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Thread: "Eating meat isn't natural'

  1. #51
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Humans are omnivores. We are biologically capable of digesting both meat and vegetables.
    Since there's no evidence documenting that all the serious, unwanted health conditions that are associated with meat consumption only occur because the meat is processed in certain ways (or similar), I disagree that humans as a species today are "capable of digesting meat without becoming ill", but since this has been discussed many times before in several other threads, I'll leave it there.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  2. #52
    Mahk
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    I think if lifelong vegans lived significantly longer we'd know about it because Jains have been around for centuries and they have a vegan diet yet I've never heard of Jains as a population living into the`100+ years bracket. Could it be that medical science has just never noticed it for the past many centuries they've been around? I doubt it.
    ---

    Since belladonna, poisonous mushrooms, and other deadly plants are all vegetables and are unhealthy for us, maybe humans aren't meant to eat vegetables?
    ---
    Korn, do you think there are any animals on the planet which are naturally omnivores then? or are they all actually either herbivores or carvivores but some occassionally eat the "wrong" (unhealthy) category like omni humans do?

  3. #53
    Prawnil
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    It's interesting to consider that for who knows how long before 1989, at least here, ruminant tracts have been coping with meat and bone meal as feed. The fact that flesh can be smuggled into the diet of categorised herbivores without severe ill effect slightly weakens a sharp Omnivore/herbivore divide to me. In the case of humans, we can survive with, and survive without, so what's the herbivore/omnivore distinction worth? Nothing, I'd say.

    There doesn't seem to be much reason to believe that the benefit to length of life* that might be given by vegan/vegetarian living would be much more than subtle - Are there available large scale epidemiological studies specifically comparing longevity of vegans versus non-vegans? I do wonder how the gap, if it exists, is influenced in the western world, on the western diet, by medical intervention...

    yet I've never heard of Jains as a population living into the`100+ years bracket. Could it be that medical science has just never noticed it for the past many centuries they've been around?
    Could be that google is a pretty limiting research resource. Could be that beyond a reasonably complete nutritional foundation from whatever foods, human longevity is not very variable, combined with the facts that their populations are small, their diet may not significantly vary from other populations in the same regions where they were/are concentrated, and that medical science (as a unity?) is not omnipresent.

    The Inuit are pretty mindbending, though.

    *McCarty, Barroso-Arranda, Contreras, 2009. The low-methionine content of vegan diets may make methionine restriction feasable as a life extension strategy, Medical Hypotheses 72(2)

    Walter, 1997. Effects of vegetarian diets on aging and longevity. Nutr Rev 55(61)

  4. #54
    Mahk
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    I think statistically we could have longer and more boring lives by giving up salt, and of course all condiments and foods that contain salt. Like all the other animals on the planet we get all the sodium we need naturally from the foods we eat. No other animal on the planet salts their food and we don't have to either. All that salt brings to the table is high blood pressure which statistically shortens out average life span.

    Eating salt isn't natural.

  5. #55
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Korn, do you think there are any animals on the planet which are naturally omnivores then?
    We may not only disagree on who can be considered natural omnivores and who may not, but also in how the word "omnivore", and especially "natural omnivore" is being used.

    I don't think it makes sense to call a human - or any other animal - a "natural" eater of earthworms if the criterion would be that they are "capable of" eating earthworms without any know side effects.

    For most people, the claim that humans are natural omnivores is often interpreted as if humans 'should' eat animal products, they we are meant/designed or "equipped from nature" to do it, as in "eating cow's meat is a natural thing to do for humans".

    Apparently, grizzly bears are natural omnivores. They have the speed/strength/teeth/claws etc. it takes to catch, kill and tear apart other animals (they still eat only 20% animal products). Others could be considered natural larvae eaters, for example, but these terms - especially 'natural omnivore', and especially when used about humans - create more confusion than clarity.

    Humans differ from other animals in terms of our ability to make choices - because we can accumulate knowledge and communicate with each others in certain ways other animals don't seem to be capable of. We also differ when it comes to our abilities to create advanced creations. We may create nuclear bombs and we may eat sheep brains, but we aren't 'natural nuclear bomb' or natural sheep brain eaters. We aren't natural ***** eaters just because we may eat ******.

    Natural, when used about something we do (and not about something physical like eg. an apple or a nuclear bomb) indirectly suggests that the activity is 'natural' for us, in a positive way.

    Looking at our natural capabilities - thing we can do without using advanced tools - one could say that it's natural for us to eat larvae, earthworms, ants and dead flies, because we can do it without making nuclear bombs or weapons. I still don't think humans should be described as natural ant (etc) eaters, and even less so, as natural meat eaters.

    And - as I'm sure we all agree in - even if a human 'naturally' may steal an egg from a bird an eat it, that doesn't mean that it's a good thing or something we should do. "Natural" is something totally irrelevant in terms of evaluating our actions and of something is good or bad - but those who claim that eating meat is 'natural' for humans normally use that sentence as a way to justify meat eating.

    • I don't think meat eating is "natural" for humans.
    • It's partially irrelevant if we may eat a piece of meat or mud or an egg without getting sick.
    • There are many known, unwanted side effects of ingesting animal products.
    • Claiming that we are 'natural omnivores' therefore gives the false impression that eating animal products is a 'natural thing to do' for humans, in a positive way - which is why I'd never claim that we are natural omnivores.
    Last edited by Korn; May 1st, 2009 at 06:47 AM.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  6. #56
    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    [QUOTE=Prawnil;570684]It's interesting to consider that for who knows how long before 1989, at least here, ruminant tracts have been coping with meat and bone meal as feed. The fact that flesh can be smuggled into the diet of categorised herbivores without severe ill effect slightly weakens a sharp Omnivore/herbivore divide to me. In the case of humans, we can survive with, and survive without, so what's the herbivore/omnivore distinction worth? Nothing, I'd say.

    Isn't that what caused Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease (MCD)?

    I got this from Wikipedia:-

    In humans, it is known as new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD or nvCJD), and by February 2009, it had killed 164 people in Britain, and 42 elsewhere[4] with the number expected to rise because of the disease's long incubation period.[5] Between 460,000 and 482,000 BSE-infected animals had entered the human food chain before controls on high-risk offal were introduced in 1989.[6]
    A British inquiry into BSE concluded that the epidemic was caused by cattle, who are normally herbivores, being fed the remains of other cattle in the form of meat and bone meal (MBM), which caused the infectious agent to spread.[7][8] The origin of the disease itself remains unknown. The infectious agent is distinctive for the high temperatures at which it remains viable; this contributed to the spread of the disease in Britain, which had reduced the temperatures used during its rendering process.[7] Another contributory factor was the feeding of infected protein supplements to very young calves.[7][9]
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

  7. #57
    Buddha Belly
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    I think that was feeding cattle too much bovine brain matter and other assorted body parts infected by BSE. This can cause problems in any animal that consumes too many brains (explains zombies). Without searching for ages for the right book on the myriad of shelves here I can not back it up with any evidence, so hope someone else knows of this too.
    I don't think BSE indicates a cows inabillity to eat meat rather the food it was fed.

