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    Sorry Vegetarians, Cow Burps Are Not Causing (As Much) Global Warming
    By Hank Campbell | May 27th 2011 05:53 PM | 70 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    In 2006-2007, the heyday of CO2 hysteria, we noted that a large problem that we could control without wrecking the global economy (not that it mattered, the global economy was kind enough to wreck itself) was methane production. 

    Methane has 23X the impact on warming as CO2 and is caused by plants and animals - as impractical as shutting down all commerce sounded to sane people not in the anti-science environmental movement, cutting down the Amazon to remove dead plants causing methane was equally silly.   

    And genetically engineering cows that burp less sent yet another anti-science fringe into apoplectic fits.

    So we haven't made any progress at all in stopping climate change but the vegetarians who insisted driving to the store caused less global warming than walking to the store if you are an evil meat-eater are being forced to revise their junk science yet again; a new study shows cows are more climate friendly than previously believed, which means much more climate friendly than voodoo math by vegetarians had claimed.   Not to mention that cows are vegetarians, so their methane production occurs because they eat all plants.

    Research from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia indicates that the amount of methane emitted from cattle fed on the tropical grasses in northern Australia is up to 30 percent less than figures cited.  That's a big difference.


    "I am not the enemy".   But you are responsible for around 200 grams of methane a day, or about 1.5 tons of CO2 equivalents a year, because you are vegetarian. Photo: CSIRO

    It's also just in a lab setting.  Just like every other claim regarding emissions, there is no way to actually know; no one is sticking respiration chambers up to cars, airplanes and animals worldwide so numbers are always projections, but the closer researchers can get to realistic projections the more confidence the public will have in statements and action plans.

    What accounts for the difference?  Feed, says researcher Dr. Ed Charmley.   And that means it could be a win-win for everyone.

    “CSIRO research also shows that northern cattle fed on a diet of predominantly Leucaena, a legume tree, emit less methane than cattle grazing on tropical grasses,” Charmley said.  “What this nutrition research is showing is that there can be win-win scenarios for the industry and the environment if we can redirect the breakdown of plant material in a way that reduces the amount of methane produced while improving the amount of energy or weight gain that animals get from their feed."

    Better numbers aren't a reason to let up on the cultural pressure - a 30% change in emissions from Australian cattle is only about 7.4 million tons, or roughly the amount of one large coal-fired power station, and agriculture is only 15% of the emissions Australia produces.   But more accuracy is a good first step.

    Comments

    The type of grasses being used is moot. The concern has long been about methane from cattle fed on grains such as corn - in industrial feedlots, mostly - rather than grasses.

    Hank
    You can't declare the entire system 'moot' when kooky vegetarians invented a formula claiming it takes a gallon of gas to create a pound of beef.  In order for any metric to be anything other than kooky vegetarians creating voodoo math we have to know how much methane that is - then there has to be a solid metric for what it means.    If feed type makes a difference, that is good knowledge.   

    Using a CO2-equivalent number instead of a real number is also a disservice to understanding the impact of emissions on climate change but one step at a time.
    What a load of old tosh. The one thing Mr Campbell is not is scientific. The man gives away his inherent prejudice in the lead up to his claim, saying it contradicts the ‘voodo math of vegetarians’. It was not vegetarians’ maths that established the damaging role of cattle in producing methane and nitrous oxide but the UN FAO and then later Cranfield Univeristy, Loma Linda, Chicago etc etc. Lets forget that CSIRO has a vested interest in giving Australia’s cattle a clean(er) bill of health and let’s forget that this is merely a laboratory exercise but then ask, even if true, how one crop that grows in Australia has any relevance to the rest of the world where the bulk of beef and dairy production does not result from grazing. And let’s forget also that it makes no difference to the amount of CO2 used in livestock farming, in transporting, slaughtering, processing and chilling meat, the nitrogen-based fertilisers used to swamp land for fodder production and the nitrous oxide produced from cattle's manure, which is over 200 times the green house gas equivalent of CO2. But of course, this is the man - the 'scientist' - so keen to trash any idea other than his own, that he blames Europe's e-coli outbreak on organic production of salad crops. It may come as shock to this scientist that e-coli does not occur in vegetables but gets there from .... where? The intestines of animals.

    Gerhard Adam
    It may come as shock to this scientist that e-coli does not occur in vegetables but gets there from .... where? The intestines of animals.
    ... and it may come as a shock to this wise-guy that intestinal output (i.e. manure) is used in the fertilizer of vegetables, which is why European vegetables are the target of the investigation. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    But if cows did not exist, there would be no cow manure to kill people in the organic movement.   Take that, Mr. Logic And Reason!
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I wonder if there have been any progressions with the pill for cows since this 2007 article called German scientists develop pill to stop cows farting :-
    The fist-sized pill, known as a bolus, traps some of the energy from the methane produced by the cow's digestion, limiting the amount of the greenhouse gas that is burped back out. The methane can then be used to produce glucose, which should improve the cow's health and result in more milk.
    Winfried Drochner, professor of animal nutrition at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, told The Guardian that combining the pill with a special diet and strict feeding times could dramatically reduce methane emissions from cows, which currently account for four percent of all greenhouse gases."Our aim is to increase the wellbeing of the cow, to reduce the greenhouse gases produced and to increase agricultural production all at once," he said. " It is an effective way of fighting global warming."
    Activated carbon is a well known remedy for flatulence, maybe there is some way of lessening the carbon footprint by somehow providing cows with access to activated carbon in the cow pastures? This Australian article seems to think a better Kyoto Protocol carbon accounting system is what's required :- 
    According to the latest Australian Government National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Australia's livestock industry (including dairy) produces 10.2% of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these emissions come from methane which is produced by the natural digestion process of cattle and sheep. However, these figures are based on the current international Kyoto Protocol carbon accounting system that doesn't fully account for the capacity of trees, grass and soil to store carbon as part of the carbon cycle. 
    A recent report funded by the Queensland Government found that if all carbon sinks were taken into consideration, the Queensland beef industry (47% of Australia's cattle) would be close to carbon neutral, following the ban on tree clearing in 2009.Well managed grazing lands can store more carbon than forests Australia's livestock farmers manage not only their cattle and sheep, but all other living organisms on their property. The health of the soil, trees, micro-organisms, native animals and vegetation are essential to our farmers' livelihoods and is why farmers spend considerable time and effort ensuring they are well managed. This is also important for Australia's overall emissions profile. A worldwide analysis of the effects of land management on soil carbon showed there is on average about 8% more soil carbon under well-managed pasture than under native forests.




