If one more Morally Superior vegan or vegetarian accuses me of supporting animal cruelty or being a ‘dumb’ meat eater without even engaging in a conversation to find out WHY I eat meat I do believe I will scream. Luckily these moralistic ones are few and far between and the majority are happy with their own choices without feeling the need to assert their judgemental superiority over others. But these moralistic ones are really beginning to piss me off!!
Some may consider what follows to be inflammatory, defensive and possibly derogatory, but it’s not. It is a culmination of what I have learned, realised and researched over the last few years, what you make of it is up to you. I have never and would never try to talk someone in or out of a particular diet, though I am always happy to offer guidance if asked. Too often these days diets are undertaken or changed on a whim without people understanding the basics of physiology and bio-chemistry. How do you decide the best way to fuel your individual body if you don’t know how your individual body uses that fuel? Or shall we all just look at our neighbours’ electric car, decide that looks cool and so start plugging in our petrol cars? Yes the effect of changing your diet can be that dramatic but as the human body is about the most amazing thing ever created, and will continue supporting life through years of misuse and abuse, it takes a lot longer for the problems to show. Just as there is no ‘one size fits all’ in clothing, no ‘one style suits all’ in hair, no ‘one tablet works for all’ in pain management, no ‘one belief system suits all’ in philosophy, there is no ‘one suitable for all’ in diet either. And as far as veganism is concerned the top myth can be exploded straight away…
There is no naturally vegan mammal on the planet. Ahhhh, I can hear the screams now! What about the elephant? What about horses, cows, sheep, hippos and gorillas? Yeah, what about them? They live on HUGE amounts of fruit, grass, leaves and roots which also happen to be the habitat of countless insects plus their eggs and larvae. Even if it’s just half a hoof-full a day, that is a significant amount of animal protein plus other minerals and enzymes in their diet. As for citing whales as vegans, that is surely the most laughable comparison of all. Plankton is NOT just plant life but also contains small crustaceans, along with the eggs and larvae of other sea life too. Whales are not vegan. The lowly but endearing dormouse can only be described as vegetarian at best being as they will feast on cheese, honey and fat as often as possible. Even in the insect world you are hard pushed to find vegans, but they are there – green flies, butterflies, fruit flies to name a few. Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though does it? Here, let’s all be vegan like the green-fly? Oh and that village in the Himalayas where they’ve all been vegan for 500+ years? They drink butter tea, eat honey and partake of mutton or goat on special occasions. Add to that they only became vegetarian when Buddhism found them some 500+ years ago and you also begin to realise that there has never been an indigenous tribe anywhere living a purely vegetarian life, never mind a vegan one.
Having said all that you may be surprised to find that I believe most meat eaters (with particular exceptions) consume far too much meat. The portion sizes that we have become used to are way beyond what is needed and many of us could limit such intake to three or four times a week without any negative impact on overall health. When it comes to health the best thing anyone can do is stop eating the refined, processed, ready meal type foods, eat what is fresh and seasonal, and cook from scratch. There is NO evidence that eating eggs or animal fat increases cholesterol levels, in fact those dangers come from using margarines and heated vegetable oils, including olive oil, which become unstable over 50c. The same is true for heart disease and bowel and colon cancer, it’s not the animal fats that do the damage it’s the so called ‘healthy’ alternatives. If these three diseases were caused by eating animal products they would have been steadily declining from the 1960’s, instead all three are on the increase with more females being diagnosed with them than ever before. Females. Those who are most concerned with their weight and eating ‘right’. Those who jumped on the margarine and vegetable oil bandwagon because it was said to be healthier. Slowly, slowly the truth is coming out, sadly it is too late for some. I’m not going to say much about detoxing because the whole thing is ridiculous and if you are eating a good, fresh, nutritionally balanced diet your body can detox quite happily without you living on cabbage soup for 7 days. These fad detoxes do more harm than good and anyone promoting these things should be exposed for the charlatan that they are. If you want to detox properly, healthfully and safely it will take you a year, during which you will be a vegetarian for the summer and early autumn.
If you want eat the diet best suited to you, find out your blood group and invest in the book The Eat Right Diet by Peter D’Adamo. I could give you examples of people I know eating the opposite of their recommended diets and dealing with weight gain, repeated respiratory tract infections, psoriasis, impaired mental functions, reduced energy levels, arthritis, hormonal imbalances, erratic mood swings and so on – but why not try it and find the benefits for yourself. The book also details illnesses most likely to affect particular blood groups and how these can be prevented or healed. As a guide to your optimal diet, and taking into account bio-chemical differences, I haven’t found anything better.
