1 July 2005
Submitted by eve on Fri, 07/01/2005 - 2:06pm. Funny
"How about for every steak you eat, I'll eat one less tasty steak that week. Same net damage to the cow population, but you don't have to be 'The Vegetarian' every time we go out for dinner."
--A guy talking to a girl on BART.
Comment viewing options:
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to submit your changes.
Browse 77 comments:
»1« • 2 • next
There are more than 50 comments in this node. Use these links to navigate through them.
Posted by daen on Wed, 08/10/2005 - 11:07am.
Just because I'm feeling nostalgic...
Posted by paul on Thu, 08/11/2005 - 9:33am.
Anyone heard from Kris recently?
He left himself an out
Posted by Mike on Tue, 07/26/2005 - 12:06pm.
By adding the word "tasty." That way he can still make it up to himself by dropping by a greasy spoon and ordering shoe leather or something.

It doesn't seem fair that he's just cutting back, anyway. To keep it perfectly equal he should start eating food he feels is repulsive-- like rat maybe. It would help him understand how she feels AND take the pressure off of her. Which draws more attention at the table: the vegetarian or the rodent-eater?

Oh, and I watched the TV version of Guns, Germs & Steel last night. Apparently if we hadn't spent so much time raising farm animals for slaughter we would be a lot more susceptible to the diseases they carry. So I guess our long-term choices are "eat meat" or "die at the hands of someone who does."

Unless, of course, the human race is a mad cow/asian bird flu pandemic away from becoming a tragicomic footnote in Earth's history anyhow. Heh. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Posted by marinerd on Mon, 08/08/2005 - 2:57pm.
I saw that show too (Guns, Germs, & Steel) and it was interesting. However, I wish I had a nickle for every time someone actually said "guns, germs, and steel" throughout the show. A bit over-used.

Also, I saw something snarky about PETA (relevant because many vegetarians believe eating animals is unethical). Seems many of the animals they rescue are killed without any attempt at finding homes for them. Yikes!
To be fair...
Posted by Alyssa on Tue, 08/09/2005 - 4:32am.
... that could be because the animals can't be given homes.

Some animals are rescued from situations that just screw them up in ways that make it impossible for them to be safely adopted out. For example, a dog has a lot of temperament tests it has to pass before it can be put up for adoption. One of the most important ones is the food aggression test... a dog that passes all the other tests with flying colors, but then fails the food aggression test, cannot be given a home. If it's inclined to bite you if you try to mess with its food, what happens if your kid tries to pet it while it's eating, or you want to slip a treat into the bowl, or it's chewing on a shoe and you try to take it away?

(Why, yes, I do watch a lot of Animal Cops...)
Posted by Saint on Tue, 08/09/2005 - 9:34am.
I don't think so, anyway. I think this is what marinerd's probably referring to.

-Can't stop, the weasels are closing in!
Posted by marinerd on Fri, 08/12/2005 - 10:09am.
Saint, you got it in one. Don't know if it's true or biased or what, but I tend to think their allegations against PETA are true.
Posted by copperhead on Fri, 08/12/2005 - 10:16am.
that's fucked up. pardon my french if you're a religious man.

i went to war for my country and all i got was this lousy stump.
But if you're a religious woman...
Posted by Mike on Mon, 08/15/2005 - 1:52pm.
Go to hell? Heh.

Yeah, they did overuse the whole "guns germs and whatever" phrase, didn't they? I know what I'm watching, jerks! And I stopped watching Animal Cops because it filled me with hatred for humankind. I'm more comfortable being half full of that sort of thing. (Speaking of dogs and cats...)

(*sigh*) Somebody bought me a bag of McDonald's hamburgers and gave me that "you're a freak" look when I politely turned them down. Is not eating beef that weird a thing? I'm not doing it for any real reason, I guess, but it doesn't make me some sort of mutant, dammit!
I don't know what came over me
Posted by jcharles on Tue, 08/16/2005 - 6:28am.
Last night, I ate a Whopper Jr. from Burger King. It was oddly satisfying. Maybe I was low on separated beef parts, or something. Anyway, no obvious ill effects so far. Also, it was probably only my second trip to Burger King in quite a few years, and I like their new design. The brown bags are especially pleasing.

