"Death by Veganism" NYT opinion piece - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 275 Old 05-26-2007, 08:17 PM
 
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...In the further interest of being healthy, I made myself go for walks every day, for at least 1/2 an hour. I felt even more exhausted. I needed to take a nap after work.
I'm not discounting the possibility that some people are sensitive to soy (or other foods) ... I can't eat wheat during my menstrual period. People have different dietary needs and what one person thrives on, another might not. But for an average person without dietary intolerances or abnormally low iron absorbtion (for example) it is a different matter.

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Sounds really painful, the way you put it (although it's probably true). Even so, the people Price studied were cheerfully doing the hard work. I doubt I could do that, and I certainly couldn't have done it on my previous diet.
Here's a fact that you have to consider. Hard work, when it is getting you food, shelter and clothing, directly and immediately, is IMMENSELY satisfying. We could very easily get any of the food in our garden from a grocery store, a farmer's market or a CSA, but we grow it our self, and it is hard work, because it is satisfying. Imagine the feeling of standing up from thinning a row of carrots, looking at the wheat that is ripening, seeing the chickens in the tractor picking at the bugs, a clothesline full of handmade clothes drying in the sun, with a pot of homegrown stew on the stove and a pantry full of the things that you have grown and put up. I get a glimpse of that feeling, and it makes me happy to get up in the morning and start working. Working out at a gym or just taking a walk for the sake of exercise does not have nearly the same effect as bicycling to work every day does. Yeah, the first time I did the 2 mile ride to my office (weighing nearly 400 pounds) I thought I was gonna die! But that warm gooey feeling of getting there under my own power was amazing. I lost over 125 pounds in that year, (then got pregnant)

What I'm trying to say is that are major NON-DIETARY factors that are not being considered in this theory.

I'm not a fanatical vegetarian, even though I'm mostly vegan. I feel that leather shoes are superior to and more sustainable than alternatives, so I wear them. I don't think there's anything really wrong with eating meat once in a while (I don't like the stuff, myself), and I think a little bit of eggs and dairy are pretty harmless. But the earth just can't handle animal based meals for an everyday thing. Certainly not for an every meal thing.
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#182 of 275 Old 05-26-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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Catnip, I totally agree about the physical activity. I ride my bike during warmer weather, and feel so much better than during the snowy months. Also, your body assimulates vitamins and minerals better when you are exercising. You can not absorb as much calcium if you are sedentary because you need a chemical reaction that only occurs with active muscles.
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#183 of 275 Old 05-26-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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Price presents a lot of evidence that retinol was a major factor in mineral absorbsion. Retinol is only found in animal products and it is estimated that native people's took in about 50,000 IU/ day. In light of his studies and observations, excercise would seem like a less important factor in mineral utilization than retinol. I can agree there are many factors at work, but I think that nutrition is one of major signifigance. Especially since he found that once people switched to modern foods they had apparent degeneration.

If someone can find this also...I remember reading that Price set out thinking that a vegetarian diet was the healthiest then came to the conclusion later that it was not necessary for optimal health.

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#184 of 275 Old 05-26-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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I am not all over WP, but today I worked my garden, and as I did so, the sweat was pouring off me. At one point, I though "Wow. It would be so much easier to shop". But now, at the end of the day, I have fed and cared for 20 hens, and put in a whole garden (raised beds-- which meant dragging dirt all over).

And while I still needed years of orthodontia , the whole deal of growing your own food and eggs in an organic, healthy way is incredibly satisfying.
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#185 of 275 Old 05-26-2007, 10:46 PM
 
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What I'm trying to say is that are major NON-DIETARY factors that are not being considered in this theory.
It's true, there's something to be said for living in a small community where the soil is rich and you must eat only food that's grown there. However, as far as diet is concerned, Price did find that there were things in common between all 14 groups.

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#186 of 275 Old 05-26-2007, 10:48 PM
 
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If someone can find this also...I remember reading that Price set out thinking that a vegetarian diet was the healthiest then came to the conclusion later that it was not necessary for optimal health.
I don't know if this is exactly what you're looking for:

"As yet I have not found a single group of primitive racial stock which was building and maintaining excellent bodies by living entirely on plant foods. I have found in many parts of the world most devout representatives of modern ethical systems advocating the restriction of foods to the vegetable products. In every instance where the groups involved had been long under this teaching, I found evidence of degeneration in the form of dental caries, and in the new generation in the form of abnormal dental arches to an extent very much higher than in the primitive groups who were not under this influence."

From chapter 15, "Characteristics of primitive and modernized dietaries"

http://journeytoforever.org/farm_lib...e/price15.html

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#187 of 275 Old 05-26-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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I was looking for that and another writing. Maybe it was in one of his letters to his nieces. I think it is interesting that we find there are groups that are healthy on diets where meat/animal products played a major role and then decide it must be something else like excercise, that is making them healthy.

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#188 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:58 AM
 
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I read through some of the book (although I'm a vegetarian on ethical grounds, so I don't see myself being converted). It seems that most of his indications of health was from visual observation, discussion of cancer rates with area doctors and dental observation.
Are teeth that good of an indicator of things like heart disease and cancer? Do good teeth = good health ?
Also, how does the scientific community view the chapter on physical, mental and moral deterioration? Is that considered outdated?

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#189 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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I was looking for that and another writing. Maybe it was in one of his letters to his nieces.
I have a feeling there's something else. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

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I think it is interesting that we find there are groups that are healthy on diets where meat/animal products played a major role and then decide it must be something else like excercise, that is making them healthy.
This is anecdotal, but I have a close friend who is in the construction industry. He has been in it for twenty years, and goes to between 6 and 10 different sites every year. He says that in all that time, he has only known ONE vegetarian (no vegans).

The lunch wagons that come to the sites all have meat-laden menus; by the time they get to the more remote job locations, they are often out of the meat items to the consternation of the workers.

He says he's never seen anyone bring a lunch that didn't have meat in it, and he himself would never consider taking it out of his diet because a meat-based meal is so much more satisfying when doing that type of work. During the times he's not working, he does reduce consumption, though, since he's not as hungry.

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#190 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 02:23 AM
 
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not ture that it's more statisfying. DH has worked on sites like that on a veg*n meal and also with eatting meat. the latter leaves him weighed down and feeling like he's dragging by the end of the day. the first helps him to remain focused and on his toes. there are also vegan body builders and many veg*n athletes who switched to a veg*n diet because they were able to burn off the light food fasters and not be weighed down. both are satisying but veg*n leaves you able to function smoother without a doubt at least in my and other's lives. DH turned his meat lovin' friend onto eatting veg*n while working with heavy lifting and in the desert sun for this very reason.

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#191 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 10:32 AM
 
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I was looking for that and another writing. Maybe it was in one of his letters to his nieces. I think it is interesting that we find there are groups that are healthy on diets where meat/animal products played a major role and then decide it must be something else like excercise, that is making them healthy.
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#192 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 12:15 PM
 
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i dreamt about this thread all night last night!

i'm not second guessing the *one* study of native peoples that was found to be healthy on a meat diet by saying 'oh, it must be the exercise!'. i am, however, doubting they got the real look over that they can today. it's an old study and i'd like to see one done nowadays with meat eating peoples because the ones i have discredit the theory. everything i have read trying to disprove a plant based diet (and trust me, i wanted to disprove it. i'm the type that likes my steak still mooing and my chicken any which was as long as i'm eating a lot of it) just didn't hold up to the studies upon studies naming it as the best for optimum health. do i think that eating a meat centered diet is going to kill you? hmmm... not always. not most of the time. do i think you can be healthy and eat a meat centered diet? yes. but i don't think you can achieve the optimum health you can as with a plant based diet.

i also think there is more to it than just diet although diet is an important part.

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#193 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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I was looking for that and another writing. Maybe it was in one of his letters to his nieces. I think it is interesting that we find there are groups that are healthy on diets where meat/animal products played a major role and then decide it must be something else like excercise, that is making them healthy.
Ok, two major points...

What I'm saying here that there are other major factors, ones that also correlate across the study groups that are likely to affect the results. They may not be the only factor, but they are significant.

Also, I think the theoretical benefits for individuals is far outweighed by the potential damage that heavy meat consumption is doing to the environment. Healthy bodies are well and good, but they aren't going to do us too much good when a freak hurricane caused by global warming comes into Sacramento, knocks down the levees and drowns us all. Yes, small scale pastured meat is sustainable, but there isn't enough land to feed 3 million people in the Sacramento diets that are based around sustainably raised meat. Add 10 million in the Bay Area and 20 million in LA, and, if you they all want to eat meat everyday, you are looking at needing feedlots, which I think we all agree are not even remotely good for anyone.
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#194 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:37 PM
 
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the enviornment is a HUGE factor in why DH and i feel a plant based diet is best. that and the starving people's of the world that we could feed with the resources we use to feed our animals.

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#195 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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Do good teeth = good health ?
In a nutshell, yes. Take a look at the pictures taken of the people, teeth, and skulls.

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#196 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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In a nutshell, yes. Take a look at the pictures taken of the people, teeth, and skulls.
this thread weirds me out! i was just telling Dh we need to get his teeth fixed. we came from homes that all of us could agree sucked when it came to proper nutrition and hygine. seriously, this thread is on my mind even in my dreams. last night i dreamt you and i were having a face to face conversation over coffee in a garden Chicharronita.

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#197 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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not ture that it's more statisfying. DH has worked on sites like that on a veg*n meal and also with eatting meat. the latter leaves him weighed down and feeling like he's dragging by the end of the day.
I'm sorry, I don't recall if your dh works in a physically-intensive industry like construction. These men are swinging hammers and carrying heavy materials all day long. It doesn't appear that they feel weighed down from eating meat after such physical exertion, but I'm sure there are some that may have digestive issues or can't physically handle eating as much meat as the biggest eaters.

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there are also vegan body builders and many veg*n athletes who switched to a veg*n diet because they were able to burn off the light food fasters and not be weighed down.
There are some, but not that many, as far as I know. I'm sure it can be done, but it seems like men tend not to want to put the time and effort in thinking about diet that someone like you probably does.

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#198 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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Ok, two major points...

What I'm saying here that there are other major factors, ones that also correlate across the study groups that are likely to affect the results. They may not be the only factor, but they are significant.
You have to read the book to understand the amount of information Price gathered about these people's diet. And keep in mind that he analyzed the ACTUAL content of the food they were eating, not relying on some food database table from the U.S.D.A. (like what's done now in nutrition studies).

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Healthy bodies are well and good, but they aren't going to do us too much good when a freak hurricane caused by global warming comes into Sacramento, knocks down the levees and drowns us all.
This is true, but should we accept an inferior diet just because of what may happen in the future? I think we should still try to get people to abandon eating factory-farmed animals in favor of pastured ones.

Did anyone read the recent "green" issue of Vanity Fair? It was amazing. I sure wish I could afford one of those electric sports cars.

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#199 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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I'm sorry, I don't recall if your dh works in a physically-intensive industry like construction. These men are swinging hammers and carrying heavy materials all day long.
he did the pre wiring for homes during construction which includes swinging hammers, picking up and hauling bundles of wire (which is actually heavier than i can lift. never thought that until he brought some home in the truck), climbing up and down ladders and housing frames with said materials and all in the desert sun and heat. now he builds cabinetry but still does the pre wiring when they need an extra hand. which is usually in the summer, so it sucks to be him.

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#200 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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seriously, this thread is on my mind even in my dreams. last night i dreamt you and i were having a face to face conversation over coffee in a garden Chicharronita.
Sounds nice! I need to have some breakfast and coffee now. See you guys later.

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#201 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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Maybe the article is off-topic after 10 pages of posts, but I just wanted to add that while I don't think veganism=irresponsible feeding of children, I think it is very hard in today's world to get adequate nutrients from a plant-based diet. Perhaps once upon a time we did great as vegans, but today's produce is hardly the same in terms of nutrient content, even the organic stuff, and then add the stressors of modern life that require a much greater nutrient load, well I just see the addition of some free-range, organic animal-based foods as extra insurance. Also, what about the nutrients we need such as B12or B6 that are difficult to get with vegan foods? My personal feeling is that vitamins may do some good but that nothing compares with vitamins assimiliated from foods.

I was a vegan for some time and never felt all that well. I had way more issues with depression and didn't have the mental sharpness I have now that I am eating organic eggs and grass-fed beef. I don't really eat dairy but I am not a big believer in calcium deficiencies. Afterall, Asia doesn't have a huge population of osteoporosis sufferers, as our milk-loving country does. I think osteoporosis could be caused by phosphoric acid, insufficient sunlight, excessive protein, and other causes, rather than lack of dairy. My ex-boyfriend was a very strict vegetarian and ate the occasional eggs and dairy but his diet was extremely carb-heavy and he always had a puffy, pasty look to him that I have read is not uncommon in vegetarians who eat a lot of grain-based foods. I don't know what the ideal diet is for children and adults, but I do believe it isn't veganism or vegetarianism. I also don't believe it is one based on commmerically grown meats and eggs that have concentrations of pesticides and a lack of dha in them. I guess I lean towards nourishing traditions, and so far that seems to be the diet that feels the best for myself, dh and my 3 year old. We also eat a lot of roasted pumpkin seeds. Raw ones just don't agree with my system and it seems they may even produce a deficiency in me, possibly due to enzyme inhibitors. So we have kind of made up our own ideal diet as we go along and I think that is what everyone should do, so long as it includes enough variety that deficiencies are not likely.

