the great vegetarian debate

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PorkChop » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:40 am

Relax, we're not all out to get you dude. :)

I don't consciously follow paleo (I love potatoes & beans too much to consider that).
Like I said, some of my food may fall within paleo guidelines, but it's not by design - zedrics.com if you're interested.
I'm fine with my 3 meals a day meal plan and have been fine with it since February, no hunger pains, lots of energy (more than enough for a grueling training camp).
Do I really need to photocopy my blood work from a couple months back to show that I'm healthy?
It was when I went vegetarian for almost 2 weeks that I became super hungry.
Every Sunday that I don't eat meat, by the evening I'm starving and end up snacking on unhealthy stuff.

As far as the research papers, half were directly from pubmed, the other half a mix of indirectly through pubmed and a web search.
Loren Cordain's a PhD.
Gary Null's a PhD.
They don't agree... so what, big hairy fat deal.
No need to throw accusations.
I have no idea how selfishness, poverty, and gulf war veterans suddenly became relevant to this conversation.
This is not a conspiracy and I'm not towing a paleo party line, sorry.

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about with the Steve-O thing.
My nickname is from kung fu...
FYI, the tofurky I had was oven roasted deli slices.
Some fake meat products are passable, some are not so good, those slices were the worst yet.
I generally like morning star fake chicken, veggie burgers, soy "pork" eggrolls, and veggie tamales.
In addition to the lunch meat, I tend to stay away from veggie chorizo and some of the sausages.
As far as taste preference, am I just supposed to eat food that tastes bad my whole life?
I suppose if I have some sort of nondual realization, I could be perfectly happy eating horse sh!t the rest of my life, but I'm definitely not there yet.

You do what works for you, I'm going to do what works for me.
I understand maybe there are some ethical concerns with the way I eat.
I'm doing what I can and I'll take personal responsibility for the outcomes.
With all due respect, it's not really your call to make whether what I'm doing is enough.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Yudron » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:01 am

Thracymachus,

My advice above is to be a vegetarian if you can. I'm a vegetarian. Vegans have been arguing that we need less protein than mainstream science says we need for at least 30 years. Based on my observations of some vegans I've known over the long term, how many of them have had chronic pain conditions, weakness, a sense of unwellness, and generalized irritability, all of which resolved when they started eating a little meat, I now advocate following the mainstream recommendations for protein intake. I myself had prolonged pain and delayed wound healing after recent major surgery, and could not tolerate legumes at that time--as soon as I ate a little chicken I healed up. Then I could resume a vegetarian diet.

On the other hand, my brother became vegan after being a vegetarian--who loved cheese--for about 50 years and his longstanding problem with high cholesterol cleared up and he feels much better in general. Also, a lot of people cannot digest dairy, especially as we get older. I never drank milk or ate cheese because it disagreed with me, then I had chronic constipation in retreat, and eliminated butter, ghee, and yogurt, and it completely cleared up. But, there are people who tolerate dairy products just fine.

Free-range organic eggs--the really expensive kind--are a part of my diet. Excellent snack food for me.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:33 am

@Porkchop:
Make no mistake, if you or anyone makes nonsense health claims for eating meat, they will be answered, because %100, there are zero health claims you can make for eating meat, other animal products like milk, or following paleo or other fad diets meant to shoehorn meat eating into weight loss, since for so many people it makes them blow up in weight. Like I said before there are arguments you can make for eating meat, like:
1) Imperialism - you cannot find a calorie source to consume that takes more input resources or more land. In societies like ours it is very vaunted to waste alot of resources and display how much you can waste compared to others.
2) Apathy, lack of concern, selfishness.
3) Taste preference.
4) Comfort. It is what you are used to, available everywhere, and you don't want to change.

But there is no health benefit to eating meat, and animal products in general(like vegetarianism allows) only downsides. And every dietary guru or authority is not the same, the Paleo people are simply spreading dangerous advice for the people that follow it, get ill health and for the animals that suffer. What is more, all Paleo gurus are wrong on their anthropology, archeology, history and dietary advice, they are wrong on everything.

