Thursday, May 24, 2012

this is blowing my mind...

48 Comments:

Blogger Lorlee said...

Don't know if it is blowing your mind in a good way or bad way, but I always find it helpful to read the reviews on Amazon -- the 1's and the 5's to get a good idea of a book.

May 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Oh, I just read that! It's crazy and really, really interesting. I think she takes some of her conclusions farther than I would, but the whole argument is really compelling.

May 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Good. I like the book.

I was vegetarian for nearly 10 years. Reading about some of the things I used to believe and would argue against, explained so plainly, is kind of great.

May 24, 2012 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Looks really interesting! Definitely have to add it to my reading list.

May 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM  
OpenID jessieimproved said...

I like the idea of this book, but a lot of her "facts" are off base or just plain untrue (the human gut doesn't contain bacteria???). I don't disagree with her message, but I think her lack or more solid research is just hurting her case.

May 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Just put this on hold at my local library! Can't wait to read it!

May 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Zoë said...

http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/09/review-of-the-vegetarian-myth.html

May 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Will have to add to my book list. Thanks for sharing. I was vegetarian for 18 years until last summer. Will be an interesting time to read this.

May 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Will have to add to my book list. Thanks for sharing. I was vegetarian for 18 years until last summer. Will be an interesting time to read this.

May 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Ellie, As Always! said...

Best book ever. I loved this book, and read it after switching back to a meat diet. :)

May 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Marlo said...

I just watched peak moment191 on youtube with the author it is very thought provoking.

May 24, 2012 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Seems like a lot of the people saying it is full of misinformation are picking apart her health stats and research with conflicting research. I am not interested in numbers. What I appreciate about this book is the human animal acting like a human animal, eating the foods that it evolved eating and continue to eat. I don't have a problem with vegetarians or vegans, but I do have a problem when people who do not eat animals or dairy think that a grain-based diet is less destructive to the planet, wildlife, animals and agriculture. All living things need to eat living things to live. period.

May 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger MB said...

I just put it in a request at the library for it and then checked some of the reviews on Amazon. I will still read it but will take it with a grain of salt as far as the numbers. I would like to read about her ideas.

I for one think humans are omnivores but do better with cooked meat as part of their "digestion". I think I should be eating more raw veg though - hehe.

May 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNON5iNf07o

interview mentioned in the comments right here!

May 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger Mist said...

I haven't read this one, so I'll have to put it on my list. I happen to be one of those trendy "paleo" people, and it is sometimes extremely frustrating to have to defend my diet.

May 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM  
Anonymous cowgirl said...

As someone with a science background (and I raise beef), I find the reviews about this book disturbing. Citations from Wikipedia are a red-flag....

I doubt that I will spend any time on this book, but thank you Jenna for the heads-up.

May 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I can't stress how important the concept of this book is, i don't care about the health research. I think you can survive off all sorts of diets if you get your nutritional needs met, but the idea of not eating grassfed animals and instead grains is the punch of the book. I don't care about the details. I care about people understanding the destruction involved with such a diet.

May 24, 2012 at 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do your animals eat grain?

May 24, 2012 at 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Dani said...

I will have to read this as a lot of these ideas float around in my mind. I am currently a vegetarian based on the decision that I didn't like having a disconnect from what I eat and the practices used for the raising/growing of what I eat. I grow what I can and buy other produce from local farmers. I skip out on meat for reasons that are difficult to explain. I feel I would have a hard time raising meat and feel that I would do best hunting. I suppose I could compare it to when I am harvesting herbs in the wild, I have a great respect for the plants and do not wipe them all out at once. When I use the leaves/stalks/roots, I feel very whole and connected to the ground from which they came. They grew wildly and "free." For me it is a very personal decision and one I don't really talk about(except apparently right now. Really must be a compelling book) Currently the only kind of "hunting" I am interested in is catching and cleaning my own fish. All that to say, I have great respect for anyone who recognizes what modern agriculture is doing to the planet and actively rebels it by bringing it home. Are you also a fan of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon?

http://asthecrowflies.typepad.com/blog/

May 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Yes, they eat grain as well as grass. I eat grains too. But it's a small part of both of our diets now. I am more of a paleo eater myself, days at a time pass without a wheat, corn, or soy product. I was eating a lot more grains and have stopped.

the point isn't that grain, or bread, is evil. It's that choosing a wholey-grain-based diet is bad for the planet and our health.

May 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Primal/paleo said...

