The Plant-Strong debate

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2012 3:07 PM GMT
    Although I like the logic, I think some RJers will take exception to the argument that we're not bears. icon_wink.gif

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/04/17/is-veganism-good-for-everyone/plant-strong-is-the-way
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2603

    Apr 21, 2012 3:51 PM GMT
    The guy has a strong argument. The healthiest diet is what we ate prehistorically ie predominantly plant based. Its benefits are even more marked as we grow older.
    From a semi-vegetarian bear!
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    Apr 21, 2012 9:08 PM GMT
    ^ besides their horrible treatment, going vegan also saves in the order of thousands of liters of water in comparison to producing the same amount of animal food.... And we are at the start of a water crisis... this is why I first went vegetarian in high school
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    Apr 21, 2012 9:10 PM GMT
    Can we all please stop pretending like it is ok to not eat meat? I mean, didnt we all see how bitchy and female like the vegetarians acted in that dating thread? Its like you cant even pose a question without them crimson flowing all over you!
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    Apr 21, 2012 9:11 PM GMT
    ^ hunny, I am about to pounce on you!!
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    Apr 21, 2012 9:12 PM GMT
    I might add, that in india, there are people who eat mostly vegetarian all their lives... I havent heard of them suffering health problems due to a lack of nutrients or anything
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Apr 21, 2012 9:27 PM GMT
    Oh god, this article is just... so full of misinformation and poorly researched ideas. If you're going to write an article advocating a vegan diet, then at least back it up with studies or contribute something original to the discussion... the author is just regurgitating assumptions they have heard from bad sources.

    Plant foods do not automatically mean healthy. A vegan can obtain all their nutrients from rice and beans and veggies, as well as suffer from iron deficiency. A vegan can also consume massive amounts of kale, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables only to end up with kidney stones or aggravated gout from the oxalates. A vegan could eat potato chips, coke, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and soy ice cream, only to end up with diabetes and obese.

    The consumption of polyunsaturated plant fats are not always good. The omega 3's obtained from flax seeds may be potentially carcinogenic. The phytoestrogens from non-fermented soy products may put one at an increased risk of breast cancer. Fiber may cause nutrition deficiencies due to the increased gastric motility, and there are currently no specific causations regarding antioxidants and phytonutrients regarding the elimination of cancer (they have a correlation at best).

    Vegans also are not innocent regarding animal welfare. Participating in not eating meat is all fine and good, but then you have products made from animal parts, such as leather and fur. Then, there's the massive slaughter of species, destruction of habitat, and loss of food sources for creatures for the sake of the crops that are planted, not to mention the fact that in many places water is being piped in at great cost and use of fossil fuels to grow plants in an area where they are not meant to grow (and would actually be much more suitable for grazing cattle). Urban sprawl, pollution, city lights causing disorientation - again, killing animals and displacing them left and right.

    I find that I work best with a good supply of plants and animals in my diet. Constantly consuming the carbohydrate-rich plant matter makes me bloated, causes havoc with my blood sugar, makes me gain weight quickly, and I feel like I am always eating massive amounts of food. Eating a lot of meat or dairy disgusts me as well, since I start having digestion problems and my cholesterol rises.
    Both plant and animal foods offer benefits and drawbacks, and we should realize that there is no superiority regarding either diet. People should be free to eat what they wish, but there is no moral superiority in either camp.
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    Apr 21, 2012 9:29 PM GMT
    GreenHopper said^ hunny, I am about to pounce on you!!


    You can pounce me whenever you like baby :-)

    Glad to see you are reading what I write on the forums now hehe
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    Apr 21, 2012 9:38 PM GMT
    dancedancekj said

    Vegans also are not innocent regarding animal welfare. Participating in not eating meat is all fine and good, but then you have products made from animal parts, such as leather and fur.


