What made you switch from being veggie/vegan to eating meat? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 09-02-2005, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been switching sides over the years (raised lacto-ovo veggie) for different reasons; rebellion, uber hippiedom :LOL , pregnancy, weight loss, etc. I have been vegan for the past 5 months or so (mostly for weight loss reasons), but I am still getting the feeling that my diet is not quite right for this body. I stopped eating dairy because it obviously makes me fat (cheese and yogurt was all I ever ate, raw and organic whenever possible). Meat I do enjoy, but I want to know that the animals it comes from were treated respectfully and humanely throughout their lives and that is hard in today's grocery store world, therefore, I have chosen not to buy it or eat it.

My family, on the other hand, want to eat meat. I don't buy it and don't cook it, but I'm starting to wonder if I should, because otherwise they are not eating QUALITY meats, and I don't want them ingesting hormones, antibiotics, etc., YUK!!!

I have been reading The Paleo Diet (based on eating ONLY lean meats, eggs, fruits, veggie, nuts and seeds like our hunter-gatherer ancestors) and I think this is something that could really work for my family. I would prefer to integrate different aspects of other diets (NT-fermented/cultured foods, ), but I am definitely thinking that grains should play a minor role and when they are used, they should be sprouted, or at least soaked, although I have no experience with this (see my other post :LOL ) I just know how it makes my body feel when I eat dry (unsprouted) grain products; stopped up and yucky.

So, for those of you that have switched sides, what were your deciding factors? Do you FEEL better, really? How do you find resources for true quality meats? I truly believe that every body is different and has different needs, and I respect that. I'm not trying to judge anyone, just looking for insight. TIA!
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#2 of 21 Old 09-02-2005, 11:57 AM
 
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For me, I'm not entirely sure why I became a vegetarian in the first place- I was 17/18 and it seemed like a good idea at the time!

A few years later, I started doubting myself, and I re-read a lot of books on Judaism and Vegetarianism, and Vegetarianism in general, that I'd bought shortly after becoming a vegetarian. I decided that my moral beliefs didn't exactly mesh with the reasons in the books- if God allowed humans to eat meat,and gave use rules about praparing meat for eating, then who am I to second-guess His judgement? Also, any environmental considerations were just as well met by limiting meat rather than completely avoiding it.

I had gone from being a lacto-ovo vegetarian, to briefly being vegan, to eating meat occasionally and avoiding dairy. I found that I was healthier eating meat and avoiding dairy than I was the other way around! At the time, I didn't know anything about raw dairy, and my primary concern with meat was that it be Kosher.

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#3 of 21 Old 09-02-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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I was about 17 when I made the decision to stop eating meat. I was raised in a meat and potatoes house, but they were fine with my decision. I was a strict vegetarian for 10 years and then I became pregnant with DD and I craved meat. I reluctantly gave in to my cravings and began a love affair with meat :LOL . I still enjoy meat, but we are pretty much veggies at home and will occassionally buy meat for DD and I. DH has decided to go back to his vegetarian roots and has sworn off meat.

We buy meat at Whole Foods and we will only buy organic. It is rare and I feel ok about that. I couldn't serve meat everyday, that somehow would not feel right (for mainly heath reasons).
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#4 of 21 Old 09-02-2005, 07:00 PM
 
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I became veg. after reading several books that challenged my thinking about eating meat. I lost a lot of weight and felt really good for several years. Towards the end of my 3rd pregnancy, though, I felt extremely sad. My emotions were totally out of control, I was always worn out, and I was having trouble with edema. I was unwilling to add meat to my diet, though.

When my baby was born, it became clear that she was unable to tolerate the dairy in my diet. I also suspected a sensitivity to peanuts and soy. So, feeling my protein options shrinking dramatically, I began to research meat eating again. (one can only eat just so many eggs, nuts, and seeds. I was rapidly tiring of those options by the time the babe was 4 months old!)

After doing some reading, talking to people here, and researching on the web, I came back to eating meat, and restructuring my diet after a NT pattern.

Since that time (about 9 months ago), I have noticed several changes. First, my moods improved dramatically. I don't feel like I'm living in a black pit anymore, I'm much more patient with my children, and don't feel an overwhelming instant rage at their normal childish foolishness. I have much more stamina; although I'm still tired (who isn't tired after a day of mothering?), I can get through the day (in good spirits) without a 2 hr. nap, and don't resent my toddler's night nursing. My husband has commented on how much easier I am to live with.

