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Challenge Match: orange_light vs Heike: Veggies Are Not Necessarily What They Eat

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posted on Dec, 9 2008 @ 10:13 PM
The topic for this debate is "Vegetarians Are Physically Healthier Than Those Who Eat Meat."

orange_light will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Heike will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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[edit on 29-1-2009 by MemoryShock]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 11:21 AM
Challenge Match:
orange_light vs Heike:
Veggies Are Not Necessarily What They Eat


It is an honor for me to debate this topic with Heike. I am going to dedicate this debate to LucidLunacy, who first agreed to debate the vegetarian issue with Heike. Unfortunately Lucid couldn't make it, so Lucid, this debate is for you!

A great thank you to MemoryShock, who set up this debate. I also would like to admit how much I appreciate the work of the judges. Thank you for helping us to share our knowledge, wisdom and the fun we have in debating.

Vegetarians Are Physically Healthier Than Those Who Eat Meat.

Food is essential for humans. We all need food to survive, for gain energy, and to operate successfully.

Most people know about healthy food and about the components their food needs to suit them properly. We know that we need carbs, protein, fat, fibers, vitamins and minerals to stay healthy.

Nourishment is not only about to eat properly; it has also to feed our souls. Therefore it is very difficult for most people to give up the diet they have learned in their youth. This diet is very similar in most western countries. In our case I will call it the Standard American Diet – SAD . This diet is a meat based diet.

Is meat really necessary to keep the body healthy and strong?

Or is it just a learned habit, a tradition, which is based on times in history where it was not possible to live on plant-based food?

Animals naturally never eat against their nature, if they live in freedom. Most people try to feed their pets according to their nature. Usually they feed their carnivore animals, like cats, with meat and their herbivore pets, like horses, with plants.

Humans are capable to make choices, even if these choices won’t suit them very much. Is the human body really designed to eat all kinds of food? Is the human body capable to digest meat the same way a carnivore can digest meat? And can he get the same benefit out of meat consumption? Or is it much easier for humans to digest plant-based food and take the best benefit out of this nourishment?

In this debate I will take a very close look to the digestive system of the human body. I will compare it to digestive systems of carnivores and to digestive system of herbivores. I will also examine the set-of-teeth of humans compared to carnivores and herbivores and other body features.

I will prove that humans can only survive on plant-based food. A plant-based diet keeps a human body much healthier than a diet, which includes meat, especially the amount of meat the Standard American Diet contains.

I will also take a very close look on the so-called disease of civilization. What are these diseases? Where do they come from and how can people avoid them?

I am not going to tell you, that if you live a vegetarian life you will never get e.g. cancer. That is not possible and would be absolutely unethical. Most diseases have many factors, which promote them. Some people even have a special disposition to develop a certain disease. There are smokers, who will never get lung cancer, and non-smokers, who suffer of lung cancer.
You can’t protect yourself from getting ill, but you can do your best to minimize the risk.

We will learn about the different types of vegetarianism and we will see, that our closest relatives in the animal kingdom are vegetarians too.

I won't tell you that humans are not able to eat meat, this is possible; but not everything that is possible to eat is always the most healthy choice.

Humans are able to smoke cigarettes, which we know is a very unhealthy habit. Humans eat meat, which is also just a habit, something humans have learned during the centuries.

I also know that some defenders of the meat-based diet, or omnivore diet try to admit that it is the best to eat organic or free ranged meat. It is always the best to eat organic, no matter what you eat. But sadly most people don’t eat organic and most people can’t afford to eat organic.

Just think for a moment how your grandparents or their grandparents lived.
One hundred years ago in Germany most people had a little stable at their house where they fed some chickens, or some raised a pig. A a certain time a year they slaughtered this pig and lived on its meat a whole year until the next pig was big enough to meet the fate of its predecessor.

One pig had to still the desire for meet of a whole family for one year – a family, who usually consists of grandparents, parents, six to twelve children. Meat was more a treat than the basic of the meal. Usually the family lived on things like porridge, kale soup, bread – which are plant based. It was highly possible for them to survive, even doing the hard work they had to do to make a living, on vegetables and grains. This is the natural way of eating of humans as we will see later on in this debate.
They didn’t eat meat two- or three-times a day, they didn’t even eat it every day, mostly just once a week.
We are not talking about the rich people or the nobility, just ordinary people, who could only afford a simple living.

Just like the ordinary people of 2009, who only can afford the groceries of the supermarket next door, who believe that only meat can build strong and healthy bodies and who don’t understand that 1 kg meat which costs between € 6 / $ 8 and € 15 / $ 19 can’t be healthy. These prices are only achievable when the meat is raised industrially in meat factories, where cows, pigs or chicken will live a poor life, crowded in narrow boxes, fed non- species-appropriate food, treated with antibiotics to prevent them from getting sick, living in a high-stress environment because of their limitations.
All experience those animals had, all things they are going to eat and drink, will be found in the meat you eat in your daily diet.

We will deal with this subject not on the base of animal rights, which is also worthwhile to debate, but on the base of our own personal benefits and health.


Types of vegetarians.

First of all we should answer the question what is a vegetarian?

In general a vegetarian is somebody, who doesn’t eat meat or animals.
Some people call themselves vegetarian, but still include poultry or fish in their diet. These people are no real vegetarians. A vegetarian really doesn’t eat any meat.

Some people also claim that they just occasionally eat some meat, and therefore they call themselves vegetarians. But they are also no true vegetarians.

From the health point of view the above-described varieties might be a better option than eating meat as people do who follow SAD, but it is not at all a vegetarian lifestyle.

We can distinguish Vegetarians by the amount of animal products, which are excluded from their diet

ovo-lacto vegetarian
This is the most common type of vegetarian.
An ovo-lacto vegetarian doesn’t eat any meat: no beef, no pork, no poultry, no fish or other animal’s flesh. But they consume more or less often eggs and dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt.

lacto vegetarian
This type of vegetarian doesn’t consume any meat and also avoids eggs, but eats dairy.

ovo vegetarian
Doesn’t eat meat and dairy, but enjoys eggs.

Pure or strict vegetarians
These people don’t consume anything form an animal, no meat, no eggs, no dairy.
Some even avoid honey, some might consume honey.
Compared to vegans the pure vegetarian has different reasons for his/her lifestyle. Mostly they will tell you about health issues, some have spiritual or ethical reasons.


A vegan is also a very strict vegetarian, whose point of view is focused on the animals. He does everything because of the animals. So a vegan doesn’t eat meat, nor does he eat dairy, eggs, honey or anything else that comes form an animal. A vegan doesn’t wear anything, which comes from an animal, no leather shoes, no woolen sweater, and no animal by-products in anything in his house. A true vegan is absolutely involved in animal rights.
But a true vegan is also aware that he can’t be 100% vegan since animal by-products are found in nearly everything on earth, but he tries to avoid as much as possible,

Than there are two more strict groups.

Raw vegetarian/vegan

They follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, which excludes cooked foods or at least food, which isn’t heated over 115 F / 46° C.


A variety of a raw food vegetarian, who only eats fruits, greens, nuts, and seeds.

source for all types of vegetarians

In this debate we will focus on the more common types of vegetarians:
Ovo-lacto, lacto, ovo and vegan to prove that a vegetarian diet is much more healthy than a diet which includes meat!

Socratic Questions to Heike

What do you do, to avoid the unhealthy things like antibiotics, hormones etc., which are fed to farm-factory animals?

What can people with very small income do, to avoid this in their diet?

Do you agree, that most people eat meat just because of the taste of it?

Heike, the field is yours!

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 03:58 PM
My gratitude and appreciation go out to Orange-light for agreeing to take on this debate, to My Swe .. I mean, MemoryShock, for setting it up for us, and to the readers and judges. Lucid buddy, if you’re out there, please let us know you’re okay. We miss you.

“Vegetarians Are Physically Healthier Than Those Who Eat Meat.”

In the animal kingdom, there are three basic types of diets. Carnivore, Omnivore, and Herbivore. Due to a plethora of scientific research and simple common sense, we know that an animal which eats against its design will not be healthy. Carnivores such as felines and canines don’t thrive if fed mostly plant matter, and herbivores like cows and deer can’t digest meat. Omnivores thrive on variety, and in general don’t do well if their diet is restricted from a wide variety of foods.

For a moment I will divert to address the concerns of those who believe that we were created by a deity and will find some of the rest of this post irrelevant, if not repulsive. If we were intelligently designed, then it is clear both from our anatomy and our biology, and from the writings in the Christian Bible and other holy books, that our Creator intended for us to eat meat and use animal products. Did not Jesus Christ refer to himself as our Shepherd?

Looking at science and evolution, it is clear that all of our close relatives and recent ancestors are omnivores. Monkeys and great apes eat a great deal of plant matter, but they also eat insects and any meat that they manage to gain access too. Apes, monkeys, bears, and other omnivores are often called “opportunistic,” as they will take advantage of any food source they can find.

As easily as we can point to the fact that carnivores are able to make their own vitamin C, and thus we are not carnivores, we can also point to the fact that herbivores, by and large, have a specialized digestive system which allows them to digest grasses and leaves. We do not. Nor can we, as most herbivores can, manufacture our own B12. Again, scientifically it is quite clear that human beings are, or should be, omnivores.

