Wolves eat meat. They are carnivores. They have teeth meant for tearing into meat. They have digestion tracks 1/3 the length that of humans, that way the meat they eat can digested and turned into waste within twenty four hours, getting all the nutrients it can within that time. It’s a perfect process, designed by nature.
When humans eat meat, however, the process isn’t as perfect. Humans, having a digestive track three times the length of a carnivore’s digestive track, can not process meat in a healthy manner. While meat does contain protein, it taxes the body with up to three days of digestion. In those three days, the body sends ample amounts of energy to digestion instead of to muscle recovery (this is why those who eat plant based foods recover from workouts faster), mental focus, and supporting the immune system. Plant based foods, on the other hand, never take more than twenty four hours to digest, allowing the body’s energy to spent on muscle recovery, mental focus, supporting the immune system, and whatever the person wants to focus her energy on! Twenty four hours is also the same amount of time it naturally takes for carnivores to digest their food; digestion shouldn’t naturally take up to three days.
Defending meat as a source of nutrition, one with “complete proteins,” foregoes the fact that meat has dietary cholesterol, which humans should not consume as the body produces the appropriate amount of cholesterol without an dietary input (and dietary cholesterol leads to higher blood cholesterol levels and can lead to coronary artery disease) and nutrients that are difficult for the body to absorb. For the human body, getting protein from plants is more beneficial as the body can absorb the protein and other nutrients easily, within one day, putting less stress on all parts of the body.
With the myth of complete proteins, where foods that only contain all eight essential amino acids are believed to be vital for the body, many people choose meat as a go-to option as a source of protein. However, the human body can survive off of one plant food alone or a combination of plant foods, even if it doesn’t contain all eight amino acids, healthfully. When a variety of plant-based whole foods are the staple of one’s diet, the body will receive a sufficient amount of all amino acids, minerals, and nutrients, including protein. None the less, for those still concerned about receiving “complete” proteins, here is a list of plant based proteins with all eight amino acids: quinoa, buckwheat (not actually wheat; gluten-free), hempseed, chia seed, and soy (edamame, tempeh, tofu).
Although, not all nutrients from plant sources are alike. Most whole foods (whole fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc) in grocery stores are at least five days old - five days from their source of origin, at which point they have been depleted of up to 40% of their original nutrients. Then, once processing or home cooking is undergone, even more nutrients flee from the food (however, some nutrients are amplified when cooking occurs).
Soil also has a large role in the nutrients of plants. Three primary nutrients are found in commercial fertilizers, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fertile soil, however, requires fifty two nutrients to healthfully support life. Because the soil used in most commercial farm lands is malnourished, the plants that are grown in that soil do not contain the nutrients they require to be healthy. Then, because the plants are malnourished, the plants are susceptible to weather and parasites, which influences farmers to use pesticides and GMOs for their crops to help the plants be more resistant. However, the poor condition of the plants isn’t healed, only covered up, as the bugs that attack the plants adapt to plants’ modifications. All of which could have been solved from at the source of the dilemma, the soil!
The mixture of the lack of nutrients in the soil along with the amount of time food is separated from its source before consumers get to eat results in a wide-scale nutritional deficiency. However, consuming food as close to its source of origin as possible as a guideline for a diet will result in a healthy body, mind, spirit, and world.
“Being vegan is easy. Are there social pressures that encourage you to continue to eat, wear, and use animal products? Of course there are. But in a patriarchal, racist, homophobic, and ableist society, there are social pressures to participate and engage in sexism, racism, homophobia, and ableism. At some point, you have to decide who you are and what matters morally to you. And once you decide that you regard victimizing vulnerable nonhumans is not morally acceptable, it is easy to go and stay vegan”
― Gary L. Francione
Much love healers, keep spreading your love and knowledge!
- Dietary Cholesterol: http://nutritionfacts.org/2016/03/22/the-effects-of-dietary-cholesterol-on-blood-cholesterol/
- “Complete” Proteins: forksoverknives.com/the-myth-of-complementary-protein/
- Cooked Nutrition: well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/ask-well-does-boiling-or-baking-vegetables-destroy-their-vitamins/
- Malnourished Soil: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss/