawyer and Nightline,CNN, and hundreds of newspapers, radio and television news networks from coast-to-coast featured the investigation, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and Forbes. But when my comments were restricted from being heard on the Dairy Goddess blog site I am compelled to reply here. However before doing so, I must say, in all my blogging - or communicating in any form -I've never attempted to silence my opponents viewpoint. I've invited everyone no matter what their opinions. I've never omitted, refused, trashed or deleted any one's input - Even if some comments are embarrassing to the author. I figure, if my position is worthy it will stand up to any critic and hold its own merit. I really don't know why my comments were snuffed by the Dairy Goddess blog. It's not like it costs the blog owner time, or money - or even noticeable bandwidth. And I wasn't untruthful, irrelevant, vulgar, disrespectful, brash or crude either... My guess is I might have come too close to airing the dirty laundry about animal agriculture and how it is not only unnecessary, but hinders our progress into the future. So on those comments that were censored - I post my rebut here: In response to Brett who said that he believes that God created mankind first and then animals, and that man should rule over them and care for them. I argue that this position has many flaws. Whose "gOd"? Whose bible? This hierarchical system of "domination" was written by men to benefit men, "high priests" and kings. And we can see a continuation of such a structure in today's economics where countless favors are granted to "shepherds" of factory farms and animal industry as a whole. There are many people who believe in the Christ man and see him as one whose philosophy was rooted in kindness. Many believe he was an Essene and walked with the Desert Fathers who lived on flat breads, fruits and seeds. And that the Christ man went into a rage at the Holy Temple because of the brutalizing and slaughter of the helpless. All this would be consistent to the teachings of a man who advocated non-violence and love to Others. Many believe that the caring of innocent nonhumans does not include feasting on their tender flesh... Actually, I pointed out to Brett that many refer to Genesis 1:29-30 (King James Version) "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so". Brett also said "We humans are on a different moral plane. In my world view, cattle’s purpose is food. God created them for us. Just like the hawk we need meat as well. I’m not a nutritionist, but I say look no farther than our teeth. Our incisors in the front were made to eat meat, while our molars in the back were made to chew. God made us to eat both." The idea that animals were created for the purpose of man's "use" calls to mind some other archaic views: Like other races were made for whites to use; And women were made for men... And the purpose of children was to be extra "hands" on the farm... etc. I hold that every living being has their own "purpose". That each of us owns but one prized thing and that is our lives. And to steal this possession for frivolous wants is indefensible. And I do not embrace this belief on any disputable, or possibly contrived words written on paper or stone, but because of a belief in the value of fairness and compassion. I pointed out that the hawk is following an imperative to survive... That biologically he has no alternative but to devour his prey. But that man, in contrast, can thrive on a plant based diet: From The American Dietetic Association: An appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. And my last comment to Brett was that I thought it was ironic that he should begin his argument based on the questionable "will" of a deity and conclude his position based in "science". But my science is: The Comparative Anatomy of Eating. by Milton R. Mills, M.D For isn't it possible that our ethics have evolved quicker than our dentures? Who bases their morals on molars anyway??? The only thing I failed to include was that no one will betray their faith if they refuse to kill or eat animals. The other participant that I never fully got to engage was writenowbiz, who thought procedures done to cows should be acceptable because: "if consent is needed then we must immediately stop spaying and neutering pets – " I say: There's a world of difference between a procedure that is done to protect an animal from harm... And one that is done to further the financial benefit of the "owner", no matter how benign. S/he also said "It seems what the view of wrong is seems a bigger issue. To you it’s wrong to use animals – to the majority of the population it isn’t." And I found this very troubling as I don't subscribe (and with good reason) to what mob rule might endorse. Just because a large group thinks or acts a certain way, does not make that way correct. Justifications that anchor themselves in crowd-think or "tradition" fall in line with ideas that "might makes right". And I sincerely don't believe that's so. Finally, writenowbiz concluded: "No matter what we eat – I don’t see many oats or soy or carrots jumping onto a plate by themselves either – they too must die for people to live." And this is similar to the time-worn "theory" that plants feel pain. To which I respond that even if someone is concerned about the "suffering of plants" they would still cause less harm by eating the plants directly, rather than fattening nonhumans in order to eat them. And that there is a world of difference between the accidental deaths of animals during crop harvesting and the deliberate breeding and slaughter of 10 billions of animal for the sake of "meat". I also interjected that we should be exploring greenhouse expansions, vertical farms, urban gardening, barge cropping technology and humanure just to name just a few alternatives to animal eating. I concluded that our differing views divide us into those who expoloit captive subjects... And others who are repelled by such an idea. And that if one truly wishes to strive for a better world... Peace begins on your plate. photo: Washday- my backyard


