Both my wife and I are both ethical Vegans, We both find in disturbing how few people within the atheist community don't see the dietary indoctrination that surrounds us in the same way that they do Religious dogma. In some ways the two are often very related.....
You seem a bit short in the compassion department for someone so ethical.
Compassion in relation to what? I have as much empathy for humans in suffering as the next person. I just don't limit my compassion to the one dominant murderous species on the planet. It is mostly only the religious that draw the line of compassion at the border of the one particular great ape that we happen to be. Where is your compassion for others as it applies to animals given your defensiveness on an issue that your are on the wrong ethical side of?
as I explained before - I was vegetarian and vegan for the first 30 years of my life.... and it didn't help my health - so now I eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy, as part of a diet including all food groups.
You are very righteous in your statements. Believing that you are right and more ethical and moral than those who eat meat.
Life eats life to live. This is the nature of life. None of us can eat non life and survive. You do get the Jains and the fruitarians. There was an indigenous group in northern India who ate only fermented milk from animals, but apparently there are many insects in Indian foods in their rice stores, where they get their b12 from. One study showed that after 20 years of leaving India, with western cleaning methods for rice et al, that they suffered from Anemia.
Your argument for better ethics and morals seems to be in line with - living in society is wrong because of the consumption, and so we must all go and live like hunter gatherers in caves, so that we don't contribute to global warming, by using cars, fridges, plastic etc.... in other words, what you are saying might be the best moral choice - but it is extreme and also not realistic for everyone to do - also it's not going to happen - unless it becomes the best way to live due to the causal factors and environmental conditions. Which is a possibility in my mind - but I can see lots of way more probable outcomes in the future - mostly due to the high dependence on doctors and blood tests etc for your vegan lifestyle. Why go through all that when we can eat a bit of all the food groups, according to what we deem our personal need and have reasonable health.
"where they get their b12 from." I have seen many vegans fail due to poor health, In many cases these health problems are unrelated to their diet and would have occurred in any case. In others it is refusal to apply modern science to your diet. Supplementation Is required and very cheap. But supplementation is required for most anyone living away from the equator that doesn't get heaps of sun with little clothing, this supplementation Is obviously Vit D. Attempting to be vegan and failing does more damage to the Vegan movement than never having tried. I would suggest that your knowledge of diet was not sufficient to maintain good health, but this applies to non Vegans and people drop dead every day from poor health that have tons of meat and animal products. I am merely presenting the facts to you that it is possible to not only be healthy but to thrive on a vegan diet. Of course you must count protein and nutritional density against kJ's and not weight this is important on a low cal diet.
"Life eats life to live" This is a poor excuse for consuming fellow sentients. With knowledge and power comes the responsibility to use it for good. Hence now we have the knowledge is there a reason we consider it OK to eat mammals and avians instead of a vegan Diet. You have given no example of why this can not be done. A foolish person eats a foolish diet, this can be as true for a vegan as it can for someone who eats other animals. A foolish diet will not help your health on either side.
The point is If a Vegan diet is possible, Is it not unethical to ignore it and keep torturing and enslaving fellow creatures?
I say A vegan diet is not only possible but optimal (with supplementation).
Then when you take into account that 7 billion people are going to want to live like the 500 million do now we have no choice as we would not have enough land on the planet to produce an american diet for all. So even from an environmental stance we have no choice but to go Vegan.
I disagree. There isn't enough time in my day to reply in an essay format.... so I'll write a rough draft for you.
I agree I too have seen many vegans fail due to poor health..... some quite tragically loosing their own quality of life and suffering, as well as for their children, who were dependent on them.
I'm interested to hear about your diet and supplementation - can you please list what you eat and drink in any given week.
Our organs are developed in the first 8 weeks or so of gestation, and the quality of these organs determines how they will be for the rest of our lives. Poor nutrition at this time is terrible. Good nutrition at this time can set someone up for life.
I would say that it is our break down of groups in society that has lead to young people failing to get adequate nutrition - and that following traditional methods of eating is the best way to ensure our nutrition is good. Of course luck, circumstance and diet will determine who will survive and who will not - leading to the evolution of our diets as humans into the future. Historically, there was only one Indigenous group according to Weston Price, who was vegetarian as of the 1930's. And they lived in northern India. All the other groups ate meat, fish, eggs and / or milk products - often fermented foods also.
