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I asked you in another thread if you enjoy eating this food. Your answer was basically no, but there was a lot going on in your life (don't have time to look for the posts right now). I understand you

It's just too easy to tear this stuff apart for it to be fun, Daniel, but I salute your efforts to be better. 

Serious question for @Danieland I'm not trolling: How do you reconcile being a vegan for the reasons you mention and then selling meat and dairy in your stores? 

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I'm sorry to drag this out, but the fact is that, for obscure reasons, I've been reading a lot of paleoanthropology and archeology lately, and so have been thinking about this stuff.

So, two points, not that I think anyone cares (and not, I hope, to be annoying).

First, our precursors are now thought to have started cooking food at a very early stage:  long before there were Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals (if in fact Neanderthals aren't Homo Sapiens -- but that's an issue we happily can ignore here).   Back at the time of, say, Homo Erectus.  So we're barely even talking about Early Humans.  We're talking about a very distant point in our lineage -- right after we learned to habitually walk upright.

That means that cooking was probably devised by creatures with brains similar to those of chimpanzees.  Faced with physical evidence of cooking by Homo Erectus, the way paleoanthropologists consider whether such creatures would, in fact, have been capable of doing such a thing is to look at the cognitive capacities of chimpanzees:  in this case, can they plan in advance, for example, and wait for results?  Paleoanthropologists and biologists have concluded that chimpanzees can, and so Homo Erectus probably could, too.  But it would be another thing entirely to conclude that chimpanzees have the cognitive capacity to, say, see and understand that another chimpanzee who does something like cook food has lived a long time, and then to deduce from that that the activity caused the long life.  I don't think anyone other than Pierre Boulle thinks chimpanzees can think like that.

Second, the authors of the book discussed in The Guardian therefore aren't saying that a preference for cooked food has to be rested in genetics.  What they're saying is, look, we need to find a plausible basis for a Homo Erectus preference for cooked food -- otherwise, the Homo Erectuses wouldn't have bothered -- and we found some genes that might provide one.  That isn't reductive.  It isn't ignoring other possibilities.  It's science:  they're proposing a possible answer to a looming question that hasn't yet been resolved (i.e., why did Homo Erectus take up cooking when other primates, also capable of doing so, haven't?).  They're not saying it has to be the answer.  It’s now in the mix.

Sorry if this is annoying.

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(Note that in that Scientific American piece it is hypothesized that activities like cooking caused our brains to increase in size -- NOT that our bigger brains enabled us to cook when other primates like chimps don't.  We appear to have started cooking before our brains got bigger than chimps'.)

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That is interesting. And it begins to sketch an argument that we shouldn’t kill chimps for food* (which doesn’t actually impact my dinner plans). I’ve long thought there might be a spectrum from animals we probably shouldn’t kill for food (for ethical reasons) and animals there is no good reason not to kill.

*That’s the key thing: eating an already dead animal really isn’t an issue. I can’t see the faintest reason it would be unethical to eat roadkill.

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Of course, from the roadkill case, you do have to wonder why one shouldn’t eat animals which need to be culled for environmental reasons (I know there are people who deny any need for culling, but the culling actually supports other species, among other things. A laissez-faire approach would probably mean feral swine were the only wildlife in Texas).

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1 hour ago, Sneakeater said:

(Note that in that Scientific American piece it is hypothesized that activities like cooking caused our brains to increase in size...)

Plenty of evidence among all the smart chefs we know.

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Ok, so back when I was a teen, I became a vegetarian for 2 or 3 years.  Two things ended that experiment; first was my realization that, since I wasn’t a pacifist & could justify killing other humans in specific circumstances (albeit not for food), I’d think of it as hypocrisy to get all morally outraged about killing cows, etc.  And second was my theory that broccoli is smarter than chicken.  I’m pretty sure that I’m not the one to create the “ethically justifiable” list.

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The only reason I would consider eliminating meats from my diet is that I have felt fabulous whenever I have gone on this regime.    I have always included eggs and dairy, and limited fish.    Dramatic weight adjustment, great energy.   

Would choose this lifestyle but since I cook for the house, it's easier to just go along with the crowd.   

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5 hours ago, Wilfrid said:

That is interesting. And it begins to sketch an argument that we shouldn’t kill chimps for food* (which doesn’t actually impact my dinner plans).

My memory is quite emphatic that I had a delicious monkey brain in tomato sauce dish in the Hotel Mamounia dining room.

But I’m pretty sure that in reality it was calves’ brains. 

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2 hours ago, Steve R. said:

And second was my theory that broccoli is smarter than chicken.  I’m pretty sure that I’m not the one to create the “ethically justifiable” list.

I’m sure you’re also not the only one to conclude that broccoli is smarter than chickens. 

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