veganprimate said...

I love it when people talk about our incisors as proof that we should be eating meat. Have they never had a pet cat or dog? I mean, seriously. My cat's "canines" are huge and seriously sharp. My puny little incisors couldn't do what a true carnivores teeth could do. Humans need their meat precut and cooked. I'd like to see a human tear into an animal that was completely intact...like break through their tough skin with their human teeth. It's real easy to claim you have meat eating teeth when you do all the prep work with a really sharp knife.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi veganprimate! So true about teeth! Frankly I'm exhausted by that argument... What if we based all our morality on what our bodies were or weren't capable of... Surely we can all make fists - and we see where that "logic" leads to!

Thanks for the voice of reason and for all you do! :)

Anonymous said...

Bagged, cut up salads full of bacteria, oh i thought just meat had that problem. Seems it was also the pepper put on the salami that made that bad too, oh you vegans need to find something wothwhile to do with all your spare time and money.

Bea Elliott said...

Funny thing about the pepper... thousands of tons of "pepper" - yet no other product recall other than "meat"... Strange isn't it?

And as far as finding something to do with spare time... PLEASE do so and quit wasting my time here!

Smokey said...

Hi Bea!
I followed over from Civil Eats to respond to your comment to me. Cool site, very informative.

I respect your views and your personal choices...I truly do.

As for raising beef, well, it is what I do. As for eating meat..."man" has done so since the dawn of time. The difference today is the production quantity AND the production methods. From caveman up until the turn of the 19th century, meat production was localized, managed, and sustainable...plus the animals "free ranged" on their natural diets.

The absolute inhumane cruelty of the animal production system is unfathomable...If meat is to be an indelible part of the human (and pet) diet, and it is, then some of us have an obligation to treat the livestock humanely and respectfully. This includes their care and feeding as well as using, As you put it, those who know the fine art of the hangman's knot.

But do understand this...I am a huge advocate against industrial farming and the commercial meat packing system, I will not accept abject cruelty.

Now, having said that, I want you to know that I heartily respect your personal choices and your right to advocate against what I do. My personal choice is to raise cattle and to advocate the methods I see as worthy of my voice.


Anonymous said...

You are an amazing writer. You can back yourself up in any situation it seems like. Thank you for this amazing blog. I highly enjoy reading posts similar to my own thoughts, except beautifully put. Keep up the amazing activism. Have high hopes for the future. =D

Anonymous said...

Just to be very, very clear...that comment was intended for Bea Elliott...NOT Smokey or anyone else. Ok thanks. =)

Smokey said...


Just out of curiosity...the chickens in your yard, why do you have them and what do you do with the eggs (assuming they do lay eggs)

Bea Elliott said...

Hello Smokey - When you say "raising beef, well, it is what I do"... Surely anyone could say that about anything that might be questionable: (fill in the blank), "well, it is what I do". What one does should be based in something besides monetary gain - Yes? Especially when lives are at stake...

And the idea that man has done something since the beginning of time, therefore should continue to do such is certainly not always the best practice. Further, I believe man has always been an opportunistic omnivore. There is evidence that many civilizations lived entirely on what roots, seeds and plant matter they could find or grow. Our "herding" culture really isn't that old at all.

