Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Arguments against an Alternate Lifestyle

While I accept that eating meat is a personal choice, and that it is not considered a "sin" by God or His church (just as smoking cigarettes isn't), it is also true that flesh eating is not what our bodies were designed for. We were created with a specific diet (fuel source, if you will) in Mind - vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes. Carnivorism, or carrion eating, is an alternative lifestyle choice some may choose over the recommended, natural way we were intended to live.

Whether you choose to avoid dead flesh and blood for religious, environmental, or health reasons, here are some facts which may help you explain your choice to others if they pester you - which scavengers tend to do when their own unnatural lifestyle is challenged. And for some reason (conscience perhaps?) just by being a vegetarian, they feel we challenge their alternative lifestyle.


The Hunger Argument
Number of people worldwide who will die as a result of malnutrition this year: 20 million
Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100 million
Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by people: 20
Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 80
Percentage of oats grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 95
Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90
How frequently a child dies as a result of malnutrition: every 2.3 seconds
Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 40,000
Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 250
Percentage of U.S. farmland devoted to beef production: 56
Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of edible flesh from feedlot beef: 16

The Environmental Argument
Cause of global warming: greenhouse effect
Primary cause of greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels
Fossil fuels needed to produce meat-centered diet vs. a meat-free diet: 3 times more
Percentage of U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75
Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85
Number of acres of U.S. forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million
Amount of meat imported to U.S. annually from Central and South America: 300,000,000 pounds
Percentage of Central American children under the age of five who are undernourished: 75
Area of tropical rain forest consumed in every quarter-pound of rain forest beef: 55 square feet
Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rain forests for meat grazing and other uses: 1,000 per year

The Cancer Argument
Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat daily compared to less than once a week: 3.8 times
For women who eat eggs daily compared to once a week: 2.8 times
For women who eat butter and cheese 2-4 times a week: 3.25 times
Increased risk of fatal ovarian cancer for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week vs. less than once a week: 3 times
Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who consume meat, cheese, eggs and milk daily vs. sparingly or not at all: 3.6 times.

The Cholesterol Argument
Number of U.S. medical schools: 125
Number requiring a course in nutrition: 30
Nutrition training received by average U.S. physician during four years in medical school: 2.5 hours
Most common cause of death in the U.S.: heart attack
How frequently a heart attack kills in the U.S.: every 45 seconds
Average U.S. man's risk of death from heart attack: 50 percent
Risk of average U.S. man who eats no meat: 15 percent
Risk of average U.S. man who eats no meat, dairy or eggs: 4 percent
Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption of meat, dairy and eggs by 10 percent: 9 percent
Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption by 50 percent: 45 percent
Amount you reduce risk if you eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from your diet: 90 percent
Average cholesterol level of people eating meat-centered-diet: 210 mg/dl
Chance of dying from
heart disease if you are male and your blood cholesterol level is 210 mg/dl: greater than 50 percent

The Natural Resources Argument
User of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S.: livestock production
Amount of water used in production of the average cow: sufficient to float a destroyer
Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 25
Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of California beef: 5,000
Years the world's known oil reserves would last if every human ate a meat-centered diet: 13
Years they would last if human beings no longer ate meat: 260
Calories of fossil fuel expended to get 1 calorie of protein from beef: 78
To get 1 calorie of protein from soybeans: 2
Percentage of all raw materials (base products of farming, forestry and mining, including fossil fuels) consumed by U.S. that is devoted to the production of livestock: 33
Percentage of all raw materials consumed by the U.S. needed to produce a complete vegetarian diet: 2

The Antibiotic Argument
Percentage of U.S. antibiotics fed to livestock: 55  (70% today)
Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13
Percentage resistant in 1988: 91
Response of European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: ban
Response of U.S. meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: full and complete support

The Pesticide Argument
Common belief: U.S. Department of Agriculture protects our health through meat inspection
Reality: fewer than 1 out of every 250,000 slaughtered animals is tested for toxic chemical residues
Percentage of U.S. mother's milk containing significant levels of DDT: 99
Percentage of U.S. vegetarian mother's milk containing significant levels of DDT: 8
Contamination of breast milk, due to chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides in animal products, found in meat-eating mothers vs. non-meat eating mothers: 35 times higher
Amount of Dieldrin ingested by the average breast-fed American infant: 9 times the permissible level

The Ethical Argument
Number of animals killed for meat per hour in the U.S.: 660,000
Occupation with highest turnover rate in U.S.: slaughterhouse worker
Occupation with highest rate of on-the-job-injury in U.S.: slaughterhouse worker

The Survival Argument
Athlete to win Ironman Triathlon more than twice: Dave Scott (6 time winner)
Food choice of Dave Scott: Vegetarian
Largest meat eater that ever lived: Tyrannosaurus Rex (Where is he today?)