    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Activated carbon is a processed biochar product. Feeding activated carbon to livestock is an effective means of adding so-called (damned neologisms) "agrichar" to farmland soils via the resultant manures.

    p.s. My reCAPTCHA: pedition lunatics,

    As usual this writer sets up a straw man and then tears it down. As most people who have the most basic knowledge of the cow, methane issue know. The big methane numbers are generated not by grass fed animals which are eating their natural diet but by the grain fed, feed lot animals. A fact that the writer conveniently forgets to mention. Of course I can not be sure if the writer is intentionally trying to mislead readers or is simply ignorant of current climate change science.

    However this does not even matter, today the clinical nutrition studies have been done and we know that meat is unhealthy for human consumption. We know that Vegan athletes recover faster from training and as a result can achieve higher levels of athletic accomplishment. We know that meat consumption is responsible for many of the cancers, heart disease, diabetes and even osteoporosis which plague people consuming the standard western diet.

    So now people have a choice to make. Adopt a healthy diet which avoids unhealthy foods like meat and dairy and live a healthier life, or continue eating unhealthy foods and suffer from the resulting chronic disease. The fact that by eating a healthy plant based diet also cuts down on "cow burps" is really a non issue.

    To me the choice was easy, Improve my health and along the way do my part to reduce green house gases. what choice could be easier.

    Hank
    It's great when you create a self-contained world of science where your diet is right and others are wrong.  Unfortunately medical science - that is, the medical science not making money selling books and working for companies selling products - disagree with your assertion that "meat consumption is responsible for many of the cancers, heart disease, diabetes and even osteoporosis which plague people consuming the standard western diet."

    That is made up from whole cloth.  
    Really Hank? You know we now have the Internet, these studies can be looked up. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. For years we had to listen to lung cancer victims complain that they did not know that cigarettes caused cancer. Well Hank, don't come crying to me when you come down with some chronic disease or cancer as a result of your poor eating habits. The information is out there, if you are too stupid or lazy to do a little research and find out the truth, well the results would be your responsibility wouldn't they?

    Hank
    90% of smokers are right.  Only 10% of smokers get lung cancer and 50% of lung cancer patients never smoked.    You confuse risk factor with determinism, a common mistake among zealots.  I don't smoke because I understand the body is an elaborate system and things could go wrong, just like I would not undertake a kooky diet assuming it only impacts one small part of that system.

    Look, you have made a dietary choice; it may help, it may not.   What you can't do is manipulate data to match your choice, which 100% of vegans do.  It's junk science so get validation on some vegan junk science site that coos over 'studies' written by vegan advocates.    I am fine with that - again, since I am not a zealot, so it is your choice and, unlike you, I don't hope vegans get cancer and die so I can be right.   But you don't see the mental cancer your diet may have given you when you hope other people get cancer so you can say 'I told you so'.

    The truth is that vegans lied to you and tried to lie to everyone else about the impact of eating meat on climate change - why you think they are not lying about a lot of other things so they can be 'right' is a mystery.
    Woah, all that hostility... Was your ex a vegan?

    You really ought to see a psychiatrist soon before your delusions become embedded.

    Care to address his (or her) point about grass vs. grain fed animals?

    Gerhard Adam

    Cows are ruminants, and consequently they aren't the only animals that produce methane.  In fact, the methane production is as much a product of the grasses eaten (such as perennial ryegrass) as anything, so the original comment is a bit disingenuous by referring to grain.  However, the original poster wasn't actually interested in addressing the problem as much as they wanted to make a comment about the evils of eating meat.  It is also telling that the original poster didn't distinguish between dairy versus beef cattle.

    In fact all of the evidence indicates that a middle road is the best. For human beings the healthiest diet includes both meat and vegetable tissue. The best solution to good health is neither vegan nor carnivore. Nor is it traditional vegetarian, since it is the dairy products that cause many of our dietary products.

    Studies of the biochemical pathways have demonstrated that all chemicals need to sustain healthy human growth and life are not available from a classic vegan diet. Some animal protein and B vitamins are essential that cannot be obtained form a normal vegan diet. It is possible, however, to maintain life by means of supplements.

    http://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/vegetarian/omnivore-vegan.php
    This seemed to be as good a write-up as any regarding diet.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "Studies of the biochemical pathways have demonstrated that all chemicals need to sustain healthy human growth and life are not available from a classic vegan diet. Some animal protein and B vitamins are essential that cannot be obtained form a normal vegan diet. It is possible, however, to maintain life by means of supplements."

    This is completely wrong. There is no unbiased research which shows that "animal protein" is essental. To the contrary. Research shows that animal protein is detrimental to human health. Further, B vitamins are readilly available to anyone who lives close to nature. It is because of modern sanitation that B vitamins are absent from our diet not because you choose to eat some animal which lives close to nature. Recent studies show that 30% of Americans are B12 deficient. Since strict Vegans make up less than 5% of the US population and most vegans have enough sense to take B12 supplements, that leaves between 25 and 30% of meat eaters who are not getting enough B12 from eating an animal who eats their food closer to nature than humans do. In fact based on the amount B12 in modern dead cow carcass you need to eat over a pound of dead cow a day to get the USDA recommended daily allowance of B12. While you are eating that much meat to satisfy your B12 RDA how are you going to be able to eat enough of the healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, which contain the nutrition your body needs to be healthy. Just take the B12 pill and skip the meat, it is unhealthy. Stick with the healthy foods, and your life will be healthier as well.