I think that it's ok to include animal products in your diet. It's important to know the source, of course. Our bodies need lots of fats and proteins, and it's hard to get the trace minerals from non-animal sources. For me, I'm not sure that meat in itself is what fixed my problem. I was getting plenty of protein. I think that perhaps it was micronutrients in the meat that resolved my deficiencies.

Anyway, best of luck to you on your journey. It can be difficult to make wise choices regarding our health and the health of our family.
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#5 of 21 Old 09-02-2005, 07:21 PM
 
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First a word on paleo-diet. Lean meats were definitely NOT part of any traditional folks' diet. Muscle meat is always eaten WITH the fat. The body cannot properly digest animal protein without animal fat. The meat wasn't marbled back then, but animals had fat in their bodies, and older animals were sought after beacuse they had developed a large slab of fat along the back. Animal fats are a highly priced food stuff in traditional diets.

I switched back to eating meat when reading about weston a price. I've suffered from poor digestion for a very long time, which got worse when eating mostly plant foods. Knowing that the body relies on fat-soluble vitamins from animal sources for proper nutrient assimilation did it for me.
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#6 of 21 Old 09-02-2005, 08:30 PM
 
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I gradually became a vegetarian a few years ago. I have never really craved many meats or even fish. I did a lot of reading and it just seemed a healthy way to go. Dairy never seemed to agree with me, so I was glad to drop that from my diet. I have tried being vegan, but that was much harder than being lacto-ovo. When I was pregnant with dd, I did put back eggs and fish in my diet for more protein.

I suffered from PPD during DD's first year, and went on Paxil. Now a year after weaning from it, I still feel out of sorts. Nowhere near as bad as it was with PPD, but still fatigued a lot, occasionally bloated.
My bloodwork all looks good: good cholesterol, good vitamin levels, etc, so there's nothing wrong as far as the doc can see. I really thought being veg was the healthiest option for me, but it really doesn't seem to be. Doc and DH don't think I have depression again. I do need to exercise more, but other than that all is okay. On paper I look very healthy, but I just don't feel it, you know?

In reading about Weston A. Price and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I am realizing that going back to being an omnivore is probably best for me. I felt fine as a kid, teenager and young adult. I want to add dairy back in my diet in the form of homemade yogurt for the good cultured bacteria in it. I have noticed that when I eat more meat and veggies, and less pasta and bread, I feel much better. I even incorporated fish oil and definite energy help there.

I never really was a veg from an animal rights standpoint, although I think the way most of these animals are raised is horrible. If I'm going to eat any animal products at all, I need to find the organic, good quality as much as I can. If I were in the States, there are plenty of online sources I could use, but I'm overseas right now. However that has its advantages, too, because I'm able to go to a lot of local farmer's markets and old fashioned butcher shops, so I think we're doing pretty well.

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#7 of 21 Old 09-02-2005, 09:18 PM
 
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i was vegan for nine years, and my reasons were purely ethical. i've been muslim for seven of those nine years, and for a while now, i haven't believed that eating meat is wrong as long as it is done respectfully and healthfully. i didn't consider eating animal products until pretty recently, after having three babies and watching my health deteriorate over all that time. so, i did some research... found out that the healthiest and logest lived people on the planet live in okinawa and eat loads of veggies and good grains and fish, and they eat relatively little dairy or eggs.

what i've done (and i feel MUCH BETTER btw) is almost completely eliminate meat analogues and other super processed foods, upped my veggie and whole grain intake, and started eating wild caught sustainable seafood about twice a week. i also introduced some omega 3 enhanced eggs and a little bit of organic dairy and/or soy (i might switch to almond or oat milk though). i don't eat land animals because i can't find organic free range halaal. no biggie though, i think the fish is probably better for me anyway.
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#8 of 21 Old 09-02-2005, 09:32 PM
 
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First, I think the paleo diet is not necessarily accurate. There's lots of evidence that "gathering/hunting" is actually a better description, as these peoples' diet is primarily gathered plant foods, with meat as an occasional substitute. Modern g/h people, who have had little contact with industrialized people, often do eat grains.

