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This piece gets at an example of why the move, in the last couple decades, to rebrand "liberal" as "progressive" hasn't really worked, led to new political gains or left behind the negative baggage the term liberal had accumulated. Most of today's self-describe progressives aren't actually very progressive, except on maybe a few pet issues.

Being a progressive means believing in progress across the board -- unabashedly, enthusiastically preaching progress and a better future by using human ingenuity to solve today problems by offering people something better, something new. Not stale, curdled reactionist thinking that wants to go back to some idealized past, whether neo-pastoral or neo-fascist, but forward to a better future, with more freedom and good things for everyone.

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I've long refused to use the word progressive as an ideological descriptor due to the sheer innate smugness of the term. "Oh, we're for *progress*, that's unquestionably good, who would oppose that?" It gets even worse when those who use that label don't even live up to it as you describe.

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If you are able to lift your head from the muck and slime of modern political branding and use the words with the context of every other part of life, "progressive", "moderate", and "conservative" aren't even contradictory.

The animating forces on the edges of our two parties today are probably what I'd describe as "reactionary" and "revolutionary". I'll let you guess which is which!

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I think you go too far in calling "Progressives" reactionaries. :)

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It's like the "Reasonablists" in Parks and Rec.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

After 75+ years of abuse of the term, "liberal" is finally returning to something like it's correct meaning and valance. The various single-party, auth-populist movements on the left and right seem to have truly abandoned the label. As such, and given that the term "libertarian" and it's associated institutions are now fully toxic and corrupted, I am officially claiming the label for all those of us who retain a commitment to pluralist, egalitarian, limited governance.

Now "progressive" as a term has the same problem as "libertarian" currently has. At it's core the progressive movement has always been one of the single-party, auth-populist movements I'm referring to. We need a untainted term for commitment to technological and social progress, unfortunately I'm not sure there's one just lying around for the taking like with "liberal".

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

If we aren't interested in making up a new term, 'humanism' seems like a reasonably decent fit for what you're looking for. It's not perfect, but if the other side(s) can modify the meaning of words for political convenience, why can't we?

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"Equitable growth humanism?"

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If we could narrowly define liberal as "of or promoting liberty", that could get much closer to my collection of beliefs. I'm not holding my breath for that to happen any time soon, though.

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"Neo-Liberal" would be ideal, except it got associated with tax cuts for the rich and deficits

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I find it a useful word to describe Liberals who flunked Econ 101. :)

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The list of progressive grab-bag ideas in response to Ezra's piece reads like a parody of itself. Why exactly are meant to treat this faction as a serious interlocutor with liberalism and not just a group of misanthropic communists who are more interested in wrecking every system they can find than in solving problems in a serious way?

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I mean... I agree with Matt over Mark, but this list is not totally out of left field. They are trying to address the root causes of why meat is so inexpensive relative to its societal costs. It is the philosophical equivalent of arguing for a carbon tax, but Matt gives a good explanation for why it's not the right path, especially now.

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Your cautioning comment is well-taken, I suppose if you look at it from a perspective of 'this is a list of policies that will make meat more expensive by reducing the efficiency of the meat industry' and sort of treat the moral packaging as the message they want to use to make those reforms (and subsequent price increases) happen, then it's not unreasonable. But my read is that it's coming from the unfortunately common ideological position of being anti-human, of believing humans are a scourge and the best way to save the planet is to embark on a moral mission of removing luxury from the lives of humans, a mission animated by the sense that there is something grotesque and evil about the decadent luxury of modern life. Personally, though, I'm all for the decadent luxury of modern life, and in fact I'm quite hopeful that my grandchildren will get to live an even more decadent and luxurious lifestyle than I do now.

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I guess I don't see it that way. They are arguing it's immoral to use immigrant labor at near-slave wages in the meatpacking industry and that CAFOs are cruel to animals, but we're willing to overlook these things because it's the only way to keep meat cheap. That's different than saying "people don't deserve to eat steak." I found this Bittman/Pollan article from 2014 making the same argument in milder, less woke terms: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-a-national-food-policy-could-save-millions-of-american-lives/2014/11/07/89c55e16-637f-11e4-836c-83bc4f26eb67_story.html I really don't think this chain of logic is unreasonable or insincere. But it's one thing to suggest this list of ideas; it's another to use this list as a battering ram against another good idea, which is investing in R&D to improve quality/reduce cost for meat alternatives.

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No problem with taxing cruelty, if that drives up the price of meat, too bad. Same for taxing as possible the methane emissions from animal production if that drives up the price of meat, too bad. And alt-meat research drives down the demand for the negative externality-producing activities. But the important thing is to tax/regulate the externality not something downstream from the externality.

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That piece is totally fine and I have no issues with it. But I can't see why they would have an issue with R&D if they did not subscribe to the ideology I describe in my other comment. That ideology is why people get upset about claims that we can use science to solve our way out of tricky moral problems without sacrificing anything we like. Simply being a consequentialist interested in improving the conditions of immigrants and animals does not really lead one to opposing technological developments which would put CAFOs out of business and exchange the need for large pools of cheap labor with a smaller pool of skilled, well-compensated labor.

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Yeah so I finally got around to actually reading the Bittman piece that responded to Klein. It is snotty as f***. Basically opposing "propping up" the alt-meat industry because it's led by rich white men who will only become richer and the end product is not any healthier than real meat. Ok, Mark, so tell me you don't actually give two shits about animal welfare or climate change without telling me.... Also, your black bean burger recipe sucks.

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But that IS the point. We want to prevent cruelty NOT put CAFOs (I had to look it up) out of business and we want immigrants to have better lives NOT not work in meat packing plants. If technology gets us out of "tricky" moral dilemmas, great!

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Kade U, you're welcome to disagree, but I don't think pointing out that cheap meat involves horrific animal suffering is anti-human. Personally, I'm very saddened by the treatment of farm animals in the US. But I agree with Matt Y that trying to convert American to vegetarians en masse is a nonstarter.

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I don't think saying that on its own is anti-human at all! I actually agree -- I eat less meat than I used to for this very reason. But it's important to remember that these criticisms are coming in response to a call for progress and technological investment. Essentially, they are positioning themselves as saying that we shouldn't try to progress our way out of this problem by improving conditions for us and therefore for animals, but instead that it is somehow morally incumbent upon us to refuse the pleasure of eating meat. They want the moral fight and sacrifice, it is inconvenient for them that we might be able to solve the moral problem without giving up anything. That is the piece that I believe is anti-human. To them, the issue is not JUST animal suffering (though I'm sure they do care about this) but also that there is something inherently unethical about humans having their cake and eating it too.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

Maybe we should call these folks (you describe them very well!) “the hair shirt faction of the progressive faction”

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No. Matt's approach here is like to other externalities reduce demand, not reduce supply.

