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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Paging Dr. Vegetarian

Written by PETA | January 25, 2010
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Doctor

Hospital employees should be ambassadors of good health—and Chattanooga-based Memorial Health Care System is embracing this theory. Well, sort of. The company has announced that in an effort to “further our mission of building healthier communities,” it will no longer hire smokers and tobacco chewers. Smooth move? It seems so—after all, as FierceHealthCare.com points out, “On average, smokers cost employers between $2,500 and $4,000 annually for healthcare costs in comparison to nonsmokers.”

But why stop there? Let’s not tiptoe around the tofu anymore. We’ve written to officials at Memorial Health Care System urging them to take it a step further and implement a “vegetarians-only” hiring policy for area hospitals.

Here’s just one example of why a vegetarians-only policy makes sense: Maybe more than anyone else, hospital employees should have an understanding of and appreciation for the effects of an animal-free diet on human health. Sadly, during a recent hospital stay, my mom was stuck eating PBJs day in and day out because the attendants who took her meal requests didn’t know what “vegan” meant and seemed not to want to bother to figure it out.

People, I ask you: How’s that possible?! Our nation’s heath is at stake: While politicians argue about health care legislation, emergency rooms all over the country are bursting at their sliding glass doors with victims of America’s three biggest killers—heart disease, strokes, and cancer, the origins of which are often traced back to meaty, cheese-laden diets. Forget pill-poppingprevention of these diseases is our (and animals’) best bet.

If schools knowingly hired alcoholics to drive school buses, then we as a society would be outraged. I can hear parents crying out, “Irresponsible! Dangerous! Bad example!” Shouldn’t we be equally appalled that hospitals continue to hire meat-addicted, unhealthy health care workers to spoon-feed Salisbury steaks to our sick and injured friends and family members? Becoming stronger and healthier starts with the food that goes into our mouths—and can be as simple as saying “Sayonara, salami. Hello, gardein!”

Written by Karin Bennett

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  • Michael J. McFadden says:

    I lived and worked in a largely vegetarian activist environment during the later 1970s. I remember vegetarians arguing that meat eaters had a different and distinctive body/breath odor than vegetarians. I believe I *may* have seen some documentation since then relating to ketones that *may* back that up – although note the emphasis on “may.” In any event, one commenter noted, “Also, unlike smoking, which harms many people (some are super sensitive to smoke that if they smelled the residue off a doctor’s coat they can have an asthma attack), being a vegetarian or not only affects the doctor’s health.” Give me 900 million dollars a year to run a “Meat Control” campaign (which is about what “Tobacco Control” currently gets) that reaches into kindergartens and MTV with the message that “Corpse-Eaters Stink!” and “Meat Smells Kill Babies!” and “Karnivores Kill!” and suchlike, and I can guarantee you that after 20 years we’d have vegetarians demanding “meat-free” doctors. See http://www.TheTruthIsALie.com and read Lie #2 for a sense of how extreme the antismoking movement has become in this regard. Or read my Aftercomments to Dr. Kabat’s article on “ThirdHand Smoke” at: http://www.cupblog.org/?p=493 Finally, for anyone who says “My meat eating isn’t hurting you.” take a quick look at this five second video of a Burger King smokestack in Doylestown PA: http://www.smokersclubinc.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4415 Third Hand Meat is just as real, and just as ridiculous, as Third Hand Smoke. Careful Carnivores… they WILL come knocking at YOUR door someday. Michael J. McFadden, Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Finally got sick of trying to prove we shouldn’t eat meat at all using the inherently unhealthy Western diet often irrelevant andor total BS factoids and random ethical statements eh?

