Deborah Hoad

Canberra, Act, Australia

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Deborah Hoad
Posted over 1 year ago
In Honor of Teacher Appreciation Week: Who was your favorite teacher?
Grina Holthouse, an English and Drama teacher at Brighton High School in South Australia. I was lucky enough to be in her English class two different years (year 8 and then later in year 11). She chose wisely from the available curriculum and gave us interesting and thought-provoking lessons. She captured our imagination so well that she didn't have to always be hounding us to be quiet and listen (though our class had a bad rep with other teachers). She asked good questions. When I tried for the first time to be a writer and a poet, she gave sound advice and unfailing encouragement. She liked us and if there was any student she didn't like, we certainly didn't know about it. I had plenty of great teachers - I was very lucky - but she was the best.
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Deborah Hoad
Posted over 2 years ago
What is the point in jail and punishment? most the time you come out feeling more rebellious!
Punishing crime acts as a deterrent to other people who might think about committing the same crime. As Leonard White already said, sometimes it's about taking a very dangerous person out of society. And in some prison systems, it's also seen as an opportunity to rehabilitate someone, which is why prisons often have education programs and allow prisoners to use some of their time in prison to learn a job skill. Not everyone who commits a crime is actually a bad person.
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Deborah Hoad
Posted over 2 years ago
Would you eat "in vitro" meat?
Elmer: I wasn't suggesting that we forceably put everyone on a particular diet - certainly not that everyone copy my eating habits. I said that I think encouraging people to reduce their meat consumption (by giving them all the information on its impact, and by making rules that demand humane treatment of farm animals (in how they are housed, fed, and slaughtered) which is fair, but would also reduce demand by increasing the price). I only gave the information on my own changing diet as an example of how I thought it would be really difficult for people to change those habits (which is what others are arguing) but actually I was really surprised as how easy it was. As long as I eat meat a couple of times a week I don't miss it at other times. That surprised me and it made me realise that there are probably a lot of people who could reduce the amount of meat they eat without feeling any hardship from doing so. I never suggested imposing that on anyone else. I'm talking about people choosing to reduce their meat consumption and just saying I think it could happen, especially if we focus on that kind of education instead of wasting time on frankenburgers.
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Deborah Hoad
Posted over 2 years ago
Would you eat "in vitro" meat?
And George, let me make it clear that I understand that some people DO regard killing animals for food as unethical. But I don't think it should be stand as a given in this discussion, especially as most of the population DON'T have an ethical problem with eating animals. I consider it unlikely that in-vitro meat, even if successfully produced, will replace farm-grown meat anytime soon, because most people don't consider the goal of saving animals' lives important. If they did, massive meat consumption wouldn't be the norm. In fact, you've said that swapping to lab meat is the change that is 'easy and possible'. I don't think that would be any easier than convincing people to eat less meat, especially if the cost of lab meat never becomes genuinely cheap, and certainly not if the texture and taste of lab meat never really approximates the meat people enjoy the most, which is not just burgers, but also quite different and delicious things like steak and roast chicken and pork crackling. Also, the lab meat is grown from stem cells from leftover bits at slaughter houses, so animals did die to produce the meat he is currently cultivating.. Will that be self-perpetuating after it begins, or will the process require fresh stem cells from time to time? If the latter, then people who eshew meat-eating on the grounds that killing animals for food is wrong should be cautious about seeing in-vitro meat as an ethical alternative.
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Deborah Hoad
Posted over 2 years ago
Would you eat "in vitro" meat?
"But it's a faulty argument to make - because the end product and it's potential effect is massive and desirable." We disagree on that. "Indeed, a protein heavy diet is generally more in line with our body function than the current carb and grain heavy diet that modern culture focuses on" Incorrect. While we are omnivores, our digestive system is more similar to those of herbivores than carnivores. And all the unhealthy fats are animal fats. "I would reject the notion that we should seek to reduce the demand of meat products...replacing protein calories from animal sources with carbs and solely plant sourced proteins is not just ineffective, but potentially hazardous for population health and nutrition." 'Reducing the demand for meat' and 'replacing animal protein with carbs and solely plant sourced proteins' are not the same the same thing, and I never advocated for erasing meat from our diets. I have consistently argued for people consuming the amount of meat we actually need to get all of the nutrients meat is good at providing, which is a piece of meat the size of the pad of the hand (the fleshy part next to the thumb on the palm) about three times a week. In my experience that is about 500g of meat per week. I think we should reduce demand by encouraging people to enjoy only the amount of meat they actually need, by education and by increasing the cost of meat to decrease demand. "The promise of a cheaper, more ethical meat source is of too great a promise to ignore." Again, we disagree on that. I don't believe it will ever be cheaper than the $1-$5 burgers McDonalds sells, which is a massive component of meat over-consumption in Western societies. Also, as I've already stated, I don't agree that humane animal husbandry and slaughter is unethical. And in-vitro meat production is, apparently, possible, but it can hardly be considered easy. I'd also argue that getting people to embrace any product clearly identifiable as lab meat will also not be easy.
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Deborah Hoad
Posted over 2 years ago
Would you eat "in vitro" meat?
"Try the opposite. I think you'll start to come to a realization as to the sort of entrenched social/cultural/emotional attachment we have to the taste of meat." Yep, true. Society is capable of change - also true.
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Deborah Hoad
Posted over 2 years ago
Would you eat "in vitro" meat?
"This first one will be grown in an academic lab, by highly trained academic staff," he said. "It's handmade and it's time- and labor-intensive. That's why it's so expensive to produce." Not a cost-effective option, and how much will need to change to make it cost effective? - less need for highly-trained staff, - less labour intensive, so will need some automated processes (to reduce the cost of handmade meat), - less time to produce. Maybe they'll get there, but how much time and how many resources will be put into that effort?
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Deborah Hoad
Posted over 2 years ago
Would you eat "in vitro" meat?
Oh my god, please listen. It WAS intended as evidence of the COST of the R&D. It was NOT intended as evidence of the final product. Because it isn't the final product. And I never said it was. How are my objections emotional? If in-vitro meat becomes my only option, I may eat it. But I eat little meat right now, so it might not be worth the cost for me. I would miss meat if it went away, but it wouldn't be overly upsetting. I don't support replacing traditional meat sources with it. I don't see the point and I have no moral objection to eating animals.
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Deborah Hoad
Posted over 2 years ago
Would you eat "in vitro" meat?
George. I will try to be clearer. It would also be great if you could not deliberately misunderstand. You said it was 'disingenious to think that the proof of concept prototypes that they're making right now will be representative in anyway of whatever final product...' In reply to that point, I said I wasn't offering it up as evidence of, or assuming, a final product in its current form. The part where I said I thought it was relevant was to do with the enormous cost. The reason I think it's a waste of R&D is, using your terms, I think the product is, though perhaps feasible, also redundant. We don't need a lab to produce meat. But we might need it to produce meat in sufficient quantities to meet growing demand. IF WE WANT TO MEET DEMAND. I think the better answer is to work at reducing demand. The way to do this is to not only educate people as to the environmental and resource impact of the meat industry, but also to make much stricter laws relating to the humane treatment of animals. The reason demand can be as high as it is, is because meat is so cheap (especially meat supplied for fast food). But it can only be that cheap while appalling standards remain. (Yes, I watched Food, Inc recently. :)) Changing the standards will make meat more expensive, which will drive down demand. And if our concern here is the animals (as people want lab-grown meat to avoid killing animals) those standards are a great first step anyway.