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Veganism is not the optimal diet for humans.

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QueefJuice
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Health
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Contender / Con
Points: 1
Description
Resolution:
Veganism is not the optimal diet for humans.
Rules:
(1) Debater must have typing experience and internet access.
(2) Place your arguments and sources inside the debate
(3) Structure the debate in a readable, Coherent fashion.
(4) No Semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
Rounds:
(1) Main Argument
(2) Rebuttal to opponent's main argument only. No new arguments.
(3) Evaluation of main arguments and rebuttals + voting issues (one paragraph). No new arguments.
Definitions:
Veganism - A diet that abstains from meat and all other animal products
Optimal Diet - The diet which provides the best level of health
Humans - Human beings in general
Burden of Proof:
Shared burden of proof. I have to prove that veganism isn't the optimal diet for humans and the contender has to prove that veganism is the optimal diet for humans. It is not my burden of proof to uphold a standard american diet and I should not be pigeonholed as trying to prove eating junk foods or having poor lifestyle choices is optimal.
By accepting this debate you accept the Rules, Rounds, Definitions, And BOP.
Round 1
Published:
My burden of proof is simply to show that veganism is not the optimal diet for humans. We’re not arguing about ethics or environmental implications, although I’d be open to that in a future debate. I also think plants are part of a healthy diet in addition to animal products. Let’s go!



  1. Human Beings Evolved to Be Omnivores, Not Herbivores
The best way to learn about a species is to study it in the wild, living in its natural habitat; when you go against the requirements of your genes you get negative health consequences. 

When gorillas at the Cleveland Zoo were overweight with heart disease, “pulling out and eating their hair and also vomiting and then reingesting their food,” researchers looked for the cause: gorilla biscuits. These granola-bar type foods didn’t replicate the natural diet of the gorillas. But when they switched to its natural diet of leaves, stems, roots, young branches, buds, barks, piths, seeds and fruits, the gorillas improved their health and the self-destructive behavior stopped. https://healingwithplants.us/2018/02/gorillas-with-heart-disease-healed-by-eating-more-plants/

To reiterate the point: when you deviate from a specie’s natural diet, you get disease, health complications, and mental disorder.


a. What then is the natural diet of the human species? Humans are omnivores. (Biology)
This is not a controversial point and has overwhelming evidence. While diets vary around the world, one thing has held true regardless of culture, geography, and ethnicity: human beings are omnivores. The best evidence is our teeth: we have biting/tearing/ripping incisors and canines (like carnivores) and chewing molars (like herbivores). Animals with such diverse teeth tend to be omnivores. [https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/12/23/how-humans-evolved-to-be-natural-omnivores/#1c6ac0b67af5]

Even vegans agree that humans are omnivores [https://veganbiologist.com/2016/01/04/humans-are-not-herbivores/].

Their counter-argument is that you can still survive by eliminating meat consumption. But I will assert and soon prove that while you can survive without meat, you cannot thrive without meat. In order to have optimal health you must eat animal products.


b. Chimpanzees
Even our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, chimpanzees with which we share 99% of DNA, are omnivores. From Jane Goodall, “Chimpanzees are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. In fact, Dr. Jane Goodall was the first person to observe chimpanzees eating other animals when she saw them using sticks to  extract termites and also hunting smaller mammals such as monkeys.”


c. Humans have been eating meat since before we were even humans. (Pre-History)
Between 2.5-2.6 million years ago, proto-humans began to scavenge for meat, and soon afterward became persistence hunters and spear hunters. Proof of this is from animal bones that 2.5 million years ago showed cut marks thought to be from the earliest stone tools; as well as cave paintings that exalt the hunting of animals. 
And earlier species of early hominids had strong jaws and molar-like teeth; later species were more like modern humans, with weaker jaws, smaller faces, and smaller teeth, also a shorter digestive tract which gives more evidence that our food source changed from more digestive-intensive lower-quality plants like the australopithecus ate to more calorie-dense easily digestible meat sources. 

Because our large brains are so calorie-intensive, scientists believe that calorie-dense meat from animals is what led to the development of our large brains, essentially turning earlier “homo” into “homo sapiens” which means “wise man.” https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2008/04/eating-meat-led-to-smaller-stomachs-bigger-brains/
Meat eating is what made us human. “Meat-eating was one of the most pivotal changes in our ancestors’ diets and that it led to many of the physical, behavioral, and ecological changes that make us uniquely human.” Teeth changes, digestive tract changes, and we also have an improved ability to process cholesterol and fat. https://www.americanscientist.org/article/meat-eating-among-the-earliest-humans


d. There Has Never Been a Vegan Society. (History)
There is no society of vegans in the history of the world. Even meat-less/vegetarian societies usually rely on dairy of some sort. The closest are Jains, Brokpa, Buddhists, the vegetarian swaths of India, and all have some facet of their diet that does not qualify them as vegan.

Less than 1% of the world is vegan. Veganism is highest in developed countries like Israel (5%), Ireland (4.1%), and Sweden (4%). But for the vast majority of the world, it is around 1%.

The vast majority of great empires, societies, and tribes in human history have eaten some animal foods, this gives an approximation of what kind of diet will enable a society of our species to thrive. While no vegan society has existed, there have been a few carnivorous societies: the masai tribe in Africa (meat, milk, blood) and Inuit in North America during ¾ of the year (whales, seal, polar bears, muskoxen, birds, and fish).


e. Clarifying Contra Naturalistic Fallacy
I’m not arguing that because omnivorism is natural it is good. I am arguing that because we evolved to eat meat, the changes in our bodies and brains necessitates meat to have optimal health. As Harvard’s school of health and medicine puts it, “Eating meat led to smaller stomachs and bigger brains.”




II. The Vegan Diet is Deficient in Critical Nutrients Required for Basic Health


a. 52% of Vegans are Deficient in B-12
Vitamin B12 is important for many bodily processes, including protein metabolism and the formation of oxygen-transporting red blood cells. It also plays a crucial role in the health of your nervous system. Too little vitamin B12 can lead to anemia and nervous system damage, as well as infertility and bone and heart disease. Symptoms include: Fatigue, lethargy, anemia, weakness, memory loss, dementia, loss of balance, and neurological problems. There are no plant foods that contain vitamin B-12 and Vegans need to take a supplement to meet their requirements. 52% of vegans are vitamin B12 deficient. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20648045/

It’s a common myth among vegetarians and vegans that it’s possible to get B12 from plant sources like: seaweed, fermented soy, spirulina, and brewer’s yeast. These plant foods don’t contain B12. They contain B12 analogs, called cobamides, that block the intake of—and increase the need for—true B12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10552882/


b. Vegans Have the Lowest Levels of Deficient in D3
Useable vitamin D (natural vitamin D3) is only found in animal products such as pastured egg yolks, cod liver oil and dairy products from grass-grazing animals. Vitamin D3 helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. It also prevents bone disorders such as rickets and osteomalacia. You can also obtain this through sunlight, but for those with limited sun exposure, higher latitudes, darker skin, or elderly, they often become critically deficient in this nutrient/hormone.