Furthermore, evolutionary theory teaches us that we owe our intelligence to the practice of eating meat. Brain tissue requires more protein than other parts of the body, and acquiring a source of high quality (animal) protein is what allowed our ancestors to develop larger brains and become more intelligent. In short, if your ancestors hadn’t eaten meat, you wouldn’t be smart enough to sit there and argue the point.

I have said all that to make one point clear: Whether by design or evolution, human beings are supposed to have high quality protein - animal protein - in their diet.

Nor is it actually possible to survive on a “natural” vegetarian diet. The grains, legumes, fruits, and even nuts that are available to us today are not natural. They have been severely modified by cultivation and selective breeding for thousands of generations by humans. Even modern day “sweet corn” bears little resemblance to the maize corn of the Native Americans. A person trying to survive in the “wild” without access to such cultivated plants would have little success unless he ate meat; wild vegetables, fruits, fungi, and grasses (which is what grains actually are) would be insufficient to sustain him. It is possible, utilizing modern crops such as soybeans and other legumes and grains which have been carefully bred for consumption by humans, to survive without meat. However, it isn’t what we were intended to eat, and it isn’t the healthiest diet available to us.

Anyone, including me, can readily google up hundreds of articles about the health benefits of the vegetarian diet, and I assume this is what my worthy opponent intends to do. They are, however, not telling you the whole truth and they are missing the true reasons why people who follow a vegetarian diet may be healthier than the meat-and-potatoes man. I will present to you some of those reasons, which have nothing to do with the exclusion of meat and other animal proteins from the diet.

1. Due to concerns about animal by-products and processed animal fats in “junk” and snack foods, most vegetarians avoid them. Common sense and what few real facts we know about nutrition should make it easy for all of you to see why avoiding “junk foods” and snack foods is beneficial to one’s health, and has nothing to do with not eating meat.

2. The vegetarian diet requires eating large amounts of high-fiber plant matter in order to derive adequate nutrients. A person eating a more balanced diet and including high-fiber grains and vegetables will derive the same health benefits without giving up meat.

3. Our best source of dietary fats tends to be animal products. Since vegetarians don’t eat animal products, their diet tends to be lower in fat, and therefore also lower in calories. However, a person who includes lean meats, fish, eggs, and poultry in their diet and avoids fattier cuts of red meat can achieve exactly the same benefits without giving up meat.

The simple truth is, being a vegetarian takes effort, and work, and planning, and paying careful attention to what one eats. The average modern day person is not concerned enough to put that much time and effort into watching what they eat, eating instead a diet composed mostly of modern pre-packaged and processed convenience foods, fast food “restaurant” fare, and selections from vending machines and convenience stores. If any of us invested the same amount of work into planning our diet and eating healthy, the inclusion or exclusion of meat from the diet would make little appreciable difference to our health. In fact, the person eating a healthy balanced diet which includes appropriate portions of lean meats will be just as healthy as, or healthier than, a vegetarian without the need for dietary supplements such as B-12.

My opponent’s Socratic Questions:

SQ1. What do you do, to avoid the unhealthy things like antibiotics, hormones etc., which are fed to farm-factory animals?

It isn’t difficult. Even Wal-mart is carrying hormone-free meats and “cage-free” eggs. In even the small towns in my rural area, grass-fed natural beef is readily available at the grocery stores, and many areas have food co-ops and farmer’s markets which carry meat from local farmers.

SQ2:What can people with very small income do, to avoid this in their diet?

Buy smaller amounts of high quality meat. Most of us admittedly eat much more meat than we need; buying quality over quantity will allow even low-income people to purchase better meats. And, of course, low-income people who live in rural areas can have their own chickens or rabbits, hunt, fish, and even raise a pig, calf, or goat to meet their needs very economically.

SQ3: Do you agree, that most people eat meat just because of the taste of it?

Certainly many of us enjoy the taste of a good steak or hamburger, but I believe that the primary reason most people eat meat is because it is the most convenient and readily available source of complete, high-quality protein.

Socratic Questions for my opponent:

1. If the vegetarian diet is so healthy, why does it require taking artificial dietary supplements?

2. How do you, as a vegetarian, avoid Vitamin D, zinc, iron, and calcium deficiencies?

posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 02:22 PM
taking my 24 h extension

posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 06:25 AM
Response 1

Is my honorable opponent jumping on the band wagon of creationists and scientists just to please them all? She mentions the Bible, which tell us to eat meat.

Just two thoughts in this context: Heike mentions

our Creator
– who’s creator? Yours Heike, or whom do you mean by “our”, or is it a generalization to make it easier for the readers and judges to identify with your position?

Why didn’t Heike mention other religious faiths in this context. I am totally aware of the “other holy books”, but why not referring e.g. to Islamic faith and Hinduism, or are they not referred to, because of their dietarian restrictions?

Comparision of Human, Carnivore and Herbivore anatomy

Digestions starts in the mouth! This is a very common saying at least in my home country.
When we look at the mouth of a carnivore, we can easily see that the mouth and the teeth are made to kill the food, a living animal. The carnivore sees a prey animal, and due to its instinct its starts hunting.
A human being never gets these feelings when seeing an animal. Or has anybody of you, my dear readers, ever felt salivation when seeing an animal that could be meat?

A carnivore has to snap an animal, has to snap the flesh from the animal, the raw flesh and swallow it, since they usually can’t chew.

A human and most herbivores would bite their food, and chew it, usually very carefully.
As you can see at the picture the human teeth don’t show real canine teeth.
Maybe some human canine teeth might be sharper than other human canine teeth, compared to those of a cat, a very small carnivore, human canine teeth are just nothing.

Since humans don’t have elaborated canine teeth, the molar and premolars are very well elaborated. Just take a look at the picture. Big molars, like a horse has big molars too, or a cow. Certainly we got these big molars to chew and grind our food.

Further down the food enters the stomach. The stomach of a carnivore is compared to its body size very big. They digest meat very easily and the small intestines is very short. The meat doesn’t have a chance to rot in their digestive system.

The digestive system of a herbivore is much longer. It takes a long time to digest plant food. The small intestines of humans is about 7 to 9 meters, the one of a cow could be about 20 meters. Due to crinkles and villis in the human colon, the colon surface can be up to 180 square meters.


Disclaimer: The above shown table is an excerpt of the material provided in the link, which I quoted. I modified the material for better presentation.

If a human being eats meat, this meat takes a long time to goes through the body. It has plenty of time to rot.


Lets do a brief digression concerning Standard American Diet. What do I mean, when I refer to this common eating habit? We all know how it looks like, it is the food that we find daily on our plates: cereals with milk, toasts loaded with cold cuts, hamburgers, French fries, steaks with very few vegetables. It is the diet the fast food chains of the western culture promote.

If you were to list the factors that increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, intestinal disorders – just about any illness – the standard American diet has them all:

    • High in animal fats
    • High in unhealthy fats: saturated, hydrogenated
    • Low in fiber
    • High in processed foods
    • Low in complex carbohydrates
    • Low in plant-based foods


I guess everybody had a good laugh, when Heike said:

In short, if your ancestors hadn’t eaten meat, you wouldn’t be smart enough to sit there and argue the point.

Heike also says that animal protein is high quality protein, which makes us intelligent.

My cat eats only meat, high quality protein, he should be much more intelligent than me! Why is the world not ruled by carnivores? I am not talking about meat preferring presidents, just a simple lion will be good for me.

Nobody denies that we need proteins to built muscles and brain tissue or just simple: body cells. But I can’t find any proof in Heike’s opening why exactly animal protein has such a better quality than plant protein.

It is no problem to get enough protein on a plant based diet. It is easy since so many plants contain protein, at least there are very few plants that don’t contain protein. Even a carrot contains 0.4 g of protein.

How much proteins do we need?
When searching the web for the answer to this question I was a bit puzzled. Some scientist claim that we need 0.8 g/kg of body weight others claim just half of it.

Is it similar as it is to my knowledge with Vitamin C? In Germany RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of Vitamin C is about 75 mg, the US recommends for males 90 mg and for females 75 mg. A British adult needs just 40 mg, the WHO recommends 45 mg, a Canadian 60 mg. Confused? Yes, me too.

Maybe these data is so confusing because we all need different amounts in any nutrition?
We are all individuals and we need different amounts of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbs and fats. You will realize that usually a certain value, depending on the topic we are examing, won’t be under-run, in case of Vitamin C it is the 40mg limit.

Cats indeed make their own Vitamin C. Why? Cats don’t eat so much oranges, more meat, that’s the reason!

Back to protein.
Protein is important, and an average person of 75 kg needs between 24 to 48 g of protein, depending which scientifically school you are following. [3]

How do we get our protein?

A meat eater certainly the gross of it via meat. Did you know that half a cup of beans has the same amount of protein than 100 g of steak? But beans got fiber in them too, fibers which will keep you full and satisfied much longer than a steak.

Ever been to an Indian restaurant? What do they serve? Dal! – made out of lentils or pulses, highly packed with proteins.

