Friday, September 30, 2011

Dangerous Ideas?

Written by blog editor Peter

The podcast below is about a plant based diet presented by Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of "Eating Animals" was broadcast on Australia's ABC national radio. Foer is part of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas taking place this weekend.

Who would have thought that going vegetarian is a dangerous idea?

Many Americans and Australians are so wedded to the consumption of meat and animal products that they do indeed regard eating a starch based, plant based diet as heresy.

I used to think like this. When I was in my late teens, relatives who we hadn't seen for while stayed with us for a few days. They told us that following a plant based diet was healthy, and that consuming too much meat was unhealthy.
I thought they were cranks! In fact I had grown up with what most people in industrialized western countries thought was essential- getting plenty of protein via meat and animal products.
Fortunately a few years later as I began to study nutrition I became vegetarian, and then two years after that vegan. It's one of the best decisions I ever made. Do I feel I'm missing out? In fact the contrary is true. I have no desire to eat any animal products as the plant options as so vast. As I've explored the vast array of plant foods that are available in western countries I've never enjoyed food as much, with the added side-effect of maintaining excellent health.
And by the way, there is a big proten myth: Scroll down.

Foer doesn't say that you should give up meat but that you should reduce your consumption, and increase the quantity of plants you consume for your health, for the environment, and to decrease the overall number of animals used for food that are raised in poor conditions. Less meat and more plants.

Now that's not too dangerous or scary is it?