Vitamin D concentrations reflected the degree of animal product exclusion and, hence, dietary intake of vitamin D; meat eaters had the highest mean intake of vitamin D and vegans had the lowest. [https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/plasma-concentrations-of-25hydroxyvitamin-d-in-meat-eaters-fish-eaters-vegetarians-and-vegans-results-from-the-epicoxford-study/13C1A2796ADA3A318D4F3B7C105D9D9C]


c. Deficient in Long-Chain Omega-3s
EPA and DHA are the active forms of omega-3 vital for cognitive function; they play a structural role in your brain and eyes.They’re important for brain development and reducing the risk of inflammation, depression, breast cancer, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Other side effects of deficiency in EPA and DHA are: Cancer, Asthma, Alzheimer’s, Cardiovascular disease, ADHD, and Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. 

EPA and DHA are found only in animal sources such as fatty fish. Vegans have access to ALA which can be poorly converted to EPA and DHA, but only at a rate of 2-5%. [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19500961]

This is why research consistently shows that vegetarians and vegans have up to 50% lower blood and tissue concentrations of EPA and DHA than omnivores. “Intakes of EPA and DHA are virtually absent in vegans.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25369925/

Another issue is that sources of ALA like, flax seeds, are often high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which with a ratio of more omega-6 to omega-3 is inflammatory. Inflammation underlies all disease. [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12442909/]

With vegans deficient in this vital nutrient, it helps explain the association with depression. [https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animals-and-us/201812/the-baffling-connection-between-vegetarianism-and-depression]


d. Deficient in Iodine, Iron, Calcium, and Zinc
Vegans have up to 50% lower blood iodine levels than vegetarians. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21613354/

The bioavailability of the iron in plant foods (nonheme iron) is much lower than in animal foods (heme iron), vegans are often recommended to aim for 1.8 times the normal RDA. Plant-based forms of iron are also inhibited by other commonly consumed substances, such as: coffee, tea, supplemental fiber, and supplemental calcium. Vegetarian diets have been shown to reduce nonheme iron absorption by 70 percent and total iron absorption by 85 percent.  

While leafy greens like spinach and kale have a relatively high calcium content, the calcium is not efficiently absorbed during digestion. This helps explain why the vegan diet is deficient in calcium: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s007740300005 

This review of 26 studies showed that vegans have lower zinc intakes and slightly lower blood levels of zinc than omnivores. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23595983

There are even more vegan diet nutrient deficiencies like the fat-soluble vitamins A and K2, taurine, creatine, carnosine, choline, methionine, glycine, and selenium, but I think I’ve made the point already: 


e. The Vegan Diet is Deficient in Critical Nutrients
Just because you can survive on plants only, does not mean that is the optimal way to live. Later on, these nutrient deficiencies can lead to numerous diseases, health issues, and psychological dysfunctions. Further, supplementation is not as good as getting the nutrients from their natural sources and can also interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. It’s better to just eat your natural, complete diet than to deal with so many supplements. Nutrients from food are most important. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-get-your-nutrients-from-food-or-from-supplements


f. Infants and Children Suffer Impaired Development by Breastfeeding from Vegan Mothers and Eating a Vegan/Vegetarian Diet
The nutritional deficiencies listed above impact even infants who are breastfeeding.

Several authors have described developmental retardation and “infant tremor syndrome” in 4- to 11-month-old infants of vegetarian mothers from India. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3137939/#R7

Four case studies from the United States described lethargy, irritability, and developmental delay as well as impaired brain development in among exclusively breastfed infants of vegan mothers. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3137939/#R9

Vegetarian and vegan diets for children carry significant risks of nutrient deficiencies that can have dire health consequences. Vegetarianism may be associated with serious risks for brain and body development in fetuses and children. Regular supplementation with iron, zinc, and B12 will not mitigate all of these risks. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10408398.2018.1437024




III. More Health and Psychological Consequences of Vegan Diet


a. While People Become Vegans for Ethical Reasons, They Return to Meat for Health Reasons
The vast majority of vegans become vegans for ethical reasons (80%), not for their health (15%). [https://vomadlife.com/blogs/news/why-most-people-go-vegan-2016-survey-results-reveal-all]

However, the #1 reasons why people return to eating meat is health. The #3 reason was cravings, which scientists believe is another mechanism the body uses to communicate and get its missing requirements. [https://www.health.com/nutrition/craving-meaning-health].

Many of these vegans have dreams about eating meat, hunting, fishing, or eating high-fat foods like cheese. These are anecdotal, but make sense given the facts. [https://kristensraw.com/blog/2013/03/17/my-vegan-diet-caused-health-problems-would-primal-paleo-or-real-food-be-better/]

84% of people who go vegan quit within the first twelve months.

There is a genetic pull toward needing animal foods for health, and it is illustrated perfectly with the data above. People find out about veganism from a friend, cherry-picked documentary, or youtube channel, make the change for ethical reasons that tug on the heart strings, and then after getting health problems and intense cravings, they revert back to omnivorism.

With the majority of people who become vegans leaving in the first year mostly for health reasons, it's clear that veganism is not the optimal diet for humans.


b. Veganism is Associated with a Higher Risk of Mental Disorders
In a 2018 study of 90,000 adults, French researchers examined the impact of giving up various food groups on depressive symptoms among meat eaters, vegans, true vegetarians, and vegetarians who ate fish. The incidence of depression increased with each food group that was given up. People who had given up at least three of four animal-related food groups (red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy) were at nearly two-and-a-half times greater risk to suffer from depression. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/11/1695

Vegetarian and semi-vegetarian students scored significantly higher than the omnivores on the Center for Epidemiologic Depression Scale.

The vegetarians were about twice as likely as the other groups to suffer from a mental illness such as anxiety and depression. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0088278

The odds of depression were twice as great in women consuming less than the recommended intake of meat per week. https://www.karger.com/article/Abstract/334910

The frequency of Seasonal Affective Disorder was four times higher among Finnish vegetarians and three times higher in Dutch vegetarians than in meat eaters. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/477247

In Western cultures the vegetarian diet is associated with an elevated risk of mental disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466124/

The studies above include a total of 131,125 subjects, and found that vegetarians and vegans are more likely than meat eaters to suffer from depression. Vegan deficiencies of vitamin D3, DHA, EPA, B-12, and a variety of other nutrients listed above helps explain why.

A further explanation is a deficiency in serotonin. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being and happiness, is made from the amino acid tryptophan and there are no good plant sources of tryptophan. On top of that, all the tryptophan in the world won’t do you any good without saturated fat, which is what makes your neurotransmitters actually transmit. This gives a 1,2 Mayweather to feelings of well-being, which helps explain why vegans often seem irritated.

Symptoms of low serotonin include: anger, increased sensitivity to pain, separation anxiety, depression, bad moods, disrupted sleep schedule, issues with self-esteem, headaches and migraines.


c. Vegans Eat Highly Processed Foods That Are Proven to Cause Disease
Doing your best on a vegan diet requires a lot of preparation and cooking time (something that is a large frustration of vegans), and because of this, many opt for easier, microwavable meat-replacements like the Impossible Burger, microwavable meals, other imitation products like margarine, and snack bars.

