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Former Vegans Explain Why They Eat Meat: Are You Convinced?

Former Vegans Explain Why They Eat Meat: Are You Convinced?
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Editorís note:†This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally posted on December 24, 2011. Enjoy!

I became a vegetarian when I was a teenager. I didn’t have the most well-formulated reasons, but I had convictions. I had learned about the slaughtering of baby harp seals for their fur and felt appalled at such inhumane treatment of animals; I was troubled to learn about how unhealthy fast food is. The thought of eating dead animals — certainly the pork that is frequently found in the Cantonese cooking my grandmother made –†simply came to bother me.

To this day, I don’t miss meat.†I’ve never minded foregoing the Christmas roast or the Thanksgiving turkey. In a recent article in The Atlantic two former vegetarians and vegans explain why they have again chosen to eat meat; a vegetarian of many years explains why she supports other’s choice to eat meat. The last-mentioned individual, Nicolette Hahn Niman is a livestock rancher, environmental lawyer and author of Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms; her husband, Bill Niman, is founder of Niman Ranch, a “natural meat company.” Tovar Cerulli is a deer hunter and author of The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance. Joshua Applestone is a butcher, an instructor, and co-author of The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat.

Arguments For Eating Meat

All three describe becoming vegetarian around the age of 20 or so, for ethical, religious, moral reasons, after learning about how beef-raising practices were deforesting the Amazon, about the Buddhist teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, about the less than pretty practices used in rearing and slaughtering cattle in the beef industry. What changed two of their minds?

Niman, while remaining a vegetarian, notes that, in her work as an environmental lawyer, her study of ecologically-based farming showed her how essential animals are to sustainable farms as they “increase soil fertility, contribute to pest and weed control, and convert vegetation that’s inedible to humans, and growing on marginal, uncultivated land, into food.” Cerulli recounts how living in a rural community showed him that raising all sorts of food comes at a cost:

From habitat destruction to combines that inadvertently mince rabbits to the shooting of deer in farm fields, crop production is far from harmless. Even in our own organic garden, my wife and I were battling ravenous insects and fence-defying woodchucks. I began to see that the question wasn’t what we ate but how that food came to our plates.

According to Cerulli, adding eggs, dairy, chicken and fish back into his diet also led to an improvement in his and his wife’s health.

A vegan for 15 years, Applestone says that he “overcame [his] aversion to consuming meat” after seeing farmers raising animals “sustainably and ethically”; he realized that he really had a “problem with the inhumane practices of the commercial meat industry.” Indeed, it is the practices of†industrialized agriculture that come under critique by all Niman, Cerulli and Applestone. “Eating animal-derived foods” is not, in and of itself, a health risk, they say; it is over-consumption that is.

Health, the environment and ethics are often cited as arguments for not eating meat. Niman rather calls for a “new ethics of eating animals.”

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11:28PM PST on Jan 31, 2015

The monophagous vegan diet may well be the reason for those that fail with physical deficiencies in their attempt at being vegan. The feeding on or utilizing a single kind of food, combined with feeding on a single kind of plant OR animal for omnivores.

Soy milk, soy bacon, soy cheese, tofurkey, tofu, soy, tofu...

Vega theology is based on monism, a viewpoint or theory that reduces all phenomena to one principle, compassion/kindness. Complicating their dogma is the fact we share a monogastric digestion chamber, having one stomach like chicks and swine who also eat meat at opportunistic times. They are not strict herbivores.

It would be to our benefit to study Journal articles at;

Science Alert: International Journal of Biological Chemistry
scialert.net/jindex.php?issn=1819-155x‎
International Journal of Biological Chemistry provides up-to-date information with all new developments in the molecular life sciences. Scope of the journal ...

International Journal of Biological Chemistry provides up-to-date information with all new developments in the molecular life sciences. Scope of the journal includes: General biochemistry, pathobiochemistry, evolutionary biotechnology, structural biology, molecular and cellular biology, molecular medicine, cancer research, virology, immunology, plant molecular biology and biochemistry, and experimental methodologies.