I also have been switching to a primal/paleo diet after over 25 years as a vegetarian, and I am feeling a lot better. Keith's book raises some good points, but my trouble with it is, among other things, that is is very poorly sourced. The internet and people who agree with you are NOT considered high quality, legitimate sources for this type of writing. Additionally, it appears that Keith advocates bringing down industrial civilization, including using guerrilla warfare to get her message across, via her organization, Deep Green Resistance. Check out Wikipedia.

May 24, 2012 at 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Primal/Paleo,

Can you remind me what's wrong with bringing down industrial civilization? I seem to have forgotten....

May 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

industrialization CAN be sustainable and it certainly has multiple benefits. Benefits most don't recognize until emergency hits.

Ben, say you have a massive heart attack...your only chance of survival is immediate access to oxygen (mobile tank brought via ambulance by paramedics), a metavac (helicopter ride from nearest urgent care to larger hospital), and bypass surgery (don't have a clue how industry or technology contributes but its surely extensive). I would prefer to survive with the aid of industry, from vehicles, roads, warning sirens lights, a helicopter to medical advances. This may seem extreme but we all have family or friends, or perhaps yourself who is living due to industrial advances.

A rabid coon was recently found in my area and I'm so grateful to the mass production of vaccines available to my animals, and myself if necessary.

We clearly could be leaps and bounds on more sustainable practices, but throwing the baby out with the bath water would not be wise.

May 24, 2012 at 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

I'm not for or against vegetarianism. Jenna you said "All living things need to eat living things to live. period." And unless you are eaten chemicals everything was living before it was ate.

I am intrigued, so I will have to check the book out.

May 24, 2012 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I recently finished a book called The Mindful Carnivore by Tovar Cerulli, which addressed a lot of very interesting points about meat eating. As yet another former vegetarian, books like this help me articulate why I started eating meat again and why I prefer to eat meat from local, humanely raised animals. I'll definitely add this one to my list.

May 24, 2012 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger karen said...

I think we should eat everything but in moderation. The real problem with our diets and our health is the amount of chemicals that we are now exposed to. Real food that you cook yourself, that does not come in a package with all kinds of artificial stuff or was raised on a chemical stew, this is what we should be eating. Fruit, veggies, grains, meat and eggs, dairy products are all good foods when they are pure. I believe that our chemical culture and fake food is the root of all our illness. We are now a society, here in the states at least, that does not think twice about consuming enormous amounts of soda or fast food or fake food pretending to be something it is not. Real, clean food is the answer to good health and should be available to everyone. To me that is the real issue at hand. Karen from CT

May 24, 2012 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 24, 2012 at 8:50 PM  
Anonymous cowgirl said...

for anonymous

Yes, some of my cattle eat grain. If I'm finishing any steers or heifers, they eat about 10#/day. Cows and calves on pasture don't eat any grain. In the winter, one doesn't want them to use up their body mass to maintain heat, so I supplement their hay and cornstalk diet with silage if necessary. I don't have a truck farm; or labor that a truck farm would need. It's just me and my husband and our kids when they are not in college. We don't use feed with urea or antibiotics. We pretty much detest factory farms, so don't eat chicken or pork unless it's raised "normally" from a farm we know. I am blessed to be a fifth-generation farmer and see my job as being a caretaker to the land and the cattle.

May 24, 2012 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger seagoddess said...

My body told me after 20+ years of being vegetarian that I plain and simple needed meat. I couldn't believe how I felt/digested that very first piece of tenderloin! I am still a much better veggie cook and do incorporate, but a lot of the crap that is out there for vegetarians claiming to be healthy is just a lot of well...crap!

May 25, 2012 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

This book looks interesting and I agree with you Jenna that the concept may be the most important message in the book. But, as a scientist my self (zoologist), I just can't get into a published work that has poor/fault research in it, no matter how good the arguments. I think she did a real disservice to her otherwise compelling arguments by not taking the time to do proper research. That being said, I haven't read the whole thing, only the preview on her website. But even that little bit was chalk full of holes and missing citations. Too bad.

May 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Jenna for posting this! I love getting new ideas for books to read.

May 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger greendria said...

Facinating topic.

My thought - what if the harder a food would be for you personally to obtain by yourself (without modern industry), the less of it should be in your diet?:

1. Veggies are easy to grow
2. fruit harder?
3. the grain/legume process pretty hard?
4. dairy products harder?
5. bacon/beef roasts/chicken breasts the hardest?
6. how difficult are nuts? I've gathered/shelled pecans before, seemed like lots of time for that bag of nuts!

