Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Food & Drink => Topic started by: Julian on November 29, 2009, 08:53:06 am

Title: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 29, 2009, 08:53:06 am
Does such a thing exist?

Cow milk we discussed a while ago & concluded that barely anybody pays the supplier a fair sum for their cow juice.  Plus, I'm not all that wildly keen on the way milk cows are treated.

But soy milk comes with its very own set of challenges, not least that forest is being destroyed to grow the soy.

Rice milk?

Keeping a goat at the bottom of the garden and milking that?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Polar Bear on November 29, 2009, 09:39:37 am
Lubcloud Dairy and organic farm (http://www.lubclouddairy.co.uk/about.html)

Their list of local outlets is not up-to-date but you get the idea.

It's not cheap: but then, it's not expensive either.
   
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Fab Foodie on November 29, 2009, 10:00:51 am
Naively I've never understood why dairy farmers don't co-operate in some collective national solidarity and refuse to supply until a fairer pricing structure is agreed.  When the dairies have nothing to process and plant, people and trucks lay idle it might sharpen their focus.  Who knows, even the politically lacklustre British public might get off it's arse to show some support when there's no milk for their cornflakes.  Of course some milk and dairy products can be imported for a limited period, but fresh milk in the quantities required would need a Berlin-airlift approach.  Unfortunately milk is a hugely under-appreciated and beneficial foodstuff wrongly maligned during the 'low-fat' years.
It's rare that I support 'union' style tactics, but in this case I think protection of an important primary supply is a battle worth fighting.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: clarion on November 29, 2009, 11:18:15 am
Dairy is my downfall.  I know it's a terrible industry and a vicious trade, but I do love yoghurt & cheese.

I was vegan for a while, and even managed tea without milk for a long while (it stains your mugs faster :( ).  But I'd eat cheese butties every day if I could.  And that's an unacceptable vanity.

On the other hand, I never felt the need for soy milk.  There wasn't anything I wanted to use it for.

What I'm saying is that I don't really think there's a solution to your problem, Julian </rambling drivel>

I am a hypocrite. I know it.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: pcolbeck on November 29, 2009, 11:24:31 am
There used to be the Milk Marketing Board that set a minimum price that farmers would get for milk (my Mum used to work for it). Unfortunately it was dissolved in the mid 90s.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: kcass on November 29, 2009, 01:27:16 pm
Plus, I'm not all that wildly keen on the way milk cows are treated.


Particularly the male calves, eh?

Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 29, 2009, 01:32:37 pm
Well, exactly.  I don't see a huge ethical difference between eating veal and drinking milk; they're two halves of the same business.  But like Clarion, I have a dairy habit that I can't seem to give up.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Charlotte on November 29, 2009, 01:49:19 pm
Meh.  I blame my milk habit on the fact that I used to go to school just up the road from the Milk Marketing Board in Thames Ditton.  We were always the first to get all the promotional stuff and I had it drummed into me from an early age that milk is good for you.

A life without cheese would now be a very sad place.

Mebbe we should get a cow?  Surely we could fit a small one in at the SEEKRIT BUNKER?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 29, 2009, 01:53:05 pm
I'm sure it'd be very happy, but unless you keep it constantly making new cows the supply of milk will dry up.   it's going to get V crowded in there

This is where goats score - no need for constant pregnancy.

A goat is on the Volio Household acquisition list when we finally convince someone that they wish to sell their house.  And some chickens.

Mrs MV's mother may balk at taking over goatherding duties when we're away though...
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Bledlow on November 29, 2009, 02:27:23 pm
But soy milk comes with its very own set of challenges,
You mean apart from it being disgusting muck that I wouldn't pollute my house with the smell of, let alone my taste buds?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Giropaul on November 29, 2009, 02:32:10 pm
There used to be the Milk Marketing Board that set a minimum price that farmers would get for milk (my Mum used to work for it). Unfortunately it was dissolved in the mid 90s.

Which even more seriously stopped the Milk Race   :(

Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: kcass on November 29, 2009, 02:40:28 pm

      YouTube
            - Have some calf stomach with your cheese
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P9pJd4K734)

I particularly like the bit about allowable levels of pus and blood in milk.

Someone said to me that any argument for vegetarianism was an argument for veganism. I'm still neither but this thread has got me thinking.

re: soya and the rainforest - most of the soya goes to making cheap flour to bulk out bread and processed foods. And I doubt they bother with  growing organic soya so if you stick to organic soya milk you can be pretty guilt free. Then there's just the question of whether soya is actually very good for us.

And is it possible to stop it curdling in coffee



Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: woollypigs on November 29, 2009, 04:13:30 pm
Rice milk?
How the heck does one milk a rice ?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: fboab on November 29, 2009, 04:50:25 pm
I 'do' pigs these days, but for most of my working life, I've 'done' dairy cows.

The whole 'farmers don't get a fair price' is no truer for farmers than any other small business owner. If you buy milk from a local organic herd it's about as 'good' ethically, as you'll ever get, but as dairy cows have been bred selectively for generations for attributes to make them suitable for intensive farming there is bound to be a trade off in quality of life. Even organic cows give more milk than their median suspensory ligaments can cope with and don't have good longevity.

Goats are less intensively farmed, but their milk tastes goat-y. And you still need kids for goats to make milk- they dry off just like cows do! If you have a house cow you can keep her producing milk for years just like you can with goats, but the volume you'd get is pitiful. Long lactation is stressful on the udder- they become more susceptible to mastitis-causing organisms. In this country bull calves are not waste, or veal, they are reared for beef. Even my low moral standards struggled with the New Zealand approach to dairying, which I suspect is where kcass' examples come from. I quit, I couldn't believe they treated their stock as they did.
For your house cow, you need a Dexter (http://www.gormellick.co.uk/20.htm).

Soya is GM, nearly everywhere except in the EU, so your soya milk would have to be organic, and grown far enough away from other non-organic soya. (Soya is permissible protein for animal feed, a much bigger market than for human consumption). And soya doesn't grow well in the UK, so think of those food miles.

Rice milk is yakky.

So, no, you can't get ethical milk, except from your mum.
Lots of cultures just don't drink milk. It's for babies, not grown ups!
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Gandalf on November 29, 2009, 05:05:50 pm
I thought milk was for calves myself.  I must confess to getting mildly irritated by the hairshirtery applied to soya milk. 

If somebody can give me figures which show that soy produced for soya milk is anymore than an vanishingly miniscule percentage of that produced for cattle feed for beef farmers I'll pack it in tomorrow.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: kcass on November 29, 2009, 05:15:26 pm
I 'do' pigs these days, but for most of my working life, I've 'done' dairy cows.

You'll have to tell me about the  cows next time we ride together - did you need a much bigger receptacle than for pigs. It sounds more dangerous too
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 29, 2009, 05:15:52 pm

      YouTube
            - Have some calf stomach with your cheese
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P9pJd4K734)

I particularly like the bit about allowable levels of pus and blood in milk.

I eat liver, I'm not likely to get bothered about consuming cow blood.  ::-) ;D

Quote
Someone said to me that any argument for vegetarianism was an argument for veganism. I'm still neither but this thread has got me thinking.

A long time ago I was vegan, for exactly that reason.  I'm not these days, and in fact I think I'm probably happier about eating free range / organic / wild meat than about consuming industrial-produced dairy. 

Quote
re: soya and the rainforest - most of the soya goes to making cheap flour to bulk out bread and processed foods. And I doubt they bother with  growing organic soya so if you stick to organic soya milk you can be pretty guilt free. Then there's just the question of whether soya is actually very good for us.

Food miles.  And like Gandalf says, most soy is produced for cattle feed, so every time anyone has a burger they're inadvertently hacking down forest. 

Obviously soy milk even with being imported from Long Away, and the deforestation, it's still more ethical than cow milk.  Question is, is there such a thing as totally ethical milk product, soy, rice, hemp or otherwise? 

Quote
And is it possible to stop it curdling in coffee

Yes!  Wait for the coffee to cool down first.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: DrMekon on November 29, 2009, 05:25:48 pm
not a vegan but i love soya milk, cows milk smells of cow, and makes my throat goopy. sweetened soya (co-op best, then tesco, alpro, etc) is lush, and manages not to taste of ground up beans in water and apple juice.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Adrian on November 29, 2009, 05:44:31 pm

Mebbe we should get a cow?  Surely we could fit a small one in at the SEEKRIT BUNKER?


It could double as a guard cow.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: simonp on November 29, 2009, 05:53:57 pm
but,

Quote
Men who drank the most milk had a lower risk of ischaemic heart disease or stroke than those who drank the least, and in the case of stroke this risk was significantly lower. The findings held true even for those men who had started out drinking full fat milk.

