Vegetarian Musings Part 1

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

As promised, some thoughts and musings on vegetarianism. The pros, the cons, the merits and the fallacies. I am going to warn you all though, this isn’t so much an outlined, cited article as it is my off-the-cuff stream of consciousness. As a matter of fact, as recently outlined in Roger’s latest blog post, I used my Dragon Naturally Speaking software (which with a little practice, is awesome!) to write the majority of this blog while driving to CP the other day. This is going to be a series, with just part 1 today.

Also, today is the last day you can get Mike Boyle’s Functional Strength Coach 3 with all of the sweet free bonuses he included only as an introductory special, check it out HERE. OK enough stalling, onto the good stuff!

Many people choose to become vegetarians, not based on a dislike for meat or animal products but because we read about the cruel and unusual treatment of our domesticated farm animals. Animals today are not raised on small family farms with wide open pastures, allowed to graze and move along as they please. Instead, they are fed and raised in what are called CAFOs, concentrated agricultural feeding operations. Not farms, concentrated feeding operations. Doesn’t that term alone turn you off?

CAFO

CAFO

These CAFO’s are exactly as they sound; huge vast swatches of a ruined, brown, muddy mess of a farm. They are dominated by these huge corrugated metal sheds, where animals are raised and fed in incredibly close quarters. They are force-fed corn, have their tails removed (pigs, to prevent them from biting them off each other due to the close quarters) their beaks mutilated (chickens, to prevent them from pecking each other to death due to the close quarters, see a trend?) and generally treated just well enough to provide food for us. The feeding of corn, which I have discussed here before, creates an incredibly acidic environment, especially in cows, leading to bacterial infections, and then the overuse of antibiotics. Unfortunately these antibiotics find their way into our bodies from the meat and the runoff into our waterways, and eventually help to create more antibiotic-resistant pathogens, like MRSA.

These animals are not allowed to their normal diet. They are denied fresh air and exercise. Personal space is sacrificed to maximize efficiency.  Cows, pigs and chickens grow so fast with the force-feeding of corn, it is mind boggling. Cows that graze take a few years to reach slaughter size, cows fed tons of corn and grain turn 8 pounds of corn into 1 pound of mass, and are ready for slaughter within 2 years, usually much less. Chickens are incredibly efficient eating machines. They convert 2 pounds of corn into 1 pound of mass, and grow so quickly that their spindly legs can not support their mass and often break. Basically our food production is a race to see how fast we can grow our animals by slamming corn down their throat. How quickly we can get that meat from birth to a consumer’s mouth. Not to mention the growth hormone’s given in huge amounts to these animals.

This is why many vegetarians choose to no longer consume meat, because current food production methods treat animals as a commodity, not as an animal. Making animals into a commodity makes complete sense from a capitalist and pure business-based standpoint; but from an animal welfare, animal health, and therefore human health standpoint, it is utterly destructive to all. This is one of the absolute worst things ever conceived in our time, and it is just killing us slowly.

With all that info, it makes sense why people choose to not consume meat or animal products, and I didn’t even get into the correlational data linking meat and dairy to some cancers! I didn’t get into it because it is highly suspect data, and it is based on the consumption of the aforementioned conventional meat and dairy production, not pastured grass-fed meat and dairy, which is a whole different animal. Also, if you are a vegetarian due to the books Skinny Bitch or Skinny Bastard, you should read more books. Those books suck, and are pure propaganda, with very little hard evidence mixed in with some, and I stress some, actually correct info. If you want information on our food production and how this problem could be solved, check out the incredible, accurate and mesmerizing Omnivore’s Dilemma. Which I reviewed HERE.

Maybe the best nutrition book, or any book, ever

Maybe the best nutrition book, or any book, ever

OK, that covers Part 1. In Part 2 I will get into why even with all that stuff I just covered, and all the data showing the tremendous health benefits of consuming large amounts of plant foods, why I still choose to be an omnivore, and why I think you should to. I will also cover, if you do choose to be a vegetarian, how to do it properly. Have a great weekend folks and a Happy Halloween!

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Posted on October 30th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre

6 Comments

  1. Jules Says:

    I’m still an omnivore, but I chose to reduce my meat (and endangered fish) consumption quite a bit, due to ethical reasons. Practically, I’m vegetarian during the week (and yes I still get my protein in), and on the weekend I treat myself to some nice biofriendly meat sources. I love it!

  2. Eric Lagoy Says:

    Looking forward to the rest of this series Brian. I have a few friends who don’t eat meat for ethical reasons, I’ll be sure to send them this series

  3. Jon Says:

    I prescribe to the view that everyone should be able to do with body what they wish, however here are some thoughts to consider with vegetarianism.

    1.Our saliva contains ptyalin and is alkaline for the digestion of starches whereas a natural meat-eater- lion etc (carnivore) saliva is acid for the digestion of animal food.So is meat effective prepared for ingestion during mastication?

    2.Would you drink hydrochloric acid? As a carnivore’s stomach generates ten times as much hydrochloric acid as ours does simply for the digestion of meat.

    3.When meat is digested it generates Uric acid. Our liver cannot easily eliminate Uric acid,however a carnivore’s liver can eliminate ten to fifteen times more Uric acid.

    4.The where will I get my protein myth? have you heard the phrase strong as an ox, or horse? where do these “vegetarians” get their proteins from ?

    5. are yo always exhausted?n for our body to create protein from meat, the animal protein is first broken down into amino acids and then the body manufactures human protein. This procedure is very tiring on the body could be extremely inefficient.

    Te choice is yours eat healthy and live long, vegetarian or not !

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  5. Herb Ohayon Says:

    Thanks. I’m supposed to cook for my new vegan girlfriend this weekend and have absolutely no idea what to make! I found tons of recipes at this vegetarian recipes site but with so mnay to choose from I just got confused. Do you have any favorites youself, like .. the tastiest vegetarian recipe, ever, or something?! Thanks in advance! I hope it goes well

  6. The Home of BSP Training & Nutrition » Blog Archive » An Appreciative Vegetarian Says:

    [...] with you guys. As you know I certainly have my opinions when it comes to vegetarians/vegans (here and here), and it is nice to hear from one who has “figured it out” and goes about this [...]

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