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Korn
Mar 22nd, 2007, 08:34 AM
Eating meat isn't natural

Why humans are primarily plant-eaters by design

by Michael Bluejay,
August 2006 (http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural.html)

A little excerpt:

Humans lack a desire to eat whole animals

True carnivores (and omnivores) get excited about eating whole prey animals when they see them. Humans do not. We're interested in eating the body parts only because they've been removed from the original animal and processed, and because we grew up eating them, making it seem perfectly normal. It's amazing how much of a disconnect we've been able to learn about the difference between animals and food. As GoVeg puts it:
While carnivores take pleasure in killing animals and eating their raw flesh, any human who killed an animal with his or her bare hands and dug into the raw corpse would be considered deranged. Carnivorous animals are aroused by the scent of blood and the thrill of the chase. Most humans, on the other hand, are revolted by the sight of raw flesh and cannot tolerate hearing the screams of animals being ripped apart and killed. The bloody reality of eating animals is innately repulsive to us, more proof that we were not designed to eat meat.
Ask yourself: When you see dead animals on the side of the road, are you tempted to stop for a snack? Does the sight of a dead bird make you salivate? Do you daydream about killing cows with your bare hands and eating them raw? If you answered "no" to all of these questions, congratulations - you're a normal human herbivore - like it or not. Humans were simply not designed to eat meat. Humans lack both the physical characteristics of carnivores and the instinct that drives them to kill animals and devour their raw carcasses.

RubyDuby
Jul 2nd, 2007, 04:11 PM
My boyfriend found this awesome video on youtube. I searched vegan forum and didn't see it talked about anywhere. I wasn't sure where to post it but I HAD to share. If there's somewhere better to put it please let me know.


http://youtube.com/watch?v=Tt72EPHpS_U

RubyDuby
Jul 2nd, 2007, 09:03 PM
Sorry, I just found an original thread with this video in it :o


http://veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9931

sandra
Jul 3rd, 2007, 06:27 PM
What Michael Bluejay says is very true, I particularly like the table comparing humans with other animals.

harpy
Jul 3rd, 2007, 06:47 PM
I don't actually find the article very persuasive myself. For one thing, no-one is saying that humans are carnivores; the usual position is that they're omnivores. For another, the claim that people get ill from eating meat is weak in the context of an evolutionary discussion since people don't normally develop these illnesses until they're old enough to have reproduced and reared their young (if they reproduced at a "natural" age). Also it seems plausible that these diseases arise from eating the wrong kind of meat in the wrong quantity, rather than from meat-eating per se.

I think it's much better to argue for veganism on the grounds that eating animal products is unnecessary and cruel, rather than from the idea that it's not natural.

Heartsease
Jul 3rd, 2007, 07:03 PM
I think it's much better to argue for veganism on the grounds that eating animal products is unnecessary and cruel, rather than from the idea that it's not natural.

There are a huge amount of people who don't care about animal welfare...or who are indifferent about it. It is only 'cruel' if a person actually believes animals have feelings. But yes...I'm sure most people agree it is unnecessary....but then, by the same token...so are computers...and we want them.

If someone can help to point out other reasons why eating non-humans is not such a good idea then I think that is a good thing.
I don't mind the motives behind a person's 'veganism'...all of us (people, non-humans, the planet) are better off as a result of their veganism,whatever brought them there.

harpy
Jul 3rd, 2007, 07:59 PM
Yes, Heartsease, I agree that in one sense any reason for being vegan is a good reason :D , but I don't think there's any point in using arguments that don't stand up to scrutiny, because people are going to scrutinise them.

It would be fine to use health arguments but personally I haven't seen any convincing arguments that eating some meat is bad for you, though obviously eating a lot of poor-quality meat is. Ecological arguments are good too.

Heartsease
Jul 3rd, 2007, 09:16 PM
Yes, Heartsease, I agree that in one sense any reason for being vegan is a good reason :D , but I don't think there's any point in using arguments that don't stand up to scrutiny, because people are going to scrutinise them.

Yep, true enough. Becuz I am already unquestionably vegan I did'nt actually read the article myself.:eek: And.....yes.... you're right.... to spout one's opinion as if it is a widely accepted 'fact' can make one look foolish....which can have a ripple effect on an entire movement (so tempting to say 'bowel' there!:p)

sandra
Jul 3rd, 2007, 10:02 PM
I believe eating meat isn't natural..........if it is, then we as vegans are all 'un-natural'. I don't see how meat can be 'good' for you whatever quality it is. It still rots in your colon and causes cancer.
Also, I believe arguing for veganism on any grounds is a good thing, whether it be from a health point of view or cruelty aspect.

harpy
Jul 4th, 2007, 11:51 AM
I believe eating meat isn't natural..........if it is, then we as vegans are all 'un-natural'. I don't see how meat can be 'good' for you whatever quality it is. It still rots in your colon and causes cancer.

