Vegan vs Paleo

Vegan vs Paleo
Thought provoking & controversial.



I have a lot of friends and family split between these two lifestyle choices 
so the topic is of great interest to me. 

First off I'd like to say that I believe everyone is an individual and 
as to which diet I feel is better, will be explained in the end. 

If you are passionate about a healthy diet or lifestyle, whichever it may be, at least you are on the same path with the awareness that there is a huge problem with the way society connects with our food. 

No doubt what I'm about to get into is controversial, and most likely going to tick some people off. 

Now I'll share my thoughts... 

Veganism 

While most vegans consider veganism more of a lifestyle than a diet, diet plays a major role in their lifestyle. Vegans claim they will not eat or use anything that contains animal products or does harm to animals.  They exclude all forms of exploitation and cruelty to the animal and insect kingdom, including mammals, fish, fowl, or animal products such as eggs and milk.

This is also a part of a whole lifestyle which excludes these items from products other than food such as cosmetics, clothing, personal care and the like.  What many don't fully investigate, is that while these end products may be “bunny approved” or “not tested on animals”, the individual ingredients in those products may have very likely been tested on animals.  Check each ingredient and it's MSDS sheet and you will find many will refer to the LD levels and the LDL of specific animals tested.

But for now, I want to focus on the diet aspects only.

Insect products are also not used in veganism such as honey and wax from bees, and colorants such as carmine which comes from beetles.

Some choose this lifestyle for personal health, others for ethical reasons.  For this, there seems to be a huge divide in the vegan world.

Whether you are a vegan or an omnivore, you have to eat something, and whichever choice you make, animals or insects will die.  If you think otherwise, you are simply fooling yourself.

It is impossible to live on this earth and do no harm whatsoever to animals or insects.

Let me start with insects.

Honey and insect products such as colorants are taboo in the ethical vegans lifestyle and diet.  Yet ethically harvested honey, from bees which are raised on organic farms, is actually beneficial to the honeybee and to the vegetable farmers.

Vegetable farmers "use" insect life such as bees to pollinate vegetable plants. So in essence, bees are exploited as farm workers in order to grow and pollinate the very vegetables that vegans eat.

Honey can be ethically harvested from bees on organic farms, without the use of toxic miticides, and other unethical practices. Supporting organic honey can actually be beneficial and will help promote the importance of the healthy honeybee.

To expand on insects, the growing of vegetables kills copious amounts of insects each year.  Even organic farmers have to control insects, otherwise you wouldn't have any veggies to eat.  What’s worse is the spraying of pesticides on conventional (non-organic) vegetable crops.  This kills countless numbers of insects including bees.

These toxic chemicals also deplete the soil, run off into waterways, contaminate the air and kill many forms of life including mammals, birds and marine life, not to mention hundreds of thousands of people die each year from pesticide poisoning.

The production of factory farmed vegetables kill animals in many ways.  From destroying wildlife habitat for monoculture crops, polluting the earth, air and water with aerial crop dusting and tractor applications of pesticides.  Farmers also kill and trap rodents and use large factory tractors and tillers which slice and crush innocent small mammals.

Did you know that vegetables and grains can be cruelly tested on animals?

Vegans who eat non-organic "vegan" food products, especially the "unhealthy" vegans who eat largely grains, beans and vegetables are also very likely consuming GMO's.

Soy burgers, veggie dogs, soy milk, breakfast cereals, protein drinks, granola bars, canola oil, corn oil, vegan buttery spreads, vegetable oils, corn syrup, sugar, rice, fruits and veggies including papaya, banana, corn, potatoes, squash, peas, tomatoes (yup that includes ketchup and spaghetti sauce) and even products containing natural and artificial additives, synthetic sweeteners, lecithin and vitamin E, if not strictly organic, likely contain GMO's...

And guess what?  GMO crops are tested on laboratory animals.

So your non-organic vegan choices are supporting Monsanto's cruel animal testing.