I caught the first installment of GGS, but didn't stumble across any of the others. It was interesting. Made me want to keep goats. He did seem to focus a large percentage of his research and theorizing on... New Zealand? PNG? One of those damn islands. I mean, I guess he's only one guy, so he can't study every pocket of human culture on the planet, but still. It seemed a little unbalanced somehow.

Never apologize. Never explain.
Culture pockets
Posted by Mia on Mon, 08/22/2005 - 10:29pm.
One of my residents was talking about that show the other day, but I didn't catch the title, just the concept. It sounds interesting, but can you imagine what we've already lost, or how many things we'll never find?
Posted by Matt on Mon, 08/15/2005 - 6:36pm.
Criminy, I love beef and I wouldn't eat a McDonald's burger either. Do you have any idea what's in those things?

Gives me the jibblies.
As a matter of fact...
Posted by umrguy on Wed, 08/17/2005 - 11:56am.
Having spent five years working for the Big Red Shoes Mafia, I can say with authority that the answer is "a LOT of grease".

-There's someone in my head, but it's not me.-
Not-so-conscious diet choices
Posted by Mike on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 12:25pm.
My younger sister's eldest son was a born vegetarian. He refused meat from the get-go. (Has he gone carnivorous since then? I'll have to call and check.) It doesn't seem like actively altering your diet works in the long run; maybe people are just born with different tastes and cravings.

In the weird-ass sociological experiment that was my college cafeteria it was always interesting to watch the shifting eating habits of the incoming students. At first they'd be all about junk food and pizza and nothing else-- the "Yay I'm free from my parents!" diet. Then, after a couple of months, there would be a subtle change in the food line structure, and it would get harder and harder to get a decent crack at the salads or fresh fruit. The final stage would be the bizarre "They're serving BROCCOLI" vegetable stampedes that would take place with great regularity toward the end of the semester.

I guess the point is that you can't really help what you want to eat, so why fight it? Your body knows what's best, right?
Heh. Spoken like an idiot who's never had to diet.
(*off to have shrimp & ice cream for dinner*)

[edit]: WWSGD?
Top o' the food chain, ma!
Posted by marinerd on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:51am.
I've been everything from a vegetarian to a raw foodist (no kidding!) but now I'm back to eating everything. I was a raw foodist for health reasons, and when I got cured I quit, because it was just too hard! I liked it, but started to crave cooked food. It was interesting how many things taste great raw (no meat, though!).

As far as red meat and heart disease, the jury is *definitely* still out on that one.

I don't think there's anything ethically wrong with eating animals, since it's the way nature is set up. The fact that I'm not interested in killing a cow just means that our society has gotten specialized to the point where that's not necessary -- and I wouldn't know how. If I'd lived 20,000 years ago, it wouldn't have been a problem. I agree that the way animals are raised and treated is horrible. So I buy all my food at an organic co-op hippie store. A bit more expensive, but no cruelty, no pesticides, hormones, secret sauces, etc.

I still think the 70/30 ratio is best. 70% fruits & vegetables, 30 other. YMMV.
Something tells me
Posted by jcharles on Fri, 07/08/2005 - 3:10pm.
This is not going to fly. I mean, how many vegetarians give up steak because they're concerned about the cow population?
You'd be surprised...
Posted by steff on Fri, 07/08/2005 - 7:22pm.
*chhhhhTT!* very-old-thread remote lookup on aisle 5!! *click*
Posted by Saint on Fri, 07/08/2005 - 7:51pm.
This the one you're wanting, steff?

If people really cared about the cow population, they would go ahead and eat meat. If the ranchers don't make a profit raising cows, then they won't raise them. And I don't know if you've noticed, but cows are rather rare in the wild. So...Save the Cows! Eat Steak!

