Why I’m trying to eat less meat

Consider this thought experiment:

Imagine a time in the future where an alien species comes to our earth. They are more intelligent than us in pretty much every way and soon gain control over most of earth. These aliens are perfectly able to survive on eating grass, but one day they realise that humans are actually rather tasty. They then round up a huge number of humans from the wild, put them in cramped cages, giving them the bare minimum they need to stay alive, and force them to breed all the time. Once males grow decently big, or when females are unable to bear more children, they get killed for the aliens’ consumption. Humans suffer by the millions, but the average alien doesn’t care. Why should it, when humans are such an inferior species compared to them?

Do you feel that this is perfectly reasonable? Is it okay/right for these hypothetical aliens to treat us in whatever way they want, just to satisfy their tastebuds?

If you don’t think it’s right for the aliens to treat humans however they want just because they can, then I’m sure you know where this is going. How is it then right for humans to make billions of animals live their whole lives in immense suffering in order to kill them for our pleasure?

This is an issue that I’ve been considering for a some time now, initially triggered by watching Food Inc, a documentary about factory farming, for one of my social sciences modules. It was pretty sickening :( and since then I’ve been trying to eat a vegetarian meal once a week. But recently I went to read up more about factory farming and the ethics of it, partly because Sapiens also touched on this. And I don’t see how we can avoid concluding that buying/eating meat produced from industrial agriculture is unethical. I’ll write about what led me to this conclusion below, but as someone who enjoys eating meat, I would really like to believe otherwise. If you have any good justifications for why eating meat is ethical, please tell me and we can have a discussion!

Basically the main argument is that:

1. Animals are intelligent and have feelings; in particular they can feel pleasure and pain. From what we can tell, they seem to have some level of consciousness. Knowingly and needlessly making an animal suffer is not really that different from causing human suffering. If we agree that causing human suffering is unethical, then so is causing suffering to animals.

2. In industrial agriculture (aka factory farming), animals are treated horrendously and made to suffer all their lives. Watch the video on this page!

3. By buying and eating meat from such companies, we are supporting this treatment of animals and playing a part in this suffering.

Hence, buying and eating meat that comes from factory farms is unethical. And if I add another point:

4. I want to be a good person which means doing things I think are ethical, and not doing things that I think are unethical

Then it’s pretty obvious that I should stop eating factory farmed meat, right?

It’s also pretty weird that we are kind of inconsistent in how we think about animals: If you see someone kicking a dog or mistreating a rabbit for fun, you would probably think that’s wrong. You may also be appalled when you hear about people eating dogs or rabbits (or say horses). But what makes a these species so different from cows, pigs and chickens? Nothing inherently. It’s just that culturally we are used to seeing certain animals as “food”, and not as “animal lives” I guess?

The rearing animals for food also is super bad for the environment. Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation combined!! It also uses far more water and land to feed animals for meat, compared to if we just grow plants to eat directly. See this for more facts about meat and the environment. Apart from ethical reasons, environmentally our consumption of meat is totally unsustainable. This was actually what originally motivated me to try eating less meat, not the ethics of it – although now I think the ethics part is a much more important reason.

There’s another question of whether it’s just the suffering part that matters (so it’s ok to eat meat if the animal was legitly raised humanely on small farms and lived a good life), or is it unethical to kill any animal for food, no matter how well it was raised? Also what about non-meat animal products (eggs, milk)? I’m not quite sure of my stand on this yet. But I suppose pretty much all the meat and non-meat products we get in Singapore are from industrial farming.

Ignorance may be bliss, but now that I know more about this issue, I can’t “un-know” it or just do nothing. The thought of all those animals crammed in cages or sheds and getting slaughtered makes me sad and disgusted :( And now that you know a bit about this, I hope you give it some thought and hopefully are inspired to take action too! It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing (ie. eat meat or become vegetarian), maybe just try the once-a-week vegetarian thing too for a start (there is actually a campaign called “Meatless Monday” and it just happens that monday is my designated vegetarian lunch day too hahaha).

