Stupid diets, and a very sane argument for becoming a vegetarian.
EAT MEAT. ALL MEAT DIETS HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
Yah. For crying out loud.
You and I are bombarded with something like five or six thousand marketing messages every day. Well, you may be if you watch TV or YouTube or are on your devices the fourteen-hour-a-day average so many of us in Western society are. If that’s the case, then you, like so many, are likely, at some level, to be focusing on what you eat.
Everyone else is happy to tell you what to eat.
Or not eat, for that matter. Or how much, or which diet will get you the bod you want. On and on. The obsession with the “perfect diet” really is just that: nothing more than obsession and a distraction. Having spent most of my adult life doing just that, kindly, my hand is way up here. This isn’t criticism. I quit that long ago, not only because I overhauled my life and my body, but also because I am heartbroken at the useless, unkind, thoughtless things we do to ourselves in order to lose weight. Get thin. Get ripped.
Kindly, the stupid things we do to animals to lose weight, as in eat WAY too many of them.
Whatever the hell it is we think is going to deliver us some moral superiority, greater control, beauty- some payoff that is worth ruining our physical selves and the world around us.
This past weekend I read this, which knocked me off my bar chair (the only seat the house, but for the stairs so far):
From the article:
According to The Sun, Blunt, 46, tried the diet way back during his years as a student of aerospace manufacturing engineering and sociology at the University of Bristol. At the time, 170 of the students in his program were men and only three were women, but all of the women were “vegetarian or vegan.” Blunt faced a crisis: He wanted to prove that he was not like these women and also that he was a man. He says that “out of principle, I decided I’d become a carnivore and just lived on mince, some chicken, maybe some mayonnaise.” (author bolded)
Six weeks later, he got scurvy. Ya think? As if naval history wasn’t a teacher?
Then this idiot sucked down so much OJ he almost got acid reflux.
Well, three things.
Three: INCREDIBLY STUPID.
The all-meat diet might work for some Greenlanders whose opportunity to pick a banana in the back yard isn’t exactly world-renowned. But it’s coming. Trump wants to buy the island, move Mara Lago there, along with all the palm trees. However, you can get salad in Greenland. I did. It doesn’t look like what you’d get most other places; still it’s a shitload more tasty than blubber.
A steaming plate of which, when it was carried past me at the hotel, sent me outside, gagging.
All meat. I guess it depends.
While I am moving in this direction, I am not totally vegan. I am close, but I still need some animal meat, mostly chicken or fish. I would vastly prefer to leave all those creatures alone but my body does better when I feed myself these things. That said, I am not sure what might evolve, as we get better at replacing the key vitamins (B12 in particular) that animal meat provides, with supplements. Good ones, not out of Utah, but that’s another article.
I neither suffer the moral self-righteousness of those who eschew red meat, or anything else, nor do I impose my eating preferences on others. I abhor the very real reports of Japanese who eat living monkey’s brains (hey buddy YOU try having that done to you, asshole, and let’s discuss animal cruelty, shall we?). I will leave it to the Goddess to deal with those who do such things.
But I am slowly and surely moving towards an increasingly plant-based diet, albeit I have severe restrictions (oxalates, because I make kidney stones, and that means NO nuts, nut butters, spinach, oh my god what I can’t eat goes on forever). Most plants have oxalates, so as I move towards more plants, like many of us, I have to be exceedingly mindful of what kinds of plants.
Yesterday I read what I thought was one of the better pieces about why to go vegan by Medium writer Macken Murphy:
It’s a long read. No, a really long read. I may not necessarily agree with everything but I most certainly do with much if not most. I really appreciate both the research and background he put into this, as opposed to barking arguments from people who have not done their research, based on, well. Not much. Macken does the legwork, it’s an important read if you eat (yeah I hope so) and if you care about our planet (ditto) and you want to make a thoughtful, not just an emotional decision.
This paragraph gets right in your face:
Veganism is not natural, but it is right. When we purchase animal products, we pay for animals to live in conditions that make dog shelters look like the Ritz. On our farms, piglets are castrated without anesthesia, chicks are ground up alive in a blender on their first day of life, and baby cows are robbed from their mothers and turned into veal. The creatures humans eat and wear are electrocuted, shot in the face, stabbed in the neck, and forced into gas chambers; they scream when they die. If you treated a single dog the way farmers treat billions of animals, you would be locked up in a cell and diagnosed with psychopathy. Though veganism is often maligned as an extreme act, going vegan is merely ceasing to pay for this cruelty.
