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Category : Vegetarianism

Christmas season animal cruelty that gave rise to vegetarianism – Business Daily

HomeThursday, December 19, 2019 22:00

By DOUGLAS KIEREINI

Christmas is a special time of the year for many people around the world. Families get together to share food, gifts and happy times. It is supposed to be the festival of peace and happiness yet it has never been a good season for animals.

Goats are the favourite delicacy of choice in Kenya and they are slaughtered in their thousands during this festive season, in homes, abattoirs, hotels and other places of entertainment. Chicken come a close second and often go side by side with goat. In many western countries, turkey is the favourite meal for Christmas.

But if you think that this is cruel, the situation was rather worse in England two or three centuries ago. According to Ian Jack, writing in The Guardian, Christmas dinner was preceded by an artisanal cruelty in all its terrible variety. For instance, poultry: the less they ran and flattered about the fatter they got, so geese would be nailed by their webbed feet to the floor, while chickens and game birds were confined to windowless cells, sometimes after their keeper had taken the extra precaution of blinding them or cutting off their legs while still alive.

Mammals were, literally, a tougher proposition. Popular belief said that meat was best tenderised while it was still alive, so calves and pigs were whipped to death with knotted ropes, and bulls killed only after dogs had baited them. Succulent Dorset lambs, according to historian Keith Thomas, arrived at the tables of Georgian gentry only after a lengthy imprisonment in dark little cabins.

A desire for paler meat led to longer deaths. A calfs executioner, having cut the animal at the neck, would let it bleed for a while and then staunch the wound for a day to let death come slowly. As for turkeys, the custom was to snip a vein inside their mouths and hang them upside down, so that their blood dripped out little by little. The upside-down position remains a constant of turkey slaughter today, though the process is industrial, possibly less painful and necessarily quicker.

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Bread and cheese kept the poor alive in 18th century England, but the middle and upper classes stuffed themselves with roasts, steaks and chops; a morning, noon and night gluttony that turned England into the most carnivorous country in Europe and left many of its wealthier population corpulent and suffering from gout.

In his excellent history of vegetarianism, The Heretics Feast, Colin Spencer suggests that the consequent revulsion against the obese and the drunk, slobbering under their cockeyed wigs, made the idea of a strict vegetable and water diet almost fashionable.

The almost is important because people like Benjamin Franklin who took up the vegetarian diet usually put it down again, seeing it as a cure, the equivalent of two weeks rehab in the Priory, rather than a lifetime commitment. Percy Bysshe Shelley was probably the causes most celebrated advocate until George Bernard Shaw and Mahatma Gandhi came along adding economic efficiency to a list that already included human well-being and the humane treatment of animals.

Other than sounding like an animal-rights activist, I hope I have made you feel better about your murderous pursuits this festive season. It could get a lot worse, if that gives you cold comfort!

Spare a thought for those that are less fortunate this Christmas and of course those poor animals and fowls!

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Christmas season animal cruelty that gave rise to vegetarianism - Business Daily

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News – Politicized Veganism – The Heartland Institute

The average American ate some 220 pounds of red meat and poultry in 2018, according to the US Department of Agriculture, surpassing a record set in 2004. But some politicians have joined anti-meat and climate change activists in a massive effort to restructure the American diet and to ensure ... and mandate ... that the rest of the world will be stuck with a mostly plant-based diet.

Last March, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio shocked Americas meat producers by announcing the expansion of meatless Mondays to all New York City public schools. The reason? To keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come. So now they claim eating meat also threatens the planet.

Monday Campaigns is a national organization that collaborates with the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Its goal is to reduce US meat consumption by 15% for our personal health and the health of the planet.

Finnish researchers in 2012 investigated the intended and unintended effects of mandatory vegetarian days in Helsinki schools. While the compulsory restrictions increased healthy and sustainable dietary patterns, they also resulted in psychological reactance, hedonic dislike, and noncompliance. Refuseniks at a Finnish military base leave behind dumpsters of empty pizza boxes on forced-vegan day.

Liberal-progressive local governments are already looking at replicating de Blasios bold move. For example, a resolution calling for Meatless Mondays in Hawaii public schools came close to enactment in the Hawaii State Legislature in 2019, and supporters are hopeful it will become law next year.

One of the worlds leading voices condemning meat consumption is the United Nations. In 2018 it bestowed one of its Champions of the Earth awards to Patrick O. Brown of Impossible Foods and Ethan Brown of Beyond Meat. The awards follow and buttress UN Environment Programme claims that our use of animals as a food-production technology has brought us to the verge of catastrophe.

Both Browns insist that, because the destructive impact of animal agriculture on our environment far exceeds that of any other technology on Earth, there is no pathway to achieve the Paris climate objectives without a massive decrease in the scale of animal agriculture.

The anti-meat campaign has hit other top echelons of the UN. Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention onClimateChange, recently stated her hope that restaurants of the future will treat carnivores the same way that smokers are treated [today]. If they want to eat meat, they can do it outside the restaurant. But not the way theyre treating meat at COP-25 in Madrid.

The UN is also touting a study, published in the journal Nature, which claims that huge reductions in meat eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change. The authors implore western countries to cut their beef consumption by 90 percent.

