Bio-Individuality, the Myth That Some People ‘Just Need Meat’

GR:  All people need the same nutrients. This story explains why that’s true and it debunks the “bio-individual” myth. The subject is important because switching to a vegetarian diet is one of the ways people can help stop converting wildlife habitat to monotonous rows of cattle feed.

Illustration from The Princess and the Pea.

“Increasingly, there are many institutions and professionals who teach a “Bio-Individual” approach to nutrition. But what does this mean, and does it hold any merit?

“Bio-Individuality basically translates to: “There’s no one-size-fits-all diet – each person is a unique individual with highly individualized nutritional requirements.” The Bio-Individual Diet paradigm holds that “Personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, body composition and cell structure all influence your overall health and the foods that make you feel your best. That’s why no single way of eating works for everyone. The food that is perfect for your unique body, age, and lifestyle may make another person gain weight and feel lethargic.” Proponents of this idea also often believe that “men eat differently than women, children eat differently than adults, and… our personal tastes and inclinations, natural shapes and sizes, blood types, metabolic rates and genetic backgrounds, all influence what foods will and won’t nourish us.

”Bio-Individuality & Nutrition: Breaking It Down

“1. Bio means “life” in Greek. Individuality means “the particular character, or aggregate of qualities, that distinguishes one person or thing from others; sole and personal nature.”

“Bio-Individuality lends itself to mean that each of us has “unique life.” Is this true? Of course it’s true, but “unique” is relative. As humans, we are very different from one another in many ways if you compare two people. But if you compare a human to a Jamaican Rock Iguana, those two humans begin to seem pretty similar and, as it turns out, they are.

“2. So is there a “one-size-fits-all” diet for humans?

“Yes. When born healthy, humans are anatomically very similar, warranting a natural diet [lifetime food, not a weight-loss plan] intended for human anatomy & physiology.” –Carla Golden (Continue reading:  Bio-Individuality & the Myth That Some People ‘Just Need Meat’.)

Nitrogen pollution: the forgotten element of climate change

GR:  Living downstream from an active farm, I have witnessed the deadly impact of nitrogen fertilizer runoff first hand (more here). The authors of the article below point out that global warming will increase the need for nitrogen fertilizer which itself fuels global warming–giving us another nasty positive feedback loop. Increasing nitrogen use in food production gives us another reason to focus on family planning and population reduction while we might still control the process.

“While carbon pollution gets all the headlines for its role in climate change, nitrogen pollution is arguably a more challenging problem. Somehow we need to grow more food to feed an expanding population while minimising the problems associated with nitrogen fertiliser use.

“In Europe alone, the environmental and human health costs of nitrogen pollution are estimated to be 70 to 320 billion euros per year.

Food & Agriculture – Green beans: why pulses are the eco-friendly option for feeding – and saving – the world. Read now.

“Nitrogen emissions such as ammonia, nitrogen oxide and nitrous oxides contribute to particulate matter and acid rain. These cause respiratory problems and cancers for people and damage to forests and buildings.

“Nitrogenous gases also play an important role in global climate change. Nitrous oxide is a particularly potent greenhouse gas as it is over 300 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

“Nitrogen from fertiliser, effluent from livestock and human sewage boost the growth of algae and cause water pollution. The estimated A$8.2 billion damage bill to the Great Barrier Reef is a reminder that our choices on land have big impacts on land, water and the air downstream.” Ee Ling Ng and Deli Chen, Robert Edis (Continue: Nitrogen pollution: the forgotten element of climate change | Asia Pacific)

We can no longer ignore the damage factory meat production is causing to our drinking water

GR:  With meat demand rising, biodiversity sinking, and water resources disappearing, it’s time to quit eating meat.

“In London, back in 2013, the world’s first stem cell burger was tasted by its inventor and two volunteers in front of more than 200 journalists and guests. This burger was made from ‘cultured beef,’ which is grown in Petrie dishes using the stem cells of a cow. It was grown in three months and took a budget of $330,000. Lab-grown beef might seem like a pretty creepy, science fiction, futuristic-like project, but Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University didn’t make his burger just for fun. He also didn’t do it to give the world’s vegans and vegetarians another option.