Chick peas, you can make a very delicious hummous out of them, got 16 g of proteins in 200 g. Which is nearly half the amount you need per day! Even half a pint of Soy Milk comes around with 8.2 g and Cow’s Milk for 9.2 g at the half pint.

Does it seem difficult to you to get your proteins from a vegetarian diet? I don’t think so. Even if Heike wants us to think so, because we have to plan a bit.

The simple truth is, being a vegetarian takes effort, and work, and planning, and paying careful attention to what one eats. The average modern day person is not concerned enough to put that much time and effort into watching what they eat,

… SAD enough. Everybody should be concerned what they eat. It is your body, it is your health. Who should care about you, if not you by yourself? Don’t be lazy, read labels, and go to eat the healthy way.


Most people belief Vitamin B12 is made in animals, and your only source for it is meat.
This is not true!

Vitamin B12 is needed for cell division and blood formation. Neither plants nor animals make vitamin B12. Bacteria are responsible for producing vitamin B12. Animals get their vitamin B12 from eating foods contaminated with vitamin B12 and then the animal becomes a source of vitamin B12. Plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 except when they are contaminated by microorganisms or have vitamin B12 added to them. [4]

The amount of Vitamin B12 you need is very low. Between 2 to 5 mg of B12 are stored in the human body and you only need to refresh it from time to time. Certain yeast flakes available in the States got B12 in them or e.g. tempeh.

Socratic Questions for my opponent:

1. If the vegetarian diet is so healthy, why does it require taking artificial dietary supplements?

The vegetarian diet doesn’t require taking artificial dietary supplements!
Some vegetarians and vegans do so.

Plan your diet carefully and you can avoid meat and artificial dietary supplements!

2. How do you, as a vegetarian, avoid Vitamin D, zinc, iron, and calcium deficiencies?

Since I am healthy, which my doc proved the other day I seem to be very successful in avoiding deficiencies,

Vitamin D: This Vitamin is created by the human body from cholesterol. You only have to be outside a certain time and get some UV-light on your skin. Just make a walk!

Zinc: Lentils! Lentils, the dal I love, which I eat for proteins is packed with zinc too, but also cow’s milk, whole grains, seeds like sesam, pumkin seeds, also peanuts, walnuts, mushrooms, lettuce, cucumbers, asparagus and even green tea – packed with zinc. Where is the problem? It seems to be very boring just to get the zinc from read meat!

Iron: You think it is tricky, ha never. One trick: cook your food in an old fashion iron pan, and iron adds automatically to your food. You can even get more iron into your meat.

Whole grain. – Millet is a wonderful source for iron. Remember the fairy tale where they serve millet gruel? It is a part of the “land of milk and honey” tale. See old fashioned and very healthy.

And yeah my favorite: lentils, pulses, beans! Whole grain burritos with beans, mushrooms, sprinkled with sesam – fills up my iron level, and my zinc level, sitting in the sunshine vitamin D is added too.

Calcium: I guess as you do it as well: cow’s milk. Cheese, curd, but in kale you find a good amount of calcium too, broccoli, spinach – mommy always told you to eat your spinach. Did I mention whole grains? Yeah those as well!

Back to you Heike!

posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 12:33 PM
Understanding the Topic

Vegetarians are physically healthier than those who eat meat.

If the topic said “Vegetarians are physically healthier than those who eat SAD (the Standard American Diet,” I would have conceded the debate in my opening. But that isn’t what the topic says. The topic statement clearly implies two things:

1. The primary reason for the health benefits of the vegetarian diet is the exclusion of meat.
2. All other things being equal, a person who doesn’t eat meat will be healthier than one who does.

I will prove that both of these statements, and thus the topic, are false.

Nearly all “health” diets, including vegetarianism, the NT (nurturing traditions) diet, raw foods diet, the hallelujah diet, the heart healthy diet, etc., etc., etc., and even weight loss diets such as Weight Watchers, South Beach, etc. have one very simple thing in common. They all recommend that one exclude (or severely restrict) refined carbohydrates (including sugar), fatty/fried foods, and most commercially processed foods from the diet. And all of the above diets can boast health benefits similar to those claimed by vegetarians. In fact, anyone eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet which avoids “junk” foods will see significant health benefits, regardless of whether or not they eat meat. It is now apparent that the primary reason for any health benefits associated with the vegetarian diet is not the exclusion of animal protein, but the exclusion of foods which actually are unhealthy – sugar and other refined carbohydrates, high-fat foods, and commercial “convenience” foods – from the diet.

Comparing the vegetarian diet to the average person’s diet (SAD) - which often consists of fast food burgers, pizza palaces, the colonel’s fried chicken, frozen dinners which feature portions suitable for hungry hippos, box dinners (such as burger helpers), and other commercially processed convenience foods - is an invalid comparison. It’s like comparing a marathon runner who keeps in training by running several miles every single day with a guy who has a treadmill in his spare bedroom and uses it every day .. well, most days .. well, some days if he remembers and there’s nothing good on TV, and then claiming that this proves that outdoor running has significant health benefits over using a treadmill. If the treadmill guy invested the same amount of time and effort into his exercise routine as the runner, there would be little if any appreciable difference between the two.

The exact same thing is true of comparing a vegetarian diet to an omnivorous diet. If the omnivore invests the same amount of time and effort into eating a healthy diet that the vegetarian does avoiding meat and animal products, any minimal differences between the two will actually weigh in favor of the omnivore, who is getting all of the nutrients his body needs from the foods he eats and is not forcing his body to assemble complete proteins out of bits and pieces like tinkertoys. If we compare green apples to red apples instead of trying to compare apples to fried apple pies, we’ll see the truth.

Personally, what I find most amusing is that the low carb diets (Atkins and similar diets), which typically include more meat than the average SAD diet, claim many of the same health benefits as a vegetarian diet, and have the research results to back them up! Benefits of Low Carb Diets

Responses to my opponent:

who’s creator? Why didn’t Heike mention other religious faiths in this context.

Had I mentioned only the scientific/evolutionary viewpoint, I would have lost readers who don’t believe in evolution.. I’m not sure how you missed my summary statement, but I don’t mind posting it again: Whether by design or evolution, human beings are supposed to have high quality protein - animal protein - in their diet.

To address my opponent’s anatomy lesson: As I had previously mentioned, we all know that human beings are not carnivores. However, neither are we herbivores. Our closest (and most similar) animal relatives, the apes, chimpanzees, etc. are omnivores, not vegetarians. An omnivorous diet includes animal protein sources.

If a human being eats meat, this meat takes a long time to goes through the body. It has plenty of time to rot.

This is another myth which has been repeated and propagated so much that, like many other urban legends, it’s become accepted as fact. Here’s the truth:

How long does it take to digest red meat?
Less than 4-6 hours. Meat is made up of protein and some fats which are easily digested and will generally leave the stomach within 2-3 hours. Meat is fully digested within 4-6 hours compared to the dietary fibre found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains which take more than 2 days. The human digestive system is well designed to digest a variety of foods including red meat, which contains a wide range of essential nutrients, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and long chain omega-3s.

But I can’t find any proof in Heike’s opening why exactly animal protein has such a better quality than plant protein.

I apologize for the omission. I remember learning about complete and incomplete proteins from elementary school, but here you go:
Proteins are composed of amino acids. There are about 20 amino acids in all, and nine of them are regarded as “essential” for humans. Plant sources of protein are incomplete, i.e. do not contain all of the necessary amino acids. The human body can “assemble” complete proteins from eating combinations of two or more different foods with complementary amino acids, but it’s much easier to grab them whole and pre-assembled from animal sources.

Partially complete proteins do not contain all 9 of the essential amino acids but a limited amount of one or more of them. Partially complete amino acids provide normal maintenance but will not support growth.
Some plant foods contain protein, but do not have all the essential amino acids the human body needs. They are called incomplete proteins.

Vegetarians often argue that the ready availability of soy products designed for vegetarians makes this an obsolete point, but they conveniently forget to mention how UNhealthy it is to consume unfermented soy products. Soybeans contain phytoestrogens, which have been linked to early onset of puberty, hormonal imbalances, and many other problems. Soy products contain potent toxins and are also linked to many diseases, especially in infants and children. Read up on the dangers of soy:

Soy Online Service
The Ploy of Soy
Soy's Thyroid Dangers

Soy products are NOT, by any means, a healthy alternative to meat!

I would now like to address my opponent’s glib assurances that the vegetarian diet does not require supplementation and provides adequate amounts of critical nutrients.

From the same source as above (a school lesson plan, by the way):

They (vegetarians) also need to take special care to ensure adequate consumption of certain vitamins and minerals that are not supplied by a diet rich in plant sources. These nutrients include: zinc, calcium, iron, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12.

Also, your answer to the iron question concerns me as your friend, not just your debate opponent. Your body can not absorb and utilize the iron from an iron cooking pot! Furthermore, not all dietary sources of iron are equal:

HEME iron is found only in meat, fish and poultry and is absorbed much more easily than NON-HEME iron, which is found primarily in fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts and grain products.