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “But now let’s have a look at the Big Mac” Is this really necessary? How many times do I need to tell you “NO ONE DOUBTS THAT THE MCDONALD’S DIET IS NOT HEALTHY!” All I’m saying is that meat can be part of a healthy diet. If you’re not addressing that then you’re wasting your breath agreeing with something I’ve already stated repeatedly. The fact that people buy 550 million Big Macs per years does not change this fact. It simply means that there’s no shortage of people who aren’t concerned with pursuing a healthy diet. “Yeah but the QP has a lot more saturated fat.” Not that it matters since neither the burger nor the fries are good food choices. Point was that the terms ‘meatless’ and ‘unhealthy’ aren’t mutually exclusive and that you were wrong in saying that a burger would blow the 10 quota. “As far as heart disease in WWII…” and calorie restricted diets also supposedly decrease heart disease. By such means resumption of normal caloric intake postwar could also result in a parallel increase in heart disease. Like I said too many confounding variables to make a valid conclusion. And naturally even if meat were solely the cause it still wouldn’t have any bearing on any of the points I’ve made. “6 12 large potatoes will more than cover it as well as supplying at least some of the micronutrient requirements” “SOME” of the micronutrients. Not “ALL”. Where exactly does this apply to anything? You presented the potato to counter the challenge to produce one class of plant food that provides all essential nutrients. How does mentioning the fact that it’s a decent yet nevertheless incomplete source of nutrition fit into this discussion? “…but your diet is far from average” The validity of my arguments has nothing to do with their prevalence in practice. “I would still propose that the average veg diet is healthier than the average meatcontaining one” I don’t ever recall contesting this fact. It’s been reconfirmed overandover again that vegetarians as a group in general are more healthconscious than the majority of the population. The average person rarely considers the food they shovel into their mouths and lack the knowledge to make good food choices. It’s pretty much required that a vegetarian considers every novel thing they put in their mouth to avoid animal products and acquire basic knowledge of nutrition in the process of learning to eat right as a veg. “The industrial livestock industry is the progenitor of global environmental problems of mammoth proportions.” Yet in “Livestock’s Long Shadow” the UN investigators did not even suggest reducing meat consumption to solve the problem. They cited major contributing factors to be 1. Geographic separation of the cattle and their feed crops disrupting the cycle that would normally restore nutrientdepleted soil which results in topsoil erosion and burning of oldgrowth forests for new cropland both of which release fixedcarbon and disrupt the carbon cycle 2. Intensive unsustainable farming practiced by commercial ops and thirdworlders to produce crops for both animal and man. 3. Unsustainable grazing practices. 4. Lack of incentive to motivate farmers to prioritize stewardship over maximized production. Long story short reduction of meat consumption would only delay the adverse outcome as would total abolition of meat consumption. Farming practices in general need to be revamped. This is another case where the ‘animal’ portion of an industry is being singledout by people who want to use it to sell their ethics. It is the biggest contributor to the problem in the agricultural industry without a doubt but getting rid of it without making drastic changes in the other segments will eventually yield the same result. “The conditions animals suffer in factory farms and during slaughter requires us to willingly suspend our humanity” And for omnivores who find factory farming reprehensible there are more ethicalnaturalhumane alternatives. How something is produced has nothing to do with whether it should be produced unless there are no other options. “But judging by the many highly successful vegan athletes…” There’s more to health than one’s ability to perform physical activity optimally. I’m pretty sure I already said I had no doubt that responsible veganism wouldn’t overtly harm anyone. “Also remember that science does not and cannot prove or disprove everything. Sometimes a little intuition observation simple logic or deduction saves the day ” I find it ironic that the majority of your list of alternatives to the scientific methods are the specific terms used to describe the elements that make up the foundation of said method. The remaining term intuition is a personality trait essential to be successful as a scientist. Without it you’re just an overeducated lab tech. “AS the ADA reports…appropriately planned vegetarian diets…are healthful” Note the term “appropriately planned”. Oh? You think I’m nitpicking? Here’s what the ADA says “The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential.” So they’re basically saying every vegetarian should consult with a dietitian to determine an appropriate diet. If that’s not enough read the position paper and see how many times they emphasize planningand a study where the average vegans they sampled had brittler bones than omnivoresa fact that was easily remedied by making certain that vegans consumed enough calcium. Why you agree with them at all is beyond meespecially considering their publicized eating plan pretty much requires you to not be vegetarian. According to the ADA’s ‘Step up to Nutrition and Health’ pamphlet “A healthy eating plan Includes lean meats poultry fish beans eggs and nuts.” “a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease” Observe the definition of vegetarian for the associated statement ” A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat including fowl or seafood or products containing those foods.” Meaning that these diets included both eggs and dairywhich you consider unhealthy. Even my diet isn’t optimal by their standards.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama You said “A single burger from McDonald’s contains 80 fat caloriesheck even a Quarter Pounder stays under 200.” A baby burger no problem and yes the Quarter Pounder does stay just under. But now let’s have a look at the Big Mac. McDonald’s estimates 550 million Big Macs are sold each year in the U.S. and they contain 29 grams of fat 261 calories albeit probably not all meatderived fat. A McD Angus burger has 350 calories from fat. Certainly some plant foods consumed frequently by vegns do contain a lot of fat though as you are no doubt aware the vast majority of these fats are of the more benign unsaturated variety. Is it not accurate to surmise that one of the reasons you eat fish is for it’s ostensibly healthpromoting fats as certain types of PUFA and MUFA may perhaps be beneficial? Even still some advocates of the vegan diet such as Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. recommend avoidance of highfat plant foods altogether. You said “In addition a medium french fries 100 vegan is equivalent in fat to the Quarter Pounder.” Yeah but the QP has a lot more saturated fat. It’s true that the fries are 100 vegan now but formerly they contained a beef component. As far as heart disease in WWII keep in mind that one of the building blocks of atherosclerotic plaques is cholesterol. Only animal foods are a source of cholesterol we of course make all we need on our own and don’t require outside dietary supplementation. The dietary resumption of cholesterolcontaining animal products after the war could have caused a parallel resumptive increase in atherosclerosis and cardiac events. The Potato Revisited As far as meeting one’s daily essential amino acid needs on a vegan diet 6 12 large potatoes will more than cover it as well as supplying at least some of the micronutrient requirements. So while not the only food you’ll ever need the lowly potato is not such a comestible slouch after all. Based on a 154 lb. adult male Source USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference 2005. You said “I have also said that I’m not aware of any evidence that a healthy by my standards diet containing meat is any worse than a vegetarian diet overall. ” By your own stated “standards” I would certainly agree with that. Even though you eat fish your diet probably is in essence more plantbased than a lot of diets pursued by lactoovo vegetarians. If 95 of your weekly calories come from nonanimal sources then a typical lo veg probably consumes more animal products than you. I would agree your “meatcontaining” diet is probably as healthy as the average lo veg dietbut your diet is far from average. I would still propose that the average veg diet is healthier than the average meatcontaining one and your own personal dietary choices lend credence to my belief. Your dietary standards are lightyears different from what the average person perceives to be a healthy meatcontaining diet. And if your standards don’t agree with your actual practices then you know what you are. You said “What I have said is that there is no evolutionary history to suggest that man is indubitably herbivorous.” And as I have previously mentioned I’m interested only in the hereandnow. The industrial livestock industry is the progenitor of global environmental problems of mammoth proportions. The conditions animals suffer in factory farms and during slaughter requires us to willingly suspend our humanity and live cloaked in denial and selfimposed ignorance. Those are my prime concernshealth issues are secondary. But judging by the many highly successful vegan athletes who naturally pursue only intelligentlyplanned vegan diets I have hopefully very little to worry about on the health front. AS the ADA reports “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets including total vegetarian or vegan diets are healthful nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” As the ADA also stated in their July 2009 Position Paper on Vegetarianism “The results of an evidencebased review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol levels lower blood pressure and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits vegetables whole grains nuts soy products fiber and phytochemicals.” Also remember that science does not and cannot prove or disprove everything. Sometimes a little intuition observation simple logic or deduction saves the day witness Dr. John Snow and his hunch about the pump handle.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “it was you who tried to represent the Inuits as a peoples who thrived even though they consumed a diet high in animal flesh” I mainly brought up the Inuits to exemplify a culture that can and does consume raw meat since you were asserting that people don’t naturally eat meat because ‘most’ only find it palatable when cooked. The remainder was an aside which I long ago clearly stated I disagree with in light of better sources. Is there really a point in continuously trying to prove me wrong in a topic I was never arguing for was uncertain of from the very beginning “some say that” and already explicitly stated was incorrect? All Inuitrelated discussion beyond that point was just to point out flaws in the studies you cite. “httpwww.ajcn.orgcgireprint279916″ Ah n217much better. This paper actually does support the conclusion you think it does. Congrats! Sadly like I said I’m not asserting otherwise. “I’m glad that you admit you were wrong.” I always admit when I’m wrong and I always check my sources when available. “though the use of the other foodstuffs was minimal” You call 150g of pork fat minimal? That’s 1350 calories! That’s over half of the daily calories. The quote would have been more accurate had it said “People eating nothing but animal fat have all their nutritional needs met”and even that would have been totally wrong yet more accurate. “In case you forgot I had already mentioned that foods whether plant or animalbased with significant protein are acidic by nature.” Hmm here’s what I sawand it doesn’t look like what you are claiming to have said. Plus wasn’t it you who took issue with me telling you to remove “animal” from the phrase “animal protein”? 1. “Animal protein’s highly acidic nature requires buffering…” 2. “Animalbased proteins are much higher than plantbased proteins in those particular amino acids and thus wreak more havoc on a person’s bones” The last time I checked the only thing you admitted was that grains have protein in general not that they are also high in the same amino acids that are considered to be ‘bad’. Do you or do you not concur that adherents to the ‘avoid acidic foods’ philosophy recommend not eating much grain? “Who’s trying to extrapolate backwards?” Huh? Did you forget the following statement Mike “Who’s trying to draw conclusions from only two of its members? This is additional substantiating evidence to my earlier cited post on Inuits and osteoporosis. Since you feel that presentday Inuits may have strayed from their traditional diet I think we can safely say that 500 years ago these two women would have closely adhered to the Eskimo highanimal protein diet with the resultant deliterious health effects.” Isn’t that you trying say you can that your n does not equal 2 because you can “add” the results of the modern study to the ‘two ladies’ from 500 years ago? You have n2 oldschool Inuits and a pile of modern Inuits that supposedly have much different about their habits and diets. You can’t combine them. You have two undoubtedly traditional Inuitsthat’s all. Trying to add the modern Inuits to make an assumption about the traditional Inuits is backwards extrapolating. “Kalama what do you think of when someone says “plantbased diet?” Most people interpret that phrase to mean a vegetarian or nearvegetarian diet.” My perception of the term “plantbased” has always been accurate. Why you’re suddenly concluding I have ever thought it meant anything other than vegetarian or nearvegetarian is beyond me. Furthermore it has no relevance to that particular line of discourse. Let’s recap Mike “Since humans can and do develop atherosclerosis this is a strong indication that we fare best on a vegetarian diet.” note you said ‘vegetarian’ not ‘plantbased’ Kalama Atherosclerosis can and does develop in herbivores that consume no meat. Thus you can’t soundly conclude that atherosclerosis ‘proves’ we are herbivorous Mike “Funny then that a lowfat PLANTBASED diet is the one that has caused proven regression of atherosclerotic plaques…while a MEATBASED diet caused the plaque formation in the first place” Kalama You can’t use MEATBASED diets to prove all diets CONTAINING meat are bad. I eat a little meat. Have you proven that being herbivorous is better than my diet? Mike Don’t you know what PLANTBASED means?and most people eat meatbased diets. See suddenly off track at this pointwhat’s your point? So you insisted that people were herbivorous then used the fact that a PLANTBASED not necessarily veg diet is better than a MEATBASED diet to prove your point? Then you complained that I didn’t know what plantbased meant and that most people consume meatbased diets in order to refute my claim that no matter how bad a meatbased diet is you can’t prove that we’re herbivorous by repeatedly proving that people who eat the “McDonald’s Diet” is bad? Apples to apples buddy. You gotta compare apples to apples that’s all there is to it. If you don’t do that you can’t prove anything. The funny thing is that despite your ‘plantbased definition’ rant you were using PLANTBASED evidence to justify a claim about being VEGETARIAN despite the terms not being totally synonymous. “I think it’s time you took a reality check. Your example tilapia is a very low fat meat” Here let’s put things in perspective for you Mike Quinoa says “Give me an example of a lowfat meatcontaining diet” Kalama says “How’s this diet which includes gratuitous portions of tilapia?” Mike Quinoa says “NO FAIR! TILAPIA’S LOWFAT! ONLY BURGERS COUNT!!!” In explicit terms I gave tilapia as an example because it’s easy to fit into a lowfat regimen without resorting to portion control. There are no shortage of options that can fit into the 10 fat scheme. As I already stated salmon which is not lowfat and poultry which can be lowfat are both easy to fit into this dietary structure. “Scarf down a single burger patty and you’ve blown your daily 10 fat allotment….While it’s not impossible to get this amount of fat from plant sources most people in reality just don’t consume that many nuts or avocados.” Bzzzt! Wrong! A single burger from McDonald’s contains 80 fat caloriesheck even a Quarter Pounder stays under 200. In addition a medium french fries 100 vegan is equivalent in fat to the Quarter Pounder. Anyhow are you dense? Have you not figured out that one of my overarching themes is that there are things that are bad in both the meat and nonmeat camps? Perhaps it’s you who requires a reality check. If you can’t fathom average Joe vegetarian going over 200 fat calories per day then you really need to look at common foods. One SINGLE serving of peanut butter would violate the 10. One SINGLE serving of slivered almonds plus a ‘heart healthy’ portion of oatmeal would violate this. Half an avocado plus one serving of Edensoy original soymilk would violate this. One serving of Thai tofu curry would violate this. These are single meal combos that hit the 10. There are bound to be thousands of common combinations that vegetarians actually consume that would violate a 10 fat quota so don’t act like it’s only ‘normal’ to exceed that amount on a meatcontaining diet. “While it’s true that calories were scarce for most in Nazioccupied countries it was the dearth of animalderived calories that reduced cardiac events” You do realize that no matter how many times you repeat this it’s not true without supporting evidence. You just need to accept the fact that there are too many confounding variables to soundly make this claim. On what basis can you toss out all the other variables which there were no shortage of and claim “meat did it”. Learn to recognize when an example is logically unsound and drop it already. “A person today could follow a lowcal but highmeat diet and would in most cases be on the road to heart disease” Could they? Not that I disagree in the majority of scenarios but is there such a study that shows meatbased restricted calorie diets cause heart disease? If your time is so limited I suggest that in the future you restrict your comments to topics that are actually being debated instead of wasting it attacking things I’m not asserting defending etc. I also suggest you focus on not repeatedly bringing up evidence that eating meat at every day for every meal is bad because I’ve never said otherwise and have never suggested this is what humans evolved to do. What I have said is that there is no evolutionary history to suggest that man is indubitably herbivorous. I have also said that I’m not aware of any evidence that a healthy by my standards diet containing meat is any worse than a vegetarian diet overall. You have yet to actually refute these specific claims. No matter how much you prove we aren’t carnivorous or omnivores with a carnivorous bias you aren’t proving we are naturally or best off herbivores.