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I genuinely think a lot of vegetarians and vegans don’t even know how different their food lifestyle is than many peoples. Mark Bittman also said the replacement for meat is legumes which it is for me and many plant based eaters but this is built on sand if you’re trying to spread it outside of the foodie world of relatively affluent people who cook as a hobby.

People don’t know what to do with them, or how to season for them which for me is a fun adventure—let’s learn to make a new curry, but for a lot of people is a daunting task trying to get dinner on the table for several picky eaters.

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founding

Having recently added a vegetarian to our extended family, I agree with this completely. It forced the rest of us to either (1) offend them by offering our traditional meat-focused entrees at lunch and dinner, (2) force everyone else to eat vegetarian, (3) create two-entree meals which is more work, more stress and more cost or (4) go to restaurants so the vegetarian can order differently than everyone else.

We chose 3, mostly. But it was a pain and I will probably do number 4 more often in the future.

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I don’t want to downplay the difficulty of this for you guys, but having hosted your average group of Portland Millennials for dinners for many years now may I suggest meals with a bit of a DIY component? Tacos is probably the easiest example, where you can create just one extra protein option with little fuss.

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founding

Just sad to give up traditional, special-occasion recipes which have been part of the family for a few generations -- grandma's lasagna, the chili that won the county fair contest to name just two -- to accommodate one person's preferences.

We will do it and it is the right thing to do, but sad nonetheless.

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Maybe you don't have to give up on them? Have the meaty lasagna for a special occasion, and make a smaller veggie lasagna for the vegetarian. My husband is going to have turkey for Thanksgiving, and I'm okay with that.

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founding
Oct 26, 2022·edited Oct 26, 2022

We did pick that option (#3), but at added cost and hassle. Worth it to keep the peace and make him feel welcome.

I find it interesting how this topic is approached in the US. If I said I was going to go visit a family in a different country -- say, India -- but I tell my hosts I don't eat coconut or cumin or chickpeas, and therefore they were expected to change how they cook to accommodate me, most people would say I was being culturally insensitive. (They'd be correct, I think). But isn't that what vegetarians are doing?

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Are you a moral relativist? I don’t think we should do bad things just because they are culturally acceptable and I, as a vegetarian concerned with animal welfare, think eating meat is a bad thing.

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Oops, I just suggested tacos before reading your comment. Great minds think alike!

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Don't you dare apologies for tacos. And on a Tuesday, no less!

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No one can ever go wrong in suggesting tacos.

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Still waiting for a truck on every corner :(

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Ha my comment was already said, I see lol

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Hi John, I don't know if you're looking for advice, but I recommend tacos! Delicious and kid-friendly. The vegetarian can have refried beans on theirs, you can have chicken or Barbacoa or whatnot, and everyone can have some lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, salsa,, etc. Win-win! Roasted mushrooms also work great for a vegetarian taco.

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I'm so jealous of the Mexican side of my family, they can just play the hits and everyone eats.

The Americans always mean you gotta do some vegan and some gluten free options and it's a giant pain, and the food they get is often slightly sub par.

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As the only vegetarian couple at most family gatherings, we just offer to bring a hearty, veggie-based main or fill up on sides. (Thanksgiving, in particular, requires no special accommodations- the sides are the best part anyway!) It hasn't been a major issue.

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I have a lot of vegetarians in my family, and we're renowned for just throwing out the societal rules for Thanksgiving and cooking up all kinds of fun dishes all over the culinary map to satisfy omnivores and vegetarians alike to sample as they choose.

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Yeah, I threw fewer dinner parties once the only way I could make everyone happy was tacos lol. When you’ve got some vegans and some gluten free folks it’s easy enough to use corn tortillas and fry up some tofu in a separate skillet, but one does get sick of having to make tacos to appease the group

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Blasphemer!!! How can one ever get sick of tacos?!?

Seriously though, there are other options. You could have a big veggie/noodle stir fry, and serve tofu cubes and chicken or beef strips on the side for people to top their stir fry with. Pizza is a classic for a reason. Or have a cookout, weather permitting, with meat and Impossible burgers or hot dogs. All if the above can accommodate gluten free folks (you can get GF pizza crust).

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This was pre-Impossible burger, but there were veggie burgers etc. I get that I'm making excuses - there are other ways to be a short-order cook for a party, it just takes a lot of the joy out of cooking. I liked making dishes I enjoyed and had developed skills to make well, but as the seasons changed in life, I went through a period where my closest friends were one vegan, one vegetarian gluten free, and one practically paleo gluten free meat-a-tarian. Getting together with friends was the important part, not the food - but it's certainly more fun to share a new recipe or a something you're proud of making.

People enjoy the Cheesecake Factory well-enough because it does a reasonably good job at making whatever someone in one's party might want - but being a jack of all trades, it's a master of none, save cheesecake (and the chief innovation there is portion size). The same principle holds.

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I'm an omnivore but have a bunch of vegetarian family and friends and I find option 2 the easiest. Much easier to accommodate the vegetarians than the celiacs or just general picky eaters in the family.

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founding

Option 1 and 2 both suffer from the same problem: they force a choice onto someone based on another's preferences. They are mirror images as the vegetarian isn't allergic or suffering from a disease -- it is just his preference.

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But the vegetarian meal is the lowest common denominator. It accommodates everyone's preferences, unless you have one of those weirdos who only eats raw meat or whatever

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Family-style dinners get around much of this pain; when we have vegetarian friends over it's very easy to cook 2 vegetable/egg dishes out of 4 dishes featuring protein. Tofu and egg for Chinese, cheeses and beans for Italian, other cheeses and other beans for Mexican, still other cheese and other beans for French, lol.

Hell, most meals with no vegetarians we still have plant-based proteins for 1-2 of 4 mains.

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Is the vegetarian a minor or an adult?

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founding

He’s an adult.

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That's tough and you have my earnest sympathies. You're not really asking for advice, so please disregard if this is overstepping or unhelpful, but my general sense is that you will be well served by treating him as an adult with the assumption that he is capable of feeding himself and, thus, implicitly selecting (1). As in, if there are easy ways to avoid putting meat in a dish, do those, but his personal dietetics ought not require you to dramatically change how you eat and he should be adult enough to understand this. If he doesn't like what's on offer, he has to find his own food, a solution that's likely to mean less trouble for you but also less stress for him. An easy compromise would be to invite him to participate in food preparation and plan and make vegetarian dishes and meals that he wants to eat.

I say this with a diet more like his than yours. When I first eliminated most animal products from my diet, my mother insisted on trying to accommodate my preferences at every meal. This was sweet of her, but it turned out to be a huge headache for her and me both. She didn't really understand what my diet was and so she constantly asked me what I would eat and wouldn't eat, and she came up with meals that she thought I could eat, but actually couldn't and that left my lifelong carnivore dad visibly unsatisfied. Eventually I had a tough conversation that went something like this: I'm an adult. I can feed myself. Cook what you want to eat. If I can eat it and want to eat it, I will. If I can't, I won't, but my diet isn't your problem. It took her a while to get used to this, but the result is much happier for everyone even if it means I eat on my own more often when I'm visiting my parents.

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Deliberately serving exclusively meat when you know that a guest is vegetarian or vegan is very rude, and since this seems to be the spouse of a family member, a good way to never see your family member or their spouse at dinner again. Now that may be what you're going for...

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I initially interpreted this as a regular and ongoing dining problem, but, re-reading it, I probably misinterpreted. It's sounds like this is someone who they see only occasionally and, yes, as a guest and not as a member of the household. I agree that (1) is rude if this is only an occasional interaction around holidays or whatever and (4) sounds right.

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I find this comment weird. Most of us haven’t been vegan our whole lives. I haven’t forgotten what my diet was like 5 years ago.

Veganism being a large lifestyle shift in some ways isn’t lost on me but that doesn’t mean I don’t think we have a moral obligation to do it

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I had really well above average culinary skill and enthusiasm for cooking and well above average knowledge of the food scene in my city when I went vegan.

Like even before I was vegan I cooked more, and was more open to new foods than the typical person so changing my diet and lifestyle was much easier than it would be if I was a chicken tenders and fries kind of eater.

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Vegans might overestimate how big the change is from omnivore to regular-old vegetarian. It really wasn't that bad. Eliminating milk, eggs, and cheese is the hard part (a step I haven't been willing to take so far).

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The big challenge is replacing the big chunk of animal protein on your plate. I went from the traditional European/North American "chunk of meat & potatoes & side vegetable" to a pot of vegetarian chili or curry, tofu stir-fry, lasagna, always with tofu, lentils or beans for protein. Plus plant protein powder in my breakfast. It's delicious, but it does take time and effort to learn to cook these things.

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I'm willing to admit that I'm likely in a minority here, but if I could get to the difficult level of vegetarianism, veganism would be far easier for me to get to after that. I just don't dig on dairy and eggs as much as most.

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I've been quite happy eating vegetarian for the past twentysomething years, but when I went full vegan I learned (after months of weird, painful symptoms) that I have a common genetic trait that makes it difficult to absorb B12, which is abundant in dairy, but difficult to get in a vegan diet and nigh impossible if you cannot absorb it efficiently. So I started taking B12 supplements... no biggie. But over time I started collecting more and more of these little quirks and eating every more highly processed foods that were veganized versions of things that are hard to make properly at home.

Eventually I realized that I had become a pain in the ass to socialize with when food was involved, had a cabinet full of supplements and whatnot and was eating way more expensive and processed food than when I was just a plain old vegetarian. I also felt more constrained by the label 'vegan' than just being someone who doesn't eat meat. So I went back to doing that.

Point being, vegan really is next-level. I also found it to be more of a lifestyle cult in that you could always get 'more vegan', like vegans who won't eat honey because bees are not plants and who comb through the ingredients list on everything they buy to make sure they aren't even tangentially animal-derived.

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Yeah but so many other things include milk, butter or eggs in the ingredient list. Most baked goods are out unless they're specifically vegan.

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That would explain a lot, since I don't cook a whole lot of baked goods. Butter would probably be the top barrier for a few of my recipes, but I usually prefer vegetable oils anyway--especially olive oil.

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I'm like 95% vegan because I keep an exception for found food, like if there's cake in the break room I'm not asking if the person used apple sauce for eggs in the baking of it. I'm sure vegans will find this a terrible cop out but I figure it wasn't made for my request and it's just sitting there so may as well enjoy the cake.

The biggest challenge is there's just a lot more dairy and milk out there in places that will surprise. Like why do plantain chips or apple chips need milk in them? I never like accidentally got a pork chop and realized it had meat in it the way I've been surprised at what all has milk or eggs in it.

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The found food makes a ton of sense to me… could just say “I won’t purchase X products or ask someone else to purchase them for me, but if the deed is done and they’re going to the trash if I don’t eat it, it’s fair game.”

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Beans are wonderful when one knows how to cook them.

But you need to basically have the time to draw on the culinary traditions of the whole globe if you’re going to not die of boredom over the span of a few years.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

The majority of omnis I know eat the same 5-6 meals. I can’t speak for you, but most people are lazy and eat the same things. For some reason boredom is a major concern people have about veganism but it doesn’t bother them to eat the same stuff at home over and over.

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Speak for yourself. No one I know eats like this.

I dunno if there’s data, though.

Also, “omnis,” lol.

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The 'omnis' thing reeks of something in-group slang that spun out of a culturally-incestuous reddit and escaped into the wild.

That being said, it is a little easier to say than 'normal people with normal diets', so maybe it has some merits.

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I mean, it's pretty clearly short for "omnivore," which has a much higher descriptive than normative semantic payload. I'm not sure how English developed this bizarre feature where shortening words for convenience has the capacity to turn them into slurs but I, for one, wish we could get off that particular dysphemism treadmill.

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I think you've reversed the logic; people come up with these pity one-syllable names to use as slurs, and they (some of them) are eventually normalized, lol.

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I just used it to shorten omnivore. I would say it is commonly used among vegans and I wouldn’t read too much into it. You’ve projected so much that you must be exhausted.

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I am finding it kind of fascinating here how most of the issue that some meat-eaters have with vegetarians/vegans is that they imagine we're judging/mocking them all the time, which they then use as justification to judge/mock us, when most of us IRL are actually just like "you do you"....

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

I'm not offended by the term.

Just seems like one of those weird in-group terms to refer to the out-group.

And a weird online in-group term at that.

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Weird that it didn't strike me as weird, as omnivore is a pretty common term.

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It's the difference between calling yourself "child-free" and saying "I don't have any kids."

