Through my involvement in the jewellery industry, I have spent many years travelling back and forwards to visit our factories in India and have many wonderful colleagues who, due to their faith, are strict vegetarians. I also have other friends who are vegetarians for what they believe are ethical, moral, environmental and/or health reasons. While Primal Cure principles suggest that meat and poultry should be consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle, I have no intention of trying to convert any vegetarian into becoming a meat eater. While I do have many overweight and obese vegetarian friends, I also have several that are extremely fit. So, if you are vegetarian the two pieces of advice I would give are to try to pay even stricter adherence to all other Primal Cure principles, (as for sure you are certainly missing out on some good healthy proteins, fats and micronutrients) and to take appropriate supplements.

If you are avoiding eating quality organic meat and animal produce for health reasons, then you have simply been mislead. We are designed to eat meat. It has numerous health benefits and has been the staple diet of humankind since day one.

If you are avoiding eating meat on ethical or moral grounds, then I admire your restraint and motives, but before committing yourself to a life of abstaining, I would recommend you read a book by Lierre Keith called The Vegetarian Myth, where she explains why being vegetarian may not be as kind to animals and our planet as you might think. After spending 20 years as a vegan, she explains how she concluded that cultivating land is the biggest and worst effect man has made to the planet, and how the ploughing of fields destroys complete ecosystems, dislodging and killing many kinds of animals and birds. Planting vegetables and other items of the vegetarians’ conscientious menu are mass killers in their own right.

However, if you are a vegetarian because you realise that there is
not enough land on our planet for the growing population to all be meat-eaters, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifice. To deal with the challenge of feeding our overcrowded planet, I see there are but two options: one would in fact, be to encourage more people to turn vegetarian, but that would not be fair to their health. The second would be to limit our meat consumption with intermittent periods of fasting.

The Feeding Conundrum

There are already some researchers predicting that the planet will
run out of space to feed everyone when the global population hits 10 billion, and that’s probably a lot closer than we realise. The problems of our planet are growing, and growing very quickly indeed. Around 2000 years ago the population of our planet was just 200 million, and by the time Henry VII took to the throne in 1485, the population had grown to around 500 million.

When I was born in the sixties, the world population was still only
3 billion. Yet today there are 7 billion of us, and by the end of this century there is every chance it could be 15 billion. We already use most of the arable land on our planet to produce food, yet we still have 2 billion people who are starving and 1 billion who have to search for drinking water on a daily basis. So we already don’t seem to have enough to go round, and if we do, we certainly don’t distribute it fairly!

A growing population will probably mean on-going urbanisation and deforestation. I was recently in the forests of Oregon, USA, with a great forager called Derek. He explained how researchers have found that, within the next 60 years, we will have made more than a third of the species on our planet extinct. That’s one of the biggest mass extinctions our small globe has ever seen, and this time it’s man-made. I was in Kenya last year, and Professor Nick Oguge of the University of Nairobi explained to me how global warming is the driving force behind the fact our weather patterns are changing. In the past, they could have counted on the rainy season being much longer, and the rain falling at a fairly constant level at a particular time of year. Today, however, today the rain is anything but predictable. The precipitation in inches is still the same, but now it comes in flash floods, making it far more difficult to capture.

When we see three young children digging a dried-out riverbed searching for water when they should be at school, we realise the world is really unfair. We caused their heartache in the Westernised world. The more we have, the less they have. Every time we drink from that plastic bottle of water, there is a huge negative impact somewhere else in the world – usually in a region that really doesn’t need any more devastation.

Of course, as we continue to deforest areas, we are wiping out the very thing that eats up all of those nasty gases that we in the modern world produce on a daily basis. I truly believe we are in a lot of trouble, and we cannot hope that the politicians will sort it all out for us, because they won’t. They are too busy trying to get re-elected to take a long-term view on anything. Whether or not you believe it is their responsibility to rebalance the world’s distribution of wealth and food, or whether you feel they should sort out issues of starvation and AIDS, they simply are not going to do it.

By the time they do wake up and really try to make a difference, it is going to be too late. When it comes to food, here is the challenge: The likes of you and I have got to figure it out.

It takes 10 times more space to create the same amount of food energy from meat, eggs and milk than it does from CARBS. So if we had a population of just 1 billion, then you would probably have the governments of the world give each and every person a copy of this book!

Is it really that much of a problem? Does producing meat really occupy that much more land? Here is what Felicity Lawrence has to say in her book Eat Your Heart Out, “Farm an acre of decent land and you can produce only 20lbs of beef protein from it, but give the same acre over to producing wheat, and you’ll get 138lbs of protein”.

Now don’t get me wrong, wheat is undeniably bad for us, however if you are worried about feeding the world and growing enough protein to go round, I am afraid we shouldn’t be eating meat daily either. Even though our Primal ancestors might have done so, we just simply no longer have the capacity. Other than the immense health benefits, this is another reason why I heavily promote intermittent fasting.

Steve Bennett

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