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Summary



Credit: Sally Chang

Paul, Jocelyn, Tony, Emily and Erika discuss an episode of the NPR program, Intelligence2, called Debate: Should We Avoid Eating Anything With A Face?

On the pro side is Dr. Neal Barnard and Gene Baur; the nay side includes Chris Masterjohn and Joel Salatin. You can listen to the episode here


The group concludes that the entire debate only skims the surface of a very complex issue which partially includes: nutritional needs of individuals, inconclusive scientific research on what actually constitutes health, the cost of the production of calories, and, which dietary choice (vegan or omnivore) causes the death (violent or humane) of more creatures.

Toward the end, Erika gives a poignant consideration of the life/death cycle and Jocelyn makes the point that whole systems need to be considered.

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author
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Rhetorical question- How many dead horses got beaten in the production of the NPR story?
 
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yeah. eesh.

having accepted that those debates are pretty poor formats for a thoughtful discussion of the important matters they take on, what's sat on my mind the longest from that debate is Salatin's assertion that you can't have a sustainable, closed-loop annual vegetable operation without manure, to which one of his opponents (can't remember his name) retorted no, wait! there's veganic agriculture! it's a thing!

it got me wondering about it; I know there are farms relying on cover cropping for their vegetable fertility. some of them are undertaking this primarily to avoid any kind of dealings with feed lot of concentrated indoor operations, both from an ethical and a practical perspective (concerns about low-quality or "polluted" poo due to their diets and medications).

however, I got to thinking, how practical is it for a farm's fertility to depend on imported bags of cover crop seeds? and what kind of mechanization, fossil-fuel use, or animal wastes were used in the production of those seeds? besides, a monoculture of a flowering clover is still a monoculture. beyond a few acres you get many of the same issues found in very large monocultures.

I'm not trying to be overly pedantic or necessarily justify having animals incorporated into every agricultural operation, and I'm the last to herald an impossible ideal if it undermines real progress on the ground. but I'd like to see more consideration put into this topic; it's not just enough to say "cover crops!!!"
 
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Confession: I've been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 30 years now. In the past 6 months I've added fish back into my diet.

Caveat: I haven't listened to the podcast all the way through (listening right now).

The below addresses the concept of Veganic farming - which from my understanding is farming that excludes animals - from a logic and "whole systems" viewpoint.

First we have to define "animal" - most definitions include: birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and insects.

Then consider the following:
--how much plant food production is dependent upon pollination by insects, birds, mammals (bats)? Remember the dire predictions of how food production would decline when we were seeing massive bee die-off? Well wonder if you had to only rely on those plants that were wind pollinated?
--animals are providing "inputs" all the time whether you know it or not. They are adding their manures to the soil, they are harvesting both good and bad bugs for food, their dead bodies are decaying above and below ground... How're you going to stop this??
--then there's all the underground activity of burrowing animals and insects which we find it harder to relate to because we don't actually "see" it for the most part.
--and then there are the very "animals" you need to have around to make nutrients available so that plants will thrive

Let's face it - ecosystems are marvelous, complex systems and the main purpose of permaculture is to mimic this complexity while at the same time providing a yield to us as humans. This is why such a big deal is made of the principle of "each element performs many functions and each function is supported by many elements." This is resiliency which can lead to sustainability. Trying to artificially do away with one entire category of elements (there are three categories of elements as defined in Geoff Lawton's PDC - 1. animals, 2. plants, 3. structures) is to make the entire eco-system weaker and less resilient - it defies nature. Which is the opposite of what permaculture sets out to do.

And now some levity. One of my favorite plant/animal interactions. Enjoy.

 
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Without listening to the discussion, I'll give my (undeterminably but probably undereducated) opinion on the matter... Cause this is definitely a lamb chopping discussion.


Once upon a time there was a fat little kid, teenager actually but 'kid' just sounds better - he was quite overweight and very unathletic, one day he started to eat less processed food and he started feeling better... And then he became a vegetarian, and then vegan, and finally he ate mostly raw. And closely paid attention to what he ate. After a year went from 214lbs to 145lbs, he looked and felt great!

He started exercising, began to run, within 6-7 months he ran his first race, a marathon. Around 9-10 months he ran his second race, an ultra-marathon. He was on top of his game, or was he?