As for accusing meat eaters of being murderers and supporting animal cruelty, well let’s just turn that particular looking glass around and have a closer look at the impact increasing numbers of vegetarians and vegans are having on animal life shall we? Legumes are not commercially grown in the UK as they have a tendency to be unreliable, often failing due to different rots and fungi. Most often you will find your bag or tin of lentils, kidney beans, aduki beans, chickpeas, etc will say ‘the produce of many countries’. This can also be read as ‘increasing amounts of woodland and forest being cut down leaving all animals previously living there either dead or homeless’. Tractors squash rabbits, moles and mice every day. The drive to produce more grain is directly involved with the increased use of pesticides which have led to the collapse of countless bee colonies, from which we can also surmise that other insect life has been adversely affected with a consequential knock on effect on birds and other animals that depend on them as a food source. Add to that ‘run off’ leading to local streams and rivers being contaminated with these chemicals, killing off water fleas, aquatic worms and other water borne bugs, causing fish numbers to drop thereby making life very uncomfortable for birds, otters and other river based hunters. Of course having to import so much food means a greater number of plane flights, and they kill thousands of birds every year, while the pollution caused by transporting goods over seas has devastated sea life. And I hope all those moralists are checking the labels for palm oil before venting their indignant outrage over the plight of the orang-utan. No matter what diet you follow, you have blood on your hands – or are the lives of insects and birds not as worthy as cows and pigs?
Most meat eaters that I know consider themselves to be animal lovers. They DO care about the environment that animals are raised in. The thought of battery chickens being kept in such awful conditions and being forced to lay eggs there sickens them. The majority also pay for better quality meats when their finances allow. I even know some that have reduced their meat consumption so they can afford to buy only quality, organic meats and eggs. When you meet someone that eats meat and doesn’t give a crap about how those animals were raised you are not meeting a standard meat eater, you are meeting a heartless bastard. There is a difference. We know shops are guided by purchase power, right? So who do you think has more influence when pressuring shops to better label these goods? Vegans and vegetarians who don’t eat it, or meat eaters that want to be able to make clear, ethical decisions? We all agree that animals should be treated better, that their living standards should be raised, but more importantly – they shouldn’t have been allowed to get so bad in the first place!! As for the shocking state of abattoirs, well you need look no further than John Major’s Tory Gov’t for that. A 32 page booklet of guidelines came in from the EU and was translated into a 118 page, cast in gold, set in stone, list of regulations that the small, independent abattoirs didn’t stand a hope of achieving. Becoming vegan or vegetarian isn’t going to change this. Reducing the amount of money going to the farmers is more likely to ensure that animal living standards drop again. Instead of berating meat eaters, why not talk to them about making choices which support farmers who raise animals naturally?
Finally there is one group of people that deserve special consideration in all this. Around one third of epileptics will find no anti convulsants that can help control their seizures. Surprisingly, one third of epileptics will find the Ketogenic diet can help, as yet there is no confirmation that these are the same third. The Ketogenic Diet is one of the most extreme diets known and it is dangerous. Relying mainly on fats and some protein it is believed the brain is tricked into starvation mode using fats for fuel instead of glucose and that somehow this reduces seizure activity. Never to be embarked upon except under medical supervision this diet is now all over the internet as a way to lose weight. This beggars belief and undoubtedly will end up with people being hospitalised. The ONLY vegetables used are green leafy ones and carbohydrates are strictly limited. All vegetarians and vegans just took a huge breath I’m sure. If anyone has ever tried the Atkins diet, that is the lite version of the Ketogenic. The Atkins diet has far more variety in it and is safe to follow (especially if you are an O blood group). Many epileptics find that following the Ketogenic diet for approximately 3 years works wonders and they remain seizure free after reintroducing carbs.
So you vegans and vegetarians in your Ivory Towers of Superior Morality, stop judging. You don’t know what the person you are talking to is going through. If you can’t be bothered to have a conversation with them you will never know what steps they may be taking to improve conditions for animals. One day animal products could save the life of a loved one, so back off. There is no virtue in judgement and inflexibility….