If you put it that way it certainly doesn't sound good for you :D , but I haven't yet seen any scientific evidence that eating small amounts of meat causes cancer.


Also, I believe arguing for veganism on any grounds is a good thing, whether it be from a health point of view or cruelty aspect.

Agreed, but any argument needs to be strong enough to convince people who don't already think the same way.

sandra
Jul 5th, 2007, 12:45 PM
I still think even eating 'small' amounts of meat can have an accumulated effect and cause harm...............there is scientific evidence that meat stays in the intestines for long periods of time and can lead to cancer.
I also think his arguments are strong enough to convince people........but then that's just my opinion!:D :)

harpy
Jul 5th, 2007, 01:28 PM
there is scientific evidence that meat stays in the intestines for long periods of time and can lead to cancer.

Do you have any refs, Sandra? It would certainly be useful if there were evidence that eating any amount of meat is bad for you, but all the stuff I recall seeing seen is about people who eat more than x ounces of meat/week.

sandra
Jul 5th, 2007, 02:47 PM
I don't have any examples to hand but I'm sure Korn does. :)
The very fact that eating ANY amount of meat is bad for you should be enough to put people off it, even if it is only over x ounces.
After all meat is flesh in the first stages of decomposition.
The thought of the flesh of another once living animal lying in your stomach rotting is just too horrible to comprehend...................I know instinctively it has got to be bad for you!

RubyDuby
Jul 6th, 2007, 09:14 PM
is this helpful? It's a couple of years old, but must still be relevent.


http://www.pcrm.org/news/archive050112.html

Meat Raises Colon Cancer Risk
posted 01/12/05

A report in tomorrow’s Journal of the American Medical Association confirms the findings of earlier studies linking meat consumption to colon cancer. In the Cancer Prevention Study II, involving 148,610 adults followed since 1982, the group with the highest meat intake had approximately 50 percent higher colon cancer risk, compared with those with lower intakes.
The study found no relationship between white meat and colon cancer among men and found a negative relationship in women. The study did not report results for vegetarians within the cohort. Such data are of interest because earlier studies have indicated that those consuming white meat, particularly chicken, have approximately a threefold higher colon cancer risk compared with vegetarians.
Editorial comment:
We hope that the study’s sponsor, the American Cancer Society, will be encouraged by these findings to discontinue its beef-promoting Cattle Barons’ Ball fundraisers, held annually in cities throughout the U.S.

or this?...

http://www.cancerproject.org/survival/cancer_facts/meat.php

The Cancer Project- Cancer Prevention and Survival

The World Health Organization has determined that dietary factors account for at least 30 percent of all cancers in Western countries and up to 20 percent in developing countries. When cancer researchers started to search for links between diet and cancer, one of the most noticeable findings was that people who avoided meat were much less likely to develop the disease. Large studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters.1-3 In the United States, researchers studied Seventh-day Adventists, a religious group that is remarkable because, although nearly all members avoid tobacco and alcohol and follow generally healthful lifestyles, about half of the Adventist population is vegetarian, while the other half consumes modest amounts of meat. This fact allowed scientists to separate the effects of eating meat from other factors. Overall, these studies showed significant reductions in cancer risk among those who avoided meat.4 In contrast, Harvard studies showed that daily meat eaters have approximately three times the colon cancer risk, compared to those who rarely eat meat.
A number of hypotheses have been advanced to explain the connection between meat consumption and cancer risk. First, meat is devoid of fiber and other nutrients that have a protective effect. Meat also contains animal protein, saturated fat, and, in some cases, carcinogenic compounds such as heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) formed during the processing or cooking of meat. HCAs, formed as meat is cooked at high temperatures, and PAHs, formed during the burning of organic substances, are believed to increase cancer risk. In addition, the high fat content of meat and other animal products increases hormone production, thus increasing the risk of hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer.
In 1997, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) published a review of the major studies on food, nutrition, and cancer prevention. For cancers of the breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreas, it was determined that red meat (beef, pork, or lamb) consumption possibly increased cancer risk. For colorectal cancer, a review of the literature determined that red meat probably increased cancer risk and that processed meat, saturated/animal fat, and heavily cooked meat possibly increased risk.5

RubyDuby
Jul 6th, 2007, 09:19 PM
back to that adorable video... hehe... I find it especially interesting that humans do not have the enzymes in our stomach to kill the bacteria in rotting meat. Because of this we have to cook the meat, which causes it to be carcinogenic. How could that be natural???

sandra
Jul 6th, 2007, 10:03 PM
Thank you RubyDuby. :)

harpy
Jul 7th, 2007, 12:53 PM
The trouble with the sites Ruby mentioned is that they're both connected with the PCRM. People who are anti-vegetarian will quickly point out that the PRCM is a pro-vegetarian organisation and will be inclined to dispute its interpretation of the studies quoted.

