Defining Life and Going Vegetarian

I was going to open this blog with the accepted definition of life. Unfortunately, there is no accepted definition. According to the dictionary, life is:

…the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction and the power of adaptation to the environment through changes originating internally.

The definition of life has also involved being self-aware. Some add being carbon-based into the definition, although this only follows the way life on our plant exist. We have no way of knowing if life on other planets would be the same way.

There’s a lot of argument about life because, for  every definition, there is at least one exception. Mules are born sterile, but we consider them to be alive. Crystals grow and react to stimuli, but we don’t consider them a living organism.

Why am I ponder the definition of life you might ask? In the beginning of the year, I became infatuated with vegetarianism and veganism after reading The China Study. My interest was purely for health reasons and, after further research throughout the year, I have come to the conclusion that veganism may be the healthiest diet.

I’m sure none of you will be surprised when I tell you a lot of sites on vegetarianism and veganism include information on animal rights. Many discuss the belief that animals are ‘sentient beings.’ Sentient is defined as having the power of perception by the senses or consciousness. In the context of plant-based diets, the idea that anything that feels and/or has a consciousness should not be slaughtered. They believe the sentient lifeforms deserve rights and freedoms.

 I’m not going to argue for or against that because I’m on the fence. Animal rights is not the reason I started looking into these diets and, while I have some opinions, I have no factual information to back them up. I just find this whole side of vegetarianism and veganism intriguing. Who decides what is sentient? Certain insects and parasites react to pain. Are they sentient? I’ve hear there is some evidence that plants are self-aware. Does that grant them special privileges?

What’s really amazing to me is how strongly opinionated people are when it comes to the definition of life. What grants an organize freedoms and rights? Is it the ability to be self-sustaining? To reproduce? To feel pain?

It seems, regardless of the opinion held, people hold it strongly. Friends and coworkers have been aghast at my interest in eating less meat. “You’re not going vegetarian on me, are you?” they ask. “Plants are what rabbits eat,” they complain. On this flip side, many vegetarians and vegans get equally defensive, using words like torturer and murderer. As such, I am often equally afraid to engage any vegetarian or vegan in a discussion about the diet.

This photo, “I’m vegan” is copyright (c) 2014 libertine101 and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license

It’s not that I don’t care about animals, because I do. I’m not really against eating meat, but I am against the inhumane practices of many meat manufacturers. We have to pick and choose our battles, though. I’m also against the labor practices of most cell phone companies. I’m against blood diamonds. I’m against sweatshops. I’m against just about every war/armed conflict the United States involved in right now. Unfortunately, I can’t do it all. I have to pick my battles and animal rights isn’t that high on my list.

The whole discussion on what defines life and what rights variations of life has is fascinating. It’s one of those conversations that will never had an ending. That’s just the way of the world, I guess. Decades are spent answering a questions whose answers only breed more questions. At this point, I’m pretty sure if an answer doesn’t produce more questions, it’s probably not the right answer.

How do you define life? Do you consume animal products? Why or why not? What world issues are the most important to you? Have you ever changed they way you shopped, acted or ate in order to support those important issues?

Advertisements

60 thoughts on “Defining Life and Going Vegetarian”

  1. I recently began the journey to becoming a vegetarian for health reasons. In part I embraced the idea because our bodies are filled with all these things they aren’t supposed to have. Yes, I’m going all Biblical. I believe we were meant to be vegetarian. Some say vegan because of the seeds and stuff in Genesis 1, but then you have to consider that our bodies need B12 to survive and you only get that from animals, like eggs and yogurt of milk.

    Life to me is just that, life. But again the whole Bible thing leads me to the idea that we are over the animals, and I really don’t want the world to be over run by animals that I would just end up hitting with my car, although maybe then we would turn to some other mode of transportation and save the planet. I don’t know.

    Yes, I am rambling and being totally random with this because that’s the way my brain works, but life is an issue that would require a lot of civil discussion in order to really get all points across. And in this world there are just too many people not willing to listen.

