I remember as a child asking my mother, "Why do we kill animals and eat them?" She answered by telling me what she believed to be true. She told me that it was sad but we needed to eat meat and this is nature. This was more than 45 years ago and neither of us knew a vegetarian, let alone a vegan. As soon as I learned that, in fact, it was not necessary to eat animals I became a vegetarian. After learning, more I became vegan. Currently I have been a happy, healthy vegan for more than 20 years.
I don't get M-j Raichyk's comment. We're all going to die eventually so why not kill other people? Since they are going to die anyway, why not tear babies from their mothers, kill the babies, take the mothers' milk and kill the moms when they are still young?
My values include compassion, mercy, the Golden Rule, non violence and empathy. I also don't believe in the powerful abusing the powerless.
Vegans are proof that it is not necessary to eat animals or animal products. The fact that it is not necessary is a crucial point and makes all the difference.
I thought that I posted a comment but don't see it, so I will write again. My apologies if I end up posting twice.
It saddens me to see factions in the vegan community. I am heavily immersed in both sides of this division and I do sometimes feel torn. I eat in the way recommended by Furhman, McDougall and Novick(I blend all of their advice) but I am also a huge fan of Vegan Outreach, Matt Ball, Jack Norris, and Ginny Messina.
Considering the immense suffering we inflict on those who are powerless - suffering hidden and so bad that it is beyond our ability to even grasp, I think that this is something we need to address. Talking only about health implies that the suffering of animals doesn't matter and that only human interests matter. Human society needs to confront our abuse of power and cruelty aginst animals. Please watch Farm to Fridge and Earthlings to really grasp this issue.Warning: They are brutal to watch.
But just as there is no need to choose between compassion for people and compassion for animals, there is no need to choose between eating healthy and caring about the suffering that farmed animals endure. I always talk about the suffering of animals to help people bridge the disconnect but I also explain thaqt the style of vegan that I eat is based on health concerns. I convey that eating animal products causes unnecesary suffering and that eating vegan doesn't automatically mean a healthy diet, etc. But I would never ignore the animal suffering.
When a person truly gets this in her or his heart, the veganism sticks for life.
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Well there's definitely more "evidence" than there was when I last had this debate. But still only a couple of epidemiological studies, so not the sort of evidence that would convince someone like Ginny "Just The Facts" Messina. But for argument's sake, what if we were to play it safe and go for 2 cigarretes a MONTH ?
I can't say that I understand your point about comparing the risk of smoking to the risk of meat eating. The point I'm making is that there's a level of consumption below which the health consequences become negligible. At which point it becomes impossible to show the associated harm (in a RCT or even epidemiological setting). I'm sure you realise that such a level does exist even for smoking.
Regarding your point about opinions being based on scientific consensus and not on the work of individuals, I agree, but surely you don't think the above-mentioned doctors are just basing their opinions on the work of a few individuals.
Have you seen the number of references that Dr Campbell cites in his book The China Study ? That book includes Dr Campbell's review of hundreds of articles in the scientific literature as well as the China Project itself. I'm sure some people have been fooled by the seemingly persuasive and undeservedly well publicised criticisms of The China Study that are floating around. As well as criticisms from people like Jack and Ginny. Most if not all of which have fallen apart under closer scrutiny. And for the record, I don't think there's any scientific evidence on this planet that could withstand the scrutiny that that book has been subjected to. I'm sure that if you read it, you'll understand WHY it's been scrutinised so hard. Please also note that Dr Campbell has always been very clear about how far the evidence goes, as well as presenting a good case as to why people should go 100%.
As for olive oil, do you think these guys would recommend giving it up if they didn't think it was worth it ? Do you think they're just saying it because they think it'll make them more popular, or because they like destroying everyone's fun ? Do you think people such as Jeff Novick or Dr Barnard aren't reading all the same studies as Ginny Messina and Jack Norris ? I can guarantee you they are, and I can guarantee you that they're also evaluating the results of those articles carefully and seeing how that information fits in with what they've seen in their many years of clinical experience. And during those many years of clinical experience, I'm sure they've learned many things that aren't even IN the scientific literature (yet).
No doubt these docs sometimes resort to hyperbole-esque statements when trying to communicate their message to a brainwashed public, and maybe once in a while they might change their recommendations in line with new findings, and I know not all of them are ethical vegans, and some of them might say "plant-based" instead of vegan. But they still have a goldmine of information to offer you, and most of them risked their careers and professional circles to get that information to you. And not to have a dig, but I know a couple of ethical vegans who lament the use of the word "plant-based", and yet these same people haven't even plucked up the courage to tell their own mothers-in-law that they're vegan.
Vegan Outpreach and Ginny Messina drew a line in the sand many years ago when they said they don't think the health argument exists. And I think they made it quite clear that they wouldn't use it even if they thought it DID exist. And they don't want anyone else using it either. That indicates a strong bias in my view, and may well be clouding their judgement on these matters. And when you draw a line in the sand like that, it also means you're going to be less likely to admit you're wrong if/when that realisation comes.
You may be interested to know that Vegan Outpreach and Ginny Messina also think vegans should stop using the environmental argument:
They want this to be purely about the animals.
Although for some reason, they're happy to try and hook the public in with tasty fat-laidened food, which I find to be quite inconsistent with their values. Because that's really pandering to people's self-interest isn't it ? Just like the health argument. It's called the "taste argument". And there was me thinking it was supposed to be about the animals. And what are people going to do if they're stuck in some low-class hotel with no fancy vegan restaurant and no oven to make their vegan Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cakes ? Might they give up on veganism if the food they're faced with isn't up to the standard they've been promised by all those taste-promoting vegans ? It's just setting them up for failure if you ask me.
Anyways, in light of the possible biases mentioned above, I'd encourage you to contact the above doctors / RD's next time you hear Jack or Ginny or anyone else criticise their work, because there may well be something that Jack and Ginny are over-looking or not wanting to face up to. And it's only fair to give these docs a chance to defend themselves.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that they're very accessible.
All the best
P.S. - I realise that I've responded to a couple of points that you didn't actually make.
Ha ! True words, Jeff.
I think more and more people are getting sick of the non-stop health-bashing coming out of the Norris / Ball / Messina quarters.
At the end of the day, I think they're confused about what they stand for and derive most of their identity from the shots they take at others in the veg world. Others who are far too busy saving lives (human and animal) to retaliate.
I hope Norris / Ball / Messina find their true calling some day.
Hi, how much does this DVD cost? Any idea please?
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