I've been reading about Weston Price lately and I find it curious that it seems there are a number of diets out there that are supposedly based on studies of indigenous healthy people, but they differ. eg, I don't think macrobiotic diets promote SOOO much dairy use and 60% calories from fat.

There's also plenty of evidence that a super low-fat diet provides the kinds of benefits that Price promises by his diet.

I don't wish to judge, I strongly believe that we all need to do what feels right, following our intuition more than someone else's rules.

I was vegan for over 10 yrs. When I went vegan I dropped about 15 lbs without blinking and I felt more energetic and got sick less than ever. When I was pg I craved eggs like crazy, so added them to my diet. When dd was maybe 4 mos or so I started having weird vision disturbances. (flashing lights) It was very scary. I got kicked off medicaid after the birth and am so broke, I don't have the resources to get normal medical help, but there was an energy healer that I hooked up with who advised me to eat fish. She pointed out to me that the vegan diet is made up and very new; there really aren't any traditional cultures that are strictly vegan. I kind of knew this was true, but in the past I didn't care. Now I have a baby I feel a need to take better care of myself than I did before.

She also told me that she had seen lots of vegans over the yrs who felt great at first because of the detox effect, but that after 10 yrs or so they start to have neurological problems. According to her, the diet cannot adequately support the brain. She says it is a question of fat. Well, I added flax oil and started eating a little fish, but I live in the rural midwest where it is extremely difficult to get high quality fish. Mostly I buy it at health food stores in other cities, 75-100 miles away. so I haven't been very regular with it. (nak) for a while it was better but i slacked off --been too broke to go that far for groceries -- and this week i had another vision thing and i guess i really do need fish.

I am ambivalent about this diet. I was an animal rights vegan, and I feel a great affinity for fish. I'm not comfortable with this choice, but I feel it is necessary for my health, in a life or death way.
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#9 of 21 Old 09-02-2005, 10:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by richella
First, I think the paleo diet is not necessarily accurate. There's lots of evidence that "gathering/hunting" is actually a better description, as these peoples' diet is primarily gathered plant foods, with meat as an occasional substitute. Modern g/h people, who have had little contact with industrialized people, often do eat grains.

I've been reading about Weston Price lately and I find it curious that it seems there are a number of diets out there that are supposedly based on studies of indigenous healthy people, but they differ. eg, I don't think macrobiotic diets promote SOOO much dairy use and 60% calories from fat.

There's also plenty of evidence that a super low-fat diet provides the kinds of benefits that Price promises by his diet.

I don't wish to judge, I strongly believe that we all need to do what feels right, following our intuition more than someone else's rules.

FYI, there's no such thing as the "Price diet". His book is a study of many different cultures who all have different diets. They range from almost all meat diets to lacto vegetarian diets-all groups following their traditional diet (free of processed food and sugar) exhibited superior health. There are no "rules" other than non processed whole foods are best. This was written in the 30's, he was not a diet guru out for a quick buck.
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#10 of 21 Old 09-03-2005, 07:26 PM
 
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richella, you may want to try incorporating some red meat into your diet. It is reputed to be much more bioenergetically nutrient dense than fish or even chicken and will serve to rebuild your depleted stores much more quickly. You would probably have an easier time finding organic pasture-fed beef or bison than trying to get good quality seafood out there.

mz_libbie ITA. There are also many different interpretations of Price's work, all saying something different. I can think of 3 off the top of my head (NT, Garden of Eating Diet, and Dr. Isabelle Moser). Was one of the tribes lacto-veg? I can't remember right now!

to the OP: you may want to do a search for "vegetarian go back to meat" or something similar...there are a few threads that talk about this. For me personally, I was an extremely strict whole foods vegan (no packaged foods, minimal supplementation, no chocolate, caffeine or alcohol, and made everything including soy products from scratch) and my family's health deteriorated rapidly after about 1 yr of breastfeeding my DD. She developed rampant tooth decay and that was the last straw for us. We did some soul searching and LOADS of research and decided to change our diet. Many happy health improvements resulted (like clearing up my PPD) although I am still repairing the damage even now and it's been over a year since the big switch. Best of luck to you!
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#11 of 21 Old 09-03-2005, 07:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by toraji
mz_libbie ITA. There are also many different interpretations of Price's work, all saying something different. I can think of 3 off the top of my head (NT, Garden of Eating Diet, and Dr. Isabelle Moser). Was one of the tribes lacto-veg? I can't remember right now!