(this is where you expect the plot twist) Yeah, he pretty much was doing great.

Only once did a massage therapist say that his ligaments were undersized, but what does she know anyway? ...However that comment left enough of an impression (more like planted a seed of concern) that maybe this kid (now in his 20's) should reintroduce animal products into his diet... So he did, and here's where the story thickens...

With bone broth and stews. Still, nothing changed. I feel the same.

So what is the moral of MY story? That we can and have survived on a wide verity of foods, and that we thrive on anything *well balanced and varied* that your great-great-grandparents would have eaten. It's what we've developed in the last 100 years that is making people sick.



But if you were to ask me "what diet do you believe is ideal?" I would introduce you to my own, which is what wannabe eccentric people like myself do...

I call it the 1882 diet.

If it didn't exist in 1882, don't eat it. Then I use those numbers again and say eat approximately 18% fauna product, and 82% floria product by mass.



I'll leave it at that, and listen to the podcast.
 
Nick Sims
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Oh and I began writing before any comments were here, and now that I've posted it appears the discussion is more about eco systems and sustainability than it is about human nutrition, which is what I thought was the dominate subject from Paul's email.

Sorry if I seemed to be a bit off topic.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Another take on the definition of appropriate "diet":

People all over the world have different food preferences, practices, and preparation styles that serve them best. For traditional peoples, these are based on the climate and customs which are their heritage. For those of us in the "global market", we may have a broader palate and more choices. However, across the board Big Ag/chem fertilizers have depleted nutrients in foods across the spectrum - plant and animal.

I just found out that renown Ethnobotanist (and McArthur Genius Award winner) - Gary Paul Nabhan - has written another book - this one called Food, Genes, and Culture - Eating Right for Your Origins



Here's the excerpt:

Vegan, low fat, low carb, slow carb: Every diet seems to promise a one-size-fits-all solution to health. But they ignore the diversity of human genes and how they interact with what we eat.

In Food, Genes, and Culture, renowned ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan shows why the perfect diet for one person could be disastrous for another. If your ancestors were herders in Northern Europe, milk might well provide you with important nutrients, whereas if you’re Native American, you have a higher likelihood of lactose intolerance. If your roots lie in the Greek islands, the acclaimed Mediterranean diet might save your heart; if not, all that olive oil could just give you stomach cramps.

Nabhan traces food traditions around the world, from Bali to Mexico, uncovering the links between ancestry and individual responses to food. The implications go well beyond personal taste. Today’s widespread mismatch between diet and genes is leading to serious health conditions, including a dramatic growth over the last 50 years in auto-immune and inflammatory diseases.

Readers will not only learn why diabetes is running rampant among indigenous peoples and heart disease has risen among those of northern European descent, but may find the path to their own perfect diet.

Gary Nabhan is one of the most important food writers we have in this country. In this eloquent and fascinating book, he shows us how our food and culture are so deeply rooted in our land and agriculture. - Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse



This exploration of the coevolution of communities and their native foods couldn’t be more timely…Mixing hard science with personal anecdotes, Nabhan convincingly argues that health comes from a genetically appropriate diet inextricably entwined with a healthy land and culture. – Publishers Weekly


 
pollinator
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If the discussion is about whether or not to eat animals, I'm not sure how relevant this point is, but, I like the idea that famers can utilise the functions of animals that the need to mistreat them or even harvest them. I like the "free to leave" concept mentioned in one of Geoff Lawton's recent videos about raising chickens on compost. It was also mentioned in Paul Wheaton's 72 Bricks for Building a Better World presentation, concerning pigs. If you can create conditions that animals don't want to leave, but can leave of their own accord whenever they wish, then there is no need for veganic permaculture or farming.
 
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"You are what you eat eats" -- Michael Pollan

Paul got to it on the WAP from CAFO animals is bad. But vegan with petrochemicals is potentially just as bad.

The bigger issue is the fact NO ONE actually debates anymore. Or researches both sides of an issue before making a decision.

IDIOCRACY is turning into a documentary...
 
gardener
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Haven't listened yet but I can't freaking wait. This has been a subject of intense controversy. I have worked in a natural food store for almost 10 years now and have heard all the claims for vegan and whatnot. I have maintained my diet the whole time. Admittedly it's not the best diet by any stretch of the means, but I try and include *varried* sources for the nutrients I get.

