[permaculture] animals, vegans and beyond

John Schinnerer eco_living at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 28 03:27:43 EST 2002


There's threads in this list's archives exploring the 'true cost' of
meat production as well as the 'true cost' of veganism, which depending
on location of the practitioner is not particularly sustainable-looking
either.  Ain't much in the way of vegan food growing sustainable-like
for months and months in the winter, lots of places...unless some folks
have been able to store up body fat and hibernate like some critters
do...or grow and can and pickle enough to last through...otherwise it's
all imported from far away agribusiness by fossil-fueled transport.  So
I reckon we all live in glass houses and throwing stones is a poor

Meanwhile, there is also evidence that aspects of individual body
chemistry can be a significant factor in what is good and not so good
for one to eat.  In our context (c'mon, it's a permaculture list!) I
find it oxymoronic to advocate a 'one-size-fits-all' diet of whatever
kind.  Makes no more sense than a 'one-design-fits-all' approach to
permaculture.  Cultural differences, too, which are likely interwoven
with body chemistry...people of Hawaiian ancestry get serious health
problems from the dominant combo of American/Asian mass-market and
fast-foods in the islands.  Some have returned to a more traditional
"pre-contact" diet with astounding results for the better...a google
search on 'Waianae Diet' will garner more details.

As for meat, cooking may be one basic problem for some...I read an
interesting study a few years ago on Inuit health issues...maintained
that some of their more recent dietary health issues can possibly be
traced back to when they stared cooking their largely animal diet (like
the pale-skinned folks did) instead of mostly eating it uncooked. 
Don't have a reference, alas...

John Schinnerer, MA
- Eco-Living -
Cultural & Ecological Designing
Food - Shelter - Community
john at eco-living.net

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