    But veggie is the way to go. I chose veggie over vegan because I just LOVE milk! 🙂

    1. I’m surprised you took a Biblical view because others intemperate the Bible as saying the world is ours to use, including the animals for food. In my research, I found that we used to get B12 from non-animal sources. Back in the day, we didn’t need to spray down our fields with pesticides and weren’t so obsessed with cleaning food. As such, we actually got B12 from the little bit of soil on our food. You should really consider reading The China Study. It doesn’t take a Biblical perspective, but it does present the idea that we are, biologically, not meant to consume animals. The doctor who wrote it grew up on a dairy farm, so it was interesting to see his transition from the typical American diet to the realization that animal products shouldn’t be eaten.

      1. My Biblical view comes from a different angle than some. Just like I am different about a lot of my views on Biblical issues. I see that just because the Bible says it’s ‘okay’ to eat something, or that it regulates something that exists, does not mean that is supports someone doing whatever it is. But I may look into the The China Study. I always like to learn about things. It helps in writing. 🙂

        1. It’s great that you’re so understanding. I think the Bible is a good book, but different people interpret it differently. There are even different translations because translators interpret it differently.

          1. Yeah. I’ve been a Sunday School Director in my church, a Deacon, a Youth Ministry leader and all of that. I just think that a lot of the ‘Christian Ideals’ are really ‘Christian Traditions’ instead of what is really in scripture. So I break it down to the basics and go from there. Makes for a happier life over all, a lot more friends, a lighter heart, and a greater understanding and compassion for others. And thank you for understanding as well. I Follow you for a reason. You’re one of the good ones and I always look forward to my reader lighting up and seeing your name next to a like. Means a lot.(Now to run away from all this warm and fuzzy moment I am having. I’m supposed to be the macho detective and paranormal writer type.)

            1. I just watched Vedgucated this morning and the Christian man they spoke with made me think of your comment. He was saying that the story of Genesis starts with a vegetarian and/or vegan diet. It wasn’t until sin entered the world that animals ate each other. So, the way he sees it, a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle is the ideal. I thought that was a really interesting way of thinking.

              I’m happy you enjoy my posts ^_^ I do my best.

  2. I became a vegetarian for economic purposes. Being Romani (Gypsy), the women learned that the meat was for the men–who needed strength–and the children. Yes, so against my feminist principles but many of us mothers will go without to help our children when we do not have much money. I am happy to be vegetarian (my blood sugar problem requires protein so I rarely stick to a vegan diet) and I mentally roll my eyes when my animal rights friends carry on about how terrible other people are but continue to chomp on meat from the supermarket, all nicely packaged, as if it is manna from heaven! I, too, feel that plants have feelings and when I break a vegetable stem in my garden I apologize to the plant and thank it for providing me nourishment. I try not to get into arguments because more than anything, I do not like self-righteousness. If hunting is used to provide food and not entertainment, who am I to judge? I’m older and raised my family before there was easy access to food stamps so there were times of hunger when I would eat a hotdog or whatever was needed to stay strong. I would do it again, if necessary. I once said I would eat nothing that has a face–that was my rule–but flowers have beautiful, trusting faces too….

    1. That makes sense. I once heard of a woman who ate nothing but eggs and bananas so she could save money to move her family into the country.

      I think having respect for all life, including plants, should be a natural part of eating. Unfortunately, most people seem to think that’s ridiculous.

  3. Despite what that guy’s T-shirt says, our species grew up eating meat. You’d have to go back millions of years to find an ancestor that was truly vegetarian. So it is not unnatural for us to eat meat. What is unnatural is the way we do it. I think we as a species, and particularly us in more affluent countries, should eat much, much less meat.

    We also need to use much, much less chemicals in our food (I feel a million times better eating organic since I’m not ingesting steroids, fertilizers, herbicides, etc.)

    I have quite a few vegetarian friends and less vegan ones. I must say I understand vegetarianism a lot more than vegan-ism.

    1. While we did naturally eat meat, it seems most of human kind still existed on a diet of mostly plants until recent years if only because meat was expensive. Like anything else, though, just because we’ve always eaten meat does not mean that’s the healthiest diet for our bodies. I agree about organic. I try to buy organic as much as possible. Last time I bought meat, I made an point to buy it from a local, organic farm.

      I would like to go Vegan just based off the health information I have gathered, but I don’t think it’s something I can do cold turkey. One thing at a time. Who knows, maybe further research will convince me vegetarianism is enough.

  4. This is a never ending Discussion the veganistic or omnivore way.
    I am by all means an omnivore. I eat my meat, I killed my meat. the poem “First kill” is just that my profession that is paper wise is Butcher.