Chicken Rape

I've had one vegan contact me and proclaim, how dare I rape my chickens and then call them pets?  Rape a chicken?  Are you serious?!

YES, factory farmed egg laying hens are the most tortured and exploited animals on the planet, even more so than "meat birds".  They are crammed in tiny cages, with lights blaring on them 24-7.  Genetically modified grains and water laced with medications are given on timers to a science, for cost efficiency; The least amount of food possible, for the most egg output.

These poor intelligent birds are treated terribly.  Then if they didn't already succumb to undernourishment, cage injuries or illness, at about 72 weeks of age they are considered to be "spent hens".  Because they are not producing eggs at a peak performance they are disposed of, often times by a horrifying massacre. 

This practice should definitely be banned, as should all cruel factory farming practices.
If veganism will help do it, then kudos to veganism.

But the person who cried rape on a backyard organically raised hen, who lived out her entire life span as a cherished pet is insane.  Rape a chicken?  That’s as nutty as a vegan fruitcake!  Has this person even stepped out of their high-rise building to see a chicken in real life?

Eggs

A hen lays an egg and walks away.  Actually, many of my hens were happy enough to gather their organic treats as I gathered their eggs.  Eggs are not baby chicks, a female hen will lay an egg whether or not a rooster is in the field.  Without a rooster present, an unfertilized egg is never going to be a chicken.  The hen will either eat the egg herself, or it will sit there and rot or become a meal for some other critter.

As for fertilized eggs...

A rooster is a great companion and protector of his hens.  So while unnecessary for egg production, it is ethical and wise to keep a rooster with hens especially if they are free ranging unprotected.  Hens tend to be calmer and feel safer with a rooster present.  But then there is a possibility of fertilized eggs.  However, if gathered each day, before incubation has started, and not stolen from under a broody hen (a hen sitting on the eggs) the eggs will not form into chicks.

So, it is most certainly ethical to eat eggs from properly cared for chickens.  You could even rescue a few to care for, as this not only allows you to know for sure how the animal is treated, it also helps raise community awareness of how smart, funny, quirky and interesting chickens can be.  This will make it less likely for people to purchase eggs from tortured factory farmed hens.

Death vs Torture

Everything has to die, nothing deserves to be tortured during their life or during the process of dying, even old age can cause pain and suffering.

I chose not to slaughter any of my pet chickens...Because, of course they are my pets.  But watching the suffering that comes with old age makes me question how ethical is that choice?  Wild animals die and if not by becoming prey or injured, sometimes suffer of old age often times being left behind.

Although a natural part of life, death is never a happy occasion.  An animal living a healthy and happy life, in fresh air, living wild or protected by humans who care, and taken by a swift and humane death, I feel is an ethical choice.

So as for "ethical" veganism, I think that for many, it's time to step down off the egotistical soap box and have a reality check...

Living on this planet and eating food kills other living things, period.

At least most meat eaters will acknowledge the fact that an animal died for their meal.

Raw Vegan 

Most raw vegans choose this diet for health reasons over ethical reasons.  Because of this, most tend to eat entirely organic.  So as discussed previously, not contributing to GMO's and heavily sprayed foods heightens the ethics quite a lot. 

A raw vegan diet can sometimes consist of too many nuts and dried foods which is not entirely healthy.

Just think about it, if you were not shopping at markets and stores and had to grow and pick all your own food, do you think you could pick and eat a pound of nuts in one day?  If you were to climb a tree, pick the nuts, shell the nuts, you would likely have a handful at best after a few hours of exercise.

Also, while most produce is best eaten raw, some can actually be better for you when they are cooked, such as the tomato.  Research has shown that the beneficial lycopene content in cooked tomatoes greatly increased over raw.