Ultra-processed foods are linked to a variety of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Unprocessed or lightly processed foods are superior in healthfulness. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/processed-foods/

Margarine for example has trans fat that’s formed as a side product. A high intake of industrial trans fats has been linked to an increased risk of chronic disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26268692

Now let’s compare the vegan impossible burger to a real burger.
Impossible Burger:
Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.

Real Burger: Beef

Humans are omnivores meant to eat whole, unprocessed foods, not soy protein concentrates, isolates, methylcellulose, and extracts. Virtually all health experts from all points of view agree that processed foods are unhealthy. To be clear, I am arguing against what the vast majority of vegans do and not what a stringent 2% doing it "the right way" do.

Remember, veganism is only defined as “a diet that abstains from meat and all other animal products.” Because vegan food consists of anything that isn’t meat or an animal by-product, many fall into worse dietary patterns simply due to thinking that because something doesn’t have meat, it’s healthier.


d. Many Vegan Women Lose Their Periods
As if the other health consequences weren’t bad enough, some women’s cycles are thrown off due to the nutrient deficiencies to the point where they can’t even conceive a child. 




IV. Health Authorities Favor a Balanced, Omnivorous Diet

At this point I have demonstrated that the vegan diet is not optimal, but to swing the pendulum a bit further: the vast majority of health organizations favor an omnivorous diet.

The American Heart Association, “Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups.” https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/aha-diet-and-lifestyle-recommendations


The World Health Organization is in agreement that omnivorous diet is superior.



Good luck to Con! 





Published:

1. Eating plant based reduces your risk of developing heart disease and some types of cancer

Heart disease is the leading killer in America and a plant based diet has been shown to reduce ones risk of developing such a disease.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the largest body of certified nutritionists in America) release a paper in 2017 saying that a well planned vegan diet is adequate for all stages of life and that vegans are at a “reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity”: https://www.eatrightpro.org/-/media/eatrightpro-files/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diet.pdf

Results from the Adventist Health Study-2 revealed that vegetarian diets are associated with a lower overall cancer risk, and especially a lower risk of gastrointestinal cancer. Furthermore, a vegan diet appeared to confer a greater protection against overall cancer incidence than any other dietary pattern. Recently, vegan diets were reported to confer about a 35% lower risk of prostate cancer. A meta-analysis of seven studies reported vegetarians having an 18% lower overall cancer incidence than nonvegetarians: https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/22/2/286



UK Cancer Research have given processed meats a Group1 (causes cancer) Carcinogen classification, and red meats a Group 2A (probably causes cancer) Carcinogen classification: https://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2019/04/26/bacon-salami-and-sausages-how-does-processed-meat-cause-cancer-and-how-much-matters/
The saturated fats debate is over with new research concluding that reducing saturated fat intake (i.e. meat, dairy and eggs) reduces chances of developing cardiovascular disease by 17%. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/…/14651858.CD011737.pu…/full



2. A plant based diet is the only diet proven to dramatically reduce and even reverse heart disease

A new research report confirms that heart disease can be dramatically improved—and even reversed—by a plant-based diet. https://dresselstyn.com/JFP_06307_Article1.pdf




3. Humans are herbivores and therefore eating meat goes against our biology and will therefore negatively impact health

Although most humans conduct their lives as omnivores, in that they eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. The appendages of carnivores are claws; those of herbivores are hands or hooves. The teeth of carnivores are sharp; those of herbivores are mainly flat (for grinding). The intestinal tract of carnivores is short (3 times body length); that of herbivores, long (12 times body length). Body cooling of carnivores is done by panting; herbivores, by sweating. Carnivores drink fluids by lapping; herbivores, by sipping. Carnivores produce their own vitamin C, whereas herbivores obtain it from their diet. Thus, humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.

Atherosclerosis, a disease known to affect humans, affects only herbivores: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1312295/




4. Populations who live the longest tend to eat predominately plant based

Okinawa has 8 to 12 times fewer heart disease deaths than the United States, 2 to 3 times fewer colon cancer deaths, 7 times fewer prostate cancer deaths, and 5½ times lower risk of dying from breast cancer and eat a 96% plant based diet. https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/01/11/what-do-the-longest-living-people-eat/




5. Meat eaters are deficient in fiber

Less than 5% of Americans meet adequate intakes of fiber: https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400530/pdf/0102/usualintaketables2001-02.pdf
Vegan diets are high in fiber and therefore vegans are not deficient.




6. Eating meat causes erectile dysfunction and therefore sexual dissatisfaction

It’s all about blood flow. Eating meat restricts blood flow and therefore causes erectile dysfunction. Vegetables, not viagra: https://www.pcrm.org/news/blog/diet-away-erectile-dysfunction




7. Vegan diets increase endurance and performance

Recent study showed that submaximal endurance might be better in vegans compared with omnivores:


Round 2
Published:
Hola!


RE:  1. Eating plant based reduces your risk of developing heart disease and some types of cancer

A ‘plant-based diet’ is not to be conflated as being a vegan diet. “There is no clear definition of what constitutes a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Plant-based diets vary greatly depending on the amount of animal products (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, and honey) in their diet.” 
https://tinyurl.com/y58fmbcw


RE:  Heart disease is the leading killer in America and a plant-based diet has been shown to reduce one's risk of developing such a disease.

That’s great, but a plant-based diet is not what’s being discussed here. As I’ve said before, the optimal diet combines animal and plant foods, which a plant-based diet is in agreement with.


RE:  a well planned vegan diet is adequate for all stages of life and that vegans are at a reduced risk of certain health conditions https://tinyurl.com/y37jcjgp
 
If you click the link to the study con has posted, you’ll see that the actual concluding text is:
“Well-designed vegetarian diets provide adequate nutrient intakes for all stages of the lifecycle and can also be useful in the therapeutic management of some chronic diseases.”
 
A ‘well-designed’ vegetarian diet providing adequate nutrition is a far cry from the average vegan diet providing optimal nutrition.
 
Because a vegetarian diet includes egg and dairy products, which fill in the nutrient deficiencies of a vegan diet, I’m in agreement that you can follow a vegetarian diet and have adequate nutrition with minimal deficiencies.

However, this fails to uphold con’s BOP and makes his argument weaker with the study’s admittance that vegans would be healthier if they just ate dairy and eggs to plug the nutritional gaps in their diet.
 
RE:  Adventist Study revealed that vegetarian diets are associated with a lower overall cancer risk

The Seventh-Day Adventists of Loma Linda, California (who these studies are done on) are not vegetarians and they are definitely not vegans. Their diet includes: 1% eggs, 1% fish, 4% meat and poultry, 10% dairy. This proves omnivorous diets are healthful, not vegan diets.
 
RE:  Vegan diet, greater protection against overall cancer

There are ~100 types of cancers and diet plays a role, as well as lifestyle: smoke, drink, obesity, sun exposure, and exercise.
https://tinyurl.com/ycvlea7y

The highest dietary correlates are sugar and refined carbs, processed meat, and overcooked food. Which I assume both con and I advocate to abstain from.