For example: if I had a dairy animal I milked everyday, and I wanted to only use the butter it produced, I'd have a limited butter supply wouldn't I (I'm just guessing, I've never owned a dairy animal)? Enough butter to sparingly flavor things and maybe bake once a week? So, what if I used that principle to guide my butter use?

I'm a little off topic, oops, but this has really gotten my neurons firing!

May 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM  
OpenID alastconfession said...

Thanks for posting this; I hadn't heard of this book.

My husband and I recently watched Forks Over Knives, and were considering going vegan (we're omni now). There's just so much conflicting information out there, that it's so difficult (to me, anyway) to know what's the healthiest diet, the safest diet.

May 25, 2012 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

I'm going to add this to our list-I'm not trying to blame my wishy washy -ness on being a Pisces but somedays I feel almost BOMBARDED with different facts it's hard to even come up with a meal plan! Some people say don't drink milk because it's for raising babies from another species, some are against any animals, some say use/eat SOME parts of animals.... The list truly is endless and I firmly believe there is no RIGHT answer, though you can't spell 'believe' without lie.... For me and my own? We try to eat things as minimally processed as possible. If it has an ingredient we can't pronounce we'll TRY not to eat it. We just got our very first chickens (meat and egg), and my other half actively hunts anything he can-we both fish, it's an ongoing debate to who is more proficient, and our veggie/fruit/herb garden grows by the year.... I think the bottom line is a very small word: try. Try to be better. Do right by you. There is no such thing as perfect-but practice makes better. And a lifestyle is just that. Practice.

May 25, 2012 at 11:38 PM  
Anonymous hobomike said...

Humans, in quantity, are destructive to any ecosystem. There is no way around this. So whether you choose to eat meat or not is ultimately not going to matter very much on an individual level.

I generally don't eat meat, because I don't have to. I don't see any good reason to direct large levels of food and water and energy inputs to animals, so that I may get a smaller food output for myself. I don't see any good reason to kill animals that depend on me for survival, so that I may eat them. I would be more inclined to eat wild animals, but I just don't really feel like killing them either.

Not everyone feels the same way about things, and it doesn't bother me that other people are OK with raising animals and then butchering them. I have no problem with organic, free-range, grass-fed type farms - in fact I am a big fan. I would do it, if I had to and it made sense.
That said, it again becomes a problem of scale. We have too many people for us all to have meaty diets using sane, safe, sustainable methods of production.

I abhor the factory farming methodology, and find that it doesn't work on any level in the long run. That's one of those things that if someone is OK with it, we're just not gonna get along.

So I choose to forgo tasty meat in my diet because sustainability matters, and this is some small thing that I can control. In the end, like most of you, I want the world I leave behind to be in better shape than the world I was given.

May 26, 2012 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger macbew said...

Meredith A...

Here Here!!!

Jenna,
First I love your blog.Second you said you did not care about the numbers,details or the research. Bad numbers,bad details and bad research make a bad book. If I'm going to spend my time and money on a book it needs to be better than this one appears to be. Mabye there is a different book out there with the same idea that you like so much but one that had a little more care go into it.

May 26, 2012 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Here is my only issue with vegetarianism/veganism. It is not how any other animal on this planet eats or lives. It is impossible for any animal to live without taking lives. Vegans need to eat vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and other non-animal foods to live. But what do you think fed those vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and such? Dead animals did. Compost, blood, bonemeal, manure: our vegetables are more carnivorous than we are! They demand the lives of living things to be returned to the soil so they can thrive. Tillage as an only food source would destroy wildlife habitat, topsoil, and turn the world into deserts. We need animals like cows and pigs and chickens for their shit alone! long with their blood, bones, and deaths to feed the earth so we can eat those beautiful vegan foods. Unless you want to eat food from petroleum based chemical fertilizers (also dead animals, just really long dead animals!) and weed management.

So That is my issue with the vegan/vegetarian choice. It isn't free of blood or death, it's just another road and another choice. And here in the northeast a local vegetarian diet is downright anti-environmental with our poor soils and 100-day-growing season. I'd need to truck in from california my fresh veggies and tofu when I could be eating beef and potatoes from my own neighbors and garden?

