October 1, 2020

Ria Response to Bellamy, Zerzan & Steve Kirk condemning vegan primitivism

From Vegan Primitivist

-Veganism is hating power in oneself, hyper-pacifism, and that doesn’t happen in the natural world – Does compassion happen in the natural world? Does mutualism? Does symbiosis? Do those beings hate themselves for it? Is compassion not an act of power, or only killing and eating the bodies of others?

-Not enough land for vegan primitivism – How do you know how much land would be needed for wild foraging? How many seasons can an acorn harvest last? And wapato? And mongongo nut? And tubers of sedge tiger-nuts? And ground nuts? Who still holds this knowledge to make the calculation? If collapse happened overnight, would there be enough land for everyone to hunt? Why are you imposing the excuse of overpopulation on vegans only?

-Modern liberal values extending rights to animals – Modern values and rights would not long for smashing civilization. It must be challenging to distinguish consumerist veganism from primitivist veganism, we’re a rare breed.

-Utilitarianism to lower amount of suffering – Do anprims want to lower suffering in the world? I thought Anarchy Radio routinely reported on all the suffering. Why? Do animals not try to have less suffering in themselves and those around them?

-Rationally managed society – Once again, confusing consumerist veganism with primitivist veganism.

“Veganism is essential to wildness. Not only is exploiting and killing animals a humanape-constructed activity and form of authority, but it socially evolved into the leading political regime worldwide. Very often humans want to pinpoint about such questions as origins, saying that “it has always been so even prior to civilization”, and extreme rationalization has destroyed the last bits of remorse that could be left – nonetheless, if there is any initial “project” for humans, here we are, and we fail.” ~Nicolas Dupont

-The study mentioned was ‘low meat’, not ‘no meat’ – Being that alternatives to modern mainstream narratives tend to be silenced, scorned and sternly denied before considered, even when alternative ‘proof’ is discovered, is it recognized for what it is, or explained away with acceptable culturally mediated ideology, as in the points made in this podcast?

Challenges to false propagated narratives do manifest, but face uphill battles in gaining mainstream acceptance. The study: DNA analysis shows that forest gathering Neanderthals found in a cave in Spain drew their food and medicine from plants, mushrooms, pine nuts, and moss.

Weyrich, Laura S., et al. “Neanderthal Behaviour, Diet, and Disease Inferred from Ancient DNA in Dental Calculus.” Nature, International Journal of Science , vol. 544, 2017, pp. 357–61. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature21674

At Spy cave, Belgium, Neanderthal diet was heavily meat based and included woolly rhinoceros and wild sheep (mouflon), characteristic of a steppe environment. In contrast, no meat was detected in the diet of Neanderthals from El Sidrón cave, Spain, and dietary components of mushrooms, pine nuts, and moss reflected forest gathering.

So here’s DNA evidence that some pre-civ humans subsisted wholly on plants, mushrooms and moss, challenging civilization’s romanticized man-the-hunter image and pro-meat bias. Why is your first response to try to disprove it?

-Cannot survive vegan outside technology / Leviathan – It’s been done, and you refuse to acknowledge it. Seasoned wild tender Finisia Medrano has told me it’s very doable to subsist vegan on the sacred hoops, even in the scarce landscapes she tends. The only solid evidence of earliest bipedal human diet was of plants. What is the earliest solid evidence of meat eating? The man-the-hunter myth is popularized, overgeneralized, hyped up. Modern minds project modern indoctrination into early human narratives. Scientific narratives are processed and molded through cultural values. For example, when modern meat eating paleoanthropologists find any evidence of hunting, they routinely deem all individuals comprising an entire group over vast areas and times as ‘hunters’. Mainstream-embraced evolutionary narratives, that most anprims were indoctrinated into, tend to be value-laden and biased.

-Anthropocentricism to maintain world view – Is conjuring up a pre-civ ideal, egalitarianism with hunting, to recreate in the present and future an act of mindset morality? How is anprim darling Paul Shepard not human-centric? And if you’re against people with predatory sexuality, I don’t know how you’d idealize him.

“The human hunter in the field is not merely a predator, because of hundreds of centuries of experience in treating the woman-prey with love, which he turns back into the hunt proper. The ecstatic consummation of this love is the killing itself. Formal consummation is eating… The prey must be eaten for ethical not nutritional value, in a kind of celebration.”