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama If you remember back it was you who tried to represent the Inuits as a peoples who thrived even though they consumed a diet high in animal flesh. You seemed unaware of the osteoporotic issues they have had stemming from this type of diet. So here’s even more evidence “Eskimos and even whites in the Arctic seem to tolerate the high meat diets well but the longterm effect of this diet in particular on mineral metabolism has not been studied although it is wellknown that a meat diet or high intakes of phosphorus or acid will cause calcium loss. Meat diets have been shown to cause bone rarefaction and among humans vegetarians have less aging bone loss than omnivores.” httpwww.ajcn.orgcgireprint279916 You said “Yeah if that isn’t a biological mechanism that exists solely for meat consumption I’m not sure what is. How can you say no ‘meat adaptation’ exists right after I point one out?” Then you said “Although in the interim I learned an alternative function they have and can no longer consider them a solid exemplar.” Bzzzt! I’m glad that you admit you were wrong. I do admit I was wrong about the potato study involving solely potatoes and water though the use of the other foodstuffs was minimal and potatoes were the sole source of nitrogen. Obviously the site where I obtained the quote as well as I did not review the full literature. Alas since I don’t do this for a living I have only so much time I can devote to posting on The PETA Files. You said “Meat products are not the only things that produce acidic substances in the blood. Most flatout say “meat and grains” when you ask for the foods that are the most acidicand I don’t see any lack of grains in most vegan diets.” In case you forgot I had already mentioned that foods whether plant or animalbased with significant protein are acidic by nature. The epidemiological correlation cannot be discounted thoughfor example in spite of a high calcium content nations with higher dairy consumption exhibit more incidences of osteoporosis. So perhaps there could be diseasemitigating factors with plant proteins. You said “If modern Inuits don’t adhere to the traditional diet then that data can’t be extrapolated to the old Inuits.” Who’s trying to extrapolate backwards? Whatever diet the Inuits actually currently adhere to we can safely assume those two Inuit ladies that lived 500 years ago would have most certainly consumed the traditional animalbased diet and suffered the resultant consequences. You said “…meatBASED diet”this implies that meat forms the backbone of the diet.” Kalama what do you think of when someone says “plantbased diet?” Most people interpret that phrase to mean a vegetarian or nearvegetarian diet. Most people in North America do in fact consume a meatbased or meatcentred diet. Not many meet the recommended consumption of 5 to 10 fruits and vegetables per day and so must satisfy their daily caloric requirements with meat among other foods. You said “The idea is to avoid having your daily fat calorie intake go much beyond 10 of your total daily calories. Assuming a manly 2000 calorie diet you could consume nearly a pound of tilapia per day and still have around 100 fat calories left over to derive from other food sources.” I think it’s time you took a reality check. Your example tilapia is a very low fat meat. Scarf down a single burger patty and you’ve blown your daily 10 fat allotment. The average daily intake of total fat in the United States is 81.4 grams 96.5 g for males and 67.3 g for females. To do some numbercrunching here that represents 732 calories or 37 of the daily caloric intake based on 2000 calories a day. While it’s not impossible to get this amount of fat from plant sources most people in reality just don’t consume that many nuts or avocados. You said “If you say so captain. Just go read any firsthand accounts of the Nazi occupation of France and you’ll find that there were no shortage of people who were just plain undernourished. On top of that fresh fruit and vegetables were also in short supply. Kind of hard to eat too much fat when there’s not much to eat in the first place.” While it’s true that calories were scarce for most in Nazioccupied countries it was the dearth of animalderived calories that reduced cardiac events and aided perfusion. A person today could follow a lowcal but highmeat diet and would in most cases be on the road to heart disease in spite of the low caloric intake.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “The sulfurcontaining amino acids cysteine and methionine though have the most dramatic effect on bone resorption” Yes as I’ve already mentioned I’m aware of this theory and as I’ve already said Meat products are not the only things that produce acidic substances in the blood. Most flatout say “meat and grains” when you ask for the foods that are the most acidicand I don’t see any lack of grains in most vegan diets. If you were to derive equivalent amounts of protein from either meat or grains you’d see there’s no shortage of methionine and cysteine in comparison. And naturally if you eat meat as I’ve been implying one should meat wouldn’t even be your primary source of these amino acids. Granted on the Western diet the primary source of these amino acids would be meat and as such would yield an excessive intake of met and cysalong with excessive protein intake in general. “Right after? I made the post before your comment not after.” Bzzzt! Wrong! I first mentioned heme iron receptors in this context in the preceding major post. Although in the interim I learned an alternative function they have and can no longer consider them a solid exemplar. “Funny then that a lowfat plantbased diet is the one that has caused proven regression of atherosclerotic plaques…while a meatbased diet caused the plaque formation in the first place.” Pay attention to the phrase “meatBASED diet”this implies that meat forms the backbone of the diet. Again you’re stuck comparing a veg diet to the “McDonald’s diet”. How can you not get that this is not comparing apples to apples? You insinuate that you MUST be herbivorous to avoid atherosclerosis but you haven’t provided any evidence that a diet that “contains” but is not “based” on meat is any worse. For example my diet is vegetableBASED. Over 95 of my weekly calories come from nonanimal sources. Do you honestly think that the evidence you refer to applies to my diet? “the absence of meat was the main factor” If you say so captain. Just go read any firsthand accounts of the Nazi occupation of France and you’ll find that there were no shortage of people who were just plain undernourished. On top of that fresh fruit and vegetables were also in short supply. Kind of hard to eat too much fat when there’s not much to eat in the first place. PS. Can you really not think of luxury foods that don’t contain animal prodsthere’s no shortageand the prime ingredient in such things sugar was also lacking in Nazioccupied countries. “Who’s trying to draw conclusions from only two of its members?…I think we can safely say that 500 years ago these two women would have closely adhered to the Eskimo highanimal protein diet with the resultant deliterious health effects.” If modern Inuits don’t adhere to the traditional diet then that data can’t be extrapolated to the old Inuits. Hence n2. It’s like extrapolating from modern Americans to colonists arriving in 1492. Not a conclusive assumption at all. Of course if you’d been keeping up you wouldn’t have wasted your time trying to disprove something I’ve already amended my opinion on in light of more reliable information. “May be may not be. I don’t read minds. If you say your choice is ethical I accept that but don’t expect me to be clairvoyant.” You’d do well to remember that the next time you try to put words in my mouth. Funny how you conveniently opted to clairvoyantly ‘translate’ my original response instead of just ‘accepting’ it. Now that you’ve provided a fictitious source I’ll be expecting good sources to justify your statements from here on out. In the interest of saving time I was giving you the benefit of the doubtbut while it’s understandable if one makes erroneous conclusions based on incomplete researchit’s unacceptable to confidently present BS as fact when it’s obvious that it’s BS.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “Apparently I can and it’s not a class but a single vegetable. And I quote “In fact while not recommended it has been proven that humans can survive for long periods of time in excellent health by satisfying their bodys entire nutritional needs with potatoes and water alone.” All I can say is classic. It’s the classic “Mike quotes a source he’s never seen” tactic. Observe 1. The quote does not appear in the cited article. 2. Nothing in the article provides justification for the quote. 3. The cited article does not involve a diet of potatoes and water. read it it’s free 4. It involves a diet of potatoes along with apples and pears tea and coffee salt and butter or pork fat 120150 grams daily! 5. Even with all the bonus foods you missed it only analyzed nitrogen and behavior. 6. The only conclusion in the paper was that potatoes were a good source of nitrogen. How am I to take anything you say at face value if you continue to fail to recognize when fiction is presented as fact? Now back to the matter at hand Go look at the nutritional analysis of a potato and you’ll see it’s not even a good source of every simple nutrient you find on the ‘nutrition facts’ label. Assuming the RDA is somewhat rational you’d need to eat 100 potatoes per day to get the suggested amounts of Vitamin A and E. Let’s have fun with math. FNB estimates it takes 4 months to deplete vitamin A stores to the point where some bodily functions will be disrupted. This means you lose about 1120th of your vitamin A per day. This means that 100 daily vitamin A is equivalent to 1120th of your vitamin A storage. If you consume 2000 calories per day you will consume less than 8 of the recommended vitamin A. Just to make the math nice and slightly biased in your favor we’ll say you get 10. This means you are losing 1120 and gaining 11200 for a daily deficit of 91200. If you continue eating only potatoes you assuming you are average will exhaust your vitamin A buffer in approximately 134 days. Even by rudimentary nutritional standards a potato is not a complete nutritional source. Where does ANDI say leafy greens are sufficient providers of all required nutrients? All I see them saying is that they’re good for calcium in place of milk. You’d need to eat 9 pounds of kale per day just to meet the average suggested calorie intake that weight’s nearly double what most people eat which would give you over 120g of proteinand would still leave you wanting in no small number of common vitamins. Sorry but these examples don’t cut it even remotely. “Please give an example of a meat that’s not highfat and highprotein.” Huh why? If you claim to eat a lowfat diet that includes avocados do you need to provide an example of an avocado that’s low in fat? What part of “meatcontaining diet that is not highfat high protein” are you not able to comprehend? Don’t confuse “meatcontaining” with “meatbased”.The idea is to avoid having your daily fat calorie intake go much beyond 10 of your total daily calories. Assuming a manly 2000 calorie diet you could consume nearly a pound of tilapia per day and still have around 100 fat calories left over to derive from other food sources not that I’d recommend eating that much tilapia per day. Salmon is also relatively easy to fit into such a diet as are any number of other seafood and poultry options. And the diet I’ve been mentioning all along doesn’t even include meat on a daily basis so voila…a reasonable chunk of meat or two weekly isn’t going to yield any form of highfat high protein diet unless you’re an idiot and eat burgers. And just to provide perspective avocados coconut milk and almonds would violate this 10 fat guideline faster than any of the aforementioned options since a higher percentage of their calories are derived from fatand a single tbsp of vegetable oil would take you more than halfway toward that quota. You’ve already said that you’re fine with diets containing nuts so is it that hard for you to envision a nutcontaining diet that isn’t highfat? If you can image that then you should be mentally capable of doing the same for meat considering there are plenty of meats with less fat than nuts.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama This is only a partial response since you’ve brought up many points that due to work constraints I just don’t have the time to address at this moment. By definition any food containing significant protein which would of course include beans grains nuts and seeds contains amino acids. The sulfurcontaining amino acids cysteine and methionine though have the most dramatic effect on bone resorption. Animalbased proteins are much higher than plantbased proteins in those particular amino acids and thus wreak more havoc on a person’s bones. Cheese for example is a very acidic food. Epidemiology tells the story. The countries that consume the most dairy suffer from the most osteoporosis and viceversa. “I assume you mean no novel adaptation such as preferred iron uptake via heme iron receptors. Yeah if that isn’t a biological mechanism that exists solely for meat consumption I’m not sure what is. How can you say no ‘meat adaptation’ exists right after I point one out?” What evidence do you have that iron receptors for either heme or nonheme weren’t preexisting in humans before the advent of meat consumption? Are the receptors different or just the type of iron they’re receiving? Man would need some method of meeting his iron dietary requirements probably long before he began consuming meat and thus some form of iron receptors would have to already be in place. “How can you say no ‘meat adaptation’ exists right after I point one out?” Right after? I made the post before your comment not after. “Not all meatcontaining diets are highfat highprotein and I’ve not once suggested we’ve evolved to handle a highfat highprotein diet.” Depends upon how you define “highfat highprotein” and the amount of meat contained in the diet. The meat portion of the diet would certainly be highfat highprotein. Please give an example of a meat that’s not highfat and highprotein. “Insisting that human atherosclerosis ‘proves’ we should be herbivorous is an illogical assumption.” Funny then that a lowfat plantbased diet is the one that has caused proven regression of atherosclerotic plaques in the work of such doctors as Dean Ornish Caldwell Esselstyn John McDougall and Michael Klaper while a meatbased diet caused the plaque formation in the first place. “What about the near absence of coffee sugar and pretty much every imaginable luxury food in general? I guess the rationing which kept people from eating excessively couldn’t have had anything at all to do with this either? Yep the improved health was indubitably only due to eating less meat right?” Truethe absence of meat was the main factor. The Nazis removed all the livestock which would also remove those countries’ access to milk butter and cheese. Not sure how you define “luxury food” but many people in the world would refer to meat in that context so yes that was gone also. “Not to mention the inherent fallacy of even attempting to draw conclusions on an entire population from only two of its members.” Who’s trying to draw conclusions from only two of its members? This is additional substantiating evidence to my earlier cited post on Inuits and osteoporosis. Since you feel that presentday Inuits may have strayed from their traditional diet I think we can safely say that 500 years ago these two women would have closely adhered to the Eskimo highanimal protein diet with the resultant deliterious health effects. “I’ll totally ignore the fact that Kalama’s choice to only eat wildcaught fish may be ethical in nature.” May be may not be. I don’t read minds. If you say your choice is ethical I accept that but don’t expect me to be clairvoyant. “Can you name a single class of vegetable that provides all needed nutrients?” Apparently I can and it’s not a class but a single vegetable. And I quote “In fact while not recommended it has been proven that humans can survive for long periods of time in excellent health by satisfying their bodys entire nutritional needs with potatoes and water alone.” Kon S The value of whole potatoes in human nutrition. J Bio Chem 1928 22 258. Even still according to the ANDI it’s leafy greens that are actually at the pinnacle of the nutrition heap.