  8. #58
    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Maybe not but as it says in my post.....'The origin of the disease itself remains unknown.' I think it's safe to say that eating meat has it's dangers in more ways than one.
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

  9. #59
    Buddha Belly
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Completely agree, I originally went veggie as i did not trust all the chemicals and hormones given to livestock.

  10. #60
    BlackCats
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    I used to know someone who was married to someone who worked for Defra during the BSE phase and she said he and quite a few of his colleagues had become veggie since working there.

  11. #61
    Mahk
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Korn, this is impossible to discuss with you because we have differing views of the definition of the words "omnivore" and "natural".

    To me an omnivore is an animal, homo sapiens being one, that can and does ingest both plant and animal matter on an ongoing regular basis. 99% of the world human population fits this description by their actions and has since the start of recorded history. Even in pre-history we have evidence that our ancestors who weren't human ate both (although many anthropologists suspect before the invention of the knife and spear we were largely omni scavengers who ate carnivores' left overs and dead carcasses from natural causes; hunting was rare pre-knife/spear)

    The fact that there are pockets of people, for instance Jews, who consciously choose not to eat dairy and meat in the same meal, but gladly will eat them alone, doesn't prove "humans were not meant to eat milk and meat products at the same meal", all it proves is that there is a small pocket or segment of people who consciously choose to live this way. The same is true of veganism.

    Is it natural for humans to eat larva, grubs, and insects? Why yes it is. Don't nearsightedly think that because most of us in the west find it repellent and disgusting that we get to "set the standard" of what is "natural" for human beings. Entomophagy, the human ingestion of these things, is an exceedingly common thing outside of the west in Asia, Africa, and South America, for example:

    "Today, most cultures around the globe feast on insects. There are 1,417 species of edible insects and nearly 3,000 ethnic groups that currently practice entomophagy around the world [source: Ramos-Elorduy]. Most of these insects are eaten in the larval and pupal stages, though some are good all the way into adulthood. Topping the list of edibles is the beetle, with 344 varieties to choose from for dinner. Ants, bees and wasps are close behind with 314. Butterflies, moths, grasshoppers and crickets are the other heavy hitters"

    Source.

    I think besides homo sapiens, the majority of the other primates are also entomophagic. Remember Jane Goodal's fashioning primitive tools in the way of termite fishing sticks? Yum.

    How many omnis do you know that eat the very common food coloring carmine, E120 ? Almost all by my estimates. Here in America at least they can legally include it in "100% fruit juice", for instance. That proves the majority of the west eats insects also, albeit unknowingly for many.

    I'm not sure why you are building the concept of "should" into the word "natural" as it pertains to an animal's diet found in the wild. It doesn't apply. "Natural" means what they do if left un-manipulate and alone to do whatever comes naturally. Rape, murder, fighting, and stealing are all natural behaviors found in almost all animal species. They occur in our species as well, from time to time, despite being considered taboo. Should people do these things? Of course not, but that doesn't mean it is incorrect to refer to them as "natural behaviors".

  12. #62
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    I know that there are humans who eat insects, and that although there are areas today with there hundreds of millions who don't eat meat, eating meat is still common, and has been common in large segments of the history of humans (all depending on what you define as the start of the human development) - but I do have a problem seeing how what you write relates to what I just wrote.

    One of my points is that people who claim that humans should eat because it's "natural" aren't using the same argument about eating insects, which os one reason the "eating meat is natural' argument pro eating meat drops dead as soon as they realize that it's just as 'natural' to eat insects. I don't see how the use of carmine or how many edible insects that exist has anything to do with this topic. Please enlighten me...

    To me, it seems that you confuse normal with natural. If you ask a young German nazi in the early 1940s if being nazi was a natural thing for humans, he may have said yes - if all his friends and neighbors were nazis. If you'd ask someone if areas in Asia where nobody eats meat whether it's natural to eat meat or not, they'd most likely say no. Based on this... is it 'natural' to be a nazi, or a vegetarian in some areas, and not on others, or is the word natural independent of geography? Does 'natural' have anything to do with nature?

    Is it natural for humans to eat larva, grubs, and insects? Why yes it is.
    I fail to see your point. Are you again talking about how normal something is, in some areas, or in some parts of our ancestors history? What's the difference between normal and natural for you?


    I'm not sure why you are building the concept of "should" into the word "natural" as it pertains to an animal's diet found in the wild.
    Where have I been doing that?

    "Natural" means what they do if left un-manipulate and alone to do whatever comes naturally. Rape, murder, fighting, and stealing are all natural behaviors found in almost all animal species.
    Do you consider rape a 'natural' thing to do for male humans? And, if you do, are there any good or relevant reasons to use the term 'natural' about rape at all?

    The fact that there are pockets of people, for instance Jews, who consciously choose not to eat dairy and meat in the same meal, but gladly will eat them alone, doesn't prove "humans were not meant to eat milk and meat products at the same meal"
    It does not prove that it we're not meant to (etc).... but do you think it suggest that it's natural for humans to do it? Double negatives are confusing, and I' don't really understand what you try to say. You talk about how normal something is/has been, and seem to use the normality of something to also claim that these actions are natural.
    Maybe I'll understand you better if you answer this question: If it theoretically would be common to eat synthetic plants, synthetic meat, with synthetic color and synthetic flavor over a long period of time, would you call this diet a 'natural' diet, or would you agree with be that it's common (for these people, in this period of time) to eat a non-natural diet?


    but that doesn't mean it is incorrect to refer to them as "natural behaviors".
    Another double negative. It's not incorrect, but is it correct?

    You are the one who seems to claim that "humans are (natural?) omnivores", I'm not - so I try to understand what you mean.

    As I've said, I don't think the fact that we are capable of doing certain things at all qualifies for defining these activities as 'natural'. Since I (and most people) also think that 'normal' is different from 'natural', I can't see how what you write backs up a claim that humans are eg. any more 'natural omnivores' than they are 'natural vegans'.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  13. #63
    Mahk
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    [Note: After composing this post I see you've changed your post significantly so I may not seem coherent in responding to your post. I'll attempt to do a follow up post up later when I have time.]

    but I do have a problem seeing how what you write relates to what I just wrote.
    My previous post's first sentence mentioned that I have a difficulty in discussing this topic with you because how you define the words "omnivore" and "natural" differ from mine. The rest of my post was an elaboration of how I define the two terms.
    ---
    I don't see how the use of carmine or how many edible insects that exist has anything to do with this topic. Please enlighten me...
    I put in bold face the fact nearly 3,000 ethnic groups [of humans]... currently practice entomophagy around the world , not the number of edible insects there are. I was expounding on your comment:

    one could say that it's natural for us to eat larvae, earthworms, ants and dead flies, because we can do it without making nuclear bombs or weapons. I still don't think humans should be described as natural ant (etc) eaters, and even less so, as natural meat eaters.
    I disagree with you. Although alien and repulsive to us westerners, to those 3,000 ethnic groups around the world as well as chimps and many other primates, insect eating is a delicious and natural thing to do. No one forced them to do it. They can do it, do do it, and enjoy doing it, it comes naturally to them; it is natural.

