Scientific fraud and other entertainment…

Yep, that’s what we’re up against:   The second people cook data and come with arguments you could use as a sieve, you’re up against dogmatism and fundamentalism.

There are some beliefs around in today’s dietary world that are both unprovable (because inaccurate) and vehemently defended.  One of them is that a purely vegan diet is enough for a human to survive and live healthily.

Now:  I won’t argue with the fact that the civilized world has a huge overweight problem.  As long as we derive a lot of our calories from fast-foods steeped in lard and don’t run marathons on a daily basis to burn up those calories, we can expect to pack on weight.  But is going completely vegan the answer?

And most of all:  While I really don’t mind what you eat, please, extend the same courtesy to me!

This website is a compilation of arguments used to try to “convert” people who do include animal products in their diets, into vegans.  Is it a cult?  Well, could’a fooled me…

As you read these I’d like you to think scientifically.  Are these figures accurate?  What do they really mean?  Is there a case going of “cum hoc, ergo procter hoc”?  (That means, for those who like me didn’t know 3 weeks back what it meant:  “With which, therefore because of which”.  The nicest example to illustrate is the year in which there were so many storks in Germany… and the birthrate soared, too.)

I’d like to hear some pros and cons on the arguments below.

Have fun!

How To Win An Argument With A Meat-Eater

Read More: factoidshow to win an argument with a meat-eatervegetarianism

“Outsmart him. Outrun him. Outlive him.” — Dave Scott

The Hunger Argument

Number of people worldwide who will die as a result of malnutrition this year: 20 million
Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%:100 million
Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by people: 20
Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 80
Percentage of oats grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 95
Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90
How frequently a child dies as a result of malnutrition: every 2.3 seconds
Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 40,000
Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 250
Percentage of U.S. farmland devoted to beef production: 56
Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of edible flesh from feedlot beef: 16

The Environmental Argument

Cause of global warming: greenhouse effect
Primary cause of greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels
Fossil fuels needed to produce meat-centered diet vs. a meat-free diet: 3 times more
Percentage of U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75
Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85
Number of acres of U.S. forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million
Amount of meat imported to U.S. annually from Central and South America: 300,000,000 pounds
Percentage of Central American children under the age of five who are undernourished: 75
Area of tropical rainforest consumed in every quarter-pound of rainforest beef: 55 square feet
Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses: 1,000 per year

The Cancer Argument

Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat daily compared to less than once a week: 3.8 times
For women who eat eggs daily compared to once a week: 2.8 times
For women who eat butter and cheese 2-4 times a week: 3.25 times
Increased risk of fatal ovarian cancer for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week vs. less than once a week: 3 times
Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who consume meat, cheese, eggs and milk daily vs. sparingly or not at all: 3.6 times.

The Cholesterol Argument

Number of U.S. medical schools: 125
Number requiring a course in nutrition: 30
Nutrition training received by average U.S. physician during four years in medical school: 2.5 hours
Most common cause of death in the U.S.: heart attack
How frequently a heart attack kills in the U.S.: every 45 seconds
Average U.S. man’s risk of death from heart attack: 50 percent
Risk of average U.S. man who eats no meat: 15 percent
Risk of average U.S. man who eats no meat, dairy or eggs: 4 percent
Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption of meat, dairy and eggs by 10 percent: 9 percent
Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption by 50 percent: 45 percent
Amount you reduce risk if you eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from your diet: 90 percent
Average cholesterol level of people eating meat-centered-diet: 210 mg/dl
Chance of dying from heart disease if you are male and your blood cholesterol level is 210 mg/dl: greater than 50 percent

The Natural Resources Argument

User of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S.: livestock production
Amount of water used in production of the average cow: sufficient to float a destroyer
Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 25
Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of California beef: 5,000
Years the world’s known oil reserves would last if every human ate a meat-centered diet: 13
Years they would last if human beings no longer ate meat: 260
Calories of fossil fuel expended to get 1 calorie of protein from beef: 78
To get 1 calorie of protein from soybeans: 2
Percentage of all raw materials (base products of farming, forestry and mining, including fossil fuels) consumed by U.S. that is devoted to the production of livestock: 33
Percentage of all raw materials consumed by the U.S. needed to produce a complete vegetarian diet: 2

The Antibiotic Argument

Percentage of U.S. antibiotics fed to livestock: 55
Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13
Percentage resistant in 1988: 91
Response of European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: ban
Response of U.S. meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: full and complete support