Anyway just wanted to chime in before I head off to work, love what you guys are doing keep it up.

Josh
 
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Nick Simcheck wrote:
I call it the 1882 diet.

If it didn't exist in 1882, don't eat it.



Does this include cultivars?

 
Nick Sims
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Johnny Niamert wrote:

Does this include cultivars?





.... You Sir, have poked a hole in my theory/ideology.


But then again I'd rather eat 1882 than 1981. Maybe I should make a provision for "natural advancement and breeding of both plant and animal"


I'm back on track!
 
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Health is specific to a person, but ecosystems are different. I am a vegetarian (lacto-ovo) but encourage others to eat local "clean" meat. I find that when I eat meat in general, I get sick. That being the case, I stopped eating meat. But I have worked on a farm, and see how essential animals are in the systems. I'm just crippled in the fact that I can't eat them myself. It is frustrating, but I hope you don't see the vegetarians as the enemy in this--some of us would gladly be omnivorous in our consumption if possible! Meanwhile, I fertilize my gardens with rabbit manure from my pet rabbits. Trying to make it work...
 
Johnny Niamert
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Nick Simcheck wrote:
.... You Sir, have poked a hole in my theory/ideology.


But then again I'd rather eat 1882 than 1981. Maybe I should make a provision for "natural advancement and breeding of both plant and animal"


I'm back on track!



I wasn't trying to!

I would have been very impressed, if you had...

I ask because one of the paleo-diet books I read mentioned this (Primal Body, Primal Mind. Gedgaudas). Fruits and veggies today, for the most-part, are bred for primarily for high sugar, low fiber, and low acidity/tannin levels.
 
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I could only stomach about half the podcast. The "debate" format strikes me as just about the worst possible way to engage in a meaningful human exchange. Its purpose seems to be more a way to limit mutual understanding in order to facilitate the creation of oppositional camps. Then, of course, if some decision is actually to be made, it can fall to the group with the biggest stick.

But, I suppose it does sell NPR memberships.
 
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Hey guys, great podcast and roundtable discussion.

This is my first post on permies by the way!!

Sounds like ya'll are covering the argument pretty well and seem to be pretty objective in my opinion, especially since most all of you have some experience as vegans. I just want to know why the whole quinoa argument was not brought up? Here are a few articles concerning the quinoa debacle:
http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=6345&catId=5
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/16/vegans-stomach-unpalatable-truth-quinoa
http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/07/17/busting-quinoa-myth

What I really wanted to piggyback on was the topic of logical fallacies and critical thinking. Not being able to identify fallacious arguments is a very big problem in western culture. I just wanted to leave a few resources for people that may want to study up a bit more. I also would like to introduce the concept of the TRIVIUM.( I will leave a video below) Learning about logical fallacies and the trivium is like "kung fu for the mind,or intellectual self-defense". Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media and Tragedy and Hope Communications have done a mountain of work concerning these topics. I hope they are helpful to some of you. I know they were helpful for me. I also have attached a list of logical fallacies in PDF below.

http://www.triviumeducation.com/

http://www.tragedyandhope.com/


People desperately need to be versed in this stuff. To many people wind up being duped by the talking heads on the boob tube. If you find yourself thinking that the arguments on the evening news make perfect logical sense. THIS IS FOR YOU!

Keep up the great dialogue!

-Kev
Filename: 55849450-Logical-Fallacies-Intellectual-Self-Defense.pdf
File size: 325 Kbytes
 
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ariel greenwood wrote:yeah. eesh.

having accepted that those debates are pretty poor formats for a thoughtful discussion of the important matters they take on, what's sat on my mind the longest from that debate is Salatin's assertion that you can't have a sustainable, closed-loop annual vegetable operation without manure, to which one of his opponents (can't remember his name) retorted no, wait! there's veganic agriculture! it's a thing!

it got me wondering about it; I know there are farms relying on cover cropping for their vegetable fertility. some of them are undertaking this primarily to avoid any kind of dealings with feed lot of concentrated indoor operations, both from an ethical and a practical perspective (concerns about low-quality or "polluted" poo due to their diets and medications).

however, I got to thinking, how practical is it for a farm's fertility to depend on imported bags of cover crop seeds? and what kind of mechanization, fossil-fuel use, or animal wastes were used in the production of those seeds? besides, a mono culture of a flowering clover is still a monoculture. beyond a few acres you get many of the same issues found in very large monocultures.

