Meat is a staple in a lot of New Zealander’s diets. Even where poverty abounds, meat is usually found on the table. So those of us who have chosen to become vegetarian, how do we approach those who still love their meat?
A lot of people become a vegan or vegetarian, either for health reasons, or to take away suffering and improve the planet’s deteriorating condition. That however isn't any reason to force your views on those who still choose to eat meat. We should consider the situation of people and understand that changing their diet is a huge deal for most, who have practiced eating meat their entire life.
Healthy eating and practices should be shared, but as the old saying goes, “I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day” is what has a powerful influence. People will often notice the choices you're making and the benefits gained which will open better opportunities to share your beliefs and experiences.
Unfortunately of recent times extreme vegan activists have given veganism a bad rap and for good reason. Trespassing on farms, harassing diners at restaurants, tying themselves to abattoir equipment or even just trying to push their views at every opportunity aren't really the best options to promote their passions.
A historical writer tells us back in 1896 that: “All should have the light on this question, but let it be carefully presented. Habits that have been thought right for a lifetime are not to be changed by harsh or hasty measures… We must practice what we teach. When sitting at a table where meat is provided, we are not to make a raid upon those who use it, but we should let it alone ourselves, and when asked our reasons for doing this, we should in a kindly manner explain why we do not use it.” Counsel on Diet and Foods, E. G. White
Going vegan or vegetarian is great for our health, the environment, and the animals, but we must show respect and caution when trying to convince others to take on our own beliefs and ideals.
Fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables has been said to be the original diet of man. When we start comparing our bodies to carnivores we can determine what we were originally designed to eat.
A carnivore's teeth are long, sharp and pointed, tools to be able to pierce the flesh of other animals. Human's teeth as well as other herbivores are not pointed, but have a flat edge useful for biting, crushing and grinding.
Carnivore's saliva does not contain digestive enzymes. Humans as well as other herbivores saliva is alkaline containing carbohydrate digestive enzymes.
A carnivore's stomach secretes powerful digestive enzymes with about 10x more than herbivores to be able to kill E.Coli bacteria, salmonella, campylobacter, trichina worms and other diseases which come with flesh eating.
A carnivores intestines are short to be able to process food that rots easily, but a herbivores intestines are longer to be able to extract all the valuable nutrients and minerals from plants.
How we move, and collect food is quite different to a carnivore. A carnivore has large paws and claws which enable them to hunt and chase and trap their prey – tools that are meant to kill. A human's gait, as well as other herbivores is designed only for mobility. You just need to look at your hands, fingers, and fingernails and can see they are not designed for tearing flesh, but how about picking fruit from trees and harvesting vegetables?
Also if we compare our frame of mind. A carnivore's is geared to hunt and kill. Humans frame of mind is generally compassionate, friendly, and to respect life.
From an animal compassion and environmental view there is a powerful arguments for going vegan. We all know and have seen the pictures and videos of animals, farmed for eating and their products, not kept in ideal conditions and some even mistreated and suffering to be able to collect meat and products off them for our satisfaction and greed. Environmentally it takes a huge amount of water, which is one of the worlds most valuable resources, to produce a small amount of meat. Deforestation in the Amazon for animal agriculture, not only reduces the forests but is also causingspecies of animals to become extinct.
Everyone has a choice to eat flesh or not, but let us consider that when choosing our diet, a vegetarian or vegan option is what our bodies where originally designed for. It is healthier for us, less impact on the environment and kinder to the animals.
Recipe of the Month
Savoury Walnut Balls
1 c walnuts, finely chopped 1 c dry breadcrumbs or 2 c fresh
1 c onions, chopped 1 c raw potatoes, grated
2 T soy sauce 2 t soy flour or gluten flour
1 t sage ½ t salt
Mix all ingredients together and form into balls. Place into baking dish, cover with a Gravy or Tomato Relish Bake for 20-30 mins at 180°C, or bake balls on an oven tray without gravy or relish then add gravy when serving. Yield: 12 balls
• Have the walnut balls on spaghetti with Italian-style Tomato Sauce .
• Use pecans instead of walnuts and vege stock instead of soy sauce.
—Ref. What’s Cooking with Natural Foods , p.80