Botanical Wednesday: Plants for dinner


I’m hearing occasional gasps of disbelief at the notion of a vegan Thanksgiving, so clearly I need to show you something to make you salivate.

Oh My Veggies

Oh My Veggies

That’s just an example — we’re having something different — but honestly, you can have a tremendous variety of textures and flavors, all delicious, without killing an animal.

Also not shown: Lefse is vegetarian, don’t you know.

Comments

  1. says

    Also, wouldn’t a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner be corn, squash, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and potatoes, with chocolate for dessert?

  2. kc9oq says

    Cranberries. Don’t forget the cranberries.

    Actually cranberries and wild rice are the only 2 plants widely consumed today that are native to North America. Everything else on the list diffused up from Central and South America.

  3. laurentweppe says

    you can have a tremendous variety of textures and flavors, all delicious, without killing an animal.

    Or you can go for the authentic Ratatouille Niçoise: no animals are killed, and you get one delicious flavor in one brownish texture -the real ratatouille must look like sewage refuse: if there’s still bright color visible, it means the food’s undercooked

  4. Jane Cobb says

    There is a common assumption amongst vegetarians that those of us who eat meat are total carnivores who are ignorant of the delicious flavours and textures of vegetables. Most of us are very well aware of that and greatly enjoy vegetable based dishes. That doesn’t change the fact that we also find meat pleasurable to eat and trying to convince us to stop eating meat because vegetables also taste good is both silly and patronising.

  5. consciousness razor says

    Well, it depends on whose tradition it is. Meat was a luxury for some, holiday or no holiday, but of course not for everybody. Then again, those look like some pretty luxurious veggie dishes too. Tradition has it that you should eat like someone in abject poverty and mostly isolated from everything else in the world, if that’s the tradition we’re interested in celebrating.

    It makes me curious…. Would many colonists in North America have had access to much cocoa (or sugar)? I would’ve figured the vast majority of it found itself on a boat directly to Europe, and obviously Europeans have nothing whatever to be thankful for. Tomatoes might have been more available right away (couldn’t really tell you the history of that), but not much cocoa could have been grown here, if any, so it probably wasn’t traded here very much either. Same with sugarcane. How much inter-colony import/export was there? I could only guess, but I do doubt sweetened milk chocolate (or something like it for dessert) would’ve been anywhere on the menu.

  6. consciousness razor says

    Most of us are very well aware of that and greatly enjoy vegetable based dishes. That doesn’t change the fact that we also find meat pleasurable to eat and trying to convince us to stop eating meat because vegetables also taste good is both silly and patronising.

    Umm, you should be convinced to not eat meat for three basic reasons, roughly speaking: your personal health, the welfare of the animals being killed, and the environmental costs of meat-eating. Nobody’s claiming that you should be convinced because veggies also taste good. However, we certainly could have a non-silly and non-patronizing adult conversation about the concerns I mentioned, if all parties were interested in doing so, although they don’t all seem to be interested in that.

    The response to the actual concerns vegetarians actually have is often “but I like how meat tastes,” which doesn’t even address any of them, much less justify meat-eating. That response comes out of nowhere and does nothing useful, in a dialogue about the ethics of what we eat, how it’s made, where it comes from, etc. When you tell me that you do like the taste of veggies too, then it’s not silly or patronizing to point out that even the ridiculous reason that people typically offer for their behavior (maybe not you personally, but many many people) isn’t even a genuine one that does in fact apply to meats but not to veggies. Or, it’s that they (others besides yourself) sincerely don’t know what they’re missing with vegetarian food, and they shouldn’t assume otherwise. So, it does seem pretty silly that you would find a way to somehow be offended about any of this, if you’ve ever spoken with an actual vegetarian about it and have paid attention to a word that they’ve said.

  7. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    but honestly, you can have a tremendous variety of textures and flavors, all delicious, without killing an animal.

    Except that animals have died and suffered in order for those products to be grown and delivered to you. At least if i kill an animal (or have someone else kill it for me) i make use of the carcass, rather than just letting it rot in a field somewhere. Not that there’s anything wrong with rotting, of course, but i do see a difference between pointless, uncontrolled death (mice, toads, birds, insects, etc, dying by their millions in gruesome ways due to pesticides, machinery, etc) and useful, controlled death (sacrificing chickens in an apropriate manner that guarantees the least possible amount of suffering). Mind you, i like vegetables very, very much.

  8. Becca Stareyes says

    That does look yummy. Clearly we need to go to the photographer’s house for Thanksgiving and ask them who cooked that and if we can have more.

  9. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    Personal health: moderate consumption of animal products is no more problematic than a purely vegetarian diet. Vegetables can also contain compounds which increase the likelihood of certain ailments. But point taken, excessive consumption of certain types of meat in particular is very, very bad for you.

    Welfare of the animals: a point which i personaly care a lot about. While it is true that a lot of the animal products, particularly the most popular and cheap, are today being produced in unnaceptable ways which compromise the welfare of the animals to terribly unethical degrees, i would argue that given optimal living conditions, veterinary care, etc, in short, given optimal general welfare of the animals involved, captivity, even if aimed at eventual sacrifice, can be preferable to a wild existence, if welfare is the standard. Not that this happens often…

    Environmental costs of meat-eating: yeah, i have no argument with that, other than to mention that the environmental cost of agriculture is also very high, although admitedly, not as high as the production of animal products is.

  10. yazikus says

    I’m making a roasted butternut squash risotto and mashed potato/cauliflower. Now, they won’t be 100% vegan, but fairly close. I’ll probably top the risotto with some manchego and the potatoes will have butter in them. But I’ve done vegan thanksgiving more than once, and it can absolutely be delightful.

  11. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Jane Cobb,

    I don’t know how common that assumption is among vegetarians, but I think what PZ was going for was that vegetable-based dishes can not only be delicious but are on equal footing deliciousness-wise with meat based dishes.
    I think a lot of meat eaters’ attitude is that vegetable-only dishes can be good or even great, but only something with meat is “the real deal”.

  12. Audley Z Darkheart says

    Yazikus:
    I’m stuffing acorn squash with black beans and corn– so my main will be vegan, but the mashed potato casserole and roasted parsnips won’t (sour cream and butter).

  13. yazikus says

    Audley, that sounds delicious! I love parsnips. What sort of spice profile do you go with for that? There were a bunch of root vegetable that I was either unfamiliar with or intimidated by until I started participating in my CSA program locally. When something is just sitting in the fridge and you’ve already paid for it, it is a powerful motivator to go and figure out what to do with it! One of my favorites was the celeriac. I was so scared of it, all large and knobbly and hairy, and lo and behold, it is a divine vegetable. Roasted, it is perfection.

  14. Audley Z Darkheart says

    The parsnips are one of the (very few) dishes I’m not making this year*, so I’m not sure exactly what’s going into them.

