25/08/2010

Proper Food

THE 3 reasons to be Vegetarian

I’m not talking about:

  • Vegetarians who take it literally – eating nothing but vegetables.
  • Lazy vegetarians, who eat pizza for dinner, left over pizza for breakfast, and pasta with a jar of tomato sauce for lunch. They’re not real vegetarians. They’re just pretending, and it won’t last.
  • Self-righteous moralizing goody-goodies who like to make other people feel bad by making themselves feel better; trying to convert them to become as self righteous as they are. That’s not what it’s about. They just didn’t grow up yet. They will.
The real vegetarians are people who know what I’m talking about… they eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses, grains, seaweeds… and whatever other yummy stuff they can get their hands on (ok, apart from meat – more on that later). They also recognize that in order to really feel their best, some spiritual practice is required. So as well as eating a balanced diet, they live a balanced life: striving always for the proper mix of material and spiritual aspiration.

So, 3 reasons you should either pat yourself on the back for keeping it real, or consider changing to a healthier, more sustainable, and ethical way of eating:

  1. Your health.
I don’t care what anyone says. Yes, you’ll find doctors who disagree with me on this, but I wouldn’t pay much attention: doctors, despite their many years of brainwashing (oops, did I say that out loud?) education often haven’t got much of a clue about what health is. They're too busy fixing people.
Being vegetarian is much better for your health than eating a diet that includes animal products.

Rather than asking doctors for unbiased truth, you’re better off asking insurance salesmen. I know that might sound funny but I’m very serious (as always): there’s a lot of money in insurance. That means that they get things right. So ask your insurance company – do they give better premiums for people who are vegetarian? Often they do – why? Because they know that there is less chance you’ll get heart disease or cancer (two of the biggest causes of premature death?) if you’re vegetarian. They know that as a vegetarian, you’re more likely to live longer, and they’re less likely to pay out. Yup, it comes down to simple economics.

So, why is it healthier to be vegetarian?

Why do we eat? Primarily for energy. That energy comes from the sun. All energy comes from the sun, in one way or another. (Even oil, when you think about it, is bottled sunlight – sunlight that fell to the earth millions of years ago and was fossilized and buried for a long time, but sunlight nonetheless!)
When you eat a plant-based diet, you are getting that sunlight directly:
  • Plant absorbs the sun’s energy
  • Photosynthesis occurs
  • You eat the plant, and
  • Bingo! You absorb the energy and feel goood! 
When you eat a meat-based diet, you are getting second hand sunlight:

  • Plant absorbs sunlight
  • Photosynthesis occurs
  • Cow eats plant
  • Digests plant and
  • Gets sunlight directly
  • Then you eat the cow, and
  • Get a little of that sunlight, but let’s face it, not much. 
To digest that meat takes a lot of work for little energetic reward. It’s not worth it!

Health (as I said in the article linked to above) is not just about avoiding sickness. It’s about feeling fantastic. Yes, there are many people who eat meat and avoid sickness, there’s no disputing that. However, I believe that generally, it’s possible to feel more fantastic eating a vegetarian diet than it is eating meat. The reason being simply that your body will be lighter – yes, most likely in terms of weight, but also and more importantly in terms of photons. Your body actually contains light. You are light. That’s why we eat sunlight and drink water. That’s what we are.

‘Yes’, I hear you say, ‘but we’re also meat’. Well, sure, but do you want to feed the dense, gross, material aspect of yourself, or the subtle, light, spiritual aspect of yourself. That’s what it comes down to on the issue of health, and I know what I choose.

You are what you eat. The reason it’s a cliché is because it’s true – every culture has an equivalent saying. However, and please pay close attention to this: it’s not just your body that IS what you eat. It’s every aspect of you. What you eat is reflected in your thoughts, your desires, your senses, your emotions, your deeper feelings… every aspect of your consciousness. YOU ARE what you eat.


