Carnivore Diet: The Antithesis to Veganism

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  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,464 Member
    Check mortality rates for communities with a limited diet range.

    It’s more than anecdotal or abbreviated studies when we figure out that there are vitamins and minerals we absolutely need. The discovery of the cause of rickets is high up on that list.

    You can personally re-learn the lessons of the past but these lessons tend to be self limiting.

    Onset of symptoms may not be overnight but if you start getting unexplained bone pain and bleeding gums get thyself to a doctor.

    I don’t buy that cattle are bad for the environment. I live smack dab in the middle of the prairies. Grasslands depend on renewal and they are helped along by close cropping and chopping of the roots by ruminants.

    The historical pemmican out here on the prairies was made from dried meat, fat, and Saskatoon berries. An omnivore concoction.
  • laurenq1991
    laurenq1991 Posts: 384 Member
    jgnatca wrote: »
    Check mortality rates for communities with a limited diet range.

    It’s more than anecdotal or abbreviated studies when we figure out that there are vitamins and minerals we absolutely need. The discovery of the cause of rickets is high up on that list.

    You can personally re-learn the lessons of the past but these lessons tend to be self limiting.

    Onset of symptoms may not be overnight but if you start getting unexplained bone pain and bleeding gums get thyself to a doctor.

    I don’t buy that cattle are bad for the environment. I live smack dab in the middle of the prairies. Grasslands depend on renewal and they are helped along by close cropping and chopping of the roots by ruminants.

    The historical pemmican out here on the prairies was made from dried meat, fat, and Saskatoon berries. An omnivore concoction.

    I'm not sure what you're saying here. Rickets is unlikely in a carnivore diet since many animal products are high in vitamin D, and also is very rare in the general population. Many foods are now fortified with vitamin D for this reason (among other foods, milk and plant milk are directly fortified, and many meats are indirectly fortified by giving these vitamins to the animals). A well-planned carnivore diet that includes organ meats most likely will not cause any nutritional deficiencies. A bigger concern is the increased risk of cancer because higher red meat consumption is associated with a higher risk of cancer (it is classified as a probable carcinogen by the IARC), and higher consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, is associated with a lower risk of cancer. Overall a carnivore diet probably won't kill you in the short term, but there's no evidence that it's better than the balanced diet rich in plant foods that is recommended by most nutritionists.
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    I know cows create methane but I'm not convinced that problem is worse than flying or trucking in rice or bananas, or the loss of carbon sinks by changing grasslands and forests to modern agriculture, or just the damage to the soil by turning it over every year.

    Do you have any evidence to back up your assertions or is it just how you feel about it? I and other people posted evidence backing up what we have said.
    There used to be millions of bison here. The only reason they are mostly gone is because Europeans needed a way to control the indigenous people, and decimating their food supply was an easy way to do it. From what I have read, and I could be wrong, there is not more cows in North America today than there was bison a few hundred years ago. There's a lot more agriculture and industrialization though, and I think they should be considered more when pointing fingers on global warming contributors.

    Well first of all that's wrong. Peak bison populations were around 60 million (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison#Hunting). The US has around 91 million cattle and Canada has around 12 million (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle#Population). And that's with current meat consumption levels, with only a tiny number of people doing the carnivore diet. Imagine how high it would be if a significant amount of people were on the diet. Also the environment is totally different now than it was back then. A lot of land is now not usable for cattle because people live there, have roads there, have other industries there, it is too polluted, etc. Back when the bison population was 60 million, basically the entire grasslands were free to them, and the human population and number of permanent human structures built was much lower. Back then there were some human emissions from fires and so on, but they were very small. The natural emissions from ruminants were balanced out by the large amount of vegetation (a lot of which has now been cut for buildings, roadways, etc.) so it was not a problem.

    As I said, a lot of the agriculture happens in order to grow food FOR animals. If you read the Guardian article I posted you would see that experts estimate animal agriculture takes up 83 percent of all agricultural land use.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth ("The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.")

    Yes, industrialization also contributes to climate change, but that's a different issue, we're talking about animal agriculture here.
    A carnivorous diet is usually high in beef but it can include other animas like fish, pigs, deer, elk, eggs and dairy.

    None of those foods are low-impact either.
    But please note that I am not saying it is the best diet for all, or even doable for all. I do think a more carnivorous diet (more animal heavy than plant heavy) may be more appropriate to certain areas. My area has fewer than 4 months of frost free days - we don't have the growing season for many fruits and veggies. That will be different than tropical and subtropical climates (where we get our produce shipped in from).

