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Need Motivation to Eat Less Meat and More Plants? Part 1 of 12

Robyn Openshaw - Aug 31, 2008 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

I’m going to bombard you with a bunch of statistics and expert quotes about a plant-based diet versus an animal-protein diet, for 12 days. These gems are gleaned from one of my favorite sources, John Robbins’ The Food Revolution. He quotes 60+ sources in every chapter. Where Campbell’s The China Study is the “grand prix” of nutrition and epidemiology, Robbins is the “slam dunk” aggregation of all the studies showing a plant-based diet to be superior. I’m not going to kill space listing all the sources in this blog series, but you can find them in Robbins’ book, which is a deeply compassionate “voice” for both people and animals.

I’m not going to comment after each series of statistics, because they speak for themselves best. I believe you will, however, find the data astonishing in aggregate. I will ask a provocative question at the end of some of the blogs. I hope you comment on them.

First, I think it’s fun to mention that John Robbins is the only male heir to the co-founder of Baskin Robbins. He grew up with an ice cream cone-shaped swimming pool, cats named after the 31 flavors, and often ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. He said no thanks to that legacy when he became convinced that his future career would be to line his own pockets making people sick. For many years, he and his wife lived on less than $1,000/year, very happily, in a cabin in the woods. I think John Robbins is a great American hero, and his outstanding books Diet for A New America, and The Food Revolution are worth owning and reading.

If you’re looking for motivation to give up dairy and meat–maybe even completely–reading this blog every day for the next 12 days should be an eye opener, if not a mind blower, towards that end!

Tomorrow, we start with stats about whether dairy products contribute to your health. The series will continue with important data about how meat eating affects health, how much protein we really need, where the main sources of foodborne illness come from, how animals raised for food are treated in America, and how vegetarians’ health compares to meat eaters’. We’ll also cover info about how much education Americans understand about nutrition, how eating high on the food chain affects world hunger, and how eating high on the food chain affects the environment.

Posted in: 12 Steps To Whole Food, Lifestyle, Tools & Products, Whole Food

8 thoughts on “Need Motivation to Eat Less Meat and More Plants? Part 1 of 12”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Robyn…Can’t wait!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can you direct me to a good description and/or list of foods for an alkaline diet? I understand the book you are talking about above does not actually have the alkaline diet. Thanks

  3. http:// says:

    Yes, The pH Miracle by Robert O. Young, PhD has that information. You can also google and find some lists of the ash level of foods (how alkaline or acid forming they are in the body).

  4. I always thought your family was dairy-free, but you’ve mentioned eating cheese in France & making your own yogurt. Are you dairy-free?

  5. http:// says:

    We’re not dairy free, but our animal protein consumption is WAY below 5% of calories, per Campbell’s The China Study. At home, I don’t buy anything but raw milk to make kefir with, which I believe is good food (see Ch. 8). Occasionally in restaurants or on vacation we’ll eat a little cheese or cottage cheese. Ditto meat: I don’t fix it, but we’re not total purists when we’re gone from home. (We’re purists about pork, though–never, never, never.) I’m seriously thinking about going pure vegetarian, which is where both my daughters are. But the difference between where we’re at (way under 5%) and 100% seems quantum to me, considering the risk of offense to friends who invite us to dinner, etc.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Traveling and trying to eat mostly raw vegetarian, or even just vegetarian is really really hard if you are going in resturants. I caved today and went into a resturant serving breakfast and there was nothing with veggies or fruit except a small amount of veggies in an omelet or fruit in syrup on pancakes. Ugh ! Later in the day I ordered a salad and asked for extra salsa instead of dressing, the lettuce in the salad , if it had been in my frig I would have thrown it out. We are going to picnic from here on out.

  7. Thanks for the thorough answer 🙂 I was a vegetarian for 9 years & started slowly introducing meat to my diet for similar reasons: wanting to be able to eat at people’s houses, wanting to do foreign mission work, etc. Now meat is sort of a necessity since I can’t eat wheat, dairy, soy, corn, nuts & most seeds.

  8. Robyn,

    I am a fairly new vegetarian and I just wanted to briefly share with you my experience in reference to your concern of offending others.

    All of my friends and family know I am veg and I don’t think any of them have been offended when I have (politely) declined to eat food containing meat (although in all fairness I have not totally given up dairy partially for this reason). I always offer to bring my own main dish (bean burgers, tempeh, etc. depending on what they are planning on serving) not to be rude, but to make it easier on the host. Usually they are happy to have me do that, other times they let me know there will be a veg option or plenty of “side” dishes so I don’t need to bring my own.

    I haven’t decided yet if I am willing to eat local, pastured raised meat/poultry, but regardless, neither are readily available in my area so I will continue to eat veg for now, and always when I am eating out and at others homes because frankly most people eat CAFO animal products which I have no desire to support or consume.

    I believe that I should not have to sacrifice my health or ethics in order to avoid possibly hurting other people’s feelings. Just because something is a choice as opposed to what society has deemed more legitimate reasons for declining food, such as religious restrictions or allergies, does not make that choice less significant to the individual.

    Do you eat white bread when you go to friends homes? If not, why? Do you worry about offending them by not eating it? How is that choice substantially different from the choice to not consume meat, aside from what part of the plate it occupies?

    Just my two cents. Thanks for the great blog!


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