Recently on Google+ I asked people what they thought about the lab grown burger, personally I am for the continued research in this field, but wanted to know what everyone else thought. This topic seemed to quickly skew off topic onto a vegan vs omnivore discussion. This wasn’t the intention of the discussion, but it quickly became apparent that this topic was here to stay. It is a hard topic to debate in just ‘comments’, which is quite frustrating, but it quickly came to light that my points we not being listened to.
Before we actually go into an discussion, there will almost always be bias from at least one side with this topic. In this case, the pro-vegan out rightly claimed that eating meat causes all illnesses, and when I asked for sources I was give pro-vegan websites. These websites contain no actual valid clinical information, but go on and on about how meat is bad, causes inflammation, heart attack etc. Now, to the vegan in this discussion, this all seemed to be proof, she then told me to go look at some documentaries which were also pro-vegan, and although interesting, still were not the full picture.
The problem is, when someone makes a strong statement like going vegan, they surround themselves in pro-vegan literature to enforce their decision. They won’t look into the nutrition value of meat, because they have already decided that it is bad for them. So when they ‘research’ the topic they will use search terms like ‘benefits of vegetables’ and ‘why meat is bad‘ – giving results such as the image on the right, which is clearly going to be bias as it is from PETA. This automatically removes any ‘health benefits of meat‘ topics from their results, and so never will see it. If they were to search ‘health benefits of meat‘ and no results came up, well then, I would say they are 100% right, but that isn’t the case, you cannot just ignore evidence you don’t like.
Simply put, many vegans have made their decision, and are out to prove it is right, and this is a fantastic example of bad science. If you research a topic looking for a certain answer, you will almost certainly find the answer you are looking for, no matter if it is right or wrong.. And this is exactly what happened in this discussion, the vegan was very familiar with lots of pro-vegan research, but totally unaware of any pro-meat research.
Funnily enough, when pointing this out the rather vocal pro-vegan has not replied.
I am not anti-vegan in anyway, and am always open to new research and findings. Nutrition is still a relatively new and very complex science, with new developments being made all the time. I will always try and take an unbias approach to these topics, but how can you debate with someone who is only looking at one side? Nightmare.
So, what do I think is right?
I do believe that omnivorous diet is the ideal healthy diet for humans. When I say omnivorous, I do not mean junk/ processed/ refined foods. I mean largely meat/ veg/ fruit – no refined foods. Meat is very nutritious, and contains a number of vitamins/ minerals/ high quality protein/ essential fat and animal products are the only natural source of vitamin B12 – meaning we need them! There is no actual evidence showing unprocessed grass fed meat is bad for you! From a nutrition point of view eating quality meat is a healthy option, bearing in mind you can only get good health from a healthy animal.
However, it is possible in the modern world, with a bit more attention to your diet, to be perfectly healthy as a vegan. From an ethical stand point I can fully understand the reasons to go vegan, especially in America, where the meat industry is little more than animal torture. But, f nutrition is your main goal though, I wouldn’t recommend being a vegan.
Let me know your thoughts, do you think the omnivorous diet is best? Am I missing some vital info here? Let me know!
Image courtesy of johndegree