*Seriously, debate aside, any of you who are vegetarians need to be taking an iron supplement!*

To summarize, in this post we have seen that what makes a vegetarian diet healthy is not the exclusion of meat, but the exclusion of other unhealthy foods, and that a healthy omnivorous diet is actually better for the human body than a vegetarian diet.

posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 11:59 AM
response 2

At first I have to mention a formal subject. Due to the rules stated in the first post by MemoryShock:

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

[emphasis mine]

we are supposed to use no more than 5 references in each posts. If you check the references Heike you find 7 references! Which one are you going to give up, Heike?

Subject of the debate

Heike tries to confuse the readers and the judges by figuring out that the subject is only about vegetarian diet versus meat. At first glance it seems so, but what is the reality?
The reality is SAD, if Heike likes it or not. SAD, which includes junk food usually based on meat – I don’t want to figure out the quality of this meat. SAD, which includes Mommy’s roasted chicken or other roasts on Sunday. SAD, which includes steak for dinner, maybe with French fries or mashed potatoes as a side dish. SAD, the diet of the ordinary people next door. The people, who really don’t think about their diet. The people, who eat the same way as their parents. The people, who believe the myth, that you need meat to grow up strong – as it was recently demonstrated in the TV soap “Desperate Housewives”.

And Heike, it is also a myth that all other things are equal. A vegetarian, who usually cares for his/her health, won’t just leave the meat away. A vegetarian plans his/her diet – we can do a little survey among the vegetarians of ATS about this subject, after we finished the debate.

All the other diets you mentioned can be topics of further debates, not of this.


Heike provides us with a link, which proves that meat is digested easily. I am totally aware that a carnivore eats its meat raw and a human being prefers the processed version.

Do you know how long it takes for a human being to digest raw meat

The link Heike uses to prove her idea leads us to a website of MLA:

About MLA
Meat & Livestock Australia provides R&D and marketing services to the red meat industry.
Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is a producer-owned company, working in partnership with industry and government to achieve a profitable and sustainable red meat and livestock industry.

1 [emphasis mine]

Huu? What are they doing? Marketing for the red meat industry!
Do you really believe they are telling you the truth? I don’t. They want to sell their meat. They want to make profit. Therefore everything is fine with red meat.

If you search the web you will also find hundreds of sites promoting deer, lamb, pork or poultry – all fine, all healthy, otherwise not sellable.

Complete vs Incomplete Protein

We just have to follow the link, Heike provides us, to learn that it is not difficult to get complete protein out of plant food.

by combining plant proteins from a variety of cereals and grains
For example: peanut butter lacks 3 amino acids. By spreading it on buttered whole wheat (not white) bread and serving it with a glass of milk or some yogurt it becomes a complete protein.

As I mentioned before: vegetarians take their health very serious and plan their meals, contrary to most meat-eaters.
When you look at my list of plant food containing proteins, you will see that I don’t recommend soy food as meat substitute. I mentioned it, because it is true that it contains protein. Whether a vegetarian chooses to eat soy is his decision. I by myself like it occasionally but I don’t eat it regularly. The benefits or disadvantages of soy food might be a topic of a further debate.


Again: you can take supplements, but you don’t have to.

Even if it is promoted by an educational plan. The educational plans for schools in Germany also promote that kids only can survive when eating meat. And if you look close at most educational plans, as I have to do as a mother of a young student, you just want to bang your head against walls most times of the day.

If you want to be sure and safe, take your supplement. Plan your diet carefully, you don’t have to. Iron, as recommended: millet! It is wonderful and delicious.

Lets take a close look at heike’s link = 3, and we learn, which is well known abmong most vegetarians: iron together with food, which contains Vitamin C. Makes it easier for the body, to absorb the iron. So millet cooked with spinach and apricots, and enjoy it with a glass of orange juice – delicious and iron boosting.

Your body can not absorb and utilize the iron from an iron cooking pot! Furthermore, not all dietary sources of iron are equal:

Heike, you haven’t read your own reference!

The following factors will increase the iron absorption from non-heme foods:
… snip …
A NON-HEME food cooked in an iron pot, such as a cast iron skillet

3 [emphasis mine]

Lifestyle Diseases and their possible Reason

These are disease, which are connected to our life style. The disease are a phenomenon of our culture and civilization. Usually you find them very rarely in cultures, who live more natural.

Alzheimer's disease
Chronic liver disease or cirrhosis
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Type 2 diabetes
Heart disease
Metabolic syndrome criteria
Nephritis or chronic renal failure

I don’t claim this list complete, and I am also totally aware that most disease can have many reasons. I will also only deal with some for our topic significant disease. When you search the link I provided you will find that many of the so called lifestyle disease got similar risks.


Alzheimer’s disease:
high blood pressure
high cholesterol

high blood pressure
high cholesterol

could lead to stroke
renal failiure
hear attack

Heart disease like heart attack
type 2diabetes
high blood pressure
high cholesterin
over weight

high cholesterol
high blood pressure

Heart diseases got to be cause of death No 1 in 1998 in the USA page 2 – 4

A healthy lifestyle can cut down your risk getting a stroke by 80%! But dying of a stroke is still death cause no 3 in the UK. Even children can get a stroke, in Germany 200 children every year.

Cancer – Colon Cancer

In June 2005, a study by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition suggested that diets high in red and processed meat, as well as those low in fiber, are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

If you look at the list above carefully, you will figure out that they all got something in common: high blood pressure, high cholesterol.

Every animal cell contains cholesterol, therefore every human cell as well! If you eat meat, and it doesn’t matter what kind of meat, you also eat the cholesterol, which is stored in the cell of the meat. Therefore a doctor, who just figured out that your cholesterol level is to high, doesn’t only advice that you should reduce animal fats, he also advices to reduce the supply of meat and other animal related things. The advice to reduce the supply is – in my opinion – an acknowledgement to the eating habits of the patient. But the doctor will be totally aware that each 100 g of meat his patient eats consist the amount of 45 ti 95 mg of cholesterol.

If you don’t eat any meat, you don’t eat this amount of cholesterol!

When eating vegetarian your cholesterol level is usually lower than the cholesterol level of a person following SAD or even eating meat, which was raised organic.

In her opening Heike claimed

Even Wal-mart is carrying hormone-free meats

– which I really doubt, that it is true, not Heike’s statement, but WalMart’s statement.
Supermarkets want to sell anything, meat as well, and they figure out that some people are aware that some items in meat can make them ill. Today they declare their meat free of hormones, but the animals are still fed with antibiotics, which can make you resistant to antibiotics, when you need them. You don’t know what the cattle or pig got, your doc only realizes that he can’t cure your pneumonia. You remain ill, because you ate meat.

Mad Cow Disease

Everybody has heard about MCD.
Why did epidemic happen?
It happened because some guy in the meat industry wanted to make more profit. They fed the rests from slaughtered animals, the things they couldn’t sell anywhere else, to animals, who are obviously herbivores: cows and sheep.
Plant food was much more expensive, but these rubbish was ready at hand, they called it animal meal.
The cows got ill, when they are about 5 years old. Some proteins called prion destroy the brain of the cow, that it looks like a sponge and won’t function anymore.

You might say that you are no cow and won’t get a disease that rages among cows or sheep.
Don’t be that sure.
There is a disease similar to MCD, it is called: Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease.
Pathogen: same as MCD, prions!
Brain: similar as those of a cow – a sponge with holes in it.

A new version of it, which appeared first in the 1990 in Great Britain is called vCDJ. Scientist think that those averagely young people got ill, because they ate meat of MCD-cows. The incubation period of vCDJ is approx. 12.6 years, so there are still some new patients out there. Patients, who would remained healthy, when sticking to a vegetarian diet.

posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 10:30 PM
The Mythos of the Healthy Vegetarian.

What is a vegetarian diet? If you ask my debate opponent, or check vegetarian websites, you will get a nice comprehensive list of what vegetarians should eat, and an explanation of HOW to eat as a vegetarian.


The definition of vegetarian is:

a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.
Reference #1
So, when we ask about the vegetarian diet, why aren’t we simply told “a diet that doesn’t include meat”? Because, as even the vegetarians know but don’t like to admit, a “normal” diet that excludes meat is not healthy.

Although my esteemed opponent and I agreed pre-debate not to include moral and ethical issues in our discussion, I think I can say that there are other reasons besides health concerns to choose a vegetarian diet. Vegetarianism has become an “in” and popular thing among young adults and even teenagers. “I’m a vegetarian” is often said with some of the same pride and hint of superiority as “I’m a pacifist” or “I recycle.” Not everyone who chooses to become a vegetarian does so for reasons related to their physical health, and some of them don’t understand what they’re getting themselves into.

Even if they are doing it for health reasons, how many of us have ever gone on a diet for “health reasons” such as to lose weight, lower our blood pressure, lower cholesterol, prevent diabetes, etc.? And how many of us followed it perfectly and stuck to it, long term? Mmm hmm. This is the age and society of the quick fix, the easy solution, and instant gratification. Every educated adult KNOWS that in order to lose weight, one must eat fewer calories and/or burn off more calories through physical activity. So, if it’s that simple, how does a multi-billion dollar industry selling quick fixes and easy solutions for weight loss thrive? Every adult must also by now have heard about the health benefits of exercise, but I heard on the radio yesterday morning that 83% of Americans do NOT exercise. Yet, we should believe that every vegetarian follows the diet perfectly and eats all the different things they are supposed to? Right.