  1. The environment. 
Our environment is… messed up. (I’m trying to give up swearing. It’s tough sometimes. This is one of those times).
‘What has the environment got to do with meat’ you might ask? Well, a lot.
As Ramesh Bjonnes pointed out in his recent article on the connection between meat consumption and global warming, the meat industry is now considered by many to be the leading contributor to global warming; more so “than all forms of transportation combined”! Wow. Or as they say here in Slovenia, land of forested hill-top churches and castles and bees: Uau.

Also:
  •  Meat is not economically viable: it takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh.
  •  A huge amount of land is required to graze livestock and grow the grain necessary to feed that. That land could be put to much better use. Not to mention the issues of soil erosion, desertification, and threat to indigenous species that are implicit with overgrazing. Or the rain-forests that have been cut down to make space for that land...
  • The meat industry pollutes massively. The VAST amount of water necessary for the rearing of animals and  growing their feed, gets polluted; the land gets polluted (from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feedcrops, and sediments from eroded pastures.); eutrophication occurs.
  • The meat industry is responsible for biodiversity loss on the planet. Care much about the thousands of species that are becoming extinct every year?

  1. The animals.
There are about 6 billion of us humans on the planet. Each year in the U.S. alone (not counting China, or Europe, or anywhere else - just the U.S.) around ten billion animals are slaughtered (source: Wikipedia). I believe this may be a very conservative estimate – I’ve seen estimates of up to 40 billion. Nevertheless, if you think of this on a global scale, and then factor in the fish: you realize that the meat industry is actually responsible for the slaughter of many, many times more beings than there are people on the planet. Each year it starts all over again. How many animals and fish is that in my / your lifetime? I dread to think, but if you want you can do the math.

However, that’s only one side to the story: how a being lives is more important than how it dies. How do the vast majority of these animals live: in squalor and without dignity. Think of the worst Nazi concentrion camp, and you’re halfway there.

I have no quarrel with killing an animal for food. Try telling the Inuit that they shouldn’t eat fish, or the indigenous people of Tibet that it’s cruel to eat Yak - they’ll laugh long and loud.

But what a difference there is between killing an animal with respect and dignity, out of necessity, and ‘growing’ animals industrially with no basic rights (fresh air, clean water, a little space) in order to slaughter them in a manner that is at best cruel, but usually amounts to torture.

Scientists tell us that everything is energy. What happens to the energy of suffering, pain, and indignity caused by our meat industry? Because you know, energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted to another form. What happens to that energy I wonder?


Well, I’ve listed 3 good reasons to give up eating meat. For the sake of balanced and unbiased journalism, let’s at this point ask: ‘what are the reasons for eating meat?’

There’s only one good argument that I’ve heard for eating meat: it tastes good. It’s a great reason, because it’s honest. To many people, it does indeed taste good. I myself must admit to occasional cravings.
However, if we’re really truthful with ourselves, we see that in no way can a meat-based diet be justified; in the light of the environmental, economic, ethical, and health crises that we are living through today, giving up meat is quite simply one of the smartest, and best choices you can make.

Spread the word.
Share this blog post on your social media, give it a facebook ‘like’, and send the link to your (furry or not) friends.

Giving up meat is the single biggest contribution you can make to a sustainable, ethical, and healthy future.

Sources:

38 comments:

Peter said...

Signed except the global warming stuff.
Great Article!
Keep up the good work Ben.

Namasté
Peter

Ben Ralston said...

Thanks Peter - nice to see you back here as well!
Out of interest, what part of the global warming stuff don't you agree with: the idea that so much of it is caused by the meat industry, or more generally that mankind is causing it? Or what?
Love, Ben

Paul said...

I have been a vegetarian for about a year and a half now, and I think giving up meat was one of the best things that I ever did. Two things that helped me quit, were my fiancee, who has been a vegetarian for about nine years now, and the following quote by Tolstoy...

"A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore, if he eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite."