    *I’m also not making the pies, because crust is my arch nemesis.

  15. treefrogdundee says

    Someone is having a completely vegetarian Thanksgiving? That’s great! Do what makes you happy.

    Someone is having a Thanksgiving which includes meat of one form or another? That’s great! Do what makes you happy.

  16. frog says

    My big score this year was truffles (the fungi) at a ridiculous bargain (it helps to be a regular customer of the local gourmet store). I have two lovely little truffles that will grace our potatoes with their intoxicating aroma and flavor.

    As for meat-eating, well, there are whole categories of vegetable I physically can’t eat, including that one most important for vegetarians: legumes. No beans for me. Which means if I want all the right amino acids, I have to eat meat. Compound with anemia and poor vitamin-B uptake, and again, meat is the only solution (other than supplements/injections, which I also take).

    Hurrah for people who can make a vegetarian diet work, but it would literally kill me.

  17. jacksprocket says

    The cruelty argument becomes one of degree only unless you eschew all animal products. If you use dairy products, half the calves are male. You can’t allow them to live their natural lifespan, or half the grazing woulkd be taken up by rampant redundant bulls. Half the chicks that hatch are male. So if you eat eggs you have the problem of redundant cockerels. Then there’s leather of course, though we’ve largely given up on fur coats, but even wool production requires the killing (or castration) of surplus male lambs or flocks would be unmanageable. Either give up all animal based products, or accept that you have to kill some animals, and if we kill them, we may as well not waste them. The production of meat would be vastly reduced but not zero.

    But what are you thanksgivinging for anyway?

  18. drjuliebug says

    I’ve done a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner for two, and it was more or less improvised. My husband and I are best described as flexitarian, and we usually visit his family for the typical big turkey dinner. But one year, through a long series of events, it was just the two of us for Thanksgiving with limited time and space for cooking. So, I made baked acorn squash (brushed with a bit of butter and maple syrup), with lentil stuffing and a meatless mushroom gravy. Added some mashed potatoes and vegetable crudités on the side, picked up some wine and a dessert at the supermarket, and it was one of the most fun Thanksgiving dinners I’ve ever had. I think the only animal products in it were real butter in the potatoes and probably some eggs in the store-bought dessert.

    Incidentally, although we eat butter and I eat cheese, we use almond or soy milk because the lactose (my problem) and the allergenic proteins (my husband’s problem) are in the aqueous part of milk rather than in the butterfat. We both love cream soups, so I make them with silken tofu instead of milk or cream. I cook the vegetables in seasoned vegetable broth, buzz it all in the blender with silken tofu, and then give it a quick re-warming. It tastes great, it doesn’t curdle or get a skin on it like milk does, and it’s high in protein. It’s great with carrots, broccoli, or winter squash.

  19. eveningchaos says

    Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia,

    “Except that animals have died and suffered in order for those products to be grown and delivered to you. At least if i kill an animal (or have someone else kill it for me) i make use of the carcass, rather than just letting it rot in a field somewhere. Not that there’s anything wrong with rotting, of course, but i do see a difference between pointless, uncontrolled death (mice, toads, birds, insects, etc, dying by their millions in gruesome ways due to pesticides, machinery, etc) and useful, controlled death (sacrificing chickens in an apropriate manner that guarantees the least possible amount of suffering). Mind you, i like vegetables very, very much.”

    Your argument seems like an appeal to the perfect solution fallacy. Just because one cannot completely abolish all suffering doesn’t mean that we should abandon all attempts to do so. Yes, some rodents, amphibians, lizards and birds die as a result of agriculture, but it is far fewer animals than within an omnivorous diet. One has to feed the livestock using foods that were harvested under the same conditions, resulting in even more “pointless” deaths of rodents, etc.. This food is then fed to livestock that are in turn killed in often inhumane ways to then be consumed. It is also an inefficient use of the sun’s energy to grow plants to feed animals to then feed us human animals. Let’s cut out the middle, non-human animal, and just eat the plants that have gleaned the suns energy. The only way to truly try to not harm any animals is to adopt a Jain approach to food and sift through our soil for insects to ensure none are harmed, walk while sweeping with a broom to ensure no bugs are crushed and only eat the fruits of plants to not kill any plants unnecessarily. This is totally impractical for an industrialized society. The vegan diet is the most optimal way to try to reduce harm in a practical way.

    Peter Singer has a good lecture on the issue of ethics of food production. There is no perfect solution where one contributes zero harm to the planet or its inhabitants, but there is a way to reduce it to a reasonable level. The vegan diet seems to exemplify this compromise the best, IMO.

  20. says

    I have no problem with a vegetarian Thanksgiving. It is a harvest feast, celebrating the bounty of the earth and the fruits of our labor. When we let such times become too hidebound in tradition — there MUST be turkey, there MUST be gravy, there MUST be that god-awful goop of canned green beans mixed with cream of mushroom soup and topped with deep fried onions that have been sitting on a shelf somewhere for at least a year — we lose sight of the real reason for the day.

  21. yazikus says

    there MUST be that god-awful goop of canned green beans mixed with cream of mushroom soup and topped with deep fried onions that have been sitting on a shelf somewhere for at least a year

    And the sad part is, when made fresh with a mushroom bechamel and caramelized sweet onions and crispy bean, it is soo good.

  22. longship says

    As long as there is no lutefisk, I am fine. And I am fucking half Norwegian. (The other half is Finn, so pickled herring is still fine.)

  23. Daniel Dunér says

    Dreaming @ 7
    Except you forgot about the part where the chickens are fed farmed food or killed fish, so you’re only compounding the problem. If we care about others’ suffering we need to stop the organized killing and work to improve our farming methods.

    treefrogdundee @ 15
    “Do what you want to” only works as an ethical rule of thumb when your actions don’t cause suffering for others.

    frog @ 16
    You’re mistaken about the amino acids. Getting your RDI of amino acids is trivial, even without legumes. Most plants will give you enough amino acids, you’d be fine even if you could only eat rice. Your point about vitamin B and iron also don’t make sense; supplements are bio-equivalent so you’d simply have to increase your supplement intake by a few percent to compensate for a reduced dietary intake.

  24. What a Maroon, oblivious says

    consciousness razor @5,

    Regarding tomatoes, it’s unlikely that the early colonists would have eaten them as they were still regarded as poisonous in England at the time. Here’s an article from the Smithsonian on the history of tomatoes in Europe and N. America. Some key quotes:

    A nickname for the fruit was the “poison apple” because it was thought that aristocrats got sick and died after eating them, but the truth of the matter was that wealthy Europeans used pewter plates, which were high in lead content. Because tomatoes are so high in acidity, when placed on this particular tableware, the fruit would leach lead from the plate, resulting in many deaths from lead poisoning. No one made this connection between plate and poison at the time; the tomato was picked as the culprit.