The authors suggest that milk has had something of a bad press in respect of its impact on cholesterol, and they conclude: "The present perception of milk as harmful, in increasing cardiovascular risk, should be challenged, and every effort should be made to restore it to its rightful place in a healthy diet."

and,

Quote
Results: Poor cognitive test performance, enlargement of ventricles and low brain weight were each significantly and independently associated with higher midlife tofu consumption. A similar association of midlife tofu intake with poor late life cognitive test scores was also observed among wives of cohort members, using the husband’s answers to food frequency questions as proxy for the wife’s consumption. Statistically significant associations were consistently demonstrated in linear and logistic multivariate regression models. Odds ratios comparing endpoints among "high-high" with "low-low" consumers were mostly in the range of 1.6 to 2.0.

Conclusions: In this population, higher midlife tofu consumption was independently associated with indicators of cognitive impairment and brain atrophy in late life.

So I'd be wary of switching to soya milk from cow's milk, because it appears to be a bad idea (though it could be some other ingredient in tofu that's to blame).
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Butterfly on November 29, 2009, 06:06:59 pm
Rice milk is yakky.

No - yaks milk is yakky.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: jogler on November 29, 2009, 06:12:04 pm
Rice milk is yakky.

No - yaks milk is yakky.

 ;D ;D
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: pcolbeck on November 29, 2009, 06:12:47 pm
And nearly everyone in the West is genetically adapted to drink cows milk we have been doing it for so long. Not so for those from the east of course.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: andygates on November 29, 2009, 06:22:04 pm
Rice milk?
How the heck does one milk a rice ?
With tweezers and a thimble.

I go with organic cow milk.  Organic has a set of welfare standards.

Soy milk is nice sometimes - I'm a soy latte slut - but soy cheese is an abomination unto the LORD.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: ludwig on November 29, 2009, 06:45:43 pm
I buy this stuff. The farm is about 3 miles away. Nothing on the site about welfare standards though

Daioni : Story (http://www.trioni.com/story.html)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 03, 2009, 10:51:38 am
Yak milk is pink. Which needn't bother you, but may disconcert you.
Dairy is my downfall.  I know it's a terrible industry and a vicious trade, but I do love yoghurt & cheese.

I was vegan for a while, and even managed tea without milk for a long while (it stains your mugs faster :( ).  But I'd eat cheese butties every day if I could.  And that's an unacceptable vanity.

On the other hand, I never felt the need for soy milk.  There wasn't anything I wanted to use it for.

What I'm saying is that I don't really think there's a solution to your problem, Julian </rambling drivel>

I am a hypocrite. I know it.
Oh dear. I agree with you on everything here except that I actually prefer, and always have done, tea without milk. And we're all hypocrites anyway.

A goat would be good, but I don't know where you'd keep it unless you have a garden.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Titan on December 03, 2009, 04:06:11 pm
I am very partial to human milk and can't see why we cannot get the business going. There are millions of underused milkable ladies in the UK alone - before we even begin to think about the global herd - who could be providing us with a nutritious and delicious dairy resource. 
If one thinks about it drinking the milk of animals is a bit wierd. Surely lovely ladymilk is the way forward. The new cheeses alone could be fantastic!
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Giropaul on December 03, 2009, 05:12:30 pm
Yak milk is pink. Which needn't bother you, but may disconcert you.

Oh dear. I agree with you on everything here except that I actually prefer, and always have done, tea without milk. And we're all hypocrites anyway.

A goat would be good, but I don't know where you'd keep it unless you have a garden.

If you did have a goat you wouldn't have a garden for long!!
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Really Ancien on December 03, 2009, 07:06:31 pm
Bull calves are a problem in a dairy herd. The first time the heifers are in calf it will be to a beef bull as the calves are smaller, these cross bred calves can be fattened on grass without too much expensive feed. The subsequent pregnancies will be to a dairy bull in a pedigree herd, so as to produce more cows for milking. The male calves will be difficult to fatten if they are Friesan, impossible if Holstein. This thread on the Farmers Weekly site shows the problem.
   Bull calves cull - Talking Point Forum - FWispace
 (http://www.fwi.co.uk/community/forums/bull-calves-cull-21115.aspx)  It also provides the solution, which is sexed semen. That way you don't get surplus male calves which might cost money to dispose of.
Tesco were concerned enough about the problem to subsidise sexed semen for their suppliers, http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/2008/05/16/110489/Subsidised-sexed-semen-on-offer-for-Tesco-milk-suppliers.htm


Damon.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: kcass on December 03, 2009, 08:41:57 pm
I am very partial to human milk and can't see why we cannot get the business going. There are millions of underused milkable ladies in the UK alone - before we even begin to think about the global herd - who could be providing us with a nutritious and delicious dairy resource. 
If one thinks about it drinking the milk of animals is a bit wierd. Surely lovely ladymilk is the way forward. The new cheeses alone could be fantastic!
:thumbsup:
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Giropaul on December 04, 2009, 08:34:58 am
Bull calves are a problem in a dairy herd. The first time the heifers are in calf it will be to a beef bull as the calves are smaller, these cross bred calves can be fattened on grass without too much expensive feed. The subsequent pregnancies will be to a dairy bull in a pedigree herd, so as to produce more cows for milking. The male calves will be difficult to fatten if they are Friesan, impossible if Holstein. This thread on the Farmers Weekly site shows the problem.
   Bull calves cull - Talking Point Forum - FWispace
 (http://www.fwi.co.uk/community/forums/bull-calves-cull-21115.aspx)  It also provides the solution, which is sexed semen. That way you don't get surplus male calves which might cost money to dispose of.
Tesco were concerned enough about the problem to subsidise sexed semen for their suppliers,
   Subsidised sexed semen on offer for Tesco milk suppliers - 16/05/2008 - Farmers Weekly
 (http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/2008/05/16/110489/Subsidised-sexed-semen-on-offer-for-Tesco-milk-suppliers.htm)


Damon.


Agree, well almost!

Beef bull calves are usually bigger, not smaller (although calf size at birth is largely mother determined) Some farmers used to (and some still) use an Aberdeen Angus bull on heifers as the calves tend to be a little more compact, and more "treamlined". Ease of birth is a recorded feature for beef bulls for whom semen can be bought.

The main reasons why beef bulls are used for heifers are:

1) Heifers tend to be kept outside and are often run with a bull in the field. Beef bulls are quieter and are less expensive in general.

2)Heifers don't have a performance record. Dairy bulls are generally used on the best performing cows, and once the bull's features can be matched with the cow's. High genetic value dairy bull semen is pricey.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: fboab on December 04, 2009, 10:54:24 am
I don't really agree- people have been talking about 'having to shoot dairy bull calves' since I started milking cows in 1985. I've never worked on a UK farm where they've done it. It's a bit of a myth. You might not make anything from a holstein bull calf but if it's dam milks well you haven't lost anything either. There's always a market, just not a good price. Their conformation is dreadful and you'll never make great beef animals from them but they fatten up sufficiently well for supermarket mince.

Heifers wont yet have a performance record but are the most advanced genetics in your herd so should be put to a dairy bull, or you're wasting an opportunity.
High genetic value dairy bull semen is pricier than cheap beef semen, but you can get a straw for a fiver. We used to synchronise the heifers, use a relatively cheap dairy bull to AI them and then use Angus to mop up anything left over.

None of this will persuade anyone that UK dairying is in any way ethical...

Perhaps if I admit I sang to my bovine lovelies to keep them happy, and spent many a happy hour massaging udders to keep 'em healthy?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: clarion on December 04, 2009, 10:59:34 am
It's hard to say if anything is 'ethical' or not.

It's a sliding scale, and we decide where we put our flag on that continuum.

For me, I recognise that dairy farming has elements I find unsettling, and that excess dairy consumption is an issue for my dietary health.

So I'm cutting down now.  Though I had milk on my cereal this morning (see what I mean about a sliding scale?) :-[
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: urban_biker on December 04, 2009, 11:10:12 am
I am very partial to human milk and can't see why we cannot get the business going. There are millions of underused milkable ladies in the UK alone - before we even begin to think about the global herd - who could be providing us with a nutritious and delicious dairy resource. 
If one thinks about it drinking the milk of animals is a bit wierd. Surely lovely ladymilk is the way forward. The new cheeses alone could be fantastic!

ROFL  ;D
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Titan on December 04, 2009, 06:05:07 pm
To: Dairy buyer Waitrose.

