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Debate on vegetarianism vs. meat consumption

edited December 2010 in Other Stuff

Interesting discussion on Scott Adam’s blog (he is the creator of Dilbert).

Some people who commented went so far as to assert that we NEED meat in our diets to be healthy. This is a popular view among meat-eaters….Vegetarians believe that there is no science to support the belief that we NEED meat (not counting the B12 and Omega-3 supplements). And not counting any studies that were funded by the meat industry…So let’s throw down…Meat eaters, show me the links to studies supporting the view that eating meat in moderation is healthier than eating no meat….Vegetarians, show us your links proving that a proper vegetarian diet is the healthiest. (emphasis mine)

Comments

  • One thing I love to bring to the table is when people tell me I need Vitamin B12 supplements.

    Let’s see… Wheatgrass juice has assimilable B12, Cayenne pepper has the full B vitaman array, Comfrey root (OH HORRORS, not comfrey!) has the full B vitamin array and is the highest form of plant protein known in the vegetable kingdom. Spirulina too. If people are worried that they won’t be getting their B vitamins on a Vegan diet (raw or not), supplements aren’t a bad idea, but I feel that obtaining them from food, not supplementation is far more powerful. It’s amazing just how brain washed people are into thinking that they can build vibrant life by ingesting death. Sure, it feels good in your mouth, and it probably tastes pretty darn good too. Go raw, clean yourself out, and then have a sunflower sprout salad, and a slice of watermelon and you’ll know what feels and tastes better in your mouth. =D

  • Right on brother ! :)

  • I love me some wheatgrass juice!

    As I was starting a raw food diet, I went through a nutritionist-guided detoxification. I feel like that helped a lot. It was obvious to me, through the process, that I was “shedding” some sort of “buildup” from some thirty years of eating crap. It was really strange, but since then, I’m pretty sure I’m absorbing more nutrition from the same amounts of food. Which makes perfect sense.

    In some cases, sparingly, I’m sure supplementation is useful. My nutritionist has me on some things now, but certainly no one-size-fits-all type of pill, and it’s only intended to get me back in balance. Good health starts with the diet. If that can’t cover all the bases, or you have special needs, then by all means take appropriate supplements….

  • You know what I say to people that make a comment about not eating meat? How many servings of fruit and vegetables do you eat a day??? Nuts and Grains? That usually shuts them up really quick.

  • We don’t need anything from meat! If our bodies desired it, we would salivate at the thought of a live animal. And then we would be inclined to kill it with our bare hands (we didn’t always have weapons) and eat it right there on the spot (we didn’t always have refrigeration and animals begin to decompose hours after they are killed). Anybody that says we have evolved to eat cooked meat obviously has a cooked brain. Evolution has been happening for billions of years without any cooking and fire was discovered less than a million years ago.

    James

  • i love when people open their mouths and say, “look at our teeth, we are suppose to eat meat”. i guess this is their excuse that allows them to eat other animals. when i ask them if they have ever done any comparative research of the GI tract of meat eating versus non-meat eating animals…they say no. when asked if they have every seen what is left inside the GI tract of dead person…they say no. my reply to them is that they may want to do some research before proclaiming that they have the right to kill and eat another living creature. but that is just me :)

  • I dont want to disappoint anyone but it is basically a scientific fact that humans evolved to be ‘opportunistic feeders.’ We have generalized digestive characterisitics. Believe it or not, we are able to eat meat (raw of course). We are able to digest cholesterol, but do not require it (our bodies make it).I’m not saying we require meat in our diet and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it in today’s world – there is no source of fresh, wild, pollutant-free meat. I am saying that humans are not “natural vegetarians”. A lot of raw fooders argue that since we don’t have built in hunting tools (claws, huge canines) and our intestines don’t resemble a carnivore’s, we are not meant to eat meat. There are many documented cases of humans living in good health with a diet high in raw meats (Indigenous Inuit) with very low rates of cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, etc. That said, I believe that in order to achieve the greatest possible health today, no meats should be eaten.