When someone uses the term "child-free" I instantly know they are very online. It sounds like there's a similar phenomenon going on here.

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Yea, I wasn't knocking it, it's just amusing and I've never heard it.

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You’d be surprised. Plus, you can just make meals you normally have into vegan meals. No need to become a master of many cuisines, at least so any more extent than you already is.

Yes omnis

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I don’t think I would be surprised, I think you would. A lot more people know how to cook a lot more sorts of food than in 1970. Expectations are very different.

As for the second sentence, if I found that argument compelling I would have stuck to a vegetarian diet after the medical issues which pushed me there in college were resolved.

But, even with a year of experience cooking like that, and living in a very vegetarian-friendly country with a wide variety of restaurant choices, I wanted animal protein beyond milk and cheese. As do the vast majority of people.

Gotta meet folks where they are and help them build a world where their choices are sustainable.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

No I wouldn’t.

I realize the vast majority of people want to eat that. That doesn’t make it not immoral or not terrible for the environment, including beyond the emissions component Matt discussed.

Moreover, the discussion wasn’t about do people want to eat meat, it was about do you have to become a master of many new cuisines as a vegan. You don’t have to and can have a diverse set of meals. You responding “but people like meat” isn’t relevant to that.

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I'm a patriarchal cis omni.

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Isn’t there another side to this? Most of our ancestors, from when we gave up on hunting/gathering until very recently, had nearly vegetarian diets. Not out of choice but out of necessity. Meat was a luxury (fish used to be cheap) and humans just love it - way beyond what’s good for our own health and beyond what works for the environment.

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RemovedOct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022
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The image of kings feasting on meat is also apparently way overblown:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-61178452

Humans are super adaptive and can survive on just about anything, with diets that historically reflected what their local environments could sustain. The fact that so many modern humans consume meat multiple times a day is a reflection of this adaptability. Ditto hard-core vegans, fast-food consumers, keto, Atkins, vitamin enemas and all the rest.

I think that anyone who tries to tell you that there is a proven diet that makes you 'healthy' doesn't understand how complex metabolism and homeostasis really are and the genetic fine-tuning of these processes that reflects the dietary variation of sub-populations throughout (pre)history. But people who think that they 'need' to eat huge slabs of meat every day to get their 'protein' really grind my gears for the same reasons as people who buy enormous trucks and then bitch about high gas prices. Just accept that making selfish decisions based on desire is a completely normal human trait.

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing, just adding my two cents.

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Oh, David, but you read just about the opposite of what I intended.

Once we came out of subsistence farming (a period in human evolution when we were smaller than hunters/g and that says something) we could again eat meat and we love it. I believe we eat far too much - more than is healthy and a lot more than is good for the environment but our liking is natural and perhaps optimal (locally optimal, unfortunately) for hunter/g who walk 5 hours a day, unlike us.

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I think that neopastoralism and the 'food sovereignty' movement are like antivaxxers but for agriculture.

Much as antivaxxers kill themselves and others due to a foolish belief in 'nature knows best', the belief that anything synthetic in agriculture is bad will get a lot of people killed. Safe and inexpensive chemicals to improve yields are vital to ensure we have enough to eat. The only people who eat organic are either mainly African people in absolute poverty, and rich wankers in Europe and the US who have the money to pay for such nonsense.

Food sovereignty sounds so cuddly, but anything that aims to damage and dismantle international food markets and emphasise ''''sustainability'''' in food production would be a world historic disaster if it succeeded, akin to forgetting how to make vaccines. The Wikipedia page for food sovereignty is an example of how you can use nice words to mask reality:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_sovereignty

I'm afraid that the omens for making factory grown meat are not good. Even if we succeeded in mass producing it cheaply, would it be rejected for irrational reasons just like GMO crops?

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How many people *actually* give a shit about GMO crops, though?

In my experience plenty claim to and then don’t even glance at packaging on grains and cereals, let alone looking at the ingredients that go into prepared foodstuffs or meals at restaurants.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

Fact is so many foods have that notorious butterfly marking on them. Presumably they have to pay some money to get that seal of approval so there is clearly some market advantage for it.

(Personally I’d prefer *not* to buy any food marked as “non-gmo”— all else being equal—but I imagine my type are numerically negligible)

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There are dozens of us!

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

We’re probably a significant subsection of the SB commentariat… and that’s it ;)

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The American rules on GMO, my lay understanding is, are extraordinarily easy to rules-lawyer one's way out of.

I may be getting this wrong but apparently it's possible to test a proposed GMO crop with spliced genes from other organisms to be sure it does what it should, then irradiate the hell out of a sample of the original crop's DNA until you stumble across a version which has mutated so that a small piece matches the bit spliced from the other organism.

You've rendered that DNA non-viable as a whole but recreated the relevant gene sequence, which is now considered native to the original organism, and can splice it into the rest of the genome of the healthy, non-irradiated plant.

Viola, non-GMO crop.

Someone correct me on this if I am mistaken.

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You’re correct, it just has to do with the method you use to change the DNA sequence. A while back there was talk of how CRISPR would revolutionize AG tech because plants with genetic traits altered via CRISPR would not count a GMOs.

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Anecdotally, it seems much more prevalent in Europe and, as anti-vax used to be here, is correlated with wealth and education. The Marin County demographic. One of the more concrete topics where their nuts are worse than our nuts.

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In the EU rules on genetically modified crops are much much stricter. In fact, while I have tried Beyond Burger and like it, Impossible Burger is impossible (good name!) to get here because it contains some genetically modified soy.

Not sure about the link between anti GMO and antivax- here, I believe most people are at least somewhat anti genetic manipulation of food (more in general, food is thought of by many as art, artisanal, traditional etc - that is in hard conflict with the industrial, cheaper is better attitude) while antivaxers, that’s for extremists, for those who mistrust governments etc.

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We're approaching the thirtieth anniversary of the first commercial sale of GMOs. Has any evidence surfaced that they're dangerous? Have there been any studies?

My guess is "no" and "yes" but it would be great if someone actually knows something.

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Agreed, and that's part of why you need it implemented in the fast food chains where people don't care all that much what they are eating as long as it tastes good. If there's one philosophical idea I wish I could get rid of, it's the weird idea that anything "natural" is good and everything created by man is bad. Arsenic is natural.

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Nature is quite often trying to kill you.

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You must be an Aussie? :P

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Nature is *always* trying to kill you by malnutrition.

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founding

How “rejected” are GMO crops?