Anyway. My point is I don't choose to abide any diet, religion, or lifestyle that thinks human beings aren't animals, or separate from other animals. We're all connected, part of ingenious and beautiful webs and co-dependancies. If the other apex predators like lions and jaguars in the savanna decided to stop eating meat their ecosystem would collapse, crash and burn. It would lead to overpopulation and starvation in deer after they turned their land into a desert. No other animal on this planet just decided to go against evolution and the eco-systems and change their food for political or social or compassionate-based reasons. They eat how Nature taught them to eat, built them to eat, and desperately needs them to eat so they can take their rightful places in this small planet and heal it.

I think you should eat non-processed food that people have eaten in your area always have. I think that is the best diet for us all. If you live in japan and you have killer rice and tofu, eat and enjoy that. If you live in New York and have awesome dairy and pork farms, eat that. And if you live in California and have amazing vegetables and grains, eat those. But eat the old-timers. Eat what has ALWAYS grown, authentically grown in your space. Eat what your land can create and thrive on. Don't make it about anything but that and this planet will sing.

May 26, 2012 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

and i am in no way supporting the idea of factory farms and battery hens*

May 26, 2012 at 8:54 PM  
Anonymous lacy said...

i don't like books that pass judgement on what people choose to eat. marion nestle's what to eat is one of my go-to books for solid nutritional facts because it's not about eating meat or not eating meat or any other isolated food. you don't have to eat any specific food to be healthy. you need to eat a variety of nutrient-dense, fresh foods to be healthy, period. obviously, the best vegetables to eat are ones grown in nutrient and mineral-rich soils. the best dairy, meat, and egg products to consume are from animals that eat the nutrient and mineral-rich vegetables (and bugs.) i was vegan until a few years ago, and now have a little bit of seafood in my diet after reading about GAPS and traditional indigenous foods, but i don't crave meat. i understand completely that many people do, and i don't judge them for it, but it doesn't look or smell like food to me. that doesn't make me unhealthy. sorry for the rant. i love when people talk about their personal health journeys, it's interesting and inspiring, but i don't like when they evangelize! (not that you were, at all. i just think some other commenters could be more accepting of varying bodies and nutritional needs.)

May 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM  
Anonymous cowgirl said...

Nice. I like how you put it Jenna.

You would like to meet my cows.

May 27, 2012 at 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Zoë said...

Not sure why you chose not to publish my previous comment, because I don't feel I was being critical of you, nor was I anonymous. I think this is a CRITICALLY important discussion to be having with other young farmers.


Here is my only issue with vegetarianism/veganism. It is not how any other animal on this planet eats or lives.

Humans are a unique species. No other animals read or write. No other animals create systems of belief. No other animals have the capacity for reflection and compassion and ethics the way humans do. There is a litany of things humans do that no other animals do, and this can be good or bad.


It is impossible for any animal to live without taking lives. Vegans need to eat vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and other non-animal foods to live. But what do you think fed those vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and such? Dead animals did. Compost, blood, bonemeal, manure: our vegetables are more carnivorous than we are! They demand the lives of living things to be returned to the soil so they can thrive.

Totally agreed. Even as a vegan, I marvel at this fact of life + death intertwined, completing this cycle of renewal. I think it's fascinating. Compost and green manures (what I use instead of blood/bonemeal and such) are certainly full of/promote the growth and death of microorganisms. I don't try to escape that fact. I simply would not feel comfortable slaughtering or contributing to the death of a *sentient* being. I don't think soil fungi, bacteria, or even earthworms (much as I love them!) quite fit the criteria for sentience.


Tillage as an only food source would destroy wildlife habitat, topsoil, and turn the world into deserts. We need animals like cows and pigs and chickens for their shit alone! long with their blood, bones, and deaths to feed the earth so we can eat those beautiful vegan foods. Unless you want to eat food from petroleum based chemical fertilizers (also dead animals, just really long dead animals!) and weed management.

I don't till my gardens. Mature trees don't need fertilizer. The soil food web is an amazing thing, developed by nature to deliver nutrients from plant to plant. When we take just the tomatoes and return the rest of the plant + roots to the soil, we're not taking much out of the soil, especially if we don't till it up and release all its carbon. Most of the deserts that humans have created are direct products of ANIMAL agriculture.

I have guinea fowl to control ticks. When they die, I will bury them to return their bodies to the soil. I will not KILL them to do so, however. There are "vegan" (or at least ethical) ways of working with other animals.

So That is my issue with the vegan/vegetarian choice. It isn't free of blood or death, it's just another road and another choice.

