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#1 of 32 Old 10-20-2012, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you're vegan for health or cruelty reasons or both what are your thoughts on ancient cultures consuming animals for food and for other purposes?


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#2 of 32 Old 10-20-2012, 01:10 PM
 
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I think it is irrelevant to my life?
 

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#3 of 32 Old 10-20-2012, 01:55 PM
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There are many things ancient cultures did that I wouldn't personally chose to do. 


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#4 of 32 Old 10-22-2012, 04:02 PM
 
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I think it is irrelevant to my life?
 

Exactly


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#5 of 32 Old 10-23-2012, 10:33 PM
 
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Snarky kneejerk aside, what are you asking? How people feel about the use of animals by cultures in the past? By indigenous peoples in non-industrialized areas today?

 

I said a few days ago that it is irrelevant to my life. I'm a suburban homesteader living in the Californian Central Valley. I can buy fruit and vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes grown within 100 miles of my house year round. Right now, I can pick fruit or veggies in my yard almost every day of the year, and I can get convenient vegan food that I don't have to make my self at more than 50 restaurants within 20 miles of my home. There is no possible reason I need to consume animals or their products to survive, thrive, or even just enjoy life.

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#6 of 32 Old 10-24-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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Weird question. I don't focus so much on what other people (past or present) are doing or have done in their lives. I keep the focus on myself and how I live my life.
 

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#7 of 32 Old 10-27-2012, 06:19 PM
 
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I agree...irrelevant.

 

My ancestors hunted. They did that to survive. Back living in the cold of Canada with a very short growing season and not a lot that was able to grow naturally around here they ate meat. I don't have those issues. I walk to my backyard garden with multiple breeds of all types of vegetables. Get any grain/bean/fruit/veg imaginable at the grocery store a 15min walk from my door.

 

Do I think my ancestors were right for eating meat? sure...is it right for me? no.

 

What you're asking would be like comparing apples to oranges...more like apples to chicken breasts. winky.gif No comparison
 


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#8 of 32 Old 11-03-2012, 10:08 AM
 
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i am in awe of those cultures.

 

mind you though its coz i find people and cultures fascinating.

 

to imagine the inuits survived mostly on meat and hardly any veggies except rarely - i always wondered how they got their nutrition when here we are told eat your veggies. eat your veggies. how could they get all their nutrients living off of fat and meat? there is more to it than meets the eye. 

 

http://www.theiflife.com/the-inuit-paradox-high-fat-lower-heart-disease-and-cancer/

 

well you know if you are an activist cruelty does not always stop at food. it involves animal testing, makeup, toilettries, leather... so much more. 

 

at least in ancient times they used eVerything - every part of the animal. 

 

my friends eat meat. i hold nothing against them. 

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#9 of 32 Old 11-03-2012, 07:26 PM
 
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Dd asked me a similar question when we were reading the Little House series, kind of asked me joking around if I would eat meat if I lived during Laura's "time."  I resonded that of course I would, because you have to eat what you have to survive and they had to find or grow their food, period.  We had a good conversation about how we are very lucky that we get to pick how we want to eat because we have so much available to us that people who lived even in recent history did not. 

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#10 of 32 Old 11-07-2012, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i am in awe of those cultures.

 

mind you though its coz i find people and cultures fascinating.

 

to imagine the inuits survived mostly on meat and hardly any veggies except rarely - i always wondered how they got their nutrition when here we are told eat your veggies. eat your veggies. how could they get all their nutrients living off of fat and meat? there is more to it than meets the eye. 

 

http://www.theiflife.com/the-inuit-paradox-high-fat-lower-heart-disease-and-cancer/

 

well you know if you are an activist cruelty does not always stop at food. it involves animal testing, makeup, toilettries, leather... so much more. 

 

at least in ancient times they used eVerything - every part of the animal. 

 

my friends eat meat. i hold nothing against them. 

This is the exact same question (about Innuits) on my mind. I read contrasting things. One suggests going back to old wisdom and the other that says all animal products are bad for you and cause havoc in your body. Old wisdom to me includes free of modern wonders like white sugar and all other processed foods but it also includes the use of animal products and in the case of the Innuits it seems like most of their diet consisted of it. I don't hold it against my friends either. I am vegetarian trying to go vegan.