    Many animals eat insects purposely. Some of the animals are primates. Two examples of primates which eat insects are chimpanzees and one closely related to them called humans. All animals that eat insects do it because they want to, they aren't being forced to do it so it is therefor "natural". Anything that occurs in nature is "natural".

    Slavery is a terrible thing but it too is natural. There are species of ants that enslaves other weaker species of ants. Since this occurs in nature it is "natural". Nobody said natural means "good" or "should".

    Korn, maybe this story will clarify my overall point:

    When my sister argued my conversion to a vegan lifestyle she said, "But it's only natural to eat meat. Many animals do it." My rebuttal was "Don't forget they also commit rape, slavery, murder, and stealing. Should we do those things too?" That stopped her dead in her tracks. I didn't try to redefine what the word "natural" meant, but instead pointed out that not everything that is "natural" is good or desirable. Botulism is natural. Does that mean it's good or desirable? No.

  14. #64
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Note: After composing this post I see you've changed your post significantly so I may not seem coherent in responding to your post. I'll attempt to do a follow up post up later when I have time.
    I don't think I changed anything, I just merged the original post that you may have responded to with the one I wrote afterwards.


    The 'naturalness' of meat eating, compared with the naturalness of rape is - in both cases - examples of mixing up natural with 'has happened', 'is possible' or 'normal', but I'm repeating my own repetitions now.

    It actually seems to me as if we discuss two different topics. What bothers me the most, is that whenever a vegan claims that 'humans a re natural omnivores' - especially without adding that 'humans are also natural vegans', it's very likely than any non-vegan who hears this will draw is own conclusions (and I've seen this happen) a la "vegans insist on living on a diet that even these vegans don't find natural'.


    There are 1,417 species of edible insects and nearly 3,000 ethnic groups that currently practice entomophagy around the world
    I put in bold face the fact nearly 3,000 ethnic groups [of humans]... currently practice entomophagy around the world , not the number of edible insects there are.
    ...and I think neither of these numbers has anything to do with how natural eating insects are.

    Did you see this question:
    If it theoretically would be common to eat synthetic plants, synthetic meat, with synthetic color and synthetic flavor over a long period of time, would you call this diet a 'natural' diet, or would you agree with be that it's common (for these people, in this period of time) to eat a non-natural diet?
    All animals that eat insects do it because they want to, they aren't being forced to do it so it is therefor "natural".
    If person A wants to rape person B that doesn't mean that rape is natural. If a person takes synthetic drugs every day, that doesn't mean that synthetic drugs - or taking them is 'natural'. Now I'm 100% sure that we are talking about two different topics...

    Nobody said natural means "good" or "should".
    Nobody says that, but you still claim that I am "building the concept of "should" into the word "natural"". Maybe you know someone who may have opinions that remind of some of what I write, but I can't see that you and I are even close to really discuss the same topic - yet.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  15. #65
    Prawnil
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Anything that occurs in nature is "natural".
    The problem with that statement is that you'd have to properly delimit "nature" to make any sense. That doesn't really seem a straightforward thing to do, but without doing it "natural" isn't really meaningful. Korn seems right, it could only ever mean "happens", or "exists".
    What are some examples of genuinely meaningful uses of "natural / unnatural" in sentences?

  16. #66
    Mahk
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote Korn View Post
    The 'naturalness' of meat eating, compared with the naturalness of rape is - in both cases - examples of mixing up natural with 'has happened', 'is possible' or 'normal', but I'm repeating my own repetitions now..
    Natural: My definition: "Of or pertaining to nature, happening spontaneously without any human intervention or influence. Can be good or bad, frequent or rare, or even "never has happened yet, but theoretically could, for example, a moon sized asteroid colliding with Earth; natural."

    wikipedias definition of nature:
    Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. Manufactured objects and human interaction generally are not considered part of nature, and are referred to as artificial or man-made. [AKA "synthetic"]

    Therefore asking if an action is "natural" yet the objects in the question don't exist in nature, they are "synthetic", is impossible:

    If it theoretically would be common to eat synthetic plants, synthetic meat, with synthetic color and synthetic flavor over a long period of time, would you call this diet a 'natural' diet, or would you agree with be that it's common (for these people, in this period of time) to eat a non-natural diet?
    I'll be glad to attempt to answer your question if you re-word it to only have natural, found in nature, non-man made objects and actions.
    ---

    Nobody says that, but you still claim that I am "building the concept of "should" into the word "natural"".
    Here's where I'm getting that from:

    Quote Korn View Post
    For most people, the claim that humans are natural omnivores is often interpreted as if humans 'should' eat animal products, [a mistake on their part to assume "should". ] they we are meant/designed or "equipped from nature" to do it, [but in terms of our digestive track design and enzymes, we are, like it or not, so says any biologist I've ever read. The majority of primates are omnivores as well.] as in "eating cow's meat is a natural thing to do for humans".
    [emphasis mine]

    and

    Quote Korn View Post
    .And - as I'm sure we all agree in - even if a human 'naturally' may steal an egg from a bird an eat it, that doesn't mean that it's a good thing or something we should do. "Natural" is something totally irrelevant in terms of evaluating our actions and of something is good or bad - but those who claim that eating meat is 'natural' for humans normally use that sentence as a way to justify meat eating.[Well that's their fault for having poor logic. My sister immediately saw her exact same error from my rebuttal "But don't forget they [animals in nature] also commit rape, slavery, murder, and stealing. Should we do those things too because they are natural in the animal kingdom? Of course not!"]
    [emphasis mine]

    Things can be natural but very bad. Examples:

    Eating a poisonous mushroom you find while walking in the forest.

    Murdering your co-worker using only your hands.

    Enslaving women or a particular race.

    A completely new volcano erupting and killing millions of poor, defenseless woodland creatures.

    I can't off the top of my head think of any exception to this rule of thumb: Anything that non-human animals do in nature of their own accord that humans similarly do, as a class, is "natural".


    So, your turn Korn, please define "natural" and give some examples, please. Thanks. [One little request though, please no more mention of rape, even though I know I brought it up, my bad, it makes me uncomfortable. Thanks.]

  17. #67
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote Mahk View Post

    Therefore asking if an action is "natural" yet the objects in the question don't exist in nature, they are "synthetic", is impossible:


    If it theoretically would be common to eat synthetic plants, synthetic meat, with synthetic color and synthetic flavor over a long period of time, would you call this diet a 'natural' diet, or would you agree with be that it's common (for these people, in this period of time) to eat a non-natural diet?
    Well, since asking the question isn't impossible, it seems that you think it's 'impossible' to considering living on synthetic food something natural, and I agree - with one exception: if there's no other food available, to be willing to survive on synthetic food can be seen as a 'natural' thing to do, because otherwise, one would drop dead. As I've explained in several other posts, 'natural' can be used about a response, and action, and it can also be used about something physical, like eg 'natural flavoring'.