Here we come back to the sustainability question. So my living and eating is a product and a cause of death. i am at peace with that. But if that is really the issue here, that vegans' hands aren't clean of death, well, your meat ate a lot more plants than I'd eat in a year.

May 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Zoë said...

Not sure why you chose not to publish my previous comment, because I don't feel I was being critical of you, nor was I anonymous. I think this is a CRITICALLY important discussion to be having with other young farmers.


Here is my only issue with vegetarianism/veganism. It is not how any other animal on this planet eats or lives.

Humans are a unique species. No other animals read or write. No other animals create systems of belief. No other animals have the capacity for reflection and compassion and ethics the way humans do. There is a litany of things humans do that no other animals do, and this can be good or bad.


It is impossible for any animal to live without taking lives. Vegans need to eat vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and other non-animal foods to live. But what do you think fed those vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and such? Dead animals did. Compost, blood, bonemeal, manure: our vegetables are more carnivorous than we are! They demand the lives of living things to be returned to the soil so they can thrive.

Totally agreed. Even as a vegan, I marvel at this fact of life + death intertwined, completing this cycle of renewal. I think it's fascinating. Compost and green manures (what I use instead of blood/bonemeal and such) are certainly full of/promote the growth and death of microorganisms. I don't try to escape that fact. I simply would not feel comfortable slaughtering or contributing to the death of a *sentient* being. I don't think soil fungi, bacteria, or even earthworms (much as I love them!) quite fit the criteria for sentience.


Tillage as an only food source would destroy wildlife habitat, topsoil, and turn the world into deserts. We need animals like cows and pigs and chickens for their shit alone! long with their blood, bones, and deaths to feed the earth so we can eat those beautiful vegan foods. Unless you want to eat food from petroleum based chemical fertilizers (also dead animals, just really long dead animals!) and weed management.

I don't till my gardens. Mature trees don't need fertilizer. The soil food web is an amazing thing, developed by nature to deliver nutrients from plant to plant. When we take just the tomatoes and return the rest of the plant + roots to the soil, we're not taking much out of the soil, especially if we don't till it up and release all its carbon. Most of the deserts that humans have created are direct products of ANIMAL agriculture.

I have guinea fowl to control ticks. When they die, I will bury them to return their bodies to the soil. I will not KILL them to do so, however. There are "vegan" ways of working with other animals.

So That is my issue with the vegan/vegetarian choice. It isn't free of blood or death, it's just another road and another choice.

Here we come back to the sustainability question. So my living and eating is a product and a cause of death. i am at peace with that. But if that is really the issue here, that vegans' hands aren't clean of death, well, your meat ate a lot more plants than I'd eat in a year.

May 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Zoë said...

And here in the northeast a local vegetarian diet is downright anti-environmental with our poor soils and 100-day-growing season. I'd need to truck in from california my fresh veggies and tofu when I could be eating beef and potatoes from my own neighbors and garden?

Here is where we seriously diverge in thinking. I live in the Northeast, and I don't believe for one instant that we must eat meat to be environmentally conscious. Like I said, I can grow enough vegetables to eat and store. Root cellars can store fresh veggies from your own yard (even greens like cabbages). A quick low hoop and you've got greens all winter. Like everything else, it just takes a little planning.

"Anyway. My point is I don't choose to abide any diet, religion, or lifestyle that thinks human beings aren't animals, or separate from other animals. We're all connected, part of ingenious and beautiful webs and co-dependancies. If the other apex predators like lions and jaguars in the savanna decided to stop eating meat their ecosystem would collapse, crash and burn. It would lead to overpopulation and starvation in deer after they turned their land into a desert. No other animal on this planet just decided to go against evolution and the eco-systems and change their food for political or social or compassionate-based reasons. They eat how Nature taught them to eat, built them to eat, and desperately needs them to eat so they can take their rightful places in this small planet and heal it.