    Gerhard Adam
    Don't confuse your personal beliefs with science. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    At one time you might have been correct labeling the diet I have followed for 31 years now. However several years ago I became aware that there was actual clinical nutrition science which supported my eating choices. I have since then made it my business to keep track of the latest nutrition studies and knowledge, so I and my family can be as healthy as possible. If you had the same level of human nutrition knowledge that I do you would not be arguing with me. If you want some more knowledge about human nutrition here is a concise article I ran across which can help you. By the way the article does not say that you must be completely Vegan. the article is called, "THE HEALTHY EATING PYRAMID: EPIDEMIOLOGY SUPPORTS THE VEGAN DIET" http://www.vegan.org.nz/hep.php

    Hank
    If you had the same level of human nutrition knowledge that I do you would not be arguing with me. 
    I'm impressed.  I haven't seen that level of amateur confidence due to an anecdotal personal choice since...



    I still don't see why inventing lies about carnivore impact on global warming wouldn't result in skepticism (on your part) about what else is deceptive among vegans.
    Gerhard Adam
    A vegan diet is clearly indicated to be at least as healthy as one including animal products because the Healthy Eating Pyramid specifically indicates that zero consumption of fish, poultry and eggs is healthy behaviour and that calcium supplementation is an alternative to dairy products.
    http://www.vegan.org.nz/hep.php
    That isn't exactly a ringing endorsement, since the only claim is that it is AT LEAST as healthy as one including animal products.  Once again, I don't begrudge your choice, but it most certainly doesn't indicate that it is healthier in any way.
    Although vegetable proteins are known to have poorer nutritional quality than animal proteins for humans, it is because they are imbalanced in the ratio of cysteine to methionine needed to meet requirements, not because they are all lower in S per g of protein.
    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/3/862S.long
    Similarly, this example also indicates a difference that exists between the different proteins, but it hardly signifies a specific recommendation.
    "Excess" dietary protein from either animal or plant proteins may be detrimental to bone health, but its effect will be modified by other nutrients in the food and total diet.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12612170
    I think the sensible approach is that if any particular aspect of diet is over-done or occurs in excess, then it is likely to be more detrimental than helpful.  Despite all manner of dietary claims (including fasting), it doesn't seem like there's much of a connection between these factors and actual health and/or longevity.  Health and longevity seem to be more influenced by overall lifestyle and genetic factors than what particular protein we ingest.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Interesting. One observation, cows don't fart. They belch.

    Hank
    Well, the title is "Sorry Vegetarians, Cow Burps Are Not Causing (As Much) Global Warming" - not farts.
    Please except my humble apology, I thought one of the comments used the word "fart;" but I do not find it in the above comments. WilliMc

    Hank
    Maybe one of the vegans did.   They were certainly wrong about meat eaters walking to the store being worse for the environment than meat eaters driving a car to the store so if they were talking out a cow's ass on methane, it is no shock.

    I've also made that mistake plenty of times - I get my ruminants mixed up with other animals - I was just pretty sure I didn't mix it up this time, since the topic was specifically cows and not also other animals, where I might be more inclined to have a mental typo.
    Gerhard Adam
    ''If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?''
    —Sarah Palin, in ''Going Rogue''

    Sorry ... couldn't resist
    Mundus vult decipi
    I have often wondered about the amount. I was raised on a ranch, and later involved in a large commercial feed lot in the Texas Panhandle. On a different subject: Our ration was hot and wet, which became a problem if the cattle failed to eat all their feed in a timely manner--it molded and had to be removed by hand, and thrown away - which was expensive.
    Some days they would eat like they were starving and other times just stand around and look at it. We had a problem.

    I recalled when hunting quail, some days they would not feed and covey up, but feed all day. Usually in anticipation of a storm. I was able to correlate their eating habits with the rise and fall of the barometric pressure. When it was falling they tanked up, but when it was low, they quit eating so much. It is probably a survival thing. This all occurred around
    1966, and we tried to keep it a secret, for it gave us an edge in feeding.

    From an old timer who used to go meet with wandering Indians near Higgins, Texas, came this item. He said the old chief would ask all of the squaws who were searching for food, what the terrapins were doing, were the moving fast? And which direction? I suspect, but cannot prove,they too have that ability to detect changes in air pressure. And since birds have it, it must be a gene trait of long standing, perhaps back when the reptiles roamed the earth.

    Just thought someone ought to know.

    WilliMc

    Hank
    Doesn't surprise me at all.   There are plenty of mysteries left to discover - to some, science takes away the magic of nature but to most it makes it that much more awesome.  

    I use the example of baseball player Joe DiMaggio frequently; when Spalding was showing off his new line of bats, all perfectly machined duplicate copies of each other, and the rep jokingly asked which one he liked best Joe said, 'the lighter one' and they laughed.  But he wasn't kidding so they weighed it and of all the sample bats he picked, he liked the one mistakenly lighter by a gram.   So your Indian story likely has merit.
    It has been awhile since I have visited this article however I wanted to come back to address some of the bizarre allegations, wildly inaccurate statements and illogical assumptions the author makes in this article.

    For instance the second paragraph, the author writes:

    "Methane has 23X the impact on warming as CO2 and is caused by plants and animals - as impractical as shutting down all commerce sounded to sane people not in the anti-science environmental movement, cutting down the Amazon to remove dead plants causing methane was equally silly".

    Great sentence structure by the way. In this paragraph the author puts forward two unsubstantiated claims, one that people (read straw man) want to shut down all commerce. This is ridiculous on its face and clearly made up or fantasized by the author. The second which contains a link claims that the "anti-science environmental movement" wants to clear cut the Amazon to remove dead plants. Of course then the entire Amazon would be dead plants wouldn't it. However it contained a link so I followed it. Much to my surprise the link took me to one of the authors previous articles where he himself put forward the idea. Really?