It’s all about the meat - except it’s not.

I think what really bothers me about vegetarianism is that it combines the worst aspects of a fad diet and a religious cult. False promises and false premises.

The missionary vegetarian says “You can be so much healthier if you just give up meat.” When you get to the fine print, however, it isn’t just meat you’re giving up, but most of your favorite foods, and you must learn an entirely different way of eating.

If my diet consists of french fries, donuts, tater tots, brownies, onion rings, tortilla chips, apple pie, fried rice, fried okra, pop tarts, and belgian waffles, (assuming they’re all cooked in vegetable oil and have no added animal fats), am I a vegetarian? By definition, yes. But is it healthy? Of course not!

The vegetarian promise says “give up eating animal flesh, and you’ll be so much healthier.” The reality is, in order to be a healthy vegetarian you have to eat certain foods in certain combinations and avoid many foods other than meat.

You see, if I want to be healthy badly enough to eat a low-fat, high fiber diet which includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, I can do that and be healthier - but I don’t need to give up meat in order to accomplish it!

Most doctors agree that Weight Watchers is a healthy diet, and many thousands of people have lost weight, lowered their blood pressure, and achieved many other health benefits by using the Weight Watchers plan. And, if a person starts Weight Watchers in order to lose weight and be healthier, they pretty much expect to give up most if not all of their favorite foods. The funny thing is, you don’t have to. On WW you can eat any food you are bound and determined to eat, you just may have to eat smaller portions. The “healthy” vegetarian diet, on the other hand, demands that you give up most, if not all, of your favorite foods, eat specific foods that you may or may not like, AND give up meat entirely!

The simple definition of vegetarianism is “doesn’t eat meat,” but this is extremely misleading. If you just eat whatever you like and don’t eat meat, you will not see any health benefits. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. They make it sound like it’s all about not eating meat, but not eating meat is the tip of the iceberg and has little if anything to do with the reason the “suggested vegetarian diet” is healthy.

Response to Opponent:

Heike tries to confuse the readers and the judges by figuring out that the subject is only about vegetarian diet versus meat.

No, it is the vegetarians who try to confuse the issue by claiming that it’s necessary to give up meat in order to eat a healthy diet, or that simply not eating meat is a healthier diet.

who believe the myth, that you need meat to grow up strong

That’s not a myth. Many medical sites, including some which are basically pro-vegetarian, clearly state that the vegetarian diet, and especially the vegan diet, are not adequate for growing children and report problems such as neurological damage due to B12 deficiency, retarded physical and mental development, stunted growth, and other deficiencies and growth problems.

SQ1: Do you know how long it takes for a human being to digest raw meat

No, I don’t. Nor do I think it is relevant, since no one is suggesting that anyone eat raw meat.

The link Heike uses to prove her idea leads us to a website of MLA: ... a producer-owned company, working .. to achieve a profitable and sustainable red meat and livestock industry. Do you really believe they are telling you the truth?

Yes, my link was to a site that promotes eating meat. Your claim that meat stays in the human digestive system so long it rots had no references or backup at all. Is your personal opinion more reliable than the MLA? Furthermore, if their facts were incorrect or untrue they would be forced to take it down. I have not found it necessary to point out that YOUR sources have been pro-vegetarianism sites and just as biased in the other direction.

The likely source of this urban legend is an email which has been going around the internet, and is a hoax and contains “quack” information. Is coupled with Johns Hopkins an unbiased enough source to satisfy you? Reference #2

Or how about this article written by a PHD & certified nutritionist. Reference #3

We just have to follow the link, Heike provides us, to learn that it is not difficult to get complete protein out of plant food .. by combining plant proteins from a variety of cereals and grains

Quite right. As I said, you force your body to break down plant proteins and then assemble the individual amino acids into the essential complete proteins. To me, it’s like your kid asking for a toy truck and you give him a kit to build one instead. Just because he can do it, why make him go through all that extra work? Why make your digestive system do all that extra work when complete proteins are readily available from animal sources, and you don’t have to remember to eat particular combinations of foods that you may not like?

My opponent goes on to provide a lengthy list of diseases humans can supposedly get from meat, and claims that people “would remain healthy if they didn’t eat this meat.”

Are vegetables and fruits safer?

The most recent U.S. health scare is salmonella contamination in peanuts and peanut products. Other recent unsafe food scares have included contaminated tomatoes, e. coli in spinach, e. coli in packaged “spring greens” for salads ...

Fruits and vegetables may not contain hormones or antibiotics, but they do contain pesticide and chemical fertilizers, and residual levels of any pollutants which were in the soil and ground water where they were grown. And who knows if any of them - especially those imported from foreign countries - are “GMO” (genetically altered), and what the long term effects of eating those are.

Furthermore, the widespread use of antibiotic soaps, cleansers, hand lotions, detergents, and similar items contributes significantly more to the problem of antibiotic resistance than any antibiotic content of meats.

It’s possibly getting close to the truth that the only way to get healthy and uncontaminated foods is to grow them ourselves (assuming the soil and ground water where we live is uncontaminated), but that has nothing to do with not eating meat, and I can (and do) as easily keep chickens or rabbits as raise my own fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Regarding the iron issue, cooking in cast iron can somewhat improve the absorption of non-heme iron from plant foods which are cooked in it; however the metallic (as opposed to organic or biological) iron itself is only about 3% absorbable by the human body. Otherwise, you could not bother with cooking the food in it and just lick the iron pot!

Socratic Questions:

1. If meat is so unsuitable for humans, how do peoples such as the Eskimo and the Masai stay healthy on a diet of ONLY meat and animal products?

2. If human beings can thrive as “herbivores,” why don’t we have either a rumen or the colonic digestive flora to digest cellulose?

3. If humans aren’t supposed to eat meat, why do we have digestive enzymes like a carnivore?

4. Why did Upton Sinclair, the famous animal rights activist and author, give up his vegetarian diet for Salisbury steak?

posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 05:32 PM
Response 3

I want to apologize. I got mixed up with refenences and used unfortunately 6 references.

Vegetarian Lifestyle

Sometimes people seem to get confused about vegetarians, some even got scared by them. When I went veggie in April 1999 I experienced it by myself. My friends were shocked. “What are you going to eat? Can you eat sausages? It is so difficult! You just can’t eat only veggies w/pasta,d rice, and potatoes. I would miss so much.”

Why was it so difficult for them? They didn’t know anything about vegetarianism. They thought it was just a diet like all the other diets they know, a diet with restrictions, a diet with lots of no nos and so on.

Most of them understood that vegetarianism isn’t just a diet like Weight Watcher but a whole new concept in life, a concept to lead my life. I don’t feel superior to my friends because I am a vegetarian and they are just meat eaters. It is a decision I made. And everybody is able to make the same decision. After all most people, when coming aware that there is a choice, or a different lifestyle, make their decision. Some of my friends became vegetarians. Some just reduced the amount of meat they eat, and others still stick to their omnivore or very meat based diet.

Primary I gave meat up for health issues. Really I started with giving up meat. I couldn’t stand the taste of it anymore, after not being a big meat eater all my life. It was on Easter 1999: me, my hubby and my son have been on vacation and in a fun park like Disneyland. I ate a kind of hot dog and got nausea all of a sudden. It was horrible. I just informed the hubby that this had been my final hot dog and that now I am through with meat.

Not very easy in Germany of 1999, but I managed it. I learned more and more about nutrition, I learned how to plan meals, I learned to read labels, I learned to live as a vegetarian, with the help of a vegetarian news list – I am still very grateful for that. And I am also very grateful that I was able to choose a more compassionate way of living. Due to my lifestyle less harm takes place in this world. There is still suffering of animals, which without any rights of their own are abused for meat production. Unfortunately I can’t prevent all animals from suffering, but I was able to reduce it.

It was a totally new world. When being on a diet I always got the feeling that somebody is depriving me of food: no chocolate, no cake, no pasta, no potatoes, no no no … I guess most of you know this struggling. But vegetarianism was different. Ok I gave up meat and seafood, that’s for sure, but I was offered a whole new world of tastes, of cooking, of eating. And I still enjoy my favorite dish: pasta – with tons of new delicious vegetable sauces.

When this debate is over, I will provide you some links with delicious vegetarian recipes and you can take part in this journey. I detected new vegetables and new fruits. Did you ever experienced the difference between a whole grain bread, you made on your own and a fluffy white bread bought in the supermarket next door? Just try it.

It is true, if you are a lazy person and don’t want to plan meals, than vegetarianism might not be the right choice for you. But if you are lazy you shouldn’t start to raise own chicken or grow your own fruits or vegetables, that’s time consuming too. Even if you still want to stick on eating meat, planning your meals will be better for your health anyway.

meat eating

We are talking so much about vegetarian eating, that we should take a closer look on meat eating.

What is meat really? It is the flesh of a dead animal! It is part of a corps, a cadaver. And certainly when the animal has been slaughtered, the same process starts that happens to a human corps: the process of decay and rotting. If you detect a tomato in your fridge, which obviously started to rot you would through it away. All meat that you buy as fresh meat is actually meat that has started this rotting process, as it starts right after the dead.

