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Author Topic: Should Christians be Vegetarians?  (Read 12273 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: June 25, 2009, 06:53:01 PM »

/\ Post of the Month! Thank you so much for this, Tobit!
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« Reply #91 on: June 25, 2009, 07:28:33 PM »

See, to me even eating insects would take you out of the vegan category. Maybe I was too into that PETA stuff when I was a vegan?
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« Reply #92 on: June 25, 2009, 07:48:58 PM »

What's the reason for the limitations on fish?

It could have something to do with levels of mercury or other substances in the fish.

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« Reply #93 on: June 25, 2009, 07:52:40 PM »

^ precisely. The excess mercury and other stuff is excreted in breast milk and then the baby is essentially poisoned.
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« Reply #94 on: June 25, 2009, 07:57:17 PM »

What's the reason for the limitations on fish?

It could have something to do with levels of mercury or other substances in the fish

This is very true, and most unfortunate. I am so glad that where I live, the waters are practically pristine, so I have no qualms about any possible health hazard from any fish I catch. Whatever I catch I clean, and, where required, I fillet, within a couple of hours of catching, then vacuum-packed and frozen, if I'm not going to eat it straight away.
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« Reply #95 on: June 25, 2009, 08:31:29 PM »

I love when I walk into a health food store and overhear some clueless vegetarian 'preaching' about the virtues of vegetarianism.. Roll Eyes They will go on to give out a bunch of skewed facts about the dangers of eating meat. Just about every one of these people look so pale and sickly. I wanna walk up and say, "Hey bro, maybe if you ate a little meat it would put some vibrancy and color back into you and give your body the proper nutrition it needs."  Cheesy

Is it true that most of eat too much meat...yes! I think that the key here is moderation. Especially when it comes to Americans, we not only eat too much meat, but we tend to eat the unhealthiest kinds of meat. Another problem we are dealing with is a tainted meat supply thanks to corporations pumping farm animals full of hormones (ahh the virtues of capitalism on a macro level..). The food supply in America is borderline poisonous with all the hormones, pesticides, and chemicals these large corporations like Kraft put in them. For instance, Kraft puts cellulose in it's cheese products. Cellulose is used in attic installation for homes.

I think most meat in the supermarket is tainted and unhealthy to eat. Organic safe meats from local farms is definitely the way to go. We need to stop shopping at Walmart  and start supporting the local health food stores. It's how they do it in Europe and they are healthier and live longer than Americans even though they smoke and drink more. It comes down to what they are putting in their mouths. They tend to have a diet with a proper balance of healthy meats, vegetables, fruit, and grains. Americans could learn a thing or two from their European counterparts.
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« Reply #96 on: June 25, 2009, 08:52:53 PM »

From what I know, monks in Mount Athos eat fish only once a week and that's it, no meat. It's a tribute/tradition related to Man's diet before the Fall.

I can't eat any meat either. Not after watching Earthlings. That documentary was a real slap.

Cool.

Tell us more about "Earthlings," and how it influenced your dietary decisons. I'm not familiar with the movie.

Selam

I bet they take Raw Goats Milk.

National Geographic is currently shooting a documentary on a Greek Island where they live much longer than average and are healthy and vigorous well into their 90's.
They eat a similar diet, plant based, some fish but lots and lots of Raw Goats Milk. www.bluezones.com
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« Reply #97 on: June 25, 2009, 09:17:58 PM »

Quote
I would recommend reading up on the work of Weston Price at www.westonaprice.org. The Traditional diet of Humans is Milk and Meat. When Price studied isolated people who were not yet exposed to the refined foods of the 20th Century they were far healthier. Also, the replacement of Wholesome Raw Milk with denatured Pasteurized Milk has been a major loss for our health.. Read www.realmilk.com

Low carb,  fat and protien from the meat of pasture fed animals ( and fish) plus raw milk is the natural diet for people. Vegetables and fruit and grains are secondary and are best eaten raw and better fermented.   

There are a lot of good things posted over at the Weston Price Foundation website, but the impression that one could possibly walk away with that a high carb diet per se is unhealthy and that raw milk is necessary or at least desirable for a healthy diet isn't one of them. Dr. Price observed healthy groups that ate no dairy and consumed a high carbohydrate diet. There are a number of modern healthy groups who consume a high carbohydrate diet and no dairy. While it is true that the common western style high carbohydrate diet is very problematic, many low-carb advocates throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Dr. Price was an outstanding clinician, but not everything that passes under his name is truly indicative of his complete body of work. One thing that Dr. Price stressed over and over from his research, there is no one optimal macro-nutrient profile. You cannot defend a low carb protocol from his work. Dr. Price demonstrated that one can thrive on any number of macro-nutrient variables provided some baseline standards are met.

This is not to take anything away from Sally Fallon and the good folks over at the WAPF, but IMO, sometimes something other than science on several major issues rules over there. Or to put it colloquially, sometimes there is too much Sally and not enough Weston.
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« Reply #98 on: June 25, 2009, 09:47:37 PM »

Then why do we have molars designed for grinding, much less acidic digestive systems than the carnivores, and longer intestines more capable of digesting plant material if vegetables, fruits, and grains are more of a secondary food for us?

That said, I certainly agree that pasture fed animals are much better for eating than much of the artificially engineered meat that's sold in most supermarkets.