    In the next paragraph which contains a single sentence which begins with the word "And" the author writes:

    "And genetically engineering cows that burp less sent yet another anti-science fringe into apoplectic fits".

    Again the author links to the same article where he puts forward the idea. Again there is no link to any information about actual research into "genetically engineering cows". Ultimately this is also a ridiculous idea as cows do not themselves produce methane, the bacteria in their gut does. However plausible it is to bio-engineer bacteria which does not produce methane, and then replace natural bacteria with this bacteria in every cow on the planet I can not be sure, however it sounds a bit far fetched. Lastly as the author seems to be the originator of the hair-brained scheme I am not going to take his statement about "another anti-science fringe" too seriously.

    The author goes on in the next paragraph again linking to another of his previously written articles where he brags that his two paragraphs of irrational ramblings somehow prove that a scientific paper prepared by the UN is flawed. Thanks for the info but I think I will trust the UN over the rantings of a web blogger who can't even construct a proper sentence.

    Finely the entire article becomes a waste of space when we find out that the scientific paper is referring to a single species of tropical grass which only grows in northern Australia. So cows eating this grass in this small area of a single continent is somehow able to make the entire field of climate science irrelevant. Unless the author thinks we should replant the Amazon he wants to clear cut with this Australian grass so the worlds population of cows can be fed this grass exclusively.

    Regarding the scholarship of this author on this subject. I am convinced that it most closely resembles a chimpanzee attempting to explain shakespeare.

    Hank
    Regarding the scholarship of this author on this subject. I am convinced that it most closely resembles a chimpanzee attempting to explain shakespeare.
    Or a vegan attempting to explain physiology and dietary issues to people who actually know something about how the human body works.
    Whatever, We can go there to if you want, but, you would just spout ignorant humans are omnivores nonsense. I think I'll pass.

    Gerhard Adam
    If you don't believe humans are omnivores, then you're simply in denial and obviously far too heavily influenced by your own agenda.

    Of course, it would be different if you actually knew what you were talking about.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Ever heard of a Frugivore? No of course you haven't because you are ignorant and don't know what you are talking about.

    Gerhard Adam
    What does a frugivore have to do with anything?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Seriously? Why don't you look it up and maybe learn something.

    Gerhard Adam
    You seem to think that dropping irrelevant terms and never articulating an argument somehow conveys your point of view.  It simply makes you look ridiculous.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Oh ya, lets all go listen to the guy who can't even compose a proper sentence, and doesn't even understand what a paragraph is. But the guy using scientific terms encouraging readers to expand their knowledge. Ya he's ridiculous.

    Well tell you what, why don't you take that large carnivore mouth of yours, which is no doubt filled with razor sharp carnivore teeth, then go out and use your superior sense of smell and your black and white vision to find some prey. Then using your superior speed and agility to run down and kill that prey Using your sharp claws to hold it while you rip out it throat.. Sink your teeth into its body and with the strength of your hinged jaw rip out a large chunk of still warm bloody flesh, and wolf it down raw. Then come back here and tell me again how humans are natural meat eaters.

    Hank
    So lions can't eat bugs?   I am not sure of your point.   You have this bizarre Lamarckian notion of evolution that has more to do with rationalizing credibility for your lifestyle choice than an understanding of science.  It's cool and all, I wrote a thing yesterday endorsing the science behind creating a vegan burger, but it's still a choice.   You need to learn to appreciate diversity.   Are all progressive vegan kooks so hate-filled and intolerant of others?
    Hank I'm done with you, you're an idiot. go back to your cave and wait for the apocalypse

    Wow, is it YOU speaking of others being hate-filled? Just take a look at your own posts - all the time you avoid relating to the other people's arguments presented in their comments. Instead, you just talk all the time about "kooky vegans" and question other people's knowledge without any relevant data in support of your point of view, which is simply ridiculous.

    If that's what you call Science 2.0, then I'd rather stay in my cave. And by the way it's a pity that people like you destroy all the fantastic, constructive and positive efforts of people like Rafe Furst, Helen Barrat and many others not because of the lack of knowledge, but just because of your arrogance and hostility. Maybe you do have knowledge but with this kind of attitude and your close-mindedness (even if you declare you're quite the opposite) you will never gather any support.

    Yeah, and now please feel free to start a rant about what "kooky vegan" I am (and to ignore the fact that I am not vegan, too - it's up to you; you don't seem to accept any arguments from the other people anyway) - I just don't care.

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but other people's arguments have to be formed based on reality and not simply wishing the world were a certain way.  You sound like someone that enjoys their "science" on the fringes.  Well, here's a news flash.  Science is neither a democracy, nor is it necessarily tolerant of those that can't be bothered to acquire actual knowledge.

    If that sounds curt, then recognize the simply fact that science is not about indulging people's fantasies and wishful thinking.  Vegans are the only people that have come onto this article with the desire to mark the rest of us as idiots and even going so far as to wish death on us because of our dietary habits.  So spare me your indignation about "hate".  I have no tolerance for people that simply want to make stuff up and then act "hurt" when someone calls them on it.
    I just don't care
    So, why waste our time?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Wow Gerhard, Very interesting post. Perhaps when you sober up you can point out the posts where vegans have "come onto this article with the desire to mark the rest of us as idiots" or "wish death on us because of our dietary habits" or "make stuff up and then act "hurt". Just because you choose to ignore the overwhelming amount of scientific study which consistantly shows that eating meat leads to chronic disease, doesn't mean that that research doesn't exist. It means that you are ignorant of the truth. That does not mean you are an idiot it means you do not know the facts and as a result you are making choices for yourself that are going to cause you health problems in the future. It is as simple as that.