I'm not trying to be overly pedantic or necessarily justify having animals incorporated into every agricultural operation, and I'm the last to herald an impossible ideal if it undermines real progress on the ground. but I'd like to see more consideration put into this topic; it's not just enough to say "cover crops!!!"





Actually "covercrops" are usually more efficiently used at 50% flower , and used in compost. A small amount (app3%) can be allowed to grow to maturity for seed, so while ya gotta buy the stuff initially, theoretically it is possible to grow your own . This is the basis , for the basic "bio-intensive" system that John Jeavons promotes, and is used in several areas of the world.

Don't get me wrong, I basically agree with ya, but it can be done.
 
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Hello, first a big THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to this empire! Paul you and your crew are doing EPIC things and I really appreciate all your hard work. Anyway, it appears that these types of pseudo-sciences are running rampant and we need people to stand up and call these people out...much like Bill Mollison has done in the past when he asked, "Can you clearly define what sustainability means?". Because seriously, people who use green-washing techniques and buzzwords in order confuse, instill fear, etc...to push their, shall we say "economic agenda?" are in fact professional liars and b.s.'rs. And they need, at the very least, to be told to go home and read a book...do their research and stop spewing inaccurate poorly researched (if at all) "facts" So again, thank you...I know the bs that mainstream hegemony is perpetuating is more than frustrating and needs to be addressed and dismantled when appropriate. So this podcast strikes me as is one of those instances. So again, right on, keep up the good work.

I was wondering if anyone has read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith? I believe this book does an excellent job illustrating why (with few personal exceptions) vegetarianism is just that, a myth.
 
pollinator
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The book "Meat: A benign Extravagance" by Simon Fairlie does a really good job of addressing this question, specifically from the standpoint of environmental impact (He doesn't get into health and ethical discussions). He comes to a similar opinion as you did on the podcast, and also has tons of research to back it up.
 
Nick Sims
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Johnny Niamert wrote:
I wasn't trying to!

I would have been very impressed, if you had...

I ask because one of the paleo-diet books I read mentioned this (Primal Body, Primal Mind. Gedgaudas). Fruits and veggies today, for the most-part, are bred for primarily for high sugar, low fiber, and low acidity/tannin levels.





I certainly wouldn't deny that statement, as seems logical and fairly obvious.

I will say that I believe that cultivating plants and animals as a whole, is a very, very, good thing. The apple been selected and grafted to yield more, taste better (usually higher sugar content), disease resistant, pest tolerant, yadayadayada... So eat less apples if the sugar worries you, point is it's still much less of a workload on the orchardist.

Compairing true wild verities against cultivated shows that toxins are reduced/eliminated, yield is one, ten, sometimes a hundred fold increase, less fungal issues, etc - I know that sounds like a broken record of my last paragraph but I guess I really wanna drive home that things like broccoli and corn were basically a weed not that long ago. Bananas weren't bananas as you know them, and I know from firsthand experience that out of the 50-60 wild apple trees on my property only 3 are even considered to be palatable and none of them yield worth a crap and they all get cedar-apple rust like crazy.

Now Paleo era vs 1882 era cultivars is obviously incomparable, but what existed in 1882 compared to today probably isn't too shabby... it might actually have been a golden era in horticulture now that I reminded myself of a great english show from the 1980's called The Victoran Kitchen Garden which is a hoot to watch.

You could theorize that mineral uptake could be a slow process, and even possilby the development of vitamins, and that modern verities of vegetables which are quick to harvest could theoretically contain more cellulose and less mineral and vitamin content than older 'heirloom' cultivars.

Maybe I'll stick with 1882 being strict, even though that would mean that I'm not following the diet myself it until I plant and live off all heirloom verities.
 
pollinator
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Just wanted to added a ditto for Lierre Keith's "The Vegetarian Myth", and also mention a new book, "Death by Food Pyramid", by Denise Minger. As an aside, when I checked out a critical Amazon commenter on Keith's book, I found she was associated with the soy trade group... apparently there's a large commercial interest in promoting vegetarianism, along with the admirable moral and questionable environmental aims.
 
pollinator
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I would love to hear the original debate (even if it would infuriate me as much as it did Paul ).