Source = "Diet For A New America" by John Robbins

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Problem with Soda

This is from a Care2 article:
Most soft drinks are made with highly concentrated sweeteners, like high-fructose corn sweetener. Even the “healthier” versions made with good old-fashioned sugar deliver it in a highly concentrated dose. The job of the pancreas is to secrete insulin when needed to process sugar, so when you hit your body with a wallop of sugar, the pancreas goes into overdrive. Experts at the University of Minnesota followed 60,000 people in China and found a link between those who drank large quantities of soda and the incidence of pancreatic cancer. The researchers theorize that stressing the pancreas repeatedly with high doses of sugar leads to inflammation, which in turn sets up a vulnerability to pancreatic cancer.
Their study found that people who drank two or more sodas a week had an 87 percent increase in their risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Since pancreatic cancer is rare, and the overall risk of developing it is low, even an 87 percent increase is not as big as it sounds. But pancreatic cancer is a particularly deadly type of cancer, killing most of those who get it within a few years. So protecting our pancreas is something we all need to take seriously.
 I can't overemphasize this point - it is dangerous to drink sugar pops (sodas, colas, soft drinks, etc). For an adult to do so is about the same as smoking - personal choice to defy a slow, painful death from your body falling apart. For a parent to hand a sugar pop to their child is tantamount to handing that child a syringe filled with a drug!

In her book, Food & Behavior, Barbara Stitt notes:
The connection between food and behavior is so basic that it is being over looked by parents, the school system, counselors and most of the medical professionals.
Ask any hyperactive child, depressed, angry teenager, violent adult or criminal what they eat and you'll find they "live" on junk food - sweetened boxed cereals, candy, carbonated drinks, potato chips, fast foods.
Junk food abuses the mind, undernourishes the body and distorts the behavior.
Children model after their parents. Studies have shown repeatedly that children whose parents smoked are much likelier to smoke, whose parents drank alcohol would probably drink; therefore, it follows that if you have sugar pops in the house and you drink them in front of your kids, they will become addicted to this drug, also.

What do you want to will to your children: diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity, and pancreatic cancer, among many other problems, or habits of good health so they can enjoy a good, long life?

Think about it!
STEPcoach Bob Collins

Food for Thought for Food

Plutarch taught: Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind did so, the first man touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived.

How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds?

It is certainly not lions and wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us, creatures that, I swear, Nature appears to have produced for the sake of their beauty and grace. But nothing abashed us, not the flower-like like tinting of the flesh, not the persuasiveness of the harmonious voice, not the cleanliness of their habits or the unusual intelligence that may be found in the poor wretches.

No, for the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being.
We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
I don't eat chicken anymore. I won't eat it. I won't allow it in my house. -Rodney Leonard - U.S. Poultry inspector
Based on my experience in Los Angeles, my advice to the public is not to eat meat. - Gregorio Natavidad - meat inspector

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Diabetics: Got Vinegar? Yaotta!

 Just read some very interesting news about keeping my blood sugar under control and making my wife happy: scientists have completed a study that showed that vinegar prevents sugar spikes after eating. Here, look:
Past studies have shown that consuming vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity in people with insulin resistance and possibly improve blood glucose control in people with Type 2 diabetes. Now, research has indicated that vinegar consumption is also effective at controlling after-meal blood glucose levels in those with Type 1 diabetes.
Diane Fennell reports in Diabetes Self Management that the subjects of the study drank two tablespoons of vinegar in one and a half tablespoon of water just before eating. Their blood sugar rose after the meal - as everyone's does naturally - but it did not spike high as is common with diabetics.

No one is completely sure why this works, but it does.
While the mechanisms by which vinegar helps control after-meal blood glucose levels aren’t entirely clear, it is known from previous studies that vinegar delays stomach emptying and that acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, enhances glucose storage in the liver and muscle tissue.
 So, if there's a good result, why not try? And unlike medicines that usually cause more dangerous side effects than their intended good, vinegar is a natural treatment. That means it is unlikely to have any negative side effects. Of course, some people do have allergies to some things, so you might want to ask your M.D. if you've never used vinegar in this way before.

The article closes with this note:
According to the researchers, “two tablespoons of vinegar could easily be used as a complementary food (e.g., in a salad dressing) to reduce hyperglycemia.” 
 Now, Jo Donna and I have been using apple cider vinegar (ACV) for years to stop colds and flu and to ease indigestion, but this is a nice bonus. It's important to note that, if you're going to try ACV, you get the right kind. If the vinegar is a clear amber color, that's not right. Good ACV is amber colored, but it looks smokey, like there's something foggy in it. That's called The Mother (no, really) and it's all the natural enzymes of protein molecules, which are what do most of the healthy stuff.

We've settled on Bragg brand (their web site is HERE) mostly because that's the brand carried in most of our local stores, but also because they wrote the book on ACV benefits - literally! Paul Bragg was one of the pioneers in discovering all the many health virtues of ACV. Also their's is organic, so that's good too.

I highly recommend unprocessed apple cider vinegar for all sorts of things - now including keeping your or your family member's blood sugar under control without drugs.

the original article :
Bragg vinegar info:

go get 'em!
STEPcoach Bob Collins
P.S. you do know what "yaotta" means, don't you?