Wednesday, December 4, 2013
According to a 2009 poll, around 1% of American adults reported eating no animal products. In 2011 that number rose to 2.5%--more than double, but still dwarfed by the 48% who reported eating meat, fish or poultry at all of their meals. In this country, most of us are blessed with an abundance of food and food choices. So taking into account our health, the environment and ethical concerns, which diet is best? Are we or aren't we meant to be carnivores?
Clinical Researcher & Author, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart
President and Co-Founder, Farm Sanctuary
Nutritional Sciences Researcher & Blogger, The Daily Lipid
Farmer & Author
Author & Correspondent for ABC News
Clinical Researcher & Author, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart
Neal Barnard, M.D., is Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., who guides numerous clinical trials investigating the effects of diet on body weight, chronic pain, and diabetes. Barnard’s most recent study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes was funded by the National Institutes of Health. He has authored dozens of scientific publications, 15 books for lay readers, and has hosted three PBS television programs on nutrition and health, ranging from weight loss to Alzheimer’s prevention. As President and Founder of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Barnard has been instrumental in efforts to reform federal dietary guidelines. He also leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
President and Co-Founder, Farm Sanctuary
Gene Baur, President and Co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by Time magazine. Since the mid-1980s, Gene has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our system of cheap food production. His book, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food (2008), a national bestseller, is a thought-provoking investigation of the ethical questions surrounding beef, poultry, pork, milk, and egg production. It describes what each of us can do to promote compassion and help stop the systematic mistreatment of the billions of farm animals who are exploited for food in the United States every year.
Nutritional Sciences Researcher & Blogger, The Daily Lipid
Chris Masterjohn pursued a career in health and nutrition after recovering from health problems he developed as a vegan by including high-quality, nutrient-dense animal foods in his diet. He earned a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut in 2012 and currently researches the physiological interactions between fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has published six peer-reviewed publications and has submitted one manuscript for review. He also writes two blogs. The first, The Daily Lipid, is hosted on his web site, Cholesterol-And-Health.Com. The second, Mother Nature Obeyed, is hosted by the Weston A. Price Foundation at westonaprice.org. The opinions expressed in this debate are his own and do not necessarily represent the positions of the University of Illinois.
Farmer & Author
Joel Salatin is a full-time farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. A third generation alternative farmer, he returned to the farm full-time in 1982 and continued refining and adding to his parents’ ideas. The farm services more than 5,000 families, 10 retail outlets, and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs with salad bar beef, pastured poultry, eggmobile eggs, pigaerator pork, forage-based rabbits, pastured turkey, and forestry products, using relationship marketing. Salatin holds a BA degree in English and writes extensively in magazines such as Stockman Grass Farmer, Acres USA, and Foodshed. He is the author of eight books, including Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World (2012). The family’s farm, Polyface Inc., achieved iconic status as the grass farm featured in the new New York Times bestseller The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by food writer guru Michael Pollan, and the award-winning documentary film Food Inc.
59% voted the same way in BOTH pre- and post-debate votes (19% voted FOR twice, 36% voted AGAINST twice, 5% voted UNDECIDED twice). 41% changed their minds (2% voted FOR then changed to AGAINST, 3% voted FOR then changed to UNDECIDED, 12% voted AGAINST then changed to FOR, 4% voted AGAINST then changed to UNDECIDED, 15% voted UNDECIDED then changed to FOR, 5% voted UNDECIDED then changed to AGAINST)*breakdown for those voting the same way twice adds to 60% due to rounding | Breakdown Graphic
I became a vegan after I came to the realization that animal farming these days is horrific. We have no right to put animals through such hell. But then I was pleasantly surprised when all my ailments just went away after I became a vegan ... my Rheumatoid Arthritis, my acid reflux, my high cholesterol, etc. And I feel better and full of energy like never before. And I have no need of supplements either.
I am fully convinced that a vegan diet is what we humans are meant to eat. In our evolutionary history, some of our ancestors ate meat occasionally due to necessity, such as to hold them through harsh winter. But when our body and digestive system were developed, our ancestors' diet were predominately vegan, because our teeth and digestive system today is very similar to those of fruit and veggie eaters, and very different from meat-eaters.
Wow, some oddball comments from some posters. Murderers?
Look, those that are vegans are not likely to change their minds any more than most meat eaters are to become vegans.
It's a personal choice, of course. What's right is what works best for you usually. Some claim religious type reasons for not killing animals while others point out the same examples in their Bible where the "chosen group" ate fish and lamb and sacrificed animals.
So what's to be believed. This expert says this. Another contradicts that. I can only read many sources and check up on whose paying for the research and try and determine whose lying and biased.
My family have all been meat eaters and all died in their 90's with no apparent health problems. Others claim the same for their vegan relatives. So, there ya go
EAT YOUR FOOD RAW, AS DO ALL OTHER SPECIES OF ANIMAL, and if you can't eat it as ALL other species of animals eat it then you probably have no business eating it....
Diet is not rocket science other animals don't have the consul of self professed nutritional dietary professionals within their species, why are humans so confused?