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#11 of 32 Old 11-12-2012, 04:12 PM
 
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I think that the human body is a remarkable thing that can survive on a wide variety of diets.

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#12 of 32 Old 11-12-2012, 04:36 PM
 
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OP, are you suggesting that because human ancestors ate meat, we are designed to eat meat?

I think a more relevant question is -- where do you get your b-12? I have so many allergies/intolerances that it is nearly impossible to find a supplement I can tolerate. I tried being vegan, and quit largely due to the b-12 issue. That and my son never wanted to eat anything with beans in it.
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#13 of 32 Old 11-12-2012, 08:43 PM
 
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One suggests going back to old wisdom and the other that says all animal products are bad for you and cause havoc in your body. Old wisdom to me includes free of modern wonders like white sugar and all other processed foods but it also includes the use of animal products 

i think i get what you are saying. what is right these days. 

 

its hard to know isnt it, because as science progresses we discover so much more. 

 

i think its hard to know because we dont have a good middle ground. its either the scientists or the alternative. no one kinda in the middle questioning either. sometimes science has been wrong, not because of science but because people misused the knowledge. eg. DDT, FDA recalls and then there are quacks in the alternate world. who is right?!!!! the sad part is there is that middle ground of knowledge. if you are at the right place you have access to it. but its not an access free for all. for instance i learnt a lot about nutrition by actually taking a nutri class. that class was huge and revealing to me. that should not be so for anyone. i had a place to ask my questions and have someone guide me to the answer or to another question. 

 

i too dont quite know what is right. i am assuming you are talking about paleo diet. 

 

i think today science and alternative have to work together. surprisingly they do in many parts of the world including Russia. their scientists can also be their poets. in parts of asia some of the most deeply religious are scientists. so it does happen. because if one tries to eat the best for their body - whether animal or vegan - its best to do under the supervision of the naturopath as well as an MD. they dont have to be mutually exclusive. 

 

to me an animal rights activist is not just a vegan. they also shun beauty products, toiletteries and leather products. 

 

there is one thing i know for sure. how hard it is for someone to eat the way they would like to. i think never in our history have there been so many 'nonfood' unhealthy stuff under the guise of food. 

 

but i dont think you can figure out your own diet based on what your ancestors ate. there are too many health conditions - too many genetics that affect our outcome. 

 

however on the other hand, do we really need to pay attention to our food? aka not wanting to die. i look around me and really wonder how is my dd ever going to eat healthy food when there is so much addictive food around us. is it fair of me to expect her to make decisions based on health rather than taste? i mean sugar. we talk about blood diamond and yet ignore the same principal should be used towards sugar, banana, corn. 

 

animal imho is just aspect of the whole picture. 


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#14 of 32 Old 11-14-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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I don;t think that people need animal products to be healthy*. I think that there are significant ecological, economic, and health benefits to eating a diet of fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes.
 

*There are a few exceptions. I'd hate to have to manage a vegan diet with multiple food allergies - my mother-in-law is allergic to gluten, corn, soy, acidic fruits, coconut, and all nuts. It's possible to feed her out of my kitchen, but it is really, really hard, and I wouldn't want to do it for more than a couple of days at a time (buckwheat waffles and pears for breakfast, hummus, veggies, and rice cakes for lunch, rice spaghetti marinara, steamed veggies and tuscan white beans, or black bean-pumpkin chili for dinner).

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#15 of 32 Old 11-14-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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I don;t think that people need animal products to be healthy*. I think that there are significant ecological, economic, and health benefits to eating a diet of fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes.
 

*There are a few exceptions. I'd hate to have to manage a vegan diet with multiple food allergies - my mother-in-law is allergic to gluten, corn, soy, acidic fruits, coconut, and all nuts. It's possible to feed her out of my kitchen, but it is really, really hard, and I wouldn't want to do it for more than a couple of days at a time (buckwheat waffles and pears for breakfast, hummus, veggies, and rice cakes for lunch, rice spaghetti marinara, steamed veggies and tuscan white beans, or black bean-pumpkin chili for dinner).

 i agree. in fact meat/fish is costing us dearly these days. i dont say be a vegan, but do say cut down on the amount of oils (which is hurting us too environmentally) and meat/fish we eat. you dont have to be a vegetarian or vegan to have an impact. its more important to cut down on the amount of meat you eat.    

