New psychology research finds meat eaters tend to have better mental health than vegetarians

Meta-analysis comparing 18 previous studies on the relationship between meat consumption and psychological health: “Our study does not support meat avoidance as a strategy to benefit psychological health.”

Source: New psychology research finds meat eaters tend to have better mental health than vegetarians

While carefully avoiding any conclusion relating to causation, this new study – which compared “18 previous studies on the relationship between meat consumption and psychological health (which was narrowed down to depression, anxiety, deliberate self-harm, stress perception, and quality of life)” and which included 149,559 meat-consumers and 8,584 meat-abstainers from Europe, Asia, North America, and Oceania – nonetheless found a striking correlation.

“The researchers found ‘clear evidence’ that those who abstained from consuming meat tended to have higher rates or risk of depression, anxiety, and self-harm compared to those who did not.”

Quite a bit higher, in fact! The Toronto Sun, in a report on this study, notes that “the study found people eating a plant-based diet were twice as likely to take prescription drugs for mental illness and just about three times more likely to contemplate suicide. It also indicated that 33% of vegetarians suffer from depression or anxiety.” That is pretty dramatic, and it is not an isolated phenomenon. As study author Urska Dobersek, an assistant professor at the University of Southern Indiana, states,

“‘My co-authors and I were truly surprised at how consistent the relation between meat-avoidance and the increased prevalence of mental illness was across populations. As we stated in our conclusion, ‘Our study does not support meat avoidance as a strategy to benefit psychological health,’ Dobersek told PsyPost.”

That is certainly a gentle, and politically-correct, way to express the matter! Dobersek does, however, make a significant, if carefully-phrased, recommendation:

“Our study provides further evidence that because humans are omnivores, it is illogical and potentially unhealthy to recommend “eating a varied diet” followed by a long list of foods, beverages, and nutrients to avoid (e.g., meat, eggs, sugar, salt, fat, fruit juices, cholesterol, etc.). This is especially true, as my co-authors demonstrated, when the proscriptions and recommendations are based on a ‘fictional discourse on diet-disease relations.’”

To which I would only add, in the words of the “Selkirk Grace,”

“Some have meat and canna eat, and some have nae that want it. But we have meat, and we can eat, so let the Lord be thankéd!”

 

 

Greece: Angry migrants chop down 5,000 olive trees on Lesbos

Days after video footage surfaced showing groups of migrant men ignoring social distancing measures and ridiculing the police officers trying to enforce them, illegal migrants from the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos have struck again, chopping down 5,000 olive trees.

Source: Greece: Angry migrants chop down 5,000 olive trees on Lesbos

“The destruction of these olive trees, which can take 65 to 80 years to reach stable yields, is being viewed as an assault on Greek history, culture, and identity, as well as an attack against the island’s local economy, the Greek City Times reports.

“The olive tree is one of the most ubiquitous symbols in Greece and classical Western civilization… For the ancient Greeks, the olive tree was… viewed as a symbol of peace, wisdom, fertility, and victory, and was believed to have been a gift from Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom.”

Furthermore,

“The island’s local economy will suffer for years to come as a result of the destruction of these decades-old olive trees. Each year, olive exports contribute nearly 650 million euros to Greece’s national economy.”

I am passionate about my European ancestry, and about the history, heritage, and culture of Western Civilization. But I am also passionate about ecology and the environment, and about local and sustainable food and farming.

This is an attack on all of the above, by vile and despicable cretins who have conclusively proven – if it were not already blindingly obvious – that they do not deserve to set one foot on European soil.

My mantra used to be “send them back.” The more this sort of thing happens, the more my perspective shifts — to “send them to Hell.”

 

Tofu: This vegan food staple is damaging the planet | The Tab

Source: Tofu: This vegan food staple is damaging the planet

Some things just make you shake your head. Vegetarians, and especially vegans, tend to get on their self-righteous high-horse about how they’re “saving the planet” by declining to eat meat, and how plant-based diets are both more ecologically and ethically sound than that nasty meat. Turns out – surprise, surprise! – that this may not actually be the case.