IMO what would really be a "magic bullet" to convince people (people of a scientific bent anyway) that veg*nism is healthier is a peer-reviewed study showing that any amount of meat reduces mortality from all causes (not just one cause, cancer, because it could be a swings and roundabout thing, with meat causing some diseases and preventing others). Maybe something like this will emerge from the EPIC study. Stephen Walsh's "Plant Based Nutrition and Health", published by the Vegan Society, (page 9) has quite an interesting discussion of earlier life expectancy studies, which appear to put occasional (<once a week) meat-eaters on a par with vegetarians. (Vegans don't seem to do as well as vegetarians in these studies, which he puts down to sub-optimal vegan diets.)

Sorry to sound like a troll but I think one should put oneself in the position of people who don't already think like one does. Personally all I needed to make me go veg*n was to be convinced that it could be as healthy as the alternative, since I had already been convinced that it was preferable in other respects (i.e. less cruel).

ETA here's a summary of the EPIC findings to date which seem to be a bit of a "win some, lose some" situation from a vegan point of view http://www.iarc.fr/epic/Sup-default.html though doubtless some of the findings are subject to re-interpretation.

frank language
Jul 9th, 2007, 01:16 AM
Sorry to sound like a troll but I think one should put oneself in the position of people who don't already think like one does. Personally all I needed to make me go veg*n was to be convinced that it could be as healthy as the alternative, since I had already been convinced that it was preferable in other respects (i.e. less cruel).
On a board like this one, where you can only be a member of the forums if you agree with everyone else, I think it's vital to have "trolls" to point out potential opposing viewpoints.

When I first came here, I complained to someone about how it reminded me of the part of Life on the Mississippi (Mark Twain) where someone is at a sťance and a spirit is contacted who is asked, "So what do you all talk about in heaven?"

"About how happy we all are," replies the spirit.

I get kind of tired of having long threads of agreement and patting one another on the back. That can be useful to a point, but it gets old fast.

That said, eating meat is as natural as it gets for most people in the world; most people love the taste of meat, and even if it's bad for them--and even if they aren't able to get it easily or at all. Eating meat is clearly not decimating the population; the population is continuing to explode, and probably will until the world burns itself out.

People love leather, too; when the "fad" of polyurethane shoes and belts burns itself out, people will still be wearing leather--which is only a by-product of the meat industry. Most vegetarians wear leather, I notice.

Korn
Jul 9th, 2007, 09:03 AM
On a board like this one, where you can only be a member of the forums if you agree with everyone else, I think it's vital to have "trolls" to point out potential opposing viewpoints.
Lots of people disagree with each other on various topics here... the only requrement we have is that people agree in being vegans (and are vegans). Otherwise, it wouldn't have been a vegan board...



That said, eating meat is as natural as it gets for most people in the world; most people love the taste of meat
When you talk about 'most' people, are you sure you don't confuse 'natural' with 'normal'? The fact that lots of people do this or that doesn't make it 'natural', it only makes it normal.

Korn
Jul 9th, 2007, 09:27 AM
The trouble with the sites Ruby mentioned is that they're both connected with the PCRM. People who are anti-vegetarian will quickly point out that the PRCM is a pro-vegetarian organisation and will be inclined to dispute its interpretation of the studies quoted.

This is a tricky one... if a physician examines all the facts he has access to about nutrition, health and biology, and comes to the conclusion that he is in favor of recommending a 100% plant based diet, he would probably be interested in join Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) or something similar, but this wouldn't make the facts they make their decision on unvalid. To not trust some pro vegan argument from someone who is vegan/pro vegan, would be silly, because it would more or less equal not being willing to listen to anyone's arguments - or trust any facts - unless the people who delivered these arguments/facts would disagree in them or find the facts unreliable.