    Is there something to say about the way animals are being breaded and slaughtered. yes there is. But no need to turn for it. it is the bigger companies who are at fault. that keeps meat demand high. Hamburgers anyone.

    When it comes to studies. there is still no proof of what is healthier. We can say it now but history has taught us men were living healthy eating plants and animals.

    It is unfortunate a discussion no one will win. And I think you are right about avoiding the talk. Right or wrong we can decide for ourselves.
    But if it is animal rights get a grip and make a stand. against the meat grinding industries.

    Do you know that a single leg of a pig could easily feed 250 people with a 100 grams of meat per person. Taking that as an average dose per day. But we do not know to end there.

    I love my meat and I eat a lot. rabbits, venison, pork, beef, horse, ostrich, gator chicken, dove, goose, duck and what not. Preferably from a farmer who is not a mass producer.

    I tip my hat for standing up for a choice made, fro what ever reason. In the end it is yours 😀
    As for world issues. we should first stop the unnecessary blood shed called wars.

    1. There have been many significant studies over the decades that show illnesses start to appear in diets with more than 10% animal products. That’s what convinced me. Throughout history, meat was rare and most people were consuming less than 10% of their diet in animal products. It’s only in recent history that more people have been eating more than that and, oddly enough, it lines up with many different illnesses.

      I’m not trying to convince you. I’m just saying the evidence is out there. Part of the reason why I want to stick with vegetarianism for now, is because I just want to stay below that 10%. And I’m not there yet. I wouldn’t call myself vegetarian yet. I’m just working on it. I need to learn to like more vegetables and I need to learn to resist temptation.

      1. Temptation is our biggest fear. As ie at lots of veggies already. that is 4 days at least a week.
        I been eating cale before it became popular 😛
        illnesses to blame on meat consumption. i would full heartedly say it is man’s doing with their meds.We altered meat to be more productive.
        If by any change we can go back to small sized farming. plenty not to be to rare.
        And those studies still do no convince me. decades of studies. though we might have been here for hundreds of years. with meat grinding molars.
        I am smiling and cannot help it as it s a discussion neither would win so i am smiling. and i hope you are to

  5. In answer to some of your requests. I’m not much of an activist or reactionary mainly because I am too much of a lazy and active fun person at the same time. Dad died at 94 mom at 90 and like them I eat whatever I want , mostly exotic and highly seasoned food and drink strong drinks spend lots of time on the beach and in the pool,making music, praising the Gods and Goddesses and being thankful for people who are motivated enough to see ’causes’ that are a detriment to Human life and do something about it.. . Love ya!. In a Cosmic and universal sense.

  6. I don’t eat veal, because of cruel conditions for the animal to keep the meat tender. That’s about as far as I go. I don’t know all that much about it. Enjoyed your post. It got me thinking.

    1. I don’t know a ton about the animal cruelty side, but I’m willing to learn. I actually watched a couple documentaries this morning that really made me think.

  7. I must say that I absolutely adore your opener about exceptions to the accepted definitions of life using mules and crystals. I have never once considered that.
    – Personally, I do consume animal products. I even hunt and fish, usually with the intent of consuming what I harvest. I do however, completely understand why people may choose the vegetarian or vegan dietary lifestyles. I have, in my past- engaged in heated debates with vegetarians regarding the merits and drawbacks of our respective choices. Recently however, I have stopped doing so. Largely because the “What do you eat” debate has become akin to a political debate. We each have our points and counter points, and very rarely is anyone’s point of view changed by said points. I have a great amount of respect for anyone who can successfully restrict their diets, especially this day and age where animal by-products are everywhere.
    – I am so very glad that you recognize some of the harsher practices and language of some of your vegetarian bretherin- meat-eaters have long been rather coarse in conversations with people who choose the vegetarian lifestyle, there’s no doubt about it. Hell, I’d be lying if I said I’d never done it ‘back in the day.’ – Lately though there is just as much condescension and volatility coming from the other side too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been accused of murder and animal abuse because I hunt and fish.
    Inflammatory debate from both sides is why I do everything I can to avoid the conversation these days. “Religion, Politics, and What do you eat?” have become the three topics that I’m doing my best to avoid like the plague.
    Great read today.