-Can't stop, the weasels are closing in!
Beware the wild cow...
Posted by Desert Fox on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 3:58pm.
cows are rather rare in the wild

Not in Mexico. :D


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Posted by Somnambulist on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 5:12pm.
I'd say that (live) cows are rather rare anywhere.

Personally, I prefer 'em to be medium rare.
Medium rare
Posted by Desert Fox on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 5:44pm.
I always liked 'em 'still-bleeding-rare' back when I ate beef. Now that's how I like my tuna. Mmmmm....seared ahi. ***drooooool***

But the one time I was camping in a "national forest" down in Baja, I would've settled for having them rare in our general vicinity. Nothing like having a cow-shit-laden stream as your only water source to make you miss a little California-type over-regulation.

Not that I'd drink non-boiled-for-half-an-hour stream water anywhere. But there's definitely a difference between just knowing what evilness lies within the water and actually seeing piles of the source of the evilness. Yuck.


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
I know what you mean...
Posted by Somnambulist on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 6:17pm.
The training areas of Ft. Hood are lousy with cows... and the inevitable remainders of their meals.
Posted by steff on Sat, 07/09/2005 - 9:00am.
it IS the thread i was looking for! thanks!
Posted by Matt on Fri, 07/08/2005 - 10:35pm.
Nice one, Saint.

Okay, so survey of the general IP populace. If you, or someone close to you, has "converted" to vegetarianism, I'm keenly interested to hear the various motivations behind it.

And in the interest of providing parameters, I'm going to limit vegetarianism to the complete abstension from the consumption of anything that caused an animal to be killed or prevented one from being born. Milk okay, eggs no, fish no.
Ignoring the egg thing...
Posted by Hunter on Tue, 07/12/2005 - 10:04am.
because as someone else has already pointed out, eating eggs doesn't prevent chickens from being born. Also, in my experience, people tend to either accept eggs along with dairy products, or take the vegan route. I haven't yet come across anyone who will drink milk but won't eat eggs, unless it's for some reason unconnected to their vegetarianism.

Anyway. I'm a vegetarian and have been since...um, sometime during high school. I can't remember when I switched, exactly. I did it partly because I object to the way animals live and die at factory farms. The conditions may be better than they were years ago, but they're still inhumane. While I suppose I could do things like buy free-range chicken and avoid veal, I prefer not to support the industry at all.

I also became a vegetarian for health reasons. My family was always big on red meat and I decided that it would be better to cut that out of my diet...this somehow progressed to cutting out meat altogether. (The fact that we had a pet chicken around that time was probably a major contributing factor in that decision.)

I still eat eggs and dairy products, though, and I don't plan to entirely cut out animal products.
Sorry to ignore your parameters :)
Posted by Desert Fox on Sun, 07/10/2005 - 5:38pm.
I'm what I guess is called a pesco-vegetarian. I'll eat fish and seafood in moderation but not other types of meat. I started on a dare to try it for a month. After a month (potential TMI here), I noticed I had a lot less pain, cramping, etc. with my period. So I kept at it.

The main reasons I've stuck with it for twelve years now (besides convenience because my husband was raised on this type of diet and expense because meat costs lots) are three, in approximately this order of importance.

1. Environmental -- Livestock raised in huge masses and high densities like we do today are walking ecological disasters. My personal ecological fantasy is to kill every factory-farmed cow, sheep, pig, chicken, etc., feed the hungry with 'em, and let the ecosystems recover. As I said, fantasy.

2. Health -- I have enough bad habits likely to kill me before my time without adding beef to the equation. Beef was the vast majority of the meat I used to eat. Never really thought much of the others.

3. Humanity -- I have no qualms about people eating animals. Hey, lots of other animals do it. But the factory farming practices are way over the line of reasonableness in the sense of plain old respect for other sentient beings. And why? So we can continue as a country to get fatter and fatter and unhealthier and unhealthier? In my opinions, the costs far outweigh the benefits.

