Their point of view... ON US!
Read this so-called study...sorry, but I like to see what the "other side" has to say about this topic. It freaks me out that ANYONE can say being vegan is harmful to our health. I did not become a vegetation...then vegan.... for health reasons. I became a vegan because of animal abuse and factory farming...but like most of you, I suffer the "great rewards" of our vegan diet. Let them eat their cake. ;D
this is long and detailed:
Oh lordy! That's gonna be fodder for a day of giggles.
That might be the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. The interpretation of the bible is so biased, if one were to put emphasis on other words in the sentence the reverse could be interpreted (that farming is more valued than working with cattle). Also, I think calling vegetarianism a form of child abuse is going just a bit too far. I seriously hope people do not read and believe that article. I respect people's decisions to eat meat to a certain extent, and often some of their reasons are true enoug for me to accept (though not agree with), but this article was a bunch of misinterpreted "balony!" Those "scientific" studies...wow..
Oh lordy! That's gonna be fodder for a day of giggles.
Please don't take this message as hostile or "flaming", but dismissing out-of-hand well-crafted and articulated articles on why vegetarianism is wrong will not help convince others to switch to a vegetarian way of life. And don't get me wrong, I disagree with the article as much as anyone else, but I think the only way to combat reasoned arguments is with *better* reasoned arguments, not "that makes me laugh".
Admittedly I didn't get through the entire article, but some of my objections would be:
- the author claims that a reason not to move to a vegetarian diet is because not all land in the world can be used for farming, but rather would most be effeciently used for animal raising. Assuming this is true (which I find suspect as well), note that he does not make the claim that there isn't enough arrable land for supplying the world with a vegetarian diet, nor does he dispute the claim that farming makes more effecient use of land where it is applicable.
- the moral grounds objection is weak: "Would it be reasonable to ask a lion to justify his killing of an innocent gazelle? Of course not: it is natural for the lion to kill the gazelle and that is justification enough." I'm not a lion, I'm a human being, and unlike lions I have the ability and capacity to reason and develop moral maxims and beliefs based upon observations I make in the world. It's a very weak analogy. Using his reasoning I could make the argument: "would it be reasonable to ask a lion to justify his killing of another innocent lion? Of course not: it is natural for the lion to lay claim to his domain and that is justification enough, therefore it is morally justifiable for me to kill another human being".
- The "e-mail" from the zoologist isn't much of an argument either. Essentially the argument the author presents is: "Animals are killed in the farming process, therefore more animals are killed in the farming process", which seems rather unreasonable. Or even better: "If one acre of land produces one sheep a year for slaughter, one life is taken. If one acre of land is put into cereal production the cost in just mammalian life can be measured in the dozens or more." But of course the fact that the one acre of cereal production land will produce much more food than the 1 acre dedicated to 1 sheep is conveniently forgotten.
The rest of the article (from what I looked at) seems committed to disputing the idea that a vegetarian life is healthy. I'll leave the disputing the claims here to the doctors and nutritionists. :)
I would welcome hearing any other reasoned criticisms (or even support) of/for the article.
"I seriously hope people do not read and believe that article." I'm with you Applelover. It's amazing the number of folks who believe everything they read in Internet "journals"! Is it just becuz I'm a child of the 60's that I don't believe everything I see on the news, read in the papers, or--most certainly!--surf on the Net?
I always find people who can debate without getting emotional more convincing than those that foam. If they have the strength of their convictions there's no need to get all het up, surely.
I'm going with "I think he's a little crazy" on this one.
He obviously done a lot of research, it's just incredibly one-sided research. And the thing I really hate is people comparing a well-balanced omni diet to a un-balanced vegan diet. A vegan is much more likely to make sure their diet is balanced than an omni! An omni doesn't have to continuously tell everyone they meet that they really are healthy - in fact very likely healthier than you.
Oh well, some people are one-sided, bigoted, brainwashed dumb-bums.
We just have to live with it and keep proving them wrong by living longer, and living healthier.
We just have to live with it and keep proving them wrong by living longer, and living healthier.