-Veganism imposes universal moral rights – Vegan primitivists do? Or man-the-hunter ideologues like Paul Shepard, encouraging all boys & men to hunt? I am vegan because my entire animal being tells me to not kill or eat animals, without being indoctrinated into it. As a child I instinctively fought to be vegan in a world of killers. It seems unlikely a child born into a world of vegans would fight to kill animals. Would I like for humans to end the killing nonhuman animals? As much as I’d like for humans to end the killing of human animals. My animal being repels from humans killing.

Shepard comes off as a psychopath in saying he saw no difference between eating a vegetable and an animal, yet, he saw hunting as deeply spiritual: “Hunting is a holy occupation, framed in rules and courtesy, informed by the beauty of the physical being and the numinous presence of the spiritual life of animals.” For Shepard, “eating animals is a way to worship them.” “(T)o be kindred… means… a sense of many connections and transformations – us into them, them into us, and them into each other from the beginning of time.” Shepard encouraged every man to hunt to recover “…the ontogenetic movement; …the value of the hunt is in a single leap forward into the heart-structure of the world, the “game” played to rules that reveal ourselves. What is important is to have hunted. It is like having babies.”

Marti Kheel wrote how sects of Deep Ecology “employ ethical discourse as a means of shielding the hunter from the actual experience of the animal he kills… The focus of the hunter is on his own interior mental state. As long as his mental attitude is said to conform to a particular ethical code, his violent behavior is thought to be legitimized. The emphasis on the instinctual (sexual) nature of hunting functions to further remove the hunters’ conduct from ethical reproach, since hunting is seen as a natural and elementary drive. The ethical discourse thus functions as a “decoy,” focusing attention not on the state of the animal who is about to be killed, but rather on the hunter. What the holy hunters see as a “reciprocal” activity is, in reality, a unidirectional morality in which the hunter formulates and follows his own moral directives… the animal is reduced to an object, a symbol against which the hunter seeks to establish his masculine selfhood and moral worth.”

Andree Collard and Joyce Contrucci in Rape of the Wild: Man’s Violence against Animals and the Earth, wrote that “the efforts of modern man to rationalize the contradictions and delusions surrounding the hunt and the hunter extend to the romanticized images he fashions of primitive man as the archetypal hunter with the hunt as the sine qua non of his existence.”

Even if you embrace the spiritualism of hunting, how can a rewilder whose ideal is based on early cultures with spiritual hunting honed through generations, communicate with the spirit of the hunted animal? This may be why many hunt in rote form: I am wild simply by hunting and eating animals. How is the intimate connection between animal persons formed, when they don’t experience other animals as persons? Their rewilding is artificial. They are a babe thinking themselves into a virile doer of civilization’s ‘rewilding’. Observing a lifetime would not bring them a step closer to their goal with their mindset. They cannot accept that ancient knowledge of ecological embeddedness has vanished, and reconstructing wild knowledge takes generations. In today’s hurting wildscape, wildness requires immense healing first, lifetimes of giving back. When your friend is hurting, you don’t use her, you offer aid. Wild is hurting, and if your animal being is open to sensing the pain and you don’t give aid, instead exploit wild even more, your relationship is based in the disconnected aloofness of disregarded pain. Despite their justifications, they flail in attempts at ecological embeddedness by hunting animals, without perceiving their harm to the habitat.

And besides, how many people use man-the-hunter mythology to justify buying pieces of tortured carcasses in stores & drive-through windows?

-No examples of indigenous subsistence – There are, but Leviathan doesn’t want to know them. Man-the-hunter bias dominating archaeology and many other modern institutions makes searches contrasting propagandized narratives a challenge.

Christopher Ryan, author of Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress: “The popularity and persistence of scientific narratives often have more to do with how well they support dominant mythologies than with their scientific veracity.”

James C. Scott: “…if you were hunter-gatherers or nomads, however numerous, spreading your biodegradable trash thinly across the landscape, you were likely to vanish entirely from the archaeological record,” Not only do hunter-gatherers leave little evidence, plant foragers leave even less, likely resulting in greatly overexaggerated claims of inherent human hunting.

Archaeobotanist Sarah Mason: “For the most part the Pleistocene, and even the earliest post-glacial, is a blank when it comes to evidence of humans eating plants. No wonder the old men’s stories, of chaps who hunt great mammals and eat their meat, still dominate our unthinking visions of hunter-gathering in that period.”

Andree Collard and Joyce Contrucci, authors of Rape of the Wild: “…denying validity or even recognition to alternative interpretations, access to alternative values and beliefs capable of freeing a society from its own self-destruction is closed.”