And there's also the anatomical arguments:
Or this version "The Comparative Anatomy of Eating" by Milton R Mills, MD

I'd like to think our ethics have evolved beyond our dentures... So I disagree that "meat" should be an indelible part of human OR pet diet. My dog is vegan and very healthy... :)

And that's wonderful that you have no problem with me advocating NOT to kill animals... Very generous of you. But, I'm sorry - I cannot offer you the same in kind without immense criticism and disagreement --- You see, I do not think it is your moral right to needlessly kill innocent beings.

I was taught to speak for the disenfranchised and the exploited. That "Golden Rule" can be a bugger sometimes!

Finally - regarding the hens... A lovely flock they are! Why do I have them? The place where they came from was about to gas 850,000 birds --- They had become less "productive"... I rescued as many as I could... Two also came from a "shelter"... They were the result of a class "live chicken/egg" project and had also served "their purpose"... They were scheduled to be killed as well... So, it's obvious why they're here: Their lives matter.

Yes, they do lay eggs... Most of which I feed back to them --- They devour their own eggs! It replenishes the calcium they loose having their "period".

I give some eggs away to friends and neighbors... Letting them all know the "system" from which the chickens came from... Many have met the flock and can't believe the fate of "factory" hens. Strange how this flock of refugees wound up being such a "voice" for their less fortunate sisters.

These folks have been encouraged to reduce/eliminate eggs, but - Most are seniors... And reluctant to change --- However, with each dozen, comes a brochure that includes other animal "wrongs"... Many have cut down not only on eggs consumption but other animal products as well... And their health has greatly improved as a side benefit. I am converting my neighborhood and community - house by house! :)

@dinosaurobot - Thank you so much!!! What a delight! Wonderful to welcome a voice of reason! :)

Anonymous said...

Drinking milk during pregnancy may help reduce your baby’s chances of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) as an adult, according to a preliminary study released this week.

The study involved 35,794 nurses whose mothers completed a questionnaire in 2001 about their experiences and diet during pregnancy with their nurse-daughter. Of the nurses studied, 199 women developed MS over the 16-year study period.

Researchers found that the risk of MS was lower among women born to mothers with high milk or dietary vitamin D intake in pregnancy, says a press release issued by the American Academy of Neurology.

“The risk of MS among daughters whose mothers consumed four glasses of milk per day was 56 percent lower than daughters whose mothers consumed less than three glasses of milk per month,” said Fariba Mirzaei, MD, with the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. they also found the risk of MS among daughters whose mothers were in the top 20 percent of vitamin D intake during pregnancy was 45 percent lower than daughters whose mothers were in the bottom 20 percent for vitamin D intake during pregnancy.”

“There is growing evidence that that vitamin D has an effect on MS. The results of this study suggest that this effect may begin in the womb,” said Mirzaei.

Fortified milk, fatty fish such as salmon and exposure to sunlight are the most important sources of vitamin D.

Bea Elliott said...

Ah yes... What a concept for a human... 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight on the hands and face (2 or 3 times a week) to receive adequate vitamin D! What a wonderful reason to stand outside a stretch a bit as well... Seems nature has a built in reward for a bit of excersize! :)

And no one is arguing that milk at infancy isn't vital... cow's milk for calves... Human milk for humans. Seems to be the best design as well.

Food sources of vitamin D include vitamin D-fortified orange juice and vitamin D-fortified soy milk and rice milk.

And we don't need to be fearful of the word "fortified" because we do this to cow's milk as well... All the *natural* "D" is lost during pasturization - Yes?

And I really don't want to get to far into "nutrition" here... I've covered it so many times before ---But I can reduce my argument here:

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

Finally, a little off topic - But something you may wish to see before advocating eating salmons:

You brought up some fine points, but sorry - I'm still convinced "dairy" is nonessential, and in fact can be quite harmful to human health.

Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

I bet we all die someday, might as well eat what you like.

Bea Elliott said...

Everyone dies... Of course - But that's silly to make our deaths the final bit of spit that we cast in our lives.

Wouldn't it be much better to say that we had LIVED a moral life? And that our lives were sustained in a just way?

Killing --- when we don't have to, is not just. (sorry).

Anonymous said...

I hope someday you get real hungry and then you will accept killing an animal, they are just animals not something you think is so sacred, to bad you couldn't have one kick you or shit on you or knock you to the ground and half kill you, then maybe you would wake up to the real world instead of some make believe world. You really are ignorant, not dumb but totally ignorant.

Ben said...

See, we have to eat the cows before they all trample us to death.

Anonymous said...

I'm just interested in what you recommend for people with diet restrictions. My sister has uncontrollable seizures and can only have 10carbs a day which means a good amount of meat in her diet. What would you suggest?

Bea Elliott said...

Hello AGAIN Anonymous... I see you've returned with your usual hostility... However I don't wish you ill. I hope you are always well fed with "good" food sourced in peace and harmony within the bounties provided by our generous earth. I hope no harm comes to your body through accidental injury, or by deliberate means... And I hope your soul heals itself, before you're life is consumed in hatred. I really do think you need professional help Anonymous... It's just a word to the "wise".

Bea Elliott said...

Hi Ben... No, what I think it "proves" is that we should leave cows where they want to be... Which is far, far, far away from man!

See ya!

Bea Elliott said...

Anonymous - Your sister, I'm assuming has some sort of Epilepsy? How unfortunate.

She might be interested in these low carb vegan cookbooks: There are 7 listed here:

Or she may wish to consult a dietician - Two very good ones I can recommend are:
Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian and public health nutritionist

Vesanto Melina Registered Dietitian, specializing in vegetarian, vegan, and raw nutrition, and healthful eating.


the American Dietetic Association
Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group:


They have plenty of resources and a contact form as well...

Hope this helps your sister... Who knows? A properly balanced vegan diet to suit her condition might actually lessen her seizures. (?)

Anonymous said...

I'm not going 2 get into an argument but unfortunately these low-carb diets have many more carbs per meal than my sister can have per day. 10carbs per day.. not per meal. she can't have tofu,fruits and most vegetables. I have vegetarian,vegans in my extended family so I know you guys eat more that the fruits,vegtables,tofus that most people think. What I am saying is that she can't even have fuits,vegtables that would give her good nutrients. So please have an open mind to people that must eat meat/dairy. We are just trying to keep my sister healthy.

Bea Elliott said...

Hello! Not a problem at all! I always like learning more about nutrition... So this has been a discovery for me as well...

Of course your sister consults with a dietician to keep her meals and food choices balanced to her condition... And it's no wonder too, as I look further at the carb content in just a 6 oz. of "calves liver" and many "processed meats" would put her way above her daily allotment...

I'm uncertain though, why she could not have tofu, as many forms have less than a gram of carbs. And some Quorn products have as little as zero...(?)

I see too her choice of vegetables would have to be limited to asparagus, cauliflower, eggplant, cucumber, mushrooms, cabbage, green beans, brocolli, chard, spinach, tomato, and the lettuces... And avoiding carrots, potatos peas, pumpkin, yams and such...

But gee... I've just learned one cup of milk has 11.4 grams of carbs --- And yougurt has 18 grams! Your sister is indeed challenged to find much to eat beside unprocessed "beef" and "chicken".

This has really been an education for me... It makes me understand more clearly why so many people on the Atkins fad diet wind up with little to no fiber in their diets... It must be very difficult for her to stay regular without the help of laxatives... It's very unfortunate she has these issues...

I highly recommend your sister seek the advice of her dietician if she wishes to convert to a vegan diet. Of course it's possible with close regulation and proper meal planning... But it appears she's already doing this now.

Good luck to you and her. :)

Anonymous said...