For me, the above quote is more about the destruction we do to the rest of the world without giving it any thought, than just about killing animals.

Ben Ralston said...

Hi Paul,
Great! I'm really happy to hear someone else has had the same experience as i did... and i love that quote. Do you know there are also great quotes from Albert Einstein and Leonardo DaVinci - both staunch veggie advocates in their day?
Check them out...
Love, Ben

Juliana Matthews said...

I have made 2 serious attempts at being vegetarian, I really did some research about how to balance my diet. I never did the processed stuff at all, but I just missed meat so much! One year I sat with my family having a full Xmas lunch and I had nut and lentil roast - I wanted to hang myself!
So this is how I have compromised: I only buy meat from the small farm close to us. It is organically raised lamb, pork and free range chicken. We do not have beef. We do have game in the appropriate season - venison and pheasant. We live in the country and try to follow a country way of life.
We eat vegetarian meals at least twice a week from our own vegetables.
Vegetarianism doesn't suit everyone, as for the quote about killing animals, there has to be a line drawn between rearing intensively and slaughter and animals that are reared organically or indeed in the case of game, culled.
Gosh, hope I haven't offended you - smiles, Juliana

Jeremy Janson said...

With regards to 1: the one thing you forget to mention is those animals which absorb the plants et cetera often have abillities to digest things that us humans cannot, and create amino acids that us humans cannot. This isn't a big deal for people who live sedentary lifestyles and can generally replace with lower quality substitutes what they don't have, but athletes need their muscles to be as high performance as possible, so I'd say that being an omnivore is ONLY healthy if coupled with exercise. If you are not willing to exercise, you should be a vegetarian.

As for 2 and 3, I would reccomend hunting and butchering your own meat, which prevents the environmental problems (assuming you don't poach of course) and allows you to decide yourself how the animal will be treated in its final minutes. It also gives you beautiful gifts for your wife and great comforters and rugs if you know how to tan furs, and great ecofriendly (though smelly) fertilizer for your garden if you know how to deal with the inedible parts of the animal correctly, wonderful time outdoors, a little hair on your chest, and something great to do with the kids.

Janene Murphy said...

Nice post. Informative with just enough humor to keep meat-eaters listening. You make some excellent points, ones I'm sure I'll be chewing on awhile (pun intended).

Thank you.

Ben Ralston said...

@ Juliana, no no, you'll have to try a lot harder if you want to offend me :)
Sounds like you have a fairly healthy balance.
However, your line: "some research about how to balance my diet. I never did the processed stuff at all" tells me (forgive me for being presumptuous and patronizing, but it's late and I can't be bothered to make the effort required to be diplomatic!) that your diet wasn't balanced enough when being vegetarian. I'm not judging you on that at all, please believe me, but just trying to point out that your experience was probably colored by the lack of balanced nutrition. Let me know if you think I'm wrong :)
By the way, I tried to leave a comment on your blog for about 30 mins this morning, and i couldn't!
With love, Ben

Ben Ralston said...

@ Jeremy: I beg to differ, I didn't forget anything. There are amino acid-rich plant foods. It is unnecessary for an athlete to eat meat. You're buying into the whole "I need my protein from meat" argument, albeit from the amino acid angle - you sneaky thing. But sorry, there are many examples of great athletes, weight lifters, triathletes, who were vegan - one I know of who ate raw food only and was a champion body builder.
Please, do some research into it from an unbiased perspective before you accuse me of 'forgetfulness'.
As for what you say in the rest of your comment, I have to partially agree: except to say that I don't feel the need to kill anything to put 'hair on my chest', whatever that means, and I believe your kids along with all the other kids in the world would benefit from an education in compassion rather than violence. But hey, who am I to tell you how to raise your kids?
With love, Ben

Ben Ralston said...

@Janene: Happy chewing!

Peter said...