Actually we don't handle many plant foods very well, in particular grains, at least in their native state. Continuing with the theme of Dr. Price (there are others but since his name was raised I will use him as an example) every healthy group he studied treated their grains in some manner either by prolonged soaking, sprouting, and/or fermenting. We don't have the digestive mechanisms of a cow who has four stomachs to properly digest all the plant material it consumes, and make it utilizable. But we can get the plant nutrition from the cow by eating the cow that ate the plants  Grin Or failing that, use our brains to make the food in question through some form of processing (i.e soaking, sprouting, fermenting, or even refining) a potent source of nutrition or at least an adequate source of nutrition with few side effects.

Much of the nutrition in whole grains is not available to us unless the grain is treated in some fashion. Many vegetables are problematic because of the anti-nutrients present which are neutralized only by cooking or some form of soaking/cooking combo. The modern concept of whole foods is very misleading in my opinion. Healthy groups like the traditional Thai for example, and the some of the African groups that Price and others studied even refined their grains! Shocked You mention that in some nutrition circles and you are likely to have your head handed to you.

At any rate, whole untreated grains can be quite problematic. Lots of raw vegetables are not automatically best. And fruit (sweet), while not as problematic raw as the other two plant foods, should be eaten in moderation because of the high levels of fructose. The Kitavans for example, who lead very healthy lives on a high carbohydrate diet (and no dairy) eat a lot of fruit, but only when it is in season.
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« Reply #99 on: June 25, 2009, 10:14:31 PM »

Thanks for those very interesting and educational points. Of course for me personally most saturated fat is poison. I have a hereditary problem with extremely high cholesterol that has resulted in me having had two heart attacks by the age of 34. I have always been an athlete and never have had a weight problem, but my arteries continue to clog up because my liver manufactures too much of the bad cholesterol (LDL is the bad I think). I used to love cheese and steak, but no more.

Hmmm...I'm not a doctor so I will refrain from medical comments, but what you describe sounds like hypercholesterolemia, which is a genetic/metabolic defect that has nothing to do with the issue of meat eating being healthy or unhealthy, any more than someone being casein intolerant and can't drink milk actually addresses the issue of whether milk per se is a healthy food to consume. In my experience, people get into a lot of trouble when they take a medical diet that works for them, and attempt to extrapolate the benefits of that diet for all of humankind.

Quote
I would argue with your initial statement that we should not be vegetarians if we want to live a long and healthy life. If this were true, then why didn't God command Adam and Eve to eat meat in the Garden? If meat eating is the ideal diet, then the ideal state of man in a sinless paradise would have included eating meat don't you think?

Also, there is plenty of good saturated fat to be found from vegetative sources like macadamia nuts, almonds, avacado, and coconut.

Almonds and avocados are not good sources of saturated fat. In fact they contain the one type of fat (PUFA) that has been shown scientifically that if eaten in excess does cause or exacerbate many disease issues (unlike saturated fat which has little scientific evidence condemning it although "mainstream" nutrition and medicine would have you believe otherwise). The saturated fat in macadamia nuts is almost non-existent but they are a good source of mono-unsaturated fat. The fat content of coconut (and its various derivative foods) is almost all saturated and is an excellent food both nutritionally and medicinally.
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« Reply #100 on: June 25, 2009, 10:23:21 PM »

STEAK

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« Reply #101 on: June 25, 2009, 10:26:39 PM »

Look.. I'm not a Doctor, I only play one on the Internet Smiley but you should look into the issue of Cholesterol as the culprit for heart disease. It probably isn't . Pick up a copy of "Traditional Foods are your best Medicine" by Ron Schmid and also "Eat Fat to Lose Fat" by Sally Fallon.

The fact is, the people who live the longest in our society today are women with very high cholesterol. The death rate goes up only very slightly in men with Cholesterol in excess of 300. We have been sold a bill of goods by  Agra Business and Big Pharma. IMHO

Two great links that tackle the issue of cholesterol head on:

The Cholesterol Myths
http://www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm

http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/index.html
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« Reply #102 on: June 25, 2009, 10:30:48 PM »

STEAK



Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww....

It's still the Apostles' Fast for some of us...

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
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« Reply #103 on: June 25, 2009, 10:49:39 PM »

From what I know, monks in Mount Athos eat fish only once a week and that's it, no meat. It's a tribute/tradition related to Man's diet before the Fall.

I can't eat any meat either. Not after watching Earthlings. That documentary was a real slap.

Eating meat or fish or dairy once a week is a far cry from an exclusive vegan diet or the diet in paradise. Eating fish 52 times a year (more if they eat it at more than one meal) just doesn't qualify as an animal free diet. The nutritional difference alone is significant. The Swiss of the Loetschental Valley, one of the groups that Price studied, ate meat about once a week, but they consumed a lot of dairy in the form of milk and cheese.

This is why I take vegan claims to health with a huge grain of salt. Invariably, they almost all cheat by eating animal foods, even if only occasionally. This random cheating often provides sufficient nutrients that would otherwise be absent from a vegan diet (and thus keep any nutritional problems from arising) such that scientifically speaking you have to group them with the animal food eaters.
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« Reply #104 on: June 25, 2009, 10:56:03 PM »

From what I know, monks in Mount Athos eat fish only once a week and that's it, no meat. It's a tribute/tradition related to Man's diet before the Fall.

I can't eat any meat either. Not after watching Earthlings. That documentary was a real slap.

Eating meat or fish or dairy once a week is a far cry from an exclusive vegan diet or the diet in paradise. Eating fish 52 times a year (more if they eat it at more than one meal) just doesn't qualify as an animal free diet. The nutritional difference alone is significant. The Swiss of the Loetschental Valley, one of the groups that Price studied, ate meat about once a week, but they consumed a lot of dairy in the form of milk and cheese.