    Here's where I'm getting that from:

    For most people, the claim that humans are natural omnivores is often interpreted as if humans 'should' eat animal products, [Mahk: a mistake on their part to assume "should". ] they we are meant/designed or "equipped from nature" to do it, [Mahk: but in terms of our digestive track design and enzymes, we are, like it or not, so says any biologist I've ever read. The majority of primates are omnivores as well.] as in "eating cow's meat is a natural thing to do for humans".
    I hope you can see here that I'm not the one who is building 'should' into the word 'natural', I refer to how many people use and interpret statements that include 'natural'. They often say "but human are natural omnivores" when they hear about vegetarians/vegans, and since they don't also at the same time claim that 'humans are also natural vegans', it appears that they think eating animals+plants is more 'natural' than eating plants only; they (not I) think we "should" eat meat because 'humans are natural omnivores'.




    Things can be natural but very bad. Examples:

    Eating a poisonous mushroom you find while walking in the forest.
    .
    With all due respect, you are stating the obvious here, and since I've mentioned the same (obvious) stuff several times before, I'm still not getting what you are trying to convince me about (if that's what you do) or disagree with me in (if that's what you do).

    Regarding the "Murdering your co-worker using only your hands"-example, that can definitely be done without creating a revolver or a bomb; it therefore doesn't require things which don't exist in nature.

    Still - 'natural', when used about an action has a different meaning that natural when used about "things" like bombs or blueberries. Enslaving women is possible without unnatural tools, but that doesn't mean that woman are 'natural slaves' or that men are 'natural masters'.


    Anything that non-human animals do in nature of their own accord that humans similarly do, as a class, is "natural".
    I agree, because I see the creation of simple tools (some primates use simple tools) made of natural material somehow as something thats 'in accordance with nature'.

    We cannot catch, kill and tear apart an elephant, horse or moose without our bare hands, so I don't see eating meat from these animals as something fitting in with your definition of natural: "happening spontaneously without any human intervention or influence". I don't see "throwing stones at animals to kill them" as something that is remotely close to be built-in to our natural instincts. Do we agree that 'natural instinct' is different from 'natural matter' and also from 'natural response in an emergency situation'?

    So, your turn Korn, please define "natural" and give some examples, please.
    Let me put it this way: I'm probably the person on this planet that has written/posted the most about defining 'natural' in a context relevant to whether it's natural to eat meat, discussed 'natural' in relevance to eating vegan food, I've posted the same definitions from Google of 'natural' and commented the different ways to use 'natural' - in many posts/several threads over several years. I've also done it in several posts in this thread (posts 33 & 36).

    Please have a look at my many earlier posts about this if you're interested, because I'll soon deserve a gold medal for repeating the definitions of 'natural' that' I've found on Google and also for writing my own opinions about the subject. And you soon deserve a gold medal for either not understanding what I mean, possibly not wanting to understand what I mean or possibly disagreeing with me,

    please no more mention of rape, even though I know I brought it up, my bad, it makes me uncomfortable.
    If you're more comfortable with your own example of "murdering your co-worker using only your hands", I'll use that instead:

    The physical references in that sentence "your hands", "your co-worker' are parts of nature, or 'natural' if you will. The action (to kill your co-worker) is an activity, and therefore needs different references re. the meaning of 'natural':

    If you regularly want to strangle your co-workers, you may have a different psychological constitution than most people. If you're talking about an emergency situation, eg. where the only way to save the life of your kids would be to harm or even kill another person, I'd see that as something resulting from a 'natural' instinct. We generally can't define what's common, normal or natural (as in "natural instict) based on how we react in un-normal. uncommon/emergency situations.

    I still wonder what you possibly disagree with me in, and whether you think humans are more 'natural omnivores' than they are 'natural vegans'.

    IMO it's very important to communicate with non-vegans using terms and definitions that are common, and the reason this topic IMO is so important, is that apparently, "but humans are natural omnivores" seem to be a common response when people say that they are vegans.


    Manufactured objects and human interaction generally are not considered part of nature, and are referred to as artificial or man-made.
    So - is hunting using manufactured weapons unnatural then? Is killing animals by not throwing stones at them or not strangling them with their bare hands unnatural?

    And - if using a rifle is considered unnatural, and if that's the only chance you have to kill a wild animal (and if we agree that factory farms are also 'manufactured' - they don't grow on trees), how is eating something (meat) that is a result of using an unnatural matter (guns) a 'natural activity'?

    If eating meat from an ox is natural, and the tools you need to kill that ox are unnatural... how do you explain the naturalness of eating meat from an ox? You aren't able strangle an ox with your bare hands, right... and humans don't eat meat from rats or mice or cats, and normally don't have earthworms in our menus... so if we should discuss whether eating meat is natural in a real-life context (meaning: relevant to the meat most meat eaters eat today), can we at least agree that its' not something that deserves a 'natural' label? CHicken are killed by man made machines, and as we all know, there's isn't enough wild animals in nature to feed us all with the amounts of meat most people want to eat.

    Humans have pretty much never eaten meat without using what you describe as "man-made" or "manufactured" tools. Agree? Anyway - I've found out that we both disagree in the 'everything is natural' statement some people occasionally come up with about. That's good.
    Last edited by Korn; May 2nd, 2009 at 07:46 AM.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  18. #68
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote Korn View Post
    Please have a look at my many earlier posts about this if you're interested, because I'll soon deserve a gold medal for repeating the definitions of 'natural' that' I've found on Google and also for writing my own opinions about the subject. And you soon deserve a gold medal for either not understanding what I mean, possibly not wanting to understand what I mean or possibly disagreeing with me,
    Or more simply, I haven't read the whole thread start to finish, which happens to be the case.

    We cannot catch, kill and tear apart an elephant, horse or moose without our bare hands, so I don't see eating meat from these animals as something fitting in with your definition of natural: "happening spontaneously without any human intervention or influence". I don't see "throwing stones at animals to kill them" as something that is remotely close to be built-in to our natural instincts.
    But we can wait for the moose or gazelle to die of natural causes or eat the remains of the carcass the lions left behind, using no tools whatsoever except our hands and teeth and it is both a natural act and makes us omnivores. Or we could flip over a rock or a rotting tree and eat the abundant grubs, worms, and insects that we find, as do 3000 other human cultures around the globe to this day. We don't need tools to be natural animal eaters, at all.

    So - is hunting using manufactured weapons unnatural then? Is killing animals by not throwing stones at them or not strangling them with their bare hands unnatural?
    Since current primates such as the chimpanzee, our closest relative, hunt and kill other monkeys for food, using coordinated attack patterns and spears. (And have an obvious hunting bloodlust, naturally, if you watch the graphic video) I'd say all weapons at the level of spears or simpler (sticks, possibly even modified as Jane Goodal found her chimps were doing naturally to have sharp ends, AKA knives, stones, and spears) should be considered "natural". Bow and arrow, AK47 assault rifle, and intercontinental ballistic missiles I'd classify as "artificial", AKA synthetic or man made.

