Out of the Forest

April 12, 2007, 6:23 pm
Filed under: vegetarianism

A new study shows that women who eat red meat are at a greater risk of getting breast cancer:

The findings are most striking for post-menopausal women – those with the highest intake of red meat, the equivalent to one portion a day (more than 57 grams) – run a 56 per cent greater risk of breast cancer than those who eat none.

Women who eat the most processed meat, such as bacon, sausages, ham or pies, run a 64 per cent greater risk of breast cancer than those who eat none.

Don’t those percentages seem frighteningly high?


March 23, 2007, 10:27 pm
Filed under: vegetarianism

A new report this week revealed the rather horrific caloric content of many Chinese restaurant dishes, even the vegetarian ones. This is a shame, as I’ve really been enjoying Chinese food lately.

Being vegetarian has forced me to try some new things, and I’ve particularly enjoyed a local restaurant’s version of Buddha’s delight, a dish long enjoyed by Buddhist monks. Reading the list of common ingredients, I find myself wondering just what exactly I’ve been eating. Daylily buds? Bamboo fungus?

March 7, 2007, 11:00 pm
Filed under: vegetarianism

I’ve always assumed that humans are natural omnivores, designed to eat both meat and vegetation. This fascinating article from Dr. Milton R. Mills, however, makes the case that, anatomically-speaking, humans are natural herbivores, or plant-eaters. Humans are behaviorally omnivores, due mostly to culture, custom and training. He bases his case on an anatomical analysis of herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. Says the doctor:

Mammals are anatomically and physiologically adapted to procure and consume particular kinds of diets. (It is common practice when examining fossils of extinct mammals to examine anatomical features to deduce the animal’s probable diet.) Therefore, we can look at mammalian carnivores, herbivores (plant-eaters) and omnivores to see which anatomical and physiological features are associated with each kind of diet. Then we can look at human anatomy and physiology to see in which group we belong.

The result of this analysis? In every relevant aspect, from jaw motion to stomach capacity to intestine length, humans possess the anatomical characteristics of herbivores.

February 28, 2007, 6:28 pm
Filed under: vegetarianism

On Monday night I feasted on Morningstar’s mini veggie corn dogs and haven’t stopped thinking about them since. These really are amazing little things! They taste just like the real deal!

They satisfied this boy’s craving, anyway.

February 21, 2007, 6:23 pm
Filed under: vegetarianism

To address the concerns of some of its consumers, Smithfield Foods is making some changes in how it treats its pigs:

Smithfield Foods, the nation’s largest pork company and a mainstay on the North Carolina agribusiness scene, will phase out its use of the cages in which breeding sows are confined after they are artificially inseminated and before they give birth. The confinement is now so close in the 2-foot by 7-foot cages that the pigs cannot turn around.

This would seem to be at least a little more humane. Nice to see a company actually listen on this issue. But there is a long way to go, given the barbaric nature of today’s factory farms. These are some of the world’s most intelligent animals, folks. I think they deserve something better.

February 20, 2007, 4:59 pm
Filed under: vegetarianism

I’ve been a peanut butter addict all my life, and since becoming “vegetarian”, its been a good, if fatty, source of protein. So it was with considerable chagrin that I was forced to pitch a new jar of peanut butter last week, as it was the part of the salmonella-laced batch. Too bad I didn’t know you could get a refund.

Last night I went to the store to get more, only to find the peanut butter section completely ransacked. All the Peter Pan products had been removed, of course, but it appeared other brands had been too. Only a few lowly jars of Jiff and Skippy remained. I bought creamy Skippy and went home.

January 25, 2007, 9:18 pm
Filed under: vegetarianism

A follow-up to yesterday’s veg post, a new study from Australia has shown that vegetarians have higher IQs on average than their meat-eating fellow citizens. From the article:

Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton says a vegetarian diet can’t enhance intelligence in itself, especially if people forgo the brain-building qualities of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.But like Kennett, she says people with high IQs are likely to be thinkers.

“And thinkers are probably going to realise the ethical and health related benefits of not eating meat,” she says.

I don’t think you will convert meat-eaters to vegetarians by essentially calling them stupid, which in a way this article does, more than once. It’s all rather condescending and presumptuous if you ask me.