This is why I take vegan claims to health with a huge grain of salt. Invariably, they almost all cheat by eating animal foods, even if only occasionally. This random cheating often provides sufficient nutrients that would otherwise be absent from a vegan diet (and thus keep any nutritional problems from arising) such that scientifically speaking you have to group them with the animal food eaters.

You should also keep in mind that in the Paradise, there will be no electricity or artificially heated water or detergents. So, get used to the smell of these socks, worn many days in a row. And don't say there will be no sweating in Paradise. Those claims are without any substance in Scripture or Fathers.
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« Reply #105 on: June 25, 2009, 11:00:25 PM »

Baby Cows die when the are fed Pasturized Milk...

This was originally propagated by the Weston Price Foundation but after being challenged by a number of their own members and/or fellow travelers for a valid scientific reference, they retracted this statement.

Still though, I agree. Pasteurized milk is not a good food.
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« Reply #106 on: June 25, 2009, 11:05:46 PM »

STEAK



Aye Carumba! Why are you posting this during the Apostles Fast?Huh Grin Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #107 on: June 25, 2009, 11:09:48 PM »

You should also keep in mind that in the Paradise, there will be no electricity or artificially heated water or detergents. So, get used to the smell of these socks, worn many days in a row. And don't say there will be no sweating in Paradise. Those claims are without any substance in Scripture or Fathers.

LOL! Actually all my references to Paradise are referring to the Garden of Eden. I'm quite sure your socks won't make it to heaven. laugh
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« Reply #108 on: June 25, 2009, 11:10:29 PM »

STEAK



Aye Carumba! Why are you posting this during the Apostles Fast?Huh Grin Grin Grin Grin

Yeah, see reply 102... Doings of the devil...
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« Reply #109 on: June 25, 2009, 11:33:27 PM »

Thanks for those very interesting and educational points. Of course for me personally most saturated fat is poison. I have a hereditary problem with extremely high cholesterol that has resulted in me having had two heart attacks by the age of 34. I have always been an athlete and never have had a weight problem, but my arteries continue to clog up because my liver manufactures too much of the bad cholesterol (LDL is the bad I think). I used to love cheese and steak, but no more.

Hmmm...I'm not a doctor so I will refrain from medical comments, but what you describe sounds like hypercholesterolemia, which is a genetic/metabolic defect that has nothing to do with the issue of meat eating being healthy or unhealthy, any more than someone being casein intolerant and can't drink milk actually addresses the issue of whether milk per se is a healthy food to consume. In my experience, people get into a lot of trouble when they take a medical diet that works for them, and attempt to extrapolate the benefits of that diet for all of humankind.

Quote
I would argue with your initial statement that we should not be vegetarians if we want to live a long and healthy life. If this were true, then why didn't God command Adam and Eve to eat meat in the Garden? If meat eating is the ideal diet, then the ideal state of man in a sinless paradise would have included eating meat don't you think?

Also, there is plenty of good saturated fat to be found from vegetative sources like macadamia nuts, almonds, avacado, and coconut.

Almonds and avocados are not good sources of saturated fat. In fact they contain the one type of fat (PUFA) that has been shown scientifically that if eaten in excess does cause or exacerbate many disease issues (unlike saturated fat which has little scientific evidence condemning it although "mainstream" nutrition and medicine would have you believe otherwise). The saturated fat in macadamia nuts is almost non-existent but they are a good source of mono-unsaturated fat. The fat content of coconut (and its various derivative foods) is almost all saturated and is an excellent food both nutritionally and medicinally.


You are right about Coconut oil, I take a teaspoon everyday. Helps to keep hormones optimal and a must if you are an athlete or work out often. It's one of the best fats out there and it's also a great anti-fungal. I think the crux of the problem is all the packaged and processed foods in today's modern society. I think that some foods that are at the root of so many health problems these days are those that consist of yeast, refined flour products, moldy, and fungal containing foods. There is a doctor that has done some ground breaking research into this and he has come to the conclusion that if these foods were eliminated from our diet, we would be prone to much less disease and health problems. His name is Dr. Doug Kauffman & has a website knowthecause.com. He has authored books well known both conventional and the alternative healthcare field. I recently have cut back on most breads (except yeast & gluten free one's), most dairy, mushrooms, peanut butter etc. and feel much more energetic.  

 I do think a near perfect diet model would be something akin to the Paleolithic hunter/gather diet of our ancestors. A diet that consisted mostly of meat and vegetation that could be picked(berries as an example). Grains were introduced much later in the human diet and are problematic for many people. I'm not a low carber  by any means, it's just finding the right source because just about everything in the chain supermarkets is bad except maybe for sweet potato's and a few other low GI veggies.  
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« Reply #110 on: June 25, 2009, 11:43:05 PM »

STEAK



Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww....

It's still the Apostles' Fast for some of us...

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Aye, don't talk about your fasting openly!
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« Reply #111 on: June 26, 2009, 12:34:33 AM »

Did anyone ever hear of the benefits of duckfat verses butter or canola/vegetable oil. French chefs have been using it for centuries and now the studies are in...Duck Fat is lower in mono-unsaturated & saturated fats than butter by 30 + percent and has a healthier assimilation than vegetable oil. Just a fun tidbit  laugh
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« Reply #112 on: June 26, 2009, 12:45:37 AM »

Username!

why can't you abstain and be like us fish eaters?