Ketogenic diet appears to be a powerful option for adjuvant therapy for a range of cancers.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842847/

Overall cancer incidence has been observed to be lower in Mediterranean countries... Adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern correlates with reduced risk of several cancer types and cancer mortality.”
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13668-015-0141-7

The traditional Mediterranean Diet of the early 1960s meets the characteristics of an anticancer diet defined by the World Cancer Research Fund.
https://tinyurl.com/y8xae5ha

Mediterranean diet may contribute to the reduction of cancer onset in the worldwide population since it is characterized by a series of foods that, due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, are able to prevent and counteract DNA damages and slow down the development of various forms of cancer
https://tinyurl.com/y8zsrn2m



RE:  World Health Organization says processed meat causes cancer: https://tinyurl.com/k5lqvgo

Remember, con has to prove that vegan diets are optimal, not that processed foods are bad. We are both in agreement that processed foods are bad for health. To reiterate: “Ultra-processed foods are linked to a variety of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Unprocessed or lightly processed foods are superior in healthfulness.” -Harvard

Whether they are made from plants, fungi, or animals, ultra-processed foods are bad for human health.

Since the vegan diet requires more hassle with shopping and cooking, they opt for more processed foods such as faux meats, eggs, butter, microwavable meals. 26% of people left veganism because it was too much of a hassle. Fake meats are a $5.2 billion dollar industry in the US alone serving the 5-8% of the US that is vegetarian and vegan. In the view of virtually all doctors and scientists more processed foods are bad for health. 
https://tinyurl.com/yaxlmamb
https://tinyurl.com/ybm7qaud


 
RE:  reducing saturated fat intake reduces chances of developing cardiovascular disease by 17%
 
Again, this fails to prove that veganism is the optimal diet for humans as the vegan diet doesn’t exclude saturated fat. Here are a list of vegan foods that contain saturated fat:

Chocolate, coconut oil, coconut, palm oil, cocoa butter, brazil nuts, macadamias, sunflower seeds, all types of olives, nuts, seeds, and nut butters. There are ~80 sources of saturated fat on a vegan diet: 
https://tinyurl.com/ycuw76sd
https://tinyurl.com/y85l8w7f

Animal foods do contain higher amounts of saturated fat, and since we can overdo any macronutrient on any diet, the focus should be on balance and eating unprocessed and minimally processed foods.

The study he linked has a 404 error, so we can’t view the text of it. But regardless, in science you look for what the bulk of modern research suggests not just one study. There are currently 208,000 studies and reviews on saturated fat. So it’s important to listen to what the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclude.

In the 70s-80s the most logical conclusion would have been to say that saturated fat is bad and should be avoided; however, science is a process of refining knowledge and making it more accurate over time. The idea that saturated fat is bad turned out to be a giant mistake and the demonization of fat in general pushed people away from healthful animal foods to unhealthy sugar, refined carbs and processed foods, only exacerbating health problems. 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577766/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30084105/

With more and better research conducted over the past 50 years that view has changed and the scientific consensus is that saturated fats can be part of a healthy diet.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30084105/

Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.
https://tinyurl.com/y7bh8c8y

Full-fat dairy (higher in saturated fat) either neutral or favorable for heart health. “Evidence suggests either a neutral or a favorable association between dairy intake and cardiovascular-related outcomes.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5105032/

The highest correlation with decreasing cancer, disease, obesity, heart disease, and reduction of their risk factors is having a diet rich in unprocessed foods, regardless of dietary macronutrient composition.
https://tinyurl.com/y9kujyf2
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29685826/

The mediterranean diet (an omnivorous diet) has also been found to be protective, preventative, and treat heart problems.
“The scientific evidence seems to support the conclusion that MedDiet adherence is a preventive and therapeutic tool for cardiodiabesity.”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6471908/

In a review (strongest evidence) of plant-based diets, “Complete elimination of meat or animal products is unrealistic and not necessary for cardiovascular health.”
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30895476/

To sum up the bulk of reviews: A healthy diet should be rich in whole, nutritious foods, regardless of macronutrient composition. Saturated fats can be included as part of a healthy diet.

There is a type of fat that has been linked to an increase in heart disease and other health issues and that is: trans fats, especially artificial trans fats. These are used to extend shelf life of processed foods.

Trans fats are linked to increased inflammatory markers and cardiovascular risk, especially in people with excess body fat.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15051604/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15735094/

The following types of vegan foods most commonly have trans fats in them:
Vegan desserts (cakes, pies, cookies like oreos, biscuits), margarine, some refined and processed oils, microwave popcorn, deep-fried foods, frozen pizza, non-dairy coffee creamers, chips, crackers
https://tinyurl.com/yd38o88x
https://tinyurl.com/y87aamgu
https://tinyurl.com/y84owerj

Referring back to my previous argument, since vegans are pushed toward more processed food options they are exposing themselves to the fat that is actually dangerous for health: trans fat.


RE:  2. A plant based diet is the only diet proven to dramatically reduce and even reverse heart disease

This is a marketing phrase used to sell Dr. Dean Ornish’s vegan diet book. However, as with most slogans, it simply isn’t true. https://tinyurl.com/y73quwvv

The following diets have been proven to reduce and reverse heart disease:

The Mediterranean Diet (an omnivorous diet) has also been found to be protective, preventative, and treat heart problems. It is the main diet recommended by the American Heart Association. 
https://tinyurl.com/ydyyxh4s
https://tinyurl.com/ybybkphm

The Paleo Diet (an omnivorous diet) improves several cardiovascular risk factors. It also improves blood pressure and eliminates harmful belly fat (another risk factor of heart disease among others).
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25304296/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19209185/

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels and several heart disease risk factors among other diseases. Recommended by the American Heart Association.
https://tinyurl.com/ycsxvk32
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29853430/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30235731/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29853430/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26622263/

Further, in addition to vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, fats, and legumes, the American Heart Association recommends:
Fatty fish 3x per week
Poultry, meat, and eggs 8-9x per week
Dairy 3x per day
https://tinyurl.com/vnqbdnf

Cold-water, fatty fish are an excellent source of EPA and DHA, long-chain omega-3 fats with several cardiovascular benefits. Regular fish consumption or consumption of fish oil would reduce total mortality or deaths from all causes by 17%. This is remarkable when you consider the fact that statin drugs only reduce total mortality by 15%, and even then, only in certain populations.
https://tinyurl.com/y78u54rf

Some of the best ways to reduce heart disease are to quit smoking (smoking doubles your risk of heart disease), exercise frequently, get to a healthy weight, reduce stress, and eat less. https://tinyurl.com/y844r966
https://tinyurl.com/ycc7bp9k



RE:  3. Humans are herbivores and therefore eating meat goes against our biology and will therefore negatively impact health

Humans aren’t carnivores or herbivores, we’re omnivores. Humans have eaten meat since 2.6 million years ago. A long period of meat consumption in members of the Homo genus have resulted in evolutionary adaptations in humans; to obtain key nutrients humans consume animal matter. Humans have specific evolutionary adaptations for eating meat.
https://tinyurl.com/y7x44n9h
https://tinyurl.com/y9cjyd28