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Just so you get an idea about how you argue lets examine your responses in the ‘milk’ portion of the conversation. Kalama MILKDRINKING humans developed lactose tolerance in a 711000 year period. Mike Most people are lactose intolerant. that’s because most people didn’t drink milk so it has absolutely no relevance to the statement Mike Only humans drink other animals’ milk. yes and those that did developed lactose tolerance just like I saidstill totally irrelevant Mike Humans can only drink milk because of a genetic mutation. How else would lactose tolerance develop? How else would any other capability develop? I could say carnivores only became able to eat other animals because of genetic mutation but that doesn’t change the fact that they are able to eat meat. Mike Nutrients from milk can be found in other sources oh really? Absolutely fascinating! But how does that fact change the fact that humans that drank milk became lactose tolerant? Kalama You misunderstand. “I identified this event as it shows a timeframe in which significant physiological adaptation of the digestive system can occur.” Mike Most people are still lactose intolerant That’s nice but the ones that aren’t STILL developed lactose tolerance in 711000 years Mike Why would we require milk from another species? Huh? Who said anyone required nonman milk? Mike People that drink lots of milk get osteoporosis and milk is bad for you. I don’t recall saying anything whatsoever about whether or not we SHOULD drink milk. So why bring this up? People STILL developed lactose tolerance irregardless of whether milk is good or bad. Kalama “To reiteratethis was simply to address a time frame in which overt dietrelated genetic changes can occur.” Mike The lactose intolerant population isn’t ‘large’ it’s most of the world Broken record much? You think bringing up the population size for the 3rd time will finally make it relevant to something I’ve said? You think the fact that the group of people that didn’t drink milk historically has some effect on the much smaller group that did?again this has no relevance to any of my statements Mike Just because we can digest it doesn’t mean its good for us Never said it was… Mike Even if we can digest it we still get osteoporosis. What part of saying humans developed lactose tolerance implies that we can digest it perfectly and that it should be our primary food source? None because I never said thatso why bring it up yet again? Mike Other animals don’t need to drink the milk of different species Again? This was never even remotely implied by anything I said and it wasn’t relevant the first time! why bring it up again? So why exactly did you continue to espouse the horrors of milk when I never even made a statement saying a single positive thing regarding milk? Tell me what statement did I make that required you to make the same response in triplicate? Do you agree or disagree with the following statements 1. Man that drank milk developed lactose tolerance within 711000 years. 2. Development of lactose tolerance is an overt change in the digestive system. If you agree with those two statements then everything you’ve said about milk was pointless since I haven’t said a single other thing about milk.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “I at no time consented…to engage in a formal “debate on the evolutionary basis of human omnivorism” I know that trying to change the topic is one of your favorite pasttimes from previous experience but every point I’ve brought up is in regards to this issue and you attempt to refute my statementsthus you are in a debate on that topic. The only way you aren’t is if you are refuting points I’m not makingwhich would technically make you insane because you’d be responding to imaginary statements. What exactly do you think you are debating with me? You literally have stated you are ‘responding’ to me but for some reason think you aren’t responding to the topic I’m discussing. You seem to think you’re in a debate to prove that vegetarianism is the best dietbut I don’t recall ever making any statements on that issue with the exception of those made in response to assertions you made trying to tie dietary preferences and outcomes to omnivorism. You nag me to respond to certain questions and try to ‘call me out’ on them despite the fact that they’re offtopic. When I tell you that exact thing you ‘translate’ the response. Was that supposed to make me look like a hypocrite or something? I’ve said the whole time that man’s evolutionary history suggests we should eat small amounts of meat and I eat small amounts of meat….so what? “Though most humans are de facto omnivores that does mean that omnivorism is the ideal human diet.” Odd you think I missed this point considering I’ve repeatedly told you the evidence you cite does not support this assertiononly that highfatmeat diets are not good which is a conclusion supported by every statement I’ve made. “As I posted before most humans are de facto omnivores but that does mean that biologically omnivorism is the ideal human diet.” Same as the previous quote. You can’t back this statement up without showing that a ‘healthy’ omnivorous diet is worse than a ‘healthy’ vegetarian diet with an identical nutritional profile. As far as I’m concerned your provided evidence thus far may as well have stated “vegan diet is better than Cheetos diet”. Not to nitpick but I do find it interesting how in both of these statements making identical points that you left out the word ‘not’. “I’m acknowledging that most humans practice omnivorism” This point doesn’t require acknowledgment. It’s like acknowledging the sky is blue. “but I’m also stating that I believe vegetarianism is a more healthful diet for humans.” minus the aforementioned evidence of course. “…before his peaceful demise at age 95. So a human is obviously capable of thriving on a purely herbivorous diet.” Observe my previous statement “I have no doubt that veganism wouldn’t overtly harm me. However I’m more concerned with subclinical effects.” How does a guy living an overtly normal life address my concern? All you’re doing is giving an example of a fact I’ve already stated. “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating” Already had read it. As usual written by a biased PCRM MD. 1. He makes multiple assumptions about what an omnivore is and does not allow for more than one omnivorous phenotype. 2. He declares that an omnivore must be “a carnivore that shows some gastrointestinal tract adaptations to an herbivorous diet”. 3. He declares that carnivorous digestive systems are more primitive which suggests that the herbivorous digestive system arose from the carnivorous digestive system yet for some reason implies that only a tiny fraction of the plethora of transitional states that may have existed between a fullcarnivore and a fullherbivore can be dubbed ‘omnivorous’. 4. He thought his treatise out so well that he stated that carnivores must be able to capture and kill prey which neglects to consider that many animals are scavengers and thus have no need to do these things. 5. He cherry picks his comparisons highlighting differences between humans and carnivores while ignoring difference between humans and herbivores and vice versa. I must also admit that your use of cats and bears to justify your belief that humans are biologically herbivorous is somewhat amusing as well considering you spent months arguing that you can never use animals to draw conclusions about human biology. In all honesty insistence that there exists an archetypal omnivore is laughable. Technically there isn’t even a single archetypal herbivore so the evolution of multiple herbivorous phenotypes without the existence of multiple transitional phenotypes which could only be regarded as omnivorous is not logical. It’s like saying evolution could produce a horse digestive system from a bear digestive system without any producing any other omnivorous intermediates. Such a fact pretty much makes it impossible for a ‘true omnivore’ to exist. The ‘true omnivore’ suggested by Mills is simply an early transitional form that more closely resembles the carnivorous system it evolved from.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama I will as usual respond to your responses when I’m able I’m working 7 days in a row at the moment but for now please get one thing straight. I at no time consented nor was requested to engage in a formal “debate on the evolutionary basis of human omnivorism.” This subject is of limited interest to me. And while I realize there’s some crossover I’m more involved in the hereandnow benefits of vegetarianism. As I’ve stated twice but you somehow seemed to miss “Though most humans are de facto omnivores that does mean that omnivorism is the ideal human diet.” “As I posted before most humans are de facto omnivores but that does mean that biologically omnivorism is the ideal human diet.” To paraphrase I’m acknowledging that most humans practice omnivorism but I’m also stating that I believe vegetarianism is a more healthful diet for humans. In fact the man who coined the word vegan Donald Watson had not eaten meat for 80 years and had been vegan for over 60 years before his peaceful demise at age 95. So a human is obviously capable of thriving on a purely herbivorous diet. If you Google “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating” by Dr. Milton Mills you will find an indepth morphological comparison of carnivores herbivores omnivores and humans and you can come to your own conclusions. Dr. Mills might be the one interested in debating you on the evolutionary basis of human omnivorism. Anyway I will get back.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “Never said you did. It’s not a “large population” it’s the majority of the world’s population” Again timeframe purposes. Does the size of the population affect the ability of development of lactose tolerance to demonstrate a timeframe in which significant change of the digestive system can occur? No. You’re still missing the point. Population size is 100 irrelevant to my assertions. People who drank milk changed over a very short period of time. People who didn’t did not. I can’t dumb it down for you any more than that. Does population size affect either of those assertions. No. Pretty much everyone’s ancestors has been eating meat and vegetables for over 2.5 million years. If milk can go from undigestible to digestible in 7000 years then why’s it so hard to believe 2.5 million years of omnivorism wouldn’t contribute to our current state? “Also there is no corresponding parallel human digestive adaption between dairy and meat…No such novel adaption has occurred in regards to animal flesh” I assume you mean no novel adaptation such as preferred iron uptake via heme iron receptors. Yeah if that isn’t a biological mechanism that exists solely for meat consumption I’m not sure what is. How can you say no ‘meat adaptation’ exists right after I point one out? “People the world over are susceptible to the ravaging effects to the human body that develop when one pursues a highfat highprotein animal foods diet” Can you assert that following a highfat highprotein vegetarian diet would not cause the same effects? Can you assert that following a diet which includes meat but that is not highfat won’t cause the detriments aforementioned. Yes. For the billionth timeyou yourself cited a meateating study that ‘cured’ diabetes that was mistakenly dubbed vegetarian. Not all meatcontaining diets are highfat highprotein and I’ve not once suggested we’ve evolved to handle a highfat highprotein diet. “I personally would find a totally raw diet a bit boring. Nonetheless it still can be a perfectly adequate diet nutritionally.” …your point is? A meatcontaining diet can ‘be a perfectly adequate diet nutritionally’ as well. All I see is you repeatedly providing evidence that the typical Western diet is badwhich is something I’ve already said repeatedly. Congratulations on agreeing with me and providing no evidence that a meatcontaining diet that is low in fat and does not contain copious amount of protein is any worse than a responsible vegetarian diet. “A purely herbivorous diet is very unlikely to initiate atherosclerosis.” The elephants were purely herbivorous yet they still developed atherosclerosispossibly due to reasons you mentioned. The point was “meat is not required for atherosclerosis”. Insisting that human atherosclerosis ‘proves’ we should be herbivorous is an illogical assumption. All it suggests is that diets high in fat and cholesterol should be avoided by animals that are not carnivoreswhich humans are not. “During World War II in Nazioccupied European countries…” What about the near absence of coffee sugar and pretty much every imaginable luxury food in general? I guess the rationing which kept people from eating excessively couldn’t have had anything at all to do with this either? Yep the improved health was indubitably only due to eating less meat right? “As far as B12 in the past…” I simply argued that the way humans handle B12 suggested that we did not eat large quantities of meat. I did not name the original source since there is no evidence suggesting how ancient hominins acquired their B12. However there is absolutely no doubt that they consumed meat and that limited meat would provide sufficient B12. “As an interesting sidebar an obligate carnivore like a cat…” Off topicno one is arguing that humans are obligate carnivores so there’s no reason for them to display every single feature seen in an obligate carnivore many of which are probably inconsistent even between obligate carnivores. “Dr. John McDougall clearly demonstrates…” The same Dr. John McDougall who cared so much about his citations that he mistakenly claimed a study using a vegetarian diet cured Type II diabetes when the diet actually contained meat? Not to mention the inherent fallacy of even attempting to draw conclusions on an entire population from only two of its members. All I know is that I’ve never claimed to be an expert on Inuits and that the only thing I know for sure is that they eat raw meat. That’s why I brought them upbecause you insist that we’re herbivorous because most people like cooked meat. I just caught wind of the supposed lack of Western problems and mentioned them. I never claimed they were certain “…some say that…”. With more time to look at it I’ve pretty much concluded that evidence is stacked against that interpretationwhich is totally fine with me since I’m an advocate of a lowfat lowprotein diet which an Inuit diet clearly is notand this change has no bearing on my overarcing point anyhow. See I’m a big boyI clearly denote when I’m skeptical of the things I’ve heard and am capable of retracting such statements provided sound contradictory evidence. I’ve noted that the general habit around here is to ignore things that clash with your ideas or make counterpoints that don’t address the initial point under debate. “Sushi is a unique example of a meat that is eaten raw” How does this affect my argument any? It only strengthens it. Culture determines our views on raw meat. Originally all hominins ate raw meat. Eventually all started cooking it to various degrees. Some cultures did not cook everything. They still find raw meat appealing while other cultures do not. The fact that an American doesn’t salivate upon seeing a dead cow does not make man herbivore by default. Americans generally don’t get excited about plain rice eitherwhile many other cultures doyet you do not see me claiming we’re carnivores because not every human on Earth likes plain white rice. “A human can survive quite nicely on a purely plantbased diet” A human can survive quite nicely on an omnivorous diet. People on both diets can fail to thrive if they do not eat properly. “but cannot on a diet solely composed of meat” I suppose that’s why we’re not carnivoresbut as usual such a statement does no more to prove we aren’t omnivorous than a statement such as “but cannot survive on a diet solely composed of fruits” A carnivore is optimized to acquire all of its needed nutrients from a single type of food. Can humans say the same? Can you name a single class of vegetable that provides all needed nutrients? Humans need to acquire nutrients from multiple sources. Meat is simply one of the options that we’ve been using since long before we were human to begin with. “but as time goes on the public is getting wiser” and yet none of the most responsible and wellresearched food pyramids in existence today ie Harvard Food Pyramid even imply you need to be vegetarian to be healthy. The only thing they assert is that certain things like fat need to be eaten in limited quantities and that gasp beef is bad since it’s nearly impossible to eat any and remain in acceptable limits of fat and protein intake. “Translation “I don’t eat meat because it’s bad for my health.” Translation I’m so desperate to derail this debate on the evolutionary basis of human omnivorism that I’m totally incapable of accepting that Kalama’s dietary decisions had absolutely no influence on the preceding 2.5 million years of human evolution. On top of that I’ll accuse Kalama of having motivations that make it look like he thinks meat is bad even though I totally missed the point that he’s a huge fan of ‘limited meat consumption’ which is exactly the level of consumption he insists we’ve been optimized over the course of evolution to deal with. I’ll totally ignore the fact that Kalama’s choice to only eat wildcaught fish may be ethical in nature. If we combine this thrilling conclusion with the USDA food pyramid controversy and a bunch of quotes showing eating lots of meat every single day is bad no one on Earth will possibly believe we’re omnivores.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “Animal protein’s highly acidic nature requires buffering by a basic substance such as calcium to keep blood pH within its narrow parameters” You need to remove ‘animal’ from your statement. Any high protein food is capable of being converted into acidic substances. Allow me to quote info provided by Tufts University proponents of an alkaline diet “proteins and cereal grains are metabolized to acids” and if you check around you’ll find various nuts beans soymilk etc. on the list of acidic foodsbut note that the science is so untested that the lists are largely inconsistenton some lists soy milkprotein is considered worse than turkey chicken cow milk and fish in this regard. “most dairy foods including milk are metabolized to compounds that are essentially neutral” “Nor must people become vegetarians to maintain strong bones.” “This does not mean that older people many of whom chronically consume too little protein should avoid this essential nutrient which helps prevent frailty” …so what are the take home messages here 1. Too much protein is bad 2. You can get too much protein without eating meat 2. Too little protein can cause other problems. 3. You don’t need to go veg to meet the requisites. 4. Milk an animal product is not broken down into acids

