Footbaggers are welcome to come here, and I'll take you to MONA, Garagistes and Pidgeon Hole.
It's full of errors, misrepresentations of facts, unexplained assertions and poorly reasoned arguments
I've spent years struggling with the dilemma of eating meat
Edit; reading over the author's CV reinforces the lack of any kind of scientific knowledge of the biology of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores, and how they differ.
The vegetarian debate is frequently full of these kinds of arguments, where people take particular aspects of humanities obvious omnivorous nature to argue that we should or shouldn't eat meat, or confuse evolutionary consequences with directions with what we should do.
You can feed grain to animals, but it is not the diet for which they were designed.
For most of human history, browsers and grazers haven’t been in competition with humans. They ate what we couldn’t eat—cellulose—and turned it into what we could—protein and fat.
Grain will dramatically increase the growth rate of beef cattle (there’s a reason for the expression “cornfed”) and the milk production of dairy cows. It will also kill them. The delicate bacterial balance of a cow’s rumen will go acid and turn septic. Chickens get fatty liver disease if fed grain exclusively, and they don’t need any grain to survive. Sheep and goats, also ruminants, should really never touch the stuff.
In fact, the disappearance of topsoil “rivals global warming as an environmental threat.”
It was the moment I stopped fighting the basic algebra of embodiment: for someone to live, someone else has to die.
But one post marked a turning point. A vegan flushed out his idea to keep animals from being killed—not by humans, but by other animals. Someone should build a fence down the middle of the Serengeti, and divide the predators from the prey. Killing is wrong and no animals should ever have to die, so the big cats and wild canines would go on one side, while the wildebeests and zebras would live on the other. He knew the carnivores would be okay because they didn’t need to be carnivores. That was a lie the meat industry told. He’d seen his dog eat grass: therefore, dogs could live on grass.
No one objected. In fact, others chimed in. My cat eats grass, too, one woman added, all enthusiasm. So does mine! someone else posted. Everyone agreed that fencing was the solution to animal death.
Lions and hyenas and humans don’t have a ruminant’s digestive system. Literally from our teeth to our rectums we are designed for meat. We have no mechanism to digest cellulose.
The graveyard won’t end there. Without grazers to eat the grass, the land will eventually turn to desert.
But without ruminants, the plant matter will pile up, reducing growth, and begin killing the plants. The bare earth is now exposed to wind, sun, and rain, the minerals leech away, and the soil structure is destroyed. In our attempt to save animals, we’ve killed everything.
On the ruminant side of the fence, the wildebeests and friends will reproduce as effectively as ever. But without the check of predators, there will quickly be more grazers than grass. The animals will outstrip their food source, eat the plants down to the ground, and then starve to death, leaving behind a seriously degraded landscape.
That was my last visit to the vegan message boards. I realized then that people so deeply ignorant of the nature of life, with its mineral cycle and carbon trade, its balance points around an ancient circle of producers, consumers, and degraders, weren’t going to be able to guide me or, indeed, make any useful decisions about sustainable human culture.
This is an argument from evolution. The point of farming is generate meat, and grain feeding livestock creates that, regardless of the evolutionary history.
She focuses on cellulose a lot. Only some herbivores rely on cellulose (ie. ruminants). If you break the meat we eat up like this; beef, lamb, pork, and chicken, only half eat large amounts of cellulose.
Eating beef, chickens, sheep, and goats also kills them. I can't understand what the actual problem with grain fed animals she is arguing here is.
The disappearance of topsoil is an expensive problem to fix, but can be fixed within a few years (if you have the money). It's clearly nothing like the problem of global warming, and it's been grossly overstated by some environmentalists for years.
And yet in some places around the world (such, again, as my state), former agricultural land that turned to essentially desert is being revegetated allowing for a return to farming, and an increase in wildlife. Restoration ecology, as well volcanic islands, and indeed the progress of life on the planet in geological time seems to completely contradict this philosophy. What evidence supports this assertion? Maybe I'm being unfair in taking this statement literally, but the article is full of this kind of washy language which is either wrong, or meaningless.
These kinds of anecdotes are pointless, but are clearly aimed at making her opponents look irrational. Do you think Peter Singer, Albert Einstein or Abraham Lincoln (all vegetarians) would agree with this argument?
Lions and hyenas have completely different guts to us, and completely different diets. Lumping us with them is misleading at best
Not only that, but there are huge studies that show that humans that are vegetarians do not suffer any significant detriment to health. In fact if you grossly lump humans as meat eaters and vegetarians, studies continuously show that vegetarians live longer and are healthier. This is misleading because if you split the meat eaters up into those that eat balanced diets and get regular exercise and those who don't, the healthy meat eaters live longer than the same grouping of vegetarians (essentially eating a small amount of meat in a balanced diet, and getting plenty of exercise, is the healthiest lifestyle a person can have).
