Why do only some diets warrant special laws?

Dear Council Member Koretz,

Regarding your proposed legislation requiring vegan options in Los Angeles, I get it. I was vegan a while back, and vegetarian for a long time before that, and finding food at different public venues was really difficult. At that time, seeing that I saw myself as morally superior to everyone else because of my dietary pattern and ethical beliefs, finding food that I could eat that didn’t violate my ethics shouldn’t have been this difficult. I mean I was saving the world from the sixth great extinction, speciesism, climate change, deforestation, world hunger, heart disease and a myriad of other problems just by going vegan.

Or so I thought.

It turns out the world isn’t so black or white. This is especially true with food production and environmental impacts. The more time I spent on farms and ranches, the more I realized that there are a myriad of ways to raise, grow and or catch food that range from very bad to very good. So a dichotomy of “plants good” and “meat bad” from a health, environment, and even an ethical point of view is grossly over-simplified if not downright wrong.

As H.L. Mencken once noted, ” For every complex  problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.”  Veganism is one of those simple wrong answers.  So my thinking has evolved to deal with the greater complexity of the real world. Thus I’m now “post vegan.” Or, otherwise known as a regenatarian. Regen for short.  So I try to be conscientious of how all the plant and animal food I eat is raised, grown or caught. Did you realize that a third of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide is due to the plow?  Do you realize how much methane rice farming produces? Plus don’t get me going on synthetic fertilizers used for industrial crop production like the corn in most store bought tortillas or the hyper processed textured wheat in Impossible Burgers.

Though unlike in my vegan past, I’m now disinclined to impose my food religion on others. But still it would be nice to have regenatarian options at airports, movie theaters, stadiums and other entertainment venues.  Especially since my regenatarian diet makes me now morally superiors to the typical oblivious vegan’s diet, why shouldn’t us regens also have legislated mandated options?  Those choices should include pastured livestock proteins managed in ways that regenerate soil,  non-tilled organic vegetables and fryer vats without monocropped industrial seed or soy bean oils.

I’ve also found I function a lot better on a ketogenic diet. So I’m a keto regenatarian. Thus please also expand your proposed legislation to include mandated ketogenic and keto-regenatarian menu items with well sourced pastured fats. It would be really helpful too if you could make restaurants and other food service locations list their specific macro ratios of fats, proteins and carbs. Lots of people are following ketogenic and paleo diets now, so not sure if the head of the other NRA has realized it yet, but food operators are leaving money on the table if they don’t appease people on ketogenic and paleo diets.

Additionally, I have gluten issues and since I got my 23 & Me results back, I’ve decided to embrace my Semitic roots. It turns out that all the stories my mother told me about my ancestry being a Scottish highlander and Lakota warrior simply weren’t true. I’m almost entirely an Ashkenazie Jew. So also need a Rabbi to bless my gluten free, keto regenatarian food.  Considering how much money us Jews have, makes perfect economic sense to mandate restaurants, especially those in public venues, to at least provide kosher, gluten free kosher, gluten free ketogenic kosher, and  gluten free keto regenatarian kosher options for their customers like me.

Heck, such mandates for specific audiences make perfect sense for low margin businesses in already super regulated environments. When LAX or other similar places issues RFP’s, these places should make such requirements part of their selection process. This will certainly make Los Angeles a leader in environmental conscientiousness when it comes to what’s at the end of one’s fork. Screw food costs. Screw market forces. Legislated mandates are what’s required to make sure our respective food religions are respected whenever any of us want to go out to eat. Bring on the nanny state!!!

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Post Vegan

4 thoughts on “Why do only some diets warrant special laws?

  1. Once we are assured that all the beef is being raised regeneratively, this argument might hold up. Unfortunately, the majority of beef is raised on massive feedlots, fed by monocropped genetically-modified soy and corn that have often been grown where rainforest used to grow. Having vegan options available in high traffic areas seems reasonable to me.