I find it hard to believe that the human race has been malnourished since the invention of fire, the invention of agriculture, we climbed down from the trees. But I do believe that we in the Westergaard have become increasingly malnourished for the last 50 year (and yet life time expectancy have been continuously growing in the west up until the last 10 years). So this leads me to the conclusion that a WAP diet or the like is probably the best I can do (one that fits the climate I live in). But we are also different people - my mom processes red meat and fats really bad, where as I end up eating far to much starch and sugar if I don't have sufficient amounts red meat and fats (and gain a huge amount of weight as a consequence). I think listening to your body is really really important - one thing we in the west are notoriously bad at, and teach our kids not to (incl. loads of crunchy people I know).

But nutrition aside - it really annoys me when vegans or vegetarians say that their diet is more sustainable than one that include meats. That we have to become vegans to save the world from starvation. It is par with the Monsanto argument that we need Frankencrops to sustain the growing masses of poor in the third world. It is a strawmans argument like said in Pauls podcast - because it is based on the assumption that we can only grow monoculture.

Much of the science about nutrition and sustainability is deeply flawed. Really seriously flawed and if you read the articles with a scientific background most people would be appalled.I spent a significant amount of time studying the back-ground for allergies 7 years ago because my son was sick - and most of the studies investigating dairy-allergies and intolerances, substitute dairy with soy milk even though it is more allergen than dairy, none of the studies I found investigated raw dairy, nor different kinds of dairy. Some studies might investigate the nutrient content of organic vegetables and find that they are not significantly higher than conventionally grown vegetables - and thus conclude that organic is not better than conventional... Yet they fail to explain why organic eggs and dairy contain more omega3 than their conventional counterparts. So this scientist is way over trusting "food science" - I will not trust a statistic I have not forged myself It is all about trial design and the questions you ask - in fact most food science and agricultural science is deeply unscientific...
 
ariel greenwood
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Gordon Shephard wrote:I could only stomach about half the podcast. The "debate" format strikes me as just about the worst possible way to engage in a meaningful human exchange. Its purpose seems to be more a way to limit mutual understanding in order to facilitate the creation of oppositional camps. Then, of course, if some decision is actually to be made, it can fall to the group with the biggest stick.

But, I suppose it does sell NPR memberships.



aye. and, I think many podcasters tend to voraciously consume material and are perhaps not used to having to stop, pause, and parse what's flowing into our ears. (popular shows like Radiolab and This American Life, after all, structure their flow and sound design such that pausing or rewinding seems a little illfitting). sometimes I find myself in the middle of a podcast having hardly considered the big ideas or complex topics covered therein. that's when I know it's time to turn it off until I'm ready to think.

Kevo - thanks for sharing that stuff. I've been meaning to brush up because it's indeed not enough to discern that something doesn't quite add up in an argument. without the proper language to explain what's amiss, those of us who are being BSed are ill-equipped to explain why. and this stuff matters.

Jennifer and Mick, thanks for your thoughtful responses.
 
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Kevo Jurkowski wrote:(clipped ...)
What I really wanted to piggyback on was the topic of logical fallacies and critical thinking. Not being able to identify fallacious arguments is a very big problem in western culture. I just wanted to leave a few resources for people that may want to study up a bit more. I also would like to introduce the concept of the TRIVIUM.( I will leave a video below) Learning about logical fallacies and the trivium is like "kung fu for the mind,or intellectual self-defense". Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media and Tragedy and Hope Communications have done a mountain of work concerning these topics. I hope they are helpful to some of you. I know they were helpful for me. I also have attached a list of logical fallacies in PDF below.
(clipped...)
People desperately need to be versed in this stuff. To many people wind up being duped by the talking heads on the boob tube. If you find yourself thinking that the arguments on the evening news make perfect logical sense. THIS IS FOR YOU!

Keep up the great dialogue!

-Kev


I, too, want to applaud the critical thinking tone and looking at an issue from multiple perspectives rather than through a combative mindset of this vs that. Second, I want to highly stress how valuable the links mentioned by Kev here are. Critical thinking is just a phrase until one learns and employs the methods and techniques that make it a reality, similar to how "skeptic" as a label can be slapped on many things as an intellectual badge of honor without substance. I perceive critical thinking be a strength of many permaculture practitioners, I think since it is by definition an "out there" idea, and it doesn't represent either "side" of some simplistic dichotomy defined by others. It is searching for a better way, based on what works in reality.