@Yudron:
That sounds like nonsense again. Make no mistake, everything you write about how concerned everyone needs to be with adequate protein is nonsense, the average Westerner gets far too much protein and too few carbs. Once again so everyone can be perfectly clear, this is the country you live in and the results of the dominant, animal product heavy diet:
Center for Disease Control and Preventation wrote:Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase: U.S. Prescription Drug Data for 2007-2008

Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44% to 48%. The use of two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%. The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%.


So how can you live in such a society, ignore all the overweight and unhealthy people and come here and create scare mongering against vegans who are far healthier than their counterparts? Unless you are talking of raw food vegan fad-ists, I don't see how you can maintain what you do. Further you are ignorant of all the research that has been done about meat and dairy. Thus you have to talk about how much animal products one consumes, not whether one is vegetarian or not, because that means nothing in terms of suffering or health. For example when I went vegetarian I may have been killing even more animals than when I didn't with all the eggs, cheese and milk I consumed.

Also animal products and meat will increase recovery time for surgery: meat promotes inflammation and acidity in the body. But then again you say you are vegetarian, which means nothing in terms of this, you can still be vegetarian and consume copious animal products.
Last edited by Thrasymachus on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby nilakantha » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:41 am

I find it odd that bodily health should be much of a concern at all for a Buddhist. I would think that our primary concern should be with Dharma as presented in scripture. In the Jātakamālā the importance of vegetarianism, even at the cost of health, is dealt with:
Once the Bodhisattva, it is said, lived in some part of the forest as a young quail. He had come out of the egg some nights before, and could not fly, his tender wings having still to grow both in height and in width; in his very small and weak body the different limbs, principal and minor, were hardly discernible. So he dwelt with his numerous brothers in the nest which his parents had built with great care and made impervious by a strong covering of grass. This nest was placed on a creeper within a thicket. Yet, still in this existence, he had not lost his consciousness of the Law, and would not feed on such living beings as his father and mother offered to them, but exclusively sustained himself by (the vegetable food) which was brought by his parents: grass-seeds, figs of the banyan tree, and so on. In consequence of this coarse and insufficient nourishment, his body did not thrive nor would his wings develop. The other young quails, on the contrary, who fed on everything offered to them, became strong and got full-grown wings. For this, indeed, is an invariable rule:
1. He who, not anxious about the precepts of the Law, eats everything, will thrive at his ease, but such a one as seeks for his livelihood in accordance with the precepts, and is careful about the choice of his food, will endure pain in this world.
May I be a poet in birth after birth, a devotee of the feet of Lord Avalokiteśvara,
with elevated heart, spontaneously directed towards his Refuge,
wholly occupied with the solemn duty of saving others.

--Lokeshvarashatakam of Vajradatta
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:47 am

Personally I don't like the escapist types who maintain:
If I can sit and meditate, who cares about everything and everyone else.

Anyway if you follow the people who maintain that for enough, you find that like any other Westerner, they believe in obeying the laws of the state, the medical system, etc., so it is moot anyway.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PorkChop » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:56 am

Thrasymachus wrote:@Porkchop:
Make no mistake, if you or anyone makes nonsense health claims for eating meat, they will be answered, because %100, there are zero health claims you can make for eating meat, other animal products like milk, or following paleo or other fad diets meant to shoehorn meat eating into weight loss, since for so many people it makes them blow up in weight. Like I said before there are arguments you can make for eating meat, like:
1) Imperialism - you cannot find a calorie source to consume that takes more input resources or more land. In societies like ours it is very vaunted to waste alot of resources and display how much you can waste compared to others.
2) Apathy, lack of concern, selfishness.
3) Taste preference.
4) Comfort. It is what you are used to, available everywhere, and you don't want to change.

But there is no health benefit to eating meat, and animal products in general(like vegetarianism allows) only downsides. And every dietary guru or authority is not the same, the Paleo people are simply spreading dangerous advice for the people that follow it, get ill health and for the animals that suffer. What is more, all Paleo gurus are wrong on their anthropology, archeology, history and dietary advice, they are wrong on everything.


