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Omnivore, herbivore … the conversation continues




The Locavore Vegetarian, with a red pepper and some cranberries thrown in.
The Locavore Vegetarian, with a red pepper and some cranberries thrown in.

Thanks to Mark at herbfit.wordpress.com and to Mary Lynn at gapsconsulting.com for recent comments about the vegetarian/vegan/omnivore’s dilemma.  Mark points out that most soy currently being raised is fed to animals and that for the sake of the planet we’d do better to eat the animal feed than the animals!

For sure, say I. But I am still focusing on what monoculture crops are doing to the environment, and if you drive in this country through vast areas of Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas, for example, soy is one of those monocultures. They’re so potentially destructive, with their need for fertilizers and pesticides.

Mary Lynn mentions Weston A. Price’s research. As she says: “His conclusions about the link between food and either chronic degenerative disease or vibrant health came when he studied the diet of those not touched by ‘conventional’ (processed) food. His study, which spanned a decade and took place about 100 years ago, was compelling. He discovered what the healthiest peopl

e ate and he found not a single tribe or community of vegetarians. There was always some sort of animal (or insect) food found in those he studied though he secretly believed he would find healthy people who were vegetarian.”

She notes that our dental structure includes those canine teeth found in carnivores, and adds, “We secrete hydrochloric acid in the stomach which is meant to break down muscle fibers and other proteins.”

But many traditional cultures ate much less animal-based food than we currently do. I know that Mary Lynn doesn’t disagree — she advocates ghee and other animal-based products as well as vegetable fats.

Unfortunately, with a global economy, everyone on the planet now wants to have the opportunity to eat the way only the wealthiest could in the past. How are those of us in the “First World” to deny those who’ve never had the opportunity?

Thanks to both of you for moving this conversation forward. The question for me still remains, How are we going to manage ourselves on this planet in a way that doesn’t destroy the biosphere? As Mark notes, there’s no quick answer here. But let’s keep on working at it.