Cutting down on meat diets

I'd like to commend Stewart David on his recent commentary ["Greenwashed," July 1 Xpress] for exposing a meat-based diet for what it is: unsustainable, inefficient and potentially harmful for human, animal and planetary health.

With all of the information available these days about reducing our carbon footprint, I would hope that people, even of the most carnivorous varieties, would find some convincing reasons for at least cutting down on the amount of meat they eat. That's right, we're not talking "cutting out," but merely "cutting down." Is that really asking so much?

David cites several respectable research studies to support his suggestion that we "shift toward a plant-based diet." Education is key. If "health" is their real concern, our local natural-foods stores and grocers should play a part in that education. Perhaps when the next opportunity for advertising holiday food presents itself (and there's never a shortage of holidays connected to eating in this country), our green grocers could promote some meat alternatives instead of promoting meat exclusively as they did in their 4th of July week Xpress advertising. (Ironic, given David's piece in the same issue.)

It doesn't take much investigation to find a whole host of meat alternatives easily available at our local co-ops and natural-foods grocers. I suggest people brave up and try some sometime — decreasing meat consumption can actually be painless and tasty! And in doing so, not only are we improving the synapses in our brains by thinking outside the carnivorous box come mealtime, but we're also helping animals, ourselves and the planet when we make this simple adjustment to our diets.

— Virginia Bower
Asheville

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32 thoughts on “Cutting down on meat diets

  1. joeinmadco

    Meat “alternative” like Tofurkey? Is that your idea of green? If so, try again Virginia.

    I agree with the basic idea of your letter, but when you demonize meat consumption with broad strokes and prop up processed 3,000-mile diets you do your argument a disservice.

  2. Piffy!

    It’s weird how folks stretch a study that says we should eat “less” meat into “meat eating is unhealthy, immoral, and wrong”.

  3. entopticon

    Cutting down on meat is probably necessary for sustainability. Less store bought meat and local when possible are wise steps in the right direction. Cutting down on soy products is probably necessary for many of the same reasons. Both industries have powerful lobbyists that distort the truth.

    Soy, particularly unfermented soy, has been directly associated with cancer, it blocks the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, studies have associated it with decreased brain function, and it can cause severe hormonal imbalances. The soy lobby fights to keep the public from knowing that, but they are not to be trusted.

    A single serving of soy infant formula has more hormones than birth control pills. More and more countries are looking at soy formula as extremely dangerous, and countries such as Israel and New Zealand strongly warn against adults having more than two servings a week. Soy is also particularly responsible for much deforestation, soil erosion, and the vast majority of soy consumed is not local.

  4. entopticon

    Perhaps I should note that I eat eggs from my chickens, some meat (mostly local, maybe a couple times a week on average, but it varies a little) and fish (particularly local trout, local catfish, and shrimp from this region of the country, as well as salmon or some other sustainably caught fish here and there).

    I believe that different people’s bodies respond differently to different diets. I have known people who thrive on a vegan diet, and people who do very poorly on one, to the point of serious health risks. I’ve known vegan raw foodists who thrive and are active, and I have also known some who look like they are on the brink of death.

    I have some serious health issues, and I find I do much better with some animal protein in my diet. I still try to limit my intake of animal protein somewhat, largely for environmental reasons.

    If an animal protein free diet works for you, more power to you, but please don’t assume that what works for you works for us all. For those of us who are more healthful with a diet that includes animal protein, we should continue to encourage the most local and sustainable practices possible. There are a lot of great local farms, and as the localism paradigm receives more attention, their practices will continue to improve.

  5. michelle

    entopticon, you may want to do a bit more research on soy; peer-reviewed studies show that the soy isoflavones may be beneficial against prostate and other cancers. As far as I know, only a single study has linked soy and breast cancer. Try a pubmed search of isoflavones and cancer or genistein and cancer for more info.

  6. Piffy!

    If the animal rights folks were really interested in fighting the big factory farms, they would be willing to align themselves with small farmers who present an immediate, tangible alternative for those who do consume ‘animal products’.

    Small, sustainable farms of all kinds are the best antidote to Cargil and Monsanto and should not be treated like the enemy by people who think their morals are better than everyone else’s.

  7. Matt Mercy

    Miss Bower: I know you are probably genuinely concerned about the environment. So am I. Of course you will say nothing about genetic engineering, terraforming, chemicals in our drinking water, etc.