Then in almost its next breath, the UN hosts yet another gala affair and lavish meals at 5-star hotels in Bali, Brazil and other lovely locations, attended by countless thousands of activists, bureaucrats, reporters and politicians. Why should these ruling elites have to worry about carbon footprints and rules they promulgate for the rest of us, the worlds unwashed masses, who will comply or face the consequences?

The Economist published results of two other studies claiming that going vegan for two-thirds of meals could cut food-related carbon emissions by 60 percent. Total veganism is the most environmentally friendly, with die-hard leaf-eaters claiming to have knocked 85% off their carbon footprint.

It all follows a familiar, predictable, totalitarian pattern that ought to set off global alarms. Find a target of eco-progressive hate. Vilify the target, and demand that it be restricted or eradicated to prevent yet another civilizational or planetary cataclysm. Redefine science and morality to drive the agenda. Reward and publicize those who support the claims and campaign. Condemn and silence anyone who questions or challenges them. Impose new rules.

On climate change, assume and assert that carbon dioxide and methane are the primary or only factors. That any weather and climate changes today are unprecedented, existential threats. That anyone who challenges these assertions is a denier who must be silenced, jailed, exiled and re-educated.

Danish environmental economist Bjorn Lomborg, mocks the anti-meat studies and arguments. Lomborg is a vegetarian himself but says 1.45 billion of the worlds people are vegetarians because of their extreme poverty, and many of them desperately want to be able to afford meat in their diets.

He chastises those who claim going vegetarian will cut carbon footprints in half, noting that food-related emissions account for just 20% of total carbon dioxide releases. A study of Swedish vegetarians found that lifelong vegetarianism would reduce net carbon dioxide emissions just 2 percent. Meanwhile, Chinese and Indian coal-fired power plant emissions dwarf those savings 100 times over.

Moreover, healthy vegetarian diets require very careful attention to food and supplements, to ensure proper nutrition; vegan diets even more so. Thats impossible in impoverished countries and families.

Enormous environmental and agricultural problems also loom. Cattle, sheep and pigs can graze on lands that would be plowed under for food crops under an all-veggie dictatorship. But that same system is determined to replace fossil fuels with wind turbines, solar panels, biofuels and batteries that would make tens of millions of acres unavailable or unsuitable for growing the needed food crops.

And those same activists, bureaucrats and politicians also want to ban modern hybrid and biotech seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and mechanized farming. Wed get even less food from diminished acreage. More and more people would become increasingly malnourished, starve, go blind, and die.

Reduced atmospheric carbon dioxide would mean plants would be deprived of their basic building block and need more water in a water-starved world. If the planet cools, instead of warming, we would have far less arable land, shorter growing seasons, and still worse agricultural conditions. More would starve.

Do you know whats in those plant-based meats those ultra-processed imitation meats that are assembled in industrial factories and enhanced with chemicals to make vegan burgers more tasty and palatable? Tasty ingredients like methylcellulose, titanium dioxide, propylene glycol, ferric phosphate and magnesium carbonate. Do grasshoppers and other tasty insects count as meat?

The truth is, the vegan revolution is overstated. A recent Gallup poll found only 5% of Americans are vegetarian and just 3% are vegan. But 16% of liberals are vegetarian or vegan, compared with just 2% of conservatives. The numbers are much higher for younger progressives in the USA and elsewhere.

Those numbers almost certainly reflect the constant indoctrination, fear-mongering and silencing of skeptical voices in schools from kindergarten through graduate school; on social and in large segments of traditional media; in political circles; and in the UN and other unaccountable government organizations.

It also helps explain how and why Goldsmiths, in the University of London, has been able to ban beef from the entire campus. Goldsmiths professor France Corner has sounded the predictable alarm: The growing global call for organizations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore. Especially if his campus is as intolerant of other views as are so many others and so willing to lash out verbally, physically and with threats of expulsion against any contrarians.

Its one more example of our progressive elites taking us down the road to totalitarian rule all in the name of saving us and the only planet we have from imminent manmade catastrophe. Whether the goal is to enlist vegans and vegetarians in the climate catastrophe movement, or to include veganism as a basic tenet of that movement, the result is the same.

Either be prepared for more anti-meat protests, more Meatless Mondays, more assaults on the livestock industry, more calls for taxing meat to raise its cost above what ordinary people can afford and more totalitarian control of our lives. Or start fighting back against these intolerant control freaks.

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News - Politicized Veganism - The Heartland Institute

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Interesting facts about Anglo-Indian food and what to expect if you are a vegetarian – Times of India

India, which was once called the Golden bird has come a long way through! Indian history boasts of our rich culture and heritage, which has survived the ravages of time. With every invasion there was a cultural influx, some faded away with time and some remained. Interestingly, we often close our eyes and accede to the fact that these invasions spoiled the shape of our country. On the contrary, some cultural influences also gave our country a new dimension to move towards a positive trajectory having said that we cannot rule out the fact that they took away so much from us. One of the most prominent invasions on the land of India was by the British - East India Company. A lot has been said about all that was lost, but what we gained was priceless too! British rule gave rise to the intermingling of cultures leading to a rich cultural heritage. The most interesting form of culture influx was around food!

Birth of Anglo-India cuisineBritishers brought with them their culinary tradition that gave birth to a new culinary heritage, which boasts of an amalgamation of British and Indian cuisines at their best. The regions that were dominated by the Britishers adapted to their plate preferences. This interesting melange gradually gave life to a new form of cuisine -- The Anglo Indian cuisine.