    Non-graphic MSNBC news report on chimps using spears and hunting in packs here.

    Graphic video with Mr. Attenborough's narration [although that's just because we're vegans, I'm confident this video could be played on daytime TV or to omni school children in the same sense that a leopard chasing a gazelle and catching and eating it is often shown on TV or in the schoolroom.], including their blood lustful shrieks of victory, obviously natural and instinctual behavior, here.

    I still wonder what you possibly disagree with me in, and whether you think humans are more 'natural omnivores' than they are 'natural vegans'.
    Like every scientist I've ever read concurs, I think humans are natural omnivores. There are segments that consciously eat only foods that are gluten-free, and there are segments that only consciously eat plant matter, but both are the exceptions to the rule.

    And - if using a rifle is considered unnatural, and if that's the only chance you have to kill a wild animal (and if we agree that factory farms are also 'manufactured' - they don't grow on trees), how is eating something (meat) that is a result of using an unnatural matter (guns) a 'natural activity'
    Human society has grown to such a large size that personal food acquisition is impractical for the vast majority of us, including vegans, such that having someone else grow pineapples, say, for us and then selling them to us is more practical. The fact that they use small chain saws to release the fruit from the tree doesn't make me eating a pineapple or my neighbor eating a hamburger an "un-natural activity". Our world is mechanized, like it or not.

    If eating meat from an ox is natural, and the tools you need to kill that ox are unnatural... how do you explain the naturalness of eating meat from an ox? You aren't able strangle an ox with your bare hands, right... and humans don't eat meat from rats or mice or cats, and normally don't have earthworms in our menus[in your culture, did you hear about the 3000 other ones...] so if we should discuss whether eating meat is natural in a real-life context (meaning: relevant to the meat most meat eaters eat today), can we at least agree that its' not something that deserves a 'natural' label?
    No, sorry, eating pineapples (or meat as my neighbor does) is a natural act even though the small chain saw ( or factory farm) was used to procure the fruit or meat.


    CHicken are killed by man made machines, and as we all know, there's isn't enough wild animals in nature to feed us all with the amounts of meat most people want to eat.
    Maybe since we've decided we only like to eat 2 or 3 of the 10,000 different bird species out there, but I see dozens of pigeons every day, and I live in the city, if I lived in the country I'd see even more. There's plenty of wild animals out there for people to eat if they weren't so picky about only liking a few, IMO.

    Humans have pretty much never eaten meat without using what you describe as "man-made" or "manufactured" tools. Agree?
    Sorry, no. Sticks, stones, (bats, clubs) knives fashioned out of sticks, termite fishing rods (Jane Godall), and now the recently added spear are all natural weapons other primates make and use to this day, so they are all natural and there's every reason to think primitive man used those to yes, hunt, ate the dead carcasses of animals either from natural death or a carnivores left overs, and commonly available worms, grubs, insects, and larva found under any rock or fallen tree, as do millions of people in 3000 different cultures to this day.

    ----

    We recently discovered 400,000 year old projectile spears in a mine in Germany that is thought to have been used pre-man:

    "Moreover, a number of 400,000 year old wooden projectile spears were found at Schöningen in northern Germany. These are thought to have been made by the Neanderthal's ancestors, Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis. Generally, projectile weapons are more commonly associated with H. sapiens."

    -wiki

    We've always been eating animal matter from even before day one so it is "natural" and makes us "omnivores".

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    You've got the "scientific" part wrong, Mahk. I may post more later, but please - if you are interested in a discussion about this, answer my previous questions....
    Last edited by Korn; May 2nd, 2009 at 09:10 PM.
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    It is hard for me to tell which of your questions are rhetorical. Please indicate which you need answers to. Thanks.
    ---

    A little internet humor on the topic makes me laugh everytime I read it:

    "Dear Cecil:

    In reading through your column "Vegetarians Go Ape," I noticed an unusual fact that you seemed to expose with great confidence. You stated that "Jane Goodall established more than twenty years ago that wild chimpanzees kill other animals once in a while and eat the meat with relish." I question the accuracy of this. Where would wild chimpanzees obtain relish? --Guru Singh Khalsa, Los Angeles"



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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    I can't think of any of the questions I've asked you that I don't want you to answer, really. I have another one for you as well: what does the Wiki-link to article about Neanderthals do in this thread?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Mahk
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote Korn View Post
    I can't think of any of the questions I've asked you that I don't want you to answer, really. I have another one for you as well: what does the Wiki-link to article about Neanderthals do in this thread?
    It was the link to the source of my information immediately above it that showed throwing spears used for hunting are so old that they even pre-date the birth of man, h. sapiens, and were used by our ancestors; Homo erectus or Homo heidelbergensis. I've added quotation marks for clarity, sorry, I thought the purple colored text was a clear enough indication I wasn't the original speaker.

    I'll answer all your other questions later when I have more time. Ciao.

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    Slightly Crazy 1gentlemaorispirit's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Much research has found that Neanderthals are either a subspecies or different species from Homo Erectus/Sapiens. Neanderthals were mostly carnivorous.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/787918.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7630042.stm

    What Were People Programmed to Eat?

    The following is a summary of a talk given by Dr David Ryde to a Symposium organised by The Vegetarian Society, 19.4.86.
    Dr Ryde began by describing how, during periods of abundance, most creatures eat only a narrow range of foods. For example lions flourish on zebra and wildebeest meat, songbirds on worms and grubs, berries etc, cattle, sheep and horses on different kinds of grasses and apes live largely on fruits and vegetables. These niches tend to be transgressed only in times of shortage. What foods then has Nature programmed Man to eat in order to maintain health growth. activity and reproduction? Boyd and Konner (1985) state that "From about 24 to 5 million years ago fruits appear to have been the main dietary constituent for hominids...since 4.5 million years ago our ancestral feeding pattern included increasing amounts of meat.
    Compared to other primates, modern man eats a great range of foods and this probably relates more to his use of cutting and crushing implements and to the later control of fire. The fact that raw meat is almost universally cooked to make it palatable and digestible suggests that prepromethean man did not eat it in large amounts. Cooking denatures protein, melts out fat and breaks down the fibrous tissue. Carnivores gulp down lumps of meat, their sharpened molars tearing it like scissors for digestion to begin in the stomach. Herbivores with flatter molar teeth crush the cellulose-walled plant cells and begin carbohydrate digestion in the mouth with the enzyme ptyalin (amylase). This enzyme occurs in cows, pigs, rabbits and humans but it doesn't occur in carnivores.


    http://www.ivu.org/history/early/ancestors.html


    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...3/ai_82352627/
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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote 1gentlemaorispirit View Post
    Much research has found that Neanderthals are either a subspecies or different species from Homo Erectus/Sapiens. Neanderthals were mostly carnivorous.
    Hi,

    "Neanderthals were mostly carnivorous"... and, how does that relate to this topic? ;-)

    That quote from Wikipedioa - that they were "either a subspecies" or they were a "different species" - has as much scientific values as eg. a statement saying that 'much research has found that either meat is good for you or bad for you. When you open by claiming that - Neanderthals were mostly carnivorous - and continue with a link from 2000 saying that "The extinction of the Neanderthals could have been caused by their choosy appetites - they ate virtually nothing but meat, according to new a study" and another link from 2008 with a "Neanderthals 'enjoyed broad menu'" as a title, I'm not sure what you are trying to say...?