Archaeologist Lyn Wadley: “Many archaeologists are not interested in botanical remains.”

Anthropologist Penny Spikins on Raymond Dart’s ‘killer ape’ theory: “A tendency to see what we think ought to be there was perhaps never best illustrated…”

-Would have to migrate to equatorial climate – What are the natural human habitat limits? Is it not anthropocentric to think you have a right to live wherever you want? Why don’t you have to abide by wild’s invisible walls regulated by food opportunities and temperatures? Why not live under the sea if you want to. In space if you want to? That returning to wild habitat is not a part of anprim reveals a human supremacy that nixes return to their wildness altogether.

-Dubious health value – Wow. Still clinging to that?

According to the sciences of evolution, anatomy, and physiology humans are herbivores, designed to thrive from a plant-based diet. As put by professor of physical anthropology Katharine Milton,

There is general agreement that the ancestral line (Hominoidea) giving rise to humans was strongly herbivorous… In hominoids, features such as nutrient requirements and digestive physiology appear to be genetically conservative and probably were little affected by the hunter-gatherer phase of human existence.

Milton, Katharine. “Hunter-Gatherer Diets—a Different Perspective.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 71, no. 3, 2000, pp. 665–667, doi:10.1093/ajcn/71.3.665.

Tharrey, Marion, et al. “Patterns of Plant and Animal Protein Intake Are Strongly Associated with Cardiovascular Mortality: the Adventist Health Study-2 Cohort.” International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 47, no. 5, Feb. 2018, pp. 1603–1612, doi:10.1093/ije/dyy030.

Healthy diets can be advocated based on protein sources, preferring low contributions of protein from meat and higher intakes of plant protein from nuts and seeds

Miles, Fayth L, et al. “Plasma, Urine, and Adipose Tissue Biomarkers of Dietary Intake Differ Between Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Diet Groups in the Adventist Health Study-2.” The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 149, no. 4, 2019, pp. 667–675, doi:10.1093/jn/nxy292.

Abete, Itziar, et al. “Association between Total, Processed, Red and White Meat Consumption and All-Cause, CVD and IHD Mortality: a Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 112, no. 5, 2014, pp. 762–775, doi:10.1017/s000711451400124x.

Bernstein, Adam M., et al. “Major Dietary Protein Sources and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women.” Circulation, vol. 122, no. 9, 2010, pp. 876–883, doi:10.1161/circulationaha.109.915165.

Kim, Hyunju, et al. “Plant‐Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All‐Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle‐Aged Adults.” Journal of the American Heart Association, vol. 8, no. 16, 2019, doi:10.1161/jaha.119.012865.

Kelemen, L. E. “Associations of Dietary Protein with Disease and Mortality in a Prospective Study of Postmenopausal Women.” American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 161, no. 3, Jan. 2005, pp. 239–249, doi:10.1093/aje/kwi038.

Song, Mingyang, et al. “Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality.” JAMA Internal Medicine, vol. 176, no. 10, Jan. 2016, p. 1453, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4182.

Stark, Philip B., et al. “Open-Source Food: Nutrition, Toxicology, and Availability of Wild Edible Greens in the East Bay.” Plos One, vol. 14, no. 1, 2019, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0202450.

If you’re interested in learning more about thriving with wild plants:

“Common garden weeds are more nutritious than kale, Berkeley researchers find.

Researchers from the University of California Berkeley have identified 52 edible weeds growing in abundance in the poorest neighborhoods of San Francisco, surrounded by busy roads and industrial zones.

At least six of them are more nutritious than kale, according to a new study.

The three low-income neighborhoods the researchers studied have been classified as “urban food deserts” — meaning they are more than a mile from the nearest shop that sells fresh produce.

Of the 52 species of wild-growing “weeds” they found, they tested six for nutrition content:

Chickweed

Dandelion

Dock

Mallow

Nasturtium

Oxalis

All six were more nutritious, by most accounts, than kale – arguably the most nutritious domesticated leafy greens.

The weeds boasted more dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, calcium, iron, vitamin K, and provided more energy.

The only nutrient kale scored higher in was vitamin C, but the researchers suspect other weeds they found, such wild mustard and wild radish, might rival it in that category.

Many of the edible weeds they found have been used in folk medicine, including plantain, cat’s ear, fennel, sow thistle, wild lettuce, and wild onions.

The really exciting part about the study, is that these weeds were foraged in the middle of a drought.