I also note that analysis of both the diets of our closest relatives, and of hunter gatherer societies demonstrates clearly that for most of our evolution meat has not been a major part of our diet, especially red meat. Try eating raw meat for a week or two and see what happens. Clearly we ate very little meat until the invention of fire, which is very recent.
In fact you have to go back 85 million years to find an ancestor we share with a genuine red meat eating carnivore. We are not 'designed' to eat meat, we evolved eating a diet that mainly consisted of fruit and invertebrates (insects, worms etc.), with the occasional meat. This doesn't give us a reason to eat, or not eat meat. It's false to say that evolution suggests we are 'supposed' to do anything.
Our biology tells us that we can eat meat, that we shouldn't eat too much, and that we don't have to. That's all.
BainbridgeShred wrote: I'll refer you to the article I posted about vegan families killing their young infants by forcing them onto a vegan diet. Sure their are a lot of variables present in each individual case, but when it's a clearly demonstrated pattern of babies dying on a vegan diet, that is pretty good circumstantial evidence that we need meat and are healthiest when we have it.
Our biology tells us that we can eat meat, that we shouldn't eat too much, and that we don't have to. That's all.
1. Vegan is not the same as vegetarian. If those babies would have survived on a vegetarian diet, Jeremy's point would be valid (i.e., humans do not need meat to survive).
2. If babies on vegan diets die, I'd take that as evidence that mammals need milk, not meat. There are plenty of vegetarian mammals that feed their babies milk. Does that mean they "need" meat? No. It doesn't even mean they eat meat.
You're right in saying that the hypothesis "ruminants didn't evolve eating grain and thus they shouldn't be eating grain at all" is on faulty scientific grounds, but luckily it has been tested again and again to be true.
I'm not going to sit here and pretend to know whether or not top soil erosion is as big a problem as global warming is. I think the problem with top soil erosion is the fact that we might reach a tipping point where yes, we still have plenty of top soil around the world, but not quite enough to feed all 7 billion people. The ripple effect off of that could be tremendous.
I suppose you could send out proselytizing missionary groups of western ecologists to go around the world to show people techniques such as these, but I could only imagine someone like you, Jeremy, arrogantly going to Southeast Asia and telling farmers who have been tilling the same patch of land for generations how to grow their food. It isn't as easy as it sounds. Not everyone is susceptible to your amazing intellect after all.
Hahaha this cracked me up dude. You bash anecdotal evidence, and then in the next line ask me without sarcasm what "Abe Lincoln, Einstein, and Peter Singer" would thing about an issue. Do you knot recognize the implicit irony in this? You're right though that anecdotal evidence is the worst kind of evidence to have, but simply listing off a bunch of notable historical figures who agree with you is a really sophomoric way of trying to make your point. Did you know Hitler was a vegetarian? Did you know Pol Pot was a big proponent of sustainable agriculture? I think that means all vegetarians are evil and sustainable agriculture is just the NWO's way of making us all their automatons.
Absolutely untrue. You're right in the idea that we weren't hunting down herds of Mammoth's with Atlatl's early in our evolutionary history, but that doesn't mean we weren't eating meat. Next time you're around a bird or a lizard or a frog or something of the like, notice how little attention they often pay to you, and how easy it would be to nail one with a rock. Indeed as Jared Diamond points out, this is the way many modern hunter-gather societies operate today. They talk a big game about going out and bagging big game, but it's usually very small game and insects and the like as you pointed out (I consider insects meat personally, though I'm not sure that's taxonomically corect or whatever).
Also, fire is not at all a recent invention, and certainly predates modern Homo Sapiens by AT LEAST 200,000 years, which is longer than we've even been on the planet. Please dude, if you're going to argue this shit with me you need to go take a evolutionary anthropology class or something. This is basic shit.
It's pretty well accepted today that what allowed humans brains to grow to the size they are today was the scavenging of meat on the African Savannah, specifically cracking the bones of prey animals with crude tools, and sucking the bone marrow out.
I'm glad you put "designed" in scare quotes and clarified it, because this is the dumbest shit I've read in a long time. Besides, Jane Goodall proved that our closest primate relatives (Chimps) eat meat any chance they get, and relish the opportunity to.
But anyways, ya you're right to say that it's false to say that "Evolution suggest we are supposed to do anything". To bring it back to the bone marrow, when proto-humans first started eating that stuff, it was probably a totally novel food source for us, which allowed us to become what we are today. Just because we hadn't evolved eating it doesn't mean that we weren't adapted to consume it. Similarly with grain and legumes, just because we didn't evolve eating that stuff, doesn't mean it's all bad for you. Empirical research however, shows that much of it is quite bad for you.
So when I say humans "need" meat, I'm definitely not being as clear as I need to be. I should say that the vast majority of humans need to consume meat to be at their athletic and physiological peaks. If you simply want to "survive", then certainly you can live off black beans and spinach, and indeed for much of the world that'd be a pretty luxurious diet. But most people do best on a diet that contains plenty of high quality meat.
When most Vegans/Vegetarians start to experience problems is when they hit the 30 year mark or so, and their bodies start revolting against them.
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