    No, you prefer the easy, trendy, self-righteous, Madison-Avenue-prepackaged “global warming” farce that Al Gore is going to get rich off of via the imminent cap-and-trade bill…the farce that some sick people in high places use to convince the weaker-minded and more lazy among us of the necessity of our own enslavement and indebtedness to the aforementioned sick people.

    Less or no meat means more docile, less energetic slaves that the government has to deal with. This is why many prisons serve little or no meat to their inmates.

  8. entopticon

    Michelle, I am married to a nutrition consultant and it is something that I have actually researched quite a bit. Unfortunately, far more convincing evidence shows that the soy industry’s studies suggesting that isoflavones protect from breast cancer are completely bogus, and the exact opposite appears to be true. Many doctors have been trying to fight the soy industry’s bogus claims.

    Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. They may actually stimulate cancer cells and they block your body’s natural ability to absorb nutrients. The trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may lead to pancreatic disorders. Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that can lead to hyperthyroidism and may lead to thyroid cancer. Consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease in infants. Infants fed soy-based formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than infants who are fed milk-based formula. Infants that are exclusively fed soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day. Soy increases the body’s requirements for vitamins D and B. And the list goes on and on.

    One of the scarier dangers is that the processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines. In fact, virtually all of the dangers of soy are made worse by processing, so it is most important to avoid processed soy foods such as soy milk as much as possible.

    The good news is, virtually all of the dangers of soy are made better by fermenting because the fermentation process rids it of the more dangerous toxins. So fermented soy foods like tempeh are much better for you, and long fermented soy foods like miso are particularly good.

  9. entopticon

    Matt Mercy claims that Al Gore has somehow secretly persuaded virtually every major climate scientist on the planet to pretend that there is overwhelming, incontrovertible evidence the global warming is an extremely serious threat. And according to Mercy, Al Gore’s giant global warming hoax involving virtually all the top climate scientists in the world is part of his secret plan to somehow get rich off of the cap and trade bill?!?

    Apparently, Matt Mercy has confused Al Gore with Lex Luthor. Aside from a handful of corporate shills, most of whom aren’t even real climatologists, there is little debate about the existence of global warming. In fact, I’ve sat at the table with prominent scientists from NASA and NOAA who are extremely concerned about the absurdly quasi-scientific anti global warming rhetoric of the extreme right, and they are desperate to find ways to fight that sort of shameful disinformation because the truth is that they are finding that the threat to our planet is in fact far worse than they had previously imagined.

  10. Piffy!

    Soy is in almost everything we eat, and most the soy fed to cattle is a byproduct of soy processed for human consumption.
    in addition, in most parts of Asia, soy is traditionally only eaten either a).fermented or b). with meat–NOT! as a ‘meat substitute’.

    Soy-based formula has been shown to be very bad for infants health.

  11. Frank Delgado

    Yes.Meat eaters need to cut down on chewing on animal body parts. It is moral, and healthier.

  12. Rob Close

    ok, so you’re mostly just talking about soy, which wasn’t even mentioned in the letter. congrats on being narrow-minded meat-eaters.

    i’m a vegetarian who hardly eats any soy, and gets plenty of protein. joeinmadco, claiming that she’s propping up 3,000 mile food over meat is just preposterous – you’re putting words in her mouth. what makes your meat more local than her non-meat? assumptions!

  13. joeinmadco

    Hey Rob. If Virginia wanted to be specific in her letter she could have. When I hear the words “meat alternative” I think of soy-based processed foods. If Virginia doesn’t want me making educated guesses about the vague words she uses, she should be a bit more mindful of how she writes her letters to the editor. Plus, I gave her the opportunity to clarify her position.

    Or maybe I’m just narrow-minded and preposterous, right? That way you can just call me names and not have a logical conversation about the topic.

    Ok?

  14. Piffy!

    Rob, if you read the thread, you would notice the “Soy” comments are almost ALL in reference to ‘michelle’s’ comment. Try again.

    Nobody is saying vegetarians have to eat soy.

  15. Rob Close's neighbor

    I am all for vegetarians who choose their own diet. But when they try and speak of agricultural sustainability while they eat avocados and lettuce from California or Mexico is just hilarious.

    Vegetarian/Vegan is a personal choice, and holds no ‘moral/environmental superiority’ over any other healthy, intelligent, intentional dietary choices. I know plenty of very unhealthy ‘vegetarians’ and plenty of very healthy people who eat meat. Go figure!