    The first known reference to tomato in the British North American Colonies was published in herbalist William Salmon’s Botanologia printed in 1710 which places the tomato in the Carolinas. The tomato became an acceptable edible fruit in many regions, but the United States of America weren’t as united in the 18th and early 19th century. Word of the tomato spread slowly along with plenty of myths and questions from farmers. Many knew how to grow them, but not how to cook the food.

    It’s hard to imagine a lot of world cuisine pre-Columbus–no tortilla de patatas, no pizza, no peppers in Thai food….

  25. treefrogdundee says

    Daniel, you make the mistake of assuming the only way in which to get meat is through inhumane factory farms and unethical slaughter practices. Sustainable and humanely killed meat is not a fallacy, as much as some of the holier than thou fringe would make it out to be. Nor is the basic concept of one organism taking the life of another inherent unethical.

  26. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    @19 eveningchaos
    I don’t dispute that the amount of total suffering is smaller (although still pretty huge) in the production of a vegan diet than an ominivorous one. That wasn’t my point at all, though. My point was that a vegan diet DOES in fact involve the death and suffering of animals, so claiming that it’s better because it doesn’t, it’s false. The correct claim is that it involves LESS death and suffering.
    I do advocate for far better captive conditions for livestock, as well as strict sacrificing methodologies, so that ideally the actual amount of suffering produced in animal production is close to zero. This doesn’t take into account you entirely valid point about more agriculture needed to feed the livestock resulting in more animal death associated with it, but it does address the problem of captivity being cruel.
    For what is worth, the environmental impact and the total amount of suffering are the two arguments i find the most compelling, but i dislike how inconsistently they are applied. The same arguments are applicable to all sort of products, from fabrics to technology, but even vegans and vegetarians very rarely ever apply the same principles to those, it magically stays limited to animal products, not even all consumables (even though many vegetable products have devastating environmental effects). If reducing the environmental impact is the argument driving our choice of food, it should also drive our choice of clothing, choice of lifestyle, etc, but it doesn’t in any significant way as far as i can tell ( i do know exceptions, it’s just that they are that, exceptions, and only some of them are vegan/vegetarian). I suspect i’m likely having a smaller environmental impact as an omnivorous spanyard with my lifestyle than your average vegan american.

  27. Daniel Dunér says

    treefrogdundee @ 26
    No, I’m talking about reality while you’re going off into hypotheticals. It may be theoretically possible to do what you describe (though I personally doubt it), but that’s completely irrelevant since that’s not what the world looks like. Here in the real world, even the most “humane” animal farming treats individuals like expendable property with completely predictable consequences.

  28. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    @24 daniel
    I didn’t forget, it’s just not part of that particular point. I have addressed that separately. I am interested in reducing the amount of total animal suffering, i’m just not convinced that adopting a vegan diet is the most effective way of achieving that to a significant degree, considering how many of our activities involve animal death and suffering, and my view that captivity does not necessarily entail suffering (which is the most relevant problem to me, death, not so much).

  29. Vivec says

    Personally, I don’t think I could ever care enough about a non-human animal to give up meat entirely for that reason alone. If it got to the point that our continued existence on the planet required veganism, then sure, I’d do it for humanity’s sake. But until that point, bring on the poultry.

  30. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin has somewhere — she’s trying to look for it but the excavator won’t start — for roast Triffid stuffed with cheese (of course), cheese, MUSHROOMS!, and moar cheese. Hasn’t had it years, free range Triffids are so expensive…

  31. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Yeah, a *vegetarian* thanksgiving sounds fine.

    “Vegan” means no cheese.

    No comparison.

  32. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    consciousness razor wrote @5:

    Would many colonists in North America have had access to much cocoa (or sugar)?

    ah, I guess the distinction is the quantifier: “many”. Visited Historical Williamsburg, VA recently. to learn about the early colonial life. One of the recreation shops was prominently a Chocolate Shoppe, with tours of the backroom of the chocolate process. The storekeeper across the street sold Dark Chocolate as the Authentic Historic Chocolate. Something about less sugar allows the flavor to bloom, that chocolate was to be held in the mouth for flavor, not eaten as food.
    The blockquote leads me to the realization that during colonial times, shok~o~laht, was a delicacy for the wealthy few. And probably quite rare for the many.

    aside from that, Williamsburg was worth exploring, noting that the Va Constitution of colonial times was essentially the prototype of the US Constitution, strongly advocated by Madison.

  33. treefrogdundee says

    Daniel, that simply isn’t true. Where I grew up was surrounded by livestock. They were fed naturally, kept on a free range, and slaughtered humanely. And then there is the entire concept of hunting.

  34. Bob Foster says

    Add some lentils. They are quick cooking and versatile. I have them at least twice a week. Curried red lentils are great. French, Spanish, Italian recipes usually call for small amounts of bacon or ham for flavor, but they can be left out without losing much. I have a great lentil loaf recipe that I’ve been making for years. After it has set in the fridge I slice it and brown it in the skillet and make a kind of burger out of it. Black lentils are packed with anthocyanins which help in fighting cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol and heart disease have wreaked havoc on my dad’s side of the family, but I’ve never been afflicted with anything like that. I’m not a vegetarian, but I only eat meat once a week and that’s mostly fish or chicken.

  35. yazikus says

    Speaking of lentils, this is a fabulous recipe that I have made a couple of times. Really, really flavorful and filling. I love the eggplant-lentil combo.

    @Bob Foster, care to share the recipe?

  36. says

    This post was not a rebuke to those who eat meat on Thanksgiving, but a response to a few who are surprised that you can have a good meal without meat. As you’d know if you read the first sentence.

    Carnivores are so danged sensitive.

  37. F.O. says

    I have been reducing my consumption of animal products little by little, to the point where most of my meals are vegan.
    I still eat some, mostly yogurt, cheese, gelato, sometimes fish, but it took very little effort.
    It feels good in many ways and I feel normally healthy.

  38. Alverant says

    What about the moral costs of Quinoa? Since it’s the new trendy food there’s pressure on the farmers to grow more of it, so much so they can’t afford to buy their own crops to eat. Plus, I don’t like mushrooms. Keep them underground.

  39. JP says

    What about the moral costs of Quinoa? Since it’s the new trendy food there’s pressure on the farmers to grow more of it, so much so they can’t afford to buy their own crops to eat.

    So true.

    Plus, I don’t like mushrooms. Keep them underground.

    Oh man, I love mushrooms. So tasty. Earthy.

    To each his own, though.

  40. treefrogdundee says

    PZ, I certainly didn’t think you meant anything else by this topic. And my first post here was a line about “live and let live” as I consider the dietary choices of someone else to be none of my business. Unfortunately, every time meat comes up on blogs, Facebook, etc. there is a segment (and only a segment) of the vegetarian/vegan community that jumps at the chance to hit meat-eaters over the head with how they are “selfish”, “unsustainable”, “a party to the suffering of animals”, etc. The sanctimony isn’t limited to one side.