I think we're going to have to agree to disagree.
If I show any study claiming meat to have any healthy benefits you'll accuse me of just going along with some paleo conspiracy - when I have absolutely no connection to the paleo movement and no vested interest in defending them.
Why can't you just take my word for it that I don't like how I feel when I eat vegetarian?
I mean, that should be enough.
I don't like how I feel when I eat MacDonald's either, and you probably wouldn't disagree with that.
I can toss that back in your lap, you have absolutely no proof that all people's bodies work exactly the same and that everyone will have the same reaction to a given diet.
You really need to cool it with the judgmental attitude; I've been nothing but cordial.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Yudron » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:17 am

There is no perfect diet for everyone, and no perfect way to eat causing no harm. I'm not going to be another shrill vegan telling people who find that diet does not agree with that it's all in their heads. People's bodies are different, and people have different nutritional needs and food intolerances depending on many factors. Being a a non-dairy vegetarian works for me as long as I am careful about protein. As a sedentary 53 year old female, if I eat more than 1500 cals a day or so, I gain weight, so there isn't room for much carb in my diet. For young active people, lots of whole grains are fine.

Thrasymachus wrote:@Porkchop:
Make no mistake, if you or anyone makes nonsense health claims for eating meat, they will be answered, because %100, there are zero health claims you can make for eating meat, other animal products like milk, or following paleo or other fad diets meant to shoehorn meat eating into weight loss, since for so many people it makes them blow up in weight. Like I said before there are arguments you can make for eating meat, like:
1) Imperialism - you cannot find a calorie source to consume that takes more input resources or more land. In societies like ours it is very vaunted to waste alot of resources and display how much you can waste compared to others.
2) Apathy, lack of concern, selfishness.
3) Taste preference.
4) Comfort. It is what you are used to, available everywhere, and you don't want to change.

But there is no health benefit to eating meat, and animal products in general(like vegetarianism allows) only downsides. And every dietary guru or authority is not the same, the Paleo people are simply spreading dangerous advice for the people that follow it, get ill health and for the animals that suffer. What is more, all Paleo gurus are wrong on their anthropology, archeology, history and dietary advice, they are wrong on everything.

@Yudron:
That sounds like nonsense again. Make no mistake, everything you write about how concerned everyone needs to be with adequate protein is nonsense, the average Westerner gets far too much protein and too few carbs. Once again so everyone can be perfectly clear, this is the country you live in and the results of the dominant, animal product heavy diet:
Center for Disease Control and Preventation wrote:Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase: U.S. Prescription Drug Data for 2007-2008

Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44% to 48%. The use of two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%. The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%.


So how can you live in such a society, ignore all the overweight and unhealthy people and come here and create scare mongering against vegans who are far healthier than their counterparts? Unless you are talking of raw food vegan fad-ists, I don't see how you can maintain what you do. Further you are ignorant of all the research that has been done about meat and dairy. Thus you have to talk about how much animal products one consumes, not whether one is vegetarian or not, because that means nothing in terms of suffering or health. For example when I went vegetarian I may have been killing even more animals than when I didn't with all the eggs, cheese and milk I consumed.

Also animal products and meat will increase recovery time for surgery: meat promotes inflammation and acidity in the body. But then again you say you are vegetarian, which means nothing in terms of this, you can still be vegetarian and consume copious animal products.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:33 am

Thrasymachus wrote:But there is no health benefit to eating meat, and animal products in general(like vegetarianism allows) only downsides.


That's just not true. Meat is a very building food and results in faster and seemingly more potent production of qi (ch'i, lifeforce, although there are several kinds of qi) in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). My former Taoist teacher was told by his teacher to eat meat for many years as it would improve his martial arts ability (both the master and my former teacher began Taoist practice primarily interested in the martial arts aspect). My former teacher didn't follow this advice, then was at a banquet where the teacher fed him lamb. He said that the next day he felt like superman and that he realized that for him his vegetarianism had essentially lowered his qi. If you ask any (or at least most) TCM practitioners they will generally urge most people to eat at least some meat. So that system, 3000-5000 years old and still quite useful to many people, does maintain unequivocally that most people should include some meat in their diet in order to maintain peak health.