“Foraged leafy greens are consumed around the globe, including in urban areas, and may play a larger role when food is scarce or expensive,” writes Philip Stark, statistics professor and founder of the Berkeley Open Source Food Project.

“Even during this low-production period, almost every address in all three study areas had several servings of several different species, suggesting that wild edible greens are a reliable source of nutrition all year round,” writes Stark.

Soil at some survey sites had elevated concentrations of lead and cadmium, but tissue tests suggest the weeds don’t take up much of these or other heavy metals.

After being rinsed, they tested at less than the dosages considered safe by the EPA, the researchers said.

Pesticides, glyphosate, and PCBs were undetectable.

How can people identify which wild greens are edible?

“Familiarity,” says Stark. “Most people have no trouble telling the difference between, say iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce.”

He recommends people educate themselves and gradually start adding new weeds into their diets.

The report notes there are only 1.7 cups of farmed vegetables available per person per day in the United States, less than the recommended serving of two to three cups.

The researchers suggest wild food could fill in the gap and improve nutrition security.

“Wild foods might also contribute to a healthy ecosystem by building soil organic matter, retaining water and nutrients in the soil, and reducing erosion,” Stark wrote.”

https://returntonow.net/2018/09/29/weeds-more-nutritious-than-store-bought-produce/

***

Rebuttal of Paul Shepard’s “The Vegetarians” in his essay “Post-Historic Primitivism” in The Wilderness Condition: Essays on Environment and Civilization

https://archive.org/stream/Post-historicPrimitivism/Post-historicPrimitivism_djvu.txt

Returning to Reality a response to Paul Shepard’s “The Vegetarians”

By M.B.

Laying out a scathing illogical introduction, Shepard wastes no time in announcing his unsubstantiated generally held biases towards people who abstain from consuming animals and their secretions. The very first vague attack on vegan diets as being a “quantity over quality” ideology is a vile underlying theme of his essay which he relies on to build credibility with the reader.

Because of the unsupported assumptions Shepard has made about the inadequacy of a vegan diet in general (“quantity over quality”) and especially in terms of “protein” and “long chain fats” these myths are best dispelled immediately. The notion that plants are an inadequate source of protein is ironically absolutely inimical to the truth. Plants being the most important primary producers on the planet not only create the energy that drives most life on Earth, but also the eight essential amino acids which primary consumers (herbivores) and all subsequent consumers obtain from them directly or indirectly and chemically rearrange to synthesize other amino acids(1,2). The concept of protein combining of plant foods is nutritional lore that is ripe for the tomb. All plant foods contain all essential amino acids albeit in varying quantities, with many having amino acid ratios considered to be “complete” sources of protein, such as soy and amaranth (3). It has been proven that diets that are adequately calorie dense are almost always adequately rich in protein (2). Interestingly, once believed to be caused by protein deficiency, recent evidence suggests that kwashiorkor is a “micronutrient deficiency” rather than a “macronutrient deficiency.” (4). Additionally, more recent research has suggested that animal protein is carcinogenic (5), and that human omnivores have higher levels of C-reactive protein which in essence is wasted protein (6,7). Your idea of “protein hunger” is another stark untrue statement that has not been proven in humans and the fact that primates eat insects and that chimpanzees for instance sometimes cannibalize each other doesn’t prove that a completely vegan diet is inadequate for humans, nor does this indicate that our evolutionary heritage has not been predominately herbivorous. Also there is evidence that feeding captive gorillas meat rich diets induces heart disease as it does for our own species(8).

Concerning fats, again the truth is oiled to fortify the bias of Mr. Shepard. Long chain fatty acids indispensable for life come in two general forms known as Arachidonic acid (from linoleic acid), the omega 6 and Eicosapentanoic (EPA) and Docohexasenoic (DHA, both of which come from alpha-linoleic acid) acids which are omega 3’s(9). They are easily synthesized by the body from the essential short chain fatty acids which in the omega 6 form is linoleic acid (LA) and the omega 3 compound is alphalinoleic acid (ALA). A cursory review of the scientific literature illuminates the capacity of the human body to synthesize all the long chain fatty acids necessary to thrive as the brain and rest of the body needs very little and stores excess as well (10). Animal flesh contains minimal omega 3s, even that of grass fed or wild animals (11). Fish contains a considerable amount of DHA and EPA but these are obtained from consuming the algae that initially produces it (12). However the oceans fisheries are near annihilated by overfishing, and their tissues concentrate methylmercury, PCBs, dioxins and other lipophilic toxins (13,14). Despite the confusion raised by people who speculate fish cannot, they do in fact feel pain (15). As such the best option may be algae derived supplements that are available for those concerned about their body’s ability to convert ALA to DHA, though for most people this is probably superfluous (10). Thus, it is not necessary and it is environmentally taxing to consume animals strictly to obtain long chain fatty acids.