  41. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    May i go for the bait, be a bit extra sensitive and point out i’m not a carnivore? :P
    Incidentally, tomorrow i’m having some delicious, spiced, roasted chickpeas with a side of roasted cauliflower (yuuuuuuummmm). Mind you, it won’t be vegan, it will be vegetarian, as i’ll be having a whey protein shake with banana and blackberries for dessert. We don’t have Thanksgiving over here, but i’ll be thankful anyway for the biggest, most glorious, large bag of blackberries i was able to pick a few months ago which i froze so that they can bring me joy through the winter.

  42. JP says

    Unfortunately, every time meat comes up on blogs, Facebook, etc. there is a segment (and only a segment) of the vegetarian/vegan community that jumps at the chance to hit meat-eaters over the head with how they are “selfish”, “unsustainable”, “a party to the suffering of animals”, etc.

    Listen, but it’s true. It’s painful. We’ve been causing so much pain to the animals and to each other. None of us wanted this. It’s not the right way to be. We were pretty much forced into it.

    We all need to have compassion for each other. We’ll work it out. By and by.

  43. JP says

    but i’ll be thankful anyway for the biggest, most glorious, large bag of blackberries i was able to pick a few months ago which i froze so that they can bring me joy through the winter.

    Lovely. Blackberries are a lovely fruit. When I was a kid, they grew wild all over the place, and August was the season for picking. (Early September, too, I suppose.) They’re really enjoyable in pies. Preserves are nice, too…

  44. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    My objection was to characterising a meatless meal as “without killing an animal” because it’s a pet peeve of mine, sorry…I strongly support the FACT that a meatless meal can be utterly and decadently scrumptious.

  45. JP says

    Nooooo problemo, parder. We’ll all get along, sooner or later. And we’ll meet. And have a really fun party. With, like, cake and pie and stuff.

  46. JP says

    ^ pardner.. Which is, like, Western mountain forest hick dialect for “partner.” Good times. Good times are gonna roll.

  47. frog says

    Caine@22: I admit to feeling just a bit macho when stabbing myself in the leg with that bigass needle (which isn’t so bigass, I’m sure, but intramuscular is psychologically a lot different from subQ for me).

    Daniel Dunér@24: My goodness, what am I doing paying all this money for health insurance and doctors when I could just ask strangers on the internet to tell me how to manage my health conditions? Thank you, oh wise commenter! What a remarkable crystal ball you have, to diagnose and advise someone you’ve never met!

  48. damiki says

    We’re about to partake of our 34th vegan thanksgiving.

    I’ve never missed eating animals (actually I’m getting kind of old, so my memory of the 80’s is a bit hazy, but I think that’s true).

  49. says

    I’m with Jane Cobb @4.

    I like a variety of flavors and textures. Okay, sometimes I’ll fixate on one texture, or even one particular food, but I usually get in a good selection of veg and fruit, too.

    Until you can provide a vegetable product that has the exact flavor and texture (and nutritional value) of various meats, I’mma be eating animals. When y’all do come up with a viable substitute, please send it my way — I’m willing to try damn near anything* at least once.

    Regardless of what you’re eating, I say: enjoy!

    *There are a few exceptions where the smell, flavor, or texture triggers sensory issues, and, of course, the obligatory food sensitivities [lactose].

  50. says

    @#48, JP
    25 November 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Lovely. Blackberries are a lovely fruit. When I was a kid, they grew wild all over the place, and August was the season for picking. (Early September, too, I suppose.) They’re really enjoyable in pies. Preserves are nice, too…

    Bah. Blackberries are mediocre, a waste of space. So are red raspberries. What’s really good is black raspberries, which look similar but taste much better. In 2014, the canes in my backyard gave me more than two quarts of berries and didn’t even pick them all, and they grow so well in my area that I’m going to have to dig out a bunch of them to keep them from taking over the lawn next year.

    Now if only I had any success growing anything else… I have a borscht recipe I would love to make with home-grown beets… and zucchini bread… :(

  51. Richard Smith says

    I won’t be eating any turkey tomorrow (today?). I had it in October…

    I’d probably be more inclined to go veg* if I weren’t afflicted with a serious case of congenital picky-eater-itis (or, as George Carlin put it, a Big Pain-in-the-Ass). Almost all fruit, many vegetables, and all fungi, as well as pretty much anything aged or fermented (no wine & cheese, then) are off the menu. Even meat is limited (although, for whatever reason, I don’t mind liver; go figure), and seafood is limited to a few fish and the occasional shrimp. Fortunately, I can eat the same thing several days in a row without getting tired of it, so that helps a bit. I am a dietician’s nightmare. :(

  52. Richard Smith says

    @frog (#52): When I was a lot younger, I was getting intramuscular injections of growth hormone three times a week, intramuscular. I didn’t want them in my arm, and I figured there was no worse place for an injection than the “lower back,” so I insisted on getting them in my leg. After about a week of that, the doctor didn’t have much trouble convincing me to try a different injection site “in the end.” Eventually, my mother learned how to do the injections, and did so for the last few years of the treatment. Not much feels macho about dropping trou for your mom to administer a shot. Voluntarily self-administering an intramuscular injection into your leg? Muy macho.

    (Given that I have panhypopituitarism, and the assorted reduced hormones associated with it, you could say that my reduced machismo is a pre-existing medical condition.)

  53. Nick Gotts says

    consciousness razor@5,

    There was a secondary “triangular trade” (secondary to that where the slave ships were the “Middle Passage”) between Britain, its Caribbean colonies – which were the really valuable ones – and the North American ones. North American colonies sent basic foodstuffs to the Caribbean to keep the slaves alive long enough to be a profitable investment, along with timber, leather and other raw materials. The slaves were producing sugar and tobacco for European consumers – although I’m sure some came to the North American colonists, while the latter imported manufactured goods from Britain. According to historian Kenneth Pomeranz, in The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy this geographical division of labour was essential to the genesis of the industrial revolution, although others argue that the colonial economy as a whole was too small for that to be feasible.

  54. Nick Gotts says

    What about the moral costs of Quinoa? Since it’s the new trendy food there’s pressure on the farmers to grow more of it, so much so they can’t afford to buy their own crops to eat. – Alverant@42

    Are you actually being serious here? Because if so, you’re also being idiotic. Farmers will grow quinoa if their land is suitable, they have or can hire the necessary equipment, and it’s sufficiently profitable – and if it’s “the new trendy food”, it presumably fetches a good price. If the latter is “pressure on the farmers”, then they are under constant “pressure” to raise cattle and grow cattle-feed.

  55. Nick Gotts says

    evening chaos@32,

    Thanks for the vegan cheese link! I’ve been working on reducing the cost of what I eat in terms of animal suffering and greenhouse gas emissions – which means minimising dairy products – and while soya cheeses are OK, I haven’t found any that are good for cooking.