The Pesticide Argument

Common belief: U.S. Department of Agriculture protects our health through meat inspection
Reality: fewer than 1 out of every 250,000 slaughtered animals is tested for toxic chemical residues
Percentage of U.S. mother’s milk containing significant levels of DDT: 99
Percentage of U.S. vegetarian mother’s milk containing significant levels of DDT: 8
Contamination of breast milk, due to chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides in animal products, found in meat-eating mothers vs. non-meat eating mothers: 35 times higher
Amount of Dieldrin ingested by the average breast-fed American infant: 9 times the permissible level

The Ethical Argument

Number of animals killed for meat per hour in the U.S.: 660,000
Occupation with highest turnover rate in U.S.: slaughterhouse worker
Occupation with highest rate of on-the-job-injury in U.S.: slaughterhouse worker

The Survival Argument

Athlete to win Ironman Triathlon more than twice: Dave Scott (6 time winner)
Food choice of Dave Scott: Vegetarian
Largest meat eater that ever lived: Tyrannosaurus Rex (Where is he today?)

Source = “Diet For A New America” by John Robbins

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8 thoughts on “Scientific fraud and other entertainment…

  1. What, twenty minutes and no replies yet? Let me kickstart the discussion…

    “Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%:100 million” should read:

    “Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10% and resettled these hungry people on that land and used it to feed these people directly without the intervention of corrupt organizations, tribal chiefs and dictators:100 million” As you see, the problem isn’t really about the meat at all.

  2. And:
    “Amount of water used in production of the average cow: sufficient to float a destroyer”

    1) What’s wrong with that? In a country where there is no water shortage, measure the amount of water that is “lost” due to un-utilized rain and snow, and rivers that weren’t used for human sanitation? What’s the point?

    2) It’s not as though that water goes into the cow and never comes out again! (this is beginning to feel like a waste of time…)

  3. There is of course the ethical argument about eating animals. Although I am a meat eater, I would gladly become vegetarian in a flash if i could slide the idea past my family.
    tried it once and it became a major issue. Wasn’t worth the effort or the rows.
    I don’t particularly like so called ‘stats’ ; they can tell what ever one wants.

    • 😀 Statistically, 3 out of 4 people who become vegan out of ethical reasons “backslide” into eating meat.

      Oh and you don’t have to ask your family permission about what you personally put into your mouth. 😉

      I think if each of us had to kill the animals we eat personally, it would be a different scenario. This is in all likelihood where 3 of the “Big 5” religions gather their idea that animals don’t have souls (ironic because “anima” in Latin actually means soul or spirit). The other 2 (Taoism and Buddhism) subscribe to reincarnation, which makes killing an animal “not so bad” – but wait, in fact Taoism preaches vegetarianism. It’s part of the Tao way of life. I’m not sure about Buddhism but I think it’s very similar.

      The Islami also believe that women don’t have souls (and I suspect a lot of their “legal” violence against women is “justified” that way).

  4. I am reminded of an Oxfam poster from several decades ago. It ran: ‘There is enough wheat in the world to give everyone ten slices of bread per day. So what’s the problem?’

    • Precisely. And that is just the wheat. The problem is clearly not the amount of food that is available.

      I’ve also read a stat (but ok I haven’t verified how reliable it is) that all people in the world today could be accommodated with house and garden on a piece of land the size of Texas. The mind boggles trying to imagine it. I’m not sure if they know what they are doing, 7 billion (7 000 000 000) is an enormous figure but it doesn’t come close to the amount of e.g. termites or ants that live on this planet.

    • I believe that Oxfam’s main thrust (at that time) was that ‘distribution’ (i.e. the logistics) was the problem. I came to the conclusion that distribution WAS the problem, but that it was the distribution of wealth overall. Not just rich people > poor people, but rich countries > poor countries. Whenever I see a TV ad for a charity, where the voice-over says ‘These people need your help’, I have started shouting back ‘No! They need NOT TO NEED my help!’

    • In fact, what they need is Monsanto stopping its politics; and the WHO stopping its politics, and the … I could continue like this.

      What they need is to get back into balance with themselves.

      What South Africa needs I have no faintest clue. It’s always easier to talk politics about countries far away than address what’s smacking us in ther face.

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