I'm never concerned with weight, so for me the whole question is about health and happiness, which is not determined by weight (weight is only one measure, really).
As omnivores, we are designed to be able to thrive on a variety of diets, which is why we see vegetarian cultures (with some vegan sub sects such as the India -- Jains are a relatively modern group who are vegan according to Ghandi's assertions about his mother's dietary instructions for him) and also a variety of carnivorous cultures such as the maasai, inuit, etc. And of course, there's a wide variety in between.They wrongly assume that we can choose to eat differently than we were designed to.
As such, being vegan is an aspect of how being biologically omnivorous works. We are basically opportunists, biologically speaking. So, if fruit, veg, and nuts are abundant, then you're great. Less expenditure to gather it, and you may be good to go so long as it stays. And then, you know, if you don't have those things, you can always go fishing or hunting -- which takes a lot more work and energy. You could also scavenge meat and/or gather bugs and such. You know, options.
I always saw veganism as simply one of our biological options. And if your biology stops accepting it, you take the opportunity to adapt your diet and eat something else (add something in, etc).
@Zoebird. When veganism is 1. Not sustainable without the modern world capitalist system and 2. Not a diet one can survive on long term, I don't see how it is a "biological option". Unless you are being very literal, in which case a 100% McDonalds chicken nugget diet is also an 'biological option'. I'm also not sure how lacking vital nutrients is your body ceasing to accept a diet.
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Jains are generally lacto-vegetarians, not vegans, although some are vegan or are supportive of the idea. But Jains also don't eat root vegetables or onions and garlic. Many of the most strict Jains are ascetics. Their diet is less about health than philosophy.
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Hunter/Gatherer cultures. N=229. There were zero cultures logged as subsisting entirely on gathered foods. Precisely two cultures were logged as "76-85% dependent on gathering" (a category which also includes insects, lizards, etc). So in our largest study of hunter gatherers there were no vegetarians, and only 1% were remotely close to vegetarian.
All cultures including agriculturalists, herders, hunter/gatherers, etc. N=1276. There was one culture logged as almost entirely dependent on agriculture, with the balance from gathering; the Yanomani. A quick look at Wikipedia confirms they were horticulturists, however it also says the women were in charge of collecting termites, frogs and caterpillars, and the men did some hunting.
Conclusion -- large sample size, 0.0008 were vegetarian cultures, and even that one wasn't vegetarian. Hmmm…
Last edited by KimchiNinja; 12-09-2013 at 08:09 PM.
Bottom line, no civilzation was ever vegan because before we had grocery stores, life was entirely about the next meal. Overlooking animals because of personal beliefs was not a (smart) option. Also our ancestors knew nothing of "health" the way we think of it today. Animal products didn't make them ill, therefor animal products were good food. Veganism is a fairy tale for the financially wealthy and the deluded dreamer, there is no scientific bases to back it up.
Now arguing gray areas like lacto/ovo vegetarians vs vlc carnivores...
I am meaning it very literally -- omnivores are omnivores, they are opportunists. As such, it doesn't matter what the historical evidence of long-term veg*n existence is per se, only that it's an expression of how omnivores are as a concept/construct.
Likewise, the existence of veganism within the human experience -- even though outliers -- is simply as it is. It doesn't matter *how much or how long* it exists historically, only that it does. And this is only relevant as further explanation of the concept of omnivores as opportunists (in terms of food consumption).
I never asserted that it was environmentally sustainable, I never asserted that it didn't have nutritional issues (though many aspects of our lifestyles have health affects that we may overlook for our own reasons), and I never asserted that it was absolutely appropriate or ideal.
Simply that it is possible by the nature of omnivorism and that there is historical precedent for it.
And that beyond this, I'm simply asking people to respect other people's space and choices. You don't have to like their choices. You may think their choices are unhealthy. But really, it's Noneya Biznez what someone else is doing. You do you. Let other people do themselves.
And if they ask for your input, you give it.
When I get questions like those in the OP, I figure they might as well run their n=1. Maybe they find something out -- maybe that it works, maybe that it doesn't. I don't need to convince them that this is the One True Way because our guy is leaner than their guy or healthier or whatever. I don't need to tear real people down, make fun of them, etc as a way of asserting that my diet and lifestyle is better.
My health and well being speaks for itself, and if someone asks me about it, I tell them. No big deal. But if someone asks me about some other diet, based on their observations, I think the old "try it if you want to" is not big deal. They'll discover soon enough what works for them.
If you look at a medieval Europe (circa 9th-10th century), the diet was predominantly lacto-vegetarian, relying heavily on lentils for proteins. It's basically was grains, beans, cheese and brewed alcohol. Meat as a major source of food is just as rare in the human diet as veganism. Being an omnivore as Zoebird postulated is inherent to a human. How it expresses itself and what is an optimal diet for an individual baring environmental restrictions is...
In other words, I 100% agree with Zoebird.My health and well being speaks for itself, and if someone asks me about it, I tell them. No big deal. But if someone asks me about some other diet, based on their observations, I think the old "try it if you want to" is not big deal. They'll discover soon enough what works for them.
I am a strong omnivore, lol. I was trying to have a lacto-vegetarian day yesterday, and then I was cutting a roast Too bad if frutarianism or raw veganism is the way for me to lose weight!
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