30 Bananas a Day!

this discussion developed as a result of the following events:

1) a peta request i received to respond to a newspaper article by stephen hume entitled
Why the traditional meat diet makes sense for the Inuit
2) a forum discussion one of our most knowledgeable members kel is involved in which resulted from the article:
http://forums.earthsave.ca/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1072&sid=e5... (be sure to take a look at his responses)
3) a request for information from an other stellar 30bader eva on protein matters (she is on a german forum where this has come up. you can see her questions as well as some typically superb answers by the dynamic duo B and appleman in 30badigos:

the article essentially says that the inuit's traditional diet is necessary for their well-being and cites some stuff about high levels of vitC and such from raw corpse.

you are welcome to read the hume article and it is highly recommended that you look at kel, B and appleman's contributions. then if you have anything to say, by all means send the sun a letter here by clicking here

in friendship,

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below is the letter i sent.

in friendship,

It is difficult to understand where stephen is getting this "credible
research" showing how their traditional diet is 'healthier' for the
Inuits. While the Jamieson "paradox of anemia" study (Nutr Rev 2008
May) suggested that it may be better than the junk food many were
presently eating, it was hardly an endorsement of the high protein,
high toxic diet.

On the other hand, the American Journal of Kidney Diseases cites Inuits
have having some of the worst rates of osteoporosis despite high
calcium intake. According to various findings in American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition 11(1963), 27(1974), Human Biology 46(1974),
56(1984), 47(1975), as well as Alaska Medicine 43(2001), bone
deterioration is caused by the increased acidity of high protein diets.

Furthermore, the high animal fat content result in some of the highest
PCB levels in Inuit women's breastmilk according to the Canadian
Medical Assoc Jour 152(1995).

Couple all this with the fact that Inuits have a 10 year lower life
expectancy compared with the rest of Canada according to Wilkins et al,
Life expectancy in the Inuit-inhabited areas of Canada, 1989 to 2003
(it's on pubmed.gov), one really has to wonder just what Stephen is so
ecstatic about!
It's a similar case with the Maasai of Kenya whose diet consists of very high quantities of animal products, more than SAD (including meat, milk and blood, blech).. all that saturated fat in their diet gives the men as much atherosclerotic plaque lining their arteries as seniors on SAD.. but they don't get heart attacks because a) high levels of physical activity are thought to widen their blood vessels and b) they don't live long enough to die of heart attack, their life expectancy is below 50 yrs. so much for the WAPF sat fat -> CVD deniers who say that gobs of saturated fat (invariably from animal sources for the most part) are good for you and carbs are the root of all evil, including heart disease.
here is a letter from sarah west of cfawr.
you can decide how you feel about the points made here.

in friendship,

To those against seal hunting and to those who consider that Inuits being allowed to kill seals to feed their families, should not, I say this

FIRST I worked in the Arctic for several years, by this I mean on an oil rig in the middle of the Beaufort Sea between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk I met and became friends with several amazing Inuit people I also “shopped “in grocery stores many times in Inuvik and let me tell you the price of vegetables, milk and fresh fruit was astronomical!!

I was invited a few times to a friend I had who was an Inuit person and on those occasions was offered a meal that had seal meat. I could not eat that as I have been vegetarian for almost 16 years now I just had a tiny sip of the sauce in the meal as to not offend my friend .When I did this I said a silent prayer in my head and heart for the seal that gave its life to provide food and warmth for my friend and his family.

The Canadians who are against the Seal hunt are against it for good and concrete reasons. It is the most barbaric mass, TOTALLY UNWANTED and UNECCESSARY animal slaughter in the world

To draw parallels between that and the need for Inuit to kills seals for food and fur is nothing short of asinine

I don’t understand why there are individuals who express their opinions without any real concrete facts and make complex convoluted comments that add no additional information or true wealth to this ongoing dialogue about the seal hunt

Those that live up there versus us down here, do not have a Superstore and Thriftys to buy from and are not the benefactors of the barbarism of factory farming

The Inuit people eat what they kill and the whole seal provides almost all basic necessities to an Inuit family, from fuel to food and warmth. In my opinion the INUIT are one of the last remaining peoples in the western world, who should not be accused of a lack of compassion, or animal abuse

Are you going to ask the Inuit people to move to the main land where they can have access to all the organic and fresh fruits and vegetables that Canada has to offer?