@Ben
That mankind causing it. I have done a lot of research on this topic and come to the conclusion that the small fireball up there makes our climate (to 99%). The climate is going where its going no matter what we do. CO2 is part of the cycle of life and good for us and not the "toxic gas" which is told. The resources should go in a lot of other important parts of environmental protection... That´s a big Topic.

I forgot to post this link in my last post:
http://greensmoothiesblog.com/starting-green-smoothies/
Really great way to get some "green" energy. Tastes great!

Namasté
Peter

Ben Ralston said...

Hi Peter,
I have a friend who works for the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change. She tells me that mankind does have an impact on global warming, in a big way, and that all the movies, and media stuff contradicting that is propaganda. She is completely unbiased, and I see no reason to disbelieve her.
When you consider how much of a delicate balance there is in our eco-system, and how every species plays a role in that balance, and how out of balance mankind lives (to the point of destroying many species that are absolutely necessary for maintaing balance (think rain-forest) then it also makes sense to me that we are capable of making a big impact.
CO2 is of course part of the cycle, and absolutely necessary. That's never been in question. The question is, what happens when CO2 levels go far, far above and beyond anything seen in thousands of years...

I'm looking forward to checking your link - gonna do it now. Thank you!
Ben

Jeremy Janson said...

@Ben: Yes, there are "amino acids" in plants but there are not neccesarily all 21 and not neccesarily in plants humans can digest, and Steve Prefontaine was an alcoholic - that doesn't mean being an alcoholic makes you a better runner. Also, just because something is in a plant doesn't mean your body will be able to process it, there's a reason meat eating was a major advance in the evolution of mankind. Though if you want to trade stories, part of the reason Kenya produces some of the best runners in the world is cow blood is a regular part of their diet.

Ben Ralston said...

@JJ
I did warn you... if you're going to come to my blog and contradict anything, you'd better know what you're talking about.
When you say "there are "amino acids" in plants but there are not neccesarily all 21 and not neccesarily in plants humans can digest"
you are completely, and yes, necessarily, wrong. Look up Spirulina, and look up hemp seeds. Then come back and eat some humble pie, if you have enough 'hair on your chest' to be able to swallow it.
The Prefontaine argument doesn't stand up - I didn't say that being veggie was what made someone great; I said that it didn't prevent them from being great.
"meat eating was a major advance" - speculative. Prove it.
And finally, I didn't, and don't particularly, want to trade stories. And again, prove that Kenya's great runners are great because of cows blood; you can't, because it could be for any number of reasons, and probably is.
Ben

svasti said...

I was a vegetarian for most of my life. Now I eat some meat again, but not a lot. The reasons I'm no longer vegetarian are too complex to comment on here.

When I do eat meat or fish, I try to make sure it's from organic/free range sources, where the animals are treated ethically. Not only is that better for the animals, but I think it's also better for my digestion if the animals have been treated well and killed humanely.

I can survive on a vegetarian diet, and on one that includes meat. I guess right now I'm just trying for the middle way.

I don't think however, the only reason people eat meat is because it tastes good. There's millions of years of social/cultural conditioning to contend with as well.

Doug Stephens said...

You can be a true vegetarian and not be a health freak. Eating pizza for dinner, cold pizza for breakfast and pasta with sauce for lunch is not a "fake vegetarian." It might be a "fake health freak," but that is a horse of a different color.

My fiancee has been a vegetarian for five or six years, not for the health benefits (although that is a side benefit) but solely because she does not want to needlessly kill animals for her eating pleasure. THAT is what makes her a true vegetarian.

I, however, eat meat, not necessarily for the taste, but because of how it feels to eat meat. It is a satisfying experience. Humans evolved omnivorous and I am unapologetic about my eating habits, although I applaud others, both vegetarians and "health freaks," for following their own convictions.

"My name is Doug Stephens, and this is where I stand."

(Sorry, I realized I may have gotten a little carried away there up on my soapbox)

Peter said...