    Hank
    Perhaps when you sober up you can point out the posts where vegans have "come onto this article with the desire to mark the rest of us as idiots"
    Has he been in the firewater again??  He always does the best insults then!
    Gerhard Adam
    It means that you are ignorant of the truth.
    Whose truth?  The fact that everyone in my family has lived well into their nineties while consuming meat their entire lives?  The fact that everyone I know that has had a chronic health condition was a vegetarian?  In one particular case, she nearly died, and has since stopped being a vegan.

    I realized these are all simply anecdotes, but they are consistent with the scientific data.  Your claims have no basis.  You can't even point to the longest lived human beings and claim that they didn't consume meat. 

    However, here's a news flash for you.  Even vegans die of something.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Just because you choose to ignore the overwhelming amount of scientific study which consistantly shows that eating meat leads to chronic disease, doesn't mean that that research doesn't exist.
    OK.  Show me a study that recommends that humans avoid ALL meat and animal products from their diets... and let's see what chronic diseases will be alleviated by this recommendation.  Then we'll see how credible these "studies" are.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hi Gerhard, I am not going to give you URL's as you would only come back and claim I sent you to a pro vegan website. So here is what you do. Put the words "meat cancer study" without the quotes into your favorite search engine and see what comes up. Then when you are done with that search "meat diabetes study"
    My family is also long lived. They also have eaten meat all of their lives. my uncles and aunts are getting into their late 70's and are plagued with various chronic diseases which science is now telling us are a result of our eating habits. Myself I am 56 I have been Vegetarian/Vegan for 31 years, I am 6' tall and weigh 180 lbs. My body fat percentage is under 20. I work in the entertainment industry in a job which requires heavy lifting and a lot of walking. My doctor tells me I am in perfect health. I like being healthy, I track the latest clinical nutrition research which mostly just confirms that I am eating a healthy diet. NutritionFacts.org is a good resource which just went online. It is run by Dr Michael Greger who has made it his mission to make Clinical nutrition information available to the average person in a easy to understand way. You will note that all his information is footnoted to the studies he is refering to.

    Hope this helps.

    Gerhard Adam
    OK, here's just one example that contradicts your claim.
    For example, men and women who ate the most red meat had 20-22 per cent higher risk of dying from cancer than those who ate the least. However, people who ate the most white meat were less likely to die of cancer and all causes combined than those who ate the least.
    http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2009/03/24/does-red-and-processed-meat-increase-the-risk-of-dying-from-cancer/
    In no instance, did I see anything that suggesting eliminating all meat or animal products.  In fact, from the same study:
    The fact that white meat seems to lower the risk of dying from cancer is a new result from this study. In the past, most other studies have found no link between these meats and cancer – they don’t increase the risk, but they don’t lower it either.
    So, it seems that your claim isn't true.
    This study provides little support for an association between meat consumption and colon cancer risk but does provide some, albeit not strong, evidence for a modifying effect of molecular variants of the NAT2 gene.
    http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/8/1/15.short
    In addition, it appears that much of the concern is associated with how the meat is cooked (i.e. high temperatures) than with the meat itself.
    It has been suggested that mutagens in fried meat may be involved in the cancer process.

    Pancreatic and nervous system cancers also presented non-significant suggestive associations. No associations were observed with respect to other single cancer sites studied or to all sites of cancer combined.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.2910590608/abstract

    No convincing relation with red meat intake emerged for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus, liver, gallbladder, larynx, kidney, thyroid, prostate, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and multiple myeloma.

    However, the relation between meat intake and cancer risk remains open to debate
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/%28SICI%291097-0215%2820000501%2986:3%3C425::AID-IJC19%3E3.0.CO;2-S/full

    High intake of red and processed meat reported in 1992/1993 was associated with higher risk of colon cancer after adjusting for age and energy intake but not after further adjustment for body mass index, cigarette smoking, and other covariates.
    http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/293/2/172.short

    This study indicates a positive correlation for a few specific sites:
    Both red and processed meat intakes were positively associated with cancers of the colorectum and lung; furthermore, red meat intake was associated with an elevated risk for cancers of the esophagus and liver.
    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0040325
    However, as I stated previously.  There is no article which recommends against the total elimination of meat.  There is no article that correlates animal products, in general, or all types of meat.  There is no article that supports your claim.

    You'll also notice, that I posted links to studies, not opinion pieces, or newspaper articles.
    Mundus vult decipi
    very good Gerhard, Keep studying, I have seen, since you pointed out that one study showed a decrease in (what cancer?)by eating chicken, a study which links chicken to leukemia. Also the number you are looking for as far as eating meat goes is 1/2 pound per week. Above that amount it causes enough damage to the human body that it is not healthy.

    Gerhard Adam
    The simple reality is that your case is grossly overstated as shown by the provided links.  Once again, you are jumping to conclusions (especially in a general way that is definitely NOT supported by the data).

    So, in the end, your only point is that one should eat a healthy diet.  While your own views may be obsessed with the issue of meat, there's no studies that bear out your position.  Please don't get ridiculous by arguing about large amounts of meat consumption, since that's just as bad as living on Twinkies;  not relevant.

    I'm not playing the game of going tit for tat regarding studies.  The simple reality is that you've overstated your case, and there are NO studies that support a position of eliminating all meat or animal products from the human diet. 

    You're also conveniently overlooking the point that many studies made in regards to overcooking meat, and the effects of high heat.   So, all vegan is not a supported position.  All vegetarian is not a supported position.  The only thing left is that meat is just fine in the diet, although one should avoid over-eating or indulging in excessive amounts of meat.

