View Full Version : Environmental impact of predominately vegetarian countries...

03-29-05, 06:36 pm
I have read a lot of very helpful and believable information about the environmental impacts of our American meat-eating society. I understand that in the U.S.A. we eat more meat as a percentage of our diet than other meat-eating cultures.

I am curious about the environmental status of countries which do not eat meat. Such as Tibet and India. And also, those countries whose people do eat meat, but not daily. Such as China.

Thanks in advance for any help and releveant web site links!


03-30-05, 05:09 am
Good question. This is only a personal experience, but about 50 of my relatives live in India. THey are all 100% vegetarian and they are so much more healthier than us. I don't know... that could be due to other factors. Noe of them have ever suffered from lack of protein or any other problems like that

03-30-05, 12:35 pm

I have a friend from India who says she is vegetarian and says it's because she is Hindu, but then says she doesn't eat cows or pigs (but apparently does eat fish and chicken).

I don't know her well enough to really pin her down on this, but what is your experience of this concept of vegetarianism as only precluding cows and pigs?

Can you help me understand this better?

I'm NOT Indian, but am a Buddhist and we are generally vegetarian oriented (though not strictly in all schools of the religion), but it includes all animals.

Also, from what I understand - Tibetans AREN'T vegetarians. Because of the environment there (cold, high, rocky), there is very little grain/vegetation to eat and it is one of the few schools of Buddhism where vegetarianism isn't more stringently enforced - even with monks and nuns. I was under the impression that they did indeed eat meat and animal products and use fur and leather simply because it is an environmental necessity in that climate.

As for India, I think people in India suffer some problems because of mismanagement of cows (they are known to be nuisances in the towns), but managing them properly would not require eating them. :) (Just building better fences.)


03-30-05, 12:59 pm
I'm not a hindu but I have many hindu friends who like your friend, eat chicken but not cows. In their religion cows are seen as sacred and as good, holy animals. They also believe that the milk from a cow helps them grow so it's wrong to eat a cow.That's all I know, sorry!

Muslims too eat all meat except for pork because they see pigs as the lowest animals of all.

03-31-05, 02:30 pm
I am curious about the environmental status of countries which do not eat meat. Such as Tibet and India. And also, those countries whose people do eat meat, but not daily. Such as China.
I have spent pleanty of time in the Republic of China and typically people eat meat at least once a day. The popular dishes are a type of noodle bowl with meat, or a combination of meat, noodles, tofu, and vegetables. For breakfast, the most common meal is something akin to a pancake, folded down the center and packed with meat, scrambled egg, or vegetables. As far as the type of meat, Chicken is by far the most preferred. Kentucky Fried Chicken is the most popular western resturaunt, beating out others like McDonalds by a large margin. The amount of meat in a given meal may not be large, but a typical resident of urban China will eat at least some meat daily.

And China, industrialized China at least, has a horrible environmental record, much worse than the US and most other industrialized nations.

04-21-05, 08:41 am
Sorry this is out of topic but I really don't understand why people see pigs as the lowest animals (muslims) when they are as smart as your average dog, or maybe even smarter.

04-21-05, 09:26 am
It's not a matter of being "lowest" animals, but "unclean" and is part of their religious doctrine. (After all, we don't eat dogs either, usually.)

In the old testament, there is a story of an agreement between God and Abraham about behavior of the Hebrews, including rules of what can and cannot eat. This "cannot" includes pork, as well as other foods, like shellfish, dairy and meat together, etc. It's called the "Covenent of Abraham" and if you recall the Indiana Jones movie, well, that's what was supposed to be in that fancy box - the original of this agreement between God and Abraham.

Anyway, both the Christian and Muslim religions are derived from the same group of people - the Hebrews, with Jesus being the final prophet (or son of God) of the Christians, and somewhat later, Mohammed being the final prophet of the Muslims. The Muslims kept the dietary rule against eating pork, the Christians did not. The earlier book (Old Testament) of the Bible is the same and is taught in all three religions, including Genesis (Adam & Eve, story of the flood, etc.); Judaism, Christianity & Islam.

I'm not familar enough with Koran to know whether Mohammed kept the other dietary laws of the Hebrews, or if it was more of a cultural tradition that was reinforced by Mohammed or what. I'll have to look that up, because I'm curious.

There is also the scientific bent of the dietary law against eating pork, and that is that both the Hebrews and the Arabs (which both are descended from Abraham according to legend) were nomadic people, and that it is just simply impossible to keep pigs for food under nomadic conditions and adding them as a food source might have plain been detrimental to their lifestyle. Cattle and sheep can be herded along with the family as it travels, pigs aren't really suited for that. Also, they require higher quality forage than cattle and sheep or goats.

Anyway - it's a religious thing and has nothing to do with the animals intelligence. Pigs are considered "unclean" according to their religion. I know Jewish people will not eat them, but I think Muslims don't even want them anywhere nearby, being unclean alive as well as a food source.

Just to say, I don't actually follow any of these religions, but I find it interesting since I live around so many people that do.


04-21-05, 09:29 am
Thanks for the info, it makes much more sense now! I wish I knew more about religion, your obviously very well read.

04-21-05, 09:46 am
Thanks for the info, it makes much more sense now! I wish I knew more about religion, your obviously very well read.

Well, I may even be wrong - because I was checking it and it seems that I misremembered when "God" gave the Hebrews their dietary laws.

So, I am looking it up right now.

YEP! I was wrong - the agreement was with Moses - not Abraham. You can look in Leviticus 11 if you are curious.

And it the Koran, the reference is "The Cattle" 6.145, that describes pork as unclean.

Sorry - again, these are not my religions, so I don't remember it all perfectly.


04-21-05, 09:50 am
Thats okay!

04-21-05, 09:57 am
The cleanliness things also affects other parks of thier lives, not just pork. They have a list of other animals they cannot eat (mostly carniverous animals) and thier meat must be slaughtered a certain way. They have strict codes of household cleanliness too. Pets must stay on the floor (no kitty on the bed) and one must wash thier hands after all contact with animals. Dogs are forbidden in the house.

I work with alot of Muslim people and I'm always pestering them with questions. They pester me with alot of questions about Christianity but since I'm not Christian I can't answer them all, but I try my best or direct them to someone who knows.