Also, what do you mean by “””sustainability””” - because presumably on some level sustainability is necessary, and the question is just what the quotation marks add.

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'Sustainability' means growing crops taking appropriate consideration of negative externalities.

''''Sustainability'''' means growing crops using magical thinking and unicorn tears instead of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. The multiple quotation marks were used to sarcastically show how a nice expression is used to disguise what is really being meant.

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Euros really hate GMO crops for some reason, the regulations are pretty onerous and that's backed up by negative public sentiment. I suspect the same people would oppose lab grown meat but, whatever. When American consumers happily adopt this cheaper, suffering-free alternative and start lambasting the Europeans for going along with animal slaughter we can probably get them on on board.

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It's one of their hang-ups like fracking.

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See Sri Lanka

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Never buy anything that says its "GMO free." :)

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Other technological breakthroughs include: Feeding cows seaweed decreases their methane emissions 82%! The idea that technology will help is anathema to Mark Bittman et al., but it's truly incredible stuff that reminds us there's a lot of low hanging fruit here, and we should invest in more research. https://caes.ucdavis.edu/news/feeding-cattle-seaweed-reduces-their-greenhouse-gas-emissions-82-percent

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

That’s amazing news. But here’s a genuine question: is it feasible (logistically, technologically, economically) to shift the entire meat industry (or even a substantial subset) to this kind of feed? I assume there is enough seaweed and that extracting it (and then refining it?) in the required massive amounts won’t create some downstream environmental catastrophe (?) but do we have the infrastructure to do that right now?

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This is a reduction of only on-feed lot emissions. Most beef cattle spend long periods of their lives off the feedlot and this technology (for obvious reasons) isn't compatible with grazing. As a result, the actual reduction in GHGs using is probably closer to 10%.

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"How do ranchers provide seaweed supplements to grazing cattle on the open range? That’s the subject of Kebreab’s next study."

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Good luck to him. This isn’t that.

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It's not an entirely different feed, it's just 80 grams of seaweed on top of the regular feed they eat.

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It's worth noting that by far the worst climate impacts are from ruminants - specifically, sheep and cattle (and goats, to a far lesser extent). Chicken and fish (or kangaroo, which tastes pretty similar to lean beef) are far less of a problem from a climate perspective.

I'd also add that the beef industry has been working on technology that cuts methane emissions from cows by a large amount: see https://www.future-feed.com/

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founding

How does that work for kangaroos? Aren’t they also grazing and fermenting grasses?

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I'm honestly shocked there is a direct link to it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo#Absence_of_digestive_methane_release

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Kangaroos always struck me as the Australian equivalent of deer.

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founding

Very much so. In Canberra they wander into yards the same way deer do in American suburbs. So I would assume they have the same emissions as deer and sheep and pigs (and the slightly more distantly related cows).

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The biochemistry in their gut works very differently, despite the similar diets.

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They also just look a lot like deer when you see them in the wild.

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I really think we should require ranchers to feed seaweed to their cattle. It's not that difficult or expensive to do but there's also no benefit other than lowering emissions. So farmers really don't have that much incentive to do something that would have a pretty major effect on emissions. Either make it law or offer carbon offsets or something.

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But how are you going to get the seaweed to the cattle? Seaweed naturally grows on the coasts, but most cattle are much further inland. You could easily have a situation where you generate emissions just from the process of transport, which is hardly what you want to do if you want to lower emissions.

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founding

The amount of emissions involved in the transport of food is usually a rounding error compared to the amount of emissions involved in production.

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Modern transportation really is kind of miraculous.

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Cattle drive. We have the technology.

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The same way we transport everything else? Transportation is in the process of electrifying, obviously we need to continue to do that. Electrifying transportation is the easiest thing after power generation, we already have almost all the tools we need to do it already.

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Is there anyone currently working on electric cow technology?

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I'll just say it again. GMO grass.

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I mean, GMO grass would be just the things if there were such a thing.

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And it's not limited to just GHG emissions, it also consumes an obscenely higher amount of water. Reducing ruminant consumption by itself while leaving other meats alone would still make a huge difference.

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Nothing wrong with "obscenely higher amounts of water" if water is priced appropriately, which it often is not, but please let each tub sit on it's own bottom.

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Hence the radical importance of alt proteins and culture meats.

Maybe we also need a big push for Indian cuisine. There are few ways to make legumes tastier!

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Prepackaged Indian food seems to the way to go—it can be good enough without being terribly expensive, I think we already have the technology for that.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

Trader Joe's has a comparative wealth of prepackaged vegetarian meals that are pretty tasty. I don't recall off the top of my head what their Indian cuisine is like but it's always worth picking up a pack of the tamales.

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They're very good!

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What’s your confidence on the interior life of chickens? Are free range chickens happy? Is it possible to raise a happy animal in your mind? And, if you do, wouldn’t it be better to raise more for the same amount of meat even if it means killing more? The killings can be fast, unlike in nature, and make room for more animals to enjoy their lives.

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The overwhelming majority of chickens are not free range.

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I was raised as a vegetarian and have never intentionally eaten meat. I don’t eat fake meat either, not eating meat as a child made me think meat is disgusting, so the thought of eating an impossible burger is revolting to me. The difference between me and many vegetarians is I have empathy. I understand that my food preferences flow directly from what my mother taught me when I was very young. Therefore, other people are every bit as attached to their comfort foods as am I. You’ll have to pry my vegetarian pasta from my cold, dead hands!

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I'm actually more inclined to give someone crap for retaining the picky eating habits of their childhood instead of going out and exploring the vast landscape of novel eating experiences in the world than I am to quibble with an ideological commitment to vegetarianism. Food is awesome. Almost everything that people bother knowing how to cook has someone out there in the world making a really incredibly delicious version of it, even the stuff that seems disgusting.

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I’ve gotten way more crap from meat eaters when I say I don’t eat meat because I care about animal welfare, than if I just say it’s because I was raised vegetarian. You might even the exception but most people are much more comfortable hearing the latter.

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I get that, the first statement implies that the others’ don’t even though most people do care but it isn’t a priority

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I want to slightly push back on the "difference between me and many vegetarians". Most people I knew growing up are vegetarians, and even among the ones who are not, the consumption of meat is low. Except when in private or among a group full of vegetarians,

I have almost never heard of people make negative comments about other people's eating habits.

In the US, I have come across many who have intentionally become vegetarians or vegans. Even among them, I rarely come across people who act obnoxiously in this regard.

Everyone knows the examples of obnoxious vegans even in real life, but they are a heavily over-represented minority.