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama You said”I know there’s a large population of lactoseintolerant humans never said there wasn’t.” Never said you did. It’s not a “large population” it’s the majority of the world’s population. As well the countries of the world that consume the most dairy have the most osteoporosis regardless of their geneticallyadapted ability to digest dairy. Dairy has also been implicated in the development of Type 1 diabetes in juveniles. Even if the whole world developed the ability to digest cow’s milk does not mean this would be healthbeneficial to humans. Isn’t it strange that every other species has no requirement for milk past the age of weaning? Also there is no corresponding parallel human digestive adaption between dairy and meat. A minority of the world’s population have retained the ability to digest cow’s milk past their infancy. No such novel adaption has occurred in regards to animal flesh. People the world over are susceptible to the ravaging effects to the human body that develop when one pursues a highfat highprotein animal foods diet. Humans like a lot of animals arewere to some extent opportunistic feeders. They must eat whatever food is available just to survive. But just because we CAN eat certain foodsor are capable of killing and eating any animal on earthin no way implies that these foods are good for us. Excess protein is a contributing factor to osteoporosis. Animal protein’s highly acidic nature requires buffering by a basic substance such as calcium to keep blood pH within its narrow parameters. This is accomplished by bone resorption of calcium to maintain a constant blood pH value. “Many vegetarian foods aren’t suitable or desirable for raw consumption.” And many are. There are people who successfully pursue a raw vegan diet and not only thrive but extoll the virtues of it. I myself do cook some things because I personally would find a totally raw diet a bit boring. Nonetheless it still can be a perfectly adequate diet nutritionally. Herbivorous animals are the only animals who are subject to developing atherosclerosis. Carnivores do not develop this condition. Atherosclerosis can also be precipitated in herbivorous animals such as your elephant example by injury to the arterylining endothelial cells. I’m just guessing but maybe such things as stressinduced chronic high blood pressure can damage the normally smooth walls of the arteries making transient blood fats more likely to adhere to artery walls and form plaques. Researchers wishing to induce atherosclerosis in lab animals which I object to by the way can easily do so by feeding a high cholesterol or high saturated fat diet to vegetarian animals such as rabbits and monkeys. A purely herbivorous diet is very unlikely to initiate atherosclerosis. Since humans can and do develop atherosclerosis this is a strong indication that we fare best on a vegetarian diet. During World War II in Nazioccupied European countries there was very little meat available to the residents of those countries. Doctors there noticed a drastic reduction in the number of cardiac events among these populations at that time even though it was a time of high stress. After the war when people resumed their prewar levels of meat consumption cardiac events returned to their prewar levels. As far as B12 in the past people were able to fulfill their requirements foraging for ground plants. In recent times produce is so well washed and antiseptic that residual B12 is very rare. One study showed that B12 levels in a group of Iranian vegans who ate minimallycleaned produce were adequate even without the use of any supplementary B12. Your average vegan though would be welladvised to regularly take a B12 supplement. Once people reach middle age even meateaters are advised to supplement. As an interesting sidebar an obligate carnivore like a cat has the ability to synthesize Vitamin C. Since a cat consumes very little vegetation except sometimes for medicinal or emetic purposes this ability is essential. Humans cannot synthesize C but this is normally not an issue since we obtain plenty of this vitamin from the fruits and vegetables we consume. Still more indication we are primarily a vegetarian species. As far as your comment about the Inuits a quote from an article by Dr. John McDougall clearly demonstrates that the dangers of an animalbased diet have existed for a long time “And proof of the Eskimos’ affliction with “thin bones” can be found in bodies that are centuries old. Two women about 20 and 40 years old when they died were buried in an ice flow in the Arctic more than 500 years ago. Recently their wellpreserved frozen bodies were discovered and autopsied. The examination showed that both women had suffered from extensive atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.” Sushi is a unique example of a meat that is eaten raw. Ask any sushieater to eat raw beef and they’ll probably look at you as if you’re crazy. There are people who eat raw meat but as I stated previously I personally don’t know any nor do most people. As I posted before most humans are de facto omnivores but that does mean that biologically omnivorism is the ideal human diet. A human can survive quite nicely on a purely plantbased diet but cannot on a diet solely composed of meat. The human body has no requirement for animal flesh whatsoever. Still more evidence we are primarily a vegetarian species. The Basic Four Food Groups chart was invented in 1956 to promote the sale of meat and dairy. The meat and dairy industries made sure the average school kid was indoctrinated with this misinformation but as time goes on the public is getting wiser. You said “My food preferenceideology has no bearing on the matter.” Translation “I don’t eat meat because it’s bad for my health.”