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    1. Hey Rocket Scientist, the letter is sarcasm. Meaning it’s not to be taken literally. Sure vegan options are perfectly fine as are Halal, kosher, gluten free, etc options as long as the restaurateur or food vendor is making that menu decision based on perceived market demand. The issue is mandating restaurateurs or vendors to have to provide items through legislative action. Why should one food religion or dietary pattern get preferential treatment? That’s the question and issue.

      As for the rest of your comment, you’ve watched Cowspiracy a few times too many because you haven’t a clue about how cattle are actually raised in the United Sates or anywhere else in the world. You’ve just regurgitated mindless incorrect talking points. Thus your comments clearly illustrate a very high level of ignorance.

      For your edification, this is how the conventional system works. Beef is a lot different from pork and chicken. Beef calves are born on cow-calf operations, where calves are weened off their mother cows at around 8 months of age. Typically these calves are then sold at auction to stocker operations, where the steers and heifers are raised for another 4 to 6 months. Then finally the 12 to 14 month old yearlings are transferred to feedlots where the cattle are transitioned from roughages (cellulose including a lot of crop residues and by-products like silage and almond shells) to concentrates (grains- primarily dent corn- and grains by-products like distiller grains). This is feedlot “finishing”. Most of the grains are fed in the last month to six weeks of finishing. So no not all of the US inventory is in feedlots.

      Total max feedlot capacity is around 16 mill head. Total beef cattle inventory is approx. 82 mill head. So where are all remaining 66 mill or beef cattle? These are cows, calves, bulls, replacement heifers and stockers on cow calf and stocker operations eating grass. So all of your expertise derived from watching Cowspiracy numerous times and driving by the Harris feedlots on I-5 is a bit askew.

      Now is all of this inventory on cow-calf & stocker operations well managed? Nope, not enough of it is. But more and more ranchers are incorporating better grazing practices. Plus as more demand is created for grass fed and finished beef from consumers, more grass finishing is being done. grass finishing is the fast growing sector in the beef world and is being facilitated by direct marketing on the internet. In California, within a few hours of Los Angeles, there are a number of 100% grass fed and finished ranchers. California is a very progressive ranching state, though a bit ass-backwards when it comes to regenerative agriculture for plants (crops, produce, orchards) especially in regards to soil health.

      Beef cattle finished in feedlots are fed very little of the soy meal grown here or in other countries like Brazil. Most soy meal goes to chickens. Brazil is a huge chicken producer plus exports a lot of soy to China. 90% of all soy is pressed for oil. Humans consume, cook with or use most of the soy bean oil…plus a lot of the meal as well in processed foods and pet foods. Additionally Brazilian beef cattle are largely 100% grass finished. Brazil has only feedlot capacity for 2.5 mill head. Their beef inventory is 214 mill head. 2/3 of which is not in the Amazon. Only 6 to 7% of global beef inventory is in the Amazon. Up until 2016 , fresh Brazilian beef wasn’t even allowed to be imported in the US. In 2015, the last year I saw stats, 85% percent of US percent was raised in the US. With most of the other 15% being from Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Canada. In 2015, beef from Brazil was less than a 1/2 percent of all imports.

      Deforestation is a very complex issue. Too complex for the simple black or white minds of many vegans. Technically without agro-chemicals, converting tropical oxisols to fertile soil would be very difficult to do. Oxisols are very acidic, so they need to be treated with lime to raise the pH. Then to make the soils fertile a lot of phosphorous needs to be added, Since its a wet and warm climate, lots of insecticides and herbicides also need to be applied. So rather than just blame “cows” as you just did for deforestation, you may also want to blame industrial Ag companies as well as infrastructure projects, land grabbers/speculators, mining interests, timber interests, and government corruption too.

      Regardless, as I noted at the topic of this reply, vegan options are fine in public locations, but those options should be based on public demand not government legislation. So singling out and mandating options based on the dietary concerns of one quasi religious food group is a bit absurd.

      Liked by 1 person

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