You are eating dead bodies. Actually it is not really appealing, at least to me. Who knows how long it takes from slaughtering until the moment you can buy your meat at Wall Mart or Safeway? There have been several scandals in Germany about decomposed meat, which still had been sold. You just can’t see it when you buy it. Changing the label is easy.

What does meat contain?
Protein, about 15 to 20 percent, which we can get as well with careful meal planning from beans or nuts. Vitamin A (carrots) Vitamin B1 and B6 (beans), B12 (also made by bacterias), Iron (millet), Zinc (beans), Selenium (garlic, whole grains) – that’s for the good stuff. What else? Purin, can cause mad cow or vCDJ and gout. You can also find hormones, antibiotics and pesticides in meat.

Sure pesticides can also be found in vegetables, but the amount is lesser than in meat.
Just figure it out: the cow eats grass, which got a little pesticide on it. The body of the cow can abolish everything and stores it in to the muscles, which end up on your plate. I guess you got it!


Personally spoken I feel really much better after going veggie. After a couple of weeks on my new lifestyle nearly 10 years ago, I felt so much more energy in myself.

We have quoted so far some health risks that can be reduced by not eating meat.

Due to a study of Herman-Giddens sexual maturation starts earlier as we are used to it. The average age of breast developing is about 9.96 of white US-girls, but even 3 year old girls start to develop breasts – how can they handle that, just being kids – 1 – a reason might be the growth hormones fed to cattles.

There are several M.D. around the world, who detected that a meat free diet can make you healthier. Well known M.D.s are Dr Dean Ornish and Dr John McDougall.

Dr Ornish is famous for his success in curing heart diseases without surgery or drugs. Sounds like a miracle. He advices to eat beans, fruits, vegetables, grains.

These should be avoided:
Meat of all kinds -- red and white, fish and fowl (if we can't give up meat, we should at least eat as little as possible) 2

In the 1970s Dr John McDougall figured the coherence between health and diet out. Due to studies in Hawaii based on the lifestyle of more vegetarian immigrants and their SAD-eating offsprings he developed a a low fat diet that eliminates all animal and dairy products.

Undeniable Evidence That Meat-centered Diets Are Wrong:
Nearly Everyone Who Eats That Way Is Sick

Affluent people can afford to eat a diet with a central focus of beef, pork and/or chicken, and almost all do.

Meanwhile you can find many organizations all around the world, who practice so calles preventive medicine. They don’t want to cure disease, they just want to stay people healthy and not developing disease. One organization is PCRM Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, based in Washington 4.

I found a very interesting statement of Neal D. Barnard, M.D., President of the PCRM:

Barnard adds that Americans suffer from having too much to eat, not too little. The typical American eats too much fat, cholesterol and animal protein, which contributes to high rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and kidney disease.
"Vegetarians have a 40% less risk of cancer and much less risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and other problems that are common among meat eaters," Barnard says. "Vegetarians also live several years longer and enjoy better health."


Fruits and vegetables may not contain hormones or antibiotics, but they do contain pesticide and chemical fertilizers, and residual levels of any pollutants which were in the soil and ground water where they were grown. And who knows if any of them - especially those imported from foreign countries - are “GMO” (genetically altered), and what the long term effects of eating those are.

As I stated above, meat also contains pesticides even in a larger amount than vegetables. If you eat healthy and have a less supply of pesticide (just as an example) the bad substances can be abolished much easier as the higher amount that comes with meat.

I would like to have a little word about food imports from foreign country. If I eat US food, it has been imported to my country – Germany. To my knowledge US-companies are very willingly to use and sell GMO seeds like Monsanto.

Nearly all western countries are experimenting with GMO seeds – for the sake of profit.
I don’t want to eat GMO veggies and fruits, and none of my countrymen.

The next “milestone” of science is just around the corner.

Socratic Question:

1. What do you think about cloned meat?

2. Would you eat cloned meat, even if they claim and prove it is safe?

3. Are you scared by vegetarianism?

Answering my opponents SQ

1. A favorite question of all meat-eaters for veggies.
They don’t have any other chance due to environment, they would starve otherwise. The life span of Eskimos is much shorter than of a person of western culture.

2. Only ruminant animal got a rumen, as cows. Other herbivores like horses don’t got them.
We don’t got them, and therefore cellulose is called FIBER for humans. No doctor will advice us, even we lack this digestive flora not to eat fiber.

3. I suppose to splitt proteins.

4. I don’t even know that guy. When I googled the name, I found an author who wrote a novel called “The Jungle”.

posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 09:24 PM
From the time I was a few weeks old until I was 3 1/2, I lived with my grandparents. When I began to eat table foods, they discovered that I did not like the taste of any meat and refused to eat it. Being grandparents, they indulged me, making sure that I got plenty of milk and cheese instead. When my mother and her new husband came and got me, everything changed. Mom wasn’t putting up with my pickiness and forced me to eat meat, whereupon I began throwing up every time I was forced to eat it. After that she stopped trying to make me eat meat, but she did start trying to find out what was wrong. At first the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with me, but after a few months of not eating meat and only restricted amounts of milk or cheese, I began having all sorts of health problems, including anemia. The doctors told my parents that my health problems were a result of not eating meat, and since they could find no medical reason for my reaction, she needed to start adding meat back to my diet. Then one day she caught me .. sticking my finger down my throat to make myself throw up after she’d made me eat some meat. It’s a miracle she didn’t kill me, but that was the end of Heike the vegetarian. Within a few weeks of starting to eat small portions of meat every day and keeping it down, all of my health problems disappeared.

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, our next door neighbor was a long-haired, overweight, rope-sandal-wearing hippie vegetarian. She had a little boy who was probably 4 but looked younger. In addition to feeding him her vegetarian diet, she taught him not to kill bugs or harm anything. He was pale, thin, didn’t speak very well, and never seemed to have much energy for play. About 5 or 6 months after we moved there, things changed. My kind hippie friend became rather testy, and there was a tremendous change in her little boy. He got noticeably taller, put on some weight, got a little color in his cheeks, became much more energetic, and rather suddenly improved his speech and vocabulary. I later found out that her husband had taken the little boy to the doctor, who found all sorts of problems due to “malnutrition,” whereupon the father had put his foot down and insisted that the boy be fed a “normal” diet including meat.

Considering my early desire to be a vegetarian, you may wonder why I have never tried it as an adult. For one thing, since the age of 4 I have been very healthy on a diet that includes meat - if it isn’t broke, why try to fix it? For another thing, I don’t like a lot of the foods that vegetarians have to eat in order to get their protein. I do like lentils and peanuts, but I don’t like most other legumes and I’m not a big fan of rice or pasta. If I were to become a vegetarian, I’d either have an incredibly boring diet, or a rather unpleasant one eating foods I don’t like all the time.

However, my primary objection to vegetarianism is that I regard it to be a huge scam. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, at least half of which are usually raw, whole grains, and moderate portions of lean meats is an extremely healthy diet; vegetarianism is not better.

Yes, if one compares vegetarianism to the “SAD” or American Junk Food diet, vegetarianism is obviously healthier. However, someone who is concerned enough about their health to consider becoming a vegetarian will find it much easier - and just as healthy or healthier - to make the change to a good balanced diet which includes appropriate amounts of animal protein and animal fat (which is another popular villain and usual suspect, but the truth is we do need some fat in our diet and a balance of animal and vegetable fats is healthier than all vegetable fats, especially when fish oils are included).

Vegetarianism is part of the greater bundle of myths, half-truths, and outright lies that have been sold to the American public for years. The natural - and healthiest - diet for human beings is an omnivorous diet which includes meat and fat from animals.

Processed (hydrogenated) vegetable oils and margarine are some of the most dangerous and health-destroying foods we can eat. The processing method causes them to go rancid, and they must then be steam cleaned, deodorized, bleached, artificially colored, and flavored in order to be palatable, and after all that they retain metal particles (usually nickel oxide) from the processing. Virgin or extra-virgin (which means expeller-pressed at low temperatures) olive oil and virgin coconut oil are healthy oils, but butter and even lard are better for you than commercially processed corn oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil (which happens to be FDA approved for use as a pesticide), and margarine. FLIES (and you know what they eat!) can detect that margarine, which is only one molecule different from plastic, is not food. They won’t touch it.

I simply don’t have space or time in this debate to even touch on all of the larger issues and the pack of nutritional lies and disinformation which has been spoon-fed to the American public in the name of profit, but the transformation of meat from dietary staple to all-around bad guy is only a small part of it.

Health risks of the vegetarian diet.

1. B12 deficiency and Macrocytic anemia. Despite disinformation to the contrary, vitamin B12 is ONLY found in animal foods.

2. Vitamin D deficiency and Rickets. It is very difficult to get enough vitamin D from sunlight, and although some plants have vitamin D, this is D2, not D3, and D2 is not utilized as well as D3.

3. Vitamin A deficiency. True vitamin A, retinol, is only found in animal fats. Beta carotene can be converted to vitamin A in the right circumstances, but it’s a very inefficient process and the yield is less than 20%.