I used to think that I can’t live without eating meat, and a meal without meat is not a proper meal (like if I order caifan I would always get at least 1 meat). But even my once-a-week vegetarian meal has made me feel that I don’t actually need meat that much. And since it’s also better for the environment and my health, that’s even better! So yup, I’m going to make an effort to eat less meat-heavy meals and get vegetarian stuff when I can.

See these also for more perspective:

Pls let me know if you learnt something from this post or are interested to talk more about this issue! I promise I won’t try to pressure you to change what you eat if you don’t want to.

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[ALP week 2-4] fun stuff + shanghai x2

(written on friday but couldn’t post)

Last week I started writing a post but it DIDN’T GET SAVED cos my internet disconnected. Bleh.

So anyway this is my 4th week in China, I’ve gotten used to life here which includes cabbing to yuquan every other day for lessons/meetings and cabbing almost everywhere else too cos can claim, crossing the road in a yolo way, ponning useless classes, hanging out in the IDI or nuaing in my room, checking the weather forecast to decide whether I should wear slippers or shoes, using baidu instead of google for search/maps/translate, having to use VPN for snapchat/fb/insta, ordering stuff from taobao, and last but not least all the good+cheap+convenient food from family mart (they have v nice onigiri and not bad bento sets that they can heat up for you)/ delivery (fried chicken burger and blackball delivered right to your doorstep block in 30min)/ canteen (actually I rarely eat at the canteen even though the food is not bad and basically free with sch card lol)/ going out to eat!

Some photos that sum up ALP so far (see my fb album for the legit photos, these are mostly unedited and taken with my phone/ saved from snapchat):

Continue reading

nothing much

The past few weeks have been good! Lots of lazing around at home but also spent some time with people, and making + eating good food heh. Main events were:

– jollibee with yiqing and tiff! It’s totally like a kfc but with a more efficient queuing/ seating system and less variety of food haha

– watching cecilia’s band concert at esplanade! Super talented leh she only started learning clarinet in sec 4 and now playing in outside concerts already :O

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– secret santa with the class gang, the “secret” part was a failure LOL but otherwise it was not bad. I was considering just getting my person (george) a box of chocolates but good thing I didn’t cos it turned out that george was my secret santa and he got me a box of chocolates….. hahahahah but ok not complaining it’s a fitting gift for me! And I discovered a hidden talent in chopping letters (the muji kind) in a straight line. Anyway we ended up playing mahjong the whole afternoon and even played with my grandfather for a few rounds lololol

– bball and soccer with stanley and co – I think having guy friends is really interesting cos if not for them I don’t think I’d do stuff like play mahjong or brawl or bball/soccer. Cecilia was saying that it’s hard to become good friends with guys and that’s sad cos they have different and valuable perspectives, I guess it’s quite true!

baking making no bake stuff! Lime cheesecake just for fun, and oreo choc tart with jolene (see prev post) :D I think I prefer baked cheesecakes but need to find a way to make them lighter like the japanese kind!
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– christmas lunch at my neighbour’s house. I don’t really celebrate christmas but turkey with cranberry jam is rly yummy!! And I love the festive decorations especially baubles

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a christmas feast
sushi
homemade sushi and salad on christmas eve :D
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we got a free log cake!
12-25 noisy baubles
yay for baubles and bokeh

– rock climbing with my family which was quite fun! We went to a place which has an auto-belaying system on one wall and it’s scary cos when you reach the top you have to just let go and drop and hope that the belaying thing works (it’s kinda like a seat belt so it only recognizes that you’re dropping if you drop suddenly). The bouldering gym was cool too we tried climbing at the overhang parts, even a slight slope makes it a lot harder alr but there were other people doing the crazy (like 45 degree) overhangs!!!