    All these posts, just to end up with the bloody obvious that we all already knew.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard, Just because you come up with a couple of studies which conclude that meat is not awful does not mean that the totality of emerging research which is showing that meat consumption is responsible for most if not all of the chronic degenerative disease which is plaguing western society. Did you go look at the diabetes research? Then there is the chemical and pharma pollution in meat products. Everything from synthetic hormones to heavy metals are present in the meat you eat every day. This also causes disease. I am sure you don't know that fish are the most polluted food you can eat. Especially the large predator fish like sword fish or tuna. Every Time you eat it you are putting chemicals like dioxin and heavy metals like mercury into your body. By the way do you want to know what the second most polluted meat is? OK it/s eggs and chicken. Why you ask. because much of the waste fish pulled out of the ocean by those big trawlers is turned into fish meal, and fed to chickens. The chickens in turn pass the pollution into their eggs and you eat them. By the way the most polluted part of a chicken is the wings. Then there is the pink slime, go ahead and google it. Once you get past that there are the super bug bacterias showing up in meat . Things like Mrsa, Staphylococcus aureus and C diff. C diff is particularly nasty because it can survive at a temp of 300 degrees for three hours. Mostly it will only make you sick for a few days unless you're on antibiotics in which case it may kill you. You make up your own mind. I can only give you information ultimately you are responsible for the decisions you make.

    Gerhard Adam
    I am sure you don't know that fish are the most polluted food you can eat.
    Now you're changing the subject.  If your point is concern about the antibiotics or hormones fed to cattle, or the pollution in lakes and oceans regarding seafood then that isn't an issue about meat, but rather pollutants.

    I get that you hold a particular belief that you think is healthy for you and your family.  The fact remains, that there are no scientific studies that support your view.  Should people be concerned about additives and pollutants to their foods?  Certainly, but that isn't an issue about the food itself and shouldn't be confused with it.

    We don't blame fruits or vegetables because they might contain pesticides if they are unwashed. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Ya caught me on a bad day, I actually tried to delete that post but the system would not let me. As for the rest of your post why don't you read the rest of the thread, do some research and you may find that you agree with me.

    Gerhard Adam
    You are quite obviously clueless regarding biology.  The simple reality is that your viewpoint is a philosophy of luxury, in that you can afford to sustain it because of all your meat-eating ancestors and the modern technology that has ensured that you have nutritional vegetables to support your choice. 

    In truth, you'd be dead in a week if you tried to live in the wild.   So despite your obviously skewed perspective of what it means to eat meat, your view is definitely a killer without our modern infrastructure to ensure you don't starve to death.
    Mundus vult decipi
    @Gerhard Adam, Actually I am quite Knowledgeable about biology. Which was why I was pointing out the absurdity of man as a meat eater. Here is a quick synopsis because i have to get some sleep. Carnivores and Omnivores have large extended jaws. ie your dog is an omnivore open its mouth and look at it teeth. Do they look like yours? No they don't. All Omnivores and Carnivores have hinged jaws, so they can exert the force required to tear raw flesh from a fresh carcass. Carnivores and Omnivores have short intestines, Humans have long intestines consistent with other plant eating animals. However Humans are not classified as Herbivores. Herbivores are animals that eat grasses and other herbs. Humans are classified as Frugivores. Frugivores eat Fruits and Vegetables. The fact is Humans are not designed to eat meat. Do yourself a favor and Google "Meat Cancer Study" There is plenty of information there. Including the latest study by the national cancer foundation, linking meat consumption with cancer risk. I understand that it is manly to think of yourself as a carnivore. Preying on lesser beings, exploiting them for their flesh. However that does not change the fact that humans are not designed to be meat eaters. our digestive system is a frugivores. no amount of testosterone can change that.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    However that does not change the fact that humans are not designed to be meat eaters.
    So why do we have canine teeth then?


    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    So why do we have canine teeth then?

    Seriously? Unless you are some kind of mutant you do not have dog teeth. If you have access to a dog, open its mouth notice the razer sharp sheering teeth. Do you have teeth like that? No you have Molars, Molars are grinding teeth for eating plant foods. If you are refering to the short pointy teeth in front of the molars those are there in most animals no matter what they eat. Horses have those teeth, and they work great for piercing the skin of an apple. the hide of an animal not so much. By the way that dog is a omnivore. Just like all omnivores your dog has a hinged jaw and sheering teeth. Omnivores share the same teeth as carnivores because like carnivores they eat meat.

    When humans eat meat it causes disease. Don't take my word for it do some research. The information is out there I have provided information about large scale studies which show a link between meat consumption and cancer risk. Heart disease, meat, diabeties, meat, and we are not even discussing the nightmare which is processed meat products. It is time to get a clue, Fox news is not going to tell you this stuff, it is not in their corporate interest.

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but you're not talking biology, but rather a personal agenda.  As you well know, comparing humans to dogs is as invalid a comparison as comparing eagles to wolves.  Humans are part of the primates which invariably consume meat as part of their diet to varying degrees.  Certainly humans are not pure carnivores since they are not intended to eat meat exclusively, but to deny that meat is a part of their diet is to defy reality.
    Although meat constitutes only a small part of the diets of apes, it is a consistent item in those diets.
    http://cast.uark.edu/local/icaes/conferences/wburg/posters/psrodman/abstract.html

    http://cast.uark.edu/local/icaes/conferences/wburg/posters/pungar/abstract.html

    Even this set of articles indicates that humans eat meat in varying forms (from insects to scavenging, to cooked meat).  If you can get past all the vegan agenda bullshit, the underlying message still indicates that humans ate meat in the past.  Now if you want to argue that there are alternative choices and that a vegan diet may be healthier, then you're certainly free to make that choice and live your life how you choose.  If you want to use science as a bludgeon to make your point, then you're simply wrong.
    http://www.vegansa.com/veganism-diet-and-human-evolution.php

    Here's another interesting piece of information:
    Like the hard-core carnivores, we have fairly simple digestive systems well suited to the consumption of animal protein, which breaks down quickly. Contrary to what your magazine article says, the human small intestine, at 23 feet, is a little under eight times body length (assuming a mouth-to-anus "body length" of three feet). This is about midway between cats (three times body length), dogs (3-1/2 times), and other well-known meat eaters on the one hand and plant eaters such as cattle (20 to 1) and horses (12 to 1) on the other. This tends to support the idea that we are omnivores.