"Life eats life is a poor excuse for eating fellow sentients"
OK, so you would also be cutting out all plant live, bacteria etc... you wouldn't take antibiotics for any illness, or worming tablets, as they kill life. In fact the only food that you would eat would be fruit that didn't involve the death of any living thing. And you would make sure and plant the seed?
What about lions? How would you deal with other animals that eat meat - do you believe that they should all be vegan also?
Why do you stop at mammals and avians? what about insects, fish, bacteria, fungus, plant life?
Is it possible for every one to be vegan? They are predominately vegetarian in India - animals run about in the streets - cows, monkeys etc... India is also a particularly dirty and smelly place - perhaps due to other cultural habits, population density and perhaps climate also.
Does a lion torture and enslave fellow creatures to be a meat eater?
Does a human need to torture and enslave creatures to eat meat?
When thinking about the bacteria in the bottles of the experience mentioned in Dawkin's book on evolution - doesn't all life live to it's capacity. In a natural cycle of boom and bust, where they take advantage of their resources and breed to reach maximum capacity when their population levels off - until either a new food source is found or a catastrophe hits and population then reaches a new balance higher or lower.
If we all became vegan and it was found that this was a better way to be, in terms of resources, then our human population might boom further, based on food abundance.
I think there are many more possibilities than we all go vegan.... and I believe that the probability is not that we all go vegan.
Alice, why were you ever vegan? The philosophy you seem to hold - beyond food choice, seems incompatible with ever having the "do no harm" vegan point of view. Were you brought up vegan, but never really cared much yourself? If you got pregnant after 30 years a vegan, that must be the explanation. I'm very sorry about your child. I really am. I conclude your health problems stemmed from an inadequate diet that could have been improved with a wider variety of plant foods.
One of the biggest problem Vegans run into is becoming catabolic (low protein) and B12 , vit D deficiencies. The deficiencies of D are difficult to address for a lot of people on the planet that are consuming the meat derived D analogue and relying on sun, hence when people remove meat from the diet it removes this source and we hope the vegetable derived diet is enough to supplement it through diversity. Then people decide to take their ethics to the next level and go Vegan, the problem here is that dairy is the main source of vitamin fortification in the western world.
This all being the case if you are Vegan you must educate yourself as to how to achieve your correct target calorie (kJ) intake whilst still achieving your RDI of protein vitamin and minerals. That is very difficult when flying blind, You will almost definitely fail to consume your RDI for B12 but as it buffers in the system for years it can be difficult to tell and if you wait for the signs it will be to late. You may fail to intake adequate Vit D but with new mushrooms on the market that have up to 300 times the VitD via UV exposure its much easier. This is why You should consider it essential to take multi vitamin. You then need to have a year or so worth of time with a few blood tests to see how you are travelling as you go. You may find that if you have digestive issues and many people do, that you are not absorbing certain vitamins and mins well enough. There are some neat tricks like consuming a Vit C whilst eating Iron rich food as it acts as a catalyst and increases your absorption. On the other hand if you use an acid blocker of some sort for acid reflux then you will reduce B12 absorption and probably struggle with getting enough out of the multi vitamin. This is why Injectable B12 is so good for ageing people in particular as ones digestive efficiency drops off with age we can be sure of absorption.
All this being true people have even more problems than this with a standard western diet and they don't get the nutritional benefit of the diversity achieved in a Vegan diet.
In relation to acid inhibitors causing absorption issues, The other fantastic thing about a vegan diet is you can usually reduce your acid levels so far that you no longer need them. I have a hiatus hernia and have had for years yet I did once take acid inhibitors for some time on a vegetarian diet yet it was not required after going vegan.
The other change that helped a lot with any absorption and digestive issues was elimination of Gluten form both mine and my wife's diet.
In relation to the unfortunate circumstance surrounding your baby, I had not mentioned it out of respect because I cannot empathise as I am not a father. I will however say that if for some reason me not mentioning it was offensive and you took it that way I am truly sorry. I will convey with the limited understanding I have my feelings on that tragedy. I wish anyone who want's it the chance for parenthood provided it does not come at the expense of a good childhood, you however due to even being on this forum are the very type of person I would wish great success in this endeavour, the fact that your tragedy occurred was extremely regrettable. I am genuinely sorry for your loss and hope that you understand why I usually think a non parent saying anything is hollow.
