There is metabolic variance within the human species which means that there is no one diet that will suit everyone.
– Andrew P
A very pragmatic rebuttal of Stephen Byrnes’ Myths of Vegetarianism is offered by mystery man Andrew P. Although I am definitely an omnivore, I found AP’s article valuable. Instead of getting into the usual unsubstantiated arguments offered by many vegetarians (and more adamantly by vegans) – like "human’s aren’t designed to eat meat" – he sticks to facts and highlights some of the pitfalls of an unhealthy vegetarian diet which are often overlooked.
While AP appears to be a mainstream vegetarian, Byrnes comes from a school of nutrition which can best be described as "New is Old." He and other members of the Weston A Price Foundation are doing what they can to roll back to a time before major campaigns by dairy, soy and vegetable oil companies scared people off from what was healthy in our traditional diet. The damage caused by big industry includes:
- Increased consumption of highly processed polyunsaturated oils and thus trans fatty acids. People were encouraged to consume unstable oils high in transfatty acids because "saturated fat and cholesterol leads to heart disease." Ironically, the transfatty acids people were encouraged to consume are much worse culprits. The result being a steady increase in cardiovascular disease ever since. In case you hadn’t heard, blaming heart disease on cholesterol is like blaming fires on firemen. If this is news, read more.
- Fresh milk was pasteurised and raw milk became illegal. No doubt this was motivated by a desire to overcome some serious problems which emerged with modern dairy farming however it is a practice with potential hazards. More
- As for soy, it’s not the health food it is touted to be and is increasingly linked to a number of health issues.
Like any movement, the WAP Foundation has it’s detractors and they have been called, amongst other things, a cabal of cranks, crackpots and thieves. What’s interesting is they have succeeded in not only pissing off the vegetarians but the mainstream meat eaters as well. This probably means they are on to something.
So who is right? Ask me again in 100 years. In the meantime, educate yourself and choose wisely. But if you do choose to go the vegan route, read this carefully. And while you’re at it, you should think about going mostly or all raw.
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