    Ehm, you don't seem to know much about veganism... a vegan means someone who shuns absolutely ANY animal product whatsoever, seeks not to kill ANY animal at all

    And like I said, there are entire religious groups in India that are completely vegan and are not even allowed to eat a plant that will be killed in the process.... Ive been to their temples, and honestly, I have never heard of them suffering health problems, and they've been around for over 2000 years, so Im more likely to go with that than with all these new-fangled scientific terms that know very little about the human body and keep changing our ideas about what it means to eat healthy... i mean honestly, when i was little, it was "eat more spinach".. and now they say "never mind"

    Preposterous to think that science of only a hundred years of age, can give you better health answers than thousands upon thousands of years of experience ... my grandma always said "eat an egg a day, my family always did" when I told her at school they were disadvising me eggs over the cholesterol amounts.... and they, her family, and my grandpa's family, whose dietary habits have been around since the domestication of chickens in asia, where their ancestors were from, all live to be well over their eighties, sometimes hundred, with perfectly functioning minds and the ability to work, less then when they are young, but they all still work and function just fine....

    So there, new-fangled dietary science, in its infancy, can kiss my ancestors' asses.. im sure they live well beyond what those scientists themselves do
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2603

    Apr 21, 2012 10:21 PM GMT
    Vegetarianism is good for the planet, too, since the chief motivation to destroy the tropical rain forest is to create grassland for raising animals for meat, milk, etc., or to grow grain crops to feed animals for the same!

    The global animal husbandry industry is a huge producer of greenhouse gases, including methane, a far more powerful gas than carbon dioxide.

    Meat is a nutritious food, but should ideally be a limited part of our diet at best.
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Apr 21, 2012 11:18 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidI might add, that in india, there are people who eat mostly vegetarian all their lives... I havent heard of them suffering health problems due to a lack of nutrients or anything


    Their life expectancy is 15 years shorter than ours.
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    Apr 21, 2012 11:33 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]Lincsbear said[/cite]The guy has a strong argument. The healthiest diet is what we ate prehistorically ie predominantly plant based. Its benefits are even more marked as we grow older.
    From a semi-vegetarian bear![/quote


    Prehistoric diets are the way to go but you won't find any anthropologists to back you up regarding vegetarian Paleo diet. Humans don't have three stomachs or super acidic stomach acid to digest grass like foraging animals. Most wild legumes ( beans) are deadly poisonous. Cultivated and processed gains are a modern invention and a source many health woes.

    Too many evangelical vegans are city folk/ book readers. If they would just try to live off the land for 9 months they might learn about the nitrogen cycle ( fertilizer/ protein) since it is as important as the carbon cycle for us animals. Agriculture really needs animals or a source of nitogen to work.
  • Vaughn

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    Apr 22, 2012 12:27 AM GMT
    Lincsbear saidThe guy has a strong argument. The healthiest diet is what we ate prehistorically ie predominantly plant based. Its benefits are even more marked as we grow older.
    From a semi-vegetarian bear!


    They had a really short lifespan.
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    Apr 22, 2012 9:49 PM GMT
    Vaughn said
    Lincsbear saidThe guy has a strong argument. The healthiest diet is what we ate prehistorically ie predominantly plant based. Its benefits are even more marked as we grow older.
    From a semi-vegetarian bear!


    They had a really short lifespan.


    They had a short lifespan for various reasons ( constant famine, war, no antibiotics). This is not a strong argument against eating less meat.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2603

    Apr 22, 2012 10:20 PM GMT
    We live longer mainly because we have good healthcare, sanitation, and clean running water.

    In fact, medicine`s efficacy tends to compensate for the ill effects of poor diet in the west.