How vegetarian food influenced Anglo-Indian cuisines Not much has been spoken or written about this amalgamation of colonial and Indian culinary legacy. In fact, there are several delicacies that we relish without pondering over the origin of it! Undeniably, as they say the love for food is beyond words and boundaries. Hence, the origin of Anglo-India food never got the much deserved limelight.

Right from the Kolakats famous Dak-Bungalow chicken to Anglo-Indian Tomato sambal to paneer jalfrezi to Murgi roast, the taste of colonisation resonates the essence of the delightful marriage of aromatic spices with a galore of ingredients that define the quintessence of Anglo-Indian cuisine. Meat delicacies were one of the mainstays of the Anglo-Indian cuisine. Interestingly, over a period of time the melange of vegetarian foods in the Anglo-Indian style changed the way these delicacies were relished.

With the rise of veganism or vegetarianism, the influx of culinary tradition changed the way Anglo-Indian delicacies were prepared. Ingredients like cottage cheese, vegetables and leafy greens were introduced and prepared in a melange of mild herbs like cilantro, thyme with an amalgamation of aromatic Indian spices, which made gave the best of both worlds experience to the Anglo Indian delicacies.

The distinctive flavour of Anglo-Indian food cannot be defined in words. The cultural influence was so enticing that chutneys, rice dishes, spicy curries and Indian breads became a part of British cuisine. In fact, Indians were introduced to the delicious pudding, meat roasts to name a few. The Anglo-Indian cuisine gradually adapted to the local and regional cuisines and turned out to be a delicious mix of flavours. India was a vegetarian dominated country and this culinary culture gradually intermingled with the anglo-Indian cuisine introduced several vegetarian delicacies like Indian dal pepper water, Indian mixed vegetable curry, capsicum brinjal and potato curry to name a few.

Interesting facts about Anglo-Indian cuisine

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Interesting facts about Anglo-Indian food and what to expect if you are a vegetarian - Times of India

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Top Restaurant Food Trends Of The Decade – NDTV Food

Restaurant trends that dominated India's restaurant and food scene.

The decade has seen a tremendous growth spurt in the food and beverage industry. From the rise of food tech and home delivery start-ups to casual dining among others, the industry has gone through an array of new trends. Besides the many irresistible offers and combo deals, diners are also in for unique themes and innovative concept dining options being offered by various new eateries. This decade many restaurants and cafes came up with interesting concepts that were never heard of before; for example, cloud kitchensthat have become a rage across India, especially in Delhi and Mumbai. Buffet-system has also taken off and how. Salad bars and raw food cafes have also found enough takers off late.

The food technology industry has revolutionised the Indian start-up eco-system. It has contributed to almost all the versions of restaurant-experiences - be it exquisite fine dining to casual dining to the small scale ones. In the era of busy schedules and increasing disposable income, food delivery has become one of the most preferred options among the millennials. With the rise in demand for easy meals just at the tap of a button, the country has witnessed an enormous growth of multiple food delivery apps.

People these days have started becoming more and more health conscious. Also, due to the availability of vegetarian alternatives of non-vegetarian dishes, a lot of them are exploring vegetarianism. Some are making the move purely due to health reasons. Many studies have shown that vegetarian food reduces the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease than most varieties of meat, which is most layered with fat. Also, it helps in easy digestion while as it improving your gut health. People like to experiment more with legumes, grains, fruits, vegetables and pulses as they are free from saturated fats and are usually more nutritious. This trend has witnessed the opening of more vegetarian restaurants as compared to their non-vegetarian counterparts.

(Also Read:5 Reasons Why Vegetarianism May Help You Live a Longer Life)

Due to health factors, people have started opting for healthy meals. Mostly, preferences have shifted from fried or spicy foods to baked, grilled or boiled food. People are opting to fit and many follow strict wellness regime which includes eating healthy as well. This results in a fair reduction of many health problems.

Casual dining has witnessed a tremendous growth in the industry as it opens up an informal environment. Here you don't need to follow any dress code or any theme. Mostly preferred for after work outings or by college students, these restaurants not only provide good food which is also visually appealing but is also easy on your pockets.

Due to hectic schedules and lack of general activity, it is imperative to burn your body fats to remain healthy and energetic. Keto-friendly and gluten-free food has been an option not only among the younger generation but also amongst middle-aged individuals as well. With increasing heart diseases due to the rising body fat, keto is fast gaining popularity as a preferred food option. The industry has seen many organic cafes opening to cater to the requirements of these people.

About Author: Ranjan Chakraborty is a Director and COO of Mirchi And Mime and Madeira And Mime restaurants.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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Top Restaurant Food Trends Of The Decade - NDTV Food

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Vegetarianism, Resistance, and the AmazonHow One Brazilian Journalist Is Fighting Climate Change – Vogue

IT WAS A MONDAY AFTERNOON when day turned into night in the city of So Paulo. I was visiting an expensive nursery school for my 13-month-old daughter, trying to look remotely worthy of such a sophisticated institution. Although it was not supposed to rain that day, the sky suddenly disappeared behind a dense layer of low, heavy clouds. A two-year-old boy stepped out of his classroom, rubbed his eyes, and looked inquisitively at the principal, who said, No, it isnt night yet, dear, and your fathers not here to pick you up. Go back inside.