That many Buddhists, especially Chinese Buddhists, don't is seen as an ascetic practice from the start in their view (although Chinese Buddhists are coming not from an ascetic POV but from the sutric standpoint that meat consumption degrades compassion).

Rational arguments against eating meat cannot begin from the faulty premise that there is no health value in eating meat. There is a consequence to eating too much meat or to primarily eating meat, ect. but meat in moderation as well as particular meats at different times is viewed in TCM as a medicine.

Other considerations are more cogent for many people - a real live being who experienced the world, had emotions and was capable of love as well as thought was killed and chopped up. And this happens millions of times a day. Is this necessary, etc.?

But to assert that meat eating has no actual health benefit is to abdicate the compassionate argument from the start.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:37 am

@Porkchop:
First off, you come to a thread about vegetarianism and make a claim that one day a week you went vegetarian, and that it is not working out! Did you expect everyone to kiss your butt? If that is what you call trying it says enough. Besides, like I wrote before vegetarianism is a near useless terms, in terms of health or suffering alleviated, the crux is how much animal proteins and fats you consume or don't.

Second, if what you are saying was true and feel or feeling was an accurate yardstick, how is the country you are living in a natural disaster area in terms of chronic health issues, with most the adult population needing prescription drugs just manage to get to the next day(see the link I gave Yudron)? Surely all the millions of smokers could just feel the microchanges to their lungs and stop before they get to the point of lung cancer? Surely all the obese, cow eaters, would have noticed sooner and stopped? However, sadly this is not the case. Feel is not a good determinant. And actually about McDonalds's, no I disagree, when I ate it, I remember it tasting abnormally fantastic, because it is chemically engineered to be so by top food scientists. I don't know if that would be the case now, nor will I try. That is the crux of the problem, most modern people seek the pleasure they cannot find elsewhere in life, in food, and it makes them feel good in a sense, despite the tremendous health costs. Another aspect is that animal products store toxins in the body, especially in fat cells. Further plant foods are generally known to release toxins, specifically greens and especially juiced greens. So if you are very unhealthy, starting to eat healthy will actually make you feel worse than you have in years, as you detox.

@Yudron:
Well that explains alot, you have emotional histrionics that allow you to ignore all the people around you and their intense state of bad health and zero in on the hated vegans. Continue to ignore all the American adults all around you with weight problems, skin hanging everywhere, and a medicine cabinet brimming with medications to deal with the health complications of the dairy, and fanciful flesh they fry, bake, drink and cook in a skillet.

There is no variation to the extent that you think there is, this is because you have not even read the summaries of all the research on the ill effects of animal products. To cook meat enough for safe human consumption causes these unhealthy byproducts known to increase, cancer, inflammation, etc.:
-- advanced glycation end products
-- heterocyclic amines
It also builds up arachidonic acid levels in the brain causing inflammation which leads to depression, mood swings, etc.
Here is a link to a short article by Michel Greger MD, where he gives video links that explain all these negative effects of animal products on humans.

People attribute lots of things to lots of reasons. When I was young I loved candy, we could equally say: "candy worked well for me then, humans are variant," using your sloppy food doctrine. Here is more shrill vegan propaganda:
New York Tims wrote:Many Struggling With Prescription Drug Costs
September 13, 2012
...

Nearly half (46 percent) of American adults take prescription drugs; the average is 4.1 prescriptions. A fourth of those ages 18 to 39 regularly take two prescription drugs, the report noted, suggesting that a reliance on multiple drugs is no longer confined to older Americans.

The poll was conducted in May and June by the Consumer Reports National Research Center using a telephone survey of a total of 1,158 interviews with adults 18 years of age and older. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

...


But don't worry, this is just propaganda. Two anonymous nicknames you will never likely meet say that feel and variability from one human to the next, is the basis of health. Surely they must have felt something before they got to the median American average of 4.1 prescriptions! Or could that hypothetical question be more vegan propaganda?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PorkChop » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:02 am

Thrasymachus wrote:@Porkchop:
First off, you come to a thread about vegetarianism and make a claim that one day a week you went vegetarian, and that it is not working out! Did you expect everyone to kiss your butt? If that is what you call trying it says enough. Besides, like I wrote before vegetarianism is a near useless terms, in terms of health or suffering alleviated, the crux is how much animal proteins and fats you consume or don't.