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I'm doing research on cultivated meat for my new book and I managed to eat a bunch of it while I was out in the Bay Area a few weeks back. I've been writing about it for several years and the speed with which it is now rushing to market is astounding. The big line even three years ago from skeptics was that it was a total pipe dream and was mostly a gimmick to fleece VCs, a perspective that I took seriously enough to believe I would personally be unlikely to eat it any time soon. But eat it I did! I ate lab salmon sushi and I had my first chicken and pork in seven years. It was all delicious--a perfect match on taste, if still facing some interesting textural challenges when the meat is entirely on its own. (You wouldn't notice these challenges in a sandwich or if it was breaded.) If the start-ups are to be believed, the big issue at the moment is regulatory approval, though I agree that, in the longer term, for realistic price parity, there's need for huge public pre-competitive infrastructure. I found this essay (by one of my co-authors) persuasive: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-022-00586-9#article-info

Meanwhile, the cultured meat stuff is all very interesting, but don't sleep on precision fermentation as a way of replacing dairy products.

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I really want to try cultivated meat--how far away from the market is it now? Or am I just not looking hard enough?

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It already has regulatory approval and is publicly sold in Singapore. Most of the start-ups are focused on the US market in the short-term, however, and here the immediate obstacle is that it needs approval from both the FDA and USDA. (As onerous as that process may be, it's considerably less onerous than the EU.) Interestingly, I think the longterm strategy is actually much more focused on Chinese and Indian consumers, but, again, that presumes hitting a level of price parity that would require substantial scaling and cost reductions (or the price of conventional meat sky-rocketing!).

In the US, there are several companies that claim at least to be ready to go to market as soon as they have regulatory approval. Most early market launches will be loss-leaders and will probably be small-volume affairs at well-known restaurants cooked by celebrity chefs for publicity purposes. In terms of mass market sales, I think you're unlikely to see anything available in your grocery within the next three to four years, and much will depend on how the different companies are able to scale up. Along those lines, I think "mixed" products are likely to be the earliest to appear. Mission Barns, for example, is doing cultivated lard that they use in conventional plant-based sausages, bacon, and meat balls, which gives them some key advantages in terms of reaching price parity with competing products.

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Charles Mann has a great book about these environmental debates, called The Wizard and the Prophet. It goes through historical and current debates over the Wizards, who claim that technology will help us get around environmental problems, and Prophets, who claim that our living standards are unsustainable and we need to cut back. I think the past few years have demonstrated, that the Prophet path is a dead end. Most emissions are coming from developing countries like China and India. They're electrifying and eating more meat, and even if we, in the currently rich world, accepted large drops in our standard of living, it wouldn't change things. We have to technology our way out of this.

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Matt, for all your pragmatism I haven’t seen you acknowledge the reason groups push for shadow taxes rather than actual taxes. Actual taxes are deeply unpopular!

Shadow taxes are bad on the merits, but Secret Congress can get them done.

Meanwhile there’s a broad majority of Americans who seem to think roughly: “The government provides me no benefits, therefore I should pay no taxes. Okay I guess a little tax to cover the military but that’s it!”

I’d love your take on what, if anything, can be done to make “raise taxes” politically viable again.

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Shadow taxes are also deeply unpopular - that's why he's advocating solutions that don't result in prices going up.

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Right, people aren't that ignorant, most will be able to read that constricting supply of something will cause its price to go up.

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[housing has entered the chat]

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So the people who are in favor of restricting housing supply are the homeowners. For obvious reasons, they are in favor of housing prices going up. Housing is a bit special in that it is a thing you acquire only a few times and keep, therefore once you own it, you are in favor of it getting more expensive/valuable (as opposed to consumables like food or gas -- pretty much everyone likes prices of consumables to stay low because no matter how much of it you have already purchased, you are going to need to buy more of it in the future).

Non-homeowners are generally pretty damn YIMBY, or maybe Yes-In-Your-Back-Yard YIYBY and love the idea of housing supply being increased (unless of course they are misled by the arguments of YIMBYs and have a false belief that more supply won't lower prices).

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High house prices are very unpopular!

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[Except to house owners]

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And if you've caused prices to go up through indirect means and prices go up a lot more than you wanted (hurting those with lower means) there isn't really a way to undo that process (sorry wait stuff, you are making less than minimum wage again!) but you can lower taxes (or tax holiday or ....) pretty quickly and easily.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

On the other hand, we're basically the only developed nation on earth that uses corn syrup ubiquitously due to sugar tariffs that benefit a domestic industry the average US voter doesn't give a rat's ass about, with tangible costs for every consumer of sweetened foods in the U.S. since while sugar isn't good for you, it appears that per recent research corn syrup probably is at least marginally worse (also higher actual prices since of course sugar would otherwise be cheaper than corn syrup and you wouldn't have to buy Mexican Coke to taste what an actually sugared Coca-Cola takes like).

The point is, shadow taxes may be unpopular, but they don't always get political traction, even for something as ubiquitously consumed as sweetener.

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Oct 26, 2022·edited Oct 26, 2022

The reason for the political endurance of this "shadow tax" is that corn-growing regions of the country are vastly overrepresented in the US Senate relative to their share of the population, which gives the industry a political buffer.

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There isn't a shadow tax on 'sweeteners', just on one specific sweetener that is easily substitutable.

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What are shadow taxes?

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Using policy to increase prices (largely though supply restrictions).

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

I think increasingly Matt’s climate politics revolve around waiting (not hoping surely, but expecting) for an eventual UK-style fiscal crisis, when the taboo against tax hikes will be abandoned.

In the meantime, of course, there’s R+D spending, which offers a good return on investment. And tweaks; sometimes tweaks are politically possible.

But it seems like a lot of center-left policymaking is becoming “sketch out some socially optimal tax hikes, and twiddle our thumbs until they become unavoidable.”

Hey, I don’t know if there’s a better way forward. But waiting for the fiscal eschaton before you can make serious policy changes is a dangerous thing to count on.

Maybe a pro-tax, anti-carbon, pro-immigration government will be in power when the shit hits the fan, and they can restructure our tax and spending policies around liberal goals. But maybe not!

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The point is to use the (for now un-popular) first-best policy to design the second best policy. For example how much to subsidize zero carbon energy, or home insulation, or what % zero carbon electricity to require, how much to subsidize electric vehicles.

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I think he is arguing that all of the solutions are unpopular, so you should pick the most effective one if you want to fight the fight, rather than picking the least effective (yet still unpopular) one.