@Ben
The IPCC is a political Institution not a scientific. I´m sure your friend believe what she says but the question is what is true. (But nice standpoint: I have the answer and everything other is propaganda :))
First I fully agree with you that mankind should live in a far far more balanced way.
That´s one topic and then there is the "global warming" or recently "climate change". And there we should be realistic. Are the people in charge, which giving car-scrap bonus, care about the environment... Not really. I believe it´s about money...
The first question is, does CO2 has a major effect on the Temperature. (In the given concentration, sure CO2 is a climate gas, look at the Venus but on earth we have 380ppm thats part per million and so it´s 0,038% of the atmosphere). So I say no, only a minor.
If you look at this chart (it´s the same Al Gore shows only that the lines lying upon another so you can compare them) you see that first the temperature rise and then the CO2 level.
http://www.farago.info/job/Klima/Kohlendioxid1-2-Dateien/image006.gif
In science there should be a causality CO2 up -> Temp up if it´s the major effect on the climate. Well, when Temperature goes up, the store capacity of the ocean (Oceans are the major CO2 store) decreasing and so CO2 level risen in the past.
The Temperature was also much higher in the past and risen in short periods.
http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/histo3.png
We should remember that are only scientific theories, the same guys told us before 40years that the next ice age comes.
Like I said, it´s a big Topic. :)

Namasté
Peter

Jeff K said...

But bacon cheeseburgers taste sooo good!

Paige said...

i am a fan of boca burgers.

Just Lola said...

*claps* :)

I'm a vegetarian and am happy to see such a well written post/article on the subject. ♥ Hopefully it'll make someone think twice about eating meat.

Funkkeejooce said...

I eat meat but not very often. Since I do the cooking in the household, I tend to prepare more vegatarian dishes than meat - not because of a certain belief or ideology but because I like eating what I choose to eat. At the same time I am very aware and conscious of what I put on my table - no processed food, microwave food, tin food, etc. I cook everything from scratch.

I am aware also of the mass productions of meat and the cruelty the animals have to undergo to meet the demands. Trust me I know - I used to be in the food industry once upon a time. I choose to buy meat that are free range which is really seldom but I do like my fish. I grew up eating fish caught fresh from the sea. I guess you're aware that Japanese diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world due to the amount of fish they eat.

On the spiritual level side of things, I tend to fast as well and I noticed when I do have a long period of time wherein I eat only vegetables, meditation comes easier and I'm more "in-tune" with the universe.

Great post - I thoroughly enjoyed eating it...uummm reading it I mean. :)

coolingstar9 said...

Ear vegetarian foods are the right choice.
1. Because we do not want to hurt or kill animals.
2. Because we love animals unconditionally.
LOVE is the answer. Have the good heart, we will have the good life. Put down bloody knife, we will be blessed.

Ben Ralston said...

Doug Stephens said...
You can be a true vegetarian and not be a health freak. Eating pizza for dinner, cold pizza for breakfast and pasta with sauce for lunch is not a "fake vegetarian." It might be a "fake health freak," but that is a horse of a different color.

My fiancee has been a vegetarian for five or six years, not for the health benefits (although that is a side benefit) but solely because she does not want to needlessly kill animals for her eating pleasure. THAT is what makes her a true vegetarian.

I, however, eat meat, not necessarily for the taste, but because of how it feels to eat meat. It is a satisfying experience. Humans evolved omnivorous and I am unapologetic about my eating habits, although I applaud others, both vegetarians and "health freaks," for following their own convictions.

"My name is Doug Stephens, and this is where I stand."

(Sorry, I realized I may have gotten a little carried away there up on my soapbox)

Hi Doug, thanks for your intelligent and balanced comment - I don't think you were on your soapbox at all, and even if you were, why the hell not?
I hope you realize that my article was a little exaggerated (soapbox-y) in places simply to generate interest and humor.
I agree with you, eating meat because it's a satisfying experience is a valid reason. I don't judge anyone on that either.
Thanks again, with love, Ben

Ben Ralston said...