9:15PM PST on Dec 18, 2014

Oop's little rainbow wheel was spinning for over 1/2 hour trying to load comment.

contd; ... case reports of patients with B12 deficiency from resection of the terminal ...

@ Bradley C. @ 3:17pm PST on Dec 18, 2014 (quote) ALL anti-veganism is based in deceptions such as Kim's and these others. So people, be very careful of who you get information from.

Bradley, we are not all cut like little ginger bread men. Environmental or workplace exposures of eg. Aldehyde, vehicle exhaust, excessive drinking, Pulp Mill emissions, too much intake of HFCS which metabolizes to Aldehyde are some of the reasons B12 can be depleted. They are finding 6 month old babies with NAFLD, why we ask, was it inherited from the mother, because of too much HFCS in her diet?

There are many medical mysteries, very little Bio-Chemistry & Metabolism, nor Occupational Disease / Exposures, are taught in Med School. Veganism can also be part of the problem of B12 malabsorption. RoundUp Ready GMO corn and soy is deficient in minerals and has Anti-biotic residue in the kernel or bean. Do you really think all soy products are made from Organic beans?

Don't throw caution to the wind, because of your zeal for a vegan lifestyle.

8:52PM PST on Dec 18, 2014

Dr. Carter, sometimes a biopsy is needed to assess B12.

Appropriate use of tests for folate and vitamin B12 deficiency ...
www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/22/1/16/8‎
Measurement of both serum and red cell folate yields the maximum information, but in practice, red cell ... Reference ranges for serum folate, red cell folate and serum vitamin B12are specific to the methodology used by .... Bone marrow biopsy

Establishing the cause of the deficiency
After folate or B12deficiency has been identified by suitable tests, a cause for the deficiency must be sought. Folate deficiency is commonly the result of under nutrition or malnutrition in association with increased demand (e.g. pregnancy). It is important to assess dietary folate intake and to exclude gluten enteropathy (coeliac disease). Dietary faddism or reliance on `junk' foods devoid of green vegetables, an important source of folate1, renders members of all socio-economic groups susceptible to deficiency.

Nitrous oxide anaesthesia can also inhibit B12 assimilation;
PDF] When Nitrous Oxide is No Laughing Matter - The Society for ...
www.pedsanesthesia.org/meetings/.../Baum-Friday3-9-07-1050am.pdf‎
Nitrous oxide irreversibly oxidizes the cobalt atom of vitamin B12, transferring it ... to an investigation of the effects of N2O on a variety of B12-dependent enzyme ... anesthesia is impractical, with the association of elevated homocysteine levels with ... case reports of patients with B12 defi

8:07PM PST on Dec 18, 2014

Dr. Carter, sometimes a biopsy is needed to assess B12.

Appropriate use of tests for folate and vitamin B12 deficiency ...
www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/22/1/16/8‎
Measurement of both serum and red cell folate yields the maximum information, but in practice, red cell ... Reference ranges for serum folate, red cell folate and serum vitamin B12are specific to the methodology used by .... Bone marrow biopsy

Establishing the cause of the deficiency
After folate or B12deficiency has been identified by suitable tests, a cause for the deficiency must be sought. Folate deficiency is commonly the result of under nutrition or malnutrition in association with increased demand (e.g. pregnancy). It is important to assess dietary folate intake and to exclude gluten enteropathy (coeliac disease). Dietary faddism or reliance on `junk' foods devoid of green vegetables, an important source of folate1, renders members of all socio-economic groups susceptible to deficiency.

Nitrous oxide anaesthesia can also inhibit B12 assimilation;
PDF] When Nitrous Oxide is No Laughing Matter - The Society for ...
www.pedsanesthesia.org/meetings/.../Baum-Friday3-9-07-1050am.pdf‎
Nitrous oxide irreversibly oxidizes the cobalt atom of vitamin B12, transferring it ... to an investigation of the effects of N2O on a variety of B12-dependent enzyme ... anesthesia is impractical, with the association of elevated homocysteine levels with ... case reports of patients with B12 defi

3:44PM PST on Dec 18, 2014

PS: I just checked the paperwork and my B12 is actually more like 400–600, not 300–500; the exact numbers from lowest to highest over the years being 370 and 590, so my average is 480, quite normal and healthy, even though some say closer to 900 is best. If I ever have any sort of symptom I can raise my B12 by taking more, but I see no need for that until possibly in my 60's or so. BTW, my son's recent B12 (last April) measured 630 (vegan since birth using B12 supplement) and the wife's was 460. We're all 3 healthy as healthy horses, LOL. So the whole ex-vegan-B12-scare thing is easily handled.

