Functional Health Services for Your Well Being


written by Alex Boersma




Sometimes people go too far.  I always say that as long as what you are doing doesn’t hurt anybody else, go ahead and fill your boots.  And in general, I’ll concede that vegetarians are a harmless lot, if perhaps a little misguided.  But when they try to augment their mundane agenda with unfounded scientific rhetoric and then force it on innocent schoolchildren, my blood pressure goes up!

In case you haven’t heard, Meatless Mondays are coming soon to a school cafeteria near you.  Backed by a controversial 2006 UN study dubbed “Livestock’s Long Shadow” which claims that livestock is responsible for a greater share of global CO2 emissions than even the transportation sector,  the movement to reduce the consumption of animal products is booming.  The Meatless Monday organization, founded in the US, has branches all over the world, including Canada.  Baltimore became the first US city to institute the program in all its school cafeterias last year.  New York City, apparently, has a similar proposal under way.


Is this who you want giving your children dietary advice?

The collaborators include environmentalists, animal rights activists and, of course, militant vegetarians.  They are led by the gaunt and ever reproachful Sir Paul McCartney (a man who, by the way, looks like he could use a good steak) and supported by a gaggle of righteously misinformed celebrities.  Their message:  That eating meat is inhumane, immoral, environmentally incorrect and fundamentally unhealthy.


Let’s put aside for a moment a UN acknowlegement that the numbers cited in the study mentioned above are incorrect.  Let’s put aside as well the fact that the global warming movement has been playing slight of hand with numbers for quite some time now.  The truth is, it is impossible to believe that human overpopulation and consumerism is not somehow negatively effecting our planet, probably on a grand and irreversible scale.


To get a better perspective on this issue I visited the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s Meatless Mondays web site.  There I was implored to choose Meatless Mondays because it was a fun and easy way to

Reduce my eco-footprint

Protect my health

Cut back on cruelty to animals



Let’s start with the last one, since I have a confession to make:  I, too am an animal lover!  I have a dog and two cats and I treat them very well.  I don’t have a cow or a pig or any chickens, but if I did I would treat them very well also.  At least until the day I killed and ate them.  If the eco-vegetarians are referring to factory farming when they allude to animal cruelty, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with them in supporting the abolishment of these animal concentration camps.  I will stand there for humanitarian reasons.  I will stand their for health reasons.  And I will stand there for ecological reasons. 

But if they are referring to the basic concept of killing animals for food, I beg to differ.  The truth is, the killing of one species to satisfy the needs of another has nothing to do with ethics or morality.  What it has to do with is nature and evolution.  And if the eco-vegetarians believe that the endless acres of corn, soy and grain they support come without the loss of life, they are sorely mistaken.  Perhaps they should consider the wolves and the beavers and the buffalo which have virtually been wiped out by agriculture’s hunger for land.  Or the billions of micro-organisms that used to live in the millions of tons of topsoil which agriculture has devoured.  Or even the birds and the fish which lived in the rivers and wetlands that were dammed so that corn, soy and wheat could grow there.

Here’s the reality.  Plants grow in the soil.  Herbivores eat the plants.  Carnivores eat the herbivores.  Organisms in the soil eat everything…dead animals, dead plants and the excretions of everything.  All the dead stuff gets turned into more food for more plants to grow.  This is the circle of life, and it can not be interrupted.  Take away the carnivores and the herbivores overpopulate the land…overgrazing kills all the plants and the soil turns to dust.  Everything dies!  If there is any moral message here, it is not “Thou shalt not kill animals for food”.  No, the moral of this story is:

“Thou shalt not mess with Mother Nature”. 


As human beings we are clearly left, not with a moral dilemma, but with an anthropological  one.  Are we meat eaters or are we not?  Despite what some vegetarians might tell us, the archaeological evidence is unequivocal on this.  We are, indeed, meat eaters.  We have been killing animals and eating their meat for hundreds of thousands of years.  We have the teeth of meat eaters.  We have the digestive systems of meat eaters.  And we have the big brains that are a product of being meat eaters.   If we hadn’t eaten meat, we wouldn’t even be here having this inane debate.  We would still be sitting in the forest digesting leaves with colons twice the length of our own and mulling over pretty much nothing with brains a third the size of our own.