'Sourced Farmers who share our values' is Waitrose proposition and we wholly agree - that is why Waitrose is the supermarket we have selected to launch our new ethical milk brand Yumi Mumi!

Yumi Mumi! is a wholly natural premium milk brand with a big difference - the Yumi Mumis themselves! Our great team of local Yumi Mumis are set to reinvent the traditionbal milkmaid for the modern ethical age. No animals at all are harmed in our unique gentle handmilking process! (Special promotion offer is a trip to one of the many milkparlours where lucky Yumi Mumi drinkers can try their hand at milking too!)

With skimmed, full milk and a range of delightful soft cheeses for the discerning palate Yumi Mumi is set to become the choice for the growing number of consumers concerned by animal welfare or even just those guys and girls who like something a little bit more 'original' - for this really is the  original milk!

What nicer way to round of a fine dinner than fragrant 'Yumi Mumi Brie'...mmmmmm, delicious.

Our packaging has unrivalled shelf impact featuring our 'Yumi Mumi of the month'  - generously proportioned and brimming with milky goodness in her ample churns. We will be bringing new drinkers into the milk category for sure with this high impact offer. And what could be more ethical than traceability of the milk right 'back to the nipple' as we say here! Our special 'Daddy's home!' squirt-top sports style bottle is a surefire winner with the guys every time ( microwaveable with warmflo feature). 

Yumi Mumi is a community supporting, equal opportunities business and we are offering attractive employment to women who might otherwise be left at home looking after the kids - its a win for all of society!

We look forward to meeting you for a sampling meeting and a successful launch in your new flagship Westfield store. Yumi Mumi!
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Hummers on December 05, 2009, 08:45:15 am
 ;D

Brilliant.


However, is it me but am I right in thinking that this topic is three pages in and no one has suggested Julian try Man Milk?

Just thought I'd ask.

H
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Adrian on December 05, 2009, 09:01:26 am
Just when I thought this can't now get dragged any further down, up steps Hummers with another superb effort. Well done that man.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on December 05, 2009, 09:38:35 am
'Daddy's home!'

 ;D ;D
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Titan on December 07, 2009, 09:14:31 am
Seriously though drinking animal milk is a bit pervy isn't it? It is not natural at all - distinctly queasy-making if one thinks about it.
Imagine the scene when mrs caveman enters the cave to find mr caveman taking a furtive curious affectionate suck on the family cow.  I bet he got a right bashing for that act of bestial infidelity. 'But its lovely and will be quite normal in the future' would not have cut much slack with his engaged spouse I don't think.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: clarion on December 07, 2009, 09:47:44 am
...his engaged spouse ...


So they were polygamous, then? ;)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Valiant on December 07, 2009, 09:58:37 am
I am very partial to human milk and can't see why we cannot get the business going. There are millions of underused milkable ladies in the UK alone - before we even begin to think about the global herd - who could be providing us with a nutritious and delicious dairy resource. 
If one thinks about it drinking the milk of animals is a bit wierd. Surely lovely ladymilk is the way forward. The new cheeses alone could be fantastic!
:thumbsup:
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Titan on December 07, 2009, 10:03:22 am
...his engaged spouse ...


So they were polygamous, then? ;)

Oh you pedantophile.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: pcolbeck on December 07, 2009, 10:04:08 am
Seriously though drinking animal milk is a bit pervy isn't it? It is not natural at all - distinctly queasy-making if one thinks about it.
Imagine the scene when mrs caveman enters the cave to find mr caveman taking a furtive curious affectionate suck on the family cow.  I bet he got a right bashing for that act of bestial infidelity. 'But its lovely and will be quite normal in the future' would not have cut much slack with his engaged spouse I don't think.


Drinking cows milk probably arose as a response to environmental stress. It's genetically a Northern European tying and an African nomadic tribe thing. For Northern Europeans it helped cope with a lack of vitamin D due to less sunlight than the environment that humans evolved in and for nomadic African tribes it is a huge source of their protein. It's a recent adaptation though, we only got the genes (if your ancestry is one of those two groups) about 7000 years ago. If you don't have the genetic adaptation then don't drink milk as it will make you  :sick:
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: geraldc on November 05, 2010, 11:22:14 pm
Ethical milk. £1.70 a pint.  Hand milked by hippies Hare Krishnas

Holy cow! Pampered cows produce Britain's most expense pint of milk at a staggering £1.70
 | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327006/Holy-cow-Pampered-cows-produce-Britains-expense-pint-milk-staggering-1-70.html)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Rhys W on November 05, 2010, 11:29:15 pm
I've said it before and I'll say it again - that early hunter-gatherer who saw a cow and thought "I'll squeeze those big dangly pink things and drink what comes out!" has a lot to answer for. Funny how so many people get squeamish about human milk in comparison.

I don't think I've ever tried it, but squeezing some beans and calling it milk because it is a white liquid is pushing your luck.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: simonp on November 05, 2010, 11:46:14 pm
If you're referring to soya milk. It's not nice. Oat based ones are better. It's just a very thin porridge. :)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: geraldc on November 05, 2010, 11:52:57 pm
If you learn to enjoy soya milk as soya milk then you'll be fine. In China/HK you can have it hot or cold, sweet or salty.
You can use the mushed up beans to bulk up your meat too.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: simonp on November 05, 2010, 11:54:56 pm
I'm put off by the correlation between high tofu consumption and male brain shrinkage. However, that might be specific to tofu.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: teethgrinder on November 07, 2010, 02:49:32 pm
So how would you list the below in order of being most ethical?
Pork, chicken, beef, lamb, tin of tuna fish, tin of mackerel, cod from the chippy, cheese or whey powder mixed with milk. Which are all where I get most of my protien from.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Gandalf on November 07, 2010, 05:06:05 pm
So how would you list the below in order of being most ethical?
Pork, chicken, beef, lamb, tin of tuna fish, tin of mackerel, cod from the chippy, cheese or whey powder mixed with milk. Which are all where I get most of my protien from.

I know I'm going to get slaughtered for this but here goes anyway, what the heck.

From my POV as one of those weirdo, undernourished vegans your question is only really answerable if you are prepared to indulge in speciesism. 

Suffice to say that I can draw no distinction between the consumption of animal flesh or the consumption of dairy products, which some would argue involve as much barbarity as meat production. YMMV.

Normally at this point I get accused of being an over sentimental and ignorant 'Townie' who fails to understand the 'ways' of the countryside.

Either that or someone who works in the animal derived food industry will assure me that the enslavement and killing of numerous other species is all done in the best possible taste and is merely part of the 'natural order'.

Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: fboab on November 07, 2010, 06:13:14 pm
Normally at this point I get accused of being an over sentimental and ignorant 'Townie' who fails to understand the 'ways' of the countryside.

Either that or someone who works in the animal derived food industry will assure me that the enslavement and killing of numerous other species is all done in the best possible taste and is merely part of the 'natural order'.

The enslavement of animals and killing of other species is all done in the best possible taste and is merely part of the natural order.
Just fulfilling my role, doncha know.
So how would you list the below in order of being most ethical?
Pork, chicken, beef, lamb, tin of tuna fish, tin of mackerel, cod from the chippy, cheese or whey powder mixed with milk. Which are all where I get most of my protien from.

Only you can decide what's most ethical. There is no empiricism in this, it's about your own moral standards.
I'd eat all of those. For me, tuna & mackerel are a bit worse because they're a bit over fished. Cheap chicken is rotten (but cheap) and lamb is the 'best' of the farmed animals.
You may, as Gandalf does, feel differently.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 07, 2010, 10:40:58 pm
So how would you list the below in order of being most ethical?
Pork, chicken, beef, lamb, tin of tuna fish, tin of mackerel, cod from the chippy, cheese or whey powder mixed with milk. Which are all where I get most of my protien from.

My ethical problems are with the way animals are industrially farmed, not with the concept of killing and eating them.  So I would say

lamb / beef
cheese / milk
pork
tinned tuna / tinned mackerel
cod from chippy
chicken

I currently have a greater ethical issue over mass-produced milk and cheese than over (for example) local, well-raised meat, because the cows milked for dairy products are not happy cows.  I had a soy-milk latte with hazelnut syrup (masks the slightly floury taste of the soy milk) today, and it was quite nice.  It's difficult to utter the words "small soy latte with hazelnut shot" without sounding like a pretentious wanker though.  ;)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 07, 2010, 10:47:04 pm
because the cows milked for dairy products are not happy cows.

But the ones killed for beef are ?  Even if raised ethically ?