Later that day, meteorologists struggled to explain the midday darkness. They eventually blamed low-lying clouds from a cold front combined with smoke from the fires in the Amazon rain forest, thousands of miles away. Many people saw this as a sign. While we Brazilians were carrying out our day-to-day activities in oblivion,our rain forest was sending an unequivocal distress signal. How were we going to answer? Was there anything we could do besides posting angry rants on social media?

In August, Brazils National Institute for Space Research reported an 84% increase in fires in the country compared with the same period in 2018. More than half of these were in the Amazon region. Thanks to images from NASA and NOAA satellites, one can see the extent of the devastation: dozens of smoldering patches of land clouding the otherwise dark-green landscape. The smoke from the flames had already swept across several Brazilian states, including So Paulo.

These were not natural wildfiresnor caused by weather and other factors, like the recent, devastating blazes in California. They were likely set by cattle ranchers, farmers, and loggers to clear the land for commercial purposes. Their method is well known: First they pull trees by their roots, using tractors equipped with chains. They wait a few months for the dry season, and when the piles of wood have finally dried, they set fire to everything.

Its been going on for decades. For a while, between 2004 and 2014, a stricter enforcement of environmental laws had effectively curbed the pace of deforestation. But over time, a coalition of landowners, soy producers, and other rural playersthe so-called agribusiness caucushas gained more and more power in Brazilian politics, pushing its economic interests further into the forest. Then came the election of far-right politician Jair Bolsonaroa notorious anti-environmentalist who sneers at the rights of indigenous peopleand all hell broke loose.

Landowners have felt emboldened by the new presidents rhetoric. Some of them even coordinated a recent fire day in the northern state of Par to declare their right to burn land. Worse, several reports have described a gruesome uptick in attacks on indigenous territories since Bolsonaro won the presidency, with several cases of homicide, stoning, and arson. Last January, dozens of men armed with machetes, chainsaws, and firearms entered the protected territory of the Uru-eu-wau-wau tribe to claim land for commercial purposes. They marked trees and staked out plots for sale. For months the tribespeople have fought back. Now part of this territory is on fire.

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Going vegetarian: What to know – Medical News Today

A person may choose to follow a vegetarian diet for various reasons, including health issues, environmental concerns, or religious beliefs. Regardless of the reason, it is important to consider a few things before becoming vegetarian.

For instance, people should know which foods to avoid and what to include in their diet to ensure that they are meeting their nutritional requirements.

Keep reading for more information on what to expect when becoming vegetarian, the potential risks, and how to make the transition.

A person may choose from several different types of vegetarian diet, which differ in terms of the foods that they include or exclude. The main types include:

A basic vegetarian diet excludes meat, poultry, and fish from the diet. However, there are subcategories of the vegetarian diet, which get their names from the food types that they include:

A partial vegetarian will exclude most meats from their diet but will include either fish or poultry. For example, a pescatarian will eat fish but avoid other meats. A pollo-vegetarian, or pollotarian, will include poultry but no other meats.

A flexitarian primarily eats a vegetarian diet. Where they differ from other vegetarians is that they will occasionally eat small amounts of meat, poultry, eggs, and fish.

A vegan will avoid consuming any animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, and honey.

Learn more about the differences between vegetarianism and veganism here.

There are some potential health benefits of becoming vegetarian. However, these are dependent on what a person includes in their diet. For example, if a person's diet includes mainly processed foods, they are unlikely to get as many benefits as someone who primarily eats fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Research has shown that a person may gain the following benefits from eating a vegetarian diet:

Following a diet that is overly restrictive in any way can lead to health issues. A person should plan any new diet carefully before starting it and discuss it with a healthcare professional to make sure that they are getting all of the nutrients that they need.

Although a vegetarian diet can be a good choice for a person's overall health, it is possible to be a vegetarian and eat poorly. Many unhealthful foods are vegetarian because they do not contain animal products, and eating too many of these foods can be detrimental to overall health.

Although plant-based diets are typically rich in low calorie foods, such as vegetables and fruits, it is still possible to overeat, which can cause a person to gain weight.

It is important for a person switching to a vegetarian diet to make sure that they eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, healthful fats, and whole grains. Eating only vegetarian foods can put a person at risk of not getting enough of certain nutrients, including proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B-12.

A person should plan their diet to include sources of these and other nutrients that are essential to overall health. In some cases, supplementation may also be necessary, especially for people following more restrictive plant-based diets that cut out most or all animal products.

A person may be at risk of certain nutritional deficiencies when making the switch to a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet.

The specific nutrients that a person may be lacking will depend largely on the type of vegetarian diet that they eat.

For instance, a person who still eats dairy, fish, eggs, or a limited amount of meat may not have any issues with nutritional deficiencies. Conversely, people who follow vegan diets may need to supplement with vitamins and minerals, depending on their dietary intake and restrictions.

Some of the nutrients that are most likely to be lacking include:

Most people get their protein from meat, fish, or poultry. Lacto, ovo, and lacto-ovo vegetarians can get protein from both plant and animal sources. People who follow a vegan diet will not get protein from animal products. Some substitutes can include:

Read more about some of the best meat substitutes for vegetarians here.

Iron is another nutrient that is present in red meats and other animal-based products. However, a person can get iron from other sources, such as:

Read more about the best iron-rich foods for vegetarians and vegans here.