    Those who do their best to have scientifically based opinions about our ancestors - who they were, and what they ate - have changed their opinions many times over the last 80-100 years, and especially over the last decade or two.

    To use Neanderthals, now commonly believed not be our ancestors as a reference for what's natural for humans today makes little sense to me, especially since Neanderthals as a species didn't even manage to survive.

    Your links show that what people assumed in 2000 is very different from the conclusions in the article from 2008. A lot of stuff was written about Neanderthals between 2000 and today:

    Our ancestors were not Neanderthals
    "There was a 7 per cent difference between the Neanderthal DNA and the DNA of modern humans, compared to a 3.5 per cent difference between the Neanderthal child and the only other Neanderthal whose DNA has been analysed, a specimen uncovered in Germany which is believed to be about 40,000 years old."
    New Study Shows Neanderthals Were Not Our Ancestors
    In the most recent and mathematically rigorous study to date determining whether Neanderthals contributed to the evolution of modern humans, a team of anthropologists examining the skulls of modern humans and Neanderthals as well as 11 existing species of non-human primates found strong evidence that Neanderthals differ so greatly from Homo sapiens as to constitute a different species.

    The findings could potentially put to rest the decades-long debate between proponents of the regional continuity model of human origins, which maintains that Neanderthals are a subspecies of Homo sapiens which contributed significantly to the evolution of modern Europeans, and the single-origin model, which views Neanderthals as a separate, distinct species.

    Neanderthals not human ancestors
    "The similar features of the two samples "argues against the idea that modern Europeans are at least partly of Neanderthal origin," he said."


    What foods then has Nature programmed Man to eat in order to maintain health growth. activity and reproduction? Boyd and Konner (1985) state that "From about 24 to 5 million years ago fruits appear to have been the main dietary constituent for hominids...since 4.5 million years ago our ancestral feeding pattern included increasing amounts of meat.
    The quotes you posted here is only one of many examples that supports the idea that discussing what our ancestors ate all depends on which people - and which period - you look at. If it's correct that all life on earth originally came from sea life, a lot could be claimed about what our ancestors ate. Now, I firmly insist that look at what some of our ancestors ate 5000, 500,000 or 5 million years ago doesn't tell us anything about what we should eat today, or what's "natural' or even possible today. Give everybody in the world a bow and an arrow, some stones, sticks or spears and see how long they would survive in today's world...

    Any theory that humans can naturally survive on everything but a minimal amount of meat will eliminate it's own value since in real life, this would mean that there would be so few wild animals left that there wouldn't be enough meat to eat.


    The fact that raw meat is almost universally cooked to make it palatable and digestible suggests that prepromethean man did not eat it in large amounts. Cooking denatures protein, melts out fat and breaks down the fibrous tissue. Carnivores gulp down lumps of meat, their sharpened molars tearing it like scissors for digestion to begin in the stomach. Herbivores with flatter molar teeth crush the cellulose-walled plant cells and begin carbohydrate digestion in the mouth with the enzyme ptyalin (amylase). This enzyme occurs in cows, pigs, rabbits and humans but it doesn't occur in carnivores.

    http://www.ivu.org/history/early/ancestors.html
    I've had a look at that (pro vegetarian, but not pro-vegan) article before, and while it may or may not be correct that "Pliocene man was a herbivore food gatherer, an opportunist carnivore and perhaps a coprophagist", their theories about B12 seem to both be outdated and also seem to not take a lot of important information into consideration. Look at this, for example: "One argument against a vegan diet is the reported deficiencies of vitamins B12 and D and the minerals calcium and iron. Gorillas are coprophageous (eat their own stools) and this may allow B12 synthesised in the hind gut, where it cannot be absorbed, to be passed to the foregut, where it can be assimilated."

    Your last link refers to the opinions of the John McArdle (who defends use of animal products)and links to the only person in the world who claims to have come "beyond" vegetarianism, Tom Billings. I've commented his lack of making sense a few times before, but please, if you have any reason too post links to anti-vegan propaganda, don't just post their opinions. Both these people defend use of animal products, and this is a forum for vegans... if you want to use your account to post links to people who argue against veganism, please include your own viewpoints and why the links to these attacks on veganism are posted.

    We don't allow trolls or spamming here. The only way to "troll" here, or to post attacks on vegan viewpoints would be to claim that one is a vegan and then post links to articles/sites/people who disagree with veganism - and we don't want that.
    Last edited by Korn; May 3rd, 2009 at 05:59 AM.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Slightly Crazy 1gentlemaorispirit's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Hi,

    I'm sceptical of Wikis scientific details, and couldn't find much on the differences between Neanderthals and our ancestor's diets, unless I was registerd with a websites for these topic, so I had to go with the best I could find. Which is not that great!

    In my bilogy classes at school, human biology was always taught that we were vegetarian/vegan rather than omnivores, this from an omnivorous Teacher! Out of personal interest and some from my job, I have looked into human diets. Reason being is that being of mixed races myself and allergic to ALL animal and fish products and knowing Chinese/Japanese friends who also have allergies to some animal products, I am curious as to why, with our digestive tracts, were are raised as omnivores and not vegans!

    I have been vegan most of my life, as has my Mother and her Mother's family. To me it is a natural way of life, so I try to understand the reasons behind human behaviour and meat eating. And why some ethnic people are not able to eat meat, which suggest to me that we are purely vegans and not omnivores.

    I apologise for the last paragraph, as my Dyslexia makes it hard for me sometimes to to comprehend written text, when written in some scientific or complicated form.

    My intention is not to troll or spam, but hoped to add to the discussion of which I'm very much interested in.

    I will no longer participate in this discussion any further. My Dyslexia challenges, mean I cannot translate very well my thoughts in this discussion and this in turn comes across as me of not true intentions.
    I make no apologies for myself, my passions, my love, my honesty, my intensity, my soul. Reach beyond your fears and take all of me or nothing at all.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote 1gentlemaorispirit View Post

    In my bilogy classes at school, human biology was always taught that we were vegetarian/vegan rather than omnivores, this from an omnivorous Teacher!
    Well - he's not alone - which you'll see if you check out some of the recent literature on the topic. (We also have some threads in this subforum that may interest you:

    Man's early hunting role in doubt

    Man The Hunted

    The Diet of Early Humans: Vegetarianism and Archaeology

    Were early humans vegetarians?