  16. entopticon

    Robe Close said, “ok, so you’re mostly just talking about soy, which wasn’t even mentioned in the letter. congrats on being narrow-minded meat-eaters.”

    The above letter advocated meat substitutes, and we responded to that. Soy is by far the most common meat substitute. And you have the nerve to say that we are the closed-minded ones?!? Astonishing. No wonder you support a shameful bigot with direct ties to registered white supremacist hate groups such as Ron Paul.

    As for your claims of local non-animal sources of significant protein, I would be very curious to know what exactly you are referring to.

  17. Piffy!

    [b]what makes your meat more local than her non-meat?[/b]

    Maybe it’s proximity to our region?

  18. Ken Hanke

    Yes.Meat eaters need to cut down on chewing on animal body parts. It is moral, and healthier.

    And they should avoid John Waters’ movies like the plague, shouldn’t they, Cullen?

  19. Allen

    Behaviors that harm other sentient beings are moral issues, not personal choices or preferences. Since eating meat hurts the environment (more than eating lower on the food chain) and it hurts the animals who are domesticated, controlled, confined and killed, eating meat (or other animal products) is not a personal choice – it is a moral issue.

    Morality is directly related to necessity. I think most people will agree that it is immoral to cause unnecessary suffering. As long as it is unnecessary to eat animals (and it is unnecessary for nearly all Americans) then it is immoral to eat animals.

    According to the American Dietetic Association, the largest diet and nutrition organization in the world, well-planned vegan diets are healthful and extremely beneficial for people of all ages (including during infancy and pregnancy).

    According to the Pew Commission, the United Nations and leading scientists from around the world, animal agriculture (factory farms or otherwise) is a leading cause of every environmental problem at every scale, from local to global – climate change, air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, desertification, species extinction etc.

    So, not only is eating meat unnecessary, it is harmful to human health, the environment and to animals.

    Reading some of the comments on this and other related articles, I wonder if 150 years ago we would all be discussing the merits of “humane,” “local” and “sustainable” human slavery. One can argue that slaves are more efficient and less polluting than farm machinery. Taking slaves from neighboring communities would cut down on the fossil fuels needed to ship them from Africa or elsewhere. And as long as they are given enough chain to turn around freely and we don’t use whips to force them to work, then keeping slaves is okay – right? Nope. Sorry.

    No matter how you slice it, harming and exploiting other sentient beings (either human or non-human animals) is always immoral. But it is especially immoral when it ends up killing the planet too.

  20. Allen

    Behaviors that harm other sentient beings are moral issues, not personal choices or preferences. Since eating meat hurts the environment (more than eating lower on the food chain) and it hurts the animals who are domesticated, controlled, confined and killed, eating meat (or other animal products) is not a personal choice. It is a moral issue.

    Morality is directly related to necessity. Most people will agree that it is immoral to cause unnecessary suffering. As long as it is unnecessary to eat animals, then it is immoral to eat animals.

    According to the American Dietetic Association, the largest diet and nutrition organization in the world, well-planned vegan diets are healthful and extremely beneficial for people of all ages (including during infancy and pregnancy).

    According to the Pew Commission, the United Nations and other leading scientists, animal agriculture (factory farms or otherwise) is a leading cause of every environmental problem at every scale, from local to global – climate change, air pollution, water pollution, resource depletion, deforestation, desertification, species extinction, etc.

    So, not only is eating meat unnecessary, it is harmful to human health, the environment and to animals.

    Reading some of the comments on this and other related articles, I wonder if 150 years ago we would all be discussing the merits of “humane,” “local” and “sustainable” human slavery. One can argue that slaves are more efficient and less polluting than farm machinery. Taking slaves from neighboring communities uses less fossil fuels than transporting them from overseas. And as long as they are given enough chain to turn around freely and we don’t use whips to force them to work, then keeping slaves is okay – right? Nope. Sorry.

    No matter how you slice it, harming and exploiting other sentient beings (i.e. human animals or non-human animals) is always immoral. But it is especially immoral when it ends up killing the planet too.

  21. entopticon

    Sorry Allen, but I think that argument is complete hogwash. It is amazingly hubristic to grant special supernatural status to humans. It is no more immoral for humans to eat meat than it is for animals to eat meat. By your flawed logic, all carnivores and omnivores are immoral. We are not supernatural.

    Yes, it is very admirable to try to insure that farm animals are treated respectfully, but it is pretty arrogant of you to claim that only your opinion counts. There are more and more farms who are very respectful of their animals, and I applaud them for that. I even think it is a great thing to eat locally as possible and to cut back on meat for the environment. If you don’t want to eat meat, don’t eat meat.