In warmer climates, raw vegan diet can be healthy.   Where a large variety of fresh organic foods are in abundance year round, and when a large variety and quantity of raw foods such as green above-ground veggies and fruits are consumed at their peak of ripeness.  People eating this way who live in warm climates and have lots of sunshine (without the stresses of being cold like shivering and lack of vitamin D) can be healthy.  Sunshine and warm weather can make the body require less protein and fat.

The raw vegan diet/lifestyle is the most ethical of vegan lifestyles and can be healthy for some people depending on several factors, including blood type, metabolic type and especially the climate you live in.

If you think about it, on a nice summer day, your body tends to prefer light, water rich fruits such as melons and nice big salads.  In long cold winters, if you don't eat proteins from animals then you will tend eat too many carbs or the wrong types of fats and this can wreak havoc on your body.

Modern Paleo

I say "modern" paleo because most people consider paleo a diet and not a lifestyle.  The modern paleo diet also known as the hunter/gatherer or caveman diet, usually consists of mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, roots, and nuts.  It excludes grains, legumes, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

At least, in most cases, very much like the raw vegans, paleo followers tend to primarily purchase organic and pasture raised or wild meats and produce, so this gives them an ethical bonus.

However, some paleo followers are over indulging on animal muscle meats and processed foods like bacon...Now where in the heck did the caveman find bacon?

Without adapting the lifestyle of paleo people,
is a true paleo diet healthy or even attainable today?

A true paleo hunter would have expended enormous amounts of energy to hunt for his meal, tracking, digging and spearing.  Unlike the movie renditions of barbaric cavemen, they were likely not great warriors taking down large animals, but more or less scavengers.  Just think about it, what could you hunt with sticks and rocks?

They most likely hunted small animals and ate every part of the animal, including all of the organs.  The modern paleo diet alone doesn't take into account the sheer amount of exercise needed prior to your indulgence of meat.  And just eating the muscle meat rather than the whole animal, leaves the modern paleo diet lacking is vital nutrients and minerals.

A hunter and gatherer would have largely ate like the raw vegan, depending on their location, and also ate small amounts of grains and whole animals.

Otzi,the stone-age Iceman was found to have contents in his stomach consisting of a bit of unleavened bread made of einkorn wheat, other plant matter, possibly herbs or other greens, and goat meat including some fur.

While Otzi, the iceman was from a Neolithic time, both the Paleolithic and Neolithic were from the stone ages, and modern paleo diets are most certainly much more than a stones throw away from those times.

Modern hybridization and the loss of variety of edible foods, the lack of extensive all-day exercise and the over consumption of muscle meats makes a true paleo lifestyle almost impossible in modern society.

So, are one of these lifestyles best - No 

Does one have higher moral standards - No 



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I am often asked 
what diet do I follow? 

My diet is a part of a lifestyle which is as ethical and as realistic as it can be in today's world.  I choose to eat and use certified organic products, I educate myself on all ingredients, I eat vegetarian foods, vegan dishes and small quantities of organic or wild animal products.  I develop recipes to help people make healthier choices no matter what their diet and lifestyle may be.

Would I eat less or eliminate animal products from my diet?  Likely, if I lived in a warmer climate with an abundance of fresh foods year round.

Without the aid of grocery stores and the importing of foods, I would likely be living entirely off of meat and root vegetables for many winter months in my climate, because of this, I do eat animals.

I eat small amounts of meat from organically raised and ethically treated animals and I utilize every possible part of the animal.  I am aware that I am contributing to the death of animals and insects.  I eat about 70% raw fruits & vegetables in summer, at least 50% in winter with some being cooked or simmered for soups & stews.

I choose to purchase all products with 100% organically grown ingredients.  Not those just marketed with "organic" or "all natural" to insure it is gmo-free and has the least amount of toxins, both for my own consumption and for the least impact on all living things.  I grow whatever I can, when I can and in our very short damp growing season, with our rocky acidic soil, if I can do it - You can too. 

And yes I kill insects, I try to deter before killing but If they are eating my vegetables then I will murder those buggers without a second thought. 

