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Help me respond to a vegetarian on Amazon

Commented on October 22, 2013
Created October 20, 2013 at 9:41 PM

I'm participating in a heated argument in a review thread of Perlmutter's Grain Brain. The vegetarian advocate has posed challenges that stumps me:

  • "It would be helpful to name one -- JUST ONE!! -- small or large culture on the planet today or within the past several decades that eat the way you are suggesting, A. Cohn, and that has good longevity. Just one."

  • "Feeding 7 billion people on the planet with grass grazed meat is a laughable proposal. Even feeding 300 million Americans on such a diet is an impossible proposal."

I don't know of any recent cultures within the past 50 years that meet this criteria, although longevity may not be the best criteria. In terms of cardiovascular health, Chris Masterjohn has a graph in a WAPF article showing the correlation between increased consumption of seed oils and deaths from CVD.

The second challenge is legitimate, I think. Alan Savory's work on reclaiming grasslands from desert has never been duplicated at the scale he's tried, much less at a scale large enough to feed the U.S.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2013
at 10:06 PM

@BobK,

Your response was very funny! At the point at which you wrote it, I was probably in need of some perspective.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2013
at 10:03 PM

Actually, that's exactly what humanity did when they became agriculturalists, although I doubt that they realized the trade-off at the time. Individual groups of people traded optimum levels of health for easier lives, higher breeding rates, and lower infant and child mortality.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2013
at 06:15 AM

I'd love to read up on this, if you have a few references.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2013
at 06:15 AM

I normally keep my mouth shut in public on these matters (hell, I can't even persuade my wife, whose read a few books on the topic). But I am fed up with vegetarians assuming the high ground on health and sustainability. I'm not eager for this fight, but I'll stand my ground (in writing) when the fight's brought to me.

I've actually seen "paleo" food bars advertised that contain cricket flour, so your idea is catching on. I haven't seen any literature asserting that "two ounces of well chosen arthropods go as far as a pound of meat nutrient wise."

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 21, 2013
at 01:34 PM

Thanks very much for these links. I'm a bit leery of the Robb Wolf post, though; I had to read it three times before I could get through the ranting.

In any event, I think I've bludgeoned the vegetarian into submission.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on October 21, 2013
at 01:06 PM

This - I find it highly unlikely that you're really going to change anyone's mind; usually in online catfights both parties just end up frustrated and angry. Why not just let it go and save yourself the pain?

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 21, 2013
at 07:00 AM

http://xkcd.com/386/

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on October 20, 2013
at 11:52 PM

excellent response, tell them they are right. that way we can haz all teh meatz.

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12 Answers

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0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 21, 2013
at 12:58 PM

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 21, 2013
at 01:34 PM

Thanks very much for these links. I'm a bit leery of the Robb Wolf post, though; I had to read it three times before I could get through the ranting.

In any event, I think I've bludgeoned the vegetarian into submission.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2013
at 10:03 PM

Actually, that's exactly what humanity did when they became agriculturalists, although I doubt that they realized the trade-off at the time. Individual groups of people traded optimum levels of health for easier lives, higher breeding rates, and lower infant and child mortality.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on October 22, 2013
at 03:20 PM

the bible used to be food-insects.com, lots of published research there, but the page has been silent for over a decade. lots of info from "entomophagy wiki".

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 22, 2013
at 06:22 AM

@jake3_14 of course, I agree with you, the vegetarian thing is not optimal and I understand that your adience is the undecided.

I was kidding in my response with http://xkcd.com/386/

cheers

Bob

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2013
at 10:06 PM

@BobK,

Your response was very funny! At the point at which you wrote it, I was probably in need of some perspective.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on October 22, 2013
at 02:08 AM

Jake, do not proselytize with anyone that is not a dear friend or family member. I am successful at it, but I know it takes patience and I only really do it with those close to me. My wife, my daughter, my sister, my top three or four friends. You start them with CLO and gain credibility. Just six months ago my friend from childhood told me that I was crazy, that a good pasta dish had to be healthy. She is grain free now, since a month, after being sick for a week.

And there is really no room for everyone on the planet, if everyone goes paleo. Think of the salmon, the sardines, is there enough for 8 billion people? One cow, from another thread, displaces 10 tons of wheat or 20 tons of corn. Maybe you can do it in the US or Brazil, but not in China or Egypt (or even Holland), those web sites are so short on facts. Do you want to promote paleo? Work on getting large scale insect farming going. That IS sustainable, and two ounces of well chosen arthropods go as far as a pound of meat nutrient wise. Vegans won't care either, since they are stuck at not eating anything with a face. You can't even tell which side is the face of an earthworm.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2013
at 06:15 AM

I'd love to read up on this, if you have a few references.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2013
at 06:15 AM

I normally keep my mouth shut in public on these matters (hell, I can't even persuade my wife, whose read a few books on the topic). But I am fed up with vegetarians assuming the high ground on health and sustainability. I'm not eager for this fight, but I'll stand my ground (in writing) when the fight's brought to me.