    The fact is, human beings have eaten meat since the dawn of our existence, so to imply that it is immoral is just plain ridiculous. It is no different than saying that any other animal that eats meat is immoral. Frankly, it is a hell of a lot more unnatural to eat processed soy foods in place of meat, which are very problematic for the environment as well.

  22. Piffy!

    Why is it that so many vegan/vegetarians approach the issue from a moral, almost religious/zealotous standpoint?

    They are no different than any other fanatical religious group. There is no hope of having a logical discussion based on agreed facts, since their mind is already made up.

    It like arguing with a hard-line partisan dem or rep. just cut and paste drivel.

  23. joeinmadco

    Hey Allen. I disagree that eating meat in any form is necessarily harmful to humans, animals, or the environment. I also disagree with a loaded word like necessity being tied to morality, no questions asked.

    How about you give some actual support for your subconclusions? Or–since you’re such an expert on ethics–did you skip the logic portion of your philosophy degree?

  24. Allen

    Carnivores eat other animals because it is necessary for them to survive. The millions of healthy vegans on this planet prove that humans do not need to eat meat in order to survive. The American Dietetic Association says that humans do not need to eat meat to be healthy and in fact are healthier when we do not eat meat. So, not only does eating meat cause animals to suffer, it causes needless suffering. I don’t understand why anyone would support causing needless suffering to others.

    Why is it that some meat eaters approach the issue from such a self centered, egoistic, almost zealotous standpoint. They are no different than any other fanatical religious group. They are raised eating meat and never question it. They attack anyone who does question the need to eat meat with venomous enthusiasm. There is no hope of having a logical discussion based on agreed facts, since their mind is already made up. It like arguing with a hard-line partisan dem or rep. just cut and paste drivel without any self reflection.

    It’s like meat eaters don’t realize that most vegans once ate meat too. We know the other side of the debate because we were once on the other side of the debate. But once we confronted the inarguable fact that eating meat is unnecessary (and even harmful to human health, the environment and animals), we decided we don’t want to contribute anymore to needless suffering. At some point we realized that the issue isn’t about us, it is about others.

    And it is not enough to change our own behaviors. We can’t stand by while our fellow humans needlessly suffer and die from heart disease and other illnesses caused by meaty diets. We can’t stand by while millions of people go hungry because Western nations waste edible grains and other food crops to fatten animals. We cannot stand by while the planet is being destroyed and by animal agriculture. We cannot stand by while billions of farm animals needlessly suffer and die because humans like the taste of their flesh (and bodily excretions).

    Don’t get me wrong. I do not view meat eaters as immoral or as the enemy. I was once a meat eater too. I encourage others to take an honest look at their lifestyles and make positive changes that reduce unnecessary harm to others. I believe that transitioning to a plant based diet (much like our ape ancestors had) would help alleviate the needless suffering of other animals, help reduce or even eliminate many painful and deadly human ailments, and help preserve the environment for our children and future generations.

    You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope one day that you’ll join us, and the world can live as one.

  25. Allen

    entopticon, I never granted any special supernatural status to humans. You just made that up. I include humans in the animal kingdom. I just put them in the category next to apes (who are almost entirely vegetarian) and not lions. Also, I think it is flawed logic to say that just because some animals eat meat that it is morally acceptable for human animals to eat meat. Some animals eat their own young and some rape as a form of procreation. Would you defend rape and infanticide on the basis that some animals do it?

    Also, I never said that only my opinion counts. Again, you just made that up. Why are you trying to debate me by using words and phrases that I never said? I’m sure it makes it easier for you to discount me, but it is not honest or fair.

    I believe that eating meat is a moral issue because it affects others. When my behaviors affect others, I believe I have a moral responsibility to take into consideration the needs and feelings of others. Saying that people who choose not to eat meat should leave those who do eat meat alone seems a little like saying that people who choose not to molest children should leave those who do alone. I think that we have a responsibility to stand up against injustice. I believe that causing needless suffering is injustice. I know that eating meat causes needless suffering and therefore I believe I have a moral responsibility to encourage meat eaters to change there ways – for their own health, for the health of the planet and for the health of the non-human animals.

  26. entopticon

    I’m sorry Allen, but I think your arguments are extremely sanctimonious and lacking. You can eat what you want to eat, but your holier-than-thou moralism really is pretty pathetic. Your shameful comparison of meat eaters to rapists and child molesters says a lot more about your lack of morals than theirs.