Granted, we are omnivores, not carnivores.  So although we eat meat, it is not all we eat.  We can, do, and always have eaten vegetables.  Claiming our rightful status in the circle of life as killers of animals certainly does not preclude the consumption of vegetarian life.  It does not even preclude the exclusive consumption of vegetarian life.  What it does preclude is the moral uncertainty which the eco-vegetarians would burden us with.  Meat eaters can stand proud in the certainty that their tastes are firmly rooted in nature.  Vegetarians must realize that their moral high ground is built on the sands of delusion.  In order for people to eat, animals must die.  Any argument to the contrary is simply rationalization.



The Meatfree Mondays site has this to say about vegetarian nutrition:

Meatfree meals are nutritionally sound and provide proven health benefits that can help to prevent and manage a number of chronic diseases and conditions.

They go on to implicate a vegetarian diet specifically with the prevention and treatment of diabetes and obesity.  They also include references to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Dietitians of Canada, and the American Dietetics Association, explaining that these organizations support a vegetarian diet. 

Of course they do!

These  institutions are paragons of the failure of our medical establishment in distinguishing the difference between association and proof.  Our scientists love to do epidemiological studies because they provide enticing associations and tantalizing headlines.  The list of epidemiological studies associating a vegetarian lifestyle with improved health is long.  Vegetarians live longer.  Vegetarians have less cancer.  Vegetarians have less heart disease.  Vegetarians weigh less.

Too bad it is all meaningless nonsense!

Here’s the problem.  In order to become a vegetarian, something has to be different about you than all the meat eaters out there.  Whether that something is a concern for your health, a concern for animal health, a concern for the environment, or something completely  unrelated, it sets you apart.  So now when people look at you and realize you have lived a long time, should they attribute that longevity to your diet or to the something different which put you on the vegetarian path in the first place.

Here’s an example.  Vegetarians tend to be lean…how many obese vegetarians do you know?  Vegetarians also tend to be health conscious.  Are they lean because they eat vegetables, or are they lean because they are health conscious?  Vegetarians also tend to have less cancer.  Do they have less cancer because they are lean?  Because they eat vegetables?  Or because they are health conscious?  All three factors are associated with one another, yet no causal effect can or should be established

This problem is inherent to the nature of epidemiological studies.

But for some reason, scientists, journalists, educators  and politicians consistently ignore the limitations of epidemiological studies and use them as proof of their pet theories.

That’s not even the worst of it.

The other big issue here is that the studies are not comparing apples to apples.  Let’s just say that vegetarians are healthier.  Then the question becomes:

Healthier than what?

And I’ll tell you what they’re healthier than.  They’re healthier than people who eat the standard American diet (SAD).  But we all know that the SAD is a recipe for nutritional disaster.  It is deep fried crap on processed junk sprinkled with toxic spice and watered down with saccharine liquid poison.  It is eaten by the overweight and the undernourished, the overstressed and the under-active,  the overlooked and the underpaid.

So let’s take a bunch of health and body conscious vegetarians (who also tend to be fairly affluent).  Let’s feed them plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Let’s minimize their consumption of many of the toxins associated with the SAD.  And then let’s compare their health and longevity to a bunch of people on the SAD.  Guess who wins?

The truth is, there is absolutely nothing unhealthy about eating the meat of naturally raised animals.  There never has been.  Saturated fat and cholesterol consumption does not give you heart disease.  It does not give you cancer.  It does not give you diabetes and it does not make you fat.  These concepts are part of a mythology supported by; you guessed it…epidemiological studies!  They have never been proven.  In fact, most of them have been dis-proven.

I challenge the vegetarians to put their diet up against mine.  We can all have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.  They can have their tofu burgers, their chick peas, their lentils, their whole grains and their vegetable oils.  I’ll have bison burgers, free range meat and eggs, butter and whole fat dairy.  And bacon…lots of bacon.  We’ll see who lives longer and healthier!

I could go on and on about the limitations of the vegetarian diet.  I could talk about lectins and phytates, proteaze inhibitors, oxalates, salicytes and saponins.  About vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  About phytoestrogens and goitrogens.  About inflammation and oxidation.  About gluten and gliaden and malabsorption and intolerance.  About insulin resistance and glycation.  About schizophrenia and dementia.

These are all limitations that have been ignored, not only by the eco-vegetarians, but by most scientists, nutritionists, doctors and journalists.  The details are beyond the scope of this article, but let me just say that grains and legumes are by no means the superfoods that many people believe them to be.  Unlike meat, they are not a significant part of our nutritional heritage, and they should be consumed, at best, only in limited quantities.