My view is that both are nasty,  but that it's terribly easy to avoid eating animals and much less so to avoid dairy products.  Ideally I'd be a vegan, but I'll admit that there's a cost-benefit thing going on here for me...
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: simonp on November 07, 2010, 10:48:57 pm
The problem with masking soy with hazelnut is that hazelnut coffee is itself vile. So my coffee is cruel as nature intended.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: fboab on November 07, 2010, 10:59:42 pm
because the cows milked for dairy products are not happy cows.

But the ones killed for beef are ?  Even if raised ethically ?

My view is that both are nasty,  but that it's terribly easy to avoid eating animals and much less so to avoid dairy products.  Ideally I'd be a vegan, but I'll admit that there's a cost-benefit thing going on here for me...

I'd have to say that beef cows have an easier life than dairy.
Neither are 'happy', they don't have emotions, they're animals.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: simonp on November 07, 2010, 11:04:01 pm
because the cows milked for dairy products are not happy cows.

But the ones killed for beef are ?  Even if raised ethically ?

My view is that both are nasty,  but that it's terribly easy to avoid eating animals and much less so to avoid dairy products.  Ideally I'd be a vegan, but I'll admit that there's a cost-benefit thing going on here for me...

I'd have to say that beef cows have an easier life than dairy.
Neither are 'happy', they don't have emotions, they're animals.


That seems highly unlikely.

 Dogs are either optimists or pessimists, claim scientists | Science | The Guardian  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/oct/11/dogs-optimists-pessimists)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Salvatore on November 07, 2010, 11:11:00 pm
Seriously though drinking animal milk is a bit pervy isn't it? It is not natural at all - distinctly queasy-making if one thinks about it.
Imagine the scene when mrs caveman enters the cave to find mr caveman taking a furtive curious affectionate suck on the family cow.  I bet he got a right bashing for that act of bestial infidelity. 'But its lovely and will be quite normal in the future' would not have cut much slack with his engaged spouse I don't think.


Drinking cows milk probably arose as a response to environmental stress. It's genetically a Northern European tying and an African nomadic tribe thing. For Northern Europeans it helped cope with a lack of vitamin D due to less sunlight than the environment that humans evolved in and for nomadic African tribes it is a huge source of their protein. It's a recent adaptation though, we only got the genes (if your ancestry is one of those two groups) about 7000 years ago. If you don't have the genetic adaptation then don't drink milk as it will make you  :sick:

There's an article in the current (or very recent) edition of  Der Spiegel which discusses this. It said it wasn't hunter-gatherers who first did this, it was the settled farmers who had long since domesticated sheep, goats and finally cattle. The hunter-gatherers didn't take up farming, they just died out, squeezed out by the successful farmers from the middle east with their newly mutated lactose tolerance.

With the article was a map of Europe showing degrees of lactose tolerance. It is only about 40% around the Med, but over 80% in Britain and Scandinavia.

[This is a very brief précis of what I remember of a 3-page article in German I read a week ago, so may contain omissions and generalisations. Possibly.]
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 07, 2010, 11:16:24 pm
they don't have emotions, they're animals.

My view is that we only think that other people are just as us because we see similarities in behaviour twixt us and them; I can see behaviours in animals of my acquaintance that map just as reliably to what I understand emotion to be.

I'm also not aware of any physiological reason why animals would not have emotions - they're a useful survival set.




Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Ian H on November 07, 2010, 11:18:13 pm

I'd have to say that beef cows have an easier life than dairy.
Neither are 'happy', they don't have emotions, they're animals.


That seems highly unlikely.

 Dogs are either optimists or pessimists, claim scientists | Science | The Guardian  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/oct/11/dogs-optimists-pessimists)


What I've read of research into the way animals' brains work seems to be reducing assumed fundamental differences to degrees of difference.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 07, 2010, 11:19:54 pm
What I've read of research into the way animals' brains work seems to be reducing assumed fundamental differences to degrees of difference.

Indeed. It's a continuum, and there's no real justification for a hard line between humans and other animals.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 07, 2010, 11:37:40 pm
Animals do have personality traits, and they are inherited. Semen catalogues for cattle will tell you if the Bull's offspring are viscious and qualify it with the nature of the dam, (ie the mother.) Particularly good natured cows will survive for a long time in a herd, as the cowman, or woman  has the say as to which cow is beyond their economic life. The herd is a social unit, which includes the human element. This has been the case for Millennia, the more natural bond is between the herdsman and the herd, rather than between the animal lover and the abstract idea of those cattle.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 07, 2010, 11:49:56 pm
the more natural bond is between the herdsman and the herd, rather than between the animal lover and the abstract idea of those cattle.

Different bonds. 
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Charlotte on November 08, 2010, 08:34:38 am
I've been a 'vegetarian' ever since my late teens.  I use the term carefully because people's definition seems to vary wildly.  For me, my not eating meat came about purely for ethical reasons and I accepted that wearing leather, drinking milk and eating eggs were merely a convenient place to draw my personal line in the sand.  I always felt that living in the privileged west, there was little actual need to eat meat anyway.  Being a lacto-ovo-veggie is really rather jolly easy.

Problem is, it's a bit crap.

Sure, it's a better position than just troughing your way through lots of mass produced cheap meat (like Julian, I think I'd eat just about anything rather than a fast food fried chicken dinner).  But so much of what we eat contains milk and eggs that are procured in such a way as to inflict the most shocking amounts of suffering on the creatures that produce them that I'm wondering if it's not just as bad as eating the animal anyway.

So I'm cutting back on my milk consumption enormously and only buying it from the most ethical source I can manage.  We used to have our own home-laid eggs until some fox killed all our chooks and I've not bought any eggs since we lost them (although if I do, it'll be the ones from a reputable source).

Here's the bit that's going of piss off all the vegans and veggies:  I'm beginning to think that from both an environmental and animal welfare point of view the protein in my diet could be sourced less from dairy and poultry products and less from soy beans (which often come with their own environmental issues) and more from wild animals.

Consider this; rabbit, wood pigeon and squirrels live wild and in abundance in our countryside.  They are all pest species and all can be freely killed under general licence.  They have been born and have lived entirely wild and will all die anyway, most in ways involving much more suffering than a bullet to the head.

Although I can't deny that I really don't like the idea of eating this sort of food (meat just doesn't appeal to me like, say, cheese does) when it comes to wild food, I now have a growing ethical dilemma on my hands.

Whether it's a rabbit or whether it's a deer, it's much the same issue, I think. Why should I not kill them and eat them?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 08:42:27 am
Why should I not kill them and eat them?

Because they're sentient? Using sentient beings as foodstuffs is not something that sits easily with me, at least.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Charlotte on November 08, 2010, 09:04:47 am
I appreciate the issue of sentience.  But what I'm on about is whether it's better to collude in the industrial maltreatment of animals used in intensive farming methods than it is to cleanly and mindfully kill a wild animal from a pest species in order to eat it.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Ham on November 08, 2010, 09:05:39 am
Ethical eating is an quagmire these days, there really isn't any easy answer. For myself (confirmed and happy meat eater) I'd reckon to avoid as many processed foods as possible, and try to make ethical choices at each step.

I can understand the vegetarian perspective, but don't see the difference between wild and ethically farmed animals (except for the balance of  energy conversion, less significant in an organic environment). Farm animals are purpose bred and the care that goes into keeping them is reflected in the quality of meat, IMO. I do wonder what I would think if I was less fortunate and unable to afford the choice, though.

The nightmare scenario would be if people like me switched to being veggie, and the better producers would not be able to make a livelihood; all that would be left would be a nation supplying and buying from Tesco. Good job it takes all sorts, then, isn't it?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Ham on November 08, 2010, 09:08:48 am
I appreciate the issue of sentience.  But what I'm on about is whether it's better to collude in the industrial maltreatment of animals used in intensive farming methods than it is to cleanly and mindfully kill a wild animal from a pest species in order to eat it.

That's a binary choice and a little bit of reductio ad absurdum, no?

Surely the question is more whether you are prepared to behave responsibly in your environment.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 09:10:05 am
I appreciate the issue of sentience.  But what I'm on about is whether it's better to collude in the industrial maltreatment of animals used in intensive farming methods than it is to cleanly and mindfully kill a wild animal from a pest species in order to eat it.

It doesn't have to be either/or; it can be neither.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Charlotte on November 08, 2010, 09:17:21 am
Aye - I understand, Mal.  I suppose I'm just pushing at the edges of my personal logic on this one.  I'm always going to cause suffering to animals through what I eat.  We all are.  The bread that you eat will be made from wheat farmed in such a way that using modern production methods, hedgerows are being eradicated from our countryside.

Voles might have died in the process  (although some species are considered pests, aren't they?)