I love it. And my omnivore-almost-carnivore friend (his idea of veggies = french fried potatoes, ketchup-made-out-of-tomatoes, and the occasional deep fried onion ring) tells me I shouldn't take on so many projects, since, " can't possibly have that much energy without meat."
Edit: *agrees with duckalucky* If only I had found this earlier today, as it would have brightened a rather gloomy day. ;D
Although, I disagree with this article one hundred percent, I do often find many vegans/vegetarians eating more processed foods i.e. fake meat products, frozen vegetarian/vegan entrees, or simple nutrient-deficient foods, therefore, making them more unhealthy than one may suspect.
I have come across many vegan/vegetarians who will read on a tofurkey package 50% less fat than real meat, and think that this imitation therefore healthier. But it's all a silly game these imitators play. Soy, soy, and more soy; 85% of soy beans are genetically modified, kind of scary?
I recently went on a cross country journey of over 11,000 miles zig-zagging around the beautiful U.S. of A... a lot of corn, and a heck of a lot of soy, coincidentally two of the most frequently used products in various pre-packaged foods. Most of these products, or I should say by-products are so far removed from a real grain of corn, or soy bean that our digestive system is like.. "whhaaaaaa..?"
I'm sure most of us have eaten soy-protein isolate, or textured soy protein, it's basically the bowels of the soy bean, the junk left over from extraction of oils or other isolates.
I do love tofu, and tempeh, and other soy-based products, but I'm scared of what kind of machine they are making out of this little bean, that in moderation, can offer some great healthy benefits.
However, as my reasons and understanding of being vegan have evolved, I know that it is not just avoiding once breathing, blood-pumping things and there by-products, it's more than that, especially if we (the vegan revolutionaries) are going to set new standards for society. I think it's a responsibility to a lifestyle, spending time making nutritional foods, and not just running toward the frozen Gardenburger because it's quick.
So although, I would like to agree with the statement that most vegans/vegetarians healthier than their counterparts, which is most often the case, I also feel a little obligated to shake my finger at those that are neglecting the true standards for nutrition.
I was actually thinking about my recent switch to VERY strict veganism, from more of a vegetarian stance. I can't think of a single day when I felt icky from a poor diet. Actually, it is quite the contrary. I feel better, overall, than I have in a long time. My energy is constant (outside of my lupus flares) and I don't feel I am missing one darn thing.
I have been reading this site long enough to understand that very few of us even think about protein as THE essential thing. Since I got off of that idea and looked at how many different and exciting veggies and fruits I can eat, I have felt better than when I worried about vegan protein.
it is all just stupid excuses for eating dead animals. NO THANK YOU.
...dismissing out-of-hand well-crafted and articulated articles on why vegetarianism is wrong will not help convince others to switch to a vegetarian way of life.
Don't take my response as a flame, either-- I'm trying to justify my simpleton titter, so it's going to come across as self-righteous. This statement is correct, of course; however, I don't think a simple scoff is "wrong" when the arguments are very evidently poorly crafted (as you skillfully pointed out later in your review). Furthermore, this isn't my venue for trying to convince people-- even if I did try to proselytize my food beliefs, which I generally don't (though I share my reasons when I am asked).
A disclosure for everyone: although I am a naturally genial person, I have passed the last several years of my life being ground up and then spit out by a graduate program that recruits only people with a demonstrated bent for shredding poor arguments, a hermaneutical turn of mind, and "alpha personalities." It took me three years to be accepted, and I succeeded in getting in only by following the advice of one of the profs: toughen up, be positively nasty, demonstrate that you are a vicious alpha. I did, and it got me in, but it didn't get me through the program: I cannot sustain being horrible to earnest people. I am not lacking in the ability; it's the willingness to go for the throat that I am lacking.
Anyway, so I pull a lot of punches and a lot of nitpicky analyses from my more casual commentary-- trust me, that's a good thing. Speakers leave this department's job talks and visitor presentations in tears. I'm still retraining myself to talk like a civilized person again. I found the article suitably ludicrous that it didn't require me to gut it-- a sneer sufficed, even though it was articulate and parts of it were true.