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« Reply #113 on: June 26, 2009, 12:54:13 AM »

There's Clarified Butter on that plate...in the little ramekin, (rumble grrrrrrr) which brings up an interesting question, if animal fat is clarified, (no fat left) does that make it o.k. to eat during a fast for us?
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« Reply #114 on: June 26, 2009, 01:40:28 AM »

I am a vegetarian (not a Vegan; I eat some fish). There are many reasons that I am a vegetarian, one being that I have suffered two heart attacks and need to live and eat as healthy as possible.

It is quite possible to live a very healthy lifestyle eating almost entirely animal products. The Inuit and the Masai come immediately to mind but there are other groups as well. And it quite possible to suffer heart attacks on a vegan or vegetarian diet. It happens all the time. Your post assumes meat was the cause of your heart attacks. How do you know?

Quote
But I also find good Christian and biblical arguments to support the vegetarian lifestyle.


I think this is a stretch. Whatever value there may be in a particular style of eating, whether it is all meat or all vegetables or somewhere in between, I think the NT goes out of its way not to make the substance (i.e. clean versus unclean) of food and drink a matter of concern. That doesn't mean there are not concerns about food but they generally don't fall into the vegetarian versus meat eating argument.

Besides the vegetarian arguments versus meat eating arguments are basically bogus from a scientific standpoint regarding health. There are only two groups of people in this world, those who eat animal products and those who do not. That is vegans versus animal food eaters. Vegetarians and meat eaters are actually shades of distinctions within the larger group of animal eaters. That is vegetarians and meat eaters differ only in degree not in kind. Vegans however represent a qualitative difference in what they eat nutritionally speaking. In other words there are a number of necessary nutritional items needed in our diets that a vegan can't get without adding some kind of animal product (or supplementation) to his diet.


Quote
Here are a few points to consider:

1. Man was originally created to thrive on a non-meat diet. Meat eating involves death, and prior to the Fall there was no death.

But after the fall many things changed, although gradually. According to a number of the Fathers, there was no sex before the Fall either. The fall was all encompassing and included our food supply. Most of us simply cannot obtain in an adequate manner all the nutrients we need from an exclusively vegan diet. As it is within the Orthodox Church we spend roughly half the year eating a diet that hearkens back to paradise. There might come a day once again where we are all vegans, depending on how you understand certain biblical passages, but that day has yet to arrive.

Quote
2. After the flood meat eating was allowed because all the vegetation had been destroyed. But this was not the ideal diet for man.

Exactly where did you get this interpretation of the relative passages from Genesis?

Quote
3. The Levitical laws give explicit guidelines for what animals could be eaten and how they were to be killed and cooked. (Leviticus 11) During the time of the Law, animal sacrifices were made and portions of the meat were consumed by the people. But again, this was not the ideal diet and life under the Law was not the ideal spiritual condition for man.

4. God in His grace provided a remedy for sin so that man could be restored to perfection and live eternally in an ideal spiritual condition. Since Christ was the final and complete sacrifice for sin (the spotless Lamb), then animals no longer have to be sacrificially slaughtered. Through faith in Him and the redemption of baptism, we can begin to be restored to the ideal spiritual state that Adam and Eve enjoyed prior to the Fall.

We already hearken back to paradise during the numerous fasting times that appear on the calendar. But it is not complete nor physiologically is such a thing possible for most people. What is interesting from a scientific standpoint is that no healthy society has ever been discovered that was exclusively vegan.

Quote
5. In this age of Grace killing animals is not necessary for our atonement, and eating meat is not necessary for our survival. We can (and I would argue should) try as much as possible to return to the lifestyle and diet of man in his pre-fallen state.

Your first point is demonstrably false in terms of physical survival for some people, and at any rate eating meat does not encompass the totality of eating animal foods. And in agricultural production many animals are killed. So whether you eat plants only or eat meat or insects or whathaveyou, many animals died for your sustenance.

Your last point assumes the veracity of your first point. The Church does have us return to the diet of paradise periodically, but in a wise and spiritual manner, not in a way that does not account for our basic physical needs. Vegetarianism is a diet of animal foods. We err when we look at it as if it was a variation of veganism. It is not, it is a variation of animal food eating. The strict fast is the diet of paradise. Any regimen that includes fish, dairy, eggs, etc. is not - no matter if the dietary name suggests something otherwise.

Quote
6. The eating of meat has moral and social ramifications as well as physical ramifications. The amount of feed and grain that it takes to feed one cow could sustain a thousand people, while the beef that the cow will provide might feed a hundred or so. (I can't give the exact stats on this, but I have read them and it is very interesting. I'm sure you can find these stats easily on line.) The point is that meat eating can be a selfish indulgence that actually contributes to the starvation of millions of people around the world. As Christians, we should consider our all of our actions and the effect that they have on our fellow man.

This argument, while seemingly plausible on the surface, is wrong on many levels. First it is simply untrue that by lessening our dependence on livestock that more food would be available to people. 2/3 of the earth's dry surface is not suitable for agriculture and many livestock feed in these areas. Second, the use of livestock, as much a renewable resource as plants, provide many functions well beyond meat. Third, given some of the necessary nutrients that cannot be obtained from a vegan diet, and the many anti-nutrients that are contained in a plant food diet, it is not at all clear that switching to a plant food diet would not further "the starvation of millions..." Fourth, your last statement is simply economically false.

This is already a long post, so I won't flesh out the above or add even further reasons, but I would be happy to do so in subsequent posts.