“A new study by Dr. Graham McAuliffe has revealed tofu could be more harmful to the planet than chicken, beef and pork. Speaking at the National Farmers Union Dr. Graham McAuliffe of the Rothamsted Institute said after researching  tofu, he’d concluded it potentially causes more environmental damage because of the production to make the processed protein source.

“He said: ‘But if you look at tofu, which is processed so there is more energy going into its production, when you correct for the fact that the protein in it is not as digestible compared to the meat-based products, you can see that it could actually have a higher global warming potential than any of the mono gastric animals. To get the same amount of protein, tofu is worse.'”

Nor is tofu the only staple of vegetarian / vegan diets at which this article takes aim: almond milk, coconut, palm oil, cashews, avacados, and quinoa are among the foods in the cross-hairs. The article is written in a UK publication, for a UK audience, but it’s just as applicable to those of us here in the US.

Bottom line? As Barry Commoner put it in his Fourth Law of Ecology, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

There are trade-offs in everything; and it is sustainable agricultural techniques – that is to say, a move away from industrial, commodity-based agriculture to smaller-scale, more local and natural methods – that are our best bet for ecologically- and ethically-beneficial sourcing of foodstuffs, not replacing animal protein with plant-based (and often highly-processed) substitutes.

 

“So God Made a Farmer” – Paul Harvey | YouTube

Already shared this in my recent post about Bloomberg’s idiocy, but thought it deserved “top billing” in a post! Paul Harvey’s classic paean to the American farmer:

Full text of this marvelous speech may be found here.

 

Bloomberg implied farming doesn’t take intelligence in 2016 comments | Fox News

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Bloomberg: “I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer… Now comes the information economy… You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.”

Source: Bloomberg implied farming doesn’t take intelligence in 2016 comments | Fox News

When you’re not sure which is more breathtaking, the ignorance or the arrogance…! This is the frickin’ idiot that’s running for the Democratic Presidential ticket. I have to say, I don’t like any of them, but this is over the top. “We, the intelligentsia,” indeed. Horse puckey!

From one of the comments: “A farmer can live without Mike Bloomberg but Mike Bloomberg can’t live without a farmer, and I will side with the farmer.” Amen! Yes. So will I. Any day of the week! Bloomberg is a menace, on many levels. I have never liked him, for his opposition to the Second Amendment, but bashing farmers makes me despise him on a whole different level.

I will say one thing: this male (I won’t call him a man), and the rest of his “intelligentsia” (read: the arrogant coastal / urban elite) couldn’t live a week without what they disparage as “flyover country,” and the basket of deplorables, bitterly clinging to God and guns, who live there.

This individual is not only a sorry excuse for a political candidate, but he is a sorry excuse for a human being. Not that that’s new information, for me! I’ve known it for a long time; this is merely additional grist for the mill. I’d say he’s is full of bullsh_t, but that would be insulting to bulls. Putrid pustule of a person!

Because I hate to end on a negative note – Paul Harvey, among others, is one who thought of farmers rather differently than Bloomberg. Here he is:

 

Plough Monday, 2020

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Today is Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night and Epiphany, and what used to be an important date in the agricultural calendar. Traditionally it was the day on which farm workers returned to their duties after the Christmas and New Year break. On this day,

“A plough would be taken to the local church to be blessed in order to ‘speed the plough’ and ensure a bountiful harvest later in the year. It was a difficult time of year for ploughman, as the ground was hard and difficult to work on, so the ploughmen would decorate their ploughs and take them around the local villages where they would ask for money from the wealthy landowners.”

This money was formerly used to pay for “plough lights”: candles lit in the church, to pray God’s blessing upon the agricultural work. And if a donation was not forthcoming, the miserly one might find that his yard would be plowed!

Today would be the perfect day for a classic English “ploughman’s lunch,” which at its most basic consists of rustic country bread, one or more varieties of (originally local, now any British) cheese, pickled onions, chutney and/or some other sort of “pickle,” and ale or (generally “hard,” but sweet would be a perfectly fine substitute) cider.

Some would add an apple, others some type of greenstuff (watercress would seem a traditional choice, as it might have been picked fresh from the stream running at the bottom of the field), or perhaps a boiled egg; but though one occasionally sees them with smoked meats, pork pies, or even Scotch eggs, there seems little need to go too far beyond the basics, to me.