To suggest that Inuit people are anatomically different and therefore must eat high protein levels is a RIDICULOUS comment

However, an issue which no-one has addressed around this dialogue is that you must have high levels of protein to keep body temperature and physical energy levels up, if you live and work in the Arctic. I was a cook on an oil rig and we were REQURED to provide HIGH CALORIE PROTEIN levels, in the meals we served to the rig crew .The day I left the rig and flew out from INUVIK it was 54 degrees below ZERO!!!

In that sense the INUIT peoples do have a different requirement for high protein levels than most Canadians

I challenge any one that is saying that that the ‘FIRST NATIONS CARD is being played to sit down and think about your comment? I would say to you that you make this statement because you are unable to find any concrete or justifiable argument?

Look at the real issue in front of our faces and as witnessed by the world? Leave the Inuit people alone!. They are not our enemies. The Canadian Government and bloody seal hunter are!

Sarah West Founder CFAWR Canadians For Animal Welfare Reform (Victoria BC)
The Inuit are not true natives of the North like a polar bear or seal. That is concrete FACT.

If they evolved there as they claim-why aren't they born with blubber and fur? Why do they need artifical means to survive?
Why cant they jump naked into the Arctic water and kill a seal?

Its because they are human beings-like any other
and they should be treated as any other human being. To do otherwise is racist.

Location issues aside--from a strictly ethical and fair point of view--any human being who says they have a right to exploit other beings but other beings dont have a right to exploit them is discriminating. Its no different for some hunter in the suburbs.

Nonhumans don't do this. They do what they have to-they don't have choices like tv or attending whaling conferences in japan by plane or special tv channels for Nunavut culture.

Humans can use their brains for either killing nonhumans, agricultural cultivation or killing other humans.
That flexibility works against those claiming they have a right to kill nonhumans because they have the brain to design artificial fangs and claws.

Obviously location and economics plays a part-not suggesting its as simple as saying pack your bags and leave---but to suggest that they have a right(as in manifest Destiny right) to exploit the real natives and First Nations of the Arctic is simply not supported by common sense and practical ethics. Think of all that money going to the drunk lewd sealers in the commercial hunt that could go to help the Inuit.

I will leave the Inuit alone when they leave the seals alone-or at least until they and their exploitation apologists stop trying to defend it by ethical appeals that smack of human supremacy.

If I should feel colonial guilt about being born here-then any human should feel colonial guilt about being born here-what about the Iroquois who ritually strangled dogs, or the plains Indians that drove herds of buffalo off cliffs and then took what they wanted and left the rest to rot?
Oh right-we are supposed to romanticize the past. Only European descendants can be cruel or unjust?

Forget about the Makah keeping human slaves eh? or the Aztecs sacrificing humans and nonhumans alike?
The Hawaiians pushing people into volcanos (BTW it was a Hawaiian native who shared that story when watching the Makah kill a whale with a machine gun mounted to a boat in 99-i didnt know they used that kind of weapon 700 years ago)

We aren't living 1000 years ago. If we want to justify exploitation by 1000 year old morals then apply it to everything. Let's turn back the clock 1000 years.

Saying they use the whole animal means nothing in ethics--its like saying the Nazis were justified in slaughtering jews because they used their skin for lampshades and hair to stuff mattresses.Not a good ethical defense.

And as long as the Government uses the Inuit for propaganda and as long as there are inuit who defend the seal hunt-(have they protested Stephen Hume's letter? I hope so-I will await their voices and cheer them on)-they are going to be targets for their exploitation practices. They should be speaking up to tell the Government to stop using them to sell the commercial seal hunt if they are opposed to it. Are they? Or are they going to help the government like they did in the late 80s with the fur industry?

When the Vancouver Aquarium captured three beluga whales in 1990 in Manitoba, the First Nation whale hunters, in response to criticism form animal rights activists said: paraphrasing: "they should shut up because we have the right to massacre the whales if we want to, not just capture them for aquariums." They believed they animals belonged to them.
Where's the ownership certificate written in Nature?

That sounds very human and supremacist to me!

Life trumps lifestyle-always.

Thanks for doing your part to keep the seal hunt going.
I am sure the Government appreciates your help--the seals on the other hand would not.
And sorry for being so grouchy and the spelling errors.
-I just cant help but get more upset about people bashing in the heads of two week old wildlife and skinning them alive than I am about what particular type of protein sources a segment of the human population uses. Silly me eh?

I think I need to transport my mind back 1000 years so I think like we did back then...