Teeth: 
Humans have canines and incisors (carnivore traits) and molars and premolars (herbivore traits). Animals who have both are omnivores.
https://tinyurl.com/y8mdpgue

Gut Morphology:
Carnivores tend to have well-developed stomachs and long small intestines, while herbivores tend to have a chambered stomach with a well-developed caecum and colon. Humans fit neither of these patterns. The human gut has a simple stomach, relatively elongated small intestine, and reduced caecum and colon, suggesting a relatively high dependency on meat. https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt14bt4vj
https://tinyurl.com/ydadpewl

Stomach Acid:
The stomach pH of humans suggests that it evolved when we were carrion scavengers.
https://tinyurl.com/wmjd2bb

Heme Absorption:
Humans have the ability to digest heme iron, which is sourced almost entirely from animal foods.
https://tinyurl.com/yaumodfe

Taurine Synthesis:
Humans have a limited ability to synthesize taurine, so we need to eat it, and it’s found almost exclusively in meats and fish.
https://tinyurl.com/ybwwv7ey

Omnivores are the most adaptive of all the species and thrive in a larger range of environments. Human beings inhabit every region on earth.
https://tinyurl.com/yakvpo4e
 
 

RE: 4. Populations who live the longest tend to eat predominantly plant based
 
“Predominantly plant based” does not mean vegan. Con is touching on the “blue zones” by mentioning Okinawa and the longest lived populations. The blue zones are five areas of the world with the longest-lived populations. Each blue zone negates that veganism is the optimal diet and supports omnivorism. You can explore their diets here: https://www.bluezones.com/exploration

Ikaria, Greece
5% meat, 6% fish, and goat’s milk and cheese (~4%?)
Other reasons for longevity: napping, fasting, choose goat’s milk over cow’s milk, no clocks on the island (lower stress), immune from the industrialization of modern society, use lots of native herbs
https://tinyurl.com/ybt2zlye

Barbagia region of Sardinia
5% meat, fish, poultry, 26% dairy (primarily from sheep and goats) 
Other reasons for longevity: lots of socialization, daily laughter, walk 5 miles per day, strong social ties appear to be key determinants of the high mental health

Nicoya, Costa Rica
2% eggs, 5% meat, fish, poultry, 24% dairy
Other reasons for longevity: lifelong physical work and chores, constantly visiting with neighbors, get lots of sun (Vitamin D), traditions that encourage low-stress attitudes

Loma Linda, California  -  Seventh Day Adventists
1% eggs, 1% fish, 4% meat and poultry, 10% dairy
Other reasons for longevity: strong faith-based community, emphasis on volunteering and helping others, lots of exercise

Okinawa, Japan
2% fish (mainly white fish), meat (mostly pork), and poultry
Other reasons for longevity: low-stress lifestyle, caring community, activity through walking and gardening, strong sense of ikigai (purpose), and spirituality of the inhabitants of the island. Japanese are already the longest-lived ethnic group globally. 
https://tinyurl.com/yce7tdwl

The common themes are: move naturally, have a sense of purpose and meaning in life, better relationship with stress, stop eating when stomachs are 80% full, lots of plant foods, limited portions of meat, seafood, and eggs, moderate to high dairy consumption (except Okinawa), alcohol consumption (except Adventists), strong faith-based community and spirituality, strong supportive families, rich social lives, they don’t consume processed food, and they live in a natural setting. Sardinia, Ikaria, and Okinawa are islands, and Loma Linda and Nicoya are within 50 miles of the ocean.
https://tinyurl.com/yc4zdhfh
https://tinyurl.com/ybvqoqph
 


RE:  5. Meat eaters are deficient in fiber

Is ‘meat eater’ a carnivore or an omnivore? How much meat? What is the connection of fiber and optimal health? How does this prove veganism is the optimal diet for human health? Where is the study for this claim? This assertion lacks a warrant and lacks a source, and therefore should be dismissed as an incomplete argument.



RE:  Less than 5% of Americans meet adequate intakes of fiber

This is an interesting fact, but how does this relate to the assertion above or the resolution?



RE:  Vegan diets are high in fiber and therefore vegans are not deficient.
 
Many studies have demonstrated that excess intake of fiber may actually be harmful, particularly for gut health.

The addition of insoluble and soluble fibers to processed foods may actually cause these foods to be even less nutritious than if they were not enriched with any fiber at all. 
https://tinyurl.com/y9wk2ox9

Excess insoluble fiber can bind to minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron, preventing the absorption of these vital nutrients. https://tinyurl.com/y9bq29fo

When tested in the lab, controlled intervention trials that simply add fiber supplements to an otherwise consistent diet have not shown these protective effects.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10770980/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12223437/
 
 
 
RE:  6. Eating meat causes erectile dysfunction and therefore sexual dissatisfaction
https://tinyurl.com/vxm2ex9

The assertion that meat causes erectile dysfunction is not corroborated by the website con linked. The website is basically a vegan propaganda site that pushes people toward a 21-day vegan kickstart program https://kickstart.pcrm.org/en.

The paper the article links states that, “Screening men with ED for heart disease could save money, lives” with no mention of veganism. https://tinyurl.com/yceoxuhv

Eating whole unprocessed and nutrient dense foods, exercising, and otherwise living a healthy lifestyle is linked to better sexual health

Erectile dysfunction appears to lessen in men adhering to the Mediterranean diet.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28778698/

Soy, the main source of complete protein in a vegan diet and the primary ingredient in most faux meats, is correlated with a “sudden onset of loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.” Soy product consumption is related to hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction.”
https://tinyurl.com/y8o2ughv

Soy protein powder decreases serum testosterone levels in healthy men
https://tinyurl.com/y8l9vwyq

Since erections are highly testosterone dependent, lower testosterone means worse erections and borderline and low levels means erectile dysfunction.
https://tinyurl.com/yalfuyul

Vegan diets are typically low in saturated fat, which can be problematic for testosterone production. Studies show that diets with less than 20% fats can inhibit testosterone, and since vegan diets are naturally lower in fat, the risk of vegans having lower testosterone levels and thus erectile dysfunction is quite high
https://tinyurl.com/y79swzgz

The vegetarian diet decreased testosterone levels and increased the level of SHBG – a potent hormone that reduces free T levels in the blood. 
https://tinyurl.com/ybo23m5t

 
 
RE:  7. Vegan diets increase endurance and performance

The Endurance Diet, a book which delves into what the top endurance athletes in the world do to optimize their nutrition has five main principles and the first is: Eat Everything
The overwhelming majority of elite endurance athletes regularly consume all six of these ‘high-quality’ food types. The reason they do so is that a balanced, varied, and inclusive diet is needed to supply the body with everything it needs nutritionally to handle the stress of hard training and to derive the maximum benefit from workouts.”