– watched hobbit- it was ok I guess… didn’t find it that great cos I imagined the battle to be like the final LOTR which was rly epic so in comparison the hobbit one wasn’t very memorable. But I loved the elves!!

– watched Orbita!! It’s a gym performance by the National Danish Performance Team (they volunteer to train and go around the world performing for a year :O), some parts kinda random but the stunts and tumbling were wowww

Wow when I list it out like that my life sounds quite happening hahaha. I keep thinking that soon the new year will come and we’ll be back to seeing everyone in school everyday but nope….. we’re gonna be j3s!! :O

food (fats) and family

It’s been a busy cny! From cny eve spring cleaning (my class was super efficient and hardcore hahaha) to kings outing (hatched & the daily scoop! got introduced to avocado icecream which is surprisingly not bad) then going home to help out (ie. filling up trays with food, plucking the silly pussy willow and decorating the house) for tuan yuan fan (my dad’s side came to our house for steamboat :D). Day 1 was visiting (grandparents’ house for lunch and yearly phototaking) then coming home for a nap before going to the temple (gene’s “kissing candles”) then mee sua dinner at my house with my grandmothers’ side (quite fun I talked to some of my uncles! but everyone asked me what/where I’m going to study bleh). Day 2 we visited my grandfather’s side (quite awkward, me simin and my dad just sat at the side as usual), went to another temple, came home and ate previous days’ leftovers for lunch, then went to the istana and river hongbao thing! And today we spent the whole day at USS :D ok wow what a long summary of the past few days haha time for photos now!

0202 pussy willow
furry thing from the pussy willow!
0202 horse yusheng
horse yusheng made by my father :D
0202 fu
cheena decorations for my house
0202 firecrackers
more cheena decorations
0202 nuts
one of my favourite cny foods- cashew nuts!!
all the ingredients for...
all the ingredients for…
0202 meesua
mee sua! :D
4 boxes of yusheng!!! we didn't have big enough plates so it had to be split into 3
four boxes of yusheng!!! we didn’t have big enough plates so it had to be split into 3 plates lol
idk why the carrots look like they're glowing
idk why the carrots look like they’re glowing

I haven’t decided what my favourite cny food is! Out of the 3 people I asked, 100% said pineapple tarts LOL I like pineapple tarts too but they aren’t like -the best-. Some of the things I’ve been eating the most are mandarins, pomelo, cashew nuts, keropok and famous amos (not really a cny food but we had a container of it!). I still haven’t eaten any kueh lapis this cny D:

I shall leave istana and hongbao river photos for the next post! Haven’t touched work at all lol unlike the rest of my class who don’t seem to celebrate cny…

[taiwan 2013] day 11: slacking in taichung

We didn’t really have much planned and were tired from walking everywhere so decided to have a more slack day! Woke up late then took a bus (it’s free if you’re travelling within 8km!) to the taichung maple garden which had some teddy bear exhibition thing, basically there were bears painted with different outfits and stuff which people were queuing to take photos with….

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maple garden, quite pretty but not very big and I was expecting maple trees but there weren’t really any??
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iron man bear lolol
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walked around the area and came across this shop called egg tart factory (蛋塔工場) and bought a box of ice cream egg tarts!! the cheesecake was v good too I sampled it but my parents didn’t wanna buy DD:

Then went to some shopping mall which had food republic! According to my mum it’s from singapore but it looked more posh. We wanted to have lunch at din tai fung (all the stores there advertise the 1 michelin star haha) but it was too crowded so ended up back at food republic. After lunch was time for hobbit!!! Imax 3D hehe it was really super ‘immersive’ and exciting :D My father and I stayed and watched the whole of the credits, is it weird that I like watching credits lol cos it’s amazing to see how it takes sooo many people doing all sorts of things just to make that one movie

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din tai fung!! i want D:

Anyway yeah then we went to fengjia night market which imo was the best one we went to, lots of yummy food and relevant shops and it wasn’t extremely crowded like some parts of shilin. But it started raining while we were there so didn’t stay for that long D: ate dinner then left and went to the icecream shop opposite our hotel, Miyahara Ophthalmology Department cos it used to be an eye hospital but it’s now the most famous icecream shop in taichung!