So there you go. :) My reasons. I'll apologize ahead of time in case anybody replies to this post because I'm going to be out of town broiling in the Mojave desert sunshine for most of this week. Starting at (imagine agonized groaning here) 2:30AM tomorrow morning.


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Posted by Desert Fox on Sun, 07/10/2005 - 5:43pm.
I realize the eating fish and seafood thing is hypocrisy given my given reasons. Can't give too many excuses other than the facts that I do so in moderation, I buy line-caught, etc. fish when possible, and I'm too lazy to deal with the vitamin deficiency issues that come from a totally meat-free diet. And I'd find it pretty hard to give up sushi. I like to think of myself as a relatively well-educated and careful hypocrite. :D

"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
You know I've got serious issues with this
Posted by hypoxic on Sun, 07/17/2005 - 6:08pm.
Fish that are caught on a line are only moderately better for the enviornment then caught in a net. You still have a very high incidence of by-catch and waste (fuel, trash, bait).

I don't get why people still support commercial fishing. We don't support commercial hunting anymore. So why do we still treat the oceans as if it is a endless bounty. You can't treat a wild resource as a commercial open one. Then you end up with a Tragedy of the Commons issue. Like we have now. If you banned commercial fishing of wild stocks you would have people make aquaculture much better. Most of the salt water aquaculture now is pretty rough on the enviornment. So I don't get vegatarians that don't see anything wrong with eating fish but feel bad for a cow. The cow was raised for eating. Fish are wild and aren't.

Don't eat commercially caught fish. Eat a domestically produced critter.
Not that simple
Posted by Desert Fox on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 10:18am.
As with any ecological issue, it's simply not that simple. The environmental cost of seafood depends on myriad details including the species in question and the particular fishing or aquaculture method. "Commercial fishing" comprises at least ten different capture methods, and "aquaculture" at least five different farming methods, each with their particular environmental costs and benefits. And obviously the problem of overfishing varies from species to species depending on its growth rates, time to sexual maturity, reproduction rates, etc. You can't just say "aquaculture is better for the environment than commercial fishing" or vice-versa. These two sites have some good general info on a species by species and method by method basis. For one of the more well-known examples, check out the "species scorecards" for Alaskan salmon vs. farmed Atlantic salmon at that second site (Blue Ocean Institute). I had me some grilled wild Alaskan salmon for dinner last night, specifically chosen over the farmed Atlantic salmon that was in the same case for a whole lot less per pound.

Sure, doing away with commercial fishing might led to great improvements in aquaculture. Or it might lead to buying farmed fish from other countries without as many regulations. Not all species can be farmed with all methods, and if a species can't be farmed profitably by whatever means, technologically improved or otherwise, it won't be.

Complicating the matter, of course, is the fact that the quality of the statistics kept on bycatch, pollution, etc. varies greatly from country to country. Believe me, I checked. :)

I don't see that it matters that cows are raised for eating and wild fish aren't, especially not to the cows or fish (although it makes me imagine funny scenarios of a bunch of cows fomenting rebellion against the carnivorous oppressors). My main issue is environmental rather than ethical. Unsustainable practices are unsustainable practices, terrestrial or aquatic.

*sigh* I should've been at work an hour ago. Good day to y'all.


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Erm you're partially right
Posted by hypoxic on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 12:13am.
I don't know of many commercial fishing methods that don't hurt the enviornment. What are the ten?
1. Gill netting (really bad)
2. Bottom trawl (really bad)
3. Purse seining (pretty bad)
4. harpooning (pretty good in some aspects)
5. long lining (really bad)
6. line fishing (pretty good in some aspects)
7. fish traps (pretty bad)
8. divers (not really for fish but I'm guessing here and this is a pretty good method)
9. pots (again not really for fish but good at what it does)
10. explosives or chemicals? (I can't think of it, but these are only in non-devolped countries and I don't think count)

But pretty much I'd still say you're only reacting like this because you're not familiar with it. Think about the difference between cow and deer. At one point I'm sure people were like cows? They fuck up the enviornment. Its much better to have a hunter go kill a deer for me. Though it reality it would be a hunter herding all the wildlife into a ravine and then opening up with a chain gun. Then taking out only the choice animals and dumping the rest back into the wild.