That out of the way I will also say that it is quite possible to fall pregnant on a vegan diet and carry full term if one follows what we have already discussed, but statistics indicate that higher fat intake may be of assistance in the year prior to attempting this. Very low or high fat levels on a female are not conducive to pregnancy success. At 17 weeks you have only just passed the 16 week probability barrier and hence it is not unusual for a perfectly healthy person to have this tragedy occur. I actually know a person with the inverse problem right now who is at 18 weeks is 26 years old but weighs 130kg due to eating hamburgers and KFC. She has to go every week to have checkups as she is a high risk pregnancy. I would suggest the american diet does more harm to potential humans than does a standard vegan diet, A well supplemented one will put you beyond the curve..
Pretty much everything I have said in this group is my personal experience - so it's not based on scientific studies - only my personal experience of circumstances and associated levels of well being. Which is how most people make 'choices' about their life and what they do.
You also haven't said anything that seems scientifically substantiated. When I was a vegan I did look for scientific studies about veganism and didn't find much myself.
Also, we are all so different. So even one proscribed diet will work for one, but not for others - because we have different circumstances in health and different needs. Our gut flora has a lot to do with how we digest food and what foods we can digest and others that we struggle with. Also our enzyme production changes according to our diet. I think it takes our bodies a few days or weeks to respond to changes in our diet - in terms of stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes. So sudden or dramatic changes in diet can bring on health problems also.
I've also read that vegan and vegetarian diets can leave us less able over time at producing our own enzymes. Which means that perhaps eating more raw foods may assist with food digestion because raw and fermented foods have their own enzymes in them. Fermented foods more so than raw foods.
But either way - is it reasonable to think that a large majority of humans can have, what I would describe as - a degree in food science???
The government put out regular suggestions about what they think humans should eat - with lots of charts and clear labelling of food stuffs - and yet we find that almost no one complies with these suggestions. What would you do? Make it compulsory to do a degree in food science, so that we are making informed choice about our diet? Or just make it against the law to go away from the government imposed diet, based on vegan food science?
I grew up with an Indian pure vegetarian diet and was vegetarian until I was 32. I had lots of health issues and due to these I became vegan when I was about 20. At different times in my life I had high anxiety about eating any food, due to hurting other life. I was acutely sensitive to harming others. I think it came to the point of mental health problem with myself - as it really could have been diagnosed as anorexia, mixed with depression and anxiety - it consumed my whole life - and could have been seen as obsessive compulsive disorder.
Since I have started to eat milk, eggs, fish and meat, my mental health has improved dramatically - my anxiety is much lower, depression has gone, OCD and signs of anorexia are pretty much normalised. I also took fish oil in large amounts for quite a while, as well as a good multi strain probiotic.
I read somewhere that some of us don't have the capacity to convert flax oil into DHA and EPA, because we lack the enzyme production, and so we are genetically fish eaters or our brain function suffers. I'm not sure what my genes are.
3 mins...... think about how we think and how much weight we give to what thoughts.....
"I read somewhere" is not good enough to base a diet on. In relation to the 99 percent of idiots on this planet not being able to handle the research of simple nutrition and yet amply able understand the minute detail of paris hiltons sex life, well If they all drop dead early I could not care less the planet would be better off and so would our genetic line. As for me I will stick to science and the science says that our digestive systems were only semi adapted to deal with sporadic meat consumption. Our intestines are to long for healthy meat digestion but it doesn't matter because it will be good enough to get you to the age of reproduction and a little beyond, but on average beyond that its science patching the flaws in our genetics ( modern medicine). One good way to avert a lot of these problems is a vegan non gluten mostly raw food diet. Our gut flora are benefited by a vegan diet and any intelligent person would consume capsule form gut flora anyway if possible otherwise make your own sauerkraut or fermented vegetable preserves. Meat and dairy sends your digestive acid levels sky high which causes many health concerns as well as adversely effecting digestion and gut flora environment. As for enzymes, do you really think we evolved to drink the lactate of a cow? so even from your evolutionary justification ( which I say only gets you to a healthy 30 or so) it does not make sense that we would have much ability to digest it. Some races of people have extremely high percentages of lactose intolerance and this would be why. I suspect all your problems were from lack of b12 and not calculating your protein intake correctly. I take your point about education in nutrition but in 60 minutes I could give you most info needed...consider yourself educated(tongue in cheek). cheers