Quote
7. Although animals are not created in the image of God like human beings, they still deserve compassion and respect. Animals feel pain and suffer, and they should not have to do so unnecessarily. As Christians, we should never abuse animals or cause them to suffer simply to satisfy our indulgences. Chickens, cattle, and pigs often exist in tortuous conditions for the duration of their lives and are then killed in a merciless and painful manner. Even if we choose to eat meat, we should abhor and oppose the cruel and unnecessary treatment of these creatures. Let's remember that they are creatures, and therefore they point to the Creator.

Yes I agree, but with the exception of your last sentence, this is an argument against factory farming, not eating meat per se.

Quote
8. As Christians we should promote peace and refrain from killing. I do not consider hunting or meat eating to be murder. I think that's ridiculous. But I do know that since I have become a vegetarian I have been less easily agitated and felt more at peace with myself. I think that a vegetarian lifestyle will help to promote peace in society, although I would never advocate the legislation of such a diet. It's a personal choice that I encourage others to make themsleves.

I don't know why you are feeling less agitated as a result of your new diet. Maybe it is because you were making poor food choices when you were eating meat and now less so since becoming a vegetarian. Some of the greatest killers to walk this earth have been vegetarians. This is a very poor argument to make from either side of the debate. Peace will be a feature of all societies when the Prince of Peace reigns in every man's heart, no matter what the makeup of their diet.

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Oh yeah, some may wonder why I eat fish. Well, Jesus ate fish so I won't try to be holier than Him. Also, fish (no shellfish or catfish) is very good for one's health if it is properly prepared. And fish are not treated cruelly like the cattle, chickens, and pigs that are raised for massive consumption.

Meat can also be very good for one's health if properly raised and prepared. So can shellfish by the way. Fish may not be treated cruelly, but land animals don't need to be treated cruelly either. Again, this is not an argument of real import in terms of a vegetarian diet since one can easily switch to eating animals that are humanely raised.

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My Priest told me that according to Church Tradition Jesus did in fact eat meat other than fish.

Of course, all faithful Jews would have eaten meat at the Passover among other feasts.

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So I am aware that Orthodoxy does not compel one to be a vegetarian. These are my own personal opinions, and I think they in no way contradict Orthodox teaching. We must also remember that animals in Jesus' day were raised and slaughtered in a humane fashion. I don't think Our Lord would condone how these creatures are being unnecessarily brutalized today.

Again, this is not an argument to stop eating meat, only an argument to stop eating factory farmed meat. But more importantly, there is simply no argument available to an Orthodox Christian to advocate not eating meat per se. It just isn't a place we should go. The Tradition of the Church makes that clear over and over again.

Tobit

I appreciate your well reasoned points. I don't necessarily agree with them all, but they are interesting and worthy of consideration. I do find it odd that many of those who aren't vegetarians are somehow bothered by those of us who are. I have repeatedly stated that I am not arguing this issue on behalf of the Church, but that it is simply my own personal decision based upon a variety of reasons. If I find that a vegetarian lifestyle has benefited me personally, and if I believe that it is also a Life promoting diet, then why should I not promote this and advocate it for others? I'm not judging those who choose to eat meat. As I said previously, I often eat fish and even Lamb once a year. You have done quite well in advocating your views on the value of meat eating, so why shouldn't I do the same with my vegetarian lifestyle?

Selam
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« Reply #115 on: June 26, 2009, 02:04:08 AM »

Thanks for those very interesting and educational points. Of course for me personally most saturated fat is poison. I have a hereditary problem with extremely high cholesterol that has resulted in me having had two heart attacks by the age of 34. I have always been an athlete and never have had a weight problem, but my arteries continue to clog up because my liver manufactures too much of the bad cholesterol (LDL is the bad I think). I used to love cheese and steak, but no more.

Hmmm...I'm not a doctor so I will refrain from medical comments, but what you describe sounds like hypercholesterolemia, which is a genetic/metabolic defect that has nothing to do with the issue of meat eating being healthy or unhealthy, any more than someone being casein intolerant and can't drink milk actually addresses the issue of whether milk per se is a healthy food to consume. In my experience, people get into a lot of trouble when they take a medical diet that works for them, and attempt to extrapolate the benefits of that diet for all of humankind.

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I would argue with your initial statement that we should not be vegetarians if we want to live a long and healthy life. If this were true, then why didn't God command Adam and Eve to eat meat in the Garden? If meat eating is the ideal diet, then the ideal state of man in a sinless paradise would have included eating meat don't you think?

Also, there is plenty of good saturated fat to be found from vegetative sources like macadamia nuts, almonds, avacado, and coconut.

Almonds and avocados are not good sources of saturated fat. In fact they contain the one type of fat (PUFA) that has been shown scientifically that if eaten in excess does cause or exacerbate many disease issues (unlike saturated fat which has little scientific evidence condemning it although "mainstream" nutrition and medicine would have you believe otherwise). The saturated fat in macadamia nuts is almost non-existent but they are a good source of mono-unsaturated fat. The fat content of coconut (and its various derivative foods) is almost all saturated and is an excellent food both nutritionally and medicinally.


Not everyone who smokes will develop lung cancer. Some people live to be a hundred years old, yet they smoked most of their life, drank heavily, and ate food that was supposedly bad for them. But I don't think any reasonable doctor would say that smoking, excessive drinking, and eating unhealthy foods is OK.

Yes, I do have this genetic condition called "hypercholesterolemia;" that is one reason why I have to avoid certian types of saturated fats. It is also why I choose to be a vegetarian. Others can eat meat if they wish. But many people have the same condition that I have and are unaware of it. So that is one reason that I generally advocate a vegetarian diet.