Like many of his columns, it is about dismissing "magical thinking". There is a demographic on the left that seems to think we can legislate away the laws of reality. The reality here is that climate change is really hard to combat because, despite magical thinking otherwise, *most people do not in fact care enough about it*. And if you recognize that fact, you should pick the most effective way to combat it, not try to save a tiny/marginal amount of political goodwill in choosing low-efficiency methods that will not, in fact, combat it.

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Shadow taxes can be OK so long as the shadow taxers a) understand what they are doing and b) correctly calculate the length of the shadow.

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Status Quo bias pretty much always makes these a terrible idea. Years later everyone looks around wondering why [X] is super expensive and finds a bunch of laws that are impossible to repeal because some rent seeker has entrenched interests and fights against it.

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True, but non-shadow taxes can be set wrongly or become poorly set for the changed circumstance.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

Thanks for this. I’d add a reinforcing point—

I actually went vegetarian some time ago in reaction to documentaries about CAFOs like King Corn. But besides the goal of phasing out CAFOs in the meantime throttling supply and not being the best lever, anti-CAFO is actually anti-climate. If we’re going to eat lots of meat, CAFOs are much more efficient in terms of land use etc. and going more agrarian would be much worse for climate.

As we transition the world, CAFO’s are the nuclear power of food: Climate-adjacent people would like to see it die for other sympathetic reasons, but we need to keep it around for the next decades, until we don’t.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

I think this applies to the organic food movement in general. Organic food has great marketing and pleasant connotations, animal welfare benefits, *some* limited health and environmental benefits (the latter are unrelated to climate change) and - crucially - it usually tastes better. But it's not actually better from a global emissions point of view, nor is it better from the point of view of, you know, feeding billions of people.

The marketing satisfies progressive elites, who really like organic food for mostly aesthetic reasons, but like to think of themselves as environmentally-conscious and very worried about climate change. It's "green," so it's good for the climate! Eh, not necessarily.

I suspect this is all going to be quite annoying in ten years for people like me or Matt or, probably, most Slow Boring readers, who are sympathetic to lab-grown meat but mostly socialize in circles where organic food and neo-pastoralism is popular. I imagine a world with impossible burgers and impossible nuggets at Burger King, and organic steaks at fancy Brooklyn restaurants, and a lot of people who eat at the latter thumbing their noses at the former because Burger King's burgers are lab-grown or whatever.

(To be clear, I agree with Matt that neo-pastoralism is aesthetically quite appealing. Farmer's markets are nice, agriturismos are nice, and their food tastes good. And on a limited basis, it's fine. But it's not particularly virtuous, nor is it a solution to the world's climate or food problems.)

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The idea that lab-grown meat could be a solution to world hunger is at least equally as absurd as the notion that organic agriculture could be. Just because it sounds awful doesn’t mean it will work.

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I was referring to lab-grown meet as a solution to (part of) climate change - as outlined in Matt's post - not world hunger. Obviously these are two distinct issues; I suppose I did conflate them a bit, which was not my intention!

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100% a worry.

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founding

I think CAFOs are more like fracking than like nuclear.

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CAFOs are more like base load power, so more like nuclear.

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Harness cow farts as the new natural gas!

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CAFOs are better basically because of the open space that’d be demolished by any non-CAFO meat system? Like deforestation?

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Nice analogy, and to take it further, if CAFOs are nuclear power, then I wonder if cultivated meat is the ultimate clean energy.

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Go hunt! There's an overpopulation of deer in much of the country, and whichever state agency oversees hunting in your state may well offer free learn-to-hunt classes for adults who have never hunted before. (There's a nation-wide tax on firearms and ammunition, and part of that money is funneled into state hunter education programs. So all the gun panic buying means free classes for you!) The resulting meat will have all the hyphenated adjectives the cool kids crave (free-range, locally-sourced, ethically-raised, environmentally-friendly, etc.)

For the author: https://dwr.virginia.gov/hunting/help-for-new-hunters/

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How available is CWD testing / how up-to-date is risk information for it these days?

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Pretty good, I think. Certainly, all game regulators are closely monitoring it. There's free testing where I live. Looks like VA has free tests in areas where CWD has been found before and $35 tests for the rest of the state https://dwr.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/cwd-information-for-hunters/

That said, there's still no evidence that it can be transmitted to humans. Most people eat lamb without worrying about whether it was tested for scrapie (the sheep equivalent of CWD, which also doesn't seem to transmit to humans). I'm all for testing for CWD out of caution, but honestly, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal for humans.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

Important piece. I would have liked two points addressed. 1. You seem to consider only taste and price as measures for our goals in developing alternatives to meat. What about nutritional value and health? As I understand it “impossible burger” is worse for you than a real burger.

2. Are emissions a problem for the entire meat sector equally, or are red meats the main problem? Do chickens and pork also cause emissions to a similar extent? What about the fishing industry ? Because I think getting people to prefer some kinds of meat over others is a smaller ask than making everyone vegetarian (or a fortiori vegan).

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At the risk of sounding like a kooky right-wing seed oil truther, the biggest reason I don’t personally eat a lot of impossible/beyond meats is they use (not insubstantial amounts) of high linoleic acid fats.

(I’m starting to think the kooks might be on to something with the seed oils).

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It's perversely funny that the people that would revolt at "Frankenfoods" would likely be more amiable to try these alternative meat concoctions.

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Eh, I think the "anti-Frankenfoods" contingent is heavily Europe-based with their heavy anti-GMO slant. I think most Americans (to the extent they're aware of the specific anti-GMO bent of the Europeans) are left scratching their heads at that one. America, for better or worse, seems like it has a pretty permissive view of what you can call food.

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Are seed oils kooky now? Aren’t all vegetable oils (except maybe olive oil) from seeds? Does this other thing involve hydrogenated fats?

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As used in the discourse, "seed oils" chiefly refers to canola, corn, cottonseed, soybean, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, and rice bran oils, whereas tropical oils like coconut and palm oil and cocoa butter aren't considered "seed oils" even though they clearly come from seeds.

IMO the actual distinction seems to be linoleic acid content, consumption of which correlates really well with western disease rates (much better than saturated fat, trans fat, carbohydrates in general, or sugar in particular).

There's a pretty serious contrarian streak in the movement, where things like carnivorous diets and more extreme forms of intermittent fasting are popular.

For me it's led back to a pretty normie "healthy" diet. I have to avoid pretty much all deep-fried foods outside the house and fatty cuts of pork and chicken (animals in North America also eat a lot of linoleic acid, and while ruminants can saturate it, non-ruminants—including humans—can't, and it ends up in their body fat).