I am a happy, content omnivore. I am 58 yrs. old. Weigh 118 lbs., 5'4". My blood pressure is low normal. I have only ever had one cavity. Nice smile, never had braces. Into my fifties my GYN said she just didn't see uteruses as healthy as mine and was tested positive for having the perfect healthy environment for conceiving and nurturing a healthy baby. Same thing with my eye doctor, she couldn't believe that my eyes were getting better and doing things they shouldn't be able to do for my age. Most people fall out when they find out my age.
I eat lots of pasture butter, always have. Nothing low fat. Get whole raw dairy when I can. I don't go for lean meat, but better cuts with more fat and grain and pasture raised. Pasture raised chiken, liver, eggs. I eat fish (not farm raised). I love fruits and vegetable and eat plenty of organic ones. I've never smoked, done drugs, rarely drink alcohol. I don't eat chips, crackers, white flour, rarely wheat, I use sprouted spelt mostly, I eat brown rice. stay away from soy, canola oil, vegetable oils, accept for olive, sesame, pumpkin, and coconut. I rarely eat foods with sugar. I do prepare treats using a little rapadura, coconut crystals, maple syrup or unheated honey occasionally. But what I've experienced is that as long as I'm getting plenty of fat in my diet I don't want or enjoy sugary desserts, but when I don't I start craving the sugar.
Truely, I grew up eating a diet similar to this. Good balanced meals, with lots of variety. Whole milk form the milk man at every meal, a small glass of juice with breakfast Otherwise we drank water. Butter, eggs, meat with fat! Fresh fish because we lived near the ocean. We never had kool-aid, candy (accept at halloween) Cookies (accept rare special homemade ones). Year after year I never missed a day of school. Never remember being sick as a child accept with the 3 day measles.
And now, I am almost never sick (maybe once every three yrs.) I may get a mild cold or flu. I'm not on any medications. About 2 yrs ago I started juicing every day and I ended up with a kidney infection because the vegetables I was using were so high in oxalic acids. I hadn't had a kidney infection for thirty years before that and only that one time.
I do not believe it was the meat alone that has made the difference for all those vegetarians and their nonvegetarian ailing friends. There is a much bigger picture to explore. What kind of meat and dairy were you putting into your body? How much refined substance were you or they putting into the body.
People don't want to change because it's hard to change for most people. All the people posting comments that eat meat/dairy want to hear good new about their bad habits. It amazes me how blind people are. I've been eating a plant based diet for over 3 years and have never felt better. I didn't do it for the animals but for me. I loved eating big fat steaks and burgers. They tasted great but I was unhealthy and fat.
Fat is the new norml. I'm 5'11 and 170 lbs. I can bench press 250 and I'm 47 years old. I'm not pale and weak.
Government it probably the biggest problem. They subsidize meat/dairy so we get big and fat. Then they give us free healthcare if you qualify.
Joel Salatin said we need meats for poor. Does he know 70 to 80 % of grains produced in US go to feed livestocks? We could feed hungry people with those grains and it's cheaper to produce grains and veggies than raising cows. He pretends like he cares about the poor, then he said meat price should be triple, and argue those bad health results from meat eating apply to Factory Farming meats. What kind of meats should poor eat, sir?
When I was about 9, my uncle took me with him to work his rice field with the combine. I was raised around hunting and fishing, but I was shocked by the death that I witnessed. I remember snakes, mice, rabbits, and "marsh hens" as he called them being raked and I suspect killed by the combine. To those who say that a vegan diet is without harm, I respectfully disagree. Don't just take my word, ask any farmer if what I am saying is true. Namaste.
I have 3 grandparents, 2 aunts and 3 uncles who died of heart disease and both my parents have had multiple heart bypass surgeries, so it seems I should have heart disease by now. I don't and my blood tests including cholesterol, c-reactive protein, homocysteine, testosterone, and calcium are all optimum/near optimum from eating a vegan diet and very little refined grains and sugar for the past 3 years.
I haven't been sick, had allergies, indigestion, heart burn or tight joints since I switched.
There are those who want to "eat like our ancestors", but we don't really know what they ate, and they probably ate whatever they could in their region depending on the climate and what was available. Even if they did eat meat, so what? I want to eat healthier than that.
I also don't want to contribute to the 40 billion animals a year born into suffering.
I've spent the last ten years studying sustainability; and can assure you that the impact livestock has on the environment is profound. From soil degradation to water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, the meat and dairy industry is causing more devastation than any other human practice.
It is true that there are people on this planet who need animal products to survive, but I am certain they don't include anyone reading this post. It is also true that many people adopt veganism without bothering to learn about nutrition. Unfortunately, they give the rest of us a bad name. Many of the healthiest, strongest, fastest and longest-lived people on earth do not eat anything with a face. Others have cured themselves of the most common illnesses plaguing the western world today.