But yeah I agree that usustainable practices are unsustainable practices, terrestrial or aquatic. Which I advocate is why we should get rid of commercial fishing. A wild population is not designed or managed like a domestic one.
Stuff and stuff
Posted by Desert Fox on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 12:56am.
I don't know of many commercial fishing methods that don't hurt the enviornment. What are the ten?

Of course none of the methods are harmless to the environment. I think you got all the major catagories. The "ten" I tossed out there included a couple of subsets of bottom trawling.

But pretty much I'd still say you're only reacting like this because you're not familiar with it.

*shrug* I'm familiar enough with it to have earned a degree in it. I'd have my doctorate in it by now, had I not decided I'd rather have a shred of sanity left to me. For whatever that's worth.

Think about the difference between cow and deer. At one point I'm sure people were like cows? They fuck up the enviornment. Its much better to have a hunter go kill a deer for me. Though it reality it would be a hunter herding all the wildlife into a ravine and then opening up with a chain gun. Then taking out only the choice animals and dumping the rest back into the wild.

Um...you lost me here. And I can't blame it on the alcohol, for once. People were like cows? I'm not understanding this analogy. When and in what way were people like cows? Other than any time we're being loaded onto a Southwest Airlines flight, I mean. Is the hunter here the commercial fisherman equivalent? And what's a chain gun? Inquiring minds want to know. Well, this one does, anyhow.


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Posted by Saint on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 9:25am.
"People were like cows?"

He's not saying people were like cows. Insert some quotation marks and appropriate capitalization, and it makes sense:

"At one point I'm sure people were like 'Cows? They fuck up the environment. Its much better to have a hunter go kill a deer for me.' Though it reality it would be a hunter herding all the wildlife into a ravine and then opening up with a chain gun. Then taking out only the choice animals and dumping the rest back into the wild."

The chain gun analogy, I'm guessing, refers to the fishers who drag up everything in their nets, then toss the unwanted bits back. *shrug* Not sure, though.

Not saying who's right or wrong (as I'm not terribly familiar with the issues), just bringing clarification.

[edit] I should add, people still think cows are bad for the environment. Ranchers constantly have to fight to keep their right to graze their herds on public land.

-Can't stop, the weasels are closing in!
Posted by Desert Fox on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 10:50am.
"At one point I'm sure people were like 'Cows? They fuck up the environment. Its much better to have a hunter go kill a deer for me.'

It certainly makes more sense written that way, but I don't think the idea is really true. Was there really any time prior to the 1970s when a substantial number of people were vocally concerned with with overgrazing and all the environmental problems that come with it? I'm not asking you, specifically, I'm just expressing general dubiousness.

And now I have the song "The Farmer and the Cowman Should be Friends" stuck in my head. Great.

I should add, people still think cows are bad for the environment. Ranchers constantly have to fight to keep their right to graze their herds on public land.

Yeah, especially the right to continue grazing their herds at the pathetic cost of $1.79 per month per cow/calf pair, costing the BLM around $125 million per year. That won't fund a whole lot of ecological restoration, let me tell ya!

(Note: I disagree with the thesis of the article I linked there. Feral horses and burros are about as natural in the California deserts as parrots and at least as damaging as cows. Plus, they crap all over my restoration sites, the mangy buggers.)


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Heh, I wrote my comment way to late last night.
Posted by hypoxic on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 8:41pm.
But yes Saint caught the gist of my ramblings. To answer, prior to the 1970's people did worry about the overgrazing which is why public commons were taken out of the grazing equation and why people protected water and land rights. They also made efforts to eradicate native species that might damage their cows. But people still weighed the cost benefits of hunting vs farming and still cows came out ahead. Which is why I still say that aquafarming is better then commercial fishing.