    An interesting aspect of the evolution towards modern humans that many ignore is that human history didn't just start suddenly eg. one sunday evening a few million years ago. It's has been a long, gradual process, and not long ago I read that the process has been accelerating; it's apparently not as slow as it used to be. It's not over; we are actually a part of that process.



    My intention is not to troll or spam, but hoped to add to the discussion of which I'm very much interested in.
    I don't think you're a troll/spammer, 1gentlemaorispirit... What I wrote was more a general comment. I agree that this topic is very interesting, so I hope the thread can evolve into a real discussion. Unfortunately, misinterpretations and assumptions about others' opinions have a tendency to distort discussions like this, and when we even mean different things when we use words like 'omnivore' and 'natural', I guess we really need to be very concise in order be understood by others.

    ---


    I've already mentioned that 'natural' can have different meanings (as in natural physical matter, natural instinct, natural response to a given situation - and is also misused for 'normal').

    'Omnivore' can similarly be used meaning at least as many different things as natural. Sometimes I wish I'd be living back when our ancestors didn't have (or pretend they had) a language that was suitable for intelligent or academic communication... life must have been simpler back then.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Slightly Crazy 1gentlemaorispirit's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote Korn View Post
    Well - he's not alone - which you'll see if you check out some of the recent literature on the topic. (We also have some threads in this subforum that may interest you:

    Man's early hunting role in doubt

    Man The Hunted

    The Diet of Early Humans: Vegetarianism and Archaeology

    Were early humans vegetarians?

    An interesting aspect of the evolution towards modern humans that many ignore is that human history didn't just start suddenly eg. one sunday evening a few million years ago. It's has been a long, gradual process, and not long ago I read that the process has been accelerating; it's apparently not as slow as it used to be. It's not over; we are actually a part of that process.



    I don't think you're a troll/spammer, 1gentlemaorispirit... What I wrote was more a general comment. I agree that this topic is very interesting, so I hope the thread can evolve into a real discussion. Unfortunately, misinterpretations and assumptions about others' opinions have a tendency to distort discussions like this, and when we even mean different things when we use words like 'omnivore' and 'natural', I guess we really need to be very concise in order be understood by others.

    ---


    I've already mentioned that 'natural' can have different meanings (as in natural physical matter, natural instinct, natural response to a given situation - and is also misused for 'normal').

    'Omnivore' can similarly be used meaning at least as many different things as natural. Sometimes I wish I'd be living back when our ancestors didn't have (or pretend they had) a language that was suitable for intelligent or academic communication... life must have been simpler back then.
    Hi Korn,

    Thank you for your understanding of my situation!

    You're last paragraph has read very much to how I was raised by my Maori/French family and their thoughts on 'modern life' and language. The Maori language has two elements; 1) is the traditional-ancestral spoken and meaning. 2) the modern. I was taught the former and the 'old' ways of my people.

    My tribe were before the Europeans came, during much of the conflicts with the Europeans a very spiritual people who didn't believe in warfare or cruelty to any living things. This included taking any food without asking it's permission first - yes, even plants and fruits trees! Sounds odd to some . . .

    Many other Maori tribe were warriors and went into battle, when defeating an oponnant, they would resort to cannibalise them to add 'victory' energy to their own. My tribe were very much against this! These warriors often suffered illnesses that were believed to be 'the negativity from their enemy's tribe cursing them'. Not much is found on the Maori old ways and today the Maori people suffer the greatest with many diseases from greater animal product consumption.

    My Maori Great-Grandfather said that man is a fool, not worthy of the treasures of the land as he takes without understanding their purpose!

    I have been reading through much of the info on this site with much interest and feel that with this to help sustantiate a good reason why we are meant to be vegan, with the increase in food allergies in people from animal and fish products in more recent years.

    My hope is that one day soon, peoplewill realise this link, and that all animals on this earth our here as a balance to the eco system and our companionship in a way.
    I make no apologies for myself, my passions, my love, my honesty, my intensity, my soul. Reach beyond your fears and take all of me or nothing at all.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote harpy View Post
    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.
    I agree that we don't need to convince non-vegans that a vegan diet is natural, at least not in the strict version of 'natural'. I do think vegan food is the most natural choice for humans, but I think the reason these discussions come up so often that some non-vegans claim that the vegan diet is unnatural (or that eating meat is natural). People who think that humans as a species are omnivores rarely say that humans as a species are either herbivores or omnivores - depending on what they choose.


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  29. #79
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Link: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote harpy View Post
    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.
    [emphasis mine]

    You nailed it in that last sentence. People in for example Asia, that eat a heavily plant based diet but on occasion a small quantity of fish are most certainly living an omnivorous lifestyle yet are quite healthy.

    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.
    I agree 100%.

    Eating small quantities of meat with an otherwise plant based diet is quite common and found naturally in many other primates besides humans, including our nearest living relative, the chimpanzee.

    It is difficult to define what is "natural" as it relates to humans since the definition of natural is "as happens outside the world of man". Chimpanzees hunting and eating Senegal bushbabies is definitely "natural" because they do it on their own, by choice, without having been taught by man.

  30. #80
    cobweb
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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    for what its worth, here's my opinion :

    I don't think it's 'natural' for humans to eat meat, i think humans are programmed to be nurturers and growers. I find it much more likely that humans ate fruit, berries and nuts that they gathered rather than went looking for meat. I am guessing the meat eating was a result of learning from other animals, the invention of manmade fire, and possibly hard times, food-wise. I'm sure that man then adapted to be able to survive on a mixed diet, but to me that still doesn't make it 'natural'. For instance Hens often turn into cannibals when they are kept in intense confinement but that is not their 'natural' behaviour or diet.

    I have no studies to back this up, just my own beliefs. I also believe that it doesn't really matter whether it's 'natural' or 'normal' for humans to eat other animals. Humans are so far removed from nature, as a whole, that the meat people eat now could never be considered 'natural'. There's nothing 'natural' about a poor hen kept in a broiler unit, stuffed full of drugs, killed in on a production line, then packaged up in plastic.

    What actually matters is whether it is necessary or ethical for humans to eat other animals, and there is overwhelming evidence that the answers to both of these questions is 'no'. If someone (a non-vegan) tries to hit me with the 'natural' argument i give them the above points back, and they usually end up admitting that actually they just simply like meat, no matter if it's natural or not. Just like many people enjoy smoking, but couldn't give a crap whether its unnatural and indeed highly injurous to one's health .