That's a binary choice and a little bit of reductio ad absurdum, no?

Well yes, I do think it's going to be impractical for everyone to be out there taking pot shots at squirrels for their tea.  Most people don't give a monkeys about where their protein comes from as long as it's cheap and tasty.  Anything I do or don't do is going to be a drop in the ocean.

Surely the question is more whether you are prepared to behave responsibly in your environment.

Quite.  I'd like to think I do more than most people.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 09:23:35 am
Voles might have died in the process

Well, yes, maybe, but not as a necessary part of the process.  Maybe we can campaign for vole-friendly bread ;)

I'm not sure there's an equivalence between that and deliberately killing animals to eat.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Manotea on November 08, 2010, 09:35:11 am
Not my area but some questions for Charlotte.

Describing target species as 'pests' is a dubious justification. Rats are universally unpopular I suppose, are you going after those? Spare the fluffly bunnies, why not foxes (bit of a payback there, eh?), stray dogs and cats, politicians?

Are you really the crack shot who can guarantee a safe kill every time?  

Is hunting pests for food scalable? If we all went hunting bunnies soon there would be no wild bunnies, just bunny farms with beaters to drive the bunnies towards the guns.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 08, 2010, 10:13:34 am
because the cows milked for dairy products are not happy cows.

But the ones killed for beef are ?  Even if raised ethically ?

My view is that both are nasty,  but that it's terribly easy to avoid eating animals and much less so to avoid dairy products.  Ideally I'd be a vegan, but I'll admit that there's a cost-benefit thing going on here for me...

If raised ethically, yes I think that a cow raised for beef has a better quality of life than one raised for maximum dairy output.  But then I've been quite picky about what sort of cow-meat I will eat (no McCrap burgers, eat a small amount of meat from a butcher occasionally, rather than buying pounds of mince of dubious provenance weekly) whereas I didn't think twice about buying non-organic milk, or value butter, or Pilgrims Progress cheese, or supermarket own-brand yoghurt.  All of those things (IMO) create more suffering than a piece of meat from an organic / free range farm.

Charlotte & I are trying for 'as vegan as possible' at the moment but there is always the temptation to choose cheese over hummous.  :)

Ideally I would be vegan save for what I can raise myself.  Space is a limiting factor though.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 10:15:05 am
If raised ethically, yes I think that a cow raised for beef has a better quality of life than one raised for maximum dairy output. 

That's a decent answer -  to a different question ;)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 08, 2010, 10:19:25 am
"Happy (animal)" is my shorthand for "raised with a decent quality of life."  :)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Ham on November 08, 2010, 10:20:06 am

Quite.  I'd like to think I do more than most people.

I wasn't implying that you didn't, far from it the question suggests that you do.

However it sounds to me that you are coming to the view that you wouldn't mind meat-eating, if you were prepared to do what it takes to secure it from animals that have low environmental impact. But the choice isn't between that and intensive farming, which is how you were phrasing it.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 10:22:47 am
"Happy (animal)" is my shorthand for "raised with a decent quality of life."  :)

Sure.

I wasn't asking about relative happiness though.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on November 08, 2010, 10:24:41 am

Neither are 'happy', they don't have emotions, they're animals.


Can't agree with you there. I'm a farmer's son, and quite happily hand-raised and petted calves and lambs - then helped cut them up and cook them.  

Sentience? It seems the more we actually observe animals, the more instance of tool usage we discover. My cat ain't no brainbox and I haven't caught him using the computer yet. I have seen him watch and mimic people to try to open doors. There's a fair bit of reasoning there.

I've been vegetarian. I'm not currently. Don't hold much onto the idea of the sanctity of humanity. If my kids are starving to death and there aren't any food sources around, then the life expectancy of any stray humans is going to be short.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 08, 2010, 10:26:25 am
"Happy (animal)" is my shorthand for "raised with a decent quality of life."  :)

Sure.

I wasn't asking about relative happiness though.

What were you asking, then?  Whether absolute happiness in a farmed animal can be assured?  I can't see how to measure it, other than in terms of quality of life.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 10:27:29 am
Don't worry - it was rhetorical anyway :)


because the cows milked for dairy products are not happy cows.

But the ones killed for beef are ?  Even if raised ethically ?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Charlotte on November 08, 2010, 10:40:58 am
Describing target species as 'pests' is a dubious justification. Rats are universally unpopular I suppose, are you going after those? Spare the fluffly bunnies, why not foxes (bit of a payback there, eh?), stray dogs and cats, politicians?

Because unlike foxes, rats and politicians rabbits, wood pigeons and squirrels are all quite edible and exist in abundance locally.  Thinning out their numbers benefits the environment.

Are you really the crack shot who can guarantee a safe kill every time?  

Based on my abilities to reliably knock down coin sized targets at 35m, I'd say I'm quite capable of killing a rabbit in a far more humane manner than, say, the methods of industrial killing used to end the life of a battery chicken.  It's all relative, of course; but I'm beginning to think that on balance, it's better to eat a wild rabbit than a box of battery-laid eggs.  Even if I do miss every so often.

Is hunting pests for food scalable? If we all went hunting bunnies soon there would be no wild bunnies, just bunny farms with beaters to drive the bunnies towards the guns.

Of course it's not scalable.  But not doing it at all is probably as bad as everyone doing it.

Ham, you're right.  I'm starting to think that eating some kinds of meat might be no worse than my current 'unthinking veggie' mode.  It's not just about comparing it against intensive farming - but I can't deny that even as a vegetarian, I do very much consume the products of this food industry.  

Even if I don't actually eat flesh at the moment, I'm still very much responsible for animal death and suffering.  Perhaps doing the killing myself would be less hypocritical?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 08, 2010, 10:43:08 am
Food ethics seems to be one of those cultural issues determined by sensitivity and time to care. It peaks among teenagers and then declines as time pressures impinge and principles become less practical. By the time people are on holiday in France with two fussy children, attitudes regress to the cultural mean.
The same is true of many ethical stances, the cultural mean is the default position and deviation is perceived as eccentric. The period from 1960 to 2000 or so was very powerfully normative, as the power of mass TV tended to reinforce societal norms. The fragmentation brought by the internet fosters communities which then define their own norms, which is actually a return to pre mass-media diversity. But it is still useful to dip into the mainstream to avoid drifting too far out to sea. A visit to Macdonalds on a Saturday afternoon works wonders. How ethical is a Macdonalds milk shake?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 10:47:47 am
The period from 1960 to 2000 or so was very powerfully normative

and yet saw a take-up of diverse and alternative beliefs and lifestyles in western countries far greater than the pre-TV decades

Did not the great homogenising forces of late 20th century global capitalism engender reaction, whilst making every culture superficially rather similar ?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 08, 2010, 11:08:40 am
The period from 1960 to 2000 or so was very powerfully normative

and yet saw a take-up of diverse and alternative beliefs and lifestyles in western countries far greater than the pre-TV decades

Did not the great homogenising forces of late 20th century global capitalism engender reaction, whilst making every culture superficially rather similar ?

Milk is an interesting case, post-war governments created a guaranteed market for it and then promoted its consumption beyond what is nutritionally sensible. Campaigns with slogans such as 'Drink a Pinta Milk a Day' are part of our collective memory, as are the little bottles of milk we got at school. This was mainly done to avoid a decline in agriculture as occured in the 1930s and was a conscious government policy. Mass media was the tool used to make us swallow it, in conjunction with a convenient distribution system.
There have always been communities that reject mainstream belief, some like the Shakers were unsustainable http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers  others, like the the Amish persist, but are always under pressure from the mainstream.

I like your introduction of 'homogenising'; most apposite.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Charlotte on November 08, 2010, 11:09:55 am
How ethical is a Macdonalds milk shake?

I dunno.  Do they still put beef fat in it?

*googles*

Quote
     
Ingredients (Allergen statement in ALL CAPS.)
Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream: Milk, sugar, cream, nonfat milk solids, corn syrup solids, mono- and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose, sodium citrate, artificial vanilla flavor, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, disodium phosphate, cellulose gum, vitamin A palmitate.

CONTAINS: MILK.
Triple Thick Vanilla Shake Syrup: Corn syrup, water, vanilla extract, caramel color, citric acid, pectin, sodium benzoate (preservative), yellow 5, yellow 6.

May contain small amounts of other shake flavors served at the restaurant, including egg ingredients when Egg Nog Shakes are available.
Food ExchangesBack To Top
6 carbohydrate, 3 fat
 
 
Note: Nutrient contributions from individual components may not equal the total due to federal rounding regulations. Percent Daily Values (DV) and RDIs are based on unrounded values.

** Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

To customize menu items that display components:

    * Remove components by unchecking the box next to the component. Then click the Recalculate button.
    * Add back components by checking the box next to the component. Then click the Recalculate button.

The nutrition information on this website is derived from testing conducted in accredited laboratories, published resources, or from information provided from McDonald's suppliers. The nutrition information is based on standard product formulations and serving sizes. All nutrition information is based on average values for ingredients from McDonald's suppliers throughout the U.S. and is rounded to meet current U.S. FDA NLEA guidelines. Variation in serving sizes, preparation techniques, product testing and sources of supply, as well as regional and seasonal differences may affect the nutrition values for each product. In addition, product formulations change periodically. You should expect some variation in the nutrient content of the products purchased in our restaurants. None of our products is certified as vegetarian. This information is correct as of November 2010, unless stated otherwise.

SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener is the registered trademark of McNeil Nutritionals, LLC
EQUAL® 0 Calorie Sweetener is a registered trademark of Merisant Company

(my bold)

McDonalds claim to use organic milk in their tea and coffee (http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/food/drinks-and-shakes/organic-milk.mcdj), but not in their 'shakes'.

Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: fboab on November 08, 2010, 12:03:17 pm
I'm always going to subscribe to producing cheap food, however badly the animals are treated, while there are still children in this country with inadequate nutrition.

It's much easier to be ethical if you can afford it.

A healthy diet is not cheap. There are still children with rickets. It is appalling that the cheapest food is the worst- fat and sugar are cheaper than protein and vegetables. There is a reason that turkey twizzlers were a staple of school dinners before Jamie got his hands on them- they're cheap. That is still the criteria that many people make their food choice on.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Ham on November 08, 2010, 12:03:42 pm
I am mildly amused by the changes to my shopping basket, to accommodate the recent discovery that my daughter is pretty much meat intolerant, and has therefore gone veggie.

My basket used to contain pretty much no processed products: I bake all our bread, cook all our meals from ingredients etc etc (OK, except for drinks and tins). Now, I have all sorts of things in the trolley like quorn, some veggie pies etc etc. And yes, I know I could cook all that from scratch as well, but still......
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 08, 2010, 12:08:41 pm
A healthy diet can be cheap if you have the time to prepare food from scratch.  Making chickpea burgers is cheaper than buying turkey twizzlers, but more time consuming.  Soy mince is about 35p a bag and makes a perfectly decent chilli when adulterated with enough chilli powder and beans.

My brief foray into veganism 8 years ago was prompted by financial as well as ethical concerns.

Healthy processed food is ludicrously expensive and I realise not all parents have enough spare time to piss about making chickpea burgers.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Ham on November 08, 2010, 12:11:08 pm
I'm always going to subscribe to producing cheap food, however badly the animals are treated, while there are still children in this country with inadequate nutrition.

It's much easier to be ethical if you can afford it.

A healthy diet is not cheap. There are still children with rickets. It is appalling that the cheapest food is the worst- fat and sugar are cheaper than protein and vegetables. There is a reason that turkey twizzlers were a staple of school dinners before Jamie got his hands on them- they're cheap. That is still the criteria that many people make their food choice on.

As I said, I'm pleased to be able to make that choice, but the answer is not necessarily cheap crap. You can produce wholesome tasty meals for comparatively little money. I would never criticise anyone for making food choices based on their financial capability, but I would try to educate people so that they could make the best choice possible. And the simple fact stands, if turkey twizzlers had not been invented, the world would not have starved.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 12:17:21 pm
I'm always going to subscribe to producing cheap food, however badly the animals are treated, while there are still children in this country with inadequate nutrition.

The solution to inadequate nutrition for children is not screaming agony for animals
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: iakobski on November 08, 2010, 12:35:45 pm
How ethical is a Macdonalds milk shake?

I dunno.  Do they still put beef fat in it?

*googles*

Quote
     
Ingredients (Allergen statement in ALL CAPS.)
Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream: Milk, sugar, cream, nonfat milk solids, corn syrup solids, mono- and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose, sodium citrate, artificial vanilla flavor, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, disodium phosphate, cellulose gum, vitamin A palmitate.

CONTAINS: MILK.
Triple Thick Vanilla Shake Syrup: Corn syrup, water, vanilla extract, caramel color, citric acid, pectin, sodium benzoate (preservative), yellow 5, yellow 6.

May contain small amounts of other shake flavors served at the restaurant, including egg ingredients when Egg Nog Shakes are available.
...
You should expect some variation in the nutrient content of the products purchased in our restaurants. None of our products is certified as vegetarian. This information is correct as of November 2010, unless stated otherwise.

SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener is the registered trademark of McNeil Nutritionals, LLC
EQUAL® 0 Calorie Sweetener is a registered trademark of Merisant Company

(my bold)

McDonalds claim to use organic milk in their tea and coffee (http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/food/drinks-and-shakes/organic-milk.mcdj), but not in their 'shakes'.

Why did you bold that bit? Are you saying the shakes are not vegetarian?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 08, 2010, 12:39:09 pm
None of it is.  The shakes contain some sort of animal protein and even the coating of the apple pie is not veggie.  The chips are pre-cooked in beef fat before being frozen and then deep fried in veggie oil at the outlet.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: iakobski on November 08, 2010, 01:03:54 pm
None of it is.  The shakes contain some sort of animal protein
Yes they do - it's called milk.

Are you saying the shakes are not vegetarian? Which of the ingredients listed above is the not-vegetarian one?


Quote
and even the coating of the apple pie is not veggie. 
pastry? Well, yes it's not unusual for pastry to be made with animal fat, but not McDonalds apple pies which contain:
Quote
Water, Apples (23%), Wheat Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed, Palm), Modified Waxy Maize Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Spices, Flavouring, Cassia Extract, Citric Acid.Prepared in the restaurants using a non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.


Quote
The chips are pre-cooked in beef fat before being frozen and then deep fried in veggie oil at the outlet.

No, they're not.

In other countries, eg USA, they contain beef extract to give them the old flavour as if they were cooked in beef fat. In the UK they don't.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Charlotte on November 08, 2010, 01:07:49 pm
Do you work for McDonalds, Jake?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 01:11:52 pm
Are you saying the shakes are not vegetarian? Which of the ingredients listed above is the not-vegetarian one?

Possibly mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids.  These days - like the fats in biscuits - most of these are vegetarian but (again like biscuits) they didn't used to be.  

Quote
Quote
and even the coating of the apple pie is not veggie.  
pastry? Well, yes it's not unusual for pastry to be made with animal fat, but not McDonalds apple pies which contain:
Quote
Water, Apples (23%), Wheat Flour, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed, Palm), Modified Waxy Maize Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Spices, Flavouring, Cassia Extract, Citric Acid.Prepared in the restaurants using a non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Would the glazing be of enough mass/volume to be included in that list ?  Glazing's often non-veggie though I dunno about McD's

Either way, there's the issue of how they're cooked:

Apple Pie - How do you make... - McDonald's UK (http://www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk/questions/how-do-you-make/apple-pie/#question5)



Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: iakobski on November 08, 2010, 01:15:11 pm
Do you work for McDonalds, Jake?

No I wouldn't eat a McDonalds if you paid me. Nor work for them.

There's lots of things McD's is crap for, there's no need to add ones that are false.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 08, 2010, 01:16:15 pm
lol, I'm no expert on McD's - not been into one save to use the loo for well over ten years.

It certainly used to be the case that the chips were pre-cooked in beef fat and the apple pies contained some sort of lard.  These days their adverts claim free range eggs and happy smiling children playing innocently among corn fields, so maybe this is no longer the case.  However, as they actually say on their website that none of their products are vegetarian, I'm lovin' scepticism.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Charlotte on November 08, 2010, 01:19:01 pm
Quote
we cannot guarantee that the oil used to fry the pies in has not become mixed with oil that has been used to cook chicken products during the oil filtration process in the restaurants. There are two different methods for filtering frying oils employed across McDonald's restaurants: the first utilises self-filtering vats fitted in its kitchens and the oil from each frying station is filtered into a separate container. So French Fry oil goes into one container, with Veggie Patty, Filet-o-Fish, chicken menu items and Apple Pies into another.