Nature created us to be political, social, compassionate animals, though. I agree that some vegans refuse to accept our interconnectedness with nature. i agree that we are a keystone species. Nature built us as omnivores who must consume PLANTS. We're made to handle a little meat, but it's by no means requisite for our health or our bodies. That tells me something. Not to mention, again, the sheer space needed to raise meat for the vast populations we've accumulated. Hunt some deer if you've run all the predators out. I don't have a beef with hunters. But think very seriously about what would happen and where on earth we'd find the space to graze animals to feed everyone. Most cultures on earth are traditionally mostly vegetarian. Not all, not ethically, but because that's what is easy to get and grow on a reasonable scale to feed your village. Meat was a treat and should remain so (if you choose to eat it)

I think you should eat non-processed food that people have eaten in your area always have. I think that is the best diet for us all. If you live in japan and you have killer rice and tofu, eat and enjoy that. If you live in New York and have awesome dairy and pork farms, eat that. And if you live in California and have amazing vegetables and grains, eat those. But eat the old-timers. Eat what has ALWAYS grown, authentically grown in your space. Eat what your land can create and thrive on. Don't make it about anything but that and this planet will sing.

Starting when? With white folk arriving in New England? This is simply not going to work anymore. Native Americans ate and farmed the forest and prospered in New England. Modern agriculture came in and gave us the poor soils you lament about. New England is a forest, and we need to think about it as such. Cramming cows into dairies and outsourcing their feed to places with bigger patches to clear for hay is not going to cut it. Plowing the land every year is not going to cut it. We don't need to be looking back at our agricultural past with misty-eyed sentimentalism. We need to be looking at world systems of growing for new, better ideas. Why does rice succeed in Japan in the same plots century after century? That's something we can bring to the US, even to the Northeast. There are lots of folks growing rice here because the fertility doesn't get washed away. We need to CHANGE the way we've been farming if we're going to build soil and healthy ecosystems while we feed ourselves and one another.

May 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

sorry if i deleted it zoe, it was a mistake. please post it again.

May 27, 2012 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

cowgirl, I would love to ride on horseback and talk to you about cows!!

May 27, 2012 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Zoe, your comments and food choices are of course respected and your own, but keep in mind you are commenting on a Meat Farmer's blog! I think we need to agree to disagree.

May 27, 2012 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Plickety Cat said...

I read this book and enjoyed the message even if some of the facts were off in places.

Plain and simple, the human animal is omnivorous. Our bodies and digestive tract have evolved to eat a little of everything, including animal products. Without synthetic supplements of B12, the human animal would die without eating other animals. That pretty much indicates that we're designed to eat critters and their get.

Livestock is also a crucial part of any sustainable farmstead. Diversity of plant and animals is critical for the success of both. Feeding species appropriate diets is essential to good health. My only issue with the vegetarian/vegan crowd is when they through misinformation around to justify their personal choice. You don't want to eat animal products, fine; but don't try to justify it by saying that livestock is bad for the planet.

Our livestock animals are much more efficient converters of plant foods than we are; they thrive on grass, forbes (weeds!), shrubs and browse, bugs and worms... they don't need acres and acres of intensively grown grain, and neither do we (11 servings of grain a day, my butt!!). A couple acres of mixed grains on a small farm is plenty for everyone since they should also be eating whatever else is handy and part of their natural diet. We, as omnivores, convert many nutrients more efficiently from animal products than plant products, so we don't need to eat as much to be healthy... it takes less land to feed the livestock that ends up on my table than it would for me to raise the equivalent amount of nutrition in plants alone.

A human-scale bio-diverse farmstead doesn't tax the land, it's sustainable. The whole shebang is an endless cycle of birth, growth, consumption, death, decay and rebirth. It's all about working with nature instead of against it.

Mono-cropping fence to fence with artificial amendments and toxic chemicals, and force-feeding livestock inappropriate diets in unnatural conditions is not sustainable and not healthy for the plants, animals, planet or us. It's not the livestock that's the problem, it's the way the industry is being run that's the problem.

May 27, 2012 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Zoë said...

We can agree to disagree.

I will say to Plickety Cat that I *do* agree that a *small amount* of livestock foraging and free-ranging and eating bugs and weeds is a wonderful thing, and I do intend to bring some birds onto my farm to increase the biodiversity/functions of different parts of the land. I simply don't feel comfortable killing them or eating their bodies. I also don't believe that the way that meat is farmed on a large scale is sustainable, and while I am fine admitting that there may be some grass-fed beef situations that could be sustainable, I don't think they are large-scale, and I don't think they are enough to support the current level of meat consumption in the US.

I do want to mention that B12 is often a serious deficiency for folks who eat meat as well as vegans. It's a tough nutrient to get since we stopped returning our own human waste to the soil and started focusing so much on hyper-cleanliness of our vegetables! B12 is a bacteria-based vitamin, not an animal one. If you're over 50 or have gut troubles of any kind, you should be supplementing, too!

May 27, 2012 at 4:04 PM  

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