Will aquafarming have repurcussions to the enviornment? Hell yes, but are they worse then commercial fishing? We still haven't even taken stock of the damage that commercial fishing does to the enviornment. You complain about how the cows damage BLM land imagine if it was instead a large humvee criss-crossing the land in order to kill the last bit of game (mind you undersized juvenile game). That type of damage isn't even comparable.
Posted by Saint on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 2:44pm.
I imagine I have a rather different view on things, since I come from ranch stock. :D And we'll just leave it there, shall we?

There's always been concern about over-grazing, but not until recently was that concern ecologically-based. In the past, it was mainly a matter of being concerned that no cattle in the free range should starve (if you're a fan of history, or westerns, you'll remember the deep and abiding hatred cattle ranchers have for sheep herders, due to the fact that sheep actually kill many of the plants they eat if they're left to forage too long in one area), and that there should still be enough for deer, elk, bighorn, etc, for sport-hunting.

-Can't stop, the weasels are closing in!
Posted by Desert Fox on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 3:37pm.
I'm non-judgemental on a personal level. I don't like the consequences, but I don't consider ranchers, off-roaders, jet-skiers, snowmobilers, etc. to be evil people intentionally out to destroy the environment. I consider that a silly attitude to take. It just puts you at odd with too much of the population for no good reason. Doesn't mean it's not a relatively common attitude among self-proclaimed environmentalists. I say science first, philosophy later! :)

Whereabouts is your ranching stock from?

And yes, sheep are baaaaaad.

*running away now*


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Posted by Saint on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 12:44am.
"Whereabouts is your ranching stock from?"

Colorado rancher mixed with Tennessee farmer on Mom's side, Iowa farmer on Dad's side. Small-time subsistence stuff, mostly. Our family hasn't grazed off the BLM since my grandmother's husband died in the early 80's. And my uncle sells off the remains of the old family land piece by piece to pay for his new wife's flighty fancies (honestly, does anyone need an $1800 life sized metal statue of an elk, or a professional karaoke machine, or 50 half-grown trees planted so close together they choke out the ground foliage?), so it's a family tradition that will go no farther. It's kind of sad. I have fond, though increasingly dim, memories of processing apples with the hippy nomad family that helped out every year, now even the stumps of the orchard are long gone. I also have not-so-fond memories of poisoning prairie dogs for $5 an hour in fields that will soon have a house in the middle of them. Meh, progress.

/maudlin whining.

I admit, I do have a problem with off-roaders. Cattle-grazing isn't super for the environment, but it's better than the churned mudpits that morons in pickup trucks leave. My parents like taking out the Jeep and following all the forest service roads as far as possible (and they want their ashes spread over Ophir pass, which I will have to hike to do, as I'm not the driver my dad is), but they never take it off the trail. They love the beauty too much to screw it up.

-Can't stop, the weasels are closing in!
Posted by Desert Fox on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 9:39am.
See, your stock makes a lot more sense, though. Ranching east of the Rockies where you get enough rain to keep the grass growing on a fairly reliable basis isn't nearly as damaging on a long-term basis because adequate rainfall is a huge part of ecosystem recovery.

What I really have a problem with is ranching in the arid southwest US, where it takes an average of 100 acres just to sustain a single cow/calf pair and where you can get 10" of rain one year and 0.01" the next. It's certainly not a way I'd want to count on to keep myself in shelter, food, and clothing.

Yeah, I have a problem with off-roaders too. But I try to keep it quiet because....hmmm...how can I say this tactfully? I'm a lot more scared of off-roaders. Ranchers need to have some amount of brains to succeed. Off-roaders don't. I still strongly believe that 95% of off-roaders are just everyday people out to have a good time. It's the 5% who sincerely believe that the Constitution includes the right to tear up any and all land they want that scare me.