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Because time is limited and I opted to focus on things that actually pertain to whether or not man in biologically omnivorous. My food preferenceideology has no bearing on the matter. I don’t really see any point in polluting the debate with unrelated issues.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama I will respond to your lengthy post early next week I’m busy all weekend. In the meantime though one question that I posed to you you failed to address Why do you personally not eat meat?

  • Kurt K says:

    This is a good debate gentlemen. Please keep going. Go Colts!!

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    …and just to underscore once more that hunting ability has little to do with meat consumption since you obviously missed it the first few times I mentioned it… …prior to the development hunting tools there is physical evidence hominins were eating meat. The general consensus is that man was originally a scavenger. Or in simpler terms since I used the same term previously and it didn’t sink in hominins ate the leftovers of animals killed by other predators. At this point it should be becoming quite evident to you that superb hunting skills are not required and that there’s no shortage of animals that obtain their meat by not only waiting for a better predator to do the killing but also do a little preparation as well ie. vultures will wait for other animals to expose carrion meat when they are unable to tear the skin etc.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “Doesn’t change the fact that the majority of the world today is still lactoseintolerant” What part of frame of reference are you missing? I know there’s a large population of lactoseintolerant humans never said there wasn’t. Point was they didn’t start drinking milk 711000 years agowhile those who did drink milk adapted. To reiteratethis was simply to address a time frame in which overt dietrelated genetic changes can occur. If milkdrinking humans develop the ability to more efficiently and comfortably consume milk in that time span why would you insist that similar changes would not occur in response to over 2.6 million years of limited meat consumption? Yes I’m aware of osteoporosisbut I haven’t even suggested that we’re optimized for milk drinking. Nor have I suggested that our milkinspired dietary evolution is complete and as such detrimental consequences are expected. If it weren’t for modern meds keeping people alive who do become sick as a result of milk consumption do you not think that within the next 2.6 million years natural selection would weed out many of the ‘defects’ of the digestive system that lead to adverse outcomes provided milk consumption remained at the current levels? FUrthermore our unnatural consumption of milk beyond infancy has no relevance to the debate of whether or not humans are natural meat consumers Milk is not meatand we haven’t been consuming milk for 2.6 million years. “Well we haven’t adapted very well at least to meat” Evolutionary history suggests that humans are natural consumers of LIMITED amounts of meat. As such any evidence suggesting “meat is bad” based on excessive meat consumption which is the norm in the Western diet fails to refute my argument. Young adult Americans with atherosclerosis in the 1960s? All I can say to that is ‘DUH’. What’s surprising about that outcome in people who grew up in the 50sthe decade where TV dinners packaged meals and fastfood came into prominence? What else supports this concept?B12 is good for this. Most reliably found in meat under natural conditions. Stored long term in the body and excreted very slowly which implies that the human body isn’t expecting to have its stock resupplied frequentlywe treat B12 like camels treat water. If ancient hominins ate as much meat as we did currently there’d be no need for this system. “Animals truly designed to eat meat can handle unlimited amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol without developing a trace of atherosclerosis” This statement may or may not be true when you consider longtime carnivores. in other words I don’t feel like factchecking that extreme of the spectrum So tell me then what exactly did herbivorous elephants do to deserve atherosclerosis? They don’t even eat meat. Does the fact that they develop atherosclerosis following an herbivorous lifestyle suggest they are not herbivores? Hardly and as such it’s expected that man being optimized to consume limited meat can’t handle “unlimited amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol”. Why would an animal that consumes a large amount of plants evolve a system geared toward primarily eating meats? It wouldn’tso stop suggesting that this is what I’m implying. You should also consider the fact that humans have specific receptors for taking up heme iron in the intestine. You’ve mentioned it previously so I assume you know heme iron is animalsourced. Humans are better at absorbing heme iron than nonheme iron. How is the existence of a protein in 100 of the normal human population which is specifically purposed for capturing iron that only comes from animal tissue not evidence that we are naturally consumers of meat? The argument of humans being biologically omnivorous from the perspective of evolutionary design should literally end with that simple fact. 100 of the population possesses an enzyme thought to be tasked solely with extracting iron from meat. “Really? The Inuit have the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world” For the most part I was implying Western disease tied to excessive meat consumption like heart disease. I don’t see excessive meat fat or protein on my checklist of osteoporosis risk factors so I’m not sure why you think this is relevant. Also unless your other sources specifically state that the Inuits who got diabetes were adhering strictly to their traditional dietthen you can’t make that assumption. Allow me to quote an article that an Inuit gave the background info for. “No one not even residents of the northernmost villages on Earth eats an entirely traditional northern diet anymore.” As such recent population data is unlikely to reflect the outcome of following an Inuit diet any more than data on Americanborn Chinese will provide info about the Chinese diet. Why you’ve even bothered mentioning Inuit lifeexpectancy is beyond me. All Native North American groups exhibit health disparities in general when compared to the nonnative population. That’s why groups like the Indian Health Service existto combat the contributing factorsnone of which is recognized to be meat. “Bacterial contaminants on raw meat are not a problem for an animal truly designed to eat meat” Humans haven’t been exposed to widespread common daily pathogenic bacterial contamination of meat for at least 250000 years. Prior to cooking we probably could tolerate common contaminants. In the interim we may have lost some tolerances just like the lactosetolerant population may lose that adaptation if they quit drinking milk for 250000 years. To top it off the bacterial resistances we naturally had were likely tailored toward animals we ate prior to the advent of cooking and the bacteria that contaminated said animals at the time. The possibility that we’ve lost nothing at all remains as the contaminants themselves have evolved over the last 250000 years. Animals that continued eating contaminated meat would coevolve with the contaminants. We on the other hand would not since we’ve been killing the bacteria with heat. “But I personally have never met anyone that eats the stuff” Sushi restaurants are about as common as Starbucks where I live. As long as you consider fish meat there’s no shortage of people who are happy to eat it raw. “I repeat for MOST people meat is only palatable when cooked well and seasoned” OK. Whatever that’s nice. Your point is? Meat is edible without seasoning. Meat is edible without cooking provided it contains no pathogens for reasons previously mentioned. Culture determines people’s views on raw meat Many American see raw fish Ewww! Japanese see raw fish droooool. Whether SOME or MOST people find meat ‘palatable’ without cooking and seasoning has no bearing on whether or not we’re naturally omnivorous. MOST people find raw potatoes unpalatable but not you apparently does that mean we’re not meant to eat veggies…Nope. “Peanuts though technically a legume certainly wouldn’t present much of a challenge to a human.” You were making a point that humans weren’t naturally equipped to hunt and obtain meat without tools and as such are not meant to eat meat. I chose to demonstrate the silliness of this assertion by using nuts. Many require tools to open. Some don’t. By your logic man should not eat nuts he can’t open without toolsbut again somehow brazil nuts and the like are conveniently excluded from your assertions. Soy is also considered inedible without cooking andor some form of processing yet I don’t see you saying humans aren’t naturally equipped to eat that. Point is you can’t make any assumptions about the modern human diet based on our ‘natural aptitudes’. Tool usage has been integral to human existence for so long that using toolless humans to determine what modern humans should eat makes no more sense than determining the diet of a normal cat based on what a declawed cat could hunt. “If he can’t catch and kill any prey with his superior sense of hearing and smell why would you think a senseimpoverished human could?” Did I say a ‘senseimpoverished’ human could catch animals? Nope. Again you miss the point. You were trying to claim that humans aren’t omnivorous because we can’t catch animals without tools which is pretty pointless considering tool use has been a part of hominin cultures for far longer than modern man has existed. Just to further justify the point that capability doesn’t necessarily determine diet I pointed out my dog. My dog can’t catch wild animals yet he is technically carnivorous or at the very least he has known carnivorous roots. If a dog that can’t hunt can be carnivorous then there’s absolutely no reason to believe a human can’t be omnivorous. If I used your logic that capability determines diet then my dog would be classed as an herbivore. Hence the question I posed. “When a black bear comes across carrion…” You do realize that not all carnivores are carrioneaters correct? Here let’s Quinoafy the statement again so you have an appreciation of what the vegetarian equivalent would be. ‘If Mike Quinoa comes across a rotten potato…” “If a human can honestly find that appetizing then roadkill would also set them to salivating.” What part of the effect of culture + 250000 years of cooking on human taste preferences are you not comprehending? “And yes I kind of like raw potatoes…” Missing the point againwhich was that many vegetarian foods aren’t suitable or desirable for raw consumption. Just because you’re an oddball who finds raw potatoes appealing doesn’t change this fact. I bet Mike Quinoa eats things that require cooking andor prefers some things cooked. Possibly even detests some things uncooked. By your logic you are not meant to eat such things since you don’t find them appealing when raw or unprocessed. Pretty much the only way to escape this accusation is to be on a raw food diet. But considering that you’ve neglected to concur that many vegetables that are often consumed are completely inedible without processing I”m assuming you’re just a regular vegetarian who happily consumes all manners of foods that couldn’t be produced without tools happily as long as they aren’t meat.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama Doesn’t change the fact that the majority of the world today is still lactoseintolerant and why would we be the sole species requiring mother’s milk after infancy and milk from a different species at that? Also the countries with the highest dairy consumption have the highest rates of osteoporosis. Dairynot a good nutritional fit. Well we haven’t adapted very well at least to meat. “When they did the autopsy studies it was found in 80 of our GIs during the Korean War at average age of 20 already had gross evidence of atherosclerosis or heart disease that you could see without a microscope.” Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Animals truly designed to eat meat can handle unlimited amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol without developing a trace of atherosclerosis. Humans don’t share this biological trait. I’m curious why you don’t eat meat as opposed to the fish you said you eat yourself though since you seem to be promoting it as natural human sustenance. You said “Yet there are cultures that predominantly eat raw meat tons of fat and almost no plants Inuits and do not exhibit the same problems seen arising from the typical Western highfat highmeat diet.” Really? The Inuit have the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world. “In 1991 life expectancy at birth in the Inuitinhabited areas was about 68 years which was 10 years lower than for Canada overall. From 1991 to 2001 life expectancy in the Inuitinhabited areas did not increase although it rose by about two years for Canada as a whole. As a result the gap widened to more than 12 years. ” Source Statistics Canada. While they do have a higher infant mortality rate other health problems such as diabetes and tuberculosis are also more prevalent among Inuit than in the rest of Canada. Bacterial contaminants on raw meat are not a problem for an animal truly designed to eat meat since the low pH of their stomach acidity unlike the higher human pH would kill these bacteria. Advocates of raw meat consumption claim it is much more nutritious. But I personally have never met anyone that eats the stuff. I repeat for MOST people meat is only palatable when cooked well and seasoned. As far as my “retrieval of fruits found high in trees” I would have no problem and have never had in the past with that since many fruits are readily attainable by the human physique. Have you never picked apples or cherries? You wouldn’t have look up at all to find the strawberries there right at your feet. All kinds of delicious vegetables are grown in the black soil of the Holland Marsh north of Toronto and there’s nary a tree that needs to be climbed in sight. True not all nuts and seeds would be accessible without cracking their shells on a rock but some would. Peanuts though technically a legume certainly wouldn’t present much of a challenge to a human. A human in the right climate similar to the climate we originated in would have no problem thriving on a fruit vegetable nut and seed diet. There are raw vegans consuming that type of diet today. And none of the above foodstuffs require cooking or processing whatsoever. And yes I kind of like raw potatoes but watch out for the poisonous green spots. When a black bear comes across carrion the animal is already dead. If a human can honestly find that appetizing then roadkill would also set them to salivating. I said “Without tools humans would have a hard time sensing pursuing catching and killing even a mouse or a squirrel.” And you replied”My dog can sense mice birds and squirrels but has yet to catch one despite great effortsis he an herbivore?” Well he’s of the Order Carnivora but he doesn’t seem too successful maybe he should go veg which underscores my point exactly. If he can’t catch and kill any prey with his superior sense of hearing and smell why would you think a senseimpoverished human could?