For those who say, “well everyone can't eat 100% organic and wild foods” this is simply untrue.  If your not, then you simply don't want to.  It's a lifestyle change, you need to choose what is important to you.  Animal welfare, the environment, and your family's and your own health should be at the top of the list.

So, why is there so much discrimination 
between the Vegan & Paleo diets/lifestyle choices? 

None of us will get it perfect in this lifetime.

The goal for everyone should be to strive to be more aware of the purchases you make and their impact for all living things, stop being ignorant in thinking your way is the better way or that it makes you a better person, or that you care for animals more.  You need to be understanding to the fact that every human has dietary needs which are different, any anyone who is trying to do better and is aware of the problems with our food system is on the right path.


What I like to call the 
Commonsensical Lifestyle
  • Change your lifestyle - Look at the things you don't actually need; fast food, tv subscriptions with hundreds of channels, lottery tickets, expensive coffees or drinks other than clean water, eating out or going out to movies, fancy electronics and cell phone packages, high-priced grooming products, household cleaning products.  You can eliminate or cut back on these items and save that money for much more important things.
  • Spend time together, get outside more, pick berries, wild greens or mushrooms; it's fun and free food. Go for a walk, do some gardening, use simple organic grooming products made at home.  Look for free community events, visit museums or local galleries.  Learn more DIY projects and make meals at home. De-clutter your old lifestyle products and have a yard sale to make some money for healthier choices.  Clean your home with basic organic products. 
  • Stop falling for marketing - Pink ribbons, bunnies, green labels all mean NOTHING.  Read and understand ALL of the ingredients all of the time.  If you don't know what you are buying, or you don't understand what an ingredient is, then educate yourself or simply don't buy it. 
  • Stop taking other peoples word when buying "healthy, green, natural" products.  Many of them have also been misled by marketing campaigns.  Ask for a complete ingredient list and read it, if a company won't provide it, then don't buy it.  Anything less is irresponsible. 
  • Eat foods with no packaging and less ingredients.  Better yet, foods with just one ingredient like an organic apple.  Look for 5 digit numbers beginning with the number 9 for organically grown produce.
  • Use organic food products for personal care.  Coconut oil can be used as a toothpaste, skin moisturizer, a cleanser, and make-up remover...Pretty simple. 
  • Eat more fresh organic fruits & veggies.  The more of these you eat, the less room you will have to eat unhealthy foods.
  • Volunteer at an organic farm or market in exchange for food.  This can be fun for a single person or an entire family, and it will help reduce the cost of food. 
  • Eat less food.  Don't over indulge, check your personal caloric needs and try to stick with the amount of food you need, rather than the amount of food you want. 
  • Learn to listen to your body.  Eat when you are hungry and take your time.  Your diet may change as your body changes, eat what makes you feel healthy. 
  • Eat nutrient rich foods.  Fresh in-season raw organic fruits and vegetables, and pasture raised or wild meats contain more nutrients and taste better.  As long as you keep eating depleted foods, your body will feel hungry; starving for the vitamins and nutrients it needs.  Many over-weight people can actually be malnourished.  Eating nutrient dense foods will make you less hungry. 
  • Try to eat less meat and only eat animal products from pasture raised humane farms or wild animals.  Certain metabolic types and some people in colder climates require some meats.  Do your research and ask questions.  Be sure you know everything that you can possibly know about the farmer, the animals and their feed.  Even "pasture raised" is a loose term, the animals can still be "finished" on grain or treated inhumanely.  If you can't make time for this, simply don't eat meats, eggs or other animal products. 
  • Grow as much of your own food as possible.  Even if its a pot on a windowsill, or try removing your lawn and grow food plants rather than grass.  We did just that and won the prettiest garden in our community!  Find a spot or a pot and grow something yourself. 
  • Consider what you could "hunt or gather" when meal planning.  Even healthy foods should sometimes be eaten in smaller quantities.  Nuts, grains and seeds, are foods that would be difficult to gather in large quantities.  Whereas wild greens, herbs, berries and mushrooms would be able to be gathered in much larger quantities.  Meats would be an occasional meal, mostly eaten in winter, as would root vegetables. 
  • Think about how you would actually eat where you live without the help of the grocery store.  How many nuts could you pick in a day?  How much exercise would you need to hunt down an animal?  You would likely eat small amount of grains and seeds, but lots of fruits and berries, as well as a wide variety of greens and mushrooms.  Just look at plants and how they grow, which are more abundant and accessible?  Apply these principals to how you eat and you will eat healthier. 
  • Eat more soups in cold winter climates.  It's economical, you will consume more water and it's a great way to utilize scrap veggies and all parts of an animal if you eat meat.
  • Eat less grain and stick to mixed sprouted grains and seeds.  Paleo man would have had ancient non-hybridized grains and seeds in small quantities.  Eat a variety of organic grains with seeds, such as in sprouted bread and eat it sparingly (think of how many tiny kernels you could gather if you were out foraging). 
  • Drink only water.  It saves money, contains no calories and is better for your health than any other drink. 
  • Don't be wasteful.  There is plenty of food to feed the world, wastefulness is depleting the supply.  As much as 50% of all food produced in the world ends up as waste every year.  This is not acceptable.  If you learn to respect the food you consume, you will save money by not being wasteful.  Many vegetables can be eaten with the peels on, such as carrots, potatoes and yams.  These skins are mineral rich, high in fiber and can help fight cancer.  Peels on fruits such as citrus, can be tossed in the freezer to be used in flavorful desserts or even to flavor water.  Eat the stems and leaves on foods such as broccoli and cauliflower.  Use the woody ends of asparagus, the bones of animals, and any scraps or peels of veggies to make soup stock.  If something does spoil be sure to compost it or give it to someone who composts.  Try to buy in smaller quantities more frequently, your food will be fresher and you will waste less. 
Still think you can't do it?
There's no organic foods in your area?