    1. I like talking about those heated debates on my blog because I think they are worth discussing. People takes things very personally in person. I feel like, if I write a blog and a person takes the time to read through it all, I can show them that I accept and respect their side. I also haven’t made a really decision, yet. If I were to give myself a label, I’d say I’m “mostly vegetarian.” I’m trying it out and seeing improvements in how I feel. I don’t know if I will ever ‘come out’ in any way, though. The second a meat eater hears I don’t want meat, they’ll get defensive and the second a vegan hears that I still consume meat products on occasion will probably hate me too.

  8. Ive been an on and off vegatarian and in my family my husband and I have discussed and after watching various documentaries on the cruelty that the animals are put through before they arrive as packaged meat in our stores avoid buying all processed meat products like ground beef, turkey, sausages, chicken etc…Ive noticed that my body responds better to a vegetarian diet, my skin is clearer and I feel less bloated but every now and then I do eat fish and chicken by force of habit I guess..Being a plant lover I feel plants have emotions and feelings too..and thats true they may not have a central nervous system or a brain in the way we or other animals do but the way they respond to nature and to humans you need to observe them closely to understand..Ive come to understand that they may be as ‘sentient’ as animals now that Ive started having a couple of them at home…coming back to the point..i do belive a vegetarian diet is the best form of diet for me personally and try to buy organic as much as possible to avoid all the chemicals added

    1. I think I’m in the same boat. I’m not a big plant lover, though, so I have to go in slowly. I’m discovering I like a lot of vegetables I never did before. But I also can’t go without eating. If my only options are to skip a meal or eat a meat product, I’m going to eat.

  9. I wouldn’t dare an attempt to define life, but I’ll say that we know it when we see it; and if the definition broadens in the future, we will stand to see forms of life preciously missed. After all, that’s what being human is all about. We are the only known beings on the planet equipped to probe deeply into the mysteries of the Universe, and so we have an ingrained desire to explore, to define, and to improve what we have already done. This goes for the definition of sentience as well, since that often becomes a contentious issue.

    In terms of the diet, I have tried various levels of animal product-free diets before, but there is always something working against that desire: the frustration of my wife or my girlfriend at the time in feeling as though they can’t plan meals or eat with me because they don’t want to have the same diet and they’re always like “I can’t give up meat!”

    I for one can, but my current dietary philosophy is a big heap of paleo with a side of “yes” to dairy and beans, and a cheat day for dessert. The way I see it, if the obesity epidemic and the rise of Type-II diabetes and heart disease are hallmarks of the late 20th century, then maybe all we have to do is dial it back a bit. I eat my mod-paleo way all day, then Mme. Ross makes supper on a reverse carb-tapering schedule (actually she makes whatever she makes and I eat it, but I’m trying to get her to save the breads and pastas for the end of the week since Sunday is cheat day.)

    I won’t say it is the way to go, and it’s hard to gauge my energy because I have narcolepsy, but between this dietary philosophy and my exercise regimen, I’ve maintained my weight while putting on lean muscle, and my abs are becoming more defined by the day, which has never happened in my life, so I’m decreasing my body fat.

    If I could get rid of one thing, it would be cattle; my big issues are recycling, sustainability, living in harmony with the Earth, and I could live with cutting down my meat choices by one. I think cattle might be the biggest animal-based source of greenhouse gas emissions next to human pollution, and so it might help in the crusade against global warming and water shortage. Of course, I could be way off-base, too. I’m okay with admitting that.

    1. I did the paleo diet for a while. That also made me feel and look great. I’m not 100% aware of all the nutritional aspects, but it’s certainly healthier than the average American diet.

      What my friends and boyfriend have to say play a large part in my nervousness to fully convert. I don’t think I could get my boyfriend to go full vegetarian, let along vegan. He’s pretty good at eating whatever is set in front of him, though. I’ve served him some vegetarian and vegan meals which he has really enjoyed. The way I see it, I probably won’t have to tell anyone IRL that I’m trying to change my lifestyle. I’ll just eat what I want, make the meals I want, and all the cards will fall in to place

      …hopefully.

      1. It sounds like your boyfriend is fairly cool as long as you’re feeding him, which is pretty much to your advantage; and if he’s like most guys I’ve ever known, he won’t care as long as it’s delicious and filling, right?