He’s right. I don’t care if you don’t like it. He is RIGHT. I grew up on a farm, we cared for our creatures before we slaughtered them. But slaughter them we did. I can’t see that done now, and the industrial version is beyond the pale.
He’s also right when he says that our compulsion to eat animals has also led to Covid, and all the other zoonotic viruses that are afflicting us.
He’s right. You cannot get around this fact. Nature has a way of making it very clear we are trespassing, even if we don’t pay attention. I will argue that there are of course all manner of vegans, just as there are religions, and for some that’s what it is. They can be just as annoying in their proselytizing and self-righteousness as any Witness who made the mistake of knocking on my door. That is not how to invite folks to consider the options. This article was, at least for me, an excellent argument.
As someone who did her best to rescue a badly injured, severely attacked infant squirrel whose eyes had yet to open, well. I ran out and got forty bucks' worth of supplies and was heartbroken when said squirrel had expired by the time I got back home. At least he died having been lovingly cleaned, carefully given water, curled up in a soft warm washcloth and next to a gentle heat source. I had held his clean naked body in my warm palm, and whispered soft breath on him until his squirming calmed. He was sleeping ( I could see him breathing) calmly when I left. Wildlife should all get such a death. I am keeping the supplies; there will be more.
You get my drift. I care about living things; however I am not a Justice Warrior about them. I’ve traveled and lived enough places, particularly wild and remote ones, to understand hunting and fishing. I understand Nature’s terrible and necessary brutality. Something has to die for something else to live. She doesn’t care how you and I feel and moralize about whether one particular antelope has to die because a lioness has to feed her cubs.
Over the last few years science has begun to reveal that plants have lives, brains (at the tips of their roots) respond to music and love. That last bit isn’t new at all, actually. I think we’re beginning to see this behavior differently.
See: The Hidden Life of Trees:What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from A Secret World (The Mysteries of Nature (1))
We’re much more aware of the consciousness of fish, their ability to feel pain, and the cruelty of catch and release.
See: What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins
You get my point. I could go on. The more we read and discover the less we realize we know. We are killing off so many things so fast, things that have a life about which we know jack shit. Just as we are starting to embrace what we don’t know, we are wiping those very things off the earth. What we haven’t driven to extinction we are killing off via habitat destruction, pollution of air and water, you name it.
But folks continue to argue that to be a real manly man, you gotta eat MEAT.
As in, the idiot who got scurvy, above.We really are just that dumb. Men lead each other around by the dicks telling themselves and their buddies that the only way to be a man is to (fill in the blank), including EAT MEAT, BEAT WOMEN, RIP OUT FORESTS FOR DEVELOPMENT.
And, happily, things are changing. Guys like Macken- not only is he hardly alone, plenty of good men preceded him. These days those numbers are growing because eating a lot of meat isn’t working.
Increasingly, that argument is unsustainable, as is our lifestyle, as are all our consumption habits. You don’t have to travel to Borneo (I have) to see the mutilation of the last of the orangutans (I did) by locals paid off by Pepsi and others to clear the rainforests for palm oil for your fucking Fritos.
Don’t. Get. Me. Started.
You don’t have to agree. Most folks whose livelihood depends on meat or fish production are going to rail against such things as Balderdash and woo woo sentimentality. Of course they will. Those changes that threaten the Way Things Are tend to piss folks off.
Goddamned tree huggers.
Yep. Count me among them. I have a very different appreciation of forests and fish after reading the above books. I already knew animals had language. Doesn’t make them stupid I can’t understand. It makes me stupid that I would expect animals to speak to me in English.
You and I should likely eat a LOT more plants. While I am well aware that not all can, and not all of us should due to very specific dietary or disease needs, that isn’t most of us. The more plants I eat, the less dairy (and that’s also driven by recent physical changes), the better I feel.
I cannot speak for you. I’d rather pet a cow, kiss a horse, cuddle a dog and save a squirrel. We have options. I may not quite be there, and I do not cotton to extremists of any kind including vegans, but I absolutely believe that meat needs to be off the menu a lot more often. There are too many ethical, moral and future-focused reasons for it, not against it.
But that’s just my opinion.
Now I’m gonna go eat some hummus and celery.
No animals were harmed during the writing of this article, but I’ll bet I annoyed a few carnivores.
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