4. Osteoporosis (from calcium deficiency)

5. Iron-Deficiency Anemia due to low iron storage.

6. Emaciation or Slow Growth in vegetarian infants and children

Reference #1
Reference #2

Responses and rebuttals to opponent.

It was a totally new world. When being on a diet I always got the feeling that somebody is depriving me of food: no chocolate, no cake, no pasta, no potatoes, no no no … I guess most of you know this struggling. But vegetarianism was different.

No, it isn’t. Vegetarian websites contain impressive and lengthy lists of things you shouldn’t eat because they may contain hidden animal products, including hard candies, pastries, baked goods, chewing gum, alcohol, beer, and wine, breakfast cereals, bread, potato chips, chocolate, biscuits, cake ... well, you get the idea. I’d use up too much of my character count trying to list them all.

Just figure it out: the cow eats grass, which got a little pesticide on it.

I live in an area where there are lots of pastures and hay fields. Ranchers do not spray pesticides on pasture grasses or hay.

sexual maturation starts earlier as we are used to it .. even 3 year old girls start to develop breasts ... a reason might be the growth hormones fed to cattles.

No, actually soy products are responsible for these problems, not meat. Soy products such as lecithin are hidden in many commercial foods.

"Vegetarians also live several years longer and enjoy better health."

The life span of Eskimos is much shorter than of a person of western culture.

More disinformation. Australian Aborigines, the Inuit, the Hunzas, and the Russians of the Caucasus mountains were known for great longevity prior to Western colonization. It is the Hindus (mostly vegetarians) who have the SHORTEST lifespans in the world. Reference #3

therefore cellulose is called FIBER for humans.

Yes. After complaining about the length of time it supposedly takes meat to be digested, you have nothing bad to say about the fact that the major component of vegetables can’t be digested AT ALL. Will you now claim that vegetables don’t spoil or rot?

I suppose to splitt proteins.

The digestion of plant proteins does not require these digestive enzymes. They are found only in animals who eat MEAT, not at all in herbivores. Stomach acids which humans have are also not found in herbivores.

I don’t even know that guy. When I googled the name, I found an author who wrote a novel called “The Jungle”.

Upton Sinclair was an animal rights activist and vegan who had a huge part in forcing meat-packing industry reforms. He was also a vegan, but ...

couldn't maintain his work levels on a vegan diet.

Writing sadly that he hated to give up veganism, Sinclair did so nonetheless because he found his brain just wouldn't function at an optimal level on fruits, vegetables, juice, nuts, and seeds. He turned to Salisbury steak as his answer.

Although Upton Sinclair was nearly crucified by his vegan friends for changing his diet and writing about the positive results from the change, he maintained that he went where the truth led him.
Reference #4

Answers to Socratic Questions:

1. What do you think about cloned meat?

I don’t see why it would be any different. Cell division and growth occur normally in cloned animals.

2. Would you eat cloned meat, even if they claim and prove it is safe?


3. Are you scared by vegetarianism?

Yes. I’ve seen it cause health problems. Besides, as a former vet tech I’ve also seen firsthand the disasters which can occur from trying to feed an animal against its nature (such as feeding a dog a vegetarian diet). They get miserably sick and sometimes die. The natural human diet includes meat and animal products.

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 03:33 PM

I feel really sorry for my dear opponent and the way she was treated as a young child.

The time Heike was a young child, who was forced to eat meat was in the 60s of last century, if I am not to wrong.
The time the boy next door was raised not very successfully as a vegetarian must have been by the end of the 60s of last century.
And the time when Upton Sinclair gave up his vegan diet, must have been even much earlier, since he lived from 1878 to 1968.

People didn’t much about nutrition at that time.

As I told you before, when Dr John McDougall studied at Medical School in the 1970s nobody really got the connection between health and diet. Most docs thought Dr McDougall was talking nonsense.

Today in 2009 we know he was quiet right and most docs know it as well.
When your doc detects that your cholesterol is to high he will advice you to lower the supply of meat, meat products and animal fat.

A friend of mine is a M.D. too. She told me that in Medical School in Germany there is one course in six years of studying, which deals with nutrition – one course, one semester, two hours a week in six years! That is ridiculous! But what information do you expect from M.D.s with this education?

Mothers in the 60s no matter if they wanted to raise their kids vegetarian or not, didn’t got the information that is available today. /1/

a little boy who was probably 4 but looked younger.

Some studies suggest that the growth of vegetarian children is more gradual than that of non-vegetarians—in other words, vegetarian children grow a bit more slowly at first, but they catch up later on. Final heights and weights for vegetarian children are comparable to those of meat-eating children. /1/

My son is also still the smallest in his grade, compared to his fellow students. When I am going to buy clothes for him, I always figure out that he got the right size for his age, all the others are far to tall.
In my opinion the fast growth goes together with the early maturation of kids.

No, actually soy products are responsible for these problems, not meat. Soy products such as lecithin are hidden in many commercial foods.

On the other hand, diets rich in animal protein, found in meat, eggs, and dairy products, appear to reduce the age of puberty, as shown in a 2000 study from the Harvard School of Public Health, which found that girls who consumed higher levels of animal protein compared to vegetable protein between 3 and 8 years of age went through menarche earlier. /1/

Life Expectation

We live longer every year. A girl born in Germany of 2009 has the expectation to live until she turns 84. If she had been born in the early 20th century her expectation would have been about 30–40 years, which was due to the two world wars in that age. Apparently the average life expectation of the world is aprox. 66 years, 77–83 years in the first world, and 35–60 years in the third world.

The average lifespan of Intuits in Canada is 10 years shorter than that of the average Canadian. And Massais usually don’t reach their 50s birthday.

The “facts” Heike provides are found by Weston A. Price, D.D.S., a dentist, who lived from 1870 to 1948.


No, it isn’t. Vegetarian websites contain impressive and lengthy lists of things you shouldn’t eat because they may contain hidden animal products, …

When you read my opening again, you will figure out that there are different kind of vegetarians. I guess you came across sites, which promotes vegan or strict vegetarian diet.
I can assure you me and many other vegetarians don’t cut out our favorite food. I eat all the things I like to eat. I enjoy my food and a wide variety of delicious dishes. I know that I am not supposed to ask Socratic questions, and it isn’t one, but if you stick to meat and claim that a vegetarian diet would be boring for you: what do you eat? Isn’t it pretty boring just to eat meat with some side dishes: potatoe, some veggies and maybe rice, since you don’t like pasta?

Will you now claim that vegetables don’t spoil or rot?

Sure vegetables and fruits rot as well as meat. But it is fact that meat actually started to rot, which it does right after the animal is dead, when it is sold. You got rotted animal on your plate. If vegetables would be in the same state than meat, you would never think of eating it.


We discussed the question if vegetarians are healthier due to their diet as non-vegetarians.
This is true. Vegetarians are healthier.

Vegetarians usually plan their meals very carefully. They are very well aware what nutritive substance is necessary to keep them healthy.

A well planed vegetarian diet hardly causes health problems.

My opponent still claims that vegetarians have problems getting enough B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Iron. This is not true.

Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria, therefore you are able to get it if you eat cheese, drink milk or use Nutrional yeast, which is to my knowledge very common in the United States.
Even breakfast cereals are fortified with B12 these days.

If you want to be sure, than feel free to take a supplement, which is actual not necessary.

Even if Weston Price claims that you can’t get enough vitamin D while being outside, it is more than common knowledge that the body produces this vitamin when being in the sun.

The body also requires vitamin D, which children and parents are happy to know can be obtained by simply playing outdoors in the sun. Fifteen to twenty minutes of daily sunlight on the hands and face is enough sun exposure for the body’s skin cells to produce the necessary vitamin D./1/

Just playing outside in the sun. This is what children should do anyway.

Vitamin A is included in carrots and other yellow or orange vegetables and it is recommended by nutrionists to add some oil to your meal. Oil helps the body to absorb the vitamin and its precursor

So plan carefully, a planning, which is also highly recommended for non-vegetarians, read labels. While reading labels you will not only become aware what is hidden in your food, you will also figure out what is good in your food.

• A vegetarian diet helps to prevent cancer.

Large studies in England and Germany have shown that vegetarians are about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat-eaters. /2/

Interestingly, Japanese women who follow Western-style, meat-based diets are eight times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who follow a more traditional plant-based diet. /2/

• A vegetarian diet helps to reduce heart diseases and diseases of the arterias.

Even very traditional doctors recommend a reduction of animal supplies when suffering of heart problems.
Heart disease are death cause number 1 in the United States.

• A vegetarian diet reduces the blood pressure.

• A vegetarian diet can also prevent diabetes.

Non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset) diabetes can be better controlled and sometimes even eliminated through a low-fat, vegetarian diet along with regular exercise. /2/

• A vegetarian diet reduces the risk to develop gallstones.

• A vegetarian diet reduces the risk of kidney stones.