Second, if what you are saying was true and feel or feeling was an accurate yardstick, how is the country you are living in a natural disaster area in terms of chronic health issues, with most the adult population needing prescription drugs just manage to get to the next day(see the link I gave Yudron)? Surely all the millions of smokers could just feel the microchanges to their lungs and stop before they get to the point of lung cancer? Surely all the obese, cow eaters, would have noticed sooner and stopped? However, sadly this is not the case. Feel is not a good determinant. And actually about McDonalds's, no I disagree, when I ate it, I remember it tasting abnormally fantastic, because it is chemically engineered to be so by top food scientists. I don't know if that would be the case now, nor will I try. That is the crux of the problem, most modern people seek the pleasure they cannot find elsewhere in life, in food, and it makes them feel good in a sense, despite the tremendous health costs. Another aspect is that animal products store toxins in the body, especially in fat cells. Further plant foods are generally known to release toxins, specifically greens and especially juiced greens. So if you are very unhealthy, starting to eat healthy will actually make you feel worse than you have in years, as you detox.


I guess you're not much of an athlete.
Yes, even an average gym rat can tell when something's killing his/her performance.
That includes smoking, drinking, and eating McDonald's.
You get very sensitive to changes in your routine and diet.
You know when something's making you feel weak & lethargic.
You know when your nutritional needs aren't being met.
Some pro athletes like Mac Danzig can make veganism work very well for themselves.
Other pro athletes like Frank Mir try it out and find it doesn't suit them.

As far as what I thought coming here?
I thought maybe compassion wasn't just lip service and maybe I'd get some encouragement instead of judgement.
You like to conveniently skip my first post on this thread, where I mentioned 2 prior attempts (a month in duration and 12 days).
I'm sorry, but if the insulting language doesn't let up, I'm done with you.
I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:20 am

That is your example? I actually watch the UFC and know well what goes on in that sport. Frank Mir, quit veganism because he said he could not keep the weight on. He is for reference to those who don't know, a 6'3 professional fighter weighing 260+ pounds, competing in a quite violent sport called MMA, where people fight each other standing and on the ground(unlike boxing). They professionally train physically for hours each day, which you likely are not doing. Weren't you however writing that you wanted to go onto a diet to lose weight and writing about concerns of the battle of the bulge?
Porkchop wrote:viewtopic.php?f=66&t=213&start=1860#p143098
Only lasted 12 days this year and gained over 10 pounds in that time, but at least didn't feel sick, just very, very hungry.

For reference other MMA fighters that went vegan, dropped down in weight, which is actually what most the Amerian population needs to do too. It seems to me you argue whatever you want and flip, flop around.

Also I don't share the conception of compassion that prioritizes humans, and even then in a compartmentalized, selfish manner. Two of my married neighbors are overweight. Probably they eat many animal products. Many Americans maintain that choices are all consumer choices, and that one choice is the same as every other and why cannot everyone accept them. However those neighbors have a child of fourteen, who I never see outside. How do you think his weight is? You see, things are not so simple. Here is a TED Talk about the effects of social networks on people, and how surprise, people in social networks with lots of overweight people are more likely to be overweight. So the world is not exactly as you want to present it. So how is it compassionate when you are not only making animals suffer, but radiating it outward the humans around you?

When I wrote before that humans are not physiologically adapted to eating meat, it is something that is really backed by research.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby porpoise » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:30 am

PorkChop wrote:
porpoise wrote:
Zealot wrote:We can try to minimize it by altering our diet from meat to vegetarian, but even that kills insects and likely other small mammals like those posts farmers often kill when seen near their crops.


Sure, but isn't the point to minimise harm? And in any case feeding grain to people is far more efficient than feeding the grain to animals and then eating the animals.