3:17PM PST on Dec 18, 2014

Part 2 -

... but here are the facts about B12: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003705.htm, which states that normal B12 is from 200–900 pg/mL (which is how it's always measured, picograms per milliliter), NOT 2000. Anyone who listens to that woman is playing Russian Roulette, and at least one regular commenting here seems to admire her so! Go figure. At least that disturbing woman seems to have quit putting her stuff out online 8 months ago, we can only wonder what happened to her. BTW, as vegan since 1996 my B12 level, checked every couple years, has always been between 300–500, using a simple supplement couple times a week. All anti-veganism is based in deceptions such as Kim's and these others. So people, be very careful of who you get information from.

3:15PM PST on Dec 18, 2014

Ah, same old same old in here, who'd have thought? ;o) Any real ex-vegans who may be reading, here's something nice my wife found about the benefits of a healthy vegan diet: http://www.goinghometoroost.com/2012/simple-living/why-becoming-a-vegan-was-the-best-thing-i-ever-did/ Some recipes from same beauty who makes most everything from scratch: http://www.goinghometoroost.com/category/seasonal-recipes/ We've made the hummus and the baked penne with roasted vegetables & creamy smoked cheeze sauce and they're out-of-this-world awesome! Some of her older recipes are vegetarian not vegan but can be made vegan. And her vegan pregnancy and birth, much like ours: http://www.goinghometoroost.com/2014/simple-living/bears-birth-story/ And all on those terrible, lethal non-foods we vegans somehow subsist on! Heheh...
Then in contrast there's the "ex-vegan" poster girl Kim who's obviously disturbed and quite disturbing even after 2+ years of healing & recovering from "veganism," even though she never was vegan as quietly stated in this vid at 8:40–9:05 how she always ate eggs & dairy and stopped taking B12 supplement, much along the lines of another ex-"vegan" heroine Lierre Keith who had regularly pigged out on eggs & dairy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZer12uaRSg And here's where Kim's deliberate ignorance is crystal clear, in the vid she stated that our blood B12 should be around 2000 and that's why she suffered so at 230 pg/mL, but here are the facts about B

9:27AM PST on Dec 18, 2014

I thought Chris Holmes was challenging us to a Showdown at the Cow ARds Corral on Chazzies FarceBook page? I am not American, but I thought the First Amendment, was the Right to Free Speech? His challenge has vaporized.

Damn, this is more exciting than the Mixed Martial Arts Channel. But then duelling with a sheave of soya beans v. a beef leg bone is no contest, well we could downgrade that to a turkey drumstick from a free-range meat-bird who has no interest in eating grains, but forages bugs, grubs and grasses. 0 feed inputs with minimal water consumption.

There seems to be bias here at times that Vegan Speak is favoured. Irregardless if their dietary advice, dogma, philosophies have the potential to cause harm to human life and the environment. Billions of animals are killed in tilling farmland and harvesting grains, rice and beans etc; all vegan staples. But then in retrospect, I should not be so quick to jump to judgement, as this post has registered 9405 comments.

But then some of those that have suffered physically from ardently trying the vegan diet for a decade or so are banished from commenting about their experience. Their truth often labelled toxic by the vegan militia, and flogged by dissenters banished from dialogue.

Seriously, I thought the morality of this site was for those that Care2 Share! Sometimes people should debate issues in their head before accepting new philosophies and dogma, weighing the evidence as they say first!

10:22AM PST on Dec 17, 2014

No one is going to facebook because this was never about him. This is about a discussion that was disrupted by behavior that resulted in his being banned. The discussion will go on because that is what it is about, on another thread, on another day and he and his behavior are not missed.

6:31PM PST on Dec 16, 2014

"Audios", is that sorta' like videos?

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