    Herbivores also have a variety of specialized digestive organs capable of breaking down cellulose, the main component of plant tissue. Humans find cellulose totally indigestible, and even plant eaters have to take their time with it.
    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/674/are-humans-meat-eaters-or-vegetarians-by-nature

    ...include the biomechanics of mandibles, what stone tools can tell us, the introduction of meat eating, the influence of cooking on human diet, energetic models of human nutritional evolution and the implications of Plio-Pleistocene hominin diets for modern humans.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070102101811.htm
    In some sites the quantity of meat eaten by a chimpanzee community may approach one ton annually.
    http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~stanford/chimphunt.html
    Now, as I said ... if you want to argue that your choice is healthier than mine, then feel free to do so.  If you want to argue that humans have not evolved to eat meat and didn't do so on a regular basis like other primates do, then you're simply wrong.

    An interesting question I would have for the vegan proposal to give up meat .... what should happen to the 1.2 billion cows (and other domestic animals) that currently live under human control if you had your way?
    Mundus vult decipi
    @Gerhard Adam, You are really becoming quite tedious. The level of ignorance you display is quite admiral. It is not often that I debate someone who so consistantly misunderstands and distorts statements. whether it is because you are incapable of understanding logic or out of stubornness for your belief system. Ultimately it doesn't matter ignorance is ignorance, no matter the motivation.

    Then you come up with rediculous regurgetations of trite anti-vegetarian statements like

    An interesting question I would have for the vegan proposal to give up meat .... what should happen to the 1.2 billion cows (and other domestic animals) that currently live under human control if you had your way?

    To those reading this who have a clue, If everyone suddenly started eating a healthy diet, people would stop raising animals for food because there would be no demand for the products. Many would begin to produce plant foods because there would be a demand for those products. Of course in reality this would not happen overnight and the market would evolve organicaly as demand changed.

    Gerhard Adam
    Once again, you've side-stepped the question.  As I said, there are 1.2 billion cows that depend on humans absolutely for their "habitat" and food.  What is to become of them?  It's a simple enough question, but I suspect you don't want to answer it.  I'm not asking what they might produce in lieu of meat.  I'm asking what they are to do with the cows that supposedly no one will want to eat any longer (this is especially relevant with dairy cattle).

    Talk about market evolution is simply evasive, since it fails to answer this basic question. 
    ...people would stop raising animals for food...
    What does this entail?  No euphemisms.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    You are really becoming quite tedious.
    Yeah ... that's usually the sentiment when the poster has no logical or rational argument left.  The vegan religion is a bitch to defend isn't it?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    He hasn't compared you to Hitler yet.  I expected that 5 comments ago.
    Gerhard Adam
    Oh, I'm sure it will occur when he gets around to the cow "holocaust".
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Unless you are some kind of mutant you do not have dog teeth. If you have access to a dog, open its mouth notice the razer sharp sheering teeth. Do you have teeth like that?
    For the record, that's a complete "red herring" argument.  You're incorrectly assuming that canine teeth are a pre-requisite to eating meat and confusing the role of teeth in eating versus killing.  Sabre-toothed tigers were clearly carnivores, but it would be a gross mistake to assume that their long teeth were used in eating.  Instead those teeth were used for the kill.

    In humans, since it is their brains that represent the "weapon", it isn't necessary to possess such instruments and human tools have proven to be quite adequate to that end.  Similarly, it is quite easy to see many other animals (i.e. birds, etc.) that lack the teeth of a dog and yet they are also meat eaters.  You're attempting to equate a human to a dog, which is simply a distraction and an abuse of the science.  Make the comparison to primates and perhaps you'll have a more reasoned argument (especially when you consider how many genes in common humans share with chimpanzees).
    The chimpanzee is an omnivore meaning that the diet of the chimpanzee consists of both plant and animal matter.

    The teeth of the chimpanzee are very similar to the teeth of humans although the chimpanzee has larger and more pointed fang-like canines at the front of its mouth.

    The chimpanzee uses its specially shaped molar teeth to grind up fibrous matter such as certain fruits and leaves.
    http://a-z-animals.com/animals/chimpanzee/
    Since humans and chimpanzees shared a common ancestor in the past, it is quite reasonable to assume that this established a basic omnivore "heritage".  Humans would not have needed to develop more fang-like canines, since their tool use (and brain development) would've rendered such a "selection pressure" irrelevant.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but you are simply obsessed with rationalizing your particular agenda instead of considering the reality of human existence.  Humans are quite capable of digesting meat and may well have originated as scavengers (especially consuming the softer tissues), so they are definitely not strict carnivores.  Similarly they may be insectivores in many parts of the world and clearly benefit from additional components such as eggs and milk which are also animal products.

    You can dress it up how you like, but in the end, your peddling an agenda and not biological reality.  Your claim about fruits and vegetables being sufficiently nutritious is wishful thinking, because it simply isn't a legitimate claim for those living in outside modern societies which is invariably why most "primitive" peoples also supplement their diets with insects, fish, and animal meat. 

    The mere fact that you would even stoop to alleging that eating meat is somehow rooted in my ego or "manliness" suggests that your knowledge of how people actually live is a bit weak.  As I stated previously, you owe your very existence to those ancestors that were capable of digesting meat and thrived on it.  For you to choose otherwise today is certainly your personal option, but don't try to rewrite history in making your claim.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "Sorry, but you are simply obsessed with rationalizing your particular agenda instead of considering the reality of human existence".

    Seriously? I research current human clinical nutritional studies. so what, because some humans ate meat in the past somehow that makes it healthy?

    Humans are quite capable of digesting meat and may well have originated as scavengers (especially consuming the softer tissues),

    This is ridiculous, humans do not have the enzymes to process carrion.

    You can dress it up how you like, but in the end, your peddling an agenda and not biological reality.