I agree there is a lot of ignorance when it comes to people feeding their kids. What is really sad is when parents buy all processed foods. I have a friend who boasted about making "homemade" baby food. It was canned peas and canned fruit pureed in a food processor. She honestly thought she was giving her baby something superior. Another friend is addicted to snack foods and thus her dd has been virtually raised on them. Mini-donuts, copious quantities of sugar-sweetened "juice", nitrate-laden lunch meats, trans fat-laden packaged foods, etc. It makes me so sad and mad. We debate endlessly about formula vs. breasfeeding, and as a breastfeeding mom, I truly believe breastmilk is incalculably superior, but what happens after the first year of baby's life is really important too and can affect a child's development in big ways.
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#202 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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There are some, but not that many, as far as I know. I'm sure it can be done, but it seems like men tend not to want to put the time and effort in thinking about diet that someone like you probably does.
actually, athletes and body builders think more on what they are putting into their bodies and doing with it than an average SAHM like myself. men or no.

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#203 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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re- B12
it is found that veg*n don't have a deficiency like is usually argued so this could mean we either 1) do produce a bit of it that hasn't been found 2) are able to store it or 3) that what we can get from bacterias etc is actually an adequate amount.

we need to take into account that a lot of the times we're basing our idea of what we need off of a meat centered diet. it's like basing what a breastfed baby should have off of formula fed babies.

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#204 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 02:49 PM
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meat centered diet.
I don't think that most of us omnis on this thread are arguing for a "meat centered" diet, but rather for the unique and uniquely-concentrated nutrients in properly-raised animal foods. I agree that most SAD omnis eat way too much meat, and that the current volume of consumption (and waste, which is staggering) probably couldn't be continued if all animal agriculture was pasture-based instead of using the feelot/CAFO/grain-based model.

I've eaten meat with 3 or 4 meals in the past week, out of over 20 meals total, and it was small portions. I wouldn't call that meat centered.

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#205 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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In a nutshell, yes. Take a look at the pictures taken of the people, teeth, and skulls.
This just kind of seems circular to me....if you have good teeth, you have good health, and you can prove that by observing how good the teeth are.

There's another concern I have as well with this research. If you look at a group of people within a small genetic pool, and determine somehow that the are healthy, and conclude it is due to diet, then can you assume that people with different genetics will reap the same benefit from following that diet?

An analogy: It's reasonable to state that people born with darker skin have a lower probability of developing skin cancer. For many years, the conclusion was that darker skin = protected skin. However, that's not quite correct. Being born with darker skin provides protection, but a light skinned person who darkens their skin through years of sun exposure actually is at an increased risk of skin cancer. This is a pretty recent discovery though, and even when I was young, I was told that a tan would protect against sunburn and skin damage, and often heard the term 'healthy tan'.

So, when someone points out that a certain isolated group of people thrive on a diet, does that mean that all people should adopt that diet to thrive?

These arguments are always kind of interesting to me. I'm a vegetarian for ethical reasons first, health reasons second, environmental reasons third, and flavor reasons fourth (Since I've become vegetarian, I've gotten very into cooking, trying new foods, etc...and my enjoyment of eating has really grown) I don't really go around 'preaching' veg*nism, but just try to 'lead by example'. My dh still eats meat, but is moving in the veg direction just because he's really enjoying my new found interets in cooking. People I work with say that I'm the healhiest looking veg they've met. I live in a place with very few veg*ns but until I came to the website here, I never really ran into people who were so interested in 'converting' me back to eating meat.

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#206 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 09:44 PM
 
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This just kind of seems circular to me....if you have good teeth, you have good health, and you can prove that by observing how good the teeth are.

There's another concern I have as well with this research. If you look at a group of people within a small genetic pool, and determine somehow that the are healthy, and conclude it is due to diet, then can you assume that people with different genetics will reap the same benefit from following that diet?