To further confound the reader, the B12 issue is thrown in coupled with misinformation. Cobalamin or Vitamin B12 as it is commonly known, presents another can of worms to sort through but the tactic doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny and careful review of the evidence. Studies like the Framingham Offspring Study which have demonstrated that up to 38 per cent of omnivores reviewed had marginal B12 status, as well as the fact that B12 does not come from meat nor plants but is synthesized by prokaryotic bacteria exclusively, materializes more questions than answers (16,17). Furthermore those with impaired digestion such as the elderly and those with gastrointestinal issues are at heightened risk of B12 deficiency(18,19). The evidence we have instructs us that it is prudent for the majority of people to consider supplementing B12 as the animals reared for slaughter in particular those in CAFO operations receive. In short, Shepard’s lack of nutritional research and his reliance on the assumption that the reader will take his bias and lies at face value result in his argument rapidly disintegrating.

The American Academy of Dietetics has stated that a properly planned vegan diet is adequate for all stages of life, including pregnancy and infancy (20). Furthermore, there are many vegan athletes as well as professional vegan weightlifters who hold or have held world records, Carl Lewis being one of them. Clearly, animal foods are not “more critical for sound nutrition than plant foods.” A near vegan diet is the only diet proven to not only prevent but also reverse the number one cause of death on Earth, heart disease (21,22). The final idea Shepard espouses is one which has been reiterated so frequently that it has become a cliché: the idea of the rugged noble savage who is the splitting image of health. This is an exhausting appeal to nature as if hunter gatherers were the standard of longevity and vigor. The fixation on this nonexistent anomalous nutritional mystery is irresponsible as writing like this can have considerable influence that will not only effect the environment and the lives of animals, but people’s health. The fact is that hunter gatherers are not a standard of nutrition or wellbeing. The idea that the Masai and the Inuit had some immunity to atherosclerosis and the diseases of affluence has been totally refuted (23-26). As I have stated, knowledge of how to treat the cause of heart disease was already known by 1990 (20) as such you have no excuse in publishing the conjecture of a doctor who hasn’t definitively proven his hypothesis. The same diet proven to reverse heart disease has also been shown by both Dr. Kempner and Swank to reverse diabetes and multiple sclerosis, respectively, long before Ornish’s trial (27,28).

The egregious assertions that there is “no phylogenic felicity” and also a “reinventing of biology” for the vegan argument to stand is akin to the Politburo fat and malicious decrying the rachitic proletariat, such is the blind faith in a putrid and incredulous system. Comparative anatomy of humans and our closest herbivorous relatives anatomically, as well as with respect to dentition and physiology indicates our shared dietary heritage. The length of our digestive tract is not the only significant comparison as is done in the essay of interest, but a myriad of others such as dentition and the jaw, Stomach pH, Cholesterol metabolism, behavior, sense of taste, and other metabolic distinctions such as our inability to synthesize vitamin C as well as to detoxify retinol or preformed vitamin A, as carnivores ably do both (29,30).

The viewpoints presented concerning ethical and primarily environmental and existential aspects are similarly of a logically deficient stance. The notion that people who exclusively consume vegetables and plants/fungi are murderous and blood hungry is as ludicrous as the perverse propaganda used to attack enemies of the Nazi party. The audacity to enthusiastically describe the culture of animal murder (hunting) and then lead off his affront to vegans with such a hollow inflammatory statement demonstrates that the spiritual affinity for lifeforms described is a guise which is dropped readily when vegans are under attack. Zucchini, soybeans, and all plant and fungal life on Earth for that matter are sentient but lack nervous systems and science has not proven that they feel pain and they do not scream for their lives as animals being slaughtered. The sardonic attitude and previously stated spiritual insinuations are obviously incompatible. Animals that tangibly fight and run for their lives, vocalize in terror if they can and display systemic outward agony are certainly not equitable to the harvesting of soybeans and zuchhini. Obviously, this point is a red herring which is something Shephard accuses feminists of employing, which is besides the point- even if this were true, more plants perish to feed animals than if humans just ate the plants directly.