 

however at one point we DID need animal products to be healthy. heck just to 'populate' the world. but each has its own time.

 

and now the time is right to consume as little non veg as possible.


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#16 of 32 Old 11-15-2012, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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 i agree. in fact meat/fish is costing us dearly these days. i dont say be a vegan, but do say cut down on the amount of oils (which is hurting us too environmentally) and meat/fish we eat. you dont have to be a vegetarian or vegan to have an impact. its more important to cut down on the amount of meat you eat.    

 

however at one point we DID need animal products to be healthy. heck just to 'populate' the world. but each has its own time.

 

and now the time is right to consume as little non veg as possible.

Thanks meemee you seem to have answered my question. I can't praise the vegetarian/almost vegan diet because of the improvement in my health. I am not vegan but my only intake is a v. tiny amt. of cheese now and then on my pasta. (Still addicted to it.) But I couldn't help wondering why this diet wasn't the right one for so many older cultures.


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#17 of 32 Old 11-15-2012, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP, are you suggesting that because human ancestors ate meat, we are designed to eat meat?
I think a more relevant question is -- where do you get your b-12? I have so many allergies/intolerances that it is nearly impossible to find a supplement I can tolerate. I tried being vegan, and quit largely due to the b-12 issue. That and my son never wanted to eat anything with beans in it.

That's not a concern for me. I don't have B12 issues. I had them when I was on a bad vegetarian diet -- not enough veges, fruit, lentils, beans.


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#18 of 32 Old 11-16-2012, 07:12 AM
 
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There's the other issue too of the chemicals that are in today's meat - they just didn't exist in ancient times.  All animals lived off the land, not on processed animal 'feeds'.  There were no artificial hormones, livestock weren't regularly vaccinated or given antibiotics, and the land itself was not as polluted as it is today (waterways either!).  So 'clean meat' would surely be processed by the body much easier than contaminated meat, and one can assume it would also contain more nutrients than what we have available today.

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#19 of 32 Old 11-16-2012, 07:49 AM
 
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Right, the thing is in ancient or past cultures they didn't have factory farms, animals roamed pastures, and were hopefully treated much better than the gross inhumane farms of today.  They didn't pump them full of chemicals, toxins, and hormones like we do.

 

Also, I believe they didn't eat meat in the quantities like we do in the US at least. Meat was more of a condiment to them - in soups & stews, jerky, or small amounts.  Mainly cuz (depending on how far back you go) they didn't have refrigeration to keep the meat so they did salt it and jerky it.  

 

I understand why ancient cultures needed to eat meat. They were killing the animal anyways for the hide, leather, fur, pelt, bones, etc so why waste the meat right?


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#20 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, I believe they didn't eat meat in the quantities like we do in the US at least. Meat was more of a condiment to them - in soups & stews, jerky, or small amounts.  Mainly cuz (depending on how far back you go) they didn't have refrigeration to keep the meat so they did salt it and jerky it.  

 

I don't understand that since they had no agriculture in the colder parts then how could they have survived on small amts. of meat?


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#21 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 08:55 AM
 
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you dont need very much to survive. how much is a regular women's calories suggestion today? for a moderately active woman usually 1600 to 1800. if you ate a chipotle burrito you'd only have enough calories left over to eat a salad and some fruit. or it would be oatmeal for bfast, salad and bread for lunch and a baked something with veggies for dinner. and maybe a couple fo fruit and handful of nuts for snacks. how many of us really eat our portion sizes or even the amount for the day? mind you this does not even include junk. 

 

the idea that we have to eat to full is also a recent concept. when the explorers landed in new england they could not understand why the natives didnt stash away food for winter. why did they sometimes starve and not eat their full. and the natives couldnt understand why the pioneers ate such copious amounts of food. some natives died from starvation and some of us die from overeating. 

 

all our cultural meaningful rituals are built around food. for the older cultures it wasnt. they did have feasts of course but it was more other things like dances and fasting that a community came together for. 