 Optimal nutrition is most readily attained through the consumption of naturally raised animal products. 

Our children deserve at least the truth for lunch.  We have no right to serve them scientific fabrication on a plate of misguided morality.




Speaking of scientific fabrication on a plate of misguided morality!  Our children are the first generation of eco-youth.  They know more and care more about the environment than most of their parents ever will.  Their ecological morality is being instilled early and effectively.  They are templates upon which the fate of our earth probably rests.  This is a heavy burden and it should not come encumbered by moral or political agendas.

The eco-vegetarians claim that  “ With one-third of the world’s cereal harvest and 90 percent of the world’s soy harvest being raised for animal feed, the energy required to grow those crops is a major factor in toxic gas emissions”

So stop feeding them grain and soy…it’s bad for them and bad for us!

Cows are supposed to eat grass.

The eco-vegetarians also claim that “animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of global climate change, more than all forms of transportation“.  They also claim that “going vegetarian would eliminate 1.5 tons of C02 equivalent gas emissions per person, per year – an even bigger difference than switching from a SUV to a hybrid”

Those numbers are wrong!

They are, once again, not comparing apples to apples.

Those numbers compare the “life-cycle” emissions of livestock (everything from the energy going into production of fertilizer, to the fuel used by the farm machinery to the methane gas produced by the animals) to the direct emissions of the transportation sector (fuel burnt only…not including oil extraction from the ground, refining the oil, manufacturing the vehicles, etc.)  The real numbers globally are unknown, but in the US (when you actually do compare apples to apples) 3% of greenhouse gases come from agriculture, as opposed to 26 % from the transportation sector (Clearing the Air:  Livestock’s Contributions to Climate Change)

Maybe you can drive your hybrid to the steak house after all!

Finally, the eco-vegetarians state that “In Canada, it takes seven times more land to feed a non-vegetarian than a vegetarian.  In the United States and Canada, half of all synthetic fertilizer is used for feed crops.”

Again, stop feeding grains to livestock and abolish factory farming.

Cows fertilize their own grass!

Factory farming is inefficient, unsustainable and barbaric.  It consumes irreplaceable resources at an alarming rate.  Water, fossil fuels and precious  topsoil are converted into chemical pollution, biological contamination, eroded soil and cheap, inferior meat.  Cows properly pastured on grass consume only sunshine.  They recycle their own water.  They regenerate their own soil.  And they produce high quality meat teeming with valuable nutrients yet devoid of toxic chemicals, hormones and antibiotics. 

Cattle in Feedlot 

How would you like your steak to grow up?



The eco-vegetarians would have us replace livestock with vast vistas of corn, wheat and soy.  Yet neither our health nor our environment is threatened by naturally raised animals.  Instead, it is actually the preponderance of just such things as corn, soy and wheat in our diet which is making us sick.  And the agricultural process enabling the massive growth of these crops is also responsible for many of our environmental woes.  In fact, if it weren’t for agriculture,  most of our environmental issues would be non-issues.  Without the invention of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago, we would never have been able to overextend our race beyond the limits of sustainability

 I wonder how many eco-vegetarians have pondered the paradox of the fertile crescent.  Often referred to as the cradle of civilization, the fertile crescent encompasses a number of middle eastern countries including Iraq, Syria, Israel, Turkey and Jordan. It should have been called the cradle of agriculture, because it was only through agriculture that mankind gained the resources to develop civilization.  And what has civilization done for the fertile crescent?  Robbed it of its fertility.  Today it could easily be called the cradle of desertification, salination and soil erosion. 

Doesn’t look all that fertile to me!

Those early civilizations quickly destroyed the fertility of the very land which gave them birth.  That didn’t bother them much…they had the entire world to cultivate.  And so they did.   To the tune of 7 billion people.  And counting!  7 billion people supported by grains and corn and soy; grown on disappearing soil made fertile only through the intensive use of two finite resources:  oil and water.  Make no mistake, when the oil and water run out, so does modern agriculture.  By that time, we should have at least 10 billion mouths to feed and only a few inches of topsoil left to feed them from.

The United States is losing soil 10 times faster — and China and India are losing soil 30 to 40 times faster — than the natural replenishment rate.