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a teh tarik stall lol!!
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our cheapest meal in taiwan (about S$10 for 2 of these) which was still v yummy!
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eye hospital turned ice cream shop- it’s crazy, they have one whole freezer thing for different kinds of chocolate icecream!!

[taiwan 2013] day 4-6: cloudy in hualien

We got a driver for the past few days to go around and we’d stop at pretty places, but it’s been quite cloudy and foggy so still amazing scenery but some parts not as nice for taking photos :(

4-1train
on the train from taipei to 新城
4-2beach
v cool waves along 清水斷崖
4-3qingshuicliff
love the colour of the sea!!!
4-4shakadang
not sure what the bridge is called but this photo was taken from the start of the shakadang (砂卡噹) trail
4-5water
the trail basically follows a stream with really clear and nice water
4-6hualien
view from our hotel in hualien
4-7bao
some famous bao shop!!
4-8dessert
dessert :D
on day 5 we did a tour down the east rift valley. this is from some old japanese place I forgot what it’s called haha
5-2liyutan
we spent 1h going around liyu lake (鯉魚潭) in this super slow peddle boat
5-3lintienshan
林田山
5-3railway
old railroads!
5-4hotpot
石头火锅 for lunch- my first time voluntarily eating so much fish and veggies but it was yummy!
5-5icecream
ice cream at the guangfu sugar factory :D I’ve actually been eating icecream a lot hehe icecream in winter is v nice!
5-6ostrich
went to 瑞穗 but we didn’t really go around much, just saw some ostriches and cows and ate more icecream hahaha
雲山水, a super pretty place (my photos don't do it justice) though it's all man-made
雲山水, a super pretty place (my photos don’t do it justice) though it’s all man-made
5-8ducks
the man-made lake is huge! and has ducks heh (on the far right is a hotel)
6-1qixingtan
stacking rocks at 七星潭 x) it isn’t actually a lake, the water in the background is the pacific ocean!
6-2tarokoentrance
east entrance to taroko national park
6-3tarokogorge
taroko gorge! we had to wear helmets while walking there in case rocks fall
6-4tarokoriver
the river water wasn’t that pretty but still nice!
6-5tianxiang
天祥寺 which was too high so we decided not to climb up haha
6-6redmaple
red maple leaves!!!
leader village, it's like a resort run by people from the tribe there and the place is super nice
leader village, it’s like a resort run by people from the tribe there and the place is super nice!! they have stargazing stuff but it was too cloudy the night we were there D:

Yup finally done! I’m in sun moon lake now but that will be a separate post cos this is so long already

good food & great company

love
I super love this photo hehe 8))

 

Some of the more memorable quotes from the past few weeks x)

“a minor flaw in our action plan lies in its apparent lack of imperfections, leading to difficulties in further improvements”

“speak blessings to yourself. Do not allow others to speak negative words of your name” (what even?!?)

“you look exceedingly gorgeous today, ma’am”

jasmine: “我跟我的男朋友分手了” jiaolian: “那juan草有机会了!!!!” I am so amused hahaha jiaolian ships jasmine/maverick and tiff/reudi

“…Sorry I’m not myself today
I must be si-zling in your never yan-ding pool of sexiness
Yours truly,
Georgina the broccoli”

“does it count as being a lightbulb if there are two of us?”