@ Peter: yes it's a HUGE topic, and evidence can be found to support both sides... which is precisely what makes me sad.
Fact: our environment is in a mess (no argument there right?)
Fact: human beings generally treat the planet, environment, and fellow beings without enough respect. Right?
So I always hope that people will actually put aside the argument against 'man-made' global warming, and focus on changing their / people's perceptions and behavior towards the environment.
Maybe the crises we witness are caused by solar flares. What is causing the solar flares? Could it be that the energy from the vast numbers of animals tortured and slaughtered in misery every day could be having an impact on the sun?
To me, there is clearly a direct link between human behavior and our Mother Earth's current problems. It saddens me that scientists, governments, corporate interests, and politicians are able to so cleverly divert people's attention from that by using cold, hard 'statistics', which in reality prove very little.
With love, Ben

Kobra said...

Vitamin B12. Look it up.

Jimmy Ng said...

I don't think I can survive merely by eating vegetable alone. My wife usually serve meals with a mixtures of at least one vegetable dishes on the table.

No offence, brother.

Ben Ralston said...

Hi Kobra,
Yeast extract (marmite), yeast flakes, eggs, milk, cheese, spirulina, hemp seeds... there are several others. All are good sources of B12.

My wife is pregnant after 10 years of vegetarianism, 2 of which were strictly vegan. she had several blood tests and there was no problem with B12, or anything else for that matter.

Ben Ralston said...

@Svasti,

Yes absolutely, the middle way isn't bad! If you feel you need a little good quality, ethically sourced meat in your diet, who am I to say otherwise! I totally accept that there may be some people who need to eat like that to feel their best.

Love, Ben

HervianZhou said...

i'm not a vegetarian but i think with only you eat fruits and vegetables you can keep your body healthy :D

http://hervianzhou.blogspot.com/

Peter said...

@Ben
I only wanted to point out that CO2 is not causing "global warming". So the effort who goes in this can be used much more effective on other aspects. Like to establish Curcuits (http://www.mbdc.com/detail.aspx?linkid=1&sublink=6), not to poisoning our soil which is the base of our food, and so on...
In fact, CO2 is good for our plants. In the Netherlands they put it in their green houses to increase and support the growth of the plants.

On your other point´s.
The Temperature will be anyway going where it´s going. What´s the problem about it? What is the optimal temparature? Life is change.
We have the real problem not the environment. We depend on the environment. The environment will heal itself but in much greater time scales.
I have a little problem with "save the planet" and "change the world". Some other people in the past had the same intention and you see what has happend. The only thing that we can and must change are ourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw
;)

Namasté
Peter

Ben Ralston said...

@Peter,
First off, I'm very happy that we have this discussion. It's partly for this reason that this blog exists.
Secondly, to answer your comment:
I completely agree, it's not the problem of the environment (generally). The earth, the world, and the universe will go on long after us silly humans have self-destructed, if that is indeed what we will do.
BUT, (big but ;) I see the debate on global warming and the environmental destruction that humans do cause (whether you agree we cause global warming, it's surely undisputed that we cause many other problems, from biodiversity destruction, to pollution of our own water supplies, soil etc, as you said) as an opportunity to educate people and promote the change you are talking about - self development, and the change of people's attitudes towards themselves, each other, and the world around them. Who really cares if we are causing Global Warming or not? I don't! But global warming is a reality; it is accelerating fast, together with many of the problems that we DO cause; and it offers us an opportunity to become more in tune with, and more respectful toward the world around us.
Perhaps it would make no difference to Global Warming itself if we stop eating so much meat; change our addiction to oil; become more respectful to the world around us generally... perhaps it would! But regardless of which scientists and politicians are right, the world would be a better place without a shadow of a doubt.
What makes me sad, is that the very people who WOULD do something about it become divided by the debate about whether or not we cause global warming...
It doesn't matter whether we do cause it or don't! What matters is, what are we gonna do about it now! What we should do is, as you say, change. If we change and global warming continues, so be it! But maybe, maybe it would make a difference...

