Study on Vegetarian/Vegan diets & COVID

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  • thebreeze said:
    thebreeze said:
    thebreeze said:
    thebreeze said:
    VimFuego said:
    Eating meat is cruel. That either hits you in the feels or it doesnt. 
    and this is why it's important to never, ever, bring feelings to a facts fight. 
    Thats true. However, saying that the meat industry is cruel is fact. Its an uncomfortable one for most but it is fact. 

    Anyhoo apologies for the hijack. Carry on.
    "and this is why it's important to never, ever, bring feelings to a facts fight."

    That is absolutely untrue.  Not sure what a "facts fight" is and where it really gets one in the end anyway.  Feelings are are an extremely important aspect of being human and are highly valuable avenues of communication both internally and person to person.  Sadly, we're discouraged from accessing them and using them constructively, creatively and honestly.  Shutting them down completely and prohibiting any notion of them diminishes the discussion and also our sense of being human.  There's balance to be had of course and facts and objectivity are vitally important - in some situations obviously more so, in others not.  People can be scared of feelings and find them hard to understand sometimes but I think that gets worse as we're encouraged "not to go there" and that they have no place in a discussion of this kind.

    @WiresDreamDisasters take it away............
    How are you going to navigate the world if all you're running on is feelings that change like the wind??
    It's not all - facts and objectivity are really important, but I'd turn it round and say how are you going to navigate the world without feelings??

    Left brain/right brain - too much of either becomes problematic.
    Let's jump back a bit.

    What's your overall point with this?
    Don't put a blanket prohibition on feelings in any discussion, they might be useful.
    Okay fine.

    But how can feelings be useful when discussing a scientific study and it's rigorousness (or lack of) ?
    I guess they can remind us what the studies might be for, why they are being carried out or what kind of impacts they might have etc.?  I just felt jonnyburgo's comment was a useful contribution to the discussion.  It contextualises a discussion about papers and facts in a different light - meat industry/veganism/vegetarianism aren't just abstract words in a paper.

    "and this is why it's important to never, ever, bring feelings to a facts fight."  I just think that statement is wrong (even potentially dangerous) for the reasons I've expressed.  It's not a big deal but becomes a big deal because the very idea that someone might suggest feeling something has to be shut down so strongly.
    I don't care for studies that make a mixture of statistics, facts, and value judgements. Most proper scientific academia is not engaged in that practice.

    This isn't true for the social sciences. And... well.... you can see how that is working out....

    We are sitting on the shoulders of scientific giants who cared about finding the truth in an empirical way. There are plenty of people trying to undo that by injecting feelings where they don't belong.

    Feelings belong in the realm of shagging the wife once the kids are in bed. They belong in the realm of watching a movie and holding back the tears coz it's really upsetting when the dog dies.

    Feelings don't belong in an academic discussion. The empirical evidence is that feelings confuse the pursuit of truth, and make it much more difficult to find out what the reality before us actually is. But I remember now - you don't much care for empiricism, based on our past discussions.


    And I don't think El Jonbot's comment was particularly useful nor educational. Some people disagree on what we should be eating as a species. Big fucking whoop.
    They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.
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  • thebreezethebreeze Frets: 1998
    ^ this is all a terrible diversion, for which I apologise.  

    You’re right on one level but wrong as well, in as much as you can’t separate feelings from anything, empirical studies or otherwise.  We are feelings.  The pursuit of truth and working out the reality before us…..indeed, but neither of those will be found solely in laboratories, journals or academia.
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 21256
    Eating meat is cruel. That either hits you in the feels or it doesnt. 
    So every carnivore on the planet is cruel? 
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  • AdeyAdey Frets: 1161
    Mother Nature is very cruel though.

    Why did she invent carnivores in the first place?
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  • thebreeze said:
    ^ this is all a terrible diversion, for which I apologise.  

    You’re right on one level but wrong as well, in as much as you can’t separate feelings from anything, empirical studies or otherwise.  We are feelings.  The pursuit of truth and working out the reality before us…..indeed, but neither of those will be found solely in laboratories, journals or academia.
    Far out man. Far out.


    They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.
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  • thebreezethebreeze Frets: 1998
    axisus said:
    Eating meat is cruel. That either hits you in the feels or it doesnt. 
    So every carnivore on the planet is cruel? 
    I’d say, to different degrees, yes.  I eat meat btw but I’m trying to change that.
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  • Why is it cruel to eat meat?
    They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 5029
    edited June 11
    back to the study. I don't think on it's own it is solid enough to be conclusive. What it does do, IMO, is justifiably open the door to further more precise study into it.
    One of the key difficulties in comparing the health impacts of meat/non meat diets is that it is hard to standardise the constituent parts of each cohort's diet. A vegetarian could eat mainly fatty crappy food and the meat eater could be eating a well balanced frugal and fresh diet. Or vice versa etc etc. To be definitive, you'd need to even out and standardise the diets and also the baseline weight and health of everyone. What you should aim for is having a big study sample where the only variable of any significance is whether they have meat in the diet, or not. Everything else needs to be the same.

    too much fluff in this study for me. 