  56. Tesla Livia says

    Daniel @ 24

    You’re not mistaken about the amino acids, but I would think it is probably reasonable not to use ‘trivial’ to describe what for most people would be a big dietary shift. Providing oneself with adequate amino acids looks easy on paper, and is indeed easier than most people realise (assuming of course one at least has good access to food and choice about food purchasing and preparation). But few people imagine the experience of dietary change to be easy to the point of triviality, even though some of us may find that in practice it is easier than what we expected.

    As for the iron and vitamin(s) B…well, it depends, although really the only information I wanted to provide on that topic concerned the necessity, or otherwise, of intramuscular injections for Vitamin B12, in case it can spare anyone some painful jabs in the future:

    From Kuzminski et al 1998, Effective Treatment of Cobalamin Deficiency With Oral Cobalamin
    http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/92/4/1191.long?sso-checked=true

    (related: Oral cobalamin remains medicine’s best kept secret. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16672168)

    Kuzminski:

    “Finally, when patients with pernicious anemia were placed on daily oral maintenance doses of 1,000 μg, no hematologic or neurologic relapses occurred and serum cobalamin concentrations remained normal.”

  57. Forbidden Snowflake says

    treefrogdungee:

    And my first post here was a line about “live and let live” as I consider the dietary choices of someone else to be none of my business.

    This is such a pet peeve of mine.
    The only way to apply “live and let live” to meat-eating is to exclude animals from the implied in-group of those who should be allowed to live. Or, in other words, to eschew the ethical foundation of veganism. Omnivores saying “live and let live” think they are offering a compromise or asking for basic respect, but they are actually demanding deference to their views. We still need a solution for people with different views who need to sit around the same table, but “just fucking be civil and don’t upset Grandpa” is so much more honest than that “live and let live” crap.

  58. randay says

    If it weren’t for our long ago ancestors descending from the trees and starting hunting and eating meat developing our brains, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion but just throwing our shit against one another. I remember a poster put up in an office I worked in, “Be Kind to Plants, Don’t Eat Them”. I don’t see what is wrong with killing and eating animals. We are by nature omnivores.

  59. Dunc says

    The only way to apply “live and let live” to meat-eating is to exclude animals from the implied in-group of those who should be allowed to live. Or, in other words, to eschew the ethical foundation of veganism.

    Well, yes, that’s rather the point. Most people simply don’t accept those particular ethical principles, and you can’t insist that they should. That’s the whole crux of the disagreement.

  60. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    @66 murder, violence, rape and cruelty are also natural. An so is cancer, meningitis and accute diarrhea. The point being, you have a huge naturalistic fallacy on your left cheek.

    Also, the “no large human brain without meat” requires demonstration. I’m fine with meat eating playing a role in the development of the modern human brain, that doesn’t mean, however, that such a development, or one that is comparable, is impossible without meat. A purely vegetarian diet got gorillas their brain, and it’s not a bad brain. Many of our bipedal ancestors were likely almost exclusively vegetarian. Are you sure that given the right selective pressures and a similar history, a diet that doesn’t include meat can’t produce similar results? I mean, elephants…also not a brain to sneeze at…

  61. Tesla Livia says

    @68
    “I’m fine with meat eating playing a role in the development of the modern human brain, that doesn’t mean, however, that such a development, or one that is comparable, is impossible without meat.”

    Or that maintenance of the (individual, or on a species level) human brain is impossible without meat.

  62. randay says

    Some scientists beg to differ with your ignorance.

    http://www.livescience.com/23671-eating-meat-made-us-human.html

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/should-humans-eat-meat-excerpt/

    “Meat consumption is a part of our evolutionary heritage; meat production has been a major component of modern food systems; carnivory should remain, within limits, an important component of a civilization that finally must learn how to maintain the integrity of its only biosphere.”

    Vegetarians and vegans are in complete denial of the obvious.

  63. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    Not to mention that modern human beings can go their entire lifes without eating a single piece of meat and somehow, magically, their brains work perfectly well. Which is completely incoherent with the idea that our large brain requires meat either to develop or to function.

  64. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    I already said that i have no issue with the idea that meat consumption played a role ir our evolutionary history, because it’s a fact. However, your claim is that it couldn’t have happened without meat, which is a very different claim. Demonstrate it. Neither of those articles do, at all.
    As for the quote you highlighted, what a load of horseshit.

    Lifelong vegetarians with perfectly functional and healthy brains. Explain.

  65. randay says

    You fanatic vegans/vegetarians get it all wrong. At the first link “I know this will sound awful to vegetarians, but meat made us human,” said researcher Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, an archaeologist at Complutense University in Madrid.”

    Another link: http://www.livescience.com/24875-meat-human-brain.html

    “Both sets of researchers said their conclusion — that cooked food and meat were necessary for human brain development — is not a statement of how the human diet must have been, but rather how it likely was in order to make humans “human.”

    With supermarkets and refrigeration, humans today can and increasingly do eat a vegetarian or vegan diet year-round. And given the amount of heart-stopping saturated fats in factory-produced animal products, a plant-based diet can be healthier.

    Yet both “extreme sides” of the meat argument — the unapologetic meat eater and the raw vegan — should remember that few so-called natural foods today were around as little as a few hundred years ago, from the modern invention called corn-fed beef to genetically altered strains of Queen Anne’s lace called the carrot.

    From health to the environment, there are many reasons to go vegetarian, go vegan and even go raw, but evolution isn’t one of them.”

  66. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    I’m an omnivore, so much for a fanatical vegan/vegetarian…
    On top of the naturalistic fallacy, you are now going for a whooping argument from authority. I don’t care that Manuel said that, it’s a silly thing to say and his credentials as a scientist don’t change that.
    Meat was but one of a multitude of factors involved in our recent evolutionary history, to say that meat made us human is even more simplistically absurd than saying tool-making made us human or bipedal walking made us human. The fact that you hear people say such things, and that occasionally they are scientists, again, doesn’t stop it from being a silly thing to say.
    Again, the fact that human beings today can life their entire lifes without meat, it’s sufficient evidence that no, human brain development does in fact not demand meat consumption. Pay attention to the “not a statement of how the human diet must have been, but rather how it likely was” which implies that it’s largely circumstancial rather than deterministic. Considering the large variety of “meats” that different human populations have consumed throughout their history and that not all meat is created equal, and yet, human populations have remained remarkably consistent and not isolated by their diet, the idea that meat consumption is absolutely necessary to human evolution is quite simply silly and only trivially and overly simplistically true. But hey, it sounds vaguely true to people who don’t know a fucking thing about evolution or biology, so there’s that…

    And i should point out that i’ve never once heard a vegan or a vegetarian claim that evolution is a “reason” for their diet…i have however seen it used inumerable times by omnivores, as you have done in your previous post, which is a naturalistic fallacy. “Hey, our ancestors ate meat so that means we must eat meat!” Eh…no…no it doesn’t…

  67. randay says

    I won’t even quote from this link as it is too detailed and long.
    http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/evidence-for-meat-eating-by-early-humans-103874273

    Then there is this one.

    http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2008/04/eating-meat-led-to-smaller-stomachs-bigger-brains/

    “He held up a well-thumbed copy of Aiello’s book and said, “Her CV is so long, it’s hard to know where to start.” But two seminal ideas stand out, said Lieberman. One is that in evolutionary terms, big human brains — with enormous energy requirements — are inversely proportional to gut size.