At home I fry things in butter and ghee and eat mostly ovo-lacto otherwise.

Prior to this I ate moderate-to-low carb and tried some mild intermittent fasting, but still found myself "hangry" fairly often, and when I did eat a lot of carbs it usually led to a sort of food coma.

I now tolerate carbs much better, almost never get "hangry", and my mood in general is a lot better. I've also had a weird skin condition clear up.

So it might be worth a try/further research/etc.

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Oct 25, 2022·edited Oct 25, 2022

I get that Omega 3 is better than 6, but you cut out polyunsaturated fatty acids in general?

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I don't know that there's clear agreement on Omega 3s, maybe because the exact mechanism of supposed harm doesn't seem to be something folks agree on.

There's (at least) an "extremely prone to oxidizing into harmful byproducts" camp and an "interferes with metabolism/satiety at the mitochondrial level" camp. Both sound at least plausible, but the latter one explains some odd characteristics of obesity.

(For example, obese people more PUFAs in their body fat than lean people, so if eating PUFAs interferes with satiety, then consuming PUFAs from stored body fat would presumably *also* interfere with satiety, and that would explain the sort of "ratchet" effect of gaining fat.

Modern body temperatures and resting metabolic rates are lower than in the past, and also lower in people consuming a western diet versus e.g. mostly rice, and the resting metabolic rate of obese people is lower than in lean people.

And in the intriguing-but-extremely-hypothetical department, we know that hibernating mammals consume a ton of PUFAs in the fall, so it's hypothesized that PUFA consumption might trigger a sort of vestigial hibernation mechanism in humans, leading to weight gain, lowered metabolic rate, and depressive symptoms)

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Appreciate that explanation. So what are the good fats then? Just omega 3 PUFA and monounsaturated?

Saturated fats perhaps have come around to seeing some love…

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90% of the health benefits of not eating meat is the substitution of something that is less calorie dense, which is what the "impossible burger does." The obsession with the precise content of food, with a few exceptions (trans fats), as to what is "healthy" comes from either a puritanical instinct to dictate to others from a sense of superiority or a neurotic orthorexia

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founding

On 1 - I’m not surprised impossible isn’t great for health, but I would be surprised to learn that it’s worse in some meaningful way than real burgers. Do you have any source on that that doesn’t just turn out to be someone finding one weird trick to discredit this by finding one dimension real burgers are ok at?

On 2 - it does seem that getting people to shift among meats would help the way that getting electricity to shift from coal to gas helped.

https://ourworldindata.org/food-choice-vs-eating-local

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I may be wrong on 1. It’s something I read somewhere but can’t be certain. Personally I eat red meat quite rarely but when I do I prefer the real thing. I feel a bit like the kid from the emperor’s new clothes… I tried the impossible burger once or twice and really didn’t understand the fuss. It’s noticeably different from real burgers and (to my taste) not as good.

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"I tried the impossible burger once or twice and really didn’t understand the fuss"

I haven't tried one alongside a regular BK Whopper, for example, but it seems like it would be a contender in that matchup. Against a high quality burger, though, not so much.

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See my response to THPacis above

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1. My read on it is that taste and price are going to be the only factors that most people are going to use, and if you want to affect a change, you'll have to outcompete decisively on both grounds. And I say this as someone that doesn't eat red meat for health reasons.

2. Yes, that's also my read on the differences in food types, and while I don't think it can be a complete answer, it might be a very small slice of an answer.

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Well, I would argue that the role of government must be to take public health into account as an interest no less than climate. When promoting start ups, or regulating new kinds of products etc nutrition and health must be given their due!

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A fair argument! The question is how that will line up in the order of prioritization. Probably higher than most of the reasons cited here on the concerns of meat.

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That’s an important discussion to have and my point is precisely that MY should have engaged in it .

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Considering the obesity epidemic and the fact that we clearly don't understand fully what processed food does to our body, I don't understand how anyone can push a transition to fake meat as good for people without a much more thorough understanding of what exactly it does to our bodies. This could be one of the great public health catastrophes of our time.

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Yes. However, as long as the transition is limited to the low end chains I doubt it could be much worse than existing offerings. I agree that it would be more problematic if people start buying these things instead of fresh non-processed or minimally processed meat they buy at the supermarket/butcher and cook themselves.

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Considering a McDonald's hamburger patty is almost certainly one of the least bad things you can get at McDonalds, I'm not convinced that an even more processed and artificial version couldn't be much worse for you.

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Glad to see someone bringing this up.

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The problem I see with the not-meat companies is they offer no incentives for new farmers to take on the risk. Getting farmers who already grow peas to ship to you instead of Campbell's is one thing, getting corn and soy farmers to cultivate legumes is another. The companies (at least a year or so ago here in Iowa) offered no long-term contracts or provided any financing to make capital switching possible. When I spoke with one of the companies about this, it didn't seem to me to be an oversight, and I walked away thinking even though they weren't saying it that it looked like a business plan where they really wanted farmers to fight it out in the cash market, to keep the prices of peas and pulses low long run. Maybe it's different today and they are now offering longer term contracts or financing. I haven't heard.

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Soybeans are a legume.

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Ha! Yes, after I typed it I wondered who'd catch that. But you know what I meant. Thanks.

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Does meat really need to be solved in order to address climate? Why not energy abundance + carbon capture? To me the political and technical challenges of doing really good fake meat and ensuring mass-adoption make carbon capture all the more important. According to the EPA, agriculture represents only 11% of carbon emissions, so solving everything else first seems like a better bet to me. I love impossible meat though! https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

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That's 11% in the US: globally it's much higher, almost a quarter.

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data

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Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use, technically. How much of that could be solved by vegetarianism is not clear (i.e. how much forestry emissions are related to meat?) How much of the Ag numbers are transportation-related or repating to things like fertilizer consumption? I don’t know but I would guess decarbonizing other sectors will have spillover into Ag. Meat consumption would seem most obviously to require carbon inputs in the form of synthetic fertilizer for feed, transportation, and cow-related methane emisssions. It’s possible that cow-related methane emissions could be reduced by technical solutions (feed additives that inhibit methanogenesis for example), so I feel like better fake meat, while fantastic in many ways, especially morally, is not the only solution to Ag emissions.

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The environmental impacts of animal ag go far beyond emissions in terms of water use, land use, and biodiversity loss. It’s the number one driver of species extinction

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