So they fry their apple pies in the same oil as they fry their fish?  Excuse me whilst I just go and Ralph up in the corner...  :sick:
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: fuaran on November 08, 2010, 01:20:57 pm
It certainly used to be the case that the chips were pre-cooked in beef fat and the apple pies contained some sort of lard.  These days their adverts claim free range eggs and happy smiling children playing innocently among corn fields, so maybe this is no longer the case.  However, as they actually say on their website that none of their products are vegetarian, I'm lovin' scepticism.
In the USA maybe. In the UK, the fries have always been vegetarian.
That is presumably a US website where say none of the products are certified as vegetarian. In the UK the fries and milkshakes are approved by the Vegetarian Society (though I notice the apple pie doesn't seem to be). Vegsoc Approved (http://www.seedlingshowcase.com/corporate08/company.asp?id=468)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: iakobski on November 08, 2010, 01:26:44 pm
Would the glazing be of enough mass/volume to be included in that list ?  Glazing's often non-veggie though I dunno about McD's

Either way, there's the issue of how they're cooked:

Apple Pie - How do you make... - McDonald's UK (http://www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk/questions/how-do-you-make/apple-pie/#question5)

The glazing would definitely have to be included on the list, and yes cross-contamination is an issue. However, the level of cross-contamination in McD's is likely to be very much lower than in most other places that cook meat/fish. I didn't claim they were veggie, just that the coating does not contain meat (any more....)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: iakobski on November 08, 2010, 01:29:10 pm
lol, I'm no expert on McD's - not been into one save to use the loo for well over ten years.

It certainly used to be the case that the chips were pre-cooked in beef fat and the apple pies contained some sort of lard.  These days their adverts claim free range eggs and happy smiling children playing innocently among corn fields, so maybe this is no longer the case.  However, as they actually say on their website that none of their products are vegetarian, I'm lovin' scepticism.

They don't. In the quote Charlotte put up they say none of their products is certified vegetarian. There's a world of difference, and that's what I picked up. I'm not an apologist for fast food.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Julian on November 08, 2010, 01:31:56 pm
Fair enough, the beef thing seems to be an urban myth imported from the US.  Discovering the chips are vegetarian is unlikely to make me want to eat them though. :)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: ScumOfTheRoad on November 08, 2010, 01:32:59 pm
lol, I'm no expert on McD's - not been into one save to use the loo for well over ten years.


You do know what a McPoo with Lies is don't you?

(yes, I know the common paralnce is not a poo)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: iakobski on November 08, 2010, 01:35:10 pm
Quote
we cannot guarantee that the oil used to fry the pies in has not become mixed with oil that has been used to cook chicken products during the oil filtration process in the restaurants. There are two different methods for filtering frying oils employed across McDonald's restaurants: the first utilises self-filtering vats fitted in its kitchens and the oil from each frying station is filtered into a separate container. So French Fry oil goes into one container, with Veggie Patty, Filet-o-Fish, chicken menu items and Apple Pies into another.

So they fry their apple pies in the same oil as they fry their fish?  Excuse me whilst I just go and Ralph up in the corner...  :sick:

Not quite. The oil passes through the same fiilter machine, with the fish fryer oil going through the machine after the apple pie oil. There's still a possibility of cross contamination, of course.

Personally, I wouldn't eat a deep-fried apple pie whatever its origin, but I know plenty of veggies who happily eat chips from the chip shop which are not just fried in oil which may have touched the fish frying oil, they are fried in the exact same oil at the same time.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 01:35:22 pm
In the quote Charlotte put up they say none of their products is certified vegetarian. There's a world of difference

There likely isn't, in practice.  Or they likely would be.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 01:36:19 pm
I know plenty of veggies who happily eat chips from the chip shop which are not just fried in oil which may have touched the fish frying oil, they are fried in the exact same oil at the same time.

I know people who call themselves veggie, but eat fish.  And chicken :)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: iakobski on November 08, 2010, 01:40:03 pm
lol, I'm no expert on McD's - not been into one save to use the loo for well over ten years.

It certainly used to be the case that the chips were pre-cooked in beef fat and the apple pies contained some sort of lard.  These days their adverts claim free range eggs and happy smiling children playing innocently among corn fields, so maybe this is no longer the case.  However, as they actually say on their website that none of their products are vegetarian, I'm lovin' scepticism.

They don't. In the quote Charlotte put up they say none of their products is certified vegetarian. There's a world of difference, and that's what I picked up. I'm not an apologist for fast food.

I've just googled, and it looks like Charlotte's quote came from a USAnian website. Where the products are definitely not vegetarian. And they've been successfully sued for $$millions for claiming they were  ::-)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Karla on November 08, 2010, 01:44:39 pm
I know plenty of veggies who happily eat chips from the chip shop which are not just fried in oil which may have touched the fish frying oil, they are fried in the exact same oil at the same time.

I know people who call themselves veggie, but eat fish.  And chicken :)
Aha, you're talking about fish'n'chipocrites.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: border-rider on November 08, 2010, 01:47:25 pm
 ;D

That's ace.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: teethgrinder on November 08, 2010, 08:15:04 pm
My ethical problems are with the way animals are industrially farmed, not with the concept of killing and eating them.  So I would say

lamb / beef
cheese / milk
pork
tinned tuna / tinned mackerel
cod from chippy
chicken

I currently have a greater ethical issue over mass-produced milk and cheese than over (for example) local, well-raised meat, because the cows milked for dairy products are not happy cows. 
That makes me a pretty unethical eater then
 :(
 
I munch a fair bit of chicken and hardly any beef, even less lamb All the nasty stuff (ethically speaking) from a supermarket. Pork is my next favourite. I have cod and chips from the chippy every Friday and also get through several tins of fish per week.
I was getting at the quality of life for the slaughtered or milked animal. If I was going for minimal killings, beef would win hands down. One dead bull or cow makes a hell of a lot of beef. A chicken is merely a snack by comparison.
I also glug lots of milk and eat about half a kilo of cheese a week. At least whey protien seems to be more ethical than my main sources of animal made protien, so maybe I should have more of that.



Quote
I had a soy-milk latte with hazelnut syrup (masks the slightly floury taste of the soy milk) today, and it was quite nice.  It's difficult to utter the words "small soy latte with hazelnut shot" without sounding like a pretentious wanker though.  ;)


AH! The thing to do here, is to ask for a LARGE soy latte with hazlenut shot. Emphasize the, "large," and show a hearty smile when you give your order. It's not pretentious to have a large coffee, it's indulgent.
HTH ;D
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: teethgrinder on November 08, 2010, 08:23:17 pm
Neither are 'happy', they don't have emotions, they're animals.


I find it very hard to believe that mamals* at least, do not feel emotion.
It doesn't make sense to me.




 *Not sure about reptiles but I expect that they do.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: teethgrinder on November 08, 2010, 08:44:22 pm
Consider this; rabbit, wood pigeon and squirrels live wild and in abundance in our countryside.  They are all pest species and all can be freely killed under general licence.  They have been born and have lived entirely wild and will all die anyway, most in ways involving much more suffering than a bullet to the head.

Although I can't deny that I really don't like the idea of eating this sort of food (meat just doesn't appeal to me like, say, cheese does) when it comes to wild food, I now have a growing ethical dilemma on my hands.

Whether it's a rabbit or whether it's a deer, it's much the same issue, I think. Why should I not kill them and eat them?

You don't have to. Cycle along any road, especially at daybreak, and you'll find some freshly slaughtered meat in the form of roadkill.
I'm very seriously thinking of embarking on that habbit myself. Much more ethical than my hen from Tesco. Much cheaper and probably much tastier too. Hunting them seems like too much hassle. I'd need a gun and permission from a landowner to go killing rabbits and I'm not sure I'm a good enough shot to get 100% clean kill rate. Most likely not.
Plenty of pheasants around this time of year too. Might not be so viable or at least, convenient for a Londoner though?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on November 08, 2010, 08:46:03 pm
Might not be so viable or at least, convenient for a Londoner though?

Not unless you like to eat flat cats.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: teethgrinder on November 08, 2010, 09:30:49 pm
This, "Ethics of wild meat verses the thics of manufactured meat," is a curiosity. Do wild animals have a better quality of life than a "Happy," animal? These farmed animals are looked after to a degree. A dead animal is money lost. They will be protected from preditors and disease by the farmer. The farmer will feed them and they they should never go hungry. is this so for wild animals?
Can this question even be answered? Surely happiness is more psychological than a result of the situation, at least to some degree. We can't even work it out with our own species, let alone other animals. Hell, if I knew how to generate happiness, I'd be a very rich (and happy) man!
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Ian H on November 09, 2010, 10:41:07 am
This, "Ethics of wild meat verses the thics of manufactured meat," is a curiosity. Do wild animals have a better quality of life than a "Happy," animal? These farmed animals are looked after to a degree. A dead animal is money lost. They will be protected from preditors and disease by the farmer. The farmer will feed them and they they should never go hungry. is this so for wild animals?
Can this question even be answered? Surely happiness is more psychological than a result of the situation, at least to some degree. We can't even work it out with our own species, let alone other animals. Hell, if I knew how to generate happiness, I'd be a very rich (and happy) man!