Calcium is primarily in milk and other dairy products. Some potential replacements for people following a vegetarian diet that does not include dairy include:

The body produces vitamin D when the skin gets direct exposure to sunlight. However, certain factors can make it difficult to get enough vitamin D in this way. For example, in many countries, there is not much sun during the winter months, and people tend to cover up.

Also, many people prefer to limit the time that they spend in direct sunlight to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

As the dietary sources of vitamin D are mostly animal products, vitamin D supplements are the best way for many vegetarians and vegans to get consistent, absorbable vitamin D.

Zinc is another nutrient that is important for a person's body. Many animal-based foods are high in zinc, including meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy. However, there are also plant-based sources of zinc, such as:

Omega-3 fatty acids are present in fish, such as salmon. These healthful fats are important for overall health, especially brain health.

Although plant-based omega-3 fatty acids also occur naturally in chia seeds, algal oil, and flax, these are a type called alpha-linolenic acids, which the body has a limited ability to convert to active forms. Therefore, a person may wish to look for fortified products or talk to their doctor about omega-3 supplements.

Vitamin B-12 is important for many functions in the body, including red blood cell production. A vegetarian can obtain vitamin B-12 from:

Many people choose to follow a vegetarian diet for health reasons, but there are other reasons why a person might make the switch. Some reasons may include:

A person should start with a general plan of how they want to become vegetarian. Anyone with specific health concerns should talk to a healthcare professional before starting a new diet. A healthcare professional should be able to give them advice on what foods to include in the diet or what supplements to take.

From there, a person should decide what foods they will include or exclude. Some people approach becoming vegetarian by immediately stopping the consumption of all meat. Others prefer to include small amounts of meat as they transition from eating meat frequently.

It may help a person to try new foods that fit with a vegetarian diet as they decrease their intake of animal products. Learning about substitutions, such as olive oil in place of butter, can help. Also, a person may want to familiarize themselves with vegetarian-friendly cookbooks, meal plans, and recipes.

People who want to become vegetarian will need to start reading product labels if they do not already do so. They should check for ingredients, such as dairy, eggs, and other animal products, depending on the type of vegetarian diet that they choose to follow. Nutrition labels can also provide information on what nutrients the food includes.

A person should also plan on eating a well-balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

A vegetarian diet does not have to necessitate the removal of all animal-based products. A person can choose a diet that includes eggs, milk, poultry, fish, or no animal products at all.

By starting with a carefully considered diet plan, a person eliminating certain food types is more likely to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet and avoid nutritional deficiencies.

Regardless of a person's reason for becoming vegetarian, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for health.

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Why did the Brahmins become vegetarian? B.R. Ambedkar asks in this excerpt from ‘Beef, Brahmins and Broken Men’ – The Hindu

B.R. Ambedkars 1948 work The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables? has been re-issued as Beef, Brahmins and Broken Men: An Annotated Critical Selection from The Untouchables, published by Navayana with an Introduction by Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd. This excerpt is from the chapter that deals with the conflict between Brahmanism and Buddhism and how it led to the Brahmins first giving up eating beef, and then turning vegetarian.

For generations the Brahmins had been eating beef. Why did they give up beef-eating? Why did they, as an extreme step, give up meat eating altogether and become vegetarians? It is two revolutions rolled into one. As has been shown it has not been done as a result of the preachings of Manu, their Divine Law-maker. The revolution has taken place in spite of Manu and contrary to his directions. What made the Brahmins take this step? Was philosophy responsible for it? Or was it dictated by strategy? Two explanations are offered. One explanation is that this deification of the cow was a manifestation of the Advaita philosophy that one supreme entity pervaded the whole universe, that on that account all life, human as well as animal, was sacred. This explanation is obviously unsatisfactory. In the first place, it does not fit in with facts. The Vedanta Sutra which proclaims the doctrine of oneness of life does not prohibit the killing of animals for sacrificial purposes as is evident from II.1.28. In the second place, if the transformation was due to the desire to realize the ideal of Advaita then there is no reason why it should have stopped with the cow. It should have extended to all other animals.

Another explanation more ingenious than the first, is that this transformation in the life of the Brahmin was due to the rise of the doctrine of the Transmigration of the Soul. Even this explanation does not fit in with facts. The Brahadaranyaka Upanishad

upholds the doctrine of transmigration (VI.2) and yet recommends that if a man desires to have a learned son born to him he should prepare a mass of the flesh of the bull or ox or of other flesh with rice and ghee. Again, how is it that this doctrine which is propounded in the Upanishads did not have any effect on the Brahmins up to the time of the Manusmriti, a period of at least 400 years. Obviously, this explanation is no explanation. Thirdly, if Brahmins became vegetarians by reason of the doctrine of transmigration of the soul how is it that it did not make the non-Brahmins take to vegetarianism?

To my mind, it was strategy which made the Brahmins give up beef-eating and start worshipping the cow. The clue to the worship of the cow is to be found in the struggle between Buddhism and Brahmanism and the means adopted by Brahmanism to establish its supremacy over Buddhism. The strife between Buddhism and Brahmanism is a crucial fact in Indian history. Without the realization of this fact, it is impossible to explain some of the features of Hinduism. Unfortunately, students of Indian history have entirely missed the importance of this strife. They knew there was Brahmanism. But they seem to be entirely unaware of the struggle for supremacy in which these creeds were engaged and that their struggle which extended for 400 years has left some indelible marks on religion, society and politics of India.