Hey! I want a human slave!
The earth is flat!
I have some witches to burn!

these are excellent points and very well stated.
i hope the people who need to get around to reading them.

i particularly like the "I will leave the Inuit alone when they leave the seals alone" - in fact, i used a similar phrasing last night in a discussion.

the 'culture card' is unfortunately played too often especially in a supposedly tolerant multicultural country like canada. it is used as an excuse to propagate uncivilized behavior, cruelty and oppression in the most absurd, convenient and self-serving of ways. some people like to think they are showing their wonderful tolerance towards others this way forgetting that they are also helping to facilitate the very things they would not like done unto them or their own.

cultures change because people can.

your "not suggesting its as simple as saying pack your bags and leave" reminded me of the scene in gandhi where the british general irately said "You don't think we're just going to walk out of India." and gandhi smilingly replied, "Yes . . . in the end you will walk out."

in friendship,

Really liked your write up... especially these lines (so many to choose from!):

Until they can show what religion Grizzly bears follow it is unethical and unjust to let anyone use religious beliefs to justify unnecessary exploitation.

Clearly the Inuit dont mind having some nontraditional things in their lives like tv, guns or textiles-so why would they object to other things that promote fairness and justice? The Makah were selective-they wanted to resume whaling but not human slavery. Double standards.

Life trumps lifestyle.

excellent points...and great addition ammunition in my arsenal ;)

Thanks Sangeeta. I think the Native argument is probably the most important next to animal research arguments in terms of the ones that cause the most "controversy" and disagreement in ecological causes (and the most damage for not being addressed). I dont believe they are controversial. Controversy is something that can be debated--these cant be once you know the arguments.

The Makah thing is very interesting. I once talked to a Washington state professor who ranted on some Berkley alternative radio show about how the animal righters were racists wanting to deprive the natives of their culture so i tracked him down and had a little back and forth.
I brought up the human slave thing--they used to force prisoners to tie the fins of grey whales-very dangerous practice. There was this recent chief who was opposed to the whale hunt(apparently the pro whalers killed her dogs as a warning) and the pro-whaling guy who eventually became chief said that in the old days she would have been seen as among the slave class and he would be in his rights to kill her for opposing him. This was documented in the Vancouver Georgia Straight newspaper around 1999.

Also-the Makah called the grey whale "devilfish." I thought they were their "brothers" who willingly gave their life?
Strange endearment for your sibling(even stranger is firing spears into them and them stripping them of their flesh).
The professor said it was an inaccurate translation of the Makah expression and the true translation is "big backs are bad."
Doesnt sound like any more of an endearment unless bad means good!

There was a documentary or book in the late 80s called In Search of the Noble Savage which I never saw-but the description suggested it delved into the myths vs the reality of what sort of ecological destruction and practices they were doing in pre-colonial times.
kel wrote:
In Search of the Noble Savage
this is one of those myths that continue to propagate because of english class. ;)
it is often taken up by those who go camping to 'rough it' in their winnabagos.
there is nothing noble about savagery at all.

professor who ranted on some Berkley alternative radio show about how the animal righters were racists wanting to deprive the natives of their culture
cultures belong in a petri dish. the real racists are those who set the natives up as 'special' in their reservations just to make themselves look good politically.

there are some good traditions and there are some bad - it's important to figure out the difference.

to hold on to tradition for the sake of is one of those repulsive demonstrations of the law of inertia which was never intended to be applied to human behavior.

in fact, as the saying goes,
"Tradition has never been a justification for existence. Rather it has almost always bourne the seeds of extinction."

in friendship,
So interesting!

I took Native Studies in university and couldn't believe the "Elders" talking about how these wonderful animals would come from the wild and just "walk" into their spears...so willing to give their lives up for humans. And I used to wonder, well if the animal was really willing to give of him/herself, how selfish to take their life!

I used to work for PETA and took our Animal Liberation exhibit all over the US on university campuses. In the exhibit we tried to compare all the justifications for the use of humans to the modern day excuse for using animals...there is no difference. It was a tough exhibit due to the controversy and how much people who still felt like "slaves" were offended that we'd dare bring up animal abuse in light of "their" history....it was unbelievable!

When humans want to abuse another (no matter race, color, or species) their excuses will be built on the same foundation.

BTW you can see the exhibit here: http://www.peta2.com/ALP/ (it's a viritual tour based on our exhibit)

Glad you're out there speaking out for those who can't :)
great exhibit. seeing the quotations supporting animal and human exploitation and cruelty side by side was chilling.
it is a great exhibit - the jewel of peta imho.
and sangeeta was instrumental in taking what was originally a disorganized, but good idea and bringing it to a high level of competence while she was on the road.

she made many inroads into the teaching and student bodies. what was most interesting was that even her hostile opponents (and sometimes they numbered in the 100s) disputed, but could not deny the message ... and went away with considerable respect for the messenger.

in friendship,



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