But I think above all my choice is based on my Pro-Life convictions. I try to uphold and respect Life and to avoid killing. Being a vegetarian is part of my comprehensive world view of affirming LIFE. Not that I believe meat eating is murder or any such silliness, just that I find being a vegetarian is a more Life-affirming choice for me personally.

When I eat Lamb during the Pascha Feast, I remember these words from St. Paul: "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected when received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the invocation of God in prayer." [I Timothy 4:4]

Selam

Selam
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« Reply #116 on: June 26, 2009, 02:10:50 AM »

Baby Cows die when the are fed Pasturized Milk...
So what?  We're not cows.

I think the lesson is that Pasturization so alters milk that even the Cows cant use it.
My point is that calves would likely die from drinking goat milk, but we consider it a healthy alternative to pasteurized cow milk.
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« Reply #117 on: June 26, 2009, 02:18:13 AM »

You are right about Coconut oil, I take a teaspoon everyday. Helps to keep hormones optimal and a must if you are an athlete or work out often. It's one of the best fats out there and it's also a great anti-fungal.

Coconut oil can be good, but the entire coconut is better. I'm one of those people who do not do well on a low fat vegan diet (or a vegan diet high in modern seed oils or junk fats), and coconut (coconut milk in particular), changed my fasting habits dramatically. Before my expanded use of coconut in general, and the discovery of the Kitavan diet in particular, I could never go more than 5 days during Lent on a strict vegan fast. With its use, I have been able to do just fine. There are so many uses for coconut water, milk, and meat because of the high saturated fat content. You can use it in soups to desserts and everything in between. I have helped other people as well who also struggled on the modern style low fat or high junk fat Lenten vegan diet.

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I think the crux of the problem is all the packaged and processed foods in today's modern society. I think that some foods that are at the root of so many health problems these days are those that consist of yeast, refined flour products, moldy, and fungal containing foods. There is a doctor that has done some ground breaking research into this and he has come to the conclusion that if these foods were eliminated from our diet, we would be prone to much less disease and health problems. His name is Dr. Doug Kauffman & has a website knowthecause.com. He has authored books well known both conventional and the alternative healthcare field. I recently have cut back on most breads (except yeast & gluten free one's), most dairy, mushrooms, peanut butter etc. and feel much more energetic.

There is no question that refined grains (which are often full of yeasts, molds, fungi, etc.) and refined sugars are at the heart of our dietary problems. Eliminate these items and health often improves dramatically.  

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I do think a near perfect diet model would be something akin to the Paleolithic hunter/gather diet of our ancestors. A diet that consisted mostly of meat and vegetation that could be picked(berries as an example). Grains were introduced much later in the human diet and are problematic for many people. I'm not a low carber  by any means, it's just finding the right source because just about everything in the chain supermarkets is bad except maybe for sweet potato's and a few other low GI veggies.  

You can do fine on a diet high in carbs where the bulk of those carbs come from root vegetables and tropical style fruits (the tropical fruits haven't been subject to all the genetic engineering that has occurred with many other fruits) assuming your body isn't damaged beyond repair by the consumption of a high amounts of junk carbs. The Kitavan diet is precisely that - a diet high in root vegetables, coconut, vegetables, fish, and fruit. It is easily adaptable to Lenten or Monastic use. The Kitavans have an extremely high level of health with little cardiovascular disease or other diseases of civilization. They live healthy lives right up until a few days before they die. Now that is the way to go!

"The elderly residents of Kitava generally remain quite active up until the very end, when they begin to suffer fatigue for a few days and then die from what appears to be an infection or some type of rapid degeneration. Although this is seen in western societies, it is relatively rare in elderly vital people. The quality of life among the oldest residents thus appeared to be good in the Trobriand Islands."

http://www.staffanlindeberg.com/TheKitavaStudy.html

One other interesting point. While the Kitavans overall fat intake is low, 90% of the fat they consume is saturated, and about 10% higher on average than our saturated fat content in the west, even though our overall fat consumption is higher. For all the healthy low fat groups this seems to be the common denominator - low overall fat but high saturated fat, at least by western standards.

Kitava: Wrapping it Up
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/08/kitava-wrapping-it-up.html

excerpt:

"There's a lot to be learned from the Kitava study. Kitavans eat a diet of root vegetables, coconut, fruit, vegetables and fish and have undetectable levels of cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke and overweight. Despite smoking like chimneys. 69% of their calories come from carbohydrate, 21% from fat and 10% from protein. This is essentially a carbohydrate-heavy version of what our paleolithic ancestors ate. They also get lots of sunshine and have a moderately high activity level."

The Kitava Study
http://www.staffanlindeberg.com/TheKitavaStudy.html

excerpt:

"The main results of the Kitava study, that there is no ischaemic heart disease (and no stroke, see Chapter 4.2), are unanimously confirmed by medical experts with knowledge of the Trobriand Islands or other parts of Melanesia. Likewise, Jüptner noted no cases of angina pectoris, myocardial infarction or sudden death during his 5 years as a provincial doctor on the islands at the beginning of the 1960s, when the population was roughly 12,000. (Jüptner H, unpublished data). His experience is based partly on patients that visited him due to illness, and partly from systematic health examinations given in all the different villages at three separate times. The same observation was made by Schiefenhövel, physician and human ethologist from the Max Planck Institute in Munich (Schiefenhövel W, unpublished data). He can speak the language of the Trobrianders, Kilivila, and has his own hut on Kaileuna, one of the Trobriand Islands, where he examined close to 3,000 patients during his repeated visits over the course of close to 15 years. Like Jüptner, he is very familiar with the nature of cardiovascular disease and did not see any cases of the disease."
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« Reply #118 on: June 26, 2009, 02:20:15 AM »