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “Every other animal in the world though pursues a totally raw diet whether meat or plantbased” This has no applicability to whether something is an omnivore or not. However as stated we’ve had at least 250000 years to adapt to cookedprocessed foodsmany of which weren’t processed for the sake of taste but rather for preservation. “Many people would also be repulsed by having to slaughter and dismember an animal themselves” This is hardly justification that we aren’t omnivorous. Welcome to the profanely antiseptic modern world. Americans are disgusted by intestines when they come across them in Asian marketsguess who isn’t? Asians!who just happen to have grown up in a culture where meat isn’t ground down into unidentifiable patties and cutlets. Go to Central America and you’ll find no shortage of people snapping up chickens and slaughtering them in their own kitchens. Even for those who are averse does their psychological response to killing determine their digestive physiology if they still consume meat? “Without tools humans would have a hard time sensing pursuing catching and killing even a mouse or a squirrel.” Is there a shortage of vegetables that are difficult for humans to acquire or obtain without tools? Can you crack hardshelled nuts with your teeth? Can you go vampire on a coconut? If a scavenging omnivore’s hunting capabilities are increased by tool use how does that make it not an omnivore? My dog can sense mice birds and squirrels but has yet to catch one despite great effortsis he an herbivore? The idea that we’re not supposed to eat meat because we can’t catch it is irrelevant. Prehumans ate larger animals before they became proficient hunters. It’s possible that they may have hunted smaller animals. Compared to most animals toolless humans are inept at basic survival in generalwe lack the instinctive knowledge required to indentify safe food sources we can only survive within a very small range of climates we’ve got no defense mechanisms to protect us from predators we’re slow weak and soft. Toss aside human intellect and we’d have been extinct a long time ago. Point tool use is just as integral to humans as claws are to cats. We’ve likely become the way we are as a result of tool use just like domesticated dogs went through distinct physiological changes as they transitioned from the lifestyle of wolves into the lifestyle of refuse eaters. “If an omnivorous black bear comes across carrion he’ll eat it. How many humans would be prepared or have the desire to do the same?” If an herbivorous Mike Quinoa comes across a quinoa plant or raw potato will he find them desirable for immediate consumption? Is Mike Quinoa’s body optimized for retrieval of fruits found high in trees? I’ll point at the Inuits again who suppposedly often eat meat raw from carcasses at the site where they made the kill. I doubt they’re the only culture that has such a practiceand I imagine 2.6 million years ago this was the standard. Long story shorthumans are jack of all trades master of none.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    “Humans that can digest milk past infancy can do so only because of a genetic mutation” Gee that was my point after all. Communities that began drinking raw milk 711000 years ago underwent genetic mutation that enabled them to digest milk. I identified this event as it shows a timeframe in which significant physiological adaptation of the digestive system can occur. We’ve been cooking meat for at least 2235 times longer than that and have been eating meat aided by tools for at least 236 times longer than that. Just to provide context the beloved soybean may have been a part of the human diet for a even less time than milkbut the majority of vegetarians will insist that we’re better off eating something we can’t eat without some form of processing than meat which we’ve consumed for muuuuuuuuch longer. So let’s break it down into a couple questions for you 1. If our pretoolusing ancestors from more than 2.6 million years ago were scavenging omnivores why would tooluse which made meat easier to obtain encourage a situation where natural selection would selectively eliminate our precognitive ability to consume meat? In other words if we already ate meat and got the ability to eat more meat why would our physiology become worse at digesting meat? 2. If they were herbivorous and became omnivorous upon the advent of tooluse would natural selection tend to favor changes that made meat more consumable or less consumable? Point being…within the last 2.6 million years there has been absolutely no selective pressure to drive man from being a natural omnivore to a complete herbivore so why the insistence that we’re somehow herbivorous by nature? “For most people meat is only palatable when cooked well and seasoned” Yet there are cultures that predominantly eat raw meat tons of fat and almost no plants Inuits and do not exhibit the same problems seen arising from the typical Western highfat highmeat diet. Cultures that have cooked for the last 250000 years may have lost any adaptations that were required for regular raw meat consumptionhowever some say that average Joe can consume the Inuit diet and still manage to avoid the expected Western complications which suggests that the ability to consume raw meat has been retained. If we’ve lost anything it’s likely the ability to deal with bacterial contaminants on raw meat that are eliminated during cooking. In regards to palability requiring cooking and seasoning the same can be said of many plantbased foods some of which are pretty toxic without processing cassava some raw beans etc. Not to mention saying seasoning is required is pretty ridiculous considering that spices were largely absent from Western culture until after the middle ages and if you combine other cultures and salt they still only have been used by humans for only 1433 of the time we’ve been consuming meat. Old hominins ate raw meat newer ones ate cooked meat modern ones eventually spiced their meat. How does the fact that we’ve become flavor whores prove we’re herbivores?

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama The majority of people in the world are lactose intolerant and can’t properly digest and assimilate milk past the age of weaning. We are the only species that consumes milk usually cow’s milk at that past infancy. Humans that can digest milk past infancy can do so only because of a genetic mutation. There is nothing nutritionally essential in cow’s milk or milk products that can’t be found elsewhere. Though most humans are de facto omnivores that does mean that omnivorism is the ideal human diet. For most people meat is only palatable when cooked well and seasoned. Every other animal in the world though pursues a totally raw diet whether meat or plantbased. Similarly some humans seem to thrive quite nicely on a raw diet of fruits vegetables nuts and seeds. Many people would also be repulsed by having to slaughter and dismember an animal themselves. Without tools humans would have a hard time sensing pursuing catching and killing even a mouse or a squirrel. If an omnivorous black bear comes across carrion he’ll eat it. How many humans would be prepared or have the desire to do the same?

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    What an elitist copout. There’s absolutely no shortage of blog entries with hundreds of responses and no shortage of multiparagraph entries. Consider thisdairy consumption is thought to have only begun within the last 700011000 years yet within that time human physiology has had enough time to vary to the point where cultures consuming unprocessed dairy products developed significantly better adult tolerance of lactose than those which relied on processed dairy products. Meat consumption dates much further back good luck finding a concrete date Oldowan tools and animal bones showing signs that the tools were used for removing meat have been found which dated from 2.6 million years ago. Hunting spears have been found that were around 400000 years old. In addition we’ve been cooking meat for at least 250000 years. So…meat consumption at least that which had tools associated with it by our ancestral hominins predates modern homo sapiens likely by at least 13 times longer than we have existed as a species and you’re going to say that in that time which is over 350 times longer than it took for humans to develop adult lactose tolerance that we’ve somehow managed to optimize ourselves to be vegans as opposed to infrequent meateaters? Not to mention that this time period was sufficient for many diverse hominins to both come into existence and go extinct entirelyand that biological changes significant enough to make modern language possible occurred. I’m sure you can come up plenty of evidence that humans can’t optimally break down meat to assert that we aren’t carnivores which we obviously are not but reallywhat evidence do you have that we are not omnivores? Or in other words how can you prove we are strictly herbivorous biologically as opposed to omnivorous with a herbivorous bias? What evidence are you withholding that proves that humans have zero business eating any meat whatsoever? I’m not sure what constitutes this ‘true’ omnivore you speak of but restricting categories to herbivores ‘true’ omnivores and carnivores seems a bit absurd to me. Heck even herbivores are subclassed frugivores nectarivores folivores granivores etc.. Would it make sense to insist that there is a ‘true’ foligranivore? Must all ‘true’ foligranivores have identical digestive systems and break down both leaves and grains in exactly the same manner with exactly the same proficiency and consume the same proportions of food from the two available groups? If a foligranivore breaks down leaves with less potentially hazardous byproducts than grains but they retain the ability to digest grains because they are a better or more consistent source of some nutrients that are required for survival or optimal function are they still a foligranivore? What exactly are the criteria that distinguish a folivore from a ‘true’ foligranivore?

  • Derek, MD says:

    Kalama If you really believe that the human body is physiologically designed to eat meat and that humans are “true” omnivores then there is not enough space on this blog for me to teach you that which you do not know in regards to this issue.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Whoa there captain. I never said a meatbased diet was better at ‘fixing’ diabetes. There was another debate where MQ cited studies that ‘cured’ Type II diabetes with a vegetarian dietthe most overtly successful according to number of people stopping meds of which turned out to not even be vegetarian. Most of the cited studies that were successful also implicated fat intake under 10 of total calories as the most critical factoras opposed to low carbs. Of course that criteria can easily be met on a nearvegetarian diet and as far as I’m aware there is no evidence in existence to suggest a vegan diet is any better than a nearvegetarian diet in regards to diabetesor any other health issue for that matter. I also wouldn’t go so far as to claim that the human body isn’t physiologically designed to consume meat. How long has our species done this for? We’re obviously not optimized to be carnivoresie. we’re not designed to eat steak multiple times per weekbut that’s hardly evidence that we aren’t designed for a lesser degree of meat consumption like many other omnivores. I could handle a statement like “Asians aren’t designed for dairy” though considering dairy consumption is a relatively recent addition to humanity and you can actually see ways in which races who didn’t traditionally consume dairy are affected by it.

  • Derek, MD says:

    It’s been a while since I have had time to post due to moving my medical practice however I feel compelled to address a few of the topics broached in this discussion. 1. “I need animal protein to function” sorry but that is not a medical condition. I believe you have a mental block not condition as I once wondered how I could ever give up Milano cookies and milk but I managed to get over that block. Knowing your body would be saying that asparagus and coffee make your urine smell funny…at least they do with me. Saying you were “unhealthy” does not provide any useful information. Everyone looks for a reason to justify why they can’t change indeed behavior modification is one of the most difficult aspects of life. 2. “Vegans need all sorts of vitamins and supplements” a strict vegan who is eating a balanced vegan diet will only need B12. I take a vegetarian multivitamin every day and have no problems with a deficiency. How many nonvegans also take a multivitamin? So much for vegans needing to be pillpoppers. 3. A meatbased diet is not “better at fixing diabetes” than a vegetarian one rather a low carbohydrate diet which can be done as a vegetarianvegan is the true basis for “the fix.” This is very similar to eating Cheerios to lower your cholesterol…it means you are not eating the bacon eggs and buttery toast for breakfast. Also the effect of meat on a body not physiologically designed to effectively consume or process is far more detrimental than a vegetarian low carb diet.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    No thanks I’ll pass. I’m happy being pescovegetarian very infrequent pesco and dairy. We need strict nearvegetarians for datapoints as much as veganshow else will we ever clear up this dilemma about whether meatfree is better than almost meatfree? I have no doubt that veganism wouldn’t overtly harm me. However I’m more concerned with subclinical effects.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama As a researcher you should be willing to do a little research on yourself. Get your numbers done go vegan and then see if there’s any difference in a month’s time. We may never know everything about human nutrition but judging by the many healthy vegan athletes out there giving it a whirl should not cause you any undue hesitation.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Jade In the event that I come off as being in ‘attack mode’ I really am just curious. Particularly since sharing the specifics of your typical diet and the resulting problems could either help people point out some aspect of your diet that may have been lacking…or in the event that nothing was lacking may give a clue about what aspects of metabolism to focus on if one were to look for some ‘defect’ that would cause you to not be able to be vegetarian. I for one am totally aware that the body of knowledge regarding human nutrition is woefully incomplete which is why I’ve never even attempted veganism.