        I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor. 🙂

  10. There are probably a lot of reasons to be a vegan or a vegetarian, but The China Study is not a reliable one. This blog post [1] cites several rebuttals that expose the scientific and logical fallacies made by that study. It might behoove you to read some of those rebuttals, such as The Protein Debate by Loren Cordain [2]. Also note the very roundabout, nonspecific way in which Campbell “dismisses” these rebuttals. There are lots of appeals to authority, for starters. These are simply some warning signs for you to consider.

    I see a lot of similar studies making the same mistakes, and at some point I have to start assuming that propaganda is in play. There isn’t anything wrong with that — the processed food industry is certainly churning out its own propaganda. I just wouldn’t fear for my health over it.

    When it comes to the treatment of livestock, my concern lies with antibiotic use – and subsequent resistance – in animals [3]. The evidence for this does not suffer from the correlation-causation fallacy that vegans run into so often. Indeed, Europe has banned the use of non-medical antibiotics in livestock due to the imminent danger of “superbugs”. [4]

    Mitigating these concerns will cause the price of meat to rise, and as such, the poor will have a harder time including it in their diets. We’ll have a lot of de facto vegetarians on our hands, but I think we’ll find that the health problems currently being attributed to meat will not disappear when the meat does.

    [1] http://chriskresser.com/rest-in-peace-china-study
    [2] http://www.catalystathletics.com/articles/downloads/proteinDebate.pdf
    [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibiotic_use_in_livestock
    [4] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-05-1687_en.htm

    1. There’s a lot of information out there, but no one can deny the health benefits of eating more veggies and less of all the other stuff. A family member who works in nutrition suggested the China Study to me as the best book on nutrition. She also told me the key is not to jump on one diet or another but to examine all of them and take note of the commonalities. While the China Study certainly instigated my interests, it’s not the only source of information I’ve read. I’ll have to check out your links. I’m very curious.

  11. I consume animal products. I would have no problem changing to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. It’s just that my reality, surroundings, and other stuff don’t permit me to. If I had it my way, I would be eating a whole foods, organic and vegetarian diet. Living in north east Brazil makes that a bit tough, and extremely, but I mean extremely pricey. I do, however, eat a very healthy diet, with almost no refine or processed foods. At least I can do that here.
    As for changing the way I eat in order to support certain issues, the answer is yes. When in China, I ate things that most north americans would consider atrocious. However, it was out of respect for the Chinese people and their culture. They are very proud of their regional food and to refuse to eat something because of my own preferences would be like a slap on the face.
    As for veganism and doing so out of an issue of ‘moral’ rights – I can understand not agreeing with inhumane practices of animals and the such, however, in the absence of inhumane practices, I think that it is something natural and normal in the grand scheme of the animal kingdom. Why do other animals hunt out their ‘animal’ food. Lions and other carnivores are just doing so out of natural need and because of the way they are. They don’t have consciences where they try and consider whether it’s fair or not to their prey. So, it’s a sticky subject, to say the least. Not that I’m saying that vegans are wrong. I just don’t agree with judging others that aren’t vegans. I, in fact sometimes don’t like the feel of eating meat. Almost disgusts me sometimes. But, as I said, I don’t have the money, nor the resources to lead a vegan lifestyle.
    Great post TK.
    🙂

    1. I’ve ready many accounts where people are 100% against eating animal products in any situation because we don’t need to in order to survive. I guess that makes enough sense, but I agree with you. if they would get rid of the inhumane practices, I’d be okay. Maybe that would make the price of meat skyrocket, but I’d honestly be okay with that, too. A lot is liked to eating too much meat. When it’s an option, I think we’d all be healthy if we ate mostly plants and just a little bit of animal products.

      1. “When it’s an option, I think we’d all be healthy if we ate mostly plants and just a little bit of animal products.”
        –I agree %100. It’s all about balance and not going to extremes as well I think. Human beings seem to have this difficulty of taking things to extremes. 🙂

  12. I have been a vegetarian since 1970 (I was vegan for a few years 1977-1981). Done well, it is not a hard thing to do. I have never been on to push my views on someone else—All I ask is that each make a *consicous* choice and not do anything because everyone else is–or isn’t.

    1. I am 99.9% sure I want to try vegetarian. Ideally I’d go vegan if only to see how it felt. For now, I can’t even say I’m vegetarian yet. I have to adjust a few things in my life. I’m hoping to morph this year into being vegan within my home and vegetarian everywhere else.