Not only are the majority of vegetables and plant foods consumed by the general population, but those who choose to eat plant foods alone are not only sparing the livelihood of farmed animals but also millions of small rodents and insects which die in the harvesting of crops raised for the feed of farmed animals, who require far more nutrition than human beings. Thus, the damage of “harvesting casualties” is far more pronounced when considering the crops destined for animal consumption.

The amount of feed per animal varies depending upon the definition (31) (For actual beef that 90 per cent of “First World” omnivores consume the ratio is about twenty pounds of feed/grain to one pound of red meat), but no matter the copious caveats and hair splitting, all energy in our world for our intents and purposes is derived from the Sun. Plants are the most direct source of this energy, and every time this energy is transferred to another trophic level such as herbivores and so on, energy is lost via the metabolism, growth, and death of these organisms (32). This is elementary science.

Logical fallacies are a hallmark of this essay, as after fishing emotional sympathy from the foolish with a red herring, Shepard next employs an appeal to obscurity. This delusional notion that the dietary pattern which requires the least amount of land to feed the most people having the most deleterious effect upon “The Fourth [and] Fifth World” is frustratingly unfounded. It’s rather clear what happens to quality of life for those in these neatly compartmentalized “worlds” when in fact all “worlds” are tied together and so are our collective problems.

The insincere contrite nod at true vegetarians (vegans) and the idea that a vegan diet is only suitable for people who are malnourished, an ersatz substitute for the “traditional” diet which causes heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer in the “First World.”This is hardly the case. As proven above, plant food is wasted in excessive quantities to feed animals while impoverished humans starve, especially in the Third World (33). Not only are “calories” wasted on these animals, but as I have elucidated, “protein” as well. Furthermore, these animals are oftentimes supplemented with B12 which I have discussed.

So how is life for those poor people who had to “gulp” soya in lieu of eating animal corpse, the “preferred” cuisine? Well, there’s no way to ascertain that, but it should be readily apparent that if that land was being used to rear farmed animals it wouldn’t be for this destitute “Third World” refugee described but rather for the affluent meat consumer. Not to mention the fact that this diet is not a “better than nothing” approach which I have demonstrated.

But let me continue to shovel out the lies that have muddied the pure waters of truth. The same reasoning that I have used above applies to the “Fourth [and] Fifth Worlds” and to reply to the query posited about their wellbeing I simply ask one to look at the world, even as it was in the 1990’s when “The Vegetarians” was written. Increased demand upon burgeoning middle classes in “Second World” countries has resulted in more acreage being devoted to raising animals and it often is like a raging cancer at the fringes of pristine habitat such as the Amazon rainforest, the home of many indigenous peoples and where untold numbers of species are extinguished, some perhaps never discovered from habitat destruction but also globally from the effect of climate change which animal agriculture plays a huge role in. This is what happens to the “fourth” and “Fifth World” when the world follows the egregiously dangerous advice noted in the essay of focus- the most diverse and unique life forms are destroyed directly, climate change from animal agriculture influences species extinction worldwide, and because of rainforest encroachment, tribal peoples such as the Guarani and Yanomamo are in jeopardy of losing their culture and livelihood (34,35). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than all those emitted by worldwide transportation (36), both leading drivers of climate change and it’s corresponding environmental havoc.

So in essence, Shepard is engaging himself in a tour de force of hypocrisy as everything he is claiming vegans are guilty of are failings of those who continue to demand the flesh and secretions of animals. The only ecologically shortsighted ideology here is the one that is currently exercised on a massive scale on our fragile interconnected world, Shepard’s aloofness to facts and logic devastate any possibility his argument might convince anyone who does any veracious research. He errantly champions the dietary pattern which causes the most comprehensive ubiquitous malaise and decimation in the world. Not only in terms of environmental degradation and climate change, but also habitat destruction, ocean dead zones, abuse of antibiotics and the resulting consequences, widespread preventable chronic illnesses, and even increased incidence of violence in communities with abattoirs and increased cancer in communities near certain animal agribusiness operations (37,38). Thus, aligning the vegan diet with a “quantitative mindedness” as I have explained is totally inaccurate. The low fat, oil free, whole food vegan diet is the most complete diet as it does not detract from health the way that animal flesh does. It intrinsically ameliorates our world by virtue of being of a holistic mindset that acknowledges that everything is related in the vast web of life, and by endeavoring to be conscientious of this, to evolve mindfully, and let truth reign instead of wallow in darkness and ignorance, as Shepard’s essay advocates.

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