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We Must Reclaim Human Health, Sustainability, Environmental Justice, And Morality From The Birdseed Brigade
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April 5, 2011
6:50 pm
First-Eater
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February 22, 2010
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What do vegetarians in the United States eat?
Ella H Haddad and Jay S Tanzman.
Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78(suppl):626S–32S.

The data in this study was taken from the CSFII, a US government survey which measured dietary intake over two 24-hour periods.

I'll save time and give you the punchline right away: Of self-defined vegetarians, nearly 2/3 (214/334, or 64%) ate a significant quantity of meat on at least one of the two days for which their dietary intake was surveyed!

That's right: pick two random days out of the year, and 64% of self-proclaimed 'vegetarians' ate meat during it. How many 'vegetarians'…

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April 5, 2011
7:04 pm
Bodhi
Guest

Wooo Whoooo!!! Preach on brother!!! I'm glad you liked Lierre Keith's book. I think it is possibly one of the best books I've ever read. I hope this article will get the paleo community focused on fighting the real battle. Let's get people eating real food!

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April 5, 2011
8:05 pm
Alyssa
Guest

"It’s easy to point our fingers and laugh at ‘vegetarians’ who eat fish because 'I don’t eat animals' means 'I don’t eat cute animals. But I’m OK with destroying the ocean because fish aren’t cute and I can’t see into it.'"

When I wanted to go vegan, that's how I was! My rule was to not eat cute things...with an exception for pork. Thankfully, I never did go vegan; it would've been too expensive for my parents.

Anyway, I've heard about vegetarian and vegan diets being not as healthy for the environment as I thought they were, but I never really looked into it until you made this post. And I must say, thank you for making this post! I will make sure to check out The Vegetarian Myth. This gives me an even better incentive to avoid grains and seed oil...

Oh, and you mentioning Denmark reminded me of this: http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/poll-nearly-one-fourth-of-the-swedish-population-are-now-eating-low-carb/10337 I know that what's talked about in what I linked is low-carb, but still. Let's hope the rest of the world catches on, too! :)

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April 6, 2011
3:40 am
Michelle
Guest

Wow, excellent post - as always! That photo of the Fertile Crescent says a million words in itself!

I didn't know about the Denmark tax...that is insanity!!!

I do agree with you that we need to speak up. It's hard though because what we are saying seems like blasphemy to most people!

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April 6, 2011
2:34 pm
Katie @ Wellness Mam
Guest

Great post as always! I've always disagreed with any kind of additional tax on food or drinks for this very reason. When we allow the government to tax things like alcohol, smoking, fast food, etc we also open the door for them to tax any food including saturated fats. This is a slippery slope considering most of the foods we consider healthiest go against government recommendations for "healthy eating"

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April 6, 2011
3:26 pm
Eric
Guest

Next thing you know these loud pushy vegans are going to come after the actual words "meat" (often mistaken to mean animal flesh) and "milk" (commonly only used to refer to cow's milk). I know. Scary isn't it.

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April 7, 2011
12:14 am
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Chris:

Definitely. The mental picture we all have of American farms is a family farm with cows, chickens, and pigs...nope. They're corn and soybean factories -- strip-mining about an inch of topsoil a year to grow grains no one wants at the market price, but which the government pays for in order to keep agribusiness profitable.

I don't blame the farmers: they're doing what we pay them to do, and the commodity distribution system is controlled by a few very large agribusinesses that force them to destroy the land in order to barely keep their heads above water. It's basically the modern version of sharecropping.

Bodhi:

Isn't it an excellent book?  I love it because it isn't a sniveling apology ("Meat isn't THAT bad...") and because it teaches the entire cycle of life -- that we can't just take and take from the land no matter whether we're taking meat or grains, and that the earth needs meat as much as we do.

Alyssa:

I'm sure you can find The Vegetarian Myth through the library system: that's where I first read it.  It's an easy read, it's personal, passionate, and not dry science at all...and it's a real eye-opener.  (I'm familiar with the ground it covers because of my research, but most people won't be.)

Sweden being heavily low-carb is fascinating!  Thanks for linking that...it makes sense, though, given that there aren't a lot of crops that grow so far north.

Michelle:

Yes, it seems like insanity...but your own health and vitality is the best possible argument.  Be calm, but be proud!  We need to make sure that people are at least exposed to paleo nutrition, even if they don't necessarily buy it...they can only pass 'sin taxes' if everyone agrees it's a sin.

Katie:

Not only is it a slippery slope, it's a regressive tax.  And for anyone who hasn't been to Katie's site yet, check out wellnessmama.com.

Eric:

Veggie 'burgers' and soy 'milk'.

Everybody:

Thank you all for letting me know you enjoy my articles!  It makes a huge difference to know that.  

This one was actually a combination of two articles I've been thinking about for a while, but didn't realize were related until I was almost finished with the first.

JS

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April 7, 2011
5:29 pm
Defining Real Food &
Guest

[...] our animal-based calories with plant-based calories.  I say attempted because the now barren “fertile crescent” serves to exemplify the gradual taking of life that goes along with mass [...]

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April 15, 2011
12:30 pm
An Infuriating Blow
Guest

[...] What worries me is that this isolated story from Chicago seems to be part of a growing worldwide trend, with recent reports of Denmark placing a tax on saturated fats. [...]