Not to be difficult, but do you think you could run the numbers for the amount of grains an animal would eat in its lifetime to feed x number of people for x amount of time (the meat from most animals is more than a single meal for a single person) vs the amount of grains x number of people for x amount of time?
I mean if you're going to make the claim that it is "far more efficient", it's not unreasonable to provide facts...
Otherwise, it's just pure speculation...


See here:
http://www.ethicalvegetarian.com/arguments.html
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby porpoise » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:04 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:When I cook for myself, I eat tofu.
But I live in a house where I cook for people who eat meat.
When there are leftovers, I eat the meat that would otherwise get thrown out.
Does this meet your high moral standards?
.


That sounds very reasonable to me.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nemo » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:32 pm

porpoise wrote:
PorkChop wrote:
porpoise wrote:
Sure, but isn't the point to minimise harm? And in any case feeding grain to people is far more efficient than feeding the grain to animals and then eating the animals.


Not to be difficult, but do you think you could run the numbers for the amount of grains an animal would eat in its lifetime to feed x number of people for x amount of time (the meat from most animals is more than a single meal for a single person) vs the amount of grains x number of people for x amount of time?
I mean if you're going to make the claim that it is "far more efficient", it's not unreasonable to provide facts...
Otherwise, it's just pure speculation...


See here:
http://www.ethicalvegetarian.com/arguments.html


That site is worthless.

1) Eating meat is not at all required for health. There have never been any bulletins or recommendations saying that "we need to eat more meat (for health)". Not from the medical community (beholden to the pharmaceutical industry), not from health agencies (indebted to special interest groups). Not even the powerful meat industry has ever dared make such an outrageous claim. In fact, the converse is true: every recommendation you have ever seen always stresses that we need to eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables for our health.

2) There is no nutrient in meat that cannot be found in a vegetarian diet. No one can deny this.

3) There is no disease where eating meat is required for the treatment or cure of the disease.


Carnitine is an amino acid that many people cannot produce in sufficient quantities to meet their needs. It is only found in meat. Where my grandfather is from as many as one in fifty have primary carnitine deficiency( a genetic anomaly) to the degree that it can cause cardiomyopathy and death. Without carnitine supplementation on a veggie diet I waste away and look like I am on chemo. (I would say my people are physiologically adapted to eating meat to the point that without it we die Thrasymachus.)

Secondly without population control feeding grains to animals or humans is irrelevant. Norman"The Man Who Saved a Billion Lives" Borlaug already tried to feed the hungry. He doubled crop yields over a large portion of the planet. All that happened is a few billion more people were born and now there are more hungry people than ever. The sheer number of additional people the extra food will create will use even more resources and accelerate our environmental decline.

So all you have is ethics. Try that route.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Zealot » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:05 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:@Zealot:
I used to think like that before going vegetarian, but I realized something:
If you eat meat under any circumstances you are no longer an example of an alternative for others. However if you refuse to eat meat those who care for you and love you will cook and eat more vegan or vegetarian meals themselves. So if you are strict, it radiates outwards. If you make exceptions it creates implosions inwards.

You mean I'm no longer a good example for you, I think :P .

If someone asks my dietary preference, I tell them meatless, I'm mildly lactose intolerant, and excess garlic and onions upset my stomach (also there's the caffeine sensitivity, but that doesn't usually come into play with meals) and those who love and cook for me regularly respect those preferences. There are two splits of Americans whereas diets are concerned in my view: Those who eat what is cooked for them, and those who endlessly try to find healthier alternatives. I tend to fall into that latter, but I also hate to offend. My desires to eat meat don't well up because I eat them. Take beef for an example; in the post I made about eating dinner with a Buddha, HE Garchen Rinpoche had me sit down and eat a meal with them. The meal contained beef, something I had not had in seven years. What should I have done? Tell him thanks for the offer, but I don't consume the stuff you're polluting your body with? I think it makes everyone much happier to practice acceptance, sit down and enjoy what's offered. I certainly experience a small amount of discomfort about eating beef, but the overwhelming emotions in my mind then and when I think back on the experience is happiness, compassion, and contentedness.

porpoise wrote:
Zealot wrote:We can try to minimize it by altering our diet from meat to vegetarian, but even that kills insects and likely other small mammals like those posts farmers often kill when seen near their crops.