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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote Korn View Post
    One of my points is that people who claim that humans should eat because it's "natural" aren't using the same argument about eating insects, which os one reason the "eating meat is natural' argument pro eating meat drops dead as soon as they realize that it's just as 'natural' to eat insects....To me, it seems that you confuse normal with natural. If you ask a young German nazi in the early 1940s if being nazi was a natural thing for humans, he may have said yes - if all his friends and neighbors were nazis. If you'd ask someone if areas in Asia where nobody eats meat whether it's natural to eat meat or not, they'd most likely say no. Based on this... is it 'natural' to be a nazi, or a vegetarian in some areas, and not on others, or is the word natural independent of geography?
    I just had a huge revelation. I just looked up "natural" in the dictionary and found 15 different definitions. I now see some do have a connotation of "good and bad" "right from wrong" etc. I never use the word that way. This is starting to make much more sense to me now. Sorry to be so thick.

    Does 'natural' have anything to do with nature?
    That's pretty much exactly what I mean when I say "natural". It means something that exists in the world or universe despite the existence of human beings.

    Are you again talking about how normal something is, in some areas, or in some parts of our ancestors history?
    No, see my definition in my preceding sentence.

    What's the difference between normal and natural for you?
    Normal means "expected to occur".

    Do you consider rape a 'natural' thing to do for male humans? And, if you do, are there any good or relevant reasons to use the term 'natural' about rape at all?
    As I mentioned later on, in one of these threads, I prefer not to discuss that topic.


    Synthetic is the opposite of "natural", as I use it, so anything with synthetic goods is un-natural.

    It's not incorrect, but is it correct?
    Yes, by how I use "natural" which means "occurs in the world outside of humans"

    It actually seems to me as if we discuss two different topics.
    Exactly. Considering I use "natural" differently than you that's not surprising.

    Do we agree that 'natural instinct' is different from 'natural matter' and also from 'natural response in an emergency situation'?
    Yes.

    So - is hunting using manufactured weapons unnatural then? yes Is killing animals by not throwing stones at them or not strangling them with their bare hands unnatural? Anything with man made weapons is unnatural

    And - if using a rifle is considered unnatural, and if that's the only chance you have to kill a wild animal (and if we agree that factory farms are also 'manufactured' - they don't grow on trees), how is eating something (meat) that is a result of using an unnatural matter (guns) a 'natural activity'? I'm pretty sure I answered this in another post regarding "procurement means" having nothing to do with the act of eating food.

    If eating meat from an ox is natural, and the tools you need to kill that ox are unnatural... how do you explain the naturalness of eating meat from an ox? You aren't able strangle an ox with your bare hands, right... and humans don't eat meat from rats or mice or cats, and normally don't have earthworms in our menus... so if we should discuss whether eating meat is natural in a real-life context (meaning: relevant to the meat most meat eaters eat today), can we at least agree that its' not something that deserves a 'natural' label? By how you use "natural" I guess not. CHicken are killed by man made machines, and as we all know, there's isn't enough wild animals in nature to feed us all with the amounts of meat most people want to eat.

    Humans have pretty much never eaten meat without using what you describe as "man-made" or "manufactured" tools. Agree?No. Gazillions of animals on the planet eat meat and none of them have tools. Before we had major weapons like spears and knives we probably got meat and other animal matter without hunting like scavenging, insects and grubs under rocks etc. and we probably did eat mice, rodents, and cats back then, IMO. But who knows.
    Well I think I've made good on my promise and answered all of your questions. Please no more. I think I'm all done with these "omnivore/natural" threads anyways. May I please be taken off administrative screening/ post delay now? I promise not to post in these related threads ever again.

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    Default Re: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Here's an excerpt from the updated (December 2009) article this thread is about, now renamed "Humans are naturally plant-eaters (according to the best evidence: our bodies)".

    This is about studies about how humans behave on various diets, and he is quoting Diet for a New America here:

    At Yale, Professor Irving Fisher designed a series of tests to compare the stamina and strength of meat-eaters against that of vegetarians. He selected men from three groups: meat-eating athletes, vegetarian athletes, and vegetarian sedentary subjects. Fisher reported the results of his study in the Yale Medical Journal.25 His findings do not seem to lend a great deal of credibility to the popular prejudices that hold meat to be a builder of strength.

    "Of the three groups compared, the...flesh-eaters showed far less endurance than the abstainers (vegetarians), even when the latter were leading a sedentary life."26
    Overall, the average score of the vegetarians was over double the average score of the meat-eaters, even though half of the vegetarians were sedentary people, while all of the meat-eaters tested were athletes. After analyzing all the factors that might have been involved in the results, Fisher concluded that:

    "...the difference in endurance between the flesh-eaters and the abstainers (was due) entirely to the difference in their diet.... There is strong evidence that a...non-flesh...diet is conducive to endurance."27
    A comparable study was done by Dr. J. Ioteyko of the Academie de Medicine of Paris.28 Dr. Ioteyko compared the endurance of vegetarian and meat-eaters from all walks of life in a variety of tests. The vegetarians averaged two to three times more stamina than the meat-eaters. Even more remarkably, they took only one-fifth the time to recover from exhaustion compared to their meat-eating rivals.

    In 1968, a Danish team of researchers tested a group of men on a variety of diets, using a stationary bicycle to measure their strength and endurance. The men were fed a mixed diet of meat and vegetables for a period of time, and then tested on the bicycle. The average time they could pedal before muscle failure was 114 minutes. These same men at a later date were fed a diet high in meat, milk and eggs for a similar period and then re-tested on the bicycles. On the high meat diet, their pedaling time before muscle failure dropped dramatically--to an average of only 57 minutes. Later, these same men were switched to a strictly vegetarian diet, composed of grains, vegetables and fruits, and then tested on the bicycles. The lack f animal products didn't seem to hurt their performance--they pedaled an average of 167 minutes.29

    Wherever and whenever tests of this nature have been done, the results have been similar. This does not lend a lot of support to the supposed association of meat with strength and stamina.

    Doctors in Belgium systematically compared the number of times vegetarians and meat-eaters could squeeze a grip-meter. The vegetarians won handily with an average of 69, whilst the meat-eaters averaged only 38. As in all other studies which have measured muscle recovery time, here, too, the vegetarians bounced back from fatigue far more rapidly than did the meat-eaters.30

    I know of many other studies in the medical literature which report similar findings. But I know of not a single one that has arrived at different results. As a result, I confess, it has gotten rather difficult for me to listen seriously to the meat industry proudly proclaiming "meat gives strength" in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: Link: "Eating meat isn't natural'

    Quote harpy View Post
    If you put it that way it certainly doesn't sound good for you , but I haven't yet seen any scientific evidence that eating small amounts of meat causes cancer.
    Nevertheless, you can't jump to the conclusion that small amounts of meat don't cause cancer.

    If large amounts of meat-eating causes cancer, then it's almost surely true that small amounts of meat cause cancer, in direct proportion to the amount consumed.

    The only reason the studies have been done for large amounts of meat are:

    1) That's where the statistical effects are easiest to find.
    2) Most Westerners eat large amounts of meat, so those are the participants in the studies.

    After reading a study that using cell phones while driving causes accidents, you wouldn't respond that maybe it's okay to just use the phone less.

    It's fair to say that a study showing that large amounts of meat cause cancer is the same as a study that any meat causes cancer, until there's a definitive study proving otherwise.

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