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Old 06-29-2006, 05:05 AM   #11
Michael Forge
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Doug,

As you can see, just mention the word vegetarianism and the usual cast of characters on this board will quickly pop up to bash the notion and rattle off their "expert" opinions and psuedo-scientific sources to counter its validity.

Perhaps a better way to state your motivation than calling it unethical is to say that it violates YOUR ethics, as it does mine. Taking another sentient creature's life strictly for my sensual pleasure or because I think it can increase my athletic performance makes me feel bad, period. So I don't do it.

As for the health/fitness limitations it involves, you say that you are comfortable eating dairy (a point that Garrett invariably ignores in his routine anti-vegetarian screeds), and I'm assuming egg. Given that, you will have absolutely no problem being healthy and achieving your fitness goals. I've been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 20 years and at 39 I run a sub five-minute mile, bench 280, squat 375, and can post respectable performances in all Crossfit workouts. My body fat level is 6-8% and I very rarely get sick or injured.

So don't let the paleo zealots around here scare you. You can indeed be perfectly healthy and exceptionally fit without killing animals to do it.
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Old 06-29-2006, 07:13 AM   #12
Jerimiah Childress
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I know this is politically incorrect and I am gong to get it for saying this, but how about saying that its not unethical, because that is why they were created for us to use. Not misuse, but use.

Thats all I have to say.
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Old 06-29-2006, 07:23 AM   #13
Garrett Smith
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Different strokes for different folks.

Lacto-ovo is working for Michael. As an ex-lacto-ovo, I can say that was the sickest and weakest part of my life.

If it comes to the point where you realize that you may need to choose between health and ethics/morals (ie. your lacto-veg diet isn't working for you long-term, like it didn't for me), at least you will have had the information from both sides presented to you to think about.

Remember that it was people who ate meat who created this cushy society that is prosperous enough that people have the choice *not* to eat meat. If and when WW III starts, all these fancy "choices" will either fly out the window and/or ensure the survival of those with the most food choices.

I'd say try to find a certified source of raw milk if milk is going to be your main source of high-quality protein...http://www.realmilk.org/.

Fitting it into Paleo parameters will be a matter of replacing other things--raw whole milk contains plenty of fat (which would have come from nuts/seeds), protein (which would have come from meat), and carbs (which would have come from fruits/veg).

If you go with conventionally-raised pasteurized processed milk, with as much as you're going to consume, I wish you the best of luck with your future health.

I'm done. I believe I won't post on vegetarian threads anymore, a quick referral to the forum search should be enough to satisfy my desire to help.

(Message edited by guerilastrength on June 29, 2006)
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:01 AM   #14
Robert Wolf
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Michael-
So Michael, We "Zealots" are guilty of advocating a natural, unprocessed health promoting diet. Shame on us.
If it’s all pseudo science who don't you eat the way Ron is suggesting? Eat only vegetable sourced foods with no processing. No protein powders, no tofu, no tempeh, milk etc. In essence a whole food diet based around plant foods as they actually occur in nature. Are you willing to take that bullet for your morality? What you are doing right now is emulating a meat-based diet with concentrated plant sources. Your first post was a trumpeting declaration that vegetarianism is just as good as a mixed diet. Why don't you approach it the way the zealots around here approach the paleo/zone: Natural foods with little or no processing? Give it a go for two months and lets see where your numbers are.

Jerimiah-
If I responded the way I want to it would send this whole thing to political land. Suffice to say I’m not sure if the God Clause is potent endorsement in this case.
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:18 AM   #15
Marc Moffett
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Doug, A couple of points. First, I am a professional philosopher and have spent a good deal of time thinking through the animal rights issue. (In fact, I am fairly good friends with a number of prominent AR advocates--Dale Jamieson and Bernie Rollin.) I don't downplay the importance of AR; in fact, I believe that everyone more or less accepts that animals have "rights" (in some sense of that incredibly squirelly notion!). IMO, people who do downplay the moral importance of AR are frequently involved in immoral behaviors. However, despite this, I do not believe that the arguments against meat-eating hold water generally (in contrast, for instance, to the arguments against factory farming). I would be happy to try and articulate my position at some point in the future (at present I am too busy with work). The issues here are far more difficult than, as Michael suggests, simply eating meat because it is tastey or because it makes me a better athlete. That characterization sets up a straw man debate.

That said, if you really are convinced that meat-eating is unethical, then don't eat meat. You can live a healthy and happy life without it. As suggested above, reduce your GL foods and accept the presence of anti-nutrients in your diet. It is more important to get adequate protein, than to avoid the lectins and other problematic items found in legumes.
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:54 AM   #16
Michael Forge
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Marc,

I'm not a professional philosopher, but I can assure you I am not setting up a straw man debate. That's because I have no interest in debating anyone. The "issues" here are not difficult at all: I have no other reason to kill animals for food other than for the taste or performance enhancement. Those reasons are not sufficient for me, so I don't do it. If it doesn't bother you, eat all the animals you want. What is there to debate?