An analogy: It's reasonable to state that people born with darker skin have a lower probability of developing skin cancer. For many years, the conclusion was that darker skin = protected skin. However, that's not quite correct. Being born with darker skin provides protection, but a light skinned person who darkens their skin through years of sun exposure actually is at an increased risk of skin cancer. This is a pretty recent discovery though, and even when I was young, I was told that a tan would protect against sunburn and skin damage, and often heard the term 'healthy tan'.

So, when someone points out that a certain isolated group of people thrive on a diet, does that mean that all people should adopt that diet to thrive?

These arguments are always kind of interesting to me. I'm a vegetarian for ethical reasons first, health reasons second, environmental reasons third, and flavor reasons fourth (Since I've become vegetarian, I've gotten very into cooking, trying new foods, etc...and my enjoyment of eating has really grown) I don't really go around 'preaching' veg*nism, but just try to 'lead by example'. My dh still eats meat, but is moving in the veg direction just because he's really enjoying my new found interets in cooking. People I work with say that I'm the healhiest looking veg they've met. I live in a place with very few veg*ns but until I came to the website here, I never really ran into people who were so interested in 'converting' me back to eating meat.
Here is what I am getting from this -- food doesn't matter, well, maybe it matters in this one little tribe. It' more about excersize, and....climate?

So yk, I am not going to worry my pretty little blond head over my pringles and diet coke leanings, as clearly what we eat doesn't matter. There is nothing to be learned from any history. Thise folks with good teeth and 6 ft strapping bodies didn't get there by eating the natural foods native to their area.

"Hello? Dominoes? I'd like to order 3 pizzas with the works. And an order of cheese sticks, and 3 liters of Diet Coke. Yes, that's all. Thanks!" (My native food).

I have seen the light, and it's not about what I eat. I was always worried about that. Never more, I tell you.
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#207 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 10:52 PM
 
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There were many different healthy groups on different diets but they all had commonalities. Again, I recommend reading Price work since it is online for free. It was quite life changing for me personally.

I do not care to convert anyone into omnivorism--I would just like to point out there is ample evidence that meat/animal products are not harmful but can actually contribute to optimal health. And one can find animal products that are ethically raised with respect to the animals and the environment.

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#208 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by newcastlemama View Post
There were many different healthy groups on different diets but they all had commonalities. Again, I recommend reading Price work since it is online for free. It was quite life changing for me personally.

I do not care to convert anyone into omnivorism--I would just like to point out there is ample evidence that meat/animal products are not harmful but can actually contribute to optimal health. And one can find animal products that are ethically raised with respect to the animals and the environment.
There is no "ethical"* and environmentally sound way to produce enough meat to meet market demands with today's population.

Nor would I call a single 80 year-old study "ample evidence."



*I'm not vegan, nor am I an especially fanatic vegetarian, but I would present to you that many people, when it comes down to the reality of killing an animal that has been raised to trust humans and eating pieces of it, feel that it is kind of unethical, no matter how it was treated during it's life span. Do you slaughter your own meat?
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#209 of 275 Old 05-27-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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This is true, but should we accept an inferior diet just because of what may happen in the future?
Barring the fact that I disagree that we are talking about an "inferior" diet, darn skippy we should!

Unless a person, for some reason, has an abnormality (allergies or malabsorbtion difficulties), they should do fine on a well-planned whole-foods diet with little or no animal products.
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#210 of 275 Old 05-28-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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1. Just because studies/obervations are 80 years old does not mean it was poorly done or that the conclusions drawn are incorrect. How long ago did someone discover the earth was round? Einstein won the nobel prize 85 years ago. Are his physics laws less valid today? I would think older studies could have more credibility because so much "research" is contaminated by special interests $$$.

2. I have eaten fish I have caught. We will raise and slaughter our own meat in the near future here. Though I don't think it will be fun, I don't feel morally wrong slaughtering animals.

3. I am one of those people with multiple food allergies (including milks and eggs). I also have a genetic disorder where my body makes pyrolles that bind to the zinc and b6 that I eat and flush it out. I have also had issues with anemia inthe past, but since I now have inclded red meat as I crave it, I do not seem to have this problem anymore.

4. Even if there is global warming it does not mean that humans cease being biological omnivores. I also don't think meat eating is the cause of all environmental and health problems in the world.

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