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April 17, 2011
12:09 pm
"Mike Tyson Lov
Guest

[...] in fat!" Thanks, that helps. Yup, language on holiday for sure. Reminds me of this article We Must Reclaim Human Health, Sustainability, Environmental Justice, And Morality From The Birdseed ... Originally Posted by NorthernMonkeyGirl Quite frankly, anything that makes Tyson weak and [...]

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April 24, 2011
9:02 am
Reclaiming Sustainab
Guest

[...] A phenomenal, short read from Gnolls.org. Great quotes from the article: “Even worse, industrial grain production impoverishes our farmers, destroys our soil and our water, and leaves barren land, salt flats, and dead ocean deltas in its wake. It demands unimaginable amounts of fossil fuels to create nitrogen fertilizer, toxic herbicides and pesticides, and giant sowing and harvesting machines, and to transport the grain from the Midwest to where people actually live. It demands giant, river-killing dams to fill irrigation canals. It strip-mines fossil water, pumped from underground aquifiers that took millions of years to fill-all to grow corn, wheat, and soybeans on land best suited for grazing livestock on perennial grasses. ” [...]

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June 5, 2011
6:38 pm
Meat eaters - you ne
Guest

[...] a furry and a cannibal? This story just gets worse and worse. The truth about vegetarians: We Must Reclaim Human Health, Sustainability, Environmental Justice, And Morality From The Birdseed ... [...]

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June 17, 2011
12:10 am
Dana
Guest

FYI, for those who don't know, the Fertile Crescent used to be a forest. You know the cedars of Lebanon? They used to grow in Iraq too. I understand that in places the trees grew so thickly that sunlight never touched the forest floor.

THAT is what agriculture in the "cradle of civilization" destroyed.

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June 17, 2011
3:07 am
First-Eater
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February 22, 2010
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Dana:

Correct.  And the forests of New England stretched all the way to Iowa.

Of course, Paleolithic man drove hundreds of animal species to extinction, so hunters aren't blameless here either.  But agriculture doesn't just destroy individual species: it destroys entire ecosystems.

JS

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June 24, 2011
12:23 pm
Nat
Guest

I agree that the gmo pesticide laden soy, corn, and wheat agriculture is destroying our environment, but if the large majority of the meat consumed in our society is being fed these grains, then how is producing more meat, eggs, and dairy better than producing more grains?

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June 24, 2011
11:32 pm
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
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February 22, 2010
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Nat:

  • If we didn't subsidize industrial agriculture so heavily, it wouldn't be cost-effective to feed them to cattle.
  • Less than 19% of the USA is arable (suitable for growing row crops) -- and much of that only because of gigantic, destructive dams and water projects that irrigate the desert at massive taxpayer cost.  Yet ruminants can graze almost anywhere.  Pasture isn't necessarily taking land away from agriculture.
  • We can do our best by choosing to purchase grass-finished and pastured animal products as often as possible.  And indeed, our choices are having a huge impact.  The grass-fed beef industry has grown from insignificance in the 1980s to a major presence now, and it continues to grow each year.

JS

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July 21, 2011
2:00 am
beth
Guest

I live in Australia with a rather small percentage of the population educated about nourishing traditions, paleo inspired living and the true health and environmental consequences of grain agriculture.
Environmentalists here are all pushing the vego/vegan agenda for "health" and "sustainability" and suddenly I find myself on the fringe.. of the fringe!
So, in fighting this fight pretty hard, I came up with a t-shirt slogan that I don't mean, but quote to amuse myself and keep me sane in the face of arguing with overly sentimental, irrational (and often times, angry) vegans..
SAFE THE PLANET - EAT A VEGAN!
hehehe..

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July 22, 2011
3:49 am
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
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February 22, 2010
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beth:

Try to find the ones that eat the most simple carbs: their livers will be delicious, even if there isn't much meat on their bones.

And don't despair: the percentage is very small here, too.  But it grows every day.  Your health is the best advertisement.

JS

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August 3, 2011
8:28 pm
Ella
Guest

This is kind of funny because, first of all, yes I'm a vegitarian and have not eaten any meat since. But whoever posted this seems to be pretty confident that I have. I also don't eat fish... and in fact my main reason for vegetarianism was because of the oceans, so I eat absolutely NO sea creature. Now a days, pigs are eating more fish that is being made into fishmeal than all the worlds sharks put together. Also, this article makes you think vegetarianism is really unhealthy. I've actually never felt better. If you're stupid and don't get the right nutrients in that may not be so healthy, but that's the same with any diet. And you may think that being vegetarian is going to ruin landscapes with grain fields, but how do you think we feed our cattle? We have to grow significant amounts of grain to feed them. So we have the fields established to feed the worlds population, and the fields to feed livestock. Cows don't just eat grass you know.

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August 4, 2011
12:07 am
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 11
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August 1, 2011
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No, Ella. Who posted this just gave you the facts, namely that vegeterians eat more meat in general and also were more health-conscious about their food decisions. He didn't talk about you. Do you see the difference between an individual and statistics?

So, how exactly did you change your diet? Did you just stopped eating meat without any other changes? How does your diet look like? Since when are you a vegetarian?

If you eat grass-fed animals you don't ruin the landscapes, you even help establishing sustainable food production which protects and nourishs the soil, the people who keep the animals, and those who eat it.

By the way, if you still eat eggs, butter and milk products, but changed your diet to whole foods, maybe less grains, it is clear that you can be indeed healthier than before and I am happy you feel better.

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