I've actually seen "paleo" food bars advertised that contain cricket flour, so your idea is catching on. I haven't seen any literature asserting that "two ounces of well chosen arthropods go as far as a pound of meat nutrient wise."

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 21, 2013
at 03:45 PM

@BobK,

I can't see your link to the xkcd comic, but indeed it came to mind as I started my argument. As I've said elsewhere in this thread, the audience for my postings was not the vegetarian I was replying to, but people who were not committed to any particular way of eating.

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 21, 2013
at 03:38 PM

@Maria 8,

It's worth arguing because vegetarians, vegans, and the mainstream medical industry have hijacked nutrition down a deadly path for 2.5 generations. It's high time they got their comeuppance in a public forum. Every counterargument I've provide with links to relevant blog post and studies has garnered a positive response. By contrast, every post the vegetarian has made in reply to mine has received all negative replies. By responding calmly, with logic and links to supporting evidence, the general public can see the fallacies of the vegetarian POV.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 21, 2013
at 12:52 PM

"It would be helpful to name one -- JUST ONE!! -- small or large culture on the planet today or within the past several decades that eat the way you are suggesting, A. Cohn, and that has good longevity. Just one."

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/3/682.long

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/hunter-gatherer-macronutrient-ratios-new-data/

However, it's a terrible argument. Put it this way, if a lion has access to a decaying carcass, it would eat that carcass instead of hunting. That doesn't mean that the picked over, grub-infested meat is optimal. Same is true for us. Just because grains are cheap, humans are omnivores and scavengers, does not mean that eating grains is healthy. Certainly cultivating grains was a huge step forward for us as a culture. It allowed our big brains to consider things other than how to not be eaten. That does not mean it was optimal for our health.

There are plenty of studies that have shown the affect of humans eating a "paleo" style diet:

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/10/paleolithic-diet-clinical-trials.html

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/10/paleolithic-diet-clinical-trials-part.html

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/02/paleolithic-diet-clinical-trials-part.html

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/09/paleolithic-diet-clinical-trials-part.html

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 21, 2013
at 03:57 AM

Because vegetarians, vegans, and the mainstream medical industry have hijacked nutrition down a deadly path for 2.5 generations. It's high time they got their comeuppance.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 21, 2013
at 07:00 AM

http://xkcd.com/386/

0
Fa51f2da1ed61c1177813672b07fe7a5

(20)

on October 21, 2013
at 03:01 AM

Why bother?

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on October 21, 2013
at 01:06 PM

This - I find it highly unlikely that you're really going to change anyone's mind; usually in online catfights both parties just end up frustrated and angry. Why not just let it go and save yourself the pain?

0
B6983bed97e2fe0f744e064d028a9b9c

on October 21, 2013
at 02:14 AM

If these arguments don't work against the vegetarian, I recommend following George Carlin's advice and just leaving the debate altogether: "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." The "idiot" in this case being the vegetarian.

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 21, 2013
at 01:49 AM

Here's what I replied:

The industrial meat complex *hates* paleo, because it tells people to avoid grain-fed animals and has the fat composition analysis to back it up: fat from grain-fed animals has a much higher proportion of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids than do traditionally raised livestock. In addition, grass-fed beef has more conjugated lineoleic acid that does grain-fed beef Researching the benefits of CLA is an exercise you can do on your own. As far as cultures eating a high-fat diet in recent memory, that's easy:

  • Inuit (90% fat)
  • Masai (70% fat)
  • !Kung (70% fat)
  • The Swedish
  • The 1 million Americans running circles around everybody else in the U.S.

Regarding your longevity requirement, that's not the same as healthy, as the elderly U.S. population clearly shows. It's far more important to lead a life free from disease and degeneration than to live a sickly existence in your later years. As far as sustainability, I'll let Joel Salatin speak to this, since he's far more eloquent than I am. In addition, you seem to be ignoring the wholesale destruction of ecosystems required to support your grain habit, plus the havoc that fertilizer runoff causes. And your energy balance notion (calories in < calories out) was just disproved by Sam Feltham. Have a nice day.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on October 20, 2013
at 11:24 PM

Paleo and grass fed eating is a small movement. I see no reason to educate vegetarians over to your side of the equation. The poster is correct about feeding so many people, more than likely with any kind of meat. That is why grains are so subsidized and incredibly cheap, because you can feed lots of people with less money and natural resources. This saves the good stuff for us, selfish yes but that is part of life. When they let the cows into the pasture, you never see one cow call another one over and say the grass is really luscious over here, why not join me for lunch?

Here is what I would say to that Amazon know it all - "you win - you are 100% correct"

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on October 20, 2013
at 11:52 PM

excellent response, tell them they are right. that way we can haz all teh meatz.

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