The Trivium method mentioned above also, if I may explain it briefly, is a helpful model for how our mind processes and acts on information. By using a model, the steps of thinking can be better understood. Here are the parts of that model: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Grammar is made of everything that exists: ideas, objects, animals, the world, etc. Logic is the process of understanding the connections of those things (the grammar) usually by removing any contradictions in the grammar. Rhetoric, lastly, is the formulation of logical understandings into communicable language that spread and impart the knowledge, but it involves knowing who the audience is and using the best way to communicate specifically to them.

The Trivium is also a name given to certain historical school systems where a proscribed grammar, and perhaps a proscribed logic are used as a platform to impart pre-defined knowledge and beliefs in the student. It is confusing given the names, but this in many ways is opposite to using the Trivium method, which takes reality to be the source of grammar and that logic must be used to eliminate and remove grammar that logically contradicts other firmly grounded grammar. The schooling tradition (The Trivium) has a given end-goal, while the clear thinking method has no end-goal, as that is the decision of the human doing the thinking.

When using the trivium method to evaluate debate presentations, you see a lot of failure to ever critically evaluate the facts or logic that the rhetoric is based on. Many people only use the rhetorical aspect of grammar in debates, with the apparent mindset of "I know the truth, how can I convince others I'm right?". I would imagine a trivium method based debate would focus heavily on word definitions, multiple perspectives, and logical relationships, much more than rhetoric, and would result in each side giving credence to valid facts and arguments that must be considered, whether they support one conclusion or another.

Thanks, Paul, for the intriguing discussion! And please check out Kev's links, there is actually a mountain of good information about many topics within those sites.
 
Johnny Niamert
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"Science as a religion" -- I don't know who said this but, F@cking exactly!!!




Science is the new religion to the closed and feeble minded.
 
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Here is the video Paul was talking about.

 
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Kevo Jurkowski wrote:

What I really wanted to piggyback on was the topic of logical fallacies and critical thinking. Not being able to identify fallacious arguments is a very big problem in western culture. I just wanted to leave a few resources for people that may want to study up a bit more. I also would like to introduce the concept of the TRIVIUM.



Kevo, Paul actually did a podcast on logical fallacies! I've just looked thru them all but I can't figure out which one it is based on the names...

a little help, anyone...

For me, there's a kind of venn diagram of issues that overlap:
Permaculture
Prepping
Peak oil
Paleo/low carb eating
Libertarianism
Trivium
 
Cj Sloane
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I'd like to share one of Bill Mollison's stories. If someone is really desperate for the link I'll try to figure out which video it's from.
It's a real eye-opener about how vegetarianism is not sustainable - mathematically!

Some Hare Krishnas bought 50 acres in Australia and wanted Bill to design their farm. They were going to have 4 dairy cows and a bull and a large garden. Bill takes a look around and basically tells them he can't do a design till they tell him what they plan on doing with the calves. He then explains the problem to his audience.

Every year the 4 cows will give birth so they can lactate and be milked.
So year 0 you have 4 cows and 1 bull = 5 bovines on 50 acres = OK
Year 1 you have 4 cows, 1 bull and 4 calves = 9 bovines on 50 acres = still OK
Year 10 (if you could isolate all the offspring) 45 bovines on 50 acres = not OK
Year 15 = 65 bovines on 50 acres = really not OK cows and people starve.

Traditionally, dairy farmers eat or sell the calves but Hare Krishnas are based on Hinduism and this is not an option. Bill then explains that this is part of India's problem. Up until 1950 or so they did have a solution - sort of. They gave or sold the calves to their Muslim neighbors OR they opened up the gates to their farm and let the excess cows out - so they would be eaten by the tigers!

But... by 1950 they had kicked out the Muslims and killed all the tigers!!! (aside - I think that's a good plug for cultural diversity)

So back to the Hare Krishnas. They told Bill they did have a plan for the calves, they would breed them! If 50% of the calves are female then:
Year 10 you wind up with 187 bovines on 50 acres
Year 15 you wind up with 884 bovines on 50 acres!!!

Bill tells them that if there were 100 groups like them, Australia would run out of land in 100 years!
They said they'd pose the question to their smart people and get back to him but they never did!
 