    On the other point, IMO eating meat isn't cruel, it's natural. We are omnivores. What is cruel is how some meat is farmed and produced. Lots of people aren't bothered by that. I am, so I choose not to eat animals. I don't expect anyone to have my views, but I do think my view is correct, hence my choice. I wouldn't force that on anyone else, but equally I don't expect to be interrogated on why I make my choices. 
    I'm also not anti abortion. 

    There.
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 22932
    @Snap ; precisely. I haven't bought meat for a couple of years, but when I was eating it regularly it was fairly sparingly as part of meals which are always cooked with good, fresh ingredients. 

    My 22 stone mate with a "vegan 4 life" tattoo lives on oven chips.

    I thought he was exaggerating, but no, he has boxes of them for almost every meal, at least twice a day. 
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 5623
    edited June 11
    Why is it cruel to eat meat?
    At risk of starting an endless back and forth with you which I'd rather avoid.... My basic take is that because nowadays cruelty is embedded into every part of the cycle for most meat.

    A wild prey animal lives according to its instincts, roams, forages, mates, has offspring and gets eaten or dies of illness or old age. That is a life in keeping with its design and nature.

    Sheep often escape this fate depending where the meat comes from
    But.. the pigs, chickens (and cows for milk production) you eat are stripped of this dignity to engage in the play of natural life. They are bred and kept on concrete in warehouses, caged, artificially inseminated and deprived of their basic need of the herd, their babies, fresh air, sunshine and the instinct to roam and live according to their nature. As pigs are generally considered 4th smartest in the animal kingdom and very sensitive this is especially cruel where they are concerned. 

    It has also repeatedly been shown that the vast majority of "certified" (red tractor bullshit) meat producers regularly fail basic welfare tests. So unless you bought what you eat from a small holding you have direct experience of, you are participating in exploitation of some part by eating meat, dairy or using leather products, you just can't see it. And that's why it persists. 

    As a contrast to that I am not opposed to eating meat on principle, more on the grounds of the life accorded to the animal in question and the environmental impact. 
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  • Why is it cruel to eat meat?
    At risk of starting an endless back and forth with you which I'd rather avoid.... 
    Okay then.
    They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.
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  • JfingersJfingers Frets: 29
    Will nobody think of Hal? Al?
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  • JfingersJfingers Frets: 29
    I'm aware I'm new. I'm not veggie or vegan. I was entirely veggie for several years and spent 6 months in India eating mostly vegan, but then bacon... IMHO the slaughter has got more 'suffery' due to 'reasons' that I don't believe I will ever understand.

    I barely eat meat anymore, and when I do it will be more expensive than supermarket meat, and that's ok for me. I used to work occasionally with a bloke who bought 2 Lambs each year from his Farmer friend with tree or hedge work as the currency, slaughtered/gutted/whatevered them and then froze them. After a week or two he portioned them up with a small electric chainsaw with vegetable oil for chain oil.
    This is how people in my part of the world have lived for decades.

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  • CoffeeAndTVCoffeeAndTV Frets: 147
    I’m not a veggie or vegan, but my son decided to become vegan at 7.  

    For him it was a really simple decision, he played on my parent’s farm with the animals and was unbelievably upset knowing he was eating the animals he was playing with. We’ve gladly accepted his decision despite how stupidly expensive it is for soap shoes and clothes.  

    The upside, it pisses my parents off and we don’t have to go to MacDonalds anymore. 
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 9879
    Cols said:
    VimFuego said:
    Eating meat is cruel. That either hits you in the feels or it doesnt. 
    and this is why it's important to never, ever, bring feelings to a facts fight. 
    Thats true. However, saying that the meat industry is cruel is fact. Its an uncomfortable one for most but it is fact. 

    Anyhoo apologies for the hijack. Carry on.
    That’s fundamentally not relevant to the matter at hand, and actually runs the risk of detracting from the core message of the study.

    I’m going to make a wild guess here that you’re vegetarian or vegan, and would like other people to be so as well.  The study conclusion that a plant-based diet carries a lower risk of serious illness from COVID makes that a logic-driven argument.  If you accept the study conclusion, it means that not switching to the veggie option carries an acceptance of greater personal risk.