Sorry to sound like a troll but I think one should put oneself in the position of people who don't already think like one does.
I agree - and it shouldn't be that that hard... after all, at least 99% of us were non-vegans before we became vegans, and most of us have been non-vegans for a much longer part of our lives than we have been vegans...

sandra
Jul 9th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Hi frank language, I don't 'pat' ANYONE on the back if I disagree with what they are saying. :)

harpy
Jul 9th, 2007, 01:05 PM
To not trust some pro vegan argument from someone who is vegan/pro vegan, would be silly, because it would more or less equal not being willing to listen to anyone's arguments - or trust any facts - unless the people who delivered these arguments/facts would disagree in them or find the facts unreliable.

Yes, a credible argument is a credible argument regardless of who's advancing it. However because they are open to accusations of bias, pro-vegan scientists need to demonstrate that they are applying the same logic and rigour as other scientists would, and to cite credible (i.e. objective, and not selective) data.

I think that's particularly true of the PCRM because they have already been criticised by the mainstream press on the grounds of their links with PETA, and also on the grounds that their name is not an accurate description of who they are (see for example http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/oid/23 )

Obviously bias is all over the place and a lot of mainstream studies are funded by agribusiness, but two wrongs don't make a right.

Korn
Jul 9th, 2007, 02:18 PM
I can see that their link to Peta (which are known for their links links to ALF) and PCRMs former link to Jerry Vlasak will hurt their credibilty.

It's a difficult situation, because it's so easy for outsiders to not trust any of these groups if they ever make a mistake, hire the wrong people or promote types of activism most people (and most vegans) don't participate in. As far as I know, people have been accusing Vlasak to have been representing PCRM in cases where both PCRM and Vlasak has denied that this has been the case, and even if PCRM to my knowledge have made an firm effort to distance themselves from Vlasak, there will always be people who blame them for having had connections with him in the past (didn't he even work for them at some point?). Rhere will always be people from the meat industry etc. who are against all kinds of activism or facts threatening their situation.

The best thing would probably be to always use sources that has no links to Peta - and definitely ALF and Vlasak - at all, because they have lost so much credibility already... maybe to such an extent that if eg. would 'straighten up their act', there's documentation about things they've done in the past. I would never use eg. Peta as a source.

I don't know enough about PCRM to know if they are considered being reliable. A separate group of physicians/nutritionists/researchers would of course be trusted by more people than anyone connected with ALF, Vlasak or Peta.

But then again, unless such an organization or research group would consist of both vegans and non-vegans, they would still be considered biased.

Luckily, there are lots of non-vegan experts that confirm that the studies eg. PCRM refer to aren't conducted by PCRM - eg. what they wrote about the link between eating meat and an increased colon cancer risk is based on a study originally reported in Journal of the American Medical Association - not a vegan source. The ironic thing is that if Journal of the American Medical Association at some point theoretically would conclude that eating vegan is more healthy than eating animal products, lots of people would stop trusting them.

Almost no studies are funded by pro-vegan organizations, they are only referred to in pro-vegan media.

steven1222
Jul 9th, 2007, 05:48 PM
To not trust some pro vegan argument from someone who is vegan/pro vegan, would be silly, because it would more or less equal not being willing to listen to anyone's arguments - or trust any facts - unless the people who delivered these arguments/facts would disagree in them or find the facts unreliable.

That is not necessarily true because some people who provide arguments or interpretations could have had a neutral opinion on the subject before receiving the information. Most of the arguments and supposed 'facts' that vegans and vegan supporters use are true, but there is the possibility of ambiguous information being interpreted as evidence that [insert animal product here] is unhealthy. The meat and dairy industries need to distort the facts more in order to make a (false) claim of health benefits, but not all pro-vegan people are immune from such tactics. Skepticism of any potentially biased source is therefore reasonable.

Korn
Jul 9th, 2007, 05:56 PM
That is not necessarily true because the people who provided the arguments or interpretations could have a neutral opinion.

If a person contacts a doctor or expert on nutrition for advice, he'll probably 'by default' consider him a neutral person - if he eats animal products - in other words, if he doesn't recommend a vegan diet. My point is that if he eats/uses meat, dairy and other animal products, he's just as biased as a doctor or expert who doesn't use animal products. Since you can't be both a vegan and a non-vegan at the same time, all these experts are either based in a vegan or non-vegan lifestyle, and therefore, not really unbiased - right? The only exception I can think of right now would be a non-vegan doctor who would recommend a vegan diet, or a vegan doctor that would recommend people to use animal products. But then again - how non-biased are a non-vegan doctor that recommends people to become vegans really? And how likely is it to find a vegan doctor recommending people to stay away from a vegan lifestyle?