“all the girls better stay away from him ah” – from talking about the waist-hip ratio thing ahahaha

I realised I forgot to blog about teo’s farewell last time so… as of a few weeks ago, rggym started training at ri gym, ie no more henry park and teo :(( actually I suppose it shouldn’t really matter since we’ve graduated already but it’s strange to think about how our juniors will have such a different training “culture” and no more seniors come back to hpps to judge trials and stuff :/ anyway we had a farewell dinner for teo at j8 manhattan (I don’t even know why they would wanna let us book cos we were this huge bunch of extremely noisy people hogging tables, and it wasn’t even very profitable for them cos we are cheapos who used up all of angelia’s 1 for 1 vouchers hahaha) then went to take a ton of photos with teo at the mrt entrance LOL. Miss teo’s training and taking his car back with thomson gang :( and it’s so weird to imagine that our tiny little sec 1s are soon gonna be sec 3 and be seniors!!

After teo left most of my batch went marble slab :D it’s good!! We ended up eating mostly in silence and I realised I’ve gotten quite used to silence(s?) so I can’t really tell if a silence is awkward or not HAHA. But yeah I think sometimes it’s nice to not have to make conversation lol #antisocial

Claimed my cts treat (final score 3-2!) at strictly pancakes hehe :D otw there we just happened to meet codee angelia debbie charmaine after their sushi buffet- so qiao right!! But yeah thanks to that, open secret is no longer a secret haha actually I’m quite amused at how slowly it spread! Anyway strictly was gooddd 8)

I got rostered to cover founder’s day so had to go to school early on a saturday D: uhm it was better not as bad as I’d expected! It’s nothing like rgs founder’s day lah but just speech day/prize-giving, and welll most of it was really boring. But at least I got to walk around, unlike all the other students sitting at the back who were so bored lolol. I think being a photographer needs some level of shamelessness like when the GOH is talking you’re supposed to just walk up right in front of him and shoot him talking. Which I don’t really have meh so paiseh to stand in front and block everyone! Andd I did sth very embarrassing ahh but luckily not a lot of people saw (I hope!!). Anyway it ended way ahead of schedule so benji and I went to get food :D ms stephanie siow was there also so we went to ask her if she remembered us (she remembered calling benji the qianbian face ahahaha).

After founder’s day I went to hpps for seniors-coming-back-to-visit-teo day. Was quite nice to see all the seniors together and ofc teo!!! We just had lunch and took photos around the gym, but didn’t get to stay very long cos we had to prep for farewell- jelita shopping then went to reudi’s house to make the pinata! His house super nice :D we spent super long on the pinata (which had $40 worth of sweets lolol) but it failed the first time hahaha but after we re-tied it up it was not bad!! Overall I think farewell was pretty good already lah considering we aren’t even very close to the seniors. Good bbq food + funny people and games (actually mostly just the dancing one ahahahaha) + sparklers! Most of the seniors just wanted to nua inside the house so we got more sparklers to play. Light painting is so cool :D we sang the changed-lyrics sch song which was v retarded lolol but I think they were impressed with the farewell gifts! Yay all our hard work during trainings/lectures haha esp tiff who did so many notebooks and pens!!

I had my camera for founders day so ended up being photographer for the rest of the day too, I took like 600 photos altogether the whole day .__. and had to post process founders day photos so I decided to download lightroom trial. It’s really nice to use ahh so much better than iphoto!! I need to learn how to torrent it or something

Celebrated lizzi and leanne’s bday at EwF! The food is pretty nice but not super fantastic I guess. Oh but their desserts look really good!!! We had a cake though so didn’t get to try the desserts D: anw it was nice to see them! Ended up mostly a gossip sharing session where as usual I don’t know half the people lol but ok lah it was not that bad

Went out with dawn twice last week! Once for yoguru, she had vouchers but cannot use together so after finishing 1 cup each we got another one to share LOL. And fri after training she crashed my family’s dinner/supper! Super funny cos we went to eat sam lo hor fun, then when deciding what to eat dawn was like “i’m ok with anything! Except taugay. And fish.” And sam lo is basically taugay and fish ahahaha. But my father made her try some taugay hahaha accomplishment of the century

Uhmm what else haha I’m v amused by my friends every day! Random talking at mos/ in sch cos we had a 3h break between lessons today x)

Yay for the 2.5 day school week 8D