    Again, "The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing."
    Should more people switch to carnivore? I don't know. I doubt it is usually needed. Should people limit or avoid meat? IMO, only for financial or ethical reasons. Most do well as omnivores and should probably continue eating that way. I eat that way, but with an animal heavy diet. I think omnivore is usually the way to go.

    If you go on zerocarb on Reddit you will see most people on the carnivore diet think everyone should go on it. Also fixing climate change is not just an ethical reason, but also a reason of increasing your own personal chance of living a full lifespan, not losing everything in a natural disaster, etc.
    I am always amazed that otherwise powerless people want to control what everyone in the World chooses to eat. Although, it is interesting to note the choices people have made after millions of personal decision points in an environment of billions of climate and demographic facts, but debate is utterly pointless.

    When you get to the grocery, folks, put the stuff in your cart that you would like to eat. I'll do the same.

    So just totally ignore the facts on what needs to be done and then, when disaster inevitably strikes, complain "why me?!" and "why didn't anyone do anything about it?!" Judging by the natural disasters lately that's been working out really well.

    Okay. So wild bison populations was about 60 million, give or take millions There may well be more cows now. My point was that there is supposed to be ruminants here. If there are more while being managed, cared for and protected by farmers and medicine, that makes sense to me.

    Most of the vegetation around here was cut for farming, and not roads and human structures. Sure roads and cities take up space but it isn't much up here. I agree that leaving the vegetation, instead of plotting it under, would help manage emissions. Soil fauna and flora has a large impact on that in the prairies, and it is greatly depleted by agriculture.... Whether for human or animal. Grazing would help with that.

    I know you are talking about agriculture here, but I think it is the lesser evil compared to industrial, production and transportation emissions.

    I mentioned other animals because they tend to be easier on plants. Cattle often rip plants up whereas other grazers will eat off the tops of grasses to varying lengths which could improve grasslands habitat.

    And again, I think the animal activists tend to twist the facts so that it looks like it is the animals fault that the environment us impacted rather than it being the fault of people who made poor farming choices, among other poor choices that have not helped the environment.

    All carnivores do not think alike. Just because someone on reddit said everyone should eat this way does not mean every carnivore thinks that.

    I think many natural disasters are man made. Giant fires tend to come from natural fire prevention, then there is too much tinder and you get an inferno. Mudslides seem to happen most in areas that are built onto slopes where vegetation has been removed. Flooding tends to happen along rivers and coasts - on flood plains. These disasters are unfortunate but hardly due to global warming - more poor human planning.

    I have bever said to ignore the facts. But I don't think eating tofu or beans instead of fish or steak is the best answer. I respectfully disagree.

    I feel like you're ignoring the fact that back in the 1700s when the Bison and antelopes freely grazed across the continent, there were less humans. A lot less humans. And there weren't cities and national parks and roads and train tracks and airports. And all those animals, in addition to roaming lands that are no longer unobstructed, were feeding this much smaller population of people.

    Again, the sort of setup you are envisioning perhaps would be possible in the frozen plains of rural Canada, I'll take your word for that, but it would be a very geographically limited setup for a small population of people. The majority of the earth's population simply do not have access to affordable grass fed cattle, reasonably fresh organ meat, or the kind of open space that would be required to raise enough animals to be the only source of food without turning to corporate factory style animal production and slaughter.

    That's sort of my point. It makes environmental sense to eat local. Those living on the coast will eat more fish than me. Albertans will eat more beef than those living in tropical or subtropical areas. those in tropical areas will eat less lamb or olives than those in the Mediterranean areas. Someone eating less beef in Alberta is an ineffective way to protest clear cutting for cattle in Brazil. Kwim?
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    jgnatca wrote: »
    Check mortality rates for communities with a limited diet range.

    It’s more than anecdotal or abbreviated studies when we figure out that there are vitamins and minerals we absolutely need. The discovery of the cause of rickets is high up on that list.

    You can personally re-learn the lessons of the past but these lessons tend to be self limiting.

    Onset of symptoms may not be overnight but if you start getting unexplained bone pain and bleeding gums get thyself to a doctor.

    I don’t buy that cattle are bad for the environment. I live smack dab in the middle of the prairies. Grasslands depend on renewal and they are helped along by close cropping and chopping of the roots by ruminants.

    The historical pemmican out here on the prairies was made from dried meat, fat, and Saskatoon berries. An omnivore concoction.

    I'm not sure what you're saying here. Rickets is unlikely in a carnivore diet since many animal products are high in vitamin D, and also is very rare in the general population. Many foods are now fortified with vitamin D for this reason (among other foods, milk and plant milk are directly fortified, and many meats are indirectly fortified by giving these vitamins to the animals). A well-planned carnivore diet that includes organ meats most likely will not cause any nutritional deficiencies. A bigger concern is the increased risk of cancer because higher red meat consumption is associated with a higher risk of cancer (it is classified as a probable carcinogen by the IARC), and higher consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, is associated with a lower risk of cancer. Overall a carnivore diet probably won't kill you in the short term, but there's no evidence that it's better than the balanced diet rich in plant foods that is recommended by most nutritionists.


