With the recent news of the vegan ‘food fad’ abuse of a little girl who, at 20 months can’t walk, talk and is of such poor skeletal growth she is already obese and her brain function will forever be compromised by lack of cholesterol, animal-only derived amino acids and vitamins… can we please return to a human species diet?
It was around 30 years ago the consulting paediatrician and board director of The Abused Child Trust, Dr David Woods, presented to the various board and committee members and staff of the ACT an outline of child abuse in its many forms. What shook everyone in the audience was the effect that a relatively recent dietary fad – veganism – had on the newborn and infant.
At its purest levels, veganism excludes animal milk from the diet of a human infant. The results are heartbreaking and, those 30 years ago, we were informed that this diet constituted child abuse because of its extreme stunting of neurological and physical development.
Yet, here we are again witnessing the tragic results of a misinformed dietary cult.
Homo sapiens are omnivores and we are because that is the way the earliest bipedal hominins responded to and survived the natural world surrounding them. It is an extremely efficient design as it allows us, from upright apes through to Homo sapiens with high energy-maintenance brains, to source food across both plant and animal kingdoms under the soil, above the soil, in the trees and shrubs, in the waters and from the sky.
It is such an efficient sourcing of energy that it has allowed us ‘time off’ from incessantly seeking food to develop language, tell stories, become artists and technicians creating music/tools/artefacts and, grow our intelligence. The efficiency of this diet is only equalled by the lightness of its tread across this planet because it relied upon a spread of plant and animal resources across all biota domains to supply to our nutritional needs.
There was a time – as recently as 50 years ago – before the increasing urbanisation of us that most were experienced in how to find through hunting, gathering and farming all the elements of a mixed animal and plant diet that our physiology demands. Now we have a Great Forgetting of what a natural landscape is and our place is in it. We are biologically designed as hunter-gatherers.
Several years ago Peter Singer addressed a forum in Melbourne and said: “We used to be hunter-gatherers”. Sorry, Peter, you should keep to your knitting and crocheting of philosophy and leave physiology to medical science as our bodies haven’t been told of this change. With this great forgetting of who and what we are comes a universal, contagious, outpouring of emotionalism based on recognising sentience in animals and, with this, a new-age diet cult. A cult spread by GetUp! and an MSM Greek chorus demonising fellow humans for being, well, human in their dietary needs.
The distortion of our diet from omnivorous to vegetarian and vegan has major human health issues, especially for children. At birth, humans are not yet complete. Like all young they still have to grow in stature, size of organs and especially the size of the brain – our key attribute. Brains are high energy users and require some 25 per cent of the body’s total cholesterol budget.
Yes, we can produce our own cholesterol but at a huge metabolic cost often manifested in the characteristic lethargy and depressive states of vegans. The depression of the mother in this current case was presented as a causal factor.
The dietary inheritance of cholesterol, iron/energy-dense haemoglobin, animal-only essential amino acids, vitamins and many minerals from animal-sourced foods via our original dietary ‘blueprint’ has underwritten the phenomenal success of our species. To limit our diet to herbivorous, or mainly herbivorous, against our own physiological demands calls for huge effort across the plant world and the ‘factory farming’ of the chemical supplement industry to imitate the natural elements missing in what is a food fad.
The reason is that now, shock and horror, there is an appreciation that this human survival template requires the killing of other animals for food and clothing and tools and biomedical resources. This coming-of-age as to who and what we are has come as an unpleasant surprise to a whole new caste of misnamed ‘progressive’ humans. This is, basically, a psychological issue as this new caste of humans would like to change species. It is why vegan parents can be accused of child abuse and why the UN insists fats are included in food aid rations to the children of famines to avoid intellectual retardation.
To leave a lighter, kinder footprint on this Earth, efficiency is essential across our diet, clothing, tools, transport, pharmacopoeia, fertilisers… and this is where the deliberate support and promotion of some animals in order to supply to all these needs becomes the most ethically important of all human achievements.
The environmental arguments against animal husbandry do not hold any water – certainly not as much as the water required to grow rice, cereals, soybeans, leafy greens, soft fruits, legumes. It is important not to confuse free-range animal husbandry based on keeping stock in natural, biodiverse environments with cereal-dependent intensive farming. Grassland and open woodland livestock production retains co-habiting vertebrate and invertebrate life, all sustained by natural precipitation for survival.
A vegan/vegetarian diet is basically a global war against every other living landscape inhabitant (plant and animal) other than the cultivated plant crop. With croplands now accounting for nearly 15 per cent of the total terrestrial surface, the deaths of millions of species due to habit destruction and exclusion, pesticides, weedicides and soil destruction is the unkindest cut of all – not the steak on the plate.
The vegan tragedy extends far beyond the devastation of malnourished infants to the devastation of global landscapes and all the life that used to call these terrains ‘home’.
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