Sure, but isn't the point to minimise harm? And in any case feeding grain to people is far more efficient than feeding the grain to animals and then eating the animals.


I have often heard (and qutoed) that it takes 10 calories of grain to make 1 calorie of beef. This seems to be just something many of us have heard without substantial backing. Doing a little research I found this, however: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/660S.long
The meat-based food system requires more energy, land, and water resources than the lactoovovegetarian diet. In this limited sense, the lactoovovegetarian diet is more sustainable than the average American meat-based diet.

I hope you guys don't find that study useless :)

As far as minimizing harm; I completely agree. That's why I don't buy meat. But meat bought by someone else and cooked by someone else IS wasted if not eaten, isn't it? It's like eating leftovers in my mind; it's not the most glorious or preferable thing in the world, but man it sure beats throwing it out.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:33 pm

Nemo wrote:... (I would say my people are physiologically adapted to eating meat to the point that without it we die Thrasymachus.) ...


That is nonsense, clearly most meat-eaters on this site are not familiar with anatomy, anthropology, etc, on the matter, nor any of the advances in nutritional and epidemiological research. Hunting is hard and brutal, even with modern rifles it is often hard and difficult in most locales in the world for us humans. So how do real life obligate carnivores do it?

Peter Apps wrote:...
When plenty of food is available lions gorge themselves into near immobility.

African lion males swallow up to 35 kg, and females up to 22 kg, which is 15 per cent of their body, weight, at a single meal sitting. This is five times their average daily need.
...

Wild Ways: Field Guide to the Behaviour of Southern African Mammals. p. 76.


davidandersonsafaris wrote:http://www.davidandersonsafaris.com/fau ... /lion.html
... and is an adaptation to a feast or famine regime; predators can never be sure of when they will next eat.


Milton R. Mills, M.D. wrote:Vegsource: The Comparative Anatomy of Eating
...

The saliva of carnivorous animals does not contain digestive enzymes. When eating, a mammalian carnivore gorges itself rapidly and does not chew its food. Since proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes cannot be liberated in the mouth due to the danger of autodigestion (damaging the oral cavity), carnivores do not need to mix their food with saliva; they simply bite off huge chunks of meat and swallow them whole.

...

Striking differences between carnivores and herbivores are seen in these organs. Carnivores have a capacious simple (single-chambered) stomach. The stomach volume of a carnivore represents 60-70% of the total capacity of the digestive system. Because meat is relatively easily digested, their small intestines (where absorption of food molecules takes place) are short, about three to five or six times the body length. Since these animals average a kill only about once a week, a large stomach volume is advantageous because it allows the animals to quickly gorge themselves when eating, taking in as much meat as possible at one time which can then be digested later while resting. Additionally, the ability of the carnivore stomach to secrete hydrochloric acid is exceptional. Carnivores are able to keep their gastric pH down around 1-2 even with food present. This is necessary to facilitate protein breakdown and to kill the abundant dangerous bacteria often found in decaying flesh foods.

...

The human gastrointestinal tract features the anatomical modifications consistent with an herbivorous diet. Humans have muscular lips and a small opening into the oral cavity. Many of the so-called "muscles of expression" are actually the muscles used in chewing. ...

Human teeth are also similar to those found in other herbivores with the exception of the canines (the canines of some of the apes are elongated and are thought to be used for display and/or defense). ...

Human saliva contains the carbohydrate-digesting enzyme, salivary amylase. This enzyme is responsible for the majority of starch digestion. The esophagus is narrow and suited to small, soft balls of thoroughly chewed food. Eating quickly, attempting to swallow a large amount of food or swallowing fibrous and/or poorly chewed food (meat is the most frequent culprit) often results in choking in humans.

Man's stomach is single-chambered, but only moderately acidic. (Clinically, a person presenting with a gastric pH less than 4-5 when there is food in the stomach is cause for concern.) The stomach volume represents about 21-27% of the total volume of the human GI tract. The stomach serves as a mixing and storage chamber, mixing and liquefying ingested foodstuffs and regulating their entry into the small intestine. The human small intestine is long, averaging from 10 to 11 times the body length. (Our small intestine averages 22 to 30 feet in length. Human body size is measured from the top of the head to end of the spine and averages between two to three feet in length in normal-sized individuals.)