“Dr. Post was thinking about our inevitable future as a species. His cultured beef burger is meant to serve as a logical solution to the world’s addiction to factory-grown meat, which is about to reach its peak. The way we produce meat globally is unsustainable and posing a serious risk to our water, our air, our health and the possibility that humans will continue to remain a living species on this planet in the near future.

“Humans slaughter 3 billion animals worldwide for meat. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations expects global meat consumption to rise by about 73% by 2050 to accommodate the 9.1 billion people who will be attempting to live on planet Earth at that point. However, the chances that humans will even be a thing in 2050 are looking pretty grim, and a big reason for that is our large-scale factory farming industry.

“Agricultural pollution is the largest source of water pollution in the world. Animals who are raised for food, in a confined space, consume more feed, and therefore, create more waste. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, confined livestock generate 450 million tons of manure each year — that’s three times the amount of waste that American humans generate.

“Because everything is covered in raw shit at a factory farm, more water is required to wash it away. One hundred and fifty gallons of water, in fact. Per cow. Per freaking day. That’s a serious amount of clean water, especially when you consider that one cow is being slaughtered every 30 seconds at many of these operations. And it usually takes them 6 months to reach a typical ‘market weight’ of 1,200 pounds. So that’s about 13,500 gallons of water per the life of an average doomed cow — and that’s just to clean the place.” –Emma Thieme

Source: We can no longer ignore the damage factory meat production is causing to our drinking water – Matador Network

5 Reasons We Can’t Afford to Ignore the Issue of Animal Rights Any Longer

GR.–People cite protein deficiency as their reason for not becoming vegetarian.  However, it’s not an issue; there are plant sources for the full suite of proteins.  Here are pictures of a few vegetarians that serve as living proof.

Veg 1veg 2

veg 3Robin Raven.–“The fate of Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla who was shot dead in a Cincinnati zoo on May 28, has inspired much debate. Some adamantly defend the zoo workers’ actions, while others point to the hypocrisy of outrage when many sentient animals are killed each day without drawing any attention whatsoever. Seeing Harambe’s face as an innocent animal who was so quickly sacrificed has undeniably struck a chord with many. So, despite some claims that animal rights is the least important issue, the attention that the gorilla’s life received indicates that people are ready to hear the truth: Non-human animals are sentient beings with lives that do, in fact, matter.

“All this is another indication of how interest in the issue of animal rights has grown significantly in the past half-century. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, nearly a third of Americans now believe that non-human animals should be given the same rights as people. That’s a considerable increase since 2008, when only a fourth of Americans shared this view.

“Imagine desperately needing to move, yet you were confined to a cage where you had to live in your own urine and feces, never experiencing simple pleasures beyond fear and pain. Many farm animals experience that and worse tortures. Being sentient beings, they are aware of their needs and wants; they fight for their lives to the end.”  Continue reading:  5 Reasons We Can’t Afford to Ignore the Issue of Animal Rights Any Longer

One-fifth of world’s plants at risk of extinction: study | The Japan Times

The survey by Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London, said 21 percent of species are under threat. The report, the first of its kind, is intended to become a global reference point for the study of plants.

The study, which estimates there are a total of 390,900 plants known to science, found farming to be the biggest extinction threat, representing 31 percent of the total risk to plants. Logging and the gathering of plants followed at 21.3 percent, with construction work attributing for 12.8 percent of the risk. The threat of climate change and severe weather was estimated at making up 3.96 percent, although scientists said it may be too early to measure the long-term effects.

Other threats came from invasive species, dam-building and fires.  Source: One-fifth of world’s plants at risk of extinction: study | The Japan Times

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Closed-canopy forest.

GR:  We tend to focus on animals.  However, plants are the primary producers upon which all animals, including humans, depend.  This study gives us an extremely valuable starting point for evaluating the status of plants.  I suspect that further analysis will show that there are more plant species at risk than the 21% indicated here.  I think this is because the effects of climate change are not yet fully understood by many scientists.  For instance, several recent studies (here’s an example) found that most forest trees will disappear this century.  With them will go many of the understory plants and, of course, the animals.