    Carnivores and omnivores such as humans eat meat because nature genetically designed us to do so over the course of millions of years. Yes, it is possible for us to survive without meat, just as it is possible for many carnivores to survive without meat for a while, but that doesn’t make it natural.

    You think that you are making things better, but the truth is that you just make things worse. Your radical self-righteousness, even comparing meat eaters to rapists and child molesters, is what makes few people take you seriously.

    I put no words in your mouth. It is you who grants supernatural stature to humans, not me. Evolution designed us to be omnivores whether you like it or not. It is no more immoral for a human to eat the omnivore diet that evolution deigned us for than it is for any other animal to do the same.

    Many people do great on a vegetarian diet, and for others it makes them sickly. I was a vegetarian for years myself, and it doesn’t work for me. Who the hell are you to tell me what does and does not work for my body?

    You are indeed acting like only your opinion counts. Your charge that people who eat meat are immoral is unconscionable. Yes there are moral issues around meat eating, just as there are moral issues around eating many vegetables, but that certainly doesn’t mean that people are immoral for making the choices that they do. The vast majority of foods are exotics that need to be cultivated, and unless you forage for all of your veggies, you have no business saying that you don’t deal with moral tradeoffs as well. Personally, I agree with the scientists and nutritionists who believe that giving children unfermented soy products is tantamount to child abuse, but I don’t make the rules.

    I agree that needless suffering is an issue, and I am glad that many small farms are talking great steps to see that their animals live good lives, and are killed as humanely as possible.

  27. entopticon

    Oh, and by the way, John Lennon was briefly a vegetarian in the 1960’s, and he was macrobiotic with some animal products for a while in the 70’s. For the years leading up to his death he ate a mostly vegetarian diet with some meat. I hope some day, you will join us, and the world can live as one :^P

  28. Allen

    I didn’t compare meat eaters to child molesters or rapists. I said telling people to shut up or to live and let live when they speak out against injustices like cruelty to animals in meat production is like saying shut up or live and let live when people speak out against other forms of injustice, like rape or child molestation.

    I apologize if I come off as sanctimonious. I am simply expressing my opinion, just like everyone else. I do not believe meat eaters are immoral. I myself was once a meat eater. I believe that once people understand things the way I do they can make better choices for themselves and others. I think you probably feel the same way about your opinions. I think we can have a fair and honest debate about this issue without all the insults and accusations, but it becomes difficult when people get their defenses up and start insulting each other because of differences in opinion. Although I do see this as a moral issue, I will attempt to phrase my opinions in less moralistic terms in the future.

    From what I have learned, evolution has not designed humans to eat meat. In fact, humans are descended from apes and apes are almost exclusively vegetarian. Gorillas and orangutans are entirely vegan. Chimpanzees, the closest living relatives to humans, derive 95% of their diets from plants, 4% from termites, and 1% from small birds, reptiles and mammals. However, only the males eat meat, not the females, and the whole things seems more of a dominance ritual than a dietary necessity.

    Our human ancestors began eating meat about 2 million years ago. However, it appears that they were mostly scavenging and not hunting. Even still, meat eating was relatively rare because eating uncooked flesh is rather dangerous for humans because we don’t have the acidic stomach juices of carnivores needed to kill the deadly bacteria found on rotting carcasses. But, in times of food scarcity, scavenging the remains of carcasses was probably necessary for human survival.

    The use of fire by humans began about 500,000 years ago. Once humans had the means to cook meat they began eating more of it. Hunting appeared shortly after. Paleoanthropologists like Katharine Milton from the University of California in Berkeley think that the diets of most primitive human cultures was predominately vegetarian. Although some northern societies may have relied more heavily on meat to get through cold winters, it appears that most human societies thrived on 90 – 95% vegetarian diets.

    Leading nutritionists and doctors like Dr. Milton Mills say that although humans have eaten meat for thousands of years, our physiology has remained very similar to that of apes and other herbivorous animals. Certainly humans are not ruminants like cows, but we do have very similar anatomies to other herbivores.

    For example, carnivores and omnivores have wide mouth openings and can only move their jaws up and down. Herbivores and humans have small mouth openings and can move our jaws up and down and from side to side to better grind plant matter. Although humans have canine teeth (just like horses), our teeth are nothing like the long, sharp teeth of carnivores who can rip flesh from bone. Our teeth are much better suited to tearing through the skin of an apple. We had to invent knives to cut through meat. Likewise, while carnivores have sharp claws or talons, herbivores and humans have hooves or soft nails that are unsuited to ripping through flesh.