I waded through a lot of similar articles to the one which is the topic of this thread, yesterday, having found a site filled with informative nutritional information AND disinformation. I'm not going to post the link-- it's not worth going to find the sucker again and it's full of flamebait for veg*n people-- but the whole site is the brainchild of someone who believes his son was damaged in utero by his and his wife's (temporary) commitment to a vegan Ornish diet. Anyway, this gentleman was very convincing... but all his evidence was anecdotal, backed only by religious convictions based on out-of-context Biblical quotes, or by guilt due to his son's birth defects. I would have treated his articles with kid gloves, because he has drawn his opinions from bitter personal experience and he has assigned blame where he feels it falls, particularly if I were speaking to him.
My objections to the article are general in nature. I don't like what it represents. Even though I could rattle a stick at its straw men, false syllogisms, and unprovable moral claims, I don't see a point. I'm not tutoring this person to craft a better argument against veganism; I'm hating the fact that he felt it necessary to disseminate horsefeathers to a vulnerable public already wearied by conflicting and murky nutritional advice emanating from puppets of the milk lobby.
It is absolutely true that many veg*ns eat lots of unhealthy foods (like, oh, say, me), and that any diet can be improved. It's also true that vegan diets pose special challenges (the B12 dilemma, for instance) and that they are not "natural" (as if there can be a "natural" diet-- virtually none of the plants and animals that humans eat are "natural," as anthropogenic selection and selective breeding have turned teosinte into corn, etc.) Arguing ethics with people who don't agree on your source material is an exercise in impasse... honestly, you must share common substructure before you can share common superstructure, ideologically speaking.
I am dismayed by the sheer volume of anti-health, anti-environment, anti-responsible propaganda out there in published venues (blogs, newsletters, resource articles, etc.) and by their collection in certain social circumstances (basically, parts of the large apparatus embraced by the Republican agenda which is so heavily bankrolled by detrimental concerns marketing food, beverages and other consumables: political evangelicals (note: this does not imply all Christians, as applelover and others wisely note!), social conservatives, etc.
What more can I say? The fact that the disinformation exists and is being virally marketed means that someone cooked it up. While some sources may be innocent of greed and cupidity in so doing (like the unfortunate person with the damaged child and the sense of personal guilt), others are undoubtedly machines of the for-profit war against our health.
Without going on and on, I agree with a lot that nubbyknowhow has to say. The only way to avoid the bad soy is to "try" to eat as much organic products as possible (which I do). The 85% of soy and corn crops that are GMO are primarily used for livestock feed (another good reason not to eat meat). Most of the products I buy all say "this product does not use soy or other ingredients that are GMO"...something along those lines. I also agree that you really must stay away from pre-made, pre-packaged "frankenfoods" as much as possible. Being a musician that travels on the road quite often, it is extremely difficult for me to stay 100% organic, though I do the best I can. Though I became a vegan because of animal rights issues, I have become so much more aware of the benefits of my diet, and have over the last few years moved to an organic vegan diet. I spend so much time reading labels at Whole Foods Markets and my local supermarket that I feel like I'm in a library! :D The final point being that any of us on a vegan diet are going to have healthier benefits then those who choose a meat based diet. Isn't it SCARY walking around a supermarket and looking into other people's carts?!?!? Sometimes I look into carts of people with kids and look at the absolute "junk" they are eating and feeding their kids (blue fries, ALL prepackaged frankenfoods, etc.) and want to shake them! These people are like walking chemical laboratory experiments! Who knows what is going to start happening to the first generation of those eating this food their whole lives. We are starting to see the results now, but I'm really curious to see the effects 20-40 years from now.
I spend so much time reading labels at Whole Foods Markets and my local supermarket that I feel like I'm in a library!
Haha, yeah. My brother is watching everything that he puts in his mouth (extended weight loss regimen), and he told me the other day that he has to think about ingredients so much he doesn't enjoy food anymore. I told him that almost every vegetarian he's ever met probably does the same amount of ingredient research! :)
You guys are inspiring; I haven't been very careful about organic soy, although I buy organic where I see an alternative (unfortunately, the shops near my home aren't terribly health conscious and I still do a lot of shopping in-person, rather than online), but I think I'll start being a little more watchful.