I am so tired of people saying they can't or can't afford to eat organic...What they really mean is they won't.  Can you really afford not to?  Check out the film DIVE! showing that families can even dumpster dive for free organic foods.

Okay, so I am not suggesting you dumpster dive, but if you don't have a good supply of local organic foods, start talking to your grocery managers and ask them to bring it in.

This is what I had to do, living on an island with only 3 organic seasonal farmers and very little interest in organics at the time I started eating organic foods, apples and carrots were the only organics available from November to July, until the small local supply kicked into season.

I personally imported the first organic greens, bananas and peaches by the case and shared them up with friends and family members.  If there's a will, there truly is a way.  You could even start a local food sharing co-op so everyone can get organic foods at better prices, including yourself.

Stop making excuses and take your head out of your arse... If you care about anything, your health, your family, animals, people or the planet you will find a way to make better choices.  Think of how much money you spend each week on consumable products (food, personal care & cleaning supplies), every dollar you spend supports something. 

Do you want YOUR money supporting disease, tortured animals and a depleted planet?

Or, do you want the very dollars you spend anyway to support a healthy lifestyle for you, your family and their future.  Buying organic supports small family farms, cleaner air, water and soil, animal welfare and even disease prevention.  Many diseases including cancer, lung disease or just about any illness you are passionate about can be caused by environmental pollution.

The money you spend on a daily basis is the most important donation you can make to this world.  This adds up to much more than a one-time donation to a charity and certainly has a much better effect than signing petitions.

Everyone and everything benefits from your smart purchases.  So stop arguing over which diet or lifestyle is healthier or higher on the moral and ethical ladder.  For those who haven't clued in at all yet, stop and smell the pollution!  Try taking the commonsensical approach to diet and lifestyle and start changing yourself and the world one purchase at a time.

Vegan, Paleo, Raw...Just be commonsensical.

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