  • Lucky says:

    It’s interesting that the smoking and employment debate is being discussed here because it is actually something that I recently discussed with my mother who is an attorney. If a company is privately owned and operated it is not considered illegal to have a smoking ban. Some may consider it unconstitutional but there is no “right to employment” amendment in the constitution. While it can be argued that employment is “the pursuit of happiness” it wouldn’t take too many interviews to find people who will testify that employment is the source of their unhappiness. To wit it also does not violate any antidiscrimination laws as these laws are not based on lifestyle choice though some may argue religion or even laughably sexual orientation are choices but these are entirely different topics which are not part of this discussion. There is more room for interpretation with employment law when looking at public versus private enterprise. If a casino in Vegas can fire a woman for not wearing makeup and pervail in court true story! then why can’t a hospital only hire healthcare workers that practice what they preach. For those opposed to this idea would you hire a personal trainer that is 100 lbs overweight? Would you hire a nutritionalist that only eats McDonald’s? Just some food for thought.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama The burden of proof lies with the person who makes the assertion. He made the assertion and I’m asking him to back it up. I’ll back up the assertions I make thanks anyway. Jade You’re rightyou know your body I do not. As you mentioned previously your metabolism digestion nutrient assimilation whatever differs from most and I respect that. For the vast majority of people though vegetarian and vegan diets are perfectly adequate for all stages of the life cycle. This is not my opinion but the position of the USDA and the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada. Vegans do have to focus attention on certain nutrients. Though anyone who is a lactoovo vegetarian is like omnivores already consuming some animal products. Most minerals originate in the ground and that’s where plants uptake them from. A cow fulfills her mineral requirements by eating these plants. Iron is essential but too much iron can definitely be a bad thing and the type of iron from plants does differ from animalsourced iron. But with a little attention vegans can fulfill this requirement. According to the latest Position Paper of the American Dietetic Association on Vegetarian Diets “Incidence of irondeficiency anemia among vegetarians is similar to that of nonvegetarians.”

  • Jade says:

    Kalama the best way to say it was when I tried strict vegan even with vitamin supplements I was unhealthy. Add back in the meat fish eggs and milk I was much healthier. Honestly I can’t explain it it’s one of those mysteries of life. This is who I am though and I would tell people the same thing. But as I have said I only ingest what I need to stay healthy. My larger issue with some people in animal rights is that if you eat the most minute amount of animal product never mind that vegetarians do eat parts of animals and insects that are caught in the combines during a harvest you are seen as a murderer or with eggsmilk a robber of life essentially. But for some of us being a total vegan is impossible. Doesn’t mean we like it but that’s a fact you can’t get everything you need from just veggies or just meat you have a balanced diet which is what I have now.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Jade iron’s a terrible example. A potato has a higher ratio of iron to calories than chicken. In addition it provides equivalent iron in about the same mass with 0 fat. Then there’s a single serving of most cereals or fortified products which have more iron than most meats could ever hope to provide. I have my own reasons for not going full veg…but claiming I can’t function without meat isn’t one of them…hence my curiosity. What exact reason did your doctor provide for requiring meat consumption? What health problems clearly related to vegetarianism almost hospitalized you? Can you be lactoovo?

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Jade I’m curious about your mysterious ‘must eat animal protein’ disorder as well. Mike I’m aware that it was a rhetorical questionwhich was why I asked you to answer a corresponding rhetorical question. Neither of you can answer the questions so it does nothing to further the debate. The sensible question would have been to ask for evidence that not eating meat caused heart failure. Since there is most likely no evidence to support this claim Zach would be forced to realize his assertion was incorrect if he actually did care enough to try and find evidence. You in turn could counter the statement by providing information showing that vegetarians don’t have significantly shorter lives than omnivores and also tend not to die of heart problems. As ineloquent as he is Zach is half righteating too much meat is bad just like drinking a corresponding volume of coconut milk would be bad. And since neither of you could define a limit for safe consumption I don’t see any point to pursuing the issue from that angle.

  • Hmm... says:

    It’s unconstitutional to deny work based on one’s dietary choices…What’s next? “Sorry Mr. Smith Your glucose level is too high and unacceptable for this position. Your application has been denied.” Basically I agree that health care workers should lead by example but this is a bit extreme. Ohand I’m vegetarian btw.

  • Jade says:

    Mike the answer is I know my body you do not. I also know what the doctor told me and as I’ve mentioned elsewhere I eat no more than what I need to in order to stay healthy. In short I grow tired of vegetarians who tell me I must have some sort of mental condition when I say I can’t safely be a vegetarian. Yes I’ve tried it to the letter and yes I had some health issues that nearly put me in the hospital. I don’t go and criticize their diet in fact I’ve been on record saying that it’s more power to them if they can do it. But what’s good for Mike isn’t good for Jade necessarily. Also plants do not contain adequate amounts of iron and other minerals that are in meat. Note I do not say none at all Simple research on the subject can prove this. This doesn’t mean I go out and eat one of those dinnerplate sized burgers or a large steak I actually eat reasonable amounts. I’m a healthy weight not obese so don’t try to mix the two words and a lot more active than before. Personally these large eating contests disgust me to begin with those types of things that PETA probably should have a stronger focus on because those lead to these issues of obesity.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kalama It was a partly rhetorical question but since he made the assertion I want Zach to spell out roughly how many grams per day are safe. Jade Though you’ve indicated yours is an extreme case I just wonder why you feel you can’t function without animal proteindoctor’s orders perhaps? Our bodies only utilize amino acids not protein per se. All plants contain amino acids. When you eat a hamburger the vegetarian cow you are eating obtained her size and muscle tissue solely through consuming the amino acids protein found in plants. I’m not aware of any special amino acids that meat contains that plants do not.

  • Kalama Halamezad says:

    Zach since when did not eating meat cause heart failure?…that’s ridiculous. MQ How much of anything is safe to eat? Pasta? Vitamin E? Olive Oil? Avocados? Red Peppers? Soy lecithin? Coconut milk? Partiallyhydrogenated soybean oil? Phytoestrogens? We’re finding negative aspects of overconsumption of things all the timein some cases taking vitamin supplements regularly as directed has actually caused toxic outcomes. Both dietary options are ripe with opportunities to ruin your health if you don’t eat properly. I’d suggest you look at all those “nearvegetarian” diabetes studies that I’m sure you’re aware of if you need some quantifiable amount of safe meat consumption. If those diets are better at ‘fixing’ diabetes than vegetarian diets I imagine they’re good enough to prevent it outright.

  • Ralph says:

    Robin There is a difference between doing something that will only affect yourself vegetarianism and those that can harm others smoking as some can have attacks trigger just inhaling the scent of old smoke on the clothes. The former is a choice that if ill happens to the person because of it it just affects them the latter it will affect both the doctor’s and person’s health potentially. Personally I don’t think they should use either factor as a hiring process even if I find smoking awful. We’ve lost too many good doctors and yes even some that try to use other methods of testing that don’t use animals due to some of these requirements. I can understand the smoking as it does have side effects to those who don’t partake in the event but I don’t agree with it.

  • alina says:

    Gardein is so good. I had the spicy chicken wings…omg! Delicious vegan food.

  • Jade says:

    Actually it isn’t unconstitutional to run a facility that will only hire people who practice what they preach. It would be unconstitutional if they were to fire someone after they hired them with no rules in place. No Robin this is a misnomer we have had people sue and successfully win because there were hiring practices like this. It is indeed my dear against the law save POSSIBLY states that allow unions and there it’s iffy. Even health and weight requirements aren’t necessarily allowed as deterrents in regard to job hiringfiring. I’ve seen fire and police departments hire heavier people they are bulkier not obese but they passed their fitness and other required tests with flying colors. They are also healthier than most people I know of. They also have at least where I live some of the best records in regard to putting out fires and saving lives. A “vegetarian’s only” hiring process is unconstitutional too because there are some people who cannot function without the animal proteins. I myself am one of those people. Yes I’m an extreme case however I’m not the only one and yes it happens to others too. Therefore it’s a discriminating feature. Also unlike smoking which harms many people some are super sensitive to smoke that if they smelled the residue off a doctor’s coat they can have an asthma attack being a vegetarian or not only affects the doctor’s health. Ergo both ideas are unfair practices IMHO and therefore unconstitutional to use as a basis for hiring or firing.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Zach So how much meat is safe to eat? Yeah as long as you don’t sustain yourself with veggie junk food being vegetarian is totally good for your health. Most people I know take vitamins and supplements. The vitamin industry rakes in billions annually. It’s obviously not just vegheads buying these pills.

  • Robin says:

    Actually it isn’t unconstitutional to run a facility that will only hire people who practice what they preach. It would be unconstitutional if they were to fire someone after they hired them with no rules in place. Just as some state jobs like firefighters and police have weight and health requirements so can a health field job. And thank goodness! It is common sense!

  • Zach says:

    Yeah because being a vegetarian is totally good for your health. That’s why many vegetarians have to take vitamins and supplements. Also it’s not eating meat that gives you heart failure. The key to staying healthy while eating meat is moderation. It’s the sheer amount that’s bad.

  • Tom says:

    people should not be penalized on the job site for engaging in legal behavior in their off time. If that alcoholic bus driver was drinking on the job of showing up for work drunk it’s one thing. But as long as he kept his extra curricular activities at home then it should have no effect on his work performance. It is the same with penalizing smokers or meat eaters by denying them employment when their smoking or eating of meat isn’t actually done on the job site.

  • Alyssa says:

    I am a medical student looking to enter the field shortly and I agree that doctors should set a good example. I was outraged when I found out that the hospital where I work funds a lobster boil and a BBQ each year supposedly to promote health in the community… WHAT? There aren’t even vegan options available at these events. Please explain to me how urging the community to consume hundreds of pounds of buttercovered lobster or hotdogs or ribs is at all healthy! I think this nation has its priorities backwards. Prevention should be FIRST and treatment SECOND. Not the other way around.

  • Jade says:

    Problem is this policy they’re implementing is unconstitutional therefore trying to do one regarding vegetarians only would be the same light. Yes doctors do need to look after their own health however they can’t be discriminated against based on their choices.

  • Shelly says:

    I agree 100. Doctors should be thinking of their own health the health of the animals and also set a good example.

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