    Diverting off into a “Meat is Murder” direction makes it an emotional argument, to which it’s much easier to reply “No it isn’t”, “Don’t believe you” or “Don’t care, I’m off to make myself a bacon sandwich”.
    If that's true, would it be because of the (I assume) larger proportion of obese people in the meat-eating cohort?
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  • ColsCols Frets: 3970
    Cols said:
    The study conclusion that a plant-based diet carries a lower risk of serious illness from COVID makes that a logic-driven argument.  
    If that's true, would it be because of the (I assume) larger proportion of obese people in the meat-eating cohort?
    The authors state that they controlled for BMI in the study (without offering any details on their methodology for controlling this parameter), so assuming their methodology is sound it’s not just a case of all meat eaters looking like Jabba The Hutt.

    FWIW, I agree with @Snap on this; the study indicates a valuable area for further research, but there’s far too many uncontrolled confounding factors to regard it as conclusive evidence.  Needs to be tightened up.

    For the anecdotal evidence, I have a single vegan on my team in work.  She’s young, slim, controls her diet properly and works out regularly.  She takes more sick days than anyone else in the department.

    Now, n=1 is not a very convincing statistical set, but it’s always given me a degree of skepticism towards the vegan=healthy argument.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 12672
    Cols said:
    Cols said:
    The study conclusion that a plant-based diet carries a lower risk of serious illness from COVID makes that a logic-driven argument.  
    If that's true, would it be because of the (I assume) larger proportion of obese people in the meat-eating cohort?
    The authors state that they controlled for BMI in the study (without offering any details on their methodology for controlling this parameter), so assuming their methodology is sound it’s not just a case of all meat eaters looking like Jabba The Hutt.

    FWIW, I agree with @Snap on this; the study indicates a valuable area for further research, but there’s far too many uncontrolled confounding factors to regard it as conclusive evidence.  Needs to be tightened up.

    For the anecdotal evidence, I have a single vegan on my team in work.  She’s young, slim, controls her diet properly and works out regularly.  She takes more sick days than anyone else in the department.

    Now, n=1 is not a very convincing statistical set, but it’s always given me a degree of skepticism towards the vegan=healthy argument.
    Just to state the obvious that sickness is a social construct and nothing to do with how ill or well you actually are. She might have frequent ill health or she just might be better at convincing herself and others that she can be in the sick role. 
    I’ll handle this Violet, you take your three hour break. 
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  • ThePrettyDamnedThePrettyDamned Frets: 6157
    I think the propaganda around meat production is roughly the same quality of propaganda around anti-abortion activism.

    IE: If you're anti-meat eating, but pro-abortion... that makes zero sense to me.

    I'm pro both btw.

    I'm not sure I follow your logic here.
    Keep animals alive regardless of human need because they're cute.
    Keep babies alive regardless of human need because they're cute.

    It's pretty tasty straw this.


    Both camps show the most horrific photos and video - usually fake - to strengthen their case.

    They're actually remarkably similar.

    I'm not anti-meat eating, but I am anti-meat farming in many ways and try to make careful decisions.

    Anti-meat propaganda has nothing to do with this decision. 
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  • I think the propaganda around meat production is roughly the same quality of propaganda around anti-abortion activism.

    IE: If you're anti-meat eating, but pro-abortion... that makes zero sense to me.

    I'm pro both btw.

    I'm not sure I follow your logic here.
    Keep animals alive regardless of human need because they're cute.
    Keep babies alive regardless of human need because they're cute.

    It's pretty tasty straw this.


    Both camps show the most horrific photos and video - usually fake - to strengthen their case.

    They're actually remarkably similar.

    I'm not anti-meat eating, but I am anti-meat farming in many ways and try to make careful decisions.

    Anti-meat propaganda has nothing to do with this decision. 
    I'm pro-meat farming.
    They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 5029
    Cols said:


    Now, n=1 is not a very convincing statistical set, but it’s always given me a degree of skepticism towards the vegan=healthy argument.
    Gets on my wick too tbh. A vegan diet should in theory be good for you if you do it in a balanced way. But then, so should any diet, regardless of whether or not it includes animal/fish stuff. 

    One thing any vegan or vegetarian needs to be mindful of is getting your full range of nutrients in. B12 is a key one and if that's low you can get on your way to anaemia. 

    Vegan, veggie, paleo aside, IMO as a society we have a broad food problem in that too many of us don't understand enough about what to eat, where it comes from etc. If we did, we wouldn't have the fattest population in Europe and we wouldn't be in the situation where so many kids are obese or overweight. That's a big failing, and making kids fat is not only cruel, it's neglectful.

    Jesus, Monday morning and I'm borderline ranting already!! Soz, this subject is a pet high horse of mine.
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