There's a whole other ethical question about domesticated animals that are in effect genetically engineered so that they bear little resemblance to their wild forebears. Most would be unlikely to survive in the wild, and many could be considered as grossly deformed from a health and welfare point of view.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 09, 2010, 10:43:15 am
This, "Ethics of wild meat verses the thics of manufactured meat," is a curiosity. Do wild animals have a better quality of life than a "Happy," animal? These farmed animals are looked after to a degree. A dead animal is money lost. They will be protected from preditors and disease by the farmer. The farmer will feed them and they they should never go hungry. is this so for wild animals?
Can this question even be answered? Surely happiness is more psychological than a result of the situation, at least to some degree. We can't even work it out with our own species, let alone other animals. Hell, if I knew how to generate happiness, I'd be a very rich (and happy) man!

There's a whole other ethical question about domesticated animals that are in effect genetically engineered so that they bear little resemblance to their wild forebears. Most would be unlikely to survive in the wild, and many could be considered as grossly deformed from a health and welfare point of view.

That sounds a lot like the checkout queue at Netto.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Flint catcher on November 16, 2010, 11:44:37 am
Jeepers... No time read all those posts!
 Just to say Damians post is relevant to mine.
When I was a dairy hand, males or bobby calves born on the farm were put in a shelter at the farm entrance for the bobby truck to pick up. Those born out of season we'd shoot and give to the dogs. Not much meat on a new born dairy bull calf.
You guys should do a stint on a farm being pissed on, shat on, trying to place the cups on a reluctant moo who keeps kicking them off into the shit.
Yeh, pus and blood are all part of milk and gives it character.
When the yield drops from a moo then its a non emotional goodbye as there isnt a dairy outfit who isnt up to its oxters in overdraft so cant afford to feed hangers onners. Best not to give them names really...
Still, all this talk of ethics is really a very british obsession.
The Japs have dairy factory farms were cows never leave their stalls.
I'd forget ever owning a moo. Makes planning time off difficult. Ask a farmer...
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Arch on November 18, 2010, 05:44:54 pm

I'd forget ever owning a moo. Makes planning time off difficult. Ask a farmer...


You could take it with you. Plenty of suitable outings.

Cowes Week, perhaps.

<thinks really hard for more>....
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: robbo6 on November 18, 2010, 06:10:52 pm
Oxen Park, Cumbria.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 18, 2010, 06:54:07 pm
'The forgotten village': Families snowed in for three weeks as council gritters leave hamlet stranded
 | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1241310/The-forgotten-village-Families-snowed-weeks-council-gritters-leave-hamlet-stranded.html)

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/01/07/article-1241310-07C9272A000005DC-361_634x396.jpg)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: itsbruce on November 18, 2010, 08:19:19 pm

Because they're sentient? Using sentient beings as foodstuffs is not something that sits easily with me, at least.

Your distinction between sentient and non-sentient life is a bit arbitrary, no?  There are those (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruitarianism) who would consider it disingenuous.

And then there's Bob (http://www.angryflower.com/vegeta.gif).
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: ludwig on November 30, 2010, 06:03:06 pm
I am surprised that throughout this discusion about the ethics of eating meat noone has mentioned the fact that feeding vegetable matter to animals is an incredibly ineficient way of producing food and reduces the area of land available for growing crops that people can eat directly without it being turned into meat. This in turn raises the price of those crops and the poorest people go without. I am very much with charlotte on this. I dont think that the suffering of each individual animal at the point of its death is the important issue. More important is the degree of suffering that it endured throughout its life and the wider impact of it's production in terms of the environment. How ethical is it to buy newzealand apples or egyptian new potatoes?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: fboab on November 30, 2010, 07:10:32 pm
Except that ruminants are able to digest waste products that would otherwise be, well, waste, and live on land that can't be farmed for other crops. The animal feed argument is much more relevant to pig and poultry farming, where they eat a relatively high quality diet.
Dairy cows in this country, and most of europe, eat grass, silage, brewers grains, beet pulp, citrus waste (what's left after making juice) and all kinds of dodgy by-products.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 30, 2010, 07:22:07 pm
Except that ruminants are able to digest waste products that would otherwise be, well, waste, and live on land that can't be farmed for other crops. The animal feed argument is much more relevant to pig and poultry farming, where they eat a relatively high quality diet.
Dairy cows in this country, and most of europe, eat grass, silage, brewers grains, beet pulp, citrus waste (what's left after making juice) and all kinds of dodgy by-products.

Don't forget the by-products of the bio-fuel that constitutes 5% of of petrol, diesel and heating oils.
Biofuels | Information | Farmers Guardian (http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/hot-topics/biofuels/32011.article)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: ludwig on December 01, 2010, 05:11:41 am
I wasn't forgetting bio fuels which are a whole other can of worms.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Exit Stage Left on December 02, 2010, 12:16:27 am
I wasn't forgetting bio fuels which are a whole other can of worms.


I think you're probably thinking of compost. Which can produce bio-fuel from household waste.
SCT Composting &raquo; Global Renewables (http://www.globalrenewables.eu/ur3r-process/description/sct-composting/)
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: itsbruce on December 02, 2010, 12:34:56 am
I am surprised that throughout this discusion about the ethics of eating meat noone has mentioned the fact that feeding vegetable matter to animals is an incredibly ineficient way of producing food.

It really isn't.  If it were more efficient to feed directly from plants, carnivores would never have evolved.  Brutally, animals higher up the food chain let the animals lower down the food chain do the work of creating complex substances from more basic substances.  This is why carnivores spend much less time eating than herbivores.

The fact that some modern cattle farming practices are destructive and inefficient doesn't change this.  There are alternatives which are quite capable of feeding large populations; musk ox, for example, forage in deciduous forests.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: ludwig on December 02, 2010, 07:01:57 am
Of course meat is a highly concentrated form of all the nutrients that it offers and of course that is why carnivores evolved to exploit those neat little packages of nutrition. That's not the issue though. It still takes a lot more land to get the energy equivalent from meat than it does from growing a crop. I don't know anything about musk ox but I suspect that the same rule applies to them. I would also imagine that farming them on any kind of scale would be hard in a forest.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: Tigerrr on December 02, 2010, 05:21:34 pm
Are there women who do breast milk for general human consumption? I have not seen it in the shops and I am wondering where it is available commercially.  I have an idea about a dinner party surprise.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: itsbruce on December 02, 2010, 05:44:58 pm
Would you settle for milk from an invisible cow (http://www.angryflower.com/nobody.gif)?
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: itsbruce on December 02, 2010, 11:46:24 pm
It still takes a lot more land to get the energy equivalent from meat than it does from growing a crop. I don't know anything about musk ox

I can see that.  You're missing the point, which has already been alluded to, that many meat animals can be raised in land that has other uses, or which would otherwise be unused.  Large scale crop farming, in contrast, generates barren monocultures.

See?  Vegetarians are killing the planet :P
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: ludwig on December 03, 2010, 08:17:52 am
I was in the butchers yesterday and they were fresh out of musk ox. However they did have plenty of beef, pork lamb and chicken. Now it's been a long time since I sat in lectures working out feed ratios so I'm a bit rusty but from what I remember cattle are mostly fed on grass or it's derivatives( including cereals) . Pig feed is mostly cereals and soya and sheep graze upland areas and are supplemented with hay. I don't know much more about chickens than musk ox but my guess would be that they eat grain and some sort of concentrate that is derived from grain. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that with most of the commonly consumed meat (in the uk at least) although the little fellows can live on non productive land, they are fed from land that could grow crops to be fed to people. Producing meat on land that has no other uses has got to be a good thing and I for one would applaud it but some of the other ethical issues also come in to play. Here in Wales for instance the natural habitat of the upland oak forest is devistated by over grazing by sheep. The oaks are there but the under storey has gone. I am not trying to support vegetarianism particularly (I,m not vegetarian myself) I would just like to know the facts.
Title: Re: Ethical milk
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on December 03, 2010, 11:18:07 am
I am surprised that throughout this discusion about the ethics of eating meat noone has mentioned the fact that feeding vegetable matter to animals is an incredibly ineficient way of producing food.

It really isn't.  If it were more efficient to feed directly from plants,

"It really isn't.  If it were more efficient to feed directly from animals, Humans would never have developed a society based on agriculture."

ftfy