The greatest endurance athlete of all time, 6-time Iron Man Champion Triathlete Mark Allen, recommends eating everything and focusing on high nutrient density. https://tinyurl.com/y7a8jbho

Dave Scott is one of the Ironman greats of all time. “He is an advocate now of a ketogenic diet, emphasizing the intake of healthy fats over carb levels as low as 5 percent of total calories.”
https://tinyurl.com/y848rv99

Timothy Olson, an ultra runner who does 100-mile races in mountain terrain eats a ketogenic diet as well. 
https://tinyurl.com/glcachr

80.8% of endurance athletes used lower-than-recommended amounts of carbohydrates in their diet, and more than 70% of athletes used higher-than-recommended levels of fat, saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol. 
https://tinyurl.com/y7fq5l6g

Our findings extend existing evidence of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet by showing that this diet is also effective for improving endurance exercise performance in as little as 4 days.
https://tinyurl.com/ycfrp665



Good luck to Con!
Published:
Hola vato!

RE 1: Human Beings Evolved to Be Omnivores, Not Herbivores
I demonstrated in my response why humans have traits of herbivores and while we “can” eat meat, our biology makes us better suited to eat only plants (like herbivores).

RE b. Chimpanzees
Only 3% of chimp diets come from meat: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/how-to-eat-like-a-chimpanzee/
Gorillas are folivores: https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/what-do-gorillas-eat-and-other-gorilla-facts

RE c. Humans have been eating meat since before we were even humans. (Pre-History)
This does not mean that our ancestors ate the optimal diet. We lived much shorter lives in our past. 

Out brains run off of glucose, not meat: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22436/



RE d. There Has Never Been a Vegan Society. (History)

Sure but that does not disprove that a vegan diet is not optimal. As new information comes in, we enhance our understanding of what the optimal diet is.

However, okinawans ate predominately plant-based (less than 3-5% of their diet came from animals) so they were pretty close to a vegan society.



RE e. Clarifying Contra Naturalistic Fallacy
I can argue that we our ancestors had the “wrong” diet, even though it may have been necessary for survival or what have you, it does not mean it was optimal for them. We may have evolved to better adjust to eating meat, but that does not imply that eating meat is optimal.



II. The Vegan Diet is Deficient in Critical Nutrients Required for Basic Health


RE a. 52% of Vegans are Deficient in B-12
Sure, tons of omni’s are deficient as well. Im advocating for a well-planned vegan diet, much like any healthy diet should be well planned


RE e. The Vegan Diet is Deficient in Critical Nutrients
Again, an improperly planned vegan diet is not what I am advocating for. I am advocating for a well balanced vegan diet that accounts for each nutrient, much like is needed for an omnivorous diet.


RE f. Infants and Children Suffer Impaired Development by Breastfeeding from Vegan Mothers and Eating a Vegan/Vegetarian Diet

This goes against the finding of the Academy of dietetics and nutrition who say that a vegan diet is adequate for all stages of life from pregnancy to adulthood: https://www.eatrightpro.org/-/media/eatrightpro-files/practice/position-and-practice-papers/position-papers/vegetarian-diet.pdf



III. More Health and Psychological Consequences of Vegan Diet


RE a. While People Become Vegans for Ethical Reasons, They Return to Meat for Health Reasons
These are appeals to anecdotes. They may have had an improperly planned vegan diet just like you can have an improperly planned omnivorous diet. They could have returned to eating meat for societal reasons.


RE b. Veganism is Associated with a Higher Risk of Mental Disorders
More research needs to be done on this, I don’t have much of a response to this atm. 

RE c. Vegans Eat Highly Processed Foods That Are Proven to Cause Disease
Im not advocating for a vegan diet that is high in processed foods.


RE d. Many Vegan Women Lose Their Periods
Anecdotal evidence, need scientific evidence please.


RE IV. Health Authorities Favor a Balanced, Omnivorous Diet


There could be monetary reasons to advocate for omni diet. Need to see where their money comes from and if any comes from animal ag industries.

RERE:  1. Eating plant based reduces your risk of developing heart disease and some types of cancer


My definition here is a vegan plant based diet, one not including animal products.


RE:  Heart disease is the leading killer in America and a plant-based diet has been shown to reduce one's risk of developing such a disease.

Vegan plant based diet…

RE:  a well planned vegan diet is adequate for all stages of life and that vegans are at a reduced risk of certain health conditions https://tinyurl.com/y37jcjgp
 

The ACTUAL finding of the paper: “It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage. Vegetarians and vegans are at reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity.”


 
RERE:  Adventist Study revealed that vegetarian diets are associated with a lower overall cancer risk


The Seventh-Day Adventists of Loma Linda, California (who these studies are done on) are not vegetarians and they are definitely not vegans. Their diet includes: 1% eggs, 1% fish, 4% meat and poultry, 10% dairy. This proves omnivorous diets are healthful, not vegan diets.

Read the impact statement: “Vegan diet seems to confer lower risk for overall and female-specific cancer than other dietary patterns. The lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets seem to confer protection from cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.”


Link for you to re-read:https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/22/2/286
 
RERE:  World Health Organization says processed meat causes cancer: https://tinyurl.com/k5lqvgo

You missed my argument about red-meats (not just processed meats) being carcinogenic:

UK Cancer Research have given processed meats a Group1 (causes cancer) Carcinogen classification, and red meats a Group 2A (probably causes cancer) Carcinogen classification: https://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2019/04/26/bacon-salami-and-sausages-how-does-processed-meat-cause-cancer-and-how-much-matters/
 
RERE:  reducing saturated fat intake reduces chances of developing cardiovascular disease by 17%
 
The vegan diet I am advocating for does not include saturated fats.

RERE:  2. A plant based diet is the only diet proven to dramatically reduce and even reverse heart disease

Yes it is true, did you read the study? http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/study-01-results/


RERE: 4. Populations who live the longest tend to eat predominantly plant based
 

Just because their diet included a small amount of meat does not mean that that’s what led to their optimal diet. It is probably negligible, unless you are advocating for eating only 2-5% of your calories from meat?

 
 
RERE:  6. Eating meat causes erectile dysfunction and therefore sexual dissatisfaction

The more meat you eat, the shorter your erections last: https://nypost.com/2019/10/18/the-more-meat-you-eat-the-shorter-your-erections-last-study/
 
 
RERE:  7. Vegan diets increase endurance and performance

Here is a list of top performing athletes who are vegan:

https://www.businessinsider.com/elite-athletes-who-are-vegan-and-what-made-them-switch-their-diet-2017-10
Scott Jurek was a “dominating ultramarathon runner” who is vegan:https://www.google.com/search?q=scott+jurek+vegan&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS725US725&oq=scott+jurek+vegan+&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l7.5441j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Good luck to Pro!




Round 3
Published:
First, I’ll evaluate the key arguments of the debate. Then we’ll go into the summary and voting issues. 

OMNIVORISM
Con concedes to my omnivorism argument by saying, “we can eat meat,” but also says, “our biology makes us better suited to eat only plants (like herbivores).”

His rebuttal fails because there is no justification nor source for this point that ‘humans beings are better suited as herbivores’. Also missing is the rebuttal to my extensive arguments into why the human body necessitates animal products.