    Are you serious? Biological reality? The Biological reality is that meat consumption causes disease.

    Your claim about fruits and vegetables being sufficiently nutritious is wishful thinking,

    Oh ya, fruits and vegetables are so unhealthy.

    because it simply isn't a legitimate claim for those living in outside modern societies which is invariably why most "primitive" peoples also supplement their diets with insects, fish, and animal meat.

    the statistics are in, the societies with the highest meat consumption have the shortest life expectancy. The societies with the lowest meat consumption have the longest life expectancy. Deal with it.

    The mere fact that you would even stoop to alleging that eating meat is somehow rooted in my ego or "manliness" suggests that your knowledge of how people actually live is a bit weak.

    WHAT! meat eating is manly? Whatever.

    As I stated previously, you owe your very existence to those ancestors that were capable of digesting meat and thrived on it.

    Really? Ok explain to me how humans without fire or knives and forks ate meat? Right, they didn't, While it is true that as humans migrated around the world, those who migrated to climates with long winters were forced to suppliment their diet with animal foods during the winters. We know today that this is unhealthy. So while some humans who lived in northern climates ate meat to survive, it also shortened their lives. Today we are not forced to eat meat to survive. healthy foods are available all year round. Tell me again why meat is important to human nutrition?

    For you to choose otherwise today is certainly your personal option, but don't try to rewrite history in making your claim.

    Rewrite history? Look facts are facts, Meat causes disease when consumed by humans. Thousands of clinical nutrition studies have proved this fact.

    Personally I do not care if you shorten your life by continuing to eat animals. However there might be a couple of people who read this who are capable of rational thought, who will do the research and change their diet and as a result improve their health and extend their life.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, perhaps you're finally starting to understand.  If you want to argue about what constitutes a healthy diet, then feel free to do so.  If you want to couch it in biology or evolution, you're barking up the wrong tree.

    As I said from the beginning, it is clear that you have a vegan agenda, so stop pretending that it is anything more than that.  I get it.  You think animal products are unhealthy.  I realize that you don't actually have any data to support that, except as a general attitude, but I get that such is your belief.

    Here's a good question for you.  We'll simply assume that I don't really give a damn about your opinion regarding healthy eating.  So what is your position on leather or wool?  How about our ancestors using animal bones for tools?  That will be a much better test on whether you're simply peddling a vegan agenda or whether there's anything here based on biology.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    This is ridiculous, humans do not have the enzymes to process carrion.
    Oh really ?
    In other words, ancient humans were probably meat scavengers -- opportunists rather than the noble hunters often portrayed. As a matter of fact, one characteristic of a scavenger species is its ability to cover wide areas with little expenditure of energy, like the vultures.
    http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf035/sf035p03.htm

    Although he is still sifting through his data, the project clearly demonstrates that the best opportunities for scavenging by humans in the modern Serengeti occur in patches of woodland near rivers where lions abandon their prey, Blumenschine told SCIENCE NEWS. Vultures feast on the prime flesh remains at these sites, he reports, but hyenas "apparently don't frequent rivers very regularly." Large marrow bones can often be found at lion kills for two days or more.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1200/is_v127/ai_3677563/

    You really need to widen your research horizons.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    BTW, here's a good example of vegan truth-twisting to support an agenda.
    However, there is a group of animals that we closely resemble and that is the primates or apes. It is said that we share >99% of our genes with chimpanzees, and it would be difficult to get closer than that. Chimpanzees, like many apes, rely mainly on fruit and green shoots for their nutrition. Most apes have been classified as frugivorous, which means eaters of fruits and nuts, and they also eat some vegetation. Japanese soldiers, who had to survive in the jungle, watched what the apes ate and did the same, and they survived because of that.
    http://www.vegansa.com/veganism-diet-and-human-evolution.php
    Note the clever comparison to chimpanzees to claima >99% relationship and then suddenly shift gears to the more generic apes (which morphs into gorillas by the next paragraph).
    Many of the great apes, such as gorillas, are also frugivorous. They are very strong and powerful but have a gentle and caring disposition. With their superior intelligence and great strength, these great apes can surely claim the title of 'King of the Jungle' and be worthy of our admiration and emulation.
    Of course this completely overlooks the reality that chimpanzees are also meat-eaters and are quite aggressive in obtaining it. 
    Now, there's evidence raising the possibility gorillas also eat small vertebrates such as monkeys and antelope -- but the researchers involved say more study is needed. The study was intended to examine bonobos' meat-eating habits, using gorillas in Loango National Park in Gabon as a control.
    http://www.janegoodall.org/blogs/gorillas-meat-eaters-too

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0009419;jsessionid=4223AC5B1F82B47555699DFA2F2E814F
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    You have made it plain that you want to side with those that support your views regardless of how weak their case may be.    Even a recent blog post contradicts what you're saying:
    http://www.science20.com/news_articles/rethinking_trans_fats_natural_trans_fats_dairy_and_beef_are_good-82376

    Of course, you'll disagree, but in the end, you still have nothing that indicates that meat is unhealthy.  You can keep insisting that you have a healthier diet ... great!  You can insist that people eat too much, or they do whatever ... but in the end, you have nothing that says that any particular meat is simply unhealthy.  That data doesn't exist, and no matter how many ways you try to turn it, it won't be true.

    You present a debate between two individuals as if it were some sort of prize fight, and then select the side you agree with.  Of course, you accuse me of selecting the side I agree with, but in the end, both positions are based on "studies" and scientific perspectives. 

    As I've said before, if you want to argue about the quality of individual's diets, you'll get no argument, since many people have poor diets regardless of whether they eat meat or not.  However, to declare meat as an unhealthy food .... sorry, but that's just nonsense. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    we all care about the environment, our atmosphere we are in - please use your common sense - you are what you eat, you fart what you eat: FART RESPONSIBLY!!

    A man eats a cow - normal behavior. A tiger eats a human - man eater, kill it.

    Wow