  13. First of all, a big thumbs up for going vegetarian! You will not only save money and animals but also the health of this world and yours 😉 great article and i agree on most of the points you make. I’ve been a vegetarian since i was 6 years old. I went to the butcher to get some meat for my parents and there was a video playing from the slaughterhouses where they where cutting a cow in 2. I must say, at the age of 6 years old and being a animal lover for me that was enough. so that’s how i became a vegetarian. i can’t push everybody and i wont 🙂 but it’s true, we would need to be more conscious about what we eat. Some people don’t wanna hear about it wich is a shame. we are all responsable for this planet and eating less meat would certainly help. So glad you do! never too late! so again big thumps up 🙂

    1. If I had seen stuff like that at 6, I’d probably be vegetarian as well…. although I’m not sure my parents would have let me. I always had to eat everything on my plate.

      It’s so frustrating that people don’t want to hear about this, as well as other issues that plague our world. I’m not okay with willful ignorance. Even if you can’t manage a lifestyle free of animal products, I think people should still be aware of the surrounding issues. I have a fancy smart phone, but I don’t avoid the news about the terrible conditions where my phone was made. I can’t know or change everything, but I can pick a few things and work towards a better world with them.

  14. I’ve always looked at life as something that was gifted to me. For me life is not just about being alive (eating, breathing) it’s more like a spiritual thing almost. Not like, if you believe in God then you are alive, but more of an awareness that not only are you alive physically but you are alive beyond that as well.
    Do I consume animal products? Yes. Am I a bad person for that? No. My personal diet does not contain a lot of meat, rarely do I eat meat but I am aware that other animal products make it into my diet and I love cheese so… But my “life style” works well for me and as an added bonus I’m happy to know that my diet isn’t killing the cute cow down the road.
    I think the issues that get me most are Equality for Women and Earth Conservation. We can’t live on a dead planet and my sex and gender shouldn’t determine how I live or the quality of my life.

    Also, I nominated you for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award! Here: http://mgrace58.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/wonderful-team-member-readership-award/

    With love,

    Michelle

    1. I think I’d agree with your issues. Gender equality is on top of my list along with LGBT rights/equality (because I see the two as closely related).That probably makes sense since I’m a woman. Blood diamonds are up there too, mostly because it’s rather simple. I’ve told my boyfriend multiple times, if he proposes, he needs to verify the diamond isn’t a blood diamond.

      Thanks so much for the nomination! I’m honored.

        1. I don’t have all the information because it’s been a while since I looked into it. Long story short is that a lot of diamonds are bought from gangs in Africa who essentially use slave labor to mine the diamonds. This middle man goes on to sell them to a fancy Western guy who then turns the diamonds in to wedding rings. Meanwhile, the money that originally bought that ring from the mine will go on to purchase guns and further wars in Africa. There’s something called ‘conflict free diamonds’ which you can buy knowing they haven’t contributed to violence like that. Check out BrilliantEarth.com, they sell conflict free diamonds and I think they may have some information on the conflicts.

          1. Ok, I see the connection there. That’s really sad and our society’s spending habits support that, which makes it worse. 😦 Thanks for that info, I’m exploring that website at this very moment. 😉

            1. I’ve told my boyfriend more than once, I insist on having a conflict free wedding ring. We have to choose our own battles and this is one a choose.

  15. Consider the Jains of India, who don’t eat onions or garlic (if I understand it right) because the bulbs produce life.

    I learned of vegetarianism and veganism about 20 years ago. I tried the lifestyle for a little while, but didn’t stay with it. I recall some vegans agonizing over whether eating yeast was objectionable or not– that seemed extreme to me. Many that I met were most definitely into animal rights, so, I do get that angle and perspective. Most recently, I learned of the fruitarian perspective– they actually seemed to have the most compelling argument scientifically based on structure of teeth and length of intestine, especially when compared to primates, who are the nearest related to us biologically speaking. I haven’t seen evidence, however, that they have fully considered the science of cooking– and how it is beneficial not just to more efficient consumption of energy in food, but also how it actually unlocks nutrients for certain foods in particular cases. And I’m talking fruits and vegetables, not just meat.

