I am beginning to believe that all vegetarians are too rich, anorexic or suffering dementia from protein deficiency and how could they possibly believe that I really care what they eat or why their recipes for the most part lack creativity and flavor.
Let’s start with some basic facts about dieting. First, I did not lose weight by eating healthy foods that I don’t like, I shed pounds by eating a lot less of things that I really like. Moreover, what works for me might not work for you. I like greasy ham hocks and black eyed peas, Italian sausage and kidneys I also like apples, mangoes, cucumbers, water melon, java apples, carambolas and arugula.
Pretty much I like all foods from all cultures and when you relax and stop worrying about what’s good for you, you recognize that there is a “universal poor people’s food” based on the least expensive parts of an animal and the least expensive vegetables. The recipes may change and the spices may differ, but the basic cheap ingredients remain the same.
Now this rant was participated by a vegetarian who claims to be eating a cave man diet of fruits, vegetables and nuts and wanted to counsel me to reach unsolicited diet nirvana. So I asked him if Mitochondrial Eve, the mother of all of us, who evolved about 200,000 years ago would walk by a birds nest full of eggs and ignore it while starving because apples are out of season. He said he might yield on eggs.
I asked if a caveman walking by a dead mastodon in winter would ignore birds eating the flesh while praying for an early spring because he’s hungry. His answer was that would be a rare event. I asked if it is logical that a bush man would see a powerful lion chase down a gazelle and kill it and eat half as the caveman walked away leaving the rest to the hyenas to eat because he’s waiting for the coconuts to fall. Obviously just like poor people today, our ancestors survived on whatever was available and made do with what they had.
Now my fathers heritage was Irish and his culinary desires were limited to Irish Potatoes and anything that walked (mostly beef) or flew (mostly chicken or turkey). Other vegetables were optional. My mother liked root cellar crops (anything that survived the winter at 55 Fahrenheit even if a little wilted), salted preserved fish and anything that walked or flew but especially chicken, pork and veal. Dad lived to be 71 and Mom lived to be 93. The difference was not the food preferences; Dad died early because he was obese from drinking too much beer and not exercising.
At sixty-five I drink my bottle of wine every day, have a tendency towards obesity but never stopped exercising. To me the argument over weather meat or a vegetarian diet is better is a moot point. It will probably be the wine that kills me but that’s another discussion.
In fact I prefer the foods on the “contemporary” Paleolithic diet which consists mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts; and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. Except I also like and eat rice, most legumes and moderate amounts of salt. I also take my multivitamins and must confess that I even eat fried foods once a month.
If you look at the evidence of survival, our human ancestors had the same lifespan from 2 million years ago until the twentieth century. That is at birth, your life expectancy was about 33 years. Even the taming of fire about 500,000 years ago didn’t make us live longer nor did the development of complex tools and devices 50,000. Of course there was no impact from advances in the arts and music 35,000 years ago.
The jump from around 35 years life expectancy at birth to about 70 years, came because of the vast improvements in public health and medicine. I expect that advances in this area will cure cancer, rebuild my spine and that we will be the last generation with sanctimonious vegetarians and prohibitionist proselytizing and evangelically trying to convert everyone to their erroneous beliefs.
OK so if I am not going to live longer from a healthy diet alone, why bother? The answer should be obvious from my other blog where I describe adventures with my children and grandchildren and Cait. The issue is not life, it’s the quality of life. The last ten years of my fathers life, he laid on the couch, drank beer and and died at 71. Up until mom was in here late seventies, she led an active life and even joined a vaudeville type risque group called the “Alley Cats” who used to sing and dance and swish their cat tails for the old people in the retirement homes.
When she went into a home herself in her eighties, she reigned as the Queen of Trivial Pursuit, History and current affairs. She continued to use her mind as her body gradually deteriorated. She was visited by her children who had great memories, her grandchildren who remembered her in her own house and even several of her great grandchildren who never knew her outside the home but they still got to know the wonderful person she was in the wheel chair.
I am really not looking for a long life, I am looking for a long, healthy, adventuresome life and that can only happen if I keep shedding weight.