    This idea — called the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis (ETH) in Aiello’s co-authored 1992 paper — argues that around 1.5 million years ago early humans began to eat more meat, a compact, high-energy source of calories that does not require a large intestinal system.”

    Today, parents are putting their children at risk by giving them a vegan diet, notably lack of vitamin B-12. The animal type is different from the vegetable type. So a vegan needs to buy supplements. Children cannot be complete vegans.

  68. Forbidden Snowflake says

    What difference does it make how we evolved our brains back when our environment was radically different? If we want to honor our ancestors for their contribution to out mighty brains, I suggest actually using our brains to consider the consequences of our lifestyles would be a better tribute than copying our ancestors’ diet.

    Yet both “extreme sides” of the meat argument — the unapologetic meat eater and the raw vegan — should remember that few so-called natural foods today were around as little as a few hundred years ago, from the modern invention called corn-fed beef to genetically altered strains of Queen Anne’s lace called the carrot.

    Your mention of raw veganism is a strawman, since nobody in this thread is advocating raw veganism; and also since raw veganism isn’t actually an extreme end of some meat-eater to vegan continuum. It isn’t somehow going further than vegan, it’s simply tacking on an additional and unrelated (and also pointless IMO) food restriction onto veganism.

  69. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Dunc:

    Well, yes, that’s rather the point. Most people simply don’t accept those particular ethical principles, and you can’t insist that they should. That’s the whole crux of the disagreement.

    Similarly in the spirit of “live and let live”, I’m sure if you found that your neighbor was beating her children, you wouldn’t insist that she accept your ethical principles stating that beating children is wrong.

  70. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Today, parents are putting their children at risk by giving them a vegan diet, notably lack of vitamin B-12. The animal type is different from the vegetable type. So a vegan needs to buy supplements. Children cannot be complete vegans.

    So… a vegan diet is incomplete and unsuitable for children, unless it includes a B12 supplement in which case it is complete and suitable for children. Um, OK?

  71. randay says

    Forbidden Snow, you don’t even bother to read further. You only quote someone that I quoted. Have your kids grow up brain-damaged with a vegan diet. There is also the question of resources. Certainly it takes more resources to raise animals, but the other side is that you have to eat much less meat to get the nutrition you need than from plant products. You and vegans/vegetarians should read completely all the links I have posted. I don’t remember seeing one link from them. Information is one thing they are immune too.

  72. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    If you think your argument is superior because you use links, you are wrong. Your argument is quite bad, no matter how many links you provide.
    Yes, the introduction of high energy and efficient food sources was key to the development of many characteristics in modern humans. Do you know what that corresponded with? Fire. Not meat, fire. We were eating meat long before and it didn’t have those magical effects in our digestive systems or our brains. Fire did, because cooking our food revolutionised our diets, and in fact it had a larger effect in the vegeterian portion of our diet than it did in the meat-eating one.

    Again, nobody is denying that our ancestors ate meat as part of a very varied diet. Nobody is denying that this varied, rich, flexible diet, had significant effects on our evolution. The problem is not that, the problem is the claim that we wouldn’t be human without meat or that large brains like ours are impossible without meat. That’s a very different claim, one that hasn’t been demonstrated at all, and which appears to be, in fact, false.
    Not that any of this has any impact whatsoever on the ethics of eating meat.

  73. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Have your kids grow up brain-damaged with a vegan diet.

    Thanks for the kind wishes, but plenty of lifelong vegans are actually doing quite well. And you didn’t support your nonsense about the dangers of vegan childhood with any links that I could read.

    There is also the question of resources. Certainly it takes more resources to raise animals, but the other side is that you have to eat much less meat to get the nutrition you need than from plant products.

    No, that’s simply wrong. High-protein plant products, such as legumes, nuts, seeds and saiten, are no less nutritious than animal products. Additionally, in any scenario at all, the amount of protein, calories, etc., you can get from an animal is much smaller than the amount of protein, calories, etc. you feed the animal. Grain- or soy-fed livestock is a great way of converting large amounts of food into quite small amounts of food, all while inflicting incredible amounts of suffering and training ourselves to be callous to said suffering.

  74. Dunc says

    Similarly in the spirit of “live and let live”, I’m sure if you found that your neighbor was beating her children, you wouldn’t insist that she accept your ethical principles stating that beating children is wrong.

    It’s an illustrative example, actually… It all hinges on what exactly you mean by “beating children”. Personally, I’m of the opinion that all forms of corporal punishment are always wrong. However, I’m very much in the minority in that view – most people believe that some forms of corporal punishment are acceptable in some circumstances. Given that you asked the question in this way, I’m going to assume that you’re one of them. As a society, we try to draw a line between acceptable corporal punishment and unacceptable child abuse, but sometimes that line is a good deal more fuzzy than we would like, and there are people who believe that some forms of corporal punishment which society regards as unacceptable should not be regarded thus. Somehow, we generally manage to muddle along.

    So yes, I often have to accept that other people beat their children, and not insist that they accept my ethical principles.

  75. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Given that you asked the question in this way, I’m going to assume that you’re one of them.

    What the literal fuck? Of course not. I was actually aiming at a hypothetical in which the lifestyle you are requested to respect is actively causing serious harm to others. You turned the example of beating into corporal punishment and then delved into current opinion on that, but the choice of example was rather incidental and I wish you wouldn’t focus on it so much.

  76. Forbidden Snowflake says

    So yes, I often have to accept that other people beat their children, and not insist that they accept my ethical principles.

    Having to tolerate it because you’re in the minority and mainstream opinion is on their side is, I would say, rather not the same as accepting their choice as a legitimate alternative to yours. It is much closer to the “just fucking be civil and don’t upset Grandpa” option I mentioned in my first comment, so it’s possible that we aren’t even in disagreement.

  77. randay says

    #80 Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia, you have added nothing to the discussion. You only have your illusions. “Do you know what that corresponded with? Fire. Not meat, fire. ” That was mentioned in one of my links which you didn’t bother to read. You self-righteous ignorant vegan/vegetarians prefer to remain that way. How bad of me to link to people who know more than me. You guys still haven’t given a credible scientific link to the advantage of vegetarianism. I have only linked to LiveScience, Scientific American, and Nature. I and they must surely been wrong.