    But… I am of the opinion everyone should do the best they can. I learned that it is still quite possible to eat unhealthily despite a vegetarian or vegan diet. I think the perspectives are good, because mainline nutritionists think we need to be eating much more whole fruits and vegetables anyways.

    1. My big interest in the started with just cutting out meat from a few meals. It wasn’t that I thought meat was bad at the time,but that it was taking up space that should be taken by veggies. From what I have read, It seems that keeping a diet down to no more than 10% animal products is ideal. I’m not sure if those health benefits are related to the smaller meat consumption as much as the higher veggie consumption, though.

      And you can of course be vegan and unhealthy. Why else would oeros be vegan? lol.

  16. I saw that you watched vegucated…my favorite documentary! I love it. I am a pesca-lacto-ovo-vegetarian. Sometimes I struggle with fish, and I know that doesn’t make me a full blown veggie, but I truly eat it for its nutritional benefits.

    1. I feel like the younger girl in that movie. Knowing what I know, I want to be vegan, but it’s currently impractical. What I don’t want is to go vegan cold turkey only to be discouraged and give it all up. I’d rather ease in to vegetarianism, see how that feels, and then make a decision from there. All the same, I believe in knowing about how we contribute to the world. So, even though I may eat cheese or something like that now and then, I do so with the knowledge of the industry I am supporting. Who knows where I’ll end up a few years from now.

  17. I was recently at a talk where Wendell Berry gave a commentary, and one this he said was “I’m not against vegetarian, but I am against political vegetarianism” – which I think can be the frustration, is that people create a politics out of what you choose to eat and think maybe you’re out to get them over such a difference.
    I’m mostly vegetarian, primarily for the sentient and animal rights reasons. Usually I go along the lines that is I don’t feel comfortable killing it, then I’m not comfortable eating it (even if I let someone else kill it for me), and I can easily say killing plants is something I’m willing to do (at least for the give back of food). But don’t feel I can justify health reasons. Granted, a lot of meat (and meat from an industrial agriculture system) can/is very bad for you, but then again I find myself all manners of things not really good for me, so if you enjoy the taste why not have meat in moderation?
    I keep talking with a friend about this, and it’s almost impossible to guide through the health of food accurately. Where one group is calling something terrible for you, another is calling it the most healthy. I remember reading about someone who went on all raw milk diet (literally, that’s all they consumed) for health reasons, while many advocate milk to not be very healthy (and raw milk especially risky). Some consider meat very unhealthy, while others see it full of health benefits – at the end of the day, balance is important, and it’s important to know you can’t get all the nutrients you need from meat, and that having more veggies in your diet then meat is always the right idea.

    1. It’s frustrating on both sides. I know vegetarians who are not ‘political’ but run into a lot of ‘political’ meat eaters to the point where they keep there eating preferences a secret unless absolutely necessary. Either way, it seems people feel attacked.

      I personally think if you engage yourself in nutrition information, that is, if you do more than listen to the news each morning, you start to see obvious trends in what is and isn’t healthy. Yeah, there’s always something the news is talking about. This study said something is bad. That study just said it’s good. But one study doesn’t prove anything. I may just be a nerd, though. I love all the science stuff. Even if I don’t understand it all, I do understand how something comes to be accepted as fact in the scientific community. One study proves nothing. The media sure likes to confuse us, though.

  18. I’m vegetarian by preference, because I believe animals have souls, but then again I’m not consistently vegetarian, so I must not believe it very strongly. Or maybe my lack of self-discipline is more a factor there. (Mostly I just eat meat when it’s free, since I can’t really afford to turn down free food, so my meat intake has gone down quite a bit. I’ve definitely noticed health benefits just from that. I’d like to get it down to “very rarely if at all” though.)

    1. I think animals have souls in a similar sense to ours, but that doesn’t really make me against eating meat… so I guess I really am a terrible person. No, it’s just that it seems natural to eat meat. I mean, plants are alive too, but we eat them. It’s all about having respect for life. The animals we eat should be treated humanly while they are alive and not made to suffer unnecessarily when they are killed. I’ve seen a lot of videos where they claim they don’t need antibiotics. They don’t need anything to treat the pain of castration or the many other things they do. That’s just unnecessary harm if you ask me. I do still have meat in my freezer that I bought from a local farm in January. My impression is that they treat their animals humanly… but I guess I’m not so sure anymore.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s