The human colon demonstrates the pouched structure peculiar to herbivores. The distensible large intestine is larger in cross-section than the small intestine, and is relatively long. Man's colon is responsible for water and electrolyte absorption and vitamin production and absorption. There is also extensive bacterial fermentation of fibrous plant materials, with the production and absorption of significant amounts of food energy (volatile short-chain fatty acids) depending upon the fiber content of the diet. The extent to which the fermentation and absorption of metabolites takes place in the human colon has only recently begun to be investigated.

In conclusion, we see that human beings have the gastrointestinal tract structure of a "committed" herbivore. Humankind does not show the mixed structural features one expects and finds in anatomical omnivores such as bears and raccoons. Thus, from comparing the gastrointestinal tract of humans to that of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores we must conclude that humankind's GI tract is designed for a purely plant-food diet.


Also humans have historically ate, and are likely adapted to eat insects, which proud meat-eaters, and so called primal Paleo fad-ists, shy away from:
Paleoveganology: What, No Bugs?! -- Paleo-Diet Paper Reveals Glaring Blind Spot

So yes, obviously humans are not very adapted to eat meat, it is very hard to hunt even now with our present rifles. Before it was even harder. We never had the ability to massively gorge on meaty meals like carnivores or omnivores. However can people eat meat? Yes, but they certainly don't thrive on it. Take a serious look around you, most the people you interact with are dealing with the diseases caused by their insistence of eating an animal protein heavy diet, they are maladapted to. If humans were well suited to eating animal products, which is what every North American eats for every meal of every day, then they would be in excellent health and not walking chronic disease factories.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:55 pm

Thrasymachus wrote: Take a serious look around you, most the people you interact with are dealing with the diseases caused by their insistence of eating an animal protein heavy diet, they are maladapted to. If humans were well suited to eating animal products, which is what every North American eats for every meal of every day, then they would be in excellent health and not walking chronic disease factories.


Ummm...you should go hang out with Eskimos, Mongolians and Tibetans. Very healthy, generally, and their diets are very heavy in meat.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:07 pm

Umm... once again you are wrong. They lived short lives and no one has seriously advocated that other people's should adopt their diet for that reason. However there is talk of adopting aspects of the Okinawan or the Mediterranean diet(specifically the diet Cretan Greeks ate in the beginning of the 20th Century). All the long lived people consume a minimum of calories from animal sources. All the short lived peoples consume a maximum from those sources. As I wrote earlier, Tibet, despite being a huge landmass barely supported much of a population until recently. Why? Because places where many plants don't grow are marginally habitable for humans.

STEFANSSON V wrote:ESKIMO LONGEVITY IN NORTHERN ALASKA
Source: SCIENCE Volume:127 Issue: 3288 Pages:16-19 Published: 1958

In summary, Northern Alaska Eskimos diet had been solely carnivorous for centuries, until the arrival of a white man. There is no data available on the health of Northern Alaska Eskimos before that. Nevertheless, the earliest available data from around the time where they were still following their traditional carnivorous diet for at least 10 months of the year, suggests that Northern Alaska Eskimos look great (beautiful and athletic) when they are young, but then they age quickly and people living beyond the age of 60 are rare.

...

"Beginning with the 1890's we have statistics resting on birth, baptism, and death certificates made by medical missionaries. Based on these formal documents is the conclusion that the longevity of northern Alaska Eskimos is greatly inferior to ours."

...
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:32 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:Umm... once again you are wrong. They lived short lives and no one has seriously advocated that other people's should adopt their diet for that reason.


Living a long life is not the same as living a healthy life.
One could have a short, healthy life or a long sick life.
Until the mid 20th century, 50 or 60 was usually the end of the line for most healthy people.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:37 pm

I am not disagreeing with you that vegetarianism is good for one's health or that it is kinder to animals.
But in the context of Buddhism,
show me how being a vegetarian reduces ego-clinging.
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