You can philosophize, theorize, and rationalize all you want, but in the end it all comes down to what each individual feels right about doing. There can be no definitive conclusion to the "rightness" of your choice either way, any more than there can be a definitive conclusion about whose religion is "right."

As for the health issue, I don't care how many people here quote how many Web sites and fringe "experts," I KNOW I am healthy and extremely fit on a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, and I know many others who are as well. Why would I trust anyone else to tell me what 20 years of experience have already proven?

(Message edited by maffy on June 29, 2006)

(Message edited by maffy on June 29, 2006)
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:02 PM   #17
Doug Sunshine
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Thank you all so much for your posts. You were all EXTREMELY helpful to me.

To Garrett Smith, I recognize that you are frustrated but your advice will help me immeasurably when I make my decision whether or not to "go veg." You all passionately and rationally debated your points and that is exactly what I need, as the same debate is going on in my own head.

Once again, thank you all so much.
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:05 PM   #18
Michael Forge
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Robb Wrote: "So Michael, We "Zealots" are guilty of advocating a natural, unprocessed health promoting diet. Shame on us."

Shame on you not for that, Robb (which isn't even remotely close to what I was criticizing), but for consistenly naysaying anyone who knows this can be done in a way contrary to yours.

As usual, the post that kicked this off was not a question about whether a vegetarian diet is better than a meat-based diet, but a request for suggestions on how to optimize a vegetarian diet. Which, apparently, the Paleo crew here reads as a launching pad to spout off on why there's no moral or health grounds for a vegetarian diet. No offense Robb, but who asked you? Doug wanted to know if a vegetarian diet could be reconciled with Zone or Paleo. Not what you thought about his morals.


Robb Wrote: "If it’s all pseudo science who don't you eat the way Ron is suggesting? Eat only vegetable sourced foods with no processing. No protein powders, no tofu, no tempeh, milk etc. In essence a whole food diet based around plant foods as they actually occur in nature."

How's this for a reason? Because I don't want to. I am totally at peace with the ethics and nutrition of my diet, and I couldn't care less whether that "holds water" for anyone else or not. You say I'm emuating a meat-based diet with concentrated plant sources. Considering that my diet is roughly 80 percent plants and grains, that characterization is wrong. But even if it were right, so what? If technological advances have enabled me to to mimic a meat-based diet without killing, I'm happy to embrace that.
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:39 PM   #19
Lisa Sorbo
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Quote:
Recently I have decided that I will give up eating meat because I feel it is unethical. I am intrigued by the Paleo diet and think there is a lot of merit to it. Is there any modification I can make to reconcile the two ideas and provide for my own fitness/nutrition?

If not, does the Zone diet have an option for veg?

I am attempting to do right by my body without sacrificing my morals.

Note: I believe it is permissible to eat dairy
stay away from MacDougal/Ornish types of recommendations (heavy grains emphasis). Lean more to Eat-2-Live (Fuhrman) type plans.
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Old 06-29-2006, 02:45 PM   #20
Marc Moffett
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Michael, two points. First, if you feel uncomfortable about eating animals, then by all means don't. However, if you want to couch your discussion in terms of ethics, then (and this is the second point) you don't get a free ride to ethical relativism. (I.e., its ethically wrong for you, but perhaps ethically permissable for me.) Ethics is arguably as much about objective facts as the ph level of your drinking water.

Religious belief may or may not have an objective basis. It used to be, back when people weren't afraid of thinking difficult issues through, that no one would have thought that religious belief was simply an irrational matter of faith. (What a bizarre slap in the face of God!) But very few philosophers today (even those who defend ethical relativism of some variety), would try to defend the naive sort of ethical relativism that your language SEEMS to suggest. Moreover, I suspect your position is self-serving in the following respect: you are probably convinced that meat-eating is wrong on the basis of certain considerations. (I don't know that--perhaps you simply had some sort of religious epiphany while walking down the street.) If so, then you should be willing to consider the strongest counterarguments to your views. Merely brushing aside the opposing view because you are "comfortable" is a bit of a cop out. And, I absolutely agree that anyone who thinks that meat-eating is obviously ethical is taking the same cop out approach (and probably a more dangerous one, since that person runs the risk of actually behaving immorally). So I don't mean to come down on you or Doug (I spent a number of years as a vegitarian on moral grounds), I merely wanted to emphasize to Doug that the story was complex. To take one example. As Robb noted (and as was originally pointed out by Ted Kerasote in his excellent book "Bloodties"), agriculture is immensely costly in terms of animal lives--especially if you live in temperate regions where plant matter has to be shipped in for large portions of the year. If you are concerned about animal lives, then it is by no means obvious that vegitarianism is the right approach.
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