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Interesting debate.

The gent on the meat-eating side told the Vegan that he had seen the Vegan studies that said that folks got healthier on the Vegan diet, and that in every case the healthier person had lost a lot of weight. AND THE VEGAN DID NOT DENY IT!

I am a type 2 diabetic. When I first started having trouble the doc put me on a low-fat diet, which is much higher in non-animal food. I felt terrible and my triglycerides went through the roof.

I saw a different doctor and I was put on a diet that was much higher in animal proteins and much lower in carbs. The result of the higher animal product diet ended up with a lower cholesterol, lower triglycerides, lower blood sugar, and my blood pressure dropped to normal. And, I felt a whole lot better.

I have seen Vegans say they were healthier on the Vegan diet and more power to them! But, I do not consider either diet to be inherently superior: I consider that we are all different in our body chemistries.
 
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I enjoyed this podcast, the commentators voiced many of the frustrations I had with it. I wish they found somebody a little more qualified to represent the nutritional science for the descending position. I think Robb Wolf or Dr. Loren Cordain (OHHH he's a dr. also, YAY!) would have kicked a lot of butt. Cordain has debated Colin Campbell on his "China Study" before and would have done really well. Robb Wolf was on his way to get his Doctorate and has done tons of in the lab work, number crunching and most importantly gotten results from helping people achieve optimum health by including healthy Animal foods in their diets. Plus Wolf would have been a very charismatic personality have on the descending side.

By the way, the framework for the debate topic, and much of the way that the debate was formatted follows the Oxford Union traditions. A position is taken and then it is debated.

I disagreed with Paul and thought that Salatin made a great point on deciding what has a face and which living organism's with feelings we are going to honor. I do agree that it was probably lost on the audience though.
 
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Paul was fired up! I had to turn him way, way down while driving with my 2 1/2 year old because of the incessant bad language. Soap for you Paul!
 
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I just listened to it twice and wasn't too thrilled with the debate, overall. But it was enlightening. Unfortunately, here's what I learned about the vegan position:

Close-minded: Inherent in the title is "[no one] should eat anything with a face". There's no room for omnivores.

Anti-Evolution: Imposing a one-diet-fits-all model even though it is unnatural for an evolutionary system based on variation. It's unscientific and simplistic to think that all people groups everywhere have the same nutritional needs genetically.

Ethnocentric: Not every culture has access to the vast array of pills, powders and produce that wealthy westerners take for granted.

Weak Science: Fallacy's abound! Avoid meat because it has carcinogenic elements? Bollocks. False-dichotomy. Carcinogens are everywhere. Toast is carcinogenic! The question is, do the benefits of a particular food/diet outweigh the carcinogens that you will ingest regardless? And that overly-simplistic blame-meat story of the patient with bad arteries... not a word about his overall diet. Interesting. Also, there is no historical/anthropological evidence that veganism even works long-term because there has been no documented culture that has ever been purely vegan for generations. And there are no agricultural models to point to either, unless you count the 2 vegan farms mentioned, the older one having been around for a mere 3 decades. *sigh* Nothing historical or anthropological, precious little tangible; only theories.

This shoddy evidence seems more an excuse to simply promote the ethic, "killing animals is wrong". Of course it's noble, but this is not a position empirically provable with science. It is ultimately a belief.

In short... the vegan position used weak scientific arguments to promote a close-minded, anti-evolution, ethnocentric belief.

That sounds uncomfortably familiar.

I don't know what's more alarming, that such faulty belief systems gets a pass, or that they were able to "convert" the audience with their rhetoric and come away the winners in the debate (even though the opposition had an animal/ecological-friendly ethic, with an open-minded, pro-evolution, non-ethnocentric position, backed by current, historical and anthropological evidence: a working model farm based on millennia of farming tradition, Weston Price's multicultural research highlighting the benefits of an omnivore diet cross-culturally, and an ethic that treats animals as sacred, not unlike the harmonious way of the Native Americans)

An enlightening debate, indeed.
 
He was giving me directions and I was powerless to resist. I cannot resist this tiny ad:
Dave Burton's Boot Adventures at Wheaton Labs and Basecamp
https://permies.com/t/119676/permaculture-projects/Dave-Burton-Boot-Adventures-Wheaton
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