    Unlike humans and other herbivores, the saliva of carnivorous and omnivorous animals does not contain digestive enzymes. When eating, mammalian carnivores gorge rapidly and do not chew their food. They are incapable of choking to death from food. Humans and other animals must chew their food thoroughly and mixing food with our saliva is an important part of digestion. Further down the digestive tract, carnivores have short intestinal tracts in order to pass the digested meat quickly before it has a chance to putrefy and cause disease. Herbivores and humans have long intestinal tracts in order to fully digest plant materials. Unfortunately, meat has a tendency to putrefy in our intestines and can lead to colon cancer.

    Further proving my point, I think, the American Dietetic Association and many other nutritionist groups say that eating a plant based diet is optimal for human health while consuming meat and other animal based foods contributes to many serious and deadly diseases including heart disease (the leading killer in the US), cancer (the #2 killer), stroke (the #3 killer), diabetes (a leading cause of death in the US), osteoporosis and on and on. Clearly, humans are not adapted to eating meat and certainly not in the quantities that are eaten in modern times. Perhaps during periods of food shortages and starvation it might be wise to consider supplementing one’s diet with meat, but considering obesity is quickly overtaking smoking as the leading cause of preventable deaths in this country I don’t think that hunger is much of an issue in this country.

    However, hunger is a huge issue in other countries and according to researchers at Cornell University American farmers are wasting enough edible grains and other crops on farm animals to feed 800 million starving people. In Ethiopia and other third world countries where starvation is rampant, the governments are exporting valuable grains and other food crops to Western countries (supply and demand) so that we can feed it to farm animals.

    I could go on and on and on, but really I don’t have the time. I encourage anyone who is interested tossing aside outdated assumptions about diet to look into the many health, environmental and animal welfare benefits of adopting a vegan lifestyle. A few good places to start include books like the China Study, Food Revolution and Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food. Some good websites include GoVeg.com, TryVeg.com, and VegforLife.org.

    I’m not out to get you. I am on your side and am only trying to help. Good luck.

  29. entopticon

    Thanks for making an effort Allen. Again, in the analogy that you gave, you do indeed compare meat eaters to rapists and molesters, though apparently not consciously.

    I disagree with many, if not most of your claims, which I am all too familiar with already. That said, I don’t think that I am going to convince you any more than you are going to convince me. The comparison to Gorillas, who have a very different digestion system, the plainly false claims about hunter-gatherers that Peta is always pushing, the junk science trying to dispute the plain fact that we have omnivore teeth, and the health claims all stand out as things that it is not likely I will ever agree with.

    I found the claim that meat, which is physically incapable of inducing an insulin response, is responsible for diabetes to be particularly off the wall. Studies have connected fast food (hamburgers, french fries, and giant buckets of soda) to diabetes, and the vegan evangelists have used that to support their completely bogus claim that meat leads to diabetes. Not only does the protein in meat not stimulate any insulin response whatsoever, it actually serves as a very powerful tool to help slow down the insulin response to the sugars in vegetables and grains.

    The claims that meat is bad for the heart are also based on total bogus science. There is no legitimate science connecting meat to heart disease. Obviously you are not going to agree with me on this. Personally, I trust people like Sally Fallon (look her up) a lot more than well meaning, but less honest people like John Robbins. Then again, I do know some vegetarians who have been swayed after hearing Sally Fallon speak, so who knows. I find her science to be a lot more persuasive than the claims that you offered. I think vegans have been so desperate to make the facts fit, that they have made arguments based on completely hokie junk science.

    For what it’s worth, if you had come to my house for dinner tonight you would have had a ratatouille made from japanese eggplants, shallots, peppers, and zuchs all grown in our garden (with herbs de Provence and diced organic tomatoes from the farmer’s market), and an organic lemon, pepper, garlic, and tahini hummus. We also had a chilled cucumber mint soup, but that has yogurt in it.

    And for what it’s worth, a friend has an organically grown vegetable farm here on our property.

  30. joeinmadco

    Allen, really, do you think you’d survive without animal husbandry and the–I can barely say it– death that comes along with it? Oh right, I forgot about that anhydrous ammonium nitrate that makes it easy for you to forget about your long relationship with other living things on this planet. And you’re accusing who of being fanatical? Really?

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