Back in the beginning of my bad old grad school days, I took part in an annual biological survey that is still at the center of an extremely contentious off-roader vs. environmentalist issue. As in, it still makes the front page at least once a year around here. The report from that survey is online. I still occasionally worry that some extremist freak off-roading group (i.e. the Sahara Club) will decide to look up everybody who has ever been involved in the attempt to gather real data on the issue and go on a harrassment campaign.

It's not entirely paranoia. Both my former advisor and a former collegue of mine who now works for the Department of Fish & Game know a few of the people in the environmental chain of command on this issue and have told me about the regular death threats these people receive. Rangers in this area have been shot, shot at, and stabbed. Rangers being pelted with beer bottles, punched out, and chased down by ATVs is a yearly occurence.

I was supposed to be the first ecologist dedicated solely to researching this thing. It was offered to me by the BLM, US Department of Fish & Wildlife, DFG, and a couple of other agencies I forget as a thesis project. They now have large groups of people who go out every year and spend weeks living in that ecosystem gathering data on this project. Back then, they expected me to go out by myself. That's stupid in any fieldwork situation, so when I expressed doubt (i.e. "Hell no!), they offered to "try to find" one other person to accompany me. I think it was when I found myself researching the best type of gun for fieldwork that I decided BLM and all the others could shove that project up their...barrels.

/mostly pointless reminiscing

Amazing how much I can blather when the alternative is going into the office to do paperwork. :)


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Posted by Saint on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 4:24pm.
Actually, I am in the Southwest, definitely west of the Rockies (Cortez is between Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners Monument)--but the cattle-ranching is done largely in the mountains and foothills to the east, where rain and naturally growing things are more abundant.

All I have to say on the issue of the environmentalists vs the off-roaders is, fanatics on any side of an issue can't help but make things worse.

And, finally, for off-roading enthusiasts: if you're really looking for an adreneline rush, and want to see things nobody's ever seen from the road, why not take up climbing? :D

-Can't stop, the weasels are closing in!
Off Roading
Posted by shelley on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 12:16pm.
I enjoy off roading. I love the adrenaline rush you get when you see an obstacle and you overcome it with sheer horsepower or with strategic placement of such a large vehicle(trucks that is) or you see a huge puddle and you blow through it so fast that the water splashes over the hood or a large muddy area that you're able to get through because of these huge mudders! I don't ask that you understand because not everyone can. However understand that what you find entertaining could very easily make me bored to the point where I would rather chew my own leg off.
I think that as long as you stay on the trail or in the cutlines, use tree straps, read and abide by the environmental rehabilitation signs and keep it clean and most importantly do your best to not destroy the area, off roading is a fun thing to do on a weekend. What annoys me is that environmentalists (while they do have good intentions) will cut back the amount of space to off road in and therefore you have the same amount of off roaders in a smaller space, and the trails get used way more often. This causes more damage than it would had you left the trails as is.. They then turn around and say see, we told you this caused tons of damage. Well, duh!!! Don't get me wrong I love seeing the wild and the beauty of nature. I love going to my cabin in the mountains and being able to enjoy the mountains that ironically were once open to OHV's, were shut down to that group by the government (lobbied by the environmentalists and those that simply don't understand the enjoyment of offroading) and are now being strip mined... I still think that the countryside would look way better if they had simply left it open to OHV's... I agree that some areas should be closed to any kind of use and these areas should be protected but there should be some places reasonable in size and spread out across North America to allow off roaders a place to go so that they don't feel like the only place they have to go is the areas that are closed to OHV's. It's the same argument as skateboarders have.. Give them a place to go and then everybody is happy (except those who aren't happy unless they are unhappy..)

I would like to note that in my off roading travels I have seen beautiful sights never before seen by those against off roading. I have been able to appreciate nature more than I had ever been able to before simply because our parks have become very touristy which in itself has taken away the beauty of the countryside. All right I'm done now.
Offroadin' woo!
Posted by brian65401 on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 5:40am.
I think all national parks should be open to all off roaders as long as they comply with these principles .
Posted by Desert Fox on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 11:06am.
And if you're in the southwest, Don't Bust the Crust!