    Belief in veganism or vegetarianism is simply a belief in sects, just like religious people.

  78. Dunc says

    You turned the example of beating into corporal punishment

    From my point of view, they’re exactly the same thing, and I do believe that corporal punishment is “actively causing serious harm to others”.

    Having to tolerate it because you’re in the minority and mainstream opinion is on their side is, I would say, rather not the same as accepting their choice as a legitimate alternative to yours.

    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this distinction. I think they’re wrong, but I’m not sure that I think their viewpoint is illegitimate.

  79. Forbidden Snowflake says

    randay, you’re growing incoherent. Can you explain in your own words how the importance of meat in our evolution should inform our dietary choices today, and why?

  80. Forbidden Snowflake says

    From my point of view, they’re exactly the same thing, and I do believe that corporal punishment is “actively causing serious harm to others”.

    OK. In that case, a person beating their children isn’t abiding by the “let live” part of “live and let live”, and cataloging tolerance of their choices under “live and let live” glosses over that fact. Tolerating them is then a matter of tactics (choosing not to cause a stir because it’s not in your power to fix the situation), not of principled commitment to pluralism. Would you say that characterizes your position?

  81. Forbidden Snowflake says

    No, randay, not throwing links at people to prove “meat made us human” or what not. In your own words: suppose eating meat indeed was a necessary part of becoming what we are today. Therefore we should _________________?

  82. Dunc says

    Tolerating them is then a matter of tactics (choosing not to cause a stir because it’s not in your power to fix the situation), not of principled commitment to pluralism. Would you say that characterizes your position?

    No, I’m not at all sure that I would. I’m willing to seriously consider the possibility that the ethical error may be mine, and even if it were possible (with no other adverse ethical consequences), I would not be inclined to compel them to agree with me, or to act in accordance with my views.

    There is obviously a continuum here – some things are more arguable, or have more scope for legitimate disagreement, than others.

  83. randay says

    Where did I say “in my own words” what you claim? You vegans/vegetarians should just continue acting as dumb as you do to make people realize that you are actually that dumb. For you, what you should do is crawl back into your hole and eat root vegetables.

  84. Forbidden Snowflake says

    I was asking you to state your thesis in your own words, you illiterate fuck. Never mind, I see you aren’t really capable of expressing any coherent thought beyond copy-pasting links and screaming that vegans are dumb. Good luck fighting down the cognitive dissonance.

  85. randay says

    Illiterate moron, you don’t even know the meaning of ” cognitive dissonance” which is “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change.”. Show me where I have been inconsistent. I think that vegans/vegetarians are ignorant at best and assholes as standard. Killing animals to eat is what most people do because it is healthy. What is wrong with killing animals for food? Vegan/vegetarians try to shame meat-eaters specious reasons. I don’t care what they eat, and they shouldn’t care what I eat. But vegans/vegetarians are in sects that think they know the absolute truth, just like a religion.

  86. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    Ok, randay, bye bye. If the links you provide don’t support your claims, AT ALL, and you are too thick to realise this, it’s not our problem. If you know, for instance, that the article mentions that the key element was the ability to cook food, and not meat consumption, then why the fuck do you use it to try and support the idea that meat consumption is absolutely necessary? Do you lack reading comprehension? If you link to some scientist using the word “meat” in a sentence but the article doesn’t provide any scientific evidence for why meat is absolutely necessary, then how the fuck is that scientific evidence in support of that claim? Can you tell the difference between a scientist saying things, and science? Or the difference between scientific magazines and science, for that matter? As for the insults, you know, fuck off. When you actually have an argument to make, any argument at all, let us know. Christ, what an arsehole…

  87. randay says

    You are so full of the shit. There are mentions of cooking things including meat in the article. Meat consumption is emphasized. You religious believer didn’t even bother with all the other links that support my position in much more detail. You holy-roller vegans/vegetarians disgust me. Not one of you has shown any evidence, i.e. scientific link supporting your ridiculous cult.

  88. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    Show the evidence that human brains can’t develop without meat consumption or shut the fuck up already. You are boring…

  89. Anri says

    I read over randay’s links in #75, and didn’t see anything discussing current human diet.

    Any chance you could quote the bits discussing current vegetarianism/vegan-ism, randay? Not all of them, just your favorite three, maybe.

  90. randay says

    You tell me. I posted much more since then. If you can, give me three reason for being a vegan/vegetarian fundamentalist. Meat-eaters don’t give a shit about them or what they eat.

    As for the Dreaming Atheist, he still needs to read most of the scientific articles I have linked. V/V’s haven’t given a single piece of scientific evidence for their religion.

  91. drjuliebug says

    Where are all these preachy vegans that people keep complaining about? I’ve socialized among (and cooked for) vegetarian and vegan friends and acquaintances for years. They know I’m an omnivore. I’ve never heard anyone get nasty about it. I’ve seen/read/heard veg(etari)ans, paleo dieters, low- carb dieters, and non-celiac gluten-free dieters describe, in detail, the reasons for their diets and why they have so much enthusiasm for them. I don’t find this in the least bit hostile or offensive.

    I mean, I know some people probably do get snide or smug about their diets, but overall it seems like a straw man argument to me. The whole “preachy vegan” stereotype reminds me of how people claimed for years that there was rampant bra burning going on among feminists. (A group of demonstrators apparently trashed some lingerie to make a point during a women’s-liberation rally in the 1970s, and some media observers found this so entertaining that it was the only thing they could write about feminism for years.)

  92. Dunc says

    V/V’s haven’t given a single piece of scientific evidence for their religion.

    What the hell does this even mean? Veganism and vegetarianism are ethical choices, not scientific hypotheses.

    Meat-eaters don’t give a shit about them or what they eat.

    So why are you getting so wound up here? Why are you even posting in this thread?

  93. Anri says

    randay @ 100:

    You tell me. I posted much more since then. If you can, give me three reason for being a vegan/vegetarian fundamentalist. Meat-eaters don’t give a shit about them or what they eat.

    Ah, sorry, I misunderstood. I had assume you posted those links because they supported your apparent position on modern diet. Since they didn’t… why exactly did you post them then?

    As for reasons for vegetarianism, a number have been given, but I’ll restate about meat eating:
    1) It is less efficient from the POV of resources. This can be mollified to some extent by having the animals in question eat only food sources that humans are unable to process themselves, such as waste byproducts of for-human agriculture, or grazing on non-food crops, but this isn’t how modern food animals are raised by a long shot.
    2) It is often cruel. It is certainly arguable that food animals could be raised in a humane environment and treated in ways that do not cause them to suffer, but again, that’s not what’s actually going on in the real world today in the vast majority of cases. (It’s also worth noting that aspects of this point and point #1 are often at odds with one another).
    3) It is often much less healthy. Vegetable sources for basic nutrients and calories are typically much healthier than their animal equivalents – sometimes inherently, but certainly within the context of the modern industrial food supply process.