The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that high animal protein intake is largely responsible for the high prevalence of kidney stones in the United States and other developed countries and recommends protein restriction for the prevention of recurrent kidney stones. /3/

And even more interesting:

• a vegetarian diet reduces the risk to get Osteoporosis

In nations with mainly vegetable diets (and without dairy product consumption), osteoporosis is less common than in the U.S.,even when calcium intake is also less than in the U.S. /3/

Studies show that Seven Day Adventists, who strictly follow a vegetarian diet, get about 4.42–7.78 years older than the average citizien.

Menu Examples

My opponent claimed that a vegetarian diet would be very boring for her, since there would be a lot of foods she doesn’t like. To my experience most people – even if they like a bigger variety of foods than my dear opponent – don’t really know what vegetarians might eat.

Here are some examples of daily menus, that might be interesting for you:

Banana French toast
Grilled hash brown potatoes
Whole-wheat pancackes

Quick pasta salad
Pita bread stuffed with kidney beans
Carrot soup with whole wheat bread

Vegetable stew with brown rice
Bean rice burrito
Whole-wheat spaghetti with veggie”meat”balls

Apple wedges
Pineapple fruit salad
Whole-wheat chocolate cake

My opponent thought I would start eating a burger or a steak right in the middle of the debate. This has not happened. I am very grateful that we did this debate, because I got even more aware how important my vegetarian life style is for my personal life. I detected a lot of well known facts again, re-read them and become more aware of the facts and of the truth.

So thanks again to Heike for doing this together with me, and thanks to the readers, who followed Heike and me on this journey. It was really delicious.

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 10:28 PM
Thanks again to Orange-light, my dedicated opponent, our Debate Forum mods, and the readers and volunteer judges. I hope, most of all, that you have learned something from our debate.


Since writing my last post, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I said that I didn’t have the time or space to address the larger issues, and I think I was wrong about that. If I undermine the foundation on which a house stands, the house will fall.

The Lipid Hypothesis was first proposed in 1856. In simple layman’s terms, the lipid hypothesis says that saturated fat in the diet raises cholesterol, and high cholesterol leads to heart disease. The study most often cited as “proof” for the lipid hypothesis is the Framingham study done in 1948. Here’s what dr. George V. Mann, one of the researchers involved in the Framingham study, had to say about it later on:

"The diet-heart hypothesis has been repeatedly shown to be wrong, and yet, for complicated reasons of pride, profit and prejudice, the hypothesis continues to be exploited by scientists, fund-raising enterprises, food companies and even governmental agencies. The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century. "
Reference #1

More than a century after being first suggested, the lipid hypothesis remains a hypothesis because it has not been proven to be fact. In fact, after forty years the Framingham study director admitted that the long term results proved the opposite of the lipid hypothesis - the lowest cholesterol levels were among the men who ate the most saturated fat and cholesterol. Another British study showed that the men who ate a “good” diet had slightly fewer heart attacks. What they didn’t tell us was that the men who ate the “good” diet had 100% more deaths (from other causes) than the men on the “bad” diet - this in spite of the fact that many of the men on the “bad” diet continued to smoke! So if you eat a low fat, low cholesterol diet, you’re somewhat less likely to die of a heart attack, but you’re MORE likely to die of something else. Isn’t that peachy?

Despite its unproven status, the Lipid Hypothesis has become very popular, and the woefully inadequate nutritional education of medical doctors presents it as truth, as do our public schools. It should therefore come as no surprise to you that your doctor will act accordingly, treating patients for the “condition” of high cholesterol by recommending a low-fat diet and/or prescribing drugs. They have been indoctrinated just as we have.

The same folks who attempt to brainwash us with the lipid hypothesis claim that we are living longer and are healthier than ever before, which proves they are right. Does it? We have eradicated most of the diseases - diseases caused by organisms which attacked the human body from outside - of which people were dying 50 and 100 years ago. People in the “Western” nations don’t die of polio, smallpox, tuberculosis, consumption, cholera, whooping cough, syphilis, pneumonia, etc. much any more. They die of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and strokes. All of which are caused by malfunction or dysfunction of the human body itself, not external organisms. So, are we really healthier? We are, perhaps, less affected by real diseases, but the numbers of us which are dying because our bodies don’t function correctly seem to indicate that we are LESS healthy.

So, if saturated fats, cholesterol, and the ubervillain - red meat - are not to blame for all this dysfunction, what is? From the same source as above:

replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates lowers HDLs and raises levels of triglycerides. Low HDL and high triglycerides are both risk factors for heart disease.

Yup. Carbohydrates. But not just any carbohydrates; refined carbohydrates. Carbohydrates which have been bleached, treated, processed, and stripped until they are empty calories which raise blood glucose levels so rapidly that the pancreas (which produces insulin) must kick into overdrive every time we ingest them. Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour, white rice, milled corn, etc. are the real villains causing our endemic poor health and conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancers.

In 1920 coronary heart disease was extremely rare in America; since then our consumption of saturated fats has consistently declined and is now at an all-time low, but heart disease now causes almost 40% of deaths and continues to be on the increase. What else has increased (by nearly 4 times)? Consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Still thinking that the government, the health care industry, and the experts wouldn’t mislead you? Consider that the dangers of “trans fats” were being published as early as 1988, but until very recently we were still being told that unsaturated trans fats (like in margarine) were healthier than saturated fats like butter. By 1994 they were able to estimate that trans fats caused 30,000 deaths in the US but little, if anything, was done with the information. “They” knew that trans fats were unhealthy for almost twenty years before they finally decided to do something about them in 2007!

Now that a small bit of the truth has been presented to you, do a little fact finding on your own. Throw the Lipid Hypothesis into the oubliette where it belongs, and start fresh. Your own good sense, logic, and the evidence presented by many outside-the-box researchers and nutrition experts may convince you that a diet which excludes refined carbohydrates, not meat, is the truly healthy diet.

The vegetarian house of health is built upon the foundation of the Lipid Hypothesis, which they use as evidence for the advantages of a diet lower in saturated fats and cholesterol. Without the Lipid Hypothesis, the only possible reason for the claimed health advantages of the vegetarian diet is the fact that many vegetarians eat fewer refined carbohydrates and more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Which, of course, has nothing to do with the entire basis of the diet, the exclusion of meat!

Meat is not your enemy; in fact, moderate portions of meat are the best and easiest way to ensure that your body gets the quality protein and many of the vitamins and minerals which are essential for health.

And, my dear opponent, don’t fret; I’m going to greatly enjoy that steak - char-grilled on a wood flame and served with a baked potato and some lightly steamed vegetables - that you didn’t want to eat.


Vitamin A is included in carrots and other yellow or orange vegetables

No, it is NOT. Retinol is found only in animal sources. Even Wikipedia knows this!
Reference #2

Studies show that Seven Day Adventists, who strictly follow a vegetarian diet, get about 4.42–7.78 years older than the average citizien.

First of all, SDA’s do not strictly follow a vegetarian diet. A holistic/vegetarian diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds is recommended. However, they also don’t use tobacco, alcohol, tea, or coffee. Do you think the latter might have anything to do with their longer lifespan?

The average lifespan of Intuits in Canada is 10 years shorter than that of the average Canadian. And Massais usually don’t reach their 50s birthday.

This may be true since they have been “Westernized” and introduced to “modern” processed foods such as refined carbohydrates. However, when they ate exclusively their traditional diet they were documented to have longer lifespans. (Note that my opponent had nothing to say about the short lifespan of the vegetarian Hindus.)

The “facts” Heike provides are found by Weston A. Price, D.D.S., a dentist, who lived from 1870 to 1948.

They are from the Weston A. Price Foundation, which builds upon the work begun by Dr. Price with the research and studies of many doctors and nutrition experts who are still firmly among the living. Furthermore, WAPF is a nonprofit which refuses contributions from meat and dairy producers and has no agenda other than improving the public health. First my opponent objected to a source which was supported with funding from the meat industry, now she objects to a non-profit foundation because the man who originally started it is deceased. I am left wondering why she felt that it was necessary to try to discredit my sources instead of countering the information presented.

posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 08:41 PM
The judgment is in and orange_light wins through majority decision.

Congratulations to both Fighters. The judges comments:

This was an excellent debate, both participants certainly deserve applause for their efforts, and for me it was difficult to decide who won off hand.

In my opinion though, orange-light came out the winner, the use of reference along with the answers to the Socratic questions posed by Heike pushed orange-light over the top.

Heike's performance during this debate was excellent in my opinion and it made it even more difficult to judge this debate.

Having said all of this however, while orange-light did win it's not going to stop me from hitting the local White Castle before heading into work.

I´ve experienced a slight change in my eating habits just from reading this. For that I would like to thank both debaters who have both succeeded in showing whats wrong with our foods today.

Orange-Light did a better job in citing valid sources and describing their implications in her own words. She has obvioulsy argued for vegetarianism many times before. She also wins the S.A.D. and Proteins debate.

Heike scores in a few excellent rebuttals and exposing some of orange-lights invalid comparisons and flaky evidence. Heike scores on the lipid-hypothesis and has convinced me that I can continue eating meat but should be more careful what meat I eat.

Taken as a whole, orange-light wins by a narrow-margin for presentation-style: She simply posted more benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle than Heike posted benefits of a meat-eating lifestyle. While rebuttals are important, Heike might have fleshed-out her case a tiny bit more than looking into orange-lights case.

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