    Check this link out: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/omni.htm

    I still worry about the B12 thing. Nixopax – I looked up all of the items you mentioned to contain B12 on nutritiondata.com and they all have zero B12. I have heard that some mushrooms have B12. Personally I think that B12 is something that may be found in high quality soil, which normally would be in trace amounts on ground vegetables, if they weren’t washed. But we have to wash produce if it isn’t orgainc because of pesticides. It is amazing how hard it can be to emulate what is “natural”. Our society is so far form it. For awhile I believed that a human body in perfect health really can create its own B12, but I doubt that now. I plan to get tested for B12 eventually and begin taking a pure supplement. It does take years for your stored B12 to become depelted. Read this article (the part about Raw foodists in Finland):

    http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/raw

    I am extremely concerned that we (everyone concerned with proper nutrition, which I hope includes raw foodists) are seeking out the truth and using that to shape our beliefs and actions, and not the other way around. Don’t believe something or someone just because it supports raw foodism. Don’t reject something as propaganda just because it comes out of the mainstream scientific community. We need to be objective and unbiased (as should everyone but why not lead by example?). I probably sound preachy ranting like this, but I feel someone needs to say it.

  • Our bodies make all the cholesterol we need. Eating extra cholesterol has killed more people than: all the wars, natural disasters and car accidents of the twentieth century added together. Eating Vegan means eating no animal based foods. The only source of cholesterol is animal foods. Plant foods contain no cholesterol.

    It’s simple, the extra cholesterol clogs our veins and arteries restricting the flow of blood. Restrict blood flow to the brain and you’ll have a stroke. Restrict blood flow to the heart and you’ll get Heart Disease. Restrict blood flow to your cells and you’ll get Cancer.

    Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the UK and US. Heart disease kills one in five men and one in six women. The number two killer of course is Cancer. A recent study of autopsies shows that 80% of those over 40 have some form of cancer.

    Many people now avoid red meat or beef, thinking that white meat is better. The truth is meat is meat. A 3 ounce piece of beef has 75 mg of cholesterol while a 3 ounce skinless chicken breast has 72 mg of cholesterol. The two are mostly the same.

    Many today have given up eating animals and become vegetarian. Little do they know that a glass of milk is the same as 7 strips of bacon. Cheese, Eggs, Yogurt, it’s all the same. It all contains cholesterol and animal protein, and that is what’s killing us.

    We’ve been taught that we desperately need animal protein, but nothing could be further from the truth. Protein deficiency caused by diet is only found in cases of severe starvation. Many plant foods have protein, and plant protein won’t kill you. Both spinach and broccoli have near twice the protein of beef. A diet of nothing but potatoes will give you enough protein.

    In the west our health problems are caused by excess not deficiency. Don’t worry about what you are not eating, beware of what you are eating.

    B12

    B12 deficiency may cause serious health problems. Don’t panic! It can take years to deplete your B12 reserves. Get tested before you worry. For now in short, be safe, not sorry!

    B12 deficiency is easy to test for. The test is called a MMA or Methylmalonic Acid test of the urine. It costs only £20 for home testing. http://www.biolab.co.uk/vitamins.html I am being tested now. Many long term Purely Raw vegans are not deficient.

    B12 has been used as an argument against vegetarian diets for a long time. The fact is that many meat and dairy eaters are also B12 deficient. Antibiotics in mainly animal foods disturb the production of ‘Intrinsic Factor’ in our stomach. B12 must bind with ‘Intrinsic Factor’ before it can enter our system. Any GP will tell you that B12 deficiency is common now among the elderly, no matter their diet.

  • All carnivores have short guts, through which meat is eliminated before it putrefies. Human intestines are 3 times the length of carnivores. Our guts are even much longer than an omnivore’s intestines, but they’re the same length as other frugivores. Meat putrifies before it leaves our guts, but is quickly eliminated out of a true meat eater’s guts.

    Carnivores and even omnivores have higher levels of hydrochloric acid in their stomachs used to digest meat. They also have the enzyme uricase to digest uric acid found in meat. Humans don’t, and this means we cannot digest meat as carnivores and omnivores do.

    Our blood is alkaline in its optimum state. Carnivores and omnivores blood is acidic. We have no teeth or claws to kill with and no snout to rip out internal organs. Physically, we are frugivores, animals meant to eat mainly fruit and leaves.

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