The Leave No Trace principles are great, but until somebody comes up with a OHV that doesn't sound like a Biblical plague of locusts amplified to 11, they're also going to leave no trace of any non-deaf wildlife. Of course, given the problems massive numbers of tourists in the national parks cause for the wildlife, that may be a net benefit to the critters. :S


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Posted by brian65401 on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 2:40pm.
As stated on the LNT website (LNT.org)...

Cryptobiotic crust: Cryptobiotic crust, found in desert environments, is extremely vulnerable to foot traffic. Cryptobiotic crust consists of tiny communities of organisms that appear as a blackish and irregular raised crust upon the sand. This crust retains moisture in desert climates and provides a protective layer preventing erosion. One footstep can destroy crypic crust. It is important to use developed trails in these areas. Travel across crypic crust should only be used when absolutely necessary. Walk on rocks or other durable surfaces if you must travel off-trail. In broad areas of crypic crust, where damage is unable, it is best to follow in one another six foot steps so the smallest area of crust is affected exactly the opposite rule from travel through vegetation. (Cryptobiotic crust is also extremely vulnerable to mountain bicycle travel.)
Posted by Desert Fox on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 4:26pm.
This is definitely an "agree to disagree" topic. The end.


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Posted by hypoxic on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 6:15am.
Off roaders. Why not make parks like they do for Skateboarders then? I'm sure there are some abandoned mines/quarries for them to do their thing. Its just like how I wish they could make jetskis only allowed in certain areas.

Adrenaline is not an excuse. If you want adrenaline go play paintball or bungie jump. Is it really that fun to go out and splash in puddles? or make your car roll over? isn't there an easier way to do this?
They have..
Posted by shelley on Mon, 07/25/2005 - 3:29pm.
They have, at least they have in CAN however as I said before these parks are being made smaller causing more damage. And I have absolutely no drive to get shot at with balls filled with paint that don't always break and cause large bruises on my body. As for bungie jumping.. try and make that last all day.. cheaply. I don't expect everyone to understand why this excites me so however tolerance and acceptance is what builds a strong society..

Abandoned mines and quarries are supposed to be filled and if not they are dangerous due to collapses and unstable ground. We're also not allowed on territory owned by mining companies because they have to repair and bring life back into the area once they are done. Otherwise they are liable to huge fines, large enough to force them out of business.
Envision a different type of mine
Posted by hypoxic on Mon, 07/25/2005 - 6:15pm.
So I'm not talking about a mine shaft but rather a pit mine. These tracts of land are completely deviod of life. They won't come back around for years. Which is why they would be better suited then a pristine area that wouldn't take as much rehab. But I'm guessing you have no power in this, nor do I.

Concerning cost is another thing. The cost of off-roading is very cheap because the cost is not seen by you but rather spread out over the rest of us (the general public). We will be the ones that need to pay to rehab the land or suffer the loss of species. Your low cost comes at the price of the rest of us. If you truly had to pay for the enviornmental damage then you would find bungie jumping incredibly cheap.
Let's take it to the next logical step.
Posted by paul on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 7:58am.
Let's put the jet skiiers and the off-roaders in one large outdoor area with a lake or two, then send in the hunters who only step into the woods when they want to go shoot the first thing that moves, a la Elmer Fudd. Plenty of adrenaline all around! What could be more of a rush than jumping waves while dodging bullets? Or stalking prey that may come roaring out of the brush at you with all four tires in the air? We could call it the Darwin Park!
Posted by Desert Fox on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 10:46am.
Sounds like a great video game!

"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Posted by brian65401 on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 9:19am.
Then you could televise it. Call it "Survivor-Lake Meade."
Control panel
Comment viewing options:
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to submit your changes.
Browse 77 comments:
»1« • 2 • next
There are more than 50 comments in this node. Use these links to navigate through them.