For instance, Kraft puts cellulose in it's cheese products. Cellulose is used in attic installation for homes.
Evidence that you don't know what you're talking about. Wink  Cellulose is probably the key component in the walls of plant cells, making cellulose present in virtually all the vegetation we eat.
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« Reply #119 on: June 26, 2009, 02:26:36 AM »

Did anyone ever hear of the benefits of duckfat verses butter or canola/vegetable oil. French chefs have been using it for centuries and now the studies are in...Duck Fat is lower in mono-unsaturated & saturated fats than butter by 30 + percent and has a healthier assimilation than vegetable oil. Just a fun tidbit  laugh

All traditional fats (beef tallow, butter, ghee, duck fat, leaf lard, cod liver oil, olive oil, etc.) are better assimilated than the modern seed/vegetable oils. Modern seed oils (like canola) should be avoided like the plague. The fact that duck fat is lower in mono-unsaturated and saturated fats than butter makes it less optimal than butter or ghee, but still a good fat provided it is not the dominant fat in the diet. Despite the use of duck fat, saturated fat is the dominant fat in the French diet.
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« Reply #120 on: June 26, 2009, 02:28:08 AM »

There's Clarified Butter on that plate...in the little ramekin, (rumble grrrrrrr) which brings up an interesting question, if animal fat is clarified, (no fat left) does that make it o.k. to eat during a fast for us?

Clarified butter (or ghee) is nothing but fat. The milk proteins have been boiled away.
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« Reply #121 on: June 26, 2009, 02:44:15 AM »

Duckfat? Canola oil? Nothing compares to this!

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« Reply #122 on: June 26, 2009, 02:45:37 AM »

THANK YOU EVERYONE for the great discussion. I hope that we are all learning together and finding ways to be healthier and more conscientious about our own health, the health of others, and the well-being of God's glorious creation. A lot of you have really presented some great information. I look forward to reading more of your posts later. I appreciate the reasoned responses and the civil Christian tone that has been present on this thread. I have been challenged and edified, and I hope you have been as well.

This will be my last post on this thread for a while. I've got to get back to catching up on some reading, writing, guitar playing, and other matters when I have some spare time.

Thanks again. Keep the discussion going as long as you like. I'm sure this will be very helpful to a lot of people. I'll be back in due time.

Selam
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« Reply #123 on: June 26, 2009, 03:00:37 AM »

Not everyone who smokes will develop lung cancer.

I'm not sure I understand the point you are trying to make.

Quote
Some people live to be a hundred years old, yet they smoked most of their life, drank heavily, and ate food that was supposedly bad for them. But I don't think any reasonable doctor would say that smoking, excessive drinking, and eating unhealthy foods is OK.

Leaving aside the smoking issue, which is not the slam dunk you might think it is in terms of being detrimental to health, nowhere have I advocated excessive drinking or eating unhealthy foods. You have brought to the table that meat is an unhealthy food. I challenge that assumption and go even further by saying that the basis for many healthy diets around the world is meat and other animal products.

And while there might be some given individual here or there that violates what looks to us as necessary precepts for being healthy, I'm talking about the result in the aggregate, i.e. how groups fare over the long haul, not what a few exceptional individuals might achieve for a variety of reasons.

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Yes, I do have this genetic condition called "hypercholesterolemia;" that is one reason why I have to avoid certian types of saturated fats. It is also why I choose to be a vegetarian. Others can eat meat if they wish. But many people have the same condition that I have and are unaware of it. So that is one reason that I generally advocate a vegetarian diet.

Unless you are privy to some statistics that I am unaware of, hypercholesterolemia is not that common. But even if it was, I would be more inclined to buy your argument if you qualified your statements with warnings about getting checked for hypercholesterolemia so that one could adopt a vegetarian diet if need be. Instead, from the very beginning of this thread you have advocated your medical diet as the ideal "biblical diet."

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But I think above all my choice is based on my Pro-Life convictions. I try to uphold and respect Life and to avoid killing. Being a vegetarian is part of my comprehensive world view of affirming LIFE. Not that I believe meat eating is murder or any such silliness, just that I find being a vegetarian is a more Life-affirming choice for me personally.

I don't follow. Meat eating is not killing but vegetarianism is a more life affirming choice. I'm missing something here. It looks to me like you are introducing an argument through the back door that Holy Tradition does not allow regarding food.

We also know that plant life experiences pain as well. And that the increased cultivation of plant foods often leads to the killing of small animals and other kinds of life.

Having said that, I see no problem with a vegetarian diet as a personal choice.

Quote
When I eat Lamb during the Pascha Feast, I remember these words from St. Paul: "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected when received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the invocation of God in prayer." [I Timothy 4:4]

Selam

Okay. I think everyone here would agree with that.
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« Reply #124 on: June 26, 2009, 03:17:12 AM »

I appreciate your well reasoned points. I don't necessarily agree with them all, but they are interesting and worthy of consideration. I do find it odd that many of those who aren't vegetarians are somehow bothered by those of us who are. I have repeatedly stated that I am not arguing this issue on behalf of the Church, but that it is simply my own personal decision based upon a variety of reasons. If I find that a vegetarian lifestyle has benefited me personally, and if I believe that it is also a Life promoting diet, then why should I not promote this and advocate it for others? I'm not judging those who choose to eat meat. As I said previously, I often eat fish and even Lamb once a year. You have done quite well in advocating your views on the value of meat eating, so why shouldn't I do the same with my vegetarian lifestyle?