  • The economic impact of soil erosion in the United States costs the nation about $37.6 billion each year in productivity losses. Damage from soil erosion worldwide is estimated to be $400 billion per year.
  • As a result of erosion over the past 40 years, 30 percent of the world’s arable land has become unproductive.
  • About 60 percent of soil that is washed away ends up in rivers, streams and lakes, making waterways more prone to flooding and to contamination from soil’s fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Soil erosion also reduces the ability of soil to store water and support plant growth, thereby reducing its ability to support biodiversity.
  • Erosion promotes critical losses of water, nutrients, soil organic matter and soil biota, harming forests, rangeland and natural ecosystems.
  • Erosion increases the amount of dust carried by wind, which not only acts as an abrasive and air pollutant but also carries about 20 human infectious disease organisms, including anthrax and tuberculosis.

    (Journal of the Environment, Development and Sustainability (Vol. 8, 2006).

    And the Meatless Monday people are worried about a few cow farts!



    The eco-vegetarians are  wrong.  They propose a reduction in meat consumption as a solution to many of modern society’s health and environmental issues.  In doing so, they fall prey to the oversimplified “science” of  conventional wisdom and hyperbole without ever examining the true complexity of our planet’s woes. 

    The truth is that we humans have overextended our stay.  We have used our big brains and adaptable digestive systems to push our genome far beyond the limits of sustainability.  Agriculture has been our partner in plundering the earth’s resources.  First grains and now soy have become our co-dependants on a journey to see how far science can push the boundaries of sustainability.  Both our health and our environment have been the victims.

     Meatless Mondays solve none of our problems.   Instead of creating solutions to worldwide hunger, they create even more mouths to feed.  Instead of solving environmental problems, they exacerbate the ones we already have.  Instead of teaching children healthy eating habits, they teach children sub-optimal nutrition.  And instead of preventing cruelty to animals, they encourage the extinction of entire species.

    Modern agriculture is no more sustainable than oil consumption…sooner or later they will both come to a grinding halt  This is what we should be teaching our children, especially since there is a chance the grinding halt could  happen in their lifetime.   More than likely science will come to the rescue, postponing the inevitable with new technology using new resources.  But these, too, will be finite resources, and their use will only allow the number of hungry mouths to multiply.

    If we are to provide our grandchildren with a future, we must feed our children with sustainability.  They must learn to ask not “What can we grow here?”  but instead “What should we grow here?”.  They must learn to phrase that question in terms of renewable resources.  “What should we grow here which we can continue to grow here forever?  Even when the oil for the tractor and the fertilizer and the pesticides has run dry!”

    In a vast portion of the North American continent, the answer to that question is MEAT!  For thousands of years massive herds of buffalo roamed the prairies, eating natural grasses, building topsoil and providing quality nutrition to the Native Americans who lived there.   It is estimated that somewhere between 50 and 125 million buffalo once roamed the prairies sustainably.   It is also estimated that these herds were capable of producing as much as 6 inches of new topsoil in a year.

    There are methods available for turning the clock backwards on soil erosion.  The potential ramifications of these methods go far beyond the mere regeneration of dirt.  Carbon farming is an agricultural method which uses livestock to build farmable soil.  This method produces high quality soil faster even than the buffalo did.  It conserves water.  It minimizes the use of fossil fuels and electricity.  It produces an excellent variety of superior meat untainted by pesticides, hormones and antibiotics.  But that’s not even the best part:

    Listen Up, Eco-Vegetarians!


    That’s right.  Grow long rooted grasses like the ones that once covered the prairies.  Graze them intensively with livestock.  Eat the high quality meat and use the high quality soil later for growing organic crops.  And while you’re at it:

    • Restore pre-industrial levels of greenhouse gases within decades.
    • Solve the global water crisis
    • Reverse desertification
    • Restore biodiversity.
    • Maximize global food security.
    • Contribute significantly to healing the oceans.
      • (Carbon Farmers of America)

    These are the kinds of environmental solutions our children should be learning about.   The truth about their health and their future should not remain obscured behind moral platitudes and pseudo-science.  Politicians, educators and parents have a responsibility to search beyond the conventional wisdom  propounded by oil cartels, agricultural conglomerates and the medical establishment.  Paul McCartney and his band of eco-vegetarians consider themselves to be radical liberals.  Little do they know.  Their Meatless Mondays agenda feeds our children directly into the hands of the establishment, prolonging both the decline of their health and the deterioration of their environment.


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