    Only processed meats have a link to cancer and possibly raising your risk of colon cancer from 5 to 6%.

    Red meat has not been shown to be cause cancer at all... And they've looked.
  • laurenq1991
    laurenq1991 Posts: 384 Member
    edited December 2018
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    You are generalizing. Hugely. There are no old growth forests here. We have grasslands and forests that typically burn every 100-200years. There are 4 million people in Alberta, which I am guessing is close to the size of California. More than was here 300 years ago, sure, but we don't have the same problems as the more populated areas. We have space for cattle.

    Even if that is the case, where is the evidence that grass-fed beef produces fewer emissions than, say, legumes? Because I posted evidence stating that even the most environmentally consciously raised meat still has more impact than plant foods, and you haven't posted any evidence to the contrary.
    My point about grazing the cows is that almost all cows up here ARE grass fed the first year or so of life. It is already being done. Just don't finish them/ fatten them all in feedlots at the end. Perhaps cattle is raised entirely in feedlots in California. That's not how it is done here. It must be economic if it is being done already....

    Well there must be a reason for feedlots and that reason is cost. You can grass-finish them but the fact is it will make beef more expensive, fewer cows will be produced, and less beef will be available...otherwise there would be no point in putting the effort to farm crops to feed cows when they could just eat freely accessible grass that grows everywhere and replenishes itself each year.
    Thearticleyoupostedjust shows that feedlot cows and their processing, makes methane. It does not disprove what I have said which is that intact soil can capture that carbon, create a richer habitat and stronger ecosystem, nor that cows fed foods other than corn gave fewer emissions. I read it and noticed it did not address what I am saying. Do you have anything to share on that?

    The article said "The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing." and "For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land result in 12 times more greenhouse gases and use 50 times more land than those grazing rich natural pasture. But the comparison of beef with plant protein such as peas is stark, with even the lowest impact beef responsible for six times more greenhouse gases and 36 times more land." "Rich natural pasture" seems to be the kind of soil you are referring to, as opposed to "deforested land."
    As to historic drought in California, it's a shame. Sorry you are experiencing it but it is only historic in terms of how long weather has been measured and records werekept.
    https://www.mercurynews.com/2014/01/25/california-drought-past-dry-periods-have-lasted-more-than-200-years-scientists-say/

    I don't live in California, it was just an example of natural disasters worsened by climate change since it happened recently. The longer droughts happened centuries ago and it says right in the article that you posted: "Bill Patzert, a research scientist and oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, says that the West is in a 20-year drought that began in 2000. He cites the fact that a phenomenon known as a “negative Pacific decadal oscillation” is underway — and that historically has been linked to extreme high-pressure ridges that block storms.

    Such events, which cause pools of warm water in the North Pacific Ocean and cool water along the California coast, are not the result of global warming, Patzert said. But climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels has been linked to longer heat waves. That wild card wasn’t around years ago.

    “Long before the Industrial Revolution, we were vulnerable to long extended periods of drought. And now we have another experiment with all this CO2 in the atmosphere where there are potentially even more wild swings in there,” said Graham Kent, a University of Nevada geophysicist who has studied submerged ancient trees in Fallen Leaf Lake near Lake Tahoe." So basically the oscillation caused the drought, but the oscillation itself is more extreme due to climate change.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/science/climate-change-intensifies-california-drought-scientists-say.html

    Also as an aside, it says right in that article: "Although many Californians think that population growth is the main driver of water demand statewide, it actually is agriculture. In an average year, farmers use 80 percent of the water consumed by people and businesses — 34 million of 43 million acre-feet diverted from rivers, lakes and groundwater, according to the state Department of Water Resources." And since we know animal agriculture takes up a lot of the land and water use, that's another impact.
    As to the vegetarian question, I was just wondering if you had already written off beef. I guess so. I don't often see such vehement arguments from people who eat meat.

