Jimmy Moore posted this week about a ludicrous "Interview with a Carnivore" posted by Allena Rose Tapia over at DietDective.com. Check out Jimmy's answers to her questions here: "Moderate Vegetarian" Goes To Extremes In Her Mock Interview With A Carnivore. I'd like to offer my own answers to Tapia's questions, since I think some of these questions are valid and deserve real answers:
Question: What's the one thing that keeps you from being vegetarian?
Answer: Credible research up to this point indicates that humans need a dietary source of amino and fatty acids. Some of these are only available from animal sources.
Question: What about the fact that alot of these tastes can be replicated by meat substitutes?
Answer: They absolutely cannot be replicated by meat substitutes! Are you kidding? You think a juicy steak and a Boca Burger taste anything near alike?
(Also, it's "a lot" not "alot".)
Question: I notice you have children. Do you worry about the environment you're leaving them?
Answer: I don't have children, but the argument about meat-eating being bad for the environment is based on faulty logic. Vegetarians like to tout the "one acre of land can produce 165 lbs of beef or 20,000 potatoes" line, but let's examine that briefly.
Firstly, while you do get more potatoes, potatoes are a vastly inferior source of nutrition to beef. If you doubt this, let's go head-to-head, and I'll eat only beef for a year while you eat only potatoes, and we'll see who's alive at Christmas.
Secondly, this argument rests on the faulty premise that every acre of land in the world is suitable for arable farming. This simply isn't the case - there are many areas where it is impossible to farm, but animals like sheep can graze freely. Until humans evolve a mechanism to derive nutrients from grass, perhaps we could continue to eat the ingenious devices which turn grass into nutritious protein - animals.
Question: Why aren't you worried about it?
Answer: I think there are more pressing concerns, like 8,500 people dying from AIDS every day and a largely ignored genocide ongoing in Darfur.
I am concerned about damage to the environment, however. To that end:
- I recycle whatever I can
- I use a canvas bag to go grocery shopping instead of using environmentally-damaging plastic bags
- I pay a carbon offset charge when I fly (for example, $70 for a round trip flight from Montreal-Orlando for two people)
- I don't smoke or litter
- I don't own or drive a car
Care to rack up your environmental damage next to mine just because you eat veggies instead of delicious meat?
Question: You're familiar with some of the methods by which meat animals are killed and tortured. How do you get past that when you bite into a burger?
Answer: I find the inhumane treatment of animals disgusting and unnecessary. I absolutely favor reforms so animals are raised and slaughtered in the most pain-free way possible. Temple Grandin has made some great progress with slaughterhouse improvements around the country. Buying free-range grass-fed beef, and free-range eggs are just a couple of ways to support more humane farming. Plus, happy cows taste better!
Question: How much do you worry about your health in connection to what you eat?
Answer: I pay very close attention to my health in connection to what I eat. I've noticed that eating a diet full of high-quality protein from meat, fish and eggs, and a few vegetables thrown in has made me healthier and happier than ever before. I also don't have the sallow complexion and the big dark circles you often see under vegetarians' eyes from iron deficiency.
Question: Would you be willing to reduce your meat-eating days to 3 per week, plus one fish day?
Answer: No way. Would you be willing to reduce your eating days to 4 per week?