 

now we cant compare hunter gatherers with agriculturists because agriculturists worked hard. hunter gatherers lived a v. relaxed life with not heavy labor. so their nutritional needs were different. farmers eat huge meals coz they work that hard. 

 

so we cant think about yesterdays food with the eyes from todays food. the definition of food has changed immensely over time. a lot. even just from our parents generation to now. 


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#22 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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I'm not sure where you got the information about what the natives and the settlers understood. I think it's the Hopi tribes who lived in the Arizona and New Mexico area. We studied them years ago, when my son was younger, and I remember reading about how they would eat the older, stored food, after a harvest so it wouldn't get too old to eat. So those natives, at least, stored food. And more northern tribes probably did as well. They couldn't gather fruits and vegetables after the frost, or dig up roots easily after the ground was frozen.
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#23 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. With our more sedentary lifestyle a vegan diet sure seems a better option.


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#24 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 04:58 PM
 
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pek there's a difference between agricultural tribes and hunter and gatherer tribes. i was talking about say tribes like the algongian in the New England area. winter brought a whole different picture than spring and summer. they did store some food, jerky and pemmican were not really winter foods but were used as stored food, but not all tribes made them. even if they stored it didnt last beyond mid winter. jerky and p. are v. intenisve food - needing 5 pounds of meat to make one pound. 


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#25 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 05:09 PM
 
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Then what did they eat? Wasn't it in this thread that you said they ate meat more like a condiment? I'm just trying to figure out how they survived winters. It gets cold in New England.
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#26 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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on very little. there were deaths due to starvation. not too many but there were. during the lean months they'd eat maybe once in three or four days. now when you talk about the inuits or others far up north, they were at a whole different place.

 

there's a great history book that talks about this and i'll post it if i find it. 

 

ETA found it :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changes_in_the_Land:_Indians,_Colonists,_and_the_Ecology_of_New_England

 

fascinating book


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#27 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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Then what did they eat? Wasn't it in this thread that you said they ate meat more like a condiment? I'm just trying to figure out how they survived winters. It gets cold in New England.

I think that maize was an important element in Native American diet, even in the Northeast.  This could be harvested in the fall and stored for the winter.  Meats were dried as well for use throughout the winter.  A lot of it depended on the tribe.  Native Americans were gatherers as well as hunters and they did practice some agriculture in the Northeast.  Winter also brought small game as well as fishing.  I think the idea of "condiment" as referenced above has more to do with the idea that meat in many hunter/gatherer cultures was not central to the diet.  It was certainly part of the diet, but not in the respect that is now.  My own dad doesn't think he is having a true meal unless the meal consists mostly of meat.  I think in the ancient and near ancient days, meat was perceived differently.  It was certainly a component of survival but it didn't define survival or diet, unless you lived in an area where agriculture and gathering was practically non-existent.  People ate what they could find, hunt, raise, store.  They really didn't have the choices that we do now in terms of immediate access to food.  It gets cold in New England but the cold is also ideal for long-term storage.  


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#28 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 06:11 PM
 
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Thanks, CatsCradle, that's what I had previously believed. However what was stated was they didn't store food. I believe they did store food.
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#29 of 32 Old 11-18-2012, 06:47 PM
 
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Thanks, CatsCradle, that's what I had previously believed. However what was stated was they didn't store food. I believe they did store food.

but maize was not grown as far as the colder parts. warmer areas saw food eaten gathered and stored v. differently. 

 

so some tribes did not store food. they caught meat which was central to their diet during winter. some tribes had members who were hunter gatherers who lived in the highlands adn the same tribe in the lowlands were farmers. both tribes had very different philosophy towards food. 

 

the hunter gatherer did not grow maize. but their lowland cousin did. how maize was fairly new to the area when teh pilgrims arrived. its been there these last 1000 years. so just coz a tribe grew maize didnt mean the whole tribe had access to maize.

 

the hunter gatherers who lived in the mountains here in CA same thing. the mountain tribes had a whole different diet than valley tribes. however agribulture was never practised in CA. here too the highland tribes either came down to the valleys or lived on very little food in the mountains.

 

historically though man has never consumed as much food ever before as we do now.  


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#30 of 32 Old 11-19-2012, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And now diabetes is a major problem for Native American Indians. Too bad.


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