    A diet rich in meat(sheer calories) makes most sense for people in a society ever affected/ threatened by famine ie the pre- and historic past. Any ill effects of this diet would take decades to show, but most people didn`t live long enough for this to be a problem.
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    Apr 22, 2012 10:26 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidI might add, that in india, there are people who eat mostly vegetarian all their lives... I havent heard of them suffering health problems due to a lack of nutrients or anything


    There's a big difference between ovo-lacto vegetarianism and veganism.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Apr 23, 2012 6:20 PM GMT
    It is interesting that that was in the NY Times because they also ran a contest asking for people to write essays on why it is ethical to eat meat.

    http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/is-it-ethical-to-eat-meat-you-be-the-judge/

    I'm not interested in starting a vegetarian vs. omnivore debate, but some of the facts in this thread are inaccurate.

    Modern day agriculture can be just as bad for the planet as the meat industry. Industry agriculture utilizes more fossil fuel to harvest than the meat industry. And just as many chemicals. You can buy both meat and vegetables from unethical suppliers. Granted, you can't be cruel and inhumane to plants...

    And it is not true that our prehistoric diet was predominantly plant-based. Most ancestral health experts will tell you that the distinguishing evolutionary factor between man and our chimpanzee relative is the consumption of protein-dense animal meat.
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    Apr 23, 2012 6:26 PM GMT
    It all comes down to geography: what's available to people in their environment and what they can make of it. Many people who live in high altitudes and northern latitudes have meat as the primary component of their diet because of limited vegetation in their territory.

    Inuits, Sami, Mongolians, and native Siberians (and I'm sure plenty of other people) are definitely not living off vegetables.
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    Apr 23, 2012 7:00 PM GMT
    Alpha13 said[quote][cite]Lincsbear said[/cite]The guy has a strong argument. The healthiest diet is what we ate prehistorically ie predominantly plant based. Its benefits are even more marked as we grow older.
    From a semi-vegetarian bear![/quote
    Agriculture really needs animals or a source of nitogen to work.


    Ever heard of alfalfa? Grown for feed for cattle mostly but also for the sprouts which can be used in salads. Alfafa increases nitrogen in the soil and therefore is used as a rotator crop instead of using fertilizers.
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    Apr 23, 2012 7:02 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidThe guy has a strong argument. The healthiest diet is what we ate prehistorically ie predominantly plant based. Its benefits are even more marked as we grow older.
    From a semi-vegetarian bear!


    If that were true that would be a strong argument.

    Megafauna didn't go extinct because we were eating so many nuts and berries.
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    Apr 23, 2012 7:03 PM GMT
    pocketnico saidIt all comes down to geography: what's available to people in their environment and what they can make of it. Many people who live in high altitudes and northern latitudes have meat as the primary component of their diet because of limited vegetation in their territory.

    Inuits, Sami, Mongolians, and native Siberians (and I'm sure plenty of other people) are definitely not living off vegetables.


    Nor Tibetans - I just got back, and yak meat or dairy product was in everything.
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    Apr 23, 2012 7:14 PM GMT
    It takes 16 pounds of grain to produce a pound of feedlot beef. It takes only one pound of grain to make one pound of bread.

    How can someone compare the environmental impact of producing meat protein to producing vegetable protein and sound like meat is the same is an unfathomable mystery.

    All of those animals living just for our sake of eating them produce a huge amount of carbon dioxide. Compare that to the carbon dioxide taken in by plants.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Apr 23, 2012 10:40 PM GMT
    alexander7 saidIt takes 16 pounds of grain to produce a pound of feedlot beef. It takes only one pound of grain to make one pound of bread.

    How can someone compare the environmental impact of producing meat protein to producing vegetable protein and sound like meat is the same is an unfathomable mystery.

    All of those animals living just for our sake of eating them produce a huge amount of carbon dioxide. Compare that to the carbon dioxide taken in by plants.


    That wasn't my point. My point was that there are environmentally negative consequences to vegetable production as there are meat. Vegetarianism is not the panacea to the ails of the world. You are absolutely right that meat production has a greater environmental impact. IMO your argument should not lead to the total elimination of meat from one's diet. You can still make smart choices about where one sources their food that has positive environmental impact. Pastured meat does not require the same resources to produce and has higher Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratios than feed lot meat. It also is a vital part of the ecosystem.