As I wrote in ‘The Nanny State‘ there seems to be a never ending push by government/s to control our lives, egged on by government funded entities (food Nazis) trying to make themselves relevant and justify their continued taxpayer funding. It hasn’t been completely government driven, as there are other groups pushing their own wheelbarrows filled with personal agendas, such as PETA, that wants everyone to become neurotic vegans and live in mutual misery. And given how they behave, it certainly appears to be a miserable life. However, a new entrant has entered the scene by way of The Lancet, who has now declared their own set of rules as to how the world (notably the western world) should, or must, live in order to save the planet from every perceived misery, including the mandatory climate-change baggage-carousel. These professional misery merchants seem to be appearing everywhere with the intent to force people into lifestyles these same misery merchants invariably never have to live themselves, given their positions of wealth.
It irritates me no end, as it does many others, that there seems to be a never-ending conga line of doomsayers given a platform at every opportunity to spruik their wares as if they are the final arbiters of how people should live, or eat in this case. As far back as I can remember, not one of these doomsayers has ever gotten anything correct in my lifetime. I well remember when some Swedish research organisation used to produce an annual list of foods that were considered cancer or other illness causing/contributing and a new list of items was issued every year. It covered things such as apples one year and eggs another, then butter and so it went. I think they stopped producing the annual list when they ran out of products and were left with water and lentils (though I’m not sure about the lentils). The irony is that years later these very same items were then declared good for you. Mind you, Sweden is also known for the Disgusting Food Museum where Vegemite is considered disgusting (enough said about the quality of their food science).
But the onslaught against meat has been never-ending from one organisation or another, or nut case group of individuals. And given that the world’s population is far better off health and nutrition wise today than say even 50 years ago, to suggest that we’re heading towards catastrophe omits every piece of evidence that as the population grows, world food production grows as well and the quality of food improves as well. The only problem that arises is when staple grains such as corn and maize are turned into bio-fuels (to save the planet), thus denying food for many poor countries. Mind you, obesity seems to be the epidemic of the day simply because we do have it so good when it comes to food availability, certainly in the majority of the world. And while one side keeps saying we’re eating ourselves to death, another is saying the world will starve.
And of course everyone that wants to control our eating habits uses the ‘climate change’ mantra as justification to push their agenda. This is the latest ‘essential’ thing that should be enforced on everyone according to The Lancet, opining ‘Why the Western diet needs to shift to a ‘planetary health diet’ in the age of climate change‘. They first have to start off with why the western diet is so bad, which has nothing to do with climate change, then introduce general pollution that is a complete Red Herring, and then make a giant leap that all this is responsible for climate change.
The “Western diet”, with its high proportions of meat and highly refined, processed foods, contributes to a long list of health problems including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, many types of cancer, mood disorders and dementia.
This unhealthy diet is also a big contributor to the ongoing devastation of our planet. Agriculture contributes up to 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and uses 70 per cent of fresh water, while land clearing and industrial farming methods involve large amounts of herbicides and pesticides that pollute our rivers, wetlands and coral reefs.
Failure to do so will cause an increasing proportion of the global population, which is expected to hit 10 billion people by 2050, to suffer from malnutrition and preventable disease. Today’s children will inherit a planet that has been severely degraded.
What is laughable about these catastrophic predictions, and they are always catastrophic, is that they are often counter-argued (unintentionally) by other research that suggests that we are doing quite well and can easily sustain increased populations without much effort. And the latest statistics indicate that highly populated countries such as India are doing very well indeed with food production. When it comes to survival, there is no better animal than the human being and it’s our ability to cope and innovate that makes humans the dominant species, whether some like it or not.
But the major push seems to be significantly reducing or eliminating meat completely from our diet. Given that meat and more specifically fat that comes from animals has been the driving factor for the development of our brains, as recent research appears to verify, it seems retrograde to eliminate meat, especially animal fat, from your diet as so many ‘experts’ suggest.
Long before human ancestors began hunting large mammals for meat, a fatty diet provided them with the nutrition to develop bigger brains, posits a new paper in Current Anthropology.
