Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What about?

So there is a lot of concern about our choice to go herbivore.  Concerns that it's not good for us, that we'll be deficient, weak and puny.  So let's address the prevailing questions because in all honesty, they are the questions I had too.  I'm just going to spew forth info that I am working from and if you wanna find sources and such, well you're already online...

Calcium- the calcium of a western diet (ours) is primarily from dairy.  Cow's milk was made for baby cows, goats milk for baby goats, etc.  There is no arguing that.  Milk from any mammal was made just for that mammal's baby.  We are the ONLY animal that harvests another animals breast milk to drink for ourselves (and people get freaked out about breastfeeding infants- go figure).  Consider that we aren't meant to suckle from a cow and that our natural food sources (plants) are already perfectly prepared to give us all that we need to survive.  Not only that, but it's in a form that is readily usable, unlike dairy.  I think it's important to notice who is promoting milk as THE source of calcium.  There is a great marketing push from the dairy industry that endlessly plants seeds in our brains that not only do we need lots of calcium but we need to get it from milk.  It's just not true.  Follow the money.

Some sources of plant calcium are:
Collard greens, kale, soy beans, okra, bok choy, tahini, almonds, broccoli and of course any fortified drinks (orange juice, soy milk) and tofu.

Protein- there is also enough protein from plant sources to support a human body's needs.  Our body's make up (intestine length for one) is that of an herbivore.  High cholesterol, heart disease, obesity and the like are not possible unless you are a meat eater.  Animals in nature (not us!) that eat meat have innards that are designed to move the dead carcass through faster than our bodies do.  Meat doesn't sit around in their gut, getting all the "bad" stuff absorbed into their bodies.  Meat eaters in nature will never die of heart disease, high cholesterol or obesity because they can't.  Our bodies weren't designed to have dead muscle sitting around in our insides for so long (our innards are long).

Some sources of plant protein are:
Soy beans, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, black eyed peas, lima beans, peas, peanut butter, almonds, cashews, brown rice, broccoli, spinach and potatoes.

There is SO much more to talk about here.  Like the fact that countries that don't drink/eat dairy like we do suffer rarely from osteoporosis (which seems impossible if we need calcium for our bones, right?).  Or how insanely cruel the food-animal industry is (including the fact that standards that are put into place are written to give the 'farmer' permission to do as he pleases).

If there's interest, I'll go into it more.  I don't intend for this to become a soap box for my choices, and I'm willing to share where I'm coming from.  There are two places that have some potent info, I'd recommend watching both of them at some point, just as a place to think from.  "Forks Over Knives" is a documentary that is available on netflix.  The other is a guy who goes around the country giving lectures for free, someone video taped him at one of the lectures at a college and you can watch it on youtube here.

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