Veganism is not that simple

In the grand scheme of diets, I will be the first to say that I am an anomaly, maybe even hypocrite. Why? because I kind of prefer a vegan/vegetarian diet. Truth be told, animal food products are… well… I’ll get to that later. I do eat meat. I love a good filet mignon. I love a chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and topped with capers. I enjoy reuben sandwiches. I like my cans of tuna post-workout. 

I eat meat. In fact, I have a long list of different meats I’ve tried and am rather proud of the fact that I have had such culinary adventures.

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Anyone that says we’re not natural meat-eaters is likely to be a fool and ignorant of hominid evolution. Apes, specifically Chimps/Bonobos eat meat. While their diet tends to favour fruits and vegetables, by way of foraging, they do kill lizards and monkeys for meat. I leave out birds here, cause I’m not sure about tha

ImageDespite our mouth being filled with almost generalized dentition, we still have vestigial canines (or eye teeth, if you prefer that archaic term). These teeth are meant for shredding meat. Molars on the other hand, are meant for masticating tougher substances like vegetable matter. It just so happens, they’re great for doing the same to meat.

Our digestion system, also generalized, is geared towards an omnivores diet, but not a vegetarian diet. We possess a (supposedly) vestigial organ called the appendix, which is largely responsible for digesting plant matter (or cellulose), from what I understand. The rest of the intestinal system however, is built for the omnivore lifestyle. 

A nice little website that caught my attention is Vegan Kit, which provides a lot of good information.

Now, the reason why I consider myself a bit of a hypocrite is because I don’t look at the labels of my food very closely. I did however do so last night.

In an attempt to make split-pea soup, I decided to use margarine instead of whatever else is usually used in said soup. It’s supposed to be a ham hock, but that seems rather silly to me for my purpose of making such a soup, which is for its high protein.

You can imagine my surprise when I realized that my margarine contains MILK PRODUCTS

I’m somewhat lactose intolerant (some milk products hurt like hell, some don’t). So, I was rather disappointed and kinda ticked when I saw on the ingredient list the word “MILK”.

Subsequently, I’ve discovered that a good deal of breads contain milk products as well.
So long morning toast!

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Thinking back to the summer, when camping in Darien Lake, a friend had brought with her “Vegan Margarine” because her little one is allergic to a lot of random things. We all thought it was odd that a comestible oil product would need to be veganised. Now I know why.

Not that this is much of a rant, but this is all because I bothered to look at the side of my margarine tub.

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2 thoughts on “Veganism is not that simple

  1. oh Jos, you have no idea how happy i am that you’re blogging about this =) it’s no secret that i love a good challenge, and you’re pretty smart… so you’re giving me an opportunity to bring out the big guns (funny metaphor for a vegan, i know) and to tackle this debate in a way that will end up being more effective for me in the long run (hopefully other FB peeps will follow along!)… because it requires me to go all out and make my case against someone who has what also ~appears~ to be a good case. so, thank you ❤

    my preference for reason and scepticism doesn't go out the window when i talk about animals rights issues. and fortunately, there are a lot of scientific vegan skeptic types out there in the world today, with blogs, and i have the internet =) so i don't even have to research or write very much to make my point (which is a good thing, because fighting this battle takes up a great deal of my time already).

    let me start by saying that what chimpanzees and bonobos eat doesn't matter to me, in the least. obviously, we are not apes. arguing that we should continue to eat meat, based on the fact that chimpanzees and bonobos eat lizards and monkeys, is kinda silly to me.

    the fact that our ancestors ate meat doesn't matter because the ethical arguments for veganism still stand.

    you pointed out how the human digestive system is to adapted to an omnivorous diet, and i'm not going to disagree with you there (though we are characteristically much less omnivorous than many other omnivores). being omnivorous is just a description of our capabilites. it doesn't impose behaviours on us (this is a key point!). it's also pretty well-known that humans can survive and be healthy without eating animals, during all stages of life. so, really, none of this matters when making the decision to be vegan or not. IMO, the most natural diet for us as humans is the one that will give us optimum health. since rates of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are significantly reduced by going vegan, i would have to go with that diet as being the most natural. but again, this is all beside the point.

    btw, there are a lot of good vegan advocates/blogs on the web with a scientific/skeptical approach (who don't use misleading claims). perhaps you'd be interested in checking them out:

    http://www.veganscientist.com/

    http://asksciencedude.info [science dude is actually a woman — Sinead Collins, an evolutionary biologist who experiments with microbes… who is also feminist, vegan, and queer =)]

    http://human-nonhuman.blogspot.ca/

    http://veganskeptic.blogspot.ca

    http://paleovegan.blogspot.ca/

    http://www.veganhealth.org/

  2. If you’re gonna go the vegan margarine route, Earth Balance tastes better than [vegan] Becel, imo.

    Also, while a lot of bread does contain milk ingredients, you’d be surprised at how much bread is vegan. English Muffins, for instance. (one of my Saturday morning faves)

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