“Our ancestors likely began acquiring a taste for fat 4 million years ago, which explains why we crave it today,” says Jessica Thompson, the paper’s lead author and an anthropologist at Yale University. “The reservoirs of fat in the long bones of carcasses were a huge calorie package on a calorie-poor landscape. That could have been what gave an ancestral population the advantage it needed to set off the chain of human evolution.”
The human brain consumes 20% of the body’s energy at rest, or twice that of the brains of other primates, which are almost exclusively vegetarian. It’s a mystery to scientists how our human ancestors met the calorie demands to develop and sustain our larger brains.
In fact, eating lean meat without a good source of fat can lead to protein poisoning and acute malnutrition. Early Arctic explorers, who attempted to survive on rabbit meat exclusively, described the condition as “rabbit starvation.”
Now the article in The Lancet suggests that, on the advice of 37 experts, contrary to much evidence otherwise, the world will not be able to feed its population predominantly on the food that my food eats, or in their word’s a ‘planetary health diet’. Every part of the article is out to bash Western civilisation and everything that it has done to eliminate abject poverty, malnutrition and disease. And it basically wants the world to become vegan, albeit slowly as they insist on reducing meat intake to virtually non-existent levels. I would be far happier if these experts investigated ways to reduce wasteful food practices, where we tend to produce too much food and throw much of it away (much of it because it goes off so quickly). They do try hard to make meatless meals sound appetising:
For omnivores — and Australians are one of the highest meat consumers in the world per capita [that per capita meme again] — that leaves just one or two meatless dinners to think about.
There are many satisfying and easy alternatives to meat. How about wholemeal pasta with pesto and a big salad with greens, cherry tomatoes and avocado?
Or maybe a couple of Indian curries? Recipes abound, so try a chana masala (made with chickpeas), plus a dry cauliflower curry with rice and sambals (try flaked coconut, tomatoes, cucumber, coriander, mint and natural yoghurt).
Of course if we don’t do this, especially Australia leading the way, the planet is doomed. Can we ever have any discussion on anything nowadays without a doomsday scenario being at the core of the argument? And of course all of this must be administered by a bigger government with ‘experts’ deciding on what can and cannot be done – sounds a lot like Socialism. Once government controls everything, it’s downhill from there; it always has been that way and always will be that way.
The EAT-Lancet report also tells us that better governance of our land and seas is needed to protect the biodiversity that supports life. This is consistent with calls in Australia for the next elected federal government to develop new national environmental laws with independent authority to protect our environment and the ability to produce food into the future, in a way that does not cost us the planet and humanity’s future.
We will also do our share of avoiding catastrophic damage to the planet from runaway climate change and other environmental threats.
If you want to become a herd animal, then I guess a full vegetarian diet is the way to go. If not, then note the study I referenced and consider what a lack of animal fat can and most likely will do to your brain and metabolism (in the long run). And when the food Nazis come calling, chase them off with a big meat platter followed by another platter full of lovely cheeses (which is also good for you). Or at least try to do so while you still can.
Update 1. It’s kind of ironic that when I mentioned PETA at the beginning of this story, they suddenly appeared in the news once again for all the wrong reasons, ‘PETA faces backlash over ‘rage marketing’ tweets criticising late conservationist Steve Irwin‘. In my view, PETA is one of those lunatic organisations that have absolutely no self-awareness and a propensity to alienate sane people because of their behaviour and hypocrisy. Many people may not be aware of this, but PETA provides rescue services for animals, if stealing pets can be called a rescue service, and kills up to and over 90% of the animals it supposedly rescues, “Killing Animals: PETA’s Open ‘Secret’” and many more, ‘At PETA’s shelter, most animals are put down. PETA calls them mercy killings.‘. Their attack on Steve Irwin and Google is another example of PETA’s insanity:
Controversial animal activist group PETA is under fire over a series of tweets accusing Google of “fawning” over Steve Irwin.
On Friday, Google used its search engine homepage to pay tribute to what would have been the television star’s 57th birthday by replacing its logo with an illustration of him holding a crocodile — the first in a series depicting Irwin’s adventures as an animal rights activist, showman and family man.
Google users around the world saw the illustrations, which led to a large spike in internet searches for the Crocodile Hunter star.
It prompted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA for short, to issue a series of tweets accusing Google of sending “a dangerous, fawning message”.