[BOOKS] Best science-based arguments for plant-based diets - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-22-2009, 11:28 AM
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The goal of this thread is to compile a list of the best science (earth science, health science, and/or political science) focused books on our topic.

So far I very much like the Erik Markus book, and the Food Revolution makes a pretty good case. Unfortunately in both, the author is not limiting the scope to science-based food issues, but is also going into AR/welfare issues,which can be counterproductive when trying to open the eyes of less empathetic folk.

I'll start:

  • "The Food Revolution": John Robbins, 2001
  • "The China Study": T. Colin Campbell, 2005
  • "Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating": Erik Markus, 2000

Help me out!
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#2 Old 12-22-2009, 03:54 PM
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I think the best science-based arguments for plant diets (but preferably lifestyles as well -- one problem I have with Marcus's book is that it seems to treat veganism as a diet) come from (cognitive) ethology, not nutritional science or ecology.

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#3 Old 12-22-2009, 04:21 PM
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Cognitive Ethology was a new term for me. Wikipedia summarizes:

The fusion of cognitive science and classical ethology into cognitive ethology "emphasizes observing animals under more-or-less natural conditions, with the objective of understanding the evolution, adaptation (function), causation, and development of the species-specific behavioral repertoire" - (Niko Tinbergen 1963).

This does me no good unfortunately, as I'd stated earlier, I'm looking for something that appeals to science-minded folks (who pride themselves in their clinical detachment of course) using non AR angles. This is not a bunch with whom an empathy-oriented approach will work.

Health and environmental science based arguments seem to be the only way to open the dialogue without bringing up defenses. The empathy certainly can come later, but not if shields are raised prerequisite to any useful dialogue on the subject.

See where I'm coming from?
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#4 Old 12-22-2009, 04:28 PM
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Arguments from ecology presuppose empathy too. There is no self-interested rational reason to give a **** about your footprint, it's for the animals and distant/future humans to worry about.

I'm of the opinion that if you're going to treat people as incapable of being motivated directly by arguments about the effects of animal agriculture on animals, that may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Give people some credit. And studies in animal behavior are no less scientific than nutritional science -- in fact, I think they are on a much more solid basis than the latter, given how many conflicting views abound in nutritional science.

But I didn't mean to hijack the thread. *bows out*

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#5 Old 12-22-2009, 09:03 PM
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Eat to Live - Dr. Dr. Joel Fuhrman

I'm not sure he ever uses the word vegan in his book and I'm not even sure that he is a veg*n. In fact I'm pretty sure that he does occasionally eat meat but you would never know it from reading his book. He cites The China Study at times but uses a ton of other studies and research based data to make a solid case against not eating meat, eggs, dairy, etc. from a health based perspective.

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#6 Old 12-22-2009, 09:50 PM
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Gabriel Cousens books like Conscious Eating.

“May all sentient beings be free of pain and suffering.  May all sentient beings experience eternal joy and happiness.  gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.”

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#7 Old 12-26-2009, 07:59 AM
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I'm not sure if it's entirely what you're looking for, certainly a great deal of it focuses on empathy- but there IS a great deal of science and factual evidence to support a vegan lifestyle. Either way, it's a really great read; The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer.
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#8 Old 12-26-2009, 10:14 AM
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Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis might be good. It had lots of studies in it that show the being Vegan in healthier, but there is a section about B12 and how vegans sometimes don't get enough of it that I am sure omnis would jump on and claim that veganism is unhealthy and block out the rest.
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#9 Old 12-28-2009, 05:49 AM
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12 days to dynamic health by Dr. John McDougall
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#10 Old 12-28-2009, 06:56 AM
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This made me think of the character Pam who plays the mum on the Brit comedy Gavin and Stacey. She's always identifying as a vegetarian but never actually eats vegetarian.

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