This is not the place for describing the full story of the struggle. All one can do is to mention a few salient points. Buddhism was at one time the religion of the majority of the people of India. It continued to be the religion of the masses for hundreds of years. It attacked Brahmanism on all sides as no religion had done before.

Brahmanism was on the wane and if not on the wane, it was certainly on the defensive. As a result of the spread of Buddhism, the Brahmins had lost all power and prestige at the Royal Court and among the people. They were smarting under the defeat they had suffered at the hands of Buddhism and were making all possible efforts to regain their power and prestige. Buddhism had made so deep an impression on the minds of the masses and had taken such a hold of them that it was absolutely impossible for the Brahmins to fight the Buddhists except by accepting their ways and means and practising the Buddhist creed in its extreme form. After the death of Buddha his followers started setting up the images of the Buddha and building stupas. The Brahmins followed it. They, in their turn, built temples and installed in them images of Shiva, Vishnu and Ram and Krishna etc. all with the object of drawing away the crowd that was attracted by the image worship of Buddha. That is how temples and images which had no place in Brahmanism came into Hinduism. The Buddhists rejected the Brahmanic religion which consisted of yajna and animal sacrifice, particularly of the cow. The objection to the sacrifice of the cow had taken a strong hold of the minds of the masses especially as they were an agricultural population and the cow was a very useful animal. The Brahmins in all probability had come to be hated as the killer of cows in the same way as the guest had come to be hated as Goghna, the killer of the cow by the householder, because whenever he came a cow had to be killed in his honour. That being the case, the Brahmins could do nothing to improve their position against the Buddhists except by giving up the Yajna as a form of worship and the sacrifice of the cow.

That the object of the Brahmins in giving up beef-eating was to snatch away from the Buddhist Bhikshus the supremacy they had acquired is evidenced by the adoption of vegetarianism by Brahmins. Why did the Brahmins become vegetarian? The answer is that without becoming vegetarian the Brahmins could not have recovered the ground they had lost to their rival namely Buddhism That in an agricultural population there should be respect for Buddhism and revulsion against Brahmanism which involved slaughter of animals including cows and bullocks is only natural. What could the Brahmins do to recover the lost ground? To go one better than the Buddhist Bhikshus not only to give up meat-eating but to become vegetarians which they did. That this was the object of the Brahmins in becoming vegetarians can be proved in various ways.

If the Brahmins had acted from conviction that animal sacrifice was bad, all that was necessary for them to do was to give up killing animals for sacrifice That they did go in for vegetarianism makes it obvious that their motive was far-reaching. Secondly, it was unnecessary for them to become vegetarians. For the Buddhist Bhikshus were not vegetarians. This statement might surprise many people owing to the popular belief that the connection between Ahimsa and Buddhism was immediate and essential This is an error. The fact is that the Buddhist Bhikshus were permitted to eat three kinds of flesh that were deemed pure

As the Buddhist Bhikshus did eat meat the Brahmins had no reason to give it up. Why then did the Brahmins give up meat-eating and become vegetarians?

The giving up of the yajna system and abandonment of the sacrifice of the cow could have had only a limited effect. At the most it would have put the Brahmins on the same footing as the Buddhists. The same would have been the case if they had followed the rules observed by the Buddhist Bhikshus in the matter of meat-eating. It could not have given the Brahmins the means of achieving supremacy over the Buddhists which was their ambition. They wanted to oust the Buddhists from the place of honour and respect which they had acquired in the minds of the masses by their opposition to the killing of the cow for sacrificial purposes. To achieve their purpose the Brahmins had to adopt the usual tactics of a reckless adventurer. It is to beat extremism by extremism. It is the strategy which all rightists use to overcome the leftists. The only way to beat the Buddhists was to go a step further and be vegetarians.

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Why did the Brahmins become vegetarian? B.R. Ambedkar asks in this excerpt from 'Beef, Brahmins and Broken Men' - The Hindu

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Philosopher Peter Singer on the Ethical Issues of Eating Meat – LIVEKINDLY

Discussing vegetarianism in school can impact student behavior outside of the classroom, says a recent study.

The study looked at more than 1100 undergraduates at the University of California, Riverside.

Researchers led by Eric Schwitzgebel, Bradford Cokelet, and philosopher Peter Singer asked half of the students to read a philosophy article in support of vegetarianism. After this, they participated in a group discussion and then watched an optional advocacy video.

Researchers placed the rest of the students in the control group. They were given the same scenario, but instead of meat-eating, the focus was charitable giving.

Researchers gave the students a questionnaire a few days after their seminars. Nearly 30 percent of the control group said they agreed that eating the meat of factory-farmed animals is unethical. In the vegetarianism group, 43 percent of participants said they agreed with the statement.

Outside of the classroom, the study authors looked at the dining purchases for 476 students. For the charitable giving group, 52 percent of their campus food purchases included meat before and after the session.

For those who had participated in the seminar on vegetarianism, meat purchases declined from 52 percent to 45 percent.

The study suggests that potentially, the more the ethics surrounding meat consumption is discussed in the classroom, the more conscious food decisions are made by students in their everyday life.