    It's a fact-based argument and so far you have not provided one piece of hard data to refute anything I've said, and my own personal life has nothing to do with it. But the reason why people who eat meat usually aren't the ones making these arguments, is because people who accept the truth of how dietary choices affect carbon footprint oftentimes change their diet accordingly. Otherwise, they would be a hypocrite and people would call them out for that, right? If you're trying to say I have some kind of "vegetarian agenda" that is incorrect. I actually don't really care that much about the ethics of killing animals for food. I think hunting is perfectly natural and while I don't think factory farms are great, I probably wouldn't give up meat for that reason alone. Climate change is my main concern and particularly its impact on me, loved ones, and future generations. So it is kind of a selfish reason in a way, maybe not the "bleeding heart" thing you were expecting. But honestly it does annoy me that my future might be compromised because other people insist on eating unsustainable foods such as beef, taking long-distance flights, living in huge houses, etc. when none of these things are actually necessary for survival. Beef and chicken aren't even that nutritious compared to fish and shellfish (except for organ meats but not many people eat those).
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    Only processed meats have a link to cancer and possibly raising your risk of colon cancer from 5 to 6%.

    Red meat has not been shown to be cause cancer at all... And they've looked.

    https://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/ "Probably carcinogenic" is exactly what I said in my previous post...if someone wants to take a chance on "probably" they can go ahead.


  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,464 Member
    Oops. Scurvy.
  • johnslater461
    johnslater461 Posts: 449 Member
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    jgnatca wrote: »
    Check mortality rates for communities with a limited diet range.

    It’s more than anecdotal or abbreviated studies when we figure out that there are vitamins and minerals we absolutely need. The discovery of the cause of rickets is high up on that list.

    You can personally re-learn the lessons of the past but these lessons tend to be self limiting.

    Onset of symptoms may not be overnight but if you start getting unexplained bone pain and bleeding gums get thyself to a doctor.

    I don’t buy that cattle are bad for the environment. I live smack dab in the middle of the prairies. Grasslands depend on renewal and they are helped along by close cropping and chopping of the roots by ruminants.

    The historical pemmican out here on the prairies was made from dried meat, fat, and Saskatoon berries. An omnivore concoction.

    I'm not sure what you're saying here. Rickets is unlikely in a carnivore diet since many animal products are high in vitamin D, and also is very rare in the general population. Many foods are now fortified with vitamin D for this reason (among other foods, milk and plant milk are directly fortified, and many meats are indirectly fortified by giving these vitamins to the animals). A well-planned carnivore diet that includes organ meats most likely will not cause any nutritional deficiencies. A bigger concern is the increased risk of cancer because higher red meat consumption is associated with a higher risk of cancer (it is classified as a probable carcinogen by the IARC), and higher consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, is associated with a lower risk of cancer. Overall a carnivore diet probably won't kill you in the short term, but there's no evidence that it's better than the balanced diet rich in plant foods that is recommended by most nutritionists.


    Only processed meats have a link to cancer and possibly raising your risk of colon cancer from 5 to 6%.

    Red meat has not been shown to be cause cancer at all... And they've looked.

    Wrong again

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698595/

  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
    edited December 2018
    I know what your plan is and I'm saying it's economically unviable. If it was viable to feed that many cows on grassland, don't you think it would have been happening all along? Don't you think the companies would be thrilled to be able to feed their cows on an essentially free and self-renewing resource, rather than buying feed? Why do you think grass-fed beef is so much more expensive than grain-fed?

    Grain finished (calves are typically pastured) cattle require less space and grow faster so require less turn around time and get fatter (which is generally what the market wants). That's why.

    I think you are obviously correct that we would produce less beef and it would cost more if it were an all grass-fed system, and therefore the price would go up (and presumably the demand would go down). As it is, subsidies for grains used for animal fed subsidizes the cost of meat.

    Wondering if there could be agreement by both sides of this argument for (1) ending subsidies, and (2) avoiding non grass fed, and (3) doing something to greater regulate/phase out/cause to be unpopular grain fed (I don't really think this last is realistic, but I'm open to suggestions).

    If so, and nvmomketo is right, no problem, we have all grass-fed beef and the system works better. If you are right, beef gets much more scarce, the price skyrockets, and demand goes down (perhaps other than for the most committed carnivores, who are choosing to pay for their choices which better include the externalities than before, although you can argue not entirely).

    I'm not sure why there couldn't be some compromise (at least of the current discussion) along these lines.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
    In practice? Eh, I have issues pricing staple foods out of reach for certain income levels. It's a real conundrum.

    Yeah, agree -- this is why I got all wishy-washy when it came to what to do re grain fed and left it open to suggestion. (My personal choice is to buy locally and grass fed (which here costs more) and eat less meat. But I am not willing to lobby to support laws to force others to do so, for me it's a luxury I can afford and not everyone can. I do think we should end the related subsidies in general.)
    Then again, bringing this back to the topic of the thread, I don't see people with lower incomes ever willingly choosing to be carnivores simply because they probably couldn't afford to be so.

    Agree with this too. I also don't think carnivore is ever going to catch on in any significant numbers, whatever some reddit group thinks should happen.