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January 2, 1939
Jarvis calls John Harvey Kellogg a "vegetarian zealot" and includes a story about a former private secretary who told Kellogg about Weston Price's knowledge of the Eskimo dietary habits - "ate raw meat almost exclusively" but Kellogg accused Price of lying!
Why I Am Not A Vegetarian
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North by Northwest
Darla Erhardt, R.D., M.P.H., listed five vegetarian postulates: (1) All forms of life are sacred, and all creatures have a right to live out their natural lives. (2) It is anatomically clear that God did not design humans to eat meat. (3) Slaughter is repugnant and degrading. (4) Raising animals for meat is inefficient and misuses available land. (5) Animal flesh is unhealthful because it contains toxins, virulent bacteria, uric acid, impure fluids, and the wrong kinds of nutrients. 1 I find all of these axioms flawed:
1. The belief that all life is sacred can lead to absurdities such as allowing mosquitoes to spread malaria, or vipers to run loose on one's premises. Inherent in the idea that all life is sacred is the supposition that all forms of life have equal value. The natural world reveals hierarchies in the food chain, the dominance of certain species over others. And most creatures in the wild die (usually the victim of a predator) long before they have reached the genetic limit on their longevity.
2. The multifarious dietary practices of human populations belie the notion that humans are designed to be vegetarians rather than omnivores. For example, Australian aborigines consume insect larvae and reptiles, Eskimos eat raw meat, and traditional Hindus are vegetarians.The first SDA physician, John Harvey Kellogg (1852Â®Â¢1943), was a vegetarian zealot. Alonzo Baker, Ph.D., his former private secretary, told me of an incident that occurred circa 1939: Kellogg awakened him in the middle of the night and ordered him to board the morning train for Cleveland. There, Weston Price, D.D.S., who had just returned from the mysterious high north, was to give a report on Eskimo dietary habits. When Baker returned, he informed Kellogg of Price's finding that Eskimos ate raw meat almost exclusively (eskimo literally means "raw meat eater"). Kellogg accused Price of lying.Perhaps Kellogg disbelieved Price partly because it was widely known that the 1898 Yukon gold rushers had suffered extensively from scurvy. People generally believed that Eskimos derived their vitamin C from berries the snow had preserved. In fact, Eskimos derive vitamin C from the raw meat of animals who synthesize ascorbic acid. If they had cooked their meat, they would have developed scurvy like the gold rushers. (When I visited Northwest Territories, Canada, in 1973, a Franciscan monk who raised beautiful vegetables in a greenhouse in Pelly Bay told me that the Inuits, or North American Eskimos, didn't like their taste and wouldn't eat them.)3. Whether something is repugnant is highly individual. Some Hindus who will not eat animal foods readily drink their own urine for the sake of health. And what is repugnant for example, chores such as changing a baby's diaper or caring for sick people is not necessarily wrong. Whether such activities are degrading is a matter of opinion. That most prey are eaten while they are still alive testifies to the heartlessness of nature compared to slaughterhouses, where death is generally quick and painless.
4. The idea that animal-raising is an inefficient way to produce food is half-baked. Animals pull their weight when it comes to land-use and food-production efficiency: They graze on lands unsuitable for crop-growing, eat those portions of plants that are considered inedible (e.g., corn stalks and husks), and provide byproducts and services that ease human burdens. 2 Many nomadic populations survive on lands that lack farming potential by feeding on animals whose nourishment is coarse vegetation humans can't digest.5. The postulate that toxins render meat unfit as food also lacks merit. Plants also contain naturally occurring toxicants, many of which are far more deadly than those of animal flesh. 3 Vegetarian evangelists who revel in portraying animal foods as unhealthful disregard the fact that those societies that consume the most animal products enjoy record longevity. They also overlook the reality that the animals they brand as diseased are herbivores whose diet consists entirely of raw vegetation. These animals develop many diseases "despite" becoming vegans after weaning.
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