Singer an Australian moral philosopher and professor of bioethics believes students should start learning about the reality of the meat industry from an early age. He suggested that even kindergarteners could start learning about the ethics surrounding killing animals for food.

Singer told LIVEKINDLY, If it is done in an appropriate way, the fact that the animals many people eat are kept in cruel ways can be discussed very early, say at three or four.

He explained that teachers should start by sharing information about animal agriculture. They should raise questions about the treatment of animals and ask students for their thoughts.

He said, teaching is not indoctrinating. Students must be encouraged to think critically about our societys attitudes to animals. He added, they should also be free to argue against vegetarianism and veganism.

According to Singer, people eat meat because their desire to do so overpowers their reasoning capacities and empathy for other sentient beings. He added that its a common phenomenon.

Jonathan Haidt writes about it in The Righteous Mind, he explains. Although I think he somewhat overstates his thesis Im sure something like what he describes happens in the case of eating meat.

The Righteous Mind evaluates how society has evolved to live in moral matrices, which bind us together around sacred values and then blind us to the truth.

According to Singer, from an early age, humans focus their love for animals on only some animals, the ones we do not eat.

Dr. Melanie Joy calls this carnism. Joy is the founder and president of the US-based organization Beyond Carnism. According to its website, carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals.

Because carnism is invisible, people rarely realize that eating animals is a choice, rather than a given. In meat-eating cultures around the world, people typically dont think about why they eat certain animals but not others, or why they eat any animals at all, it continues.

But when eating animals is not a necessity, which is the case for many people in the world today, then it is a choice and choices always stem from beliefs.

Through research, presentations, videos, and its Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy, Beyond Carnism is trying to dismantle the dominant way of thinking about food.

Through knowledge, there is power. The more information children and indeed adults have about our food system and how it works, the more capable they are of challenging it. They can begin to make changes in their personal lives that positively impact the planet and our fellow living beings.

Beyond Carnism explains, Carnistic defenses are both powerful and fragile. They have a powerful impact on us when we are unaware of them, but they lose much of their power when they are made visible. So when we recognize carnistic defenses, we are able to make food choices that reflect what we authentically think and feel, rather than what we have been taught to think and feel.

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Philosopher Peter Singer on the Ethical Issues of Eating Meat

Description

Moral philosopher Peter Singer believes meat ethics should be taught to children in schools and students should be encouraged to questions their eating habits.

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Charlotte Pointing

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LIVEKINDLY

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Originally posted here:
Philosopher Peter Singer on the Ethical Issues of Eating Meat - LIVEKINDLY

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Cambridge University students cry fowl over 17th century painting that upsets vegetarians – The Telegraph

They said: Many people are turning to vegetarianism and veganism as a political choice as much as a dietary one, as we rethink our relationship with animals and their treatment in an industrialised world.

Food choices are not only determined by political concerns about what we eat but also compounded by the moral anxieties which resonate around diet, self-image, over-consumption and our bodies.

As Feast & Fast demonstrates, many of these contemporary concerns about our relationship with food are not new.

The show, which opens on Tuesday, will feature tableau including the recreation of a wedding sugar banquet, which consisted entirely of glittering displays made out of sugar, and an 18th century confectioners shop window.

There will also be a recreation of a 17th century Baroque feasting table complete with swan and peacock. While perhaps incredible - and indeed, offensive - to modern eyes, all of these birds and beasts were available for consumption by wealthy diners across early modern Europe, as made evident in Frans Snyders gigantic workshop copy of The Fowl Market, the Fitzwilliam said.

The Hughes Hall canvas was a mid-17th century copy by an unknown artist in the Antwerp workshop of Snyders (1579-1657), who is renowned for his still-life and animal subjects. The original is in the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

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Cambridge University students cry fowl over 17th century painting that upsets vegetarians - The Telegraph

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Adventists believe the Bible favors vegetarianism. Shouldn’t their dietary studies tell us that? – PostBulletin.com

It's an emerging question for the communities waging battle over methodological weaknesses in the dietary sciences, one highlighted by a recent, widely reported Mayo Clinic clinician-authoredpaperon the association between diet and prostate cancer.

The publication, a Journal of the American Osteopathic Associationstudy by the Mayo oncology and hematology fellow Dr. John Shin and four Mayo Clinic Scottsdale colleagues, reviewed 47 studies dating back 11 years. It rendered a timely, vegan-friendly conclusion that diets high in dairy products "may be associated" with increased prostate cancer risk, and diets high in plant-based foods "may be associated" with decreased prostate cancer risk. The study was reported in new outlets across the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

For those who heard the news and came away with new reasons to swear off animal foods, a valuable piece of context went missing, however. Shin, like thousands of other clinicians across the country, is Seventh-Day Adventist. Sermon-hosting sites offer links to the physician's religious lectures and he serves as a speaker in the Adventist Medical Evangelical Network (AMEN), an independent organization with the goal of "uniting the church to restore Christs ministry of healing to the world, hastening His return."

Why should a nutrition researcher's faith tradition matter? Because an Adventist ministry of healing includes the promotion of a plant-based diet. In response to a recent Forum News Service question asking if Adventism seeks to move the public towards a plant-based diet in keeping with religious beliefs about the foods that promote health, Shin responded in the affirmative.