Dropped Arguments:
Humans have canines and incisors which are carnivore traits.
Human gut morphology suggests a relatively high dependence on meat.
Human stomach pH suggests humans evolved as carrion scavengers (scavengin old carcasses of animals)
Humans have the ability to digest heme iron, which is found almost exclusively in animal foods.
Humans have limited ability to synthesize taurine, so we need to obtain it through our food

It is because of these evolutionary adaptations to meat-eating in humans that we quite literally require animal foods for optimal health. There is no example in biology of a species having optimal health by rapidly diverging from the diet it evolved to eat based on an ethical choice. And it for these reasons that human beings have optimal health on an omnivorous diet.

CHIMPANZEES
Con concedes of our closest animal relative, “3% of chimp diets come from meat.” 

The reason I chose to include chimpanzees in this debate is to illustrate that omnivorism is shared amongst the closest living relative in the animal kingdom to us also eats an omnivorous diet. Bonobos are the second closest relatives. 

He adds that “Gorillas are folivores” (folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves). Yes, that is true but it isn’t the closest relative to the human species, so it isn’t very relevant. The further you get away from humanity, not only does the percentage of shared genes change, but their sequence as well, which affects the supposed similarity.

Con throws out a red herring (no pun intended), “Our brains run off of glucose, not meat.” 
The vegan diet does not have a monopoly on glucose, which can be derived from fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts--all of which are consumed on different omnivrous diets. This point would only be relevant in arguing against the carnivore diet, which I’m not advocating. And even then it would fail as the human body converts 10% of the fat we eat into glucose and some of the protein. https://tinyurl.com/ycuony5s


History: There Has Never Been a Vegan Society & Blue Zones
 
Con agrees, “Sure but that does not disprove that a vegan diet is not optimal.” 
All great empires, societies, and tribes in human history have eaten animal foods, this gives an approximation of what kind of diet will enable a society of our species to thrive.
 
“Okinawans ate predominately plant-based (less than 3-5% of their diet came from animals) so they were pretty close to a vegan society.”
Okinawans ate meat along with all the other ‘Blue Zones’ of long-lived people. A flourishing omnivrous society is not a testament to veganism; and it is a definitional non sequitur to argue that it is. This is not an argument for veganism, it’s an argument for balanced omnivorism.
 
Dropped Arguments
In addition to Okinawa all other blue zones (Ikaria, Sardinia, Nicoya, Adventists) ate animal products and are known widely as the pinnacle of longevity based on diet and lifestyle.



The Vegan Diet is Deficient in Critical Nutrients Required for Basic Health

52% of Vegans are deficient in B-12
Con concedes, “Sure, tons of omni’s are deficient as well [no source or reason given].”

B12 Deficiency by diet:
Vegan - 52%
Vegetarian - 7%
Omnivore - 0.4% (1 man out of the 281 in the sudy)

Half of vegans are categorised as vitamin B12 deficient and would be expected to have a higher risk of developing clinical symptoms related to vitamin B12 deficiency. With the simple addition of eggs and dairy, only 7% of vegetarians are deficient in B12. That means that by removing eggs and dairy, you get a 7.4x higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. And by going from omnivore diet to vegan diet, you have a 130x higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. https://tinyurl.com/yd7l3hkf

This matters because too little vitamin B12 can lead to anemia and nervous system damage, as well as infertility and bone and heart disease. Symptoms include: Fatigue, lethargy, anemia, weakness, memory loss, dementia, loss of balance, and neurological problems.

Con states, “Im advocating for a well-planned vegan diet”

This is moving the goal posts from veganism to a “well-planned vegan diet” when the debate is ⅔ done; unfortunately most studies just show “vegans” and not several of the sub categories, and we can’t change the definition 66% of the way through a debate. 

That phrase itself means that just to meet adequate nutrition, you have to go against your natural eating instincts and plan specifically what you will eat to meet adequate levels. Or, like I showed above you can include a some eggs, meat, and dairy in your diet to reach sufficient levels without having to go out of your way and plan.

Infants and Children Suffer Impaired Development by Breastfeeding from Vegan Mothers and Eating a Vegan/Vegetarian Diet

Con states, “This goes against the finding of the Academy of dietetics and nutrition who say that a vegan diet is adequate for all stages of life from pregnancy to adulthood.” 
To reiterate a “well planned vegan diet” being adequate, is a far cry from the average vegan diet being optimal.
 
Further the study con posted mentions the fact that vegan pregnant women should supplement with 150 mg/day of iodine, DHA, vitamin D, B12, and calcium. That is the exact opposite of your diet being “adequate” is requiring the use of supplements in addition to your diet.
 
And the same symptoms of adults who are deficient in those nutrients is observed in babies of vegan mothers. As one review puts it, “Vegetarian and vegan diets for children carry significant risks of nutrient deficiencies that can have dire health consequences.”


While People Become Vegans for Ethical Reasons, They Return to Meat for Health Reasons

Of the polls on vegans and ex-vegans con writes “These are appeals to anecdotes. They could have returned to eating meat for societal reasons.”

Scientific polling is a perfectly valid measurement tool with a proper sample size and the hassle with veganism was the #2 reason for quitting veganism, while the #1 reason was health related.

Veganism is Associated with a Higher Risk of Mental Disorders
Con: “More research needs to be done on this, I don’t have much of a response to this atm.”

Dropped Arguments
Veganism is associated with a higher risk of mental disorders and the 6 studies with 131,125 subjects that prove this.

On top of other deficiencies, a shortage of serotonin (well-being neurotransmitter) is present in many vegans since it it comes from tryptophan and there are no good plant sources of tryptophan.


Vegans Eat Highly Processed Foods That Are Proven to Cause Disease
Con rejects this stating, “I’m not advocating for a vegan diet that is high in processed foods.”

Your personal advocation is irrelevant to the average vegan diet and we can’t change the definition most of the way through a debate.

Dropped Arguments
Vegan substitutes for animals products are highly processed and unhealthy. Regular beef burgers are healthier than vegan burgers with processed ingredients.
Veganism is a hassle, and therefore vegans opt for more processed foods that reduce shopping and cooking time



Many Vegan Women Lose Their Periods
Con retorts, “Anecdotal evidence, need scientific evidence please.”

I concede that more evidence and studies are needed. Also many of these cases come from women who adopt a low-fat, frugivore style vegan diet such as Freelee the Banana Girl, which is worse than an average vegan diet. But in light of the fact that there has yet to be a study on this, an amalgamation of personal testimonies is the best evidence we have at the moment.


Health Authorities Favor a Balanced, Omnivorous Diet

Con states, “There could be monetary reasons to advocate for omni diet. Need to see where their money comes from and if any comes from animal ag industries.”

Suggesting that there could be meddling in the dozens of studies and reviews from different countries and researchers doesn’t exactly prove there is.

Extend my argument and the sources from the American Heart Association, the CDC, and the World Health Organization.
 
 
CON: Eating plant based reduces your risk of developing heart disease and some types of cancer
Con states, “My definition here is a vegan plant based diet, one not including animal products.”

Well, scientists are not aware of this being the only definition and the general consensus is that plant-based means a diet primarily based on plants, no excluding animal or fungi foods.