Ben Ralston said...

Ps - I'll check the links you gave when I have more time.

Nicone said...

Great article, Ben. You've almost convinced me to give up meat, but I think I'll start by reducing my meat-consumption first. I have some good friends that are vegetarian so the question of becoming one myself isn't new to me.

I must admit I find maintaining a healthy balanced diet to be quite a challenge, partly because life is so busy and the kids prefer sausage to vegetables any day! But getting a grip on this is for both me and my family is definitely on my to-do-list. Thanks for inspiring me further.

Ben Ralston said...

Hi Nicone,
It's a good idea to do it gradually... no need to go to any extremes - slow is always best.
Do what feels good and right to your body, and if you need any advice I'll be happy to help - you can email me or leave a message here.
I can imagine that with kids it's ALOT more complicated - good luck! :)
Love, Ben

Peter said...

Hi Ben,
I surely agree that we cause environmental destruction. But again the earth has only a little problem with it, WE have the real one.
You know that I share your intention.
I try to make my point clear.
I care if we causing it. Because what we do has a impact.
1. We grow cash plants (for fuel,...) instead of food. So people die of hunger.
2. Nothing will change! They want to establish a carbon trade system which reduce nothing except that people should pay for "air". This will increase the price of everything because CO2 is part of every activity we do. Unless we change our economy again the poor have the problem.
3. It will not work to use the guilt complex (hope that´s the right word :) ) to make people change. It´s not for long!

I think that the real problem is a economy which depends on exponential growth and a unfair finance system. Here we should change something instead of the symptoms.

If you have a little time watch this movie which is in my opinion the best on this topic.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QL_HaYgLYA&feature=PlayList&p=50705F36687032CE&index=0&playnext=1

With love,
Peter

Jayney3210 said...

Fantastic article! Nothing quite like the vegetarian debate to get people going! Ben, I am vegetarian & agree with your article, vegetarianism has a lot of benefits to ourselves, society and the planet. In my opinion a lot of people are clouded by the ideology that we should eat meat. It’s commonly accepted as the norm- (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Ideology) without much question. People are brought up to eat and cook meat and don’t naturally question it. It takes a strong willed person to be vegetarian as you come up against a lot of aggression (I have in my experience) and some people expect me to be some insane animal rights activist, (apparently you have to be slightly insane to not want to eat dead animals). I’ve always experienced people wanting to “convert” me to being a meat eater, along with flawed arguments based on natural selection, evolution and food chain. For some reason people seem to be threatened by the idea of vegetarianism – whether this is because they don’t understand, or because they don’t like to be challenged into change? Perhaps both!

I think that there should be more education and available information about the meat industry and about the health benefits of vegetarianism. (Such as your article) Does evolution need to stop here? There is enough “scientific” evidence that we don’t need to eat meat anymore. With advances in science, we have learnt how to eat a balanced diet without the need for killing animals, but a lot of people won’t buy into it because it is socially acceptable to grow & kill animals for meat. There needs to be some trendy celebrity chef to “advertise and market” vegetarianism as a cool way to eat.

Ben Ralston said...

Hi Jayney,
Great point about how difficult it is to fly in the face of the mainstream, acceptable 'norm' and be vegetarian.
True that one faces aggression from people who feel threatened by vegetarians.
My wife was told that she wouldn't be able to survive as a vegetarian when she started out (in quite a threatening way!)
Love, Ben

Reka said...

Thanks Ben,

I was delighted to read that we are eating sunlight!!!
I grew up in a meat-eating Hungarian family refusing to eat any of their meals. When our horrified relatives asked "what do you grow on?!" I used to say I was EATING SUNLIGHT!!!!
Now, my 10 month old boy (Sol ) does the same.

Warmly,

Reka

Post a Comment