A Warning: Wake Up World!

Resistance to change:  People don’t respond to warnings by strangers, including scientists and governments. At times, leaders must make repeated calls for change, and sometimes they must use rules and penalties to force change. In many instances, the rules are deceptively designed to benefit for-profit corporations, but when the only discernable winners are the people and the Earth, leadership achieves its highest calling.

Animalista Untamed

The Earth sea level rising global warming Wake Up World!

Way back in 2010 an article appeared in the Guardian newspaper to make a vegan heart rejoice. It’s headline was UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet. I even printed it out and carried it around in my bag, in the hope of waving it in the face of any unfortunate omnivore who might question my choices. In the passage of time, it crumbled to bits, adding to the “fur” in the bottom of my bag. During the last five years, the report itself may just as well have crumbled into dust, for all the notice it seems to have been paid.

But the facts and figures in it were both compelling and alarming:

  • The global population is surging towards a predicted 9.1 billion by 2050
  • As developing economies grow, their consumption of meat and dairy products increases
  • Animal products cause more environmental damage than the production of…

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16 Facts That Show How Going Vegan Helps Stop Climate Change | PETA UK

“The global demand for meat and animals products is wreaking havoc on our planet. Find out how going vegan helps the environment.”  From: www.peta.org.uk

GR:  Great graphics and discussion. According to the article, a vegan diet releases about one-third as much CO2 as a heavy meat diet. Moreover, to produce the same amount of protein, beef requires 32 times more land than soybeans. Unfortunately, the article relates the savings to the greater number of people that Earth could support on vegan diets rather than relating the savings to the greater amount of land that could be left for wildlife and ecosystems.

Take Extinction Off Your Plate

“Meat production is one of the main drivers of environmental degradation globally, and the crisis is rapidly growing worse.  That’s why the Center for Biological Diversity launched our Earth-friendly Diet campaign.”  More at:  www.takeextinctionoffyourplate.com

GR:  Without population control, and if we continue with our meat diet, the Earth will soon become a factory farm for feeding humans. Other species and their habitats will be gone.  Join the CBD effort to improve our diet.

Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption

RT @mzaraska: Meat consumption is a threat to biodiversity, study shows http://t.co/A4CXgpVXwG http://t.co/AzUj9Qzn4h.  Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sciencedirect.com

GR:  This is an important key, but there are others that are required.  Population, pollution, land use, and pets come to mind.

The potential for assisted migration of Alberta’s native plants

“It’s the Goldilocks principle. All species, including plants, animals and fungi, are uniquely adapted to a specific combination of climate and environmental conditions that they need to grow, reproduce and thrive – things need to be “just right.  If the environment changes, species have two choices: they can either stay where they are and adapt to the new conditions, or they can move to more suitable places.

“Plants, being rooted to the earth, have a limited ability to respond to environmental change. It can take a long time to adapt to new conditions, so it’s difficult for plants to respond quickly to relatively rapid changes that happen around them, like those projected in some climate models. Plants can’t pick up and move either; they can only send forth their seeds in hopes of finding the Goldilocks conditions perfect for growth and reproduction. For many plant species, this dispersal will likely not happen far enough or fast enough to keep pace with projected changes in climate, which means they are at risk of being left behind. This is especially true in today’s increasingly fragmented landscapes” (Source: www.natureconservancy.ca).

GR:  I think we need a national commitment to learn how to help plants migrate to new locations. Both the value and the variability of microclimate, soil, topography, and biological interaction are limiting factors for plants. Along a route over a mountain or across a valley, the abundance of each species will change along with the changing factors. Repeat the measurements next year and there will be differences. Storms, invasive species, human activity, and even evolution can alter conditions. We will need an army of observers at work for years to succeed. If we were wiser, we would be studying nature instead of fighting wars and bailing out big banks.  We must applaud Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute’s efforts. Perhaps they can save a few species.