Plough Monday, Cottage Loaf and a Ploughman's Lunch (Recipes)

This one includes spring onions and a (somewhat anachronistic, in my view) tomato, but otherwise sticks pretty close to the basic plan!

In conclusion:

Let the wealthy and great
Roll in splendor and state:
I envy them not, I declare it.
I eat my own lamb,
My own chickens and ham;
I shear my own fleece, and I wear it.
I have lawns, I have bowers,
I have fruits, I have flowers;
The lark is my morning alarmer.
So, jolly boys, now,
Here’s God speed the plough!
Long life and success to the farmer!

(I am almost positive that this verse is on the other side of the mug seen in the picture, above!)

“They’re Trying to Wipe Us Off the Map” – Small American Farmers Are Nearing Extinction | TIME

Mary Rieckmann with her son Russell tending to their cows on Nov. 20, 2019.

A perfect storm of factors has lead to the biggest crisis for American farmers in decades. Here’s what it’s like to be an American farmer in 2019.

Source: American Farmers Are in Crisis. Here’s Why | Time

Read this article. It’s important. Yes, it’s filtered through the requisite anti-Trumpism and climate alarmism of the mainstream media. But the reality it describes, for small family farms in America, is one which needs to be understood:

“In the American imagination, at least, the family farm still exists as it does on holiday greeting cards: as a picturesque, modestly prosperous expanse that wholesomely fills the space between the urban centers where most of us live.

“But it has been declining for generations, and the closing days of 2019 find small farms pummeled from every side: a trade war, severe weather associated with climate change, tanking commodity prices related to globalization, political polarization, and corporate farming defined not by a silo and a red barn but technology and the efficiencies of scale. It is the worst crisis in decades.

“Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies were up 12 percent in the Midwest from July of 2018 to June of 2019; they’re up 50 percent in the Northwest. Tens of thousands have simply stopped farming, knowing that reorganization through bankruptcy won’t save them. The nation lost more than 100,000 farms between 2011 and 2018; 12,000 of those between 2017 and 2018 alone.”

That is dismaying, to put it mildly. Indeed, for those of us who can see past the surface numbers to understand the implications, it is deeply frightening.

While there are a number of factors contributing to this crisis, I believe that the threatened demise of American small farms is at base an attack – and I would argue that it is in large measure a concerted and intentional one, by an unholy alliance of convenience between Big Government and Big Corporatism – on food sovereignty.

Every single one of the factors listed in the article – “a trade war, severe weather associated with climate change, tanking commodity prices related to globalization, political polarization, and corporate farming defined not by a silo and a red barn but technology and the efficiencies of scale” – can be traced directly to one of the two entities mentioned above, in some cases both.

So, where does food sovereignty come in – and what is it, anyway, and why does it matter?

Well, food sovereignty is defined as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally-appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” It is in its essence localized and dispersed, rooted in family farms and local communities.

Big corporations hate this because it interferes with their profits, and big government hates it because it interferes with their control – thus the alliance-of-convenience mentioned above.

And yes, some of the factors that affect small farms are (presumably) unintended consequences of other issues – but the responses, the proposed “solutions,” by government and corporate interests alike, are always in the direction of greater centralization (“get big or get out,” or variations on the theme), greater industrialization and automation, more control, less human input and contact with the land, less local sovereignty.

The underlying reality is that food sovereignty is the basis of sovereignty, period. It doesn’t matter what your system of government is – capitalistic, communistic, or anything in between – you are not sovereign if you cannot control your own food supply: if you have to rely on someone else, state or corporation, to provide your food and to control what food is provided, and when, and how.

Now, obviously, most of us (by choice or necessity) are willing to trade a little sovereignty for convenience – we are no longer (for better or for worse) a nation of farmers. But the further we get from local agriculture, rooted in small family farms that are closely tied in with their local communities, the less sovereignty we all enjoy, and the more we are at the mercy of Someone Somewhere Else turning off the tap.

In other words, the demise of small, local, family farms is not just a shame – although it is! very much so – and it’s not just less healthy for consumers, communities, and the environment, although that is also true. It’s also dangerous, for our rights and freedoms, for liberty, sovereignty, independence.

Who controls the food, controls those who rely on it for survival. That’s the bottom line.