Actually, when in starvation mode, the body's BMR (basal metabolic rate) lowers, so that fewer calories are required to carry out the body's daily functioning (respiration, digestion, elimination, etc.). To say that the body purely "stores calories as fat" in "starvation mode" is inaccurate. As to the article, I would like to see some statistics about what people on food stamps actually buy week to week, and also what percent of people on food stamps are obese. I don't think that giving more money is the solution (let's face it, the problem lies much deeper if a category for "single mother with 10 children" even exists in the first place), but education. Perhaps the government can provide a sample grocery list along with suggested meal plans and recipes for food stamp recipients, so that they can not only budget their spending, but also perhaps direct them to more healthy food choices. Does anyone know if such a service or those statistics are already extant?
Coyote - I don't renounce it, but embrace it because I respect that as a sentient being, I have the choice to eat not out of instinct, but out of thoughtfulness. Iron and B12 can be gotten though a natural, meat-free diet - yes, it might take conscious eating, but with nearly half of this nation classified as "obese" I don't think conscious eating would be a bad thing. I agree that there are a million issues in the world today that demand our attention. But I also think that animal abuse and the meat industry have relevancy beyond just the humane killing issue. Yes, it takes the same resources to grow food for animals meant for human consumption as it does for food for human consumption, but if world hunger is the issue about what we are talking - you can feed more people with whole grains and soy than you can meat, with equal amounts of energy put into production per pound of product. I could go on and on about all the reasons to be vegetarian (those nations with the highest animal-product consumption have the highest cancer rates, cows are one of the major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, commercial fishing pollutes our oceans & overfishing threatens extension of some species = alteration of the natural food chain), but i've been a vegetarian for almost 15 years - more than 1/2 my life - so I'm a bit biased ;-) But I hear what you are saying, and I do agree totally that this country and this world are in dire straits - where to put one's attention and efforts can truly be baffling! As such, fortunately, not everyone has the same priorities as PETA (so many causes need groups that can bring real change!); but without PETA, needless suffering (i.e. ripping off chickens' heads vs. painless gassing alternative) would go on unchecked.
JohnCoyote: if we, as human beings, cannot find the ability to treat ALL living creatures, including those who cannot be advocates for themselves, with dignity and compassion, how do you expect us to treat one another with dignity and compassion?? 16 pounds of grain and soybeans are needed to produce 1 pound of consumable beef; maybe instead of using farmland, water, and energy (gasoline to run farm equipment to harvest and process food for livestock)to make food for animals people kill to eat, we take all of those resources to make food that is healthier, more cost effective, and more HUMANE for people to eat??
By Richard Alley
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