Monday, August 09, 2010
Searching for a "Long View": Jain Diet (and ANY modern OR traditional diet) can be vegan
I'd see NO strategic OR person problems with being more restrictive in one's diet, as long as one has a scientific (both wholistic AND reductionistic?) view of nutrition AND ensures that s/he consumes adequate nutrients, however they are delivered to the body.
My working idea (developed several decades ago) would be "food columns" or nutrient delivery systems in foods, perhaps supplemented by concentrated substances (perhaps not).
Those whose worldview emphasizes (for whatever reason/s and in whatever way/s) a 'natural' diet may wish to ATTEMPT to avoid consuming 'concentrated substances' (nutritional supplements); however, the historical experience of various vegetarian and vegan communities in the late 20th and now early 21st centuries seems to indicate a shift TOWARDS nutritional supplementation that matches the LEVELS in the GENERAL (nonvegetarian) populations that rely on nutritional supplementation.
Rationalizing, explaining, and/or defending any choice to 'supplement' may relate to one's worldview.
In the West, many demonstrably 'religious' persons "compartmentalize" their "quote quote" "religion" into something they 'do' rather than as a whole way of being.
I find that disingenuous, but that's common practice. Hopefully, self-respecting Jains won't "compartmentalize", but hey: I'm not one to criticize. As in politics, I'm an "independent" (and in Western religious terms, as in the UK and Europe, that's called "nonsubscribing").
Does 'nature' make vegan diets for humans feasible, practical, sustainable? I think that the ample historical evidence (particularly of the many different "Asian" populations) is that it seems to be a means of sustaining people PRETTY well. I do think "anthropologically" about how and why many Indian peoples might have Incorporated symbiosis with dairy cows into their nutritional patterns (feeding themselves through the dairy fluids of cared for cows), but I'm not sure that human life has been all that civil MOST of the time.
I suspect that human differences give rise to partial civilization, but that 'synthesis' of many different human elements CAN become historically sustainable IF lots of mental energy (by thinkers and leaders) works to intentionally BUILD a 'social synthesis' that works for the broad and overwhelming majority.
I think vegan diets CAN do that, and that vegan diets CAN do that better than other diets IF we also count the explosion of human population and the ecological impacts of animal agriculture. But that kind of broad picture, "long view" (long-term historical view) of human nutrition seems relatively rare. More often, immediate "decisions" are sought in terms of self-evident REASONS for "giving up dairy" and "going meatless" or "staying veg" - perhaps doing a disservice to the "long view" that (in my opinion) makes the abolition of ALL animal agriculture (for all reasons) highly desirable - not only because of the personhood of the 'farmed' animals, but also because of future "distributed" "personhoods" (going forward in time/history). We respect personhood far better if we commit ourselves to future well-being than if we only count the "extant" persons living today.
That's MY $00.02 (two cents worth).