AR-News: Re: On The Edge Of Common Sense: Cows are vegetarian
bydesign -- humans are not
unclewolf at olypen.com
Sat Aug 2 10:10:03 EDT 2003
Reply to "On the edge of common sense"
As a vegetarian for 25 years and a vegan for the last 7, I read Dr. Black's
piece with great amazement. If you listen to him, vegetarians starve
themselves by chewing on undigestible food and deprive themselves of the
joys of eating. Not quite so. Eating a "hubcap of lettuce" - not with
Thousand Island, grated cheese, bacon bits and hot fudge, but with tomatoes,
onions, spinach, peppers, garlic, Sweet Basil and salsa - is a pleasurable
experience, I assure him. And then, of course, there are fruits and nuts,
cooked vegetables, grains, beans and lentils seasoned with delicious herbs,
which not only make a vegetarian's mouth water but also do a fare job of
saving us from death by starvation.
We don't have rumens, that's true, but neither do the primates, our closest
relatives in the animal world. Most of them manage pretty well without meat.
And what may really shock a cowboy veterinarian, even carnivores like dogs
can live healthy and long lives without the benefit of animal protein. I've
had large dogs like Alaskan Malamutes and Tibetan Mastiffs who lived to a
ripe old age of 15 on such a diet and loved it so well that when they were
done eating, you couldn't tell there had been food in their dishes.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Animalconcerns Info" <info at animalconcerns.org>
To: "ar-news" <ar-news at envirolink.org>
Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2003 8:02 AM
Subject: AR-News: (US) On The Edge Of Common Sense: Cows are vegetarian
bydesign -- humans are not
> [opinion from Amarillo Globe News]
> A little lesson in ruminant physiology: Ruminants, animals like cattle,
> sheep, deer, elk, goats and llamas are able to digest plant fiber. They
> are vegetarian by design.
> This ability is because of a four-compartment stomach that includes a
> large fermentation vat called the rumen. Rumination involves swallowing
> grass, soaking and mixing it in the fluid rumen contents, regurgitating a
> cud, rechewing it, reswallowing it and belching off huge quantities of
> carbon dioxide and methane over and over and over.
> We, as humans, are not able to digest similar fibrous vegetation, like
> lettuce, for example. That is why people on diets eat lettuce. Other than
> a vitamin or two, it has no nutritional value. Which is somehow deemed
> eating healthy. Eating healthy, in this case, is the nutritional
> equivalent of not eating, or eating cardboard, tree bark or styrofoam
> peanuts, which we would do if we had to, to avoid not eating.
> Gary, a reliable scientist, has said that people crave 3 things: salt,
> chocolate and fat. Lettuce, collard greens and celery finished further on
> down the list, I assume. Which just shows you the masochistic
> determination required to be a dieting vegetarian. To eat a hubcap full of
> lettuce with no Thousand Island, no croutons, no grated cheese, no bacon
> bits, no seasoned salt and no hot fudge would demand a real commitment to
> the cause.
> A cow, the natural vegetarian, is much less discriminating but, of course,
> it seldom is able to select from a menu of the five basic food groups.
> Baxter Black is a veterinarian and cowboy poet. His column appears weekly
> and airs each Monday at 6:20 a.m. on KGNC Talk Radio 71. He can be reached
> at baxterblack.com or (800)654-2550.
> full story:
More information about the AR-News