Selam

I'm not bothered by vegetarians. They eat animal foods like I do.  Grin

People are welcome to promote whatever they want, as long as it is true and proper. Promoting a particular diet as the diet is not true and proper. Denigrating a diet or particular food, whether for personal or Church reasons, that isn't based on truth or evidence is not proper either. Saying that meat eating per se is unhealthy just doesn't square with Tradition or the available scientific evidence.

Finally, I'm responding to your advocacy. I'm not personally advocating anything in this thread. But I do perk up when someone attempts to advocate the ideal "biblical" diet for health or ethical reasons in terms of the particular foods that make up our diet. Practically speaking there is no one optimal diet in terms of foodstuffs or macro-nutrient ratios. Theologically speaking, this side of heaven there is no such thing as the ideal biblical diet. It is an option as Orthodox Christians that simply isn't available to us.

Thanks for the pleasant interaction. I enjoyed it. Take care.

Tobit
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« Reply #125 on: June 26, 2009, 07:04:48 AM »

Tobit,

In other words there are a number of necessary nutritional items needed in our diets that a vegan can't get without adding some kind of animal product (or supplementation) to his diet.

I think I'm going to need you to prove this, since I'm very well aware of people who have eaten essentially vegan diets (what I mean by this: consumption of fish or meat or milk is very rare, less frequent than even once per month) for generations who have no such deficiencies, and instead have lived long lives.
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« Reply #126 on: June 26, 2009, 12:24:52 PM »

Baby Cows die when the are fed Pasteurized Milk...

This was originally propagated by the Weston Price Foundation but after being challenged by a number of their own members and/or fellow travelers for a valid scientific reference, they retracted this statement.

Still though, I agree. Pasteurized milk is not a good food.

Okay.. I stand corrected.

I also want to comment on the issue of Low Carbs. Sally Fallon ( for the rest of the folks here who don't know) is the President and voice of the Weston Price Foundation ( Dr. Price has been with the Lord for many years now). In her book "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" she recommends about 70 carbs per day . That is above the level Dr. Atkens would recommend for weight loss. It keeps you above the point where you will developed Ketosis but it is still by all measures a Low Carb way of eating.

I understand you comment that the work of Dr. Price himself can lead to all kinds of conclusions, but today the leaders of the Weston Price Foundation are squarely on the side of going low carb. That is where I got the idea.

More important is the central theme of eating foods that are highly processed and include saturated fats and raw milk, and depending on pasture fed animals free of Hormonal manilpulations..etc. We should study the diets of more primitive societies and begin to pattern our foods along those lines. There are more commonalities among these Traditional Diets than differences it seems to me.

I know that I have restored my good health after starting to eat this way.
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« Reply #127 on: June 26, 2009, 03:23:49 PM »

Username!

why can't you abstain and be like us fish eaters?





?  Lobster isn't fish.  And I'll pass, cutting meat out on Fridays during lent and picking something to give up for 40 days and whining about it is just wussy.  "oh my I could go for a snickers bar.. I gave up chocolate for lent"  that whine I hear just gets old.  Of course so does "the fifth ingredient in that bread is egg derived so it can't meet my lenten fasting needs."  Hence why we're supposed to fast and not tell people (including not refusing non-fasting foods at a non-Orthodox gathering/dinner) because we're to get our reward from God.  If we tell people we're fasting then we're seeking that reward from men not God.  In otherwords, I grow tired of people complaining about their fast.  It's none of anyone's business if you're fasting because you should be doing it for God. 
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« Reply #128 on: June 26, 2009, 03:42:18 PM »

Tobit is correct, I miss spoke about Clarified Butter or Duckfat...It is the Proteins that are clarified out of the fat. I was tire when I wrote it. [officially retracted] Althoug I'm still curious if it would be ok to eat if it is clarified? - Not to say I would, since I try to abstain from  Sorry about to talk about my own personal fasting.
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« Reply #129 on: June 26, 2009, 03:44:06 PM »

Username! it's shellfish?

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« Reply #130 on: June 26, 2009, 03:45:42 PM »

Relax Username, I was being facetious. You know me Kiss
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« Reply #131 on: June 26, 2009, 04:55:50 PM »

Relax Username, I was being facetious. You know me Kiss

Hey, I sometimes don't miss a chance to preach a bit if I can Smiley  I'll have two of those lobsters with a giant schwarzbier and some corn on the cob.
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« Reply #132 on: June 26, 2009, 04:56:42 PM »

Tobit is correct, I miss spoke about Clarified Butter or Duckfat...It is the Proteins that are clarified out of the fat. I was tire when I wrote it. [officially retracted] Althoug I'm still curious if it would be ok to eat if it is clarified? - Not to say I would, since I try to abstain from  Sorry about to talk about my own personal fasting.

When in doubt, contact the appropriate cleric for such information namely your parish priest or if you bump into him, maybe your bishop.
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« Reply #133 on: June 26, 2009, 07:49:50 PM »

Relax Username, I was being facetious. You know me Kiss

Hey, I sometimes don't miss a chance to preach a bit if I can Smiley  I'll have two of those lobsters with a giant schwarzbier and some corn on the cob.
Coming right up!

 Just make sure you leave room for dessert, my kind of dessert Smiley



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« Reply #134 on: June 27, 2009, 08:10:40 PM »

See, to me even eating insects would take you out of the vegan category. Maybe I was too into that PETA stuff when I was a vegan?

No question most vegans do not consider insects an appropriate food of vegans.
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