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the doubting vegan
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Re: Iron, B12
Sep 20, 2000, 18:00
Vitamin B12 is certainly a concern for vegans, but we do only need tiny amounts, and these can be stored in the body for up to 18 months. Ensuring you use a few B12 fortified products will mean you don't have to give it a second thought.

The preservative E220 (found in jams and stuff) actually destoys the B12 stored in your body, so give this one a wide berth. Also, nursing mothers need fresh B12 supply as it's vital for the child but the mother's body will not draw on the stored B12, only what's fresh in.

The 'natural' questionis a bit of a red herring (or a red Cheatin Bacon rasher). We live profoundly unnatural lives, and the real issue is our health and the health of the earth that sustains us. Animal products, particularly meat are detrimental to both. And the key thing is to realise that we, unique among animals, are aware of unseen consequences of our choices, and we can choose whether we eat animals or not.

But anyway, the natural thing; we are not naturally carnivores. Carnivores have sharp teeth and a short digestive tract. Humans have a long digestive tract and molars. Our humble pair of canines make sense when you consider that they were evolved at a time when we ate solely raw food, which needed a lot more tearing.

Once we start to eat loads of meat (only the last century or two in the west) then the digestive system slows down, and hence the classic meat-culture dieases like bowel cancer.

The saturated fats in animal products are also profoundly unhealthy. The biggest killer in the West is heart disease. The major cause is diet, specifically saturated fats and lack of fresh fruit and veg.

Did we evolve as pure vegans? Highly unlikely, but the amount of meat eaten was nothing like today.

The interesting exception to the meat thing is fish. Fish oil is rich in omega fats, which actually keep arteries free of the clogging inflicted by other animal fats.

But all of that is by the by. The 'natural' is only there to explain the detail of the health issues. The real question is that now that we have realised that we don't need to eat animals, do we *want* to, and more than that, can we justify it?

But anyway

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