    If you’d like me to try to find references for these points, I will, of course. I have some trouble imagining that any reasonably educated person would have much cause to doubt the truth of them, but if you insist, I’ll take a look.

  94. randay says

    I know vegetarians and think they are deluded, but I don’t say anything. I have had many V/V’s criticize me for being a carnivore. I drop them as friends or acquaintances. When I have friends over for dinner, some are meat-eaters and some of vegetarians. Vegans can go to hell. I make different plates for each group. Vegetarian friends do the same, they have dishes for carnivores and for non-meat eaters. for each one it’s their choice.

    I have yet to see one V/V give a scientific reason for their choice here.

  95. Richard Smith says

    While not a food fight, a lot of what’s getting flung around (from seemingly all sides) does appear to be a food by-product… (May or may not contain corn.)

    (This is simply an idle observation; your comments were, of course, perfectly cogent and on-point, dear reader.)

  96. says

    randay @ 104:

    I know vegetarians and think they are deluded, but I don’t say anything.

    You’ve certainly said a great fucking deal here, much of it unnecessarily nasty. I remember you when you weren’t a spittle-flecked screedster. Perhaps you could pretend to go back to being that randay for a day, so people can stop scratching their heads, wondering what you are fucking on about. After all, for many people it is a holiday, so let them enjoy it. I suggest you do the same.

    Happy Whatthefuckever to all.

  97. randay says

    Still not one scientific reference to the benefits, if any, of V/V diets. I don’t explain everything in the links I post because they say it better than I do. My links are all from respected scientific journals. V/V’s can’t even come up with some New Age nonsense journal to defend themselves.

  98. Anri says

    randay @ 107:

    My links are all from respected scientific journals.

    …with the teensy little problem (as I noted in comment 103) that they don’t support your position on modern diets.

    But here’s a link from Cornell U that says exactly what I posited above: vegetable protein is efficient, and meat *can* be, if it is created on less-used land:
    http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2007/10/diet-little-meat-more-efficient-many-vegetarian-diets

    Here’s a Guardian issue linking to a UN study about environmental impact in general:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jun/02/un-report-meat-free-diet

    Or maybe this:
    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/660S.full

    These were really hard to find (and by “really hard to find”, I actually mean “were in the list of references in a Wikipedia article” – clearly a high bar for obscurity on the internet), so I can understand if you’d never encountered them before.

    Sorry if there’s aren’t New Agey enough to cater to your preconceptions, but I’ll wager you can find that sort of stuff on your own.

  99. randay says

    Just from your first link, “Thus, although vegetarian diets in New York state may require less land per person, they use more high-valued land. “It appears that while meat increases land-use requirements, diets including modest amounts of meat can feed more people than some higher fat vegetarian diets,” said Peters.” That is what I have argued for, modest amounts of meat. So that does not contradict what I have said.

    Your second like, “Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has also urged people to observe one meat-free day a week to curb carbon emissions.” I don’t eat meat for most of the week, so again it doesn’t contradict me.

    Your third link says, “Less than 0.4 ha of cropland was used to produce the food for the vegetarian-based diet, whereas about 0.5 ha of cropland was used in the meat-based diet.” Also it says, “The meat-based diet differs from the vegetarian diet in that 124 kg of meat and 20.3 kg of fish are consumed per year (Table 1⇑). Note that the number of calories is the same for both diets because the vegetarian foods consumed were proportionately increased to make sure that both diets contained the same number of calories. The total calories in the meat and fish consumed per day was 480 kcal. The foods in the meat-based diet providing the most calories were food grains and sugar and sweeteners—similar to the lactoovovegetarian diet.”

    My argument never was that people don’t eat enough meat, but that it is good for you in moderate amounts. Sure Americans eat to much meat, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t eat any–see the first link I quoted. I could go on, but I think you have not been following the debate. Comparing calories is not enough. One needs to consider the other elements found in a product.

    Even my greatest critic, Atheist Dreamer, said in post 9, “Personal health: moderate consumption of animal products is no more problematic than a purely vegetarian diet.”

  100. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    Yes, because i’m not a vegan, nor a vegetarian, which you would know if you had read the thread, but obviously you had other priorities, like insulting people for no fucking reason whatsoever. But you go on ahead and you keep fighting those windmills you valiant sir…

  101. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    My argument never was that people don’t eat enough meat, but that it is good for you in moderate amounts.

    You are right, your argument was never that, because you never said anything even remotely of the kind. Your original argument was that eating an ominivorous diet is natural in humans, therefore all vegans/vegetarians are fanatical, quasireligious arseholes denying reality, or what is the same: a big fat naturalistic fallacy. And to make your fallacious statement prettier, you adorned it with insults and assumptions.

  102. Audley Z Darkheart says

    Randay:

    V/V’s haven’t given a single piece of scientific evidence for their religion.

    BRB sacrificing a brick of tofu to the Kale Goddess.

  103. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    For all the talk about preachy and pushy vegans, I see only one side preaching and pushing.
    (hint: not vegans)

  104. Marc Abian says

    Randay quoting from his link @73

    From health to the environment, there are many reasons to go vegetarian, go vegan and even go raw, but evolution isn’t one of them

    Randay himself @94

    Vegan/vegetarians try to shame meat-eaters specious reasons. I don’t care what they eat, and they shouldn’t care what I eat.

    Are you claiming so that there are good reasons to go vegetarian, but vegetarians only give specious ones? And also, that vegetarians shouldn’t care about your environmental impacts?

  105. says

    Audley @ 112:

    BRB sacrificing a brick of tofu to the Kale Goddess.

    It had better be silken tofu, that Kale Goddess can get mean.

  106. Anri says

    randay @ 109:

    My argument never was that people don’t eat enough meat, but that it is good for you in moderate amounts. Sure Americans eat to much meat, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t eat any–see the first link I quoted. I could go on, but I think you have not been following the debate. Comparing calories is not enough. One needs to consider the other elements found in a product.

    Oh.
    I thought your argument was:

    I think that vegans/vegetarians are ignorant at best and assholes as standard. Killing animals to eat is what most people do because it is healthy. What is wrong with killing animals for food? Vegan/vegetarians try to shame meat-eaters specious reasons. I don’t care what they eat, and they shouldn’t care what I eat. But vegans/vegetarians are in sects that think they know the absolute truth, just like a religion.

    or:

    Belief in veganism or vegetarianism is simply a belief in sects, just like religious people.

    or:

    Vegetarians and vegans are in complete denial of the obvious.

    Since those aren’t your arguments, you should try to figure out who has hacked your account and is posting under your ‘nym.
    On the other hand, if those were in fact your arguments, you might wanna quote the parts of the articles I linked to that show the religious fervor and unscientific thinking.

    (Or you could put down the shovel… but let’s face it, we both know that won’t happen.)