So Mary Smythe I hope you don't use leather goods like shoes, belts, bags, car seats , furniture the list goes on and on !! Better check your cosmetics as well they are loaded with animal products! And do you go into grocery stores that sell these "Murdered" souls ?? I hope not ! And if these animals are being murdered are you doing everything possible to save them ? Or is this your effort put forth in saving these "Murdered" souls ....writing a comment ?? Better go and set some cows free to tonight or chickens Maybe they can move in with you
I agree with Ryan. I don't think it was a total sham, but it was apparent from the very beginning that the moderator favored the pro-vegan side. And when he cut off Chris Masterjohn on his analysis of the claims of one his opponents and stated that this was an ad hominem attack, it became abundantly clear that the debate was not really about science. Too bad. I do think several things could have been mentioned by Chris and Joel that would have laid to rest the debate once and for all, at least from a health perspective, including some of Dr. Price's findings of the exceptionally healthy and disease-free "primitive" peoples he studied almost a century ago, all of whom coveted animal fat and all whom ate animal fat and meat in varying amounts, but all in all I thought the "against" side was very strong. And I commend them for pointing out that we are all *individuals*. Whoda thunk? Some of us cannot live healthy lives without animal meat and fat in our diets. Some of us can. Many of us have tried to live without and have become unwell as a result. The pro-vegan side did not seem to recognize individual differences in human nutritional needs. Although it's possible they mentioned it and I missed it since the video stopped and buffered for long periods a few times.
I now feel great switching to a pure vegetarian 'vegan' diet from a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian (including Dairy and eggs in my diet) not long ago. I take a high strength Vitamin B12 supplement every few days and also Algae DHA for Omega 3 regularly. A pure vegetarian 'vegan' diet helped me achieve my ideal healthy weight. I have never felt better; all thanks to following the advice in Dr. Neal Barnard's books and reading 'Diet For A New America' by John Robbins.
We can all look forward to a future where people will be sitting together around camp fires and telling fascinating stories of when humans sickened themselves by consuming the corpses of dead animals.
for those talking about ancestral diet and traditions, one of the problems with eating meat, fish or any animals is that is NOT sustainable any more, regardless of health, the planet just cannot afford it any more, meat production is among the top causes of global warming, and causes hunger too! 70% of the crops in the US go to feed livestock, perhaps, regardless of my ethical veganism, 'before' we could afford to eat animals... Do your homework, the UN and NASA have studies that show that 2038 the oceans will be dead as ecosystems because of commercial fishing practices, the land is growing dryer, hotter, so eating as our grandparents did is not an option anymore! Humane meat is not sustainable either. Again, I am an ethical vegan, I stopped eating animals for personal moral reasons, but I later I learned that there are powerful environmental reasons to NOT eat meat... We must evolve as species and find ways to respect nature, animals, the planet, and ourselves.
Buzzards and vultures don't follow the tractors that till the fields for nothing. To produce enough plants to feed the same amount of people that two cows would feed, 55 other types of animals are KILLED. Or do vegans not care about the rabbits, woodchucks, groundhogs, mice, snakes ect ect. that the tractors blitzkrieg when they till the land? Not to mention the bugs!
And if everyone was vegan, um... How many more forests would we have to clear to produce enough plants to feed us all?
I AM an animal lover and steak is my favorite animal.
Thank you, Chris and Joel
GregWoolhouse 30 thousand rabbits on 30 acres is ridiculous even if you were farming rabbits. I had 14 acres in Kansas on the river and never saw close to a thousand rabbits. Just in the last two weeks you planted blueberries but two years ago they were doing fine? Is this the new math or did your deer time travel from the past to eat your berries. I submit you live in DC in an apartment.
@Bova - Fun fact about Masterjohn: he's a contributor/writer for the Weston A. Price Foundation - a meat and dairy/anti-soy lobbyist group. http://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/cmasterjohn/
Question for the 21st century: If aliens came here and saw us as "meat" would we then be "meat:"? ANIMALS ARE NOT MEAT. They are beings in their own right who deserve what we want for ourselves ... to live in peace, unharassed, and free from bodily harm.
I wish the consciousness and therefore the language would change. Animals are not meat.
And what we do to the animals we do to ourselves. It's karma. And karma is moving very fast now.
Some bizarre comments here.
I eat meat, fat, fruit, green veges and some starchy roots.
Basically I eat what my ancestors ate. Here we have people of a privileged class, who have lost contact with their own ancestral cultural identity, telling the rest of the world not to eat their ancestral diet, with no science except pseudoscience to back up that this is a good or even a safe idea.
The vegan experiment amounts to 1% of the population of Western countries, and people who can and do drop out and eat meat whenever it suits them. Not to mention supplements, imported superfoods, easy access to blood transfusions and medicines, and the other accouterments of privilege. And from this they can dictate a plan for everyone? Some reality checks should be cashed before this goes further.
Quite frankly this debate was a total sham. When Chris Masterjohn began to question the science Dr Barnard was using, the moderator told him this was 'a personal attack'. IF a scientist is not allowed to question scientific studies and look at the details, then this debate is simply not about science. I, for one, prefer to include a deeper and detailed look at science when making health based decisions
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