FIS says: you are a supporter of animal rights and a vegetarian, is that correct?
Justin says: Yes.
FIS says: are you a vegetarian that will eat eggs, but not meat, or are eggs out of the question as well?
Justin says: Well, I am a vegetarian in that I do not eat any meat from anything belonging in the Animal kingdom. When I do eat eggs, they are free-range and organic.
FIS says: Do you only eat organic food?
Justin says: No, I'll eat processed foods and frozen foods. I just check all the ingredients to make sure there is no meat. The eggs are organic for the hens.
FIS says: Do you think that the production of genetically-modified food is a bad idea?
Justin says: I have no problem with altering the genetics of plants to produce more or better food. I do have a problem with injecting hormones into animals.
FIS says: Were your parents vegetarians?
Justin says: No. My older sister became vegetarian first, then my other sister, and then me. We share the same beliefs in this.
FIS says: Was there any significant event that made you want to become a vegetarian?
Justin says: Well, I wouldn't call it significant. I had been planning to be vegetarian for a while and finally one day someone told me I couldn't do it. I decided to make some money and wagered that I could.
FIS says: Was it hard to make the switch?
Justin says: Not at all. The only time I ever want meat is when I smell a burger joint from the outside.
FIS says: So the smell of cooking meat still makes you hungry?
Justin says: Yes, but only when it's done right. I don't start salivating every time I see someone eating a steak.
FIS says: What is your primary reason for being a vegetarian (is it the taste, cruelty, etc.)?
Justin says: I do it entirely for the animals. I won't deny that meat tastes delicious.
FIS says: Do you have to take any nutritional supplements to compensate for the lack of meat in your diet?
Justin says: No. I actually get more protein than alot of people I know. Any type of bean, especially soy, contains large amounts of protein. Since most vegetarian foods contain soy, I get my protein. I have recently started taking a once a day suppliment, but only because I think I should have more calcium now while I am young.
FIS says: Have you found that not eating meat has improved your digestive efficiency and function?
Justin says: I haven't noticed a difference. I no longer have the enzymes required to digest meat, however.
FIS says: Were there any adverse reactions by your body to the sudden lack of meat in your diet?
Justin says: Fortunately for me, I already had two vegetarians living with me, so I replaced meat with their fake meat. No adverse reactions.
FIS says: If meat could be synthesized using molecular assembly, would you go back to eating it?
Justin says: Of course.
FIS says: At what point does it go from being wrong to hurt an animal to being right (should insects be treated as well as dogs)?
Justin says: Well, I do get mocked occasionally for my "zero-tolerance" policy. I don't cry when someone swats a fly, but I don't intentionally hurt any animal be it insect, bird, or domestic pets.
FIS says: Many animals hurt humans, is it ok for a human to kill these types of animals?
Justin says: I suppose if an animal was attacking me and I felt as if my life was threatened, I would react in any way I could to save myself. Self-preservation is always top priority in most creatures. I just try to limit the suffering of all living beings.
FIS says: At what point in a civilization's development does it become unethical to eat animals?
Justin says: As soon as there is a practical and more ethical alternative. So that rules out cannibalism, but not innovative agricultural solutions.
FIS says: If scientific research suggests that certain animals lack the mental faculties to feel pain (no free nerve endings) is it ok for people to kill and eat these animals?
Justin says: I don't think so. What gives us the right to kill another being? I try to imagine what it must be like to be hunted and killed and it doesn't seem fair to me.
FIS says: Should robots be given rights if they eventually have the same intelligence as a human or other animal?
Justin says: As soon as robots can give birth to robots and are considered "life," I will stop treating them as tools and start treating them as creatures.
FIS says: If experimenting on a rabbit meant that it would suffer, but mankind would develop a cure for a disease 50 years early, would that make it ok to experiment on the animal?
Justin says: I'd look for a way to test it on a willing human. People do crazy things for money. The difference, in my mind, is that the human makes a decision to help while the animal is forced. Freedom is very important to me.
FIS says: Abortion is a very sensitive issue today, do you think that it is acceptable for a human to abort a fetus?
Justin says: Yes.
FIS says: Should people be allowed to keep pets or do all animals deserve to be free?
Justin says: I have had pets my entire life and have made sure they enjoyed their life as much as possible. I would like to see better regulation of animal reproduction and sales so that we can make sure they enjoy their life. People who neglect their pets are not worth the air they breath in my opinion.
FIS says: Is it acceptable for animal rights groups to free animals in captivity, even if it means that they will probably die (assume they are domesticated)?
Justin says: Organizations like PETA have their hearts in the right place, but don't have the best decision making skills. I think it was moronic to release the animals just so they can die. It would have been better to have set up a fascility to care for them before breaking in. That way they could just take care of them until they are able to live on their own.
FIS says: Many complaints by animal rights activists are in regard to the usage of animal hides as clothing. Do you think the government should ban the industry?
Justin says: Definitly. Fur/leather is expensive, more challenging to procure than synthetic clothing, and is unethical.
FIS says: What do you think of the taxonomy industry, which stuffs animals to preserve them primarily as decorations?
FIS says: er...taxidermy
Justin says: I can't see why they can't look at live animals instead. For the record, I don't like taxonomy either.
FIS says: here is a question from someone in the forum: "Why do you feel the need to protect animal rights when rights for your fellow man (human rights) are being abused in some third world countries, in China, and even in Iraq by US Forces?"
Justin says: I don't know how to solve that problem. I do think we could help ourselves by helping animals though. If we stop breeding animals for food, we could convert the free space into fields. The amount of food we use to feed our animals could feed the hungry humans.
FIS says: Are you a member of any animal rights groups?
Justin says: Humans are intelligent enough to know that they shouldn't hurt eachother, but they still do.
Justin says: I am a member of PETA, but do not participate in any campaigns that I find more harmful than helpful. I also help design advertisements and themes to raise awareness.
FIS says: Have you ever participated in any protests against animal cruelty?
Justin says: I have attended protests before, but I don't see how they do any good. Pamphlets, television ads, the internet, and even radio are all better alternatives for getting the message out than publicly throwing a tantrum.
FIS says: Do you think that animal rights activists are misrepresented by the media?
Justin says: Some, yes. Sometimes good organizations do stupid things too. The media is just there to tell people what they did. It is up to the viewers to make decisions about it.
FIS says: Do you think that the practice of eating animals is going to phase out with technology?
Justin says: Yes, but not for a while.
FIS says: lastly, is there anything else that you would like to tell the world?
Justin says: I would just like people to do a little research. Most people are simply oblivious to how bad animals are being treated. They know about testing and fur, but they selectively ignore it. All I ask is that people really think about it before they eat their next whopper.
FIS says: That seems like some sound advice, thank you very much for the interview!
Justin says: Thank you for shedding some light on this subject.