I'm pretty sure it was the Swiss group he looked at. I doubt they were 100% vegetarian but their diet was based almost exclusively on dairy and rye.
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#12 of 21 Old 09-04-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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I became a vegetarian in sixth grade because I felt strongly about animal rights. I have been a vegetarian on and off my whole life. I start eating meat when I am preggie (happened with all of my pregnacies) becasue I get major cravings for it. I figure if my body is asking for it, it must need it.

I don't think I will ever go back to total vegetarian. I don't really need the label. I eat & cook mostly non-meat meals. I'm not going to beat myself up about having meat once or twice a month. I usually buy free-range meat when I have it. My main problem with meat is the terrible conditions of factory farms. I am lucky to live in an area with lots of local farms that raise their animals rather humanely.

I say everything in moderation.
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#13 of 21 Old 09-05-2005, 02:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
FYI, there's no such thing as the "Price diet". His book is a study of many different cultures who all have different diets. They range from almost all meat diets to lacto vegetarian diets-all groups following their traditional diet (free of processed food and sugar) exhibited superior health. There are no "rules" other than non processed whole foods are best. This was written in the 30's, he was not a diet guru out for a quick buck.
Excuse my ignorance. I got my info about Price from a book someone gave me recently. The book I was reading does have lots of specific recommendations, including 60% of calories from fat, esp. animal fat. I think that's outrageous, no matter what the quality.
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#14 of 21 Old 09-05-2005, 02:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by toraji
You would probably have an easier time finding organic pasture-fed beef or bison than trying to get good quality seafood out there.
Um, yeah, if I wanted to kill it myself. (Not likely!) I actually have friends who raise grass-fed beef, but I don't know if even they slaughter their own meat. Most likely I'd have to buy it at the same stores in the big cities far away. Thanks, though.
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#15 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 03:20 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure it was the Swiss group he looked at. I doubt they were 100% vegetarian but their diet was based almost exclusively on dairy and rye.
Ah, I remember them now. They ate meat about once a week and also used bone broths/scraps during the week but the mainstay of their diets were rye and dairy.

It is interesting that their environment/diet was similar to the Hunzas, who were reputed for their health and longevity. They ate mostly a lacto-veg diet (though not 100% either) but the common factors with the rural Swiss was that their soil was incredible, nourished by the glacial waters high in minerals. The Hunza's water was called "glacial milk", that's how cloudy it was!
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#16 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by richella
First, I think the paleo diet is not necessarily accurate. There's lots of evidence that "gathering/hunting" is actually a better description, as these peoples' diet is primarily gathered plant foods, with meat as an occasional substitute. Modern g/h people, who have had little contact with industrialized people, often do eat grains.

I disagree.

Where hominid remains are found so are animal bones -- in their thousands. If early man's diet was primarily plant based why so many bones?

Modern hunter/gathers do eat plants but they also have fire to cook those plants. Plant foods with sufficient calories to sustain a human generally need to be cooked. As far as I know few modern hunter/gatherers have Green Life juciers, I maybe wrong. Prehistoric man may have eaten fruit but there is not one site in all of Africa that indicated forests extensive enough to have supplied sufficient fruit to feed the inhabitants.

As for grains, I assume you are referring to studies on monkey's that make the suggestion the seeds of grasses could have supplied early man with the energy required to sustain them? But how could this be the case then when it isn't now? We cannot digest grains in great quantities without cooking them. Grains are part of a plant's reproductive system. They are designed pass through the body and to be defecated and then take root. There are only two ways to make them digestable cooking and grinding.

Before fire, they only way prehistoric man could have made grains digestible was to pound them but no archaeologist has ever found a Stone Age tool for this job. If ancient man chewed the grains then large amounts would have passed through the body undigested. The feces (coprolites) of paleoithic man have been studied in detail and older coprolites from Africa contain no plant material. Relatively modern ones from North America have included just about everything remotely edible from egg shells, feathers to seed and vegetable fibres. But these date from times when man had mastered fire. So how could seeds have been part of Paleoman's diet?

Man mastered fire around 350,000 years ago and had man been cooking grains from then onwards then we should have adapted to eating grains by now, but we haven't. Cooking grains isn't nearly as easy as hanging a piece of meat over a fire or lying it in the embers. You need a container to cook it in. The oldest know pot is only 6,800 years old. You also need a controlled fire to cook. Hearths have been discovered that are 100,000 years old but these are rare. It wasn't until 35,000 years ago that hearths became universal and these were used for warmth, not cooking plants or grains. Also Europe was in the grip of an ice-age and there were long, cold winters and short cool summers, so for most of the year there wasn't any plants. Paleoman ate meat or he died and he ate it raw with plenty of fat on it.

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#17 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by richella
Excuse my ignorance. I got my info about Price from a book someone gave me recently. The book I was reading does have lots of specific recommendations, including 60% of calories from fat, esp. animal fat. I think that's outrageous, no matter what the quality.
Why is that outrageous? Personally I think a diet of 60% raw animal fat would probably be very healthy. Native peoples such as the Eskimo, Masai, Fulani and Samburu consumed between 40% and 60% of their calories in fat. The Eskimo endured bitterly cold temperatures. The Masai, Fulani and Samburu tribes in Africa endured very hot temperatures. None of these peoples suffered any heart disease as long as they ate their natural diet of raw meat and raw fat with no sugars and cooked starches.

Which book were you reading btw? As others have pointed out, there is no such thing as a Weston A Price diet.

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#18 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 08:12 PM
 
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I think I read in Diet for a New America that Eskimos are the shortest lived people on our planet, with an average life span of just 40 years. And they have the highest rate of osteroporosis too, from eating the bones of animals.

Eskimos eat a lot of animal fat because fruits and veggies don't grow there. And they pay the price.
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#19 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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Okay, I rescind what I said about paleo.

I wasn't talking about monkeys, I was talking about modern g/h tribes, I forget which, I think in Africa, who do cook.

The book was The Fourfold Path to Healing by Thomas S. Cowan.
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#20 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 09:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Erin Pavlina
I think I read in Diet for a New America that Eskimos are the shortest lived people on our planet, with an average life span of just 40 years. And they have the highest rate of osteroporosis too, from eating the bones of animals.

Eskimos eat a lot of animal fat because fruits and veggies don't grow there. And they pay the price.
Sorry but that is just cr*p. Have you actually read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration? Eskimos who ate their native diet were very strong hardy people, WAP was told the average Eskimo male could carry one hundred pounds in each hand and one hundred pounds in his teeth with ease for a considerble distance.

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One does not get a conception of the magnificent dental development of the more primitive Eskimos by simply learning that they have freedom from dental caries. The size and strength of the mandible, breath of the face and the strength of the muscles of masticationm, all reach a degree of excellence that is seldom seen in other races. Weston A Price, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration Pg 65
The only Eskimos that are paying the price of osetoporosis and degenerative diseases are those that live on a western diet, not from eating too many animal bones. :

They eat a great deal of fat because they live in a harsh, cold climate and need it to survive. I defy any Eskimo to be able to carry three hundred pounds over a distance in sub-freezing temperatures on a diet of salad greens and fruit.

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Notwithstanding the very inhospitible part of the world in which they [Eskimos] reside, with nine or then months of winter and only two or three of summer, and inspite of the absence for long periods of plant foods and dairy products and eggs, the Eskimos were able to provide their bodies with all the mineral and vitamin requirements from sea foods, stored greens and berries and plants from the sea. pg 72

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#21 of 21 Old 09-06-2005, 10:44 PM
 
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Erin Pavlina --- more on the longevitiy of Eskimos.

Vilhjalmur Stefansson in his book Cancer: Disease of Civilization?, chapter 14, states that there is only one community of Eskimo reported to have had a short life span. That report has been used to propergandize that Eskimos lived short lives because of their predominately raw animal-food diet. In all other reports, "primitive" Eskimos lived as long as we do, with the same percentage of people reaching and exceeding 100 years of age. Osteoporosis only occured in Eskimos who ate cooked, refined foods.

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