"Yes," he replied, "because the original diet given to man in the garden of Eden as described in the Bible was a plant-based diet, Seventh-day Adventists believe that this is the ideal diet for maintaining and restoring health." Shin added that the purpose of the AMEN organization is to inspire Christian medical professionals "to incorporate whole person care into their practices," and he disputed that its mission is to bring about dietary change.

Like much of the research that now informs the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the 47 studies the Shin paper analyzes to impugn dairy are of a methodologically weak form of science known as nutritional epidemiology, so-called case-control and cohort studies that contain no information about cause and effect. The studies were of varying size and quality, moreover, and their findings were all over the place. Most showed no effect, protective or harmful, for any foods in relation to prostate cancer.

Given these results, how did the Mayo group come to their dairy-cautioning, plant-promoting conclusions? By citing the plentiful number of studies with no finding, alongside the few studies showing plants were good and dairy was bad, all as part of the same trend. Shin says this step was justified because the vast majority of papers with findings, outnumbered though by null findings, showed plants to be protective and dairy harmful, a "pattern" favoring his vegan-friendly findings on foods and cancer.

Earlier this year, however, a team of Canadianresearchersconducting a more rigorous statistical method found dairy to be without effect as often as harmful in relation to prostate cancer. The diagnosed rates of prostate cancer within the US during the period studied, moreover, are widelyrecognizedto be inaccurate thanks to the overdiagnosis of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screenings. When it comes to diet and prostate cancer, in other words, the room for investigator bias to affect an outcome is high.

Adventist dietary beliefs derive from the writings of Ellen White, its mid-19th century co-founder and spiritual prophet.

"She would go into trances and receive what she called visions from God," says Ronald L. Numbers, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin and expert on the history of Adventism. Numbers says White began to describe visions on diet and health, leading her to become a vegetarian "distinguishing between clean and unclean meat according to the Levitical laws."

Among the hundreds of passages concerning diet which are attributed to White are several that look decidedly vegan or vegetarian. These include "meat eating deranges the system, beclouds the intellect, and blunts the moral sensibilities," and, "people everywhere should be taught how to cook without milk and eggs, so far as possible," and, "grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator." Numbers says Adventists have a diversity of views about the dietary positions of Ellen White.

But Adventist scholars have takencreditfor over 100 years of moving food practices away from animal foods and toward plants. White's contemporaries were early cereal pioneers in Battle Creek, Mich., and their products were instrumental in diverting Americans from bacon and eggs towards carbohydrate-laden breakfasts of today, changes believed to have contributed to the skyrocketing global burden of Type 2 diabetes and secondary illnesses of heart disease, hypertension, Alzheimer's and some forms of cancer.

Contemporary Adventism has figured in over300health outcome studies of its communities, often conducted with NIH funding and in partnership with researchers from Harvard School of Public Health. Though studies of church-going populations have characteristics that limit their usefulness, this sustained appeal within the medical literature to the benefits of Adventist so-called lifestyle medicine is cited widely, including by the so-called "Blue Zones" longevity initiative adopted in cities like Albert Lea, Minn.

In perhaps the most direct position of influence on the direction of dietary policies today, Joan Sabate, an acknowledged Adventist and professor at the SDA-affiliated Loma Linda University School of Public Health, currently sits on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee of the USDA.

Shin says"Adventists focus on health because we believe that when the body is healthy, the mind is better able to comprehend spiritual truths, thus enhancing ones relationship with God." He adds that the teetoling, tobacco- and caffeine-avoiding faith also promotes exercise, adequate sleep and spending time with family. But while exercise, sleep, and family time is largely uncontested in medicine, a rigorous debate exits over the wisdom of the advice to avoid animal foods.

Should being Adventist while studying nutrition require a disclaimer?

"The real issue for me is that Seventh-Day Adventists began their religion as a health religion, so they are compromised in making broad decisions about society's health"

"The real issue for me is that Seventh-Day Adventists began their religion as a health religion, so they are compromised in making broad decisions about society's health," says Belinda Fettke, an Australian who blogs on the subject of Adventism and health. "We should be asking them how best to do a vegetarian or vegan diet, because they understand it. But they shouldn't be telling the world that animal fats and protein are dangerous, which is what they do ... I don't think I've ever come across a religion that's so involved in a health message, and I think that's a concern."

Shin counters that all researchers approach their work with a bias, it's just that his is visible.

"My Seventh-day Adventist faith provides me with the predisposition to believe that plant-based foods are healthful, and therefore I have an interest in conducting research to show whether or not this is true," he says. "In this sense, my ability to maintain my objectivity in conducting diet-related research would be no more compromised than any other dietary researcher, the only difference being that my predispositions can be more readily traced to my religion."

He says he believes requiring a disclosure "would imply that someone of that faith is somehow less qualified or trustworthy to conduct the research in question. It would be a form of discrimination."

When asked if a devout Adventist could make a dietary recommendation contrary to the faith, the historian Ronald Numbers is skeptical. "That would be difficult," he says.

"If you even found that eating pork contributed to health, you would be in a bad quandary ... I assume that the nutritional studies that show Adventists live longer, healthier lives are reasonably accurate. But then of course, studies of Mormonism show they live longer lives. And they're not vegetarian."

So, should Adventists be asked disclose their faith when conducting nutrition studies?

"That is an incredibly interesting question," he says.

See the rest here:
Adventists believe the Bible favors vegetarianism. Shouldn't their dietary studies tell us that? - PostBulletin.com

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson


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