 
CON: Adventist Study “Vegan diet seems to confer lower risk for overall”

As I argued, the vegan diet is one of several diets that confers lower risk of cancer.

The ketogenic diet and mediterranean diet both confer lower risk of cancer overall, and I provided four studies to back this fact.

Con: red meat is a Group 2A carcinogen (probably causes cancer)

This is based on shaky evidence and is nowhere near as proven or strong as cigarettes. These studies don’t control for other parts of diet, e.g. eating red meat with bread, soft drinks, and food fried in seed oils; lifestyle; smoking; drinking; stress levels; sleep quality.

Instead of one study, here’s a review of 35 studies that shows no association between red meat and cancer. “The currently available epidemiologic evidence is not sufficient to support an independent positive association between red meat consumption and cancer.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20663065/


 
Saturated Fat
 
Con doubles down, “The vegan diet I am advocating for does not include saturated fats.”

So therefore the problem with testosterone production and erectdile dysfunction would be higher.


Populations who live the longest tend to eat predominantly plant based
 
“Just because their diet included a small amount of meat does not mean that that’s what led to their optimal diet.”

Ikaria - 15% animal foods
Sardinia - 31% animal foods
Nicoya - 31% animal foods
Loma Linda - 31% animal foods
Okinawa - 2% animal foods

These societies are not vegan, and therefore cannot be used as a justification or support for veganism or vegetarianism for that matter.


SUMMARY: tldr

Humans are omnivores. Because human beings have been eating meat for 2.6 million years (before even becoming human), we evolved biological adaptations for eating meat and therefore have become reliant on it for optimal health and mental functioning. There has never been a vegan society in the history of the world. All empires, societies, tribes have eaten animal products, which shows an approximation for what diet is optimal from what has fueled the greatest human civilizations.  The biological evidence of humans being omnivores is in our teeth, gut morphology, stomach acid, heme absorption, taurine synthesis, and global habitation.

Vegan diets are consistently rated as deficient in critical nutrients for human health such as Iodine, Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, DHA, EPA, tryptophan, fat-soluble vitamins A and K2, taurine, creatine, carnosine, choline, methionine, glycine, and selenium. These deficiencies can cause a host of health and mental problems. It’s better to get nutrients from diet than from supplementation, which can cause further complications and nutritional imbalances. These deficiencies are seen in infants and children of vegan mothers as well.

According to polls people become vegans for ethical reasons, and vegans return to animal products for health reasons. 84% of vegans quit within a year, #1 reason is health related.

Vegans eat highly processed foods that are proven to cause cancers and disease. Vegan imitation products, like fake meat, are less healthy than actual meat.

The top health authorities in the world advocate an omnivorous diet, not vegetarian or vegan.

The longest-lived populations on earth eat an omnivorous diet.

The ketogenic diet and mediterranean diet are shown to reduce cancers across the board. Mediterranean diet, paleo diet, and DASH diet are proven to reduce and reverse heart disease. The vegan diet is not the only one. And since those other diets are not riddled with nutritional deficiencies and mental health problems, they are preferable and optimal.

Lack of saturated fat in the vegan diet explains low testosterone and erectile dysfunction among vegans. Saturated fat is required to make cholesterol and then testosterone. Low testosterone leads to erectile dysfunction.

The overwhelming majority of endurance athletes eat an omnivorous diet, including the greatest athletes of all time.

VOTING ISSUES
I demonstrated through a holistic approach from evolution, biology, and history that humans are omnivores. Con couldn’t find a reason why a species that evolved as an omnivore with specific adaptations to eating meat somehow should be vegan to have optimal health.
Con admits that vegans have a range of nutrient deficiencies.
Con provided no satisfactory response for why the top health authorities favor an omnivorous diet.
Con dropped 10 arguments.
I met my burden of proof and con has failed to meet his.

Veganism is not the optimal diet for humans.

Vote Pro!


Published:
I urge pro to checkout this list of evidence supporting a vegan diet, which I discovered too late in this debate, but feel equips me to better make the argument for a vegan diet being the optimal diet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fVAXtjoDYJzSyd99npHaLu2Ylfou3QT07X5lN3JeN0U/edit#

However, I feel I have done an adequate job in this debate and will explain: 

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OMNIVORISM:
Plant-based diets were eaten throughout most of human evolution: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14527636
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1467-3010.2000.00019.x/abstract
http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-problem-with-the-paleo-diet-argument/



CHIMPANZEES:

Again, to claim that we should model our diets based on close ancestors, while considering that chimpanzees diet consists of only 3% meat (this accounts for eating meat 9 times out of the year). It is absurd to claim that that 3% is accounting for the overall healthfulness of the diet. To me it would make much more logical sense to see what the species is consuming 97% of the time, and count the other 3% as noise in the data.

An analogy would be a smoker who lives to age 90 who only smokes 3% of the waking hours of their life, attributing to their longevity. A better approach would be to look at what they did during the 97% of their time and attribute that as the most statistically important data.

Additionally, this is also an appeal to nature fallacy, as our evolutionary ancestors could just have the incorrect diet, since they don’t understand science and data collection to be able to make a more informed decision surrounding their diet.

HISTORY:

Appeal to history. We shouldn’t use history to determine the optimal diet. This would be similar to accepting that slavery is moral because it was once acceptable in history.

Infants and Children Suffer Impaired Development by Breastfeeding from Vegan Mothers and Eating a Vegan/Vegetarian Diet

Adequate is just the language that they use and does not mean that it ISNT optimal. They later proceed to state that vegans are at a reduced risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. If a vegan diet reduces ones risk of heart disease and cancer, its not a stretch to say that it is therefore the optimal diet, if other diets (including Pro’s diet), do not have a lower risk than the vegan diet.

While People Become Vegans for Ethical Reasons, They Return to Meat for Health Reasons

These vegans did not design their diet well, therefore they returned to an omnivorous diet. This does not imply that a well planned vegan diet is not superior to the omni diet.

Veganism is Associated with a Higher Risk of Mental Disorders


Many of these studies lump vegetarians in with vegans and there are design flaws which I cannot get into at the moment. As previously stated, more data is needed in this area that separates vegans from vegetarians.

Vegans Eat Highly Processed Foods That Are Proven to Cause Disease

Pro says “your personal advocation is irrelevant to the average vegan diet and we can’t change the definition most of the way through a debate.”

Well, I’m not debating the “average” vegan diet. As stated earlier I don’t think the debate resolution was appropriate (in hindsight) A better proposition would be

Plus you don’t know that vegan diets are high in processed foods. Since vegans only make up a small percentage of the population, it is more likely that non-vegans are consuming these plant based alternatives in order for these companies to sustain themselves, since vegans alone would not account for the total demand of such products.

Con: red meat is a Group 2A carcinogen (probably causes cancer)

”Higher intake of well-done grilled or barbequed red meat and ensuing carcinogens could increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer”
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0027711

Saturated Fat

Yup, again, I don’t advocate saturated fats as part of the well-planned vegan diet, as reducing sat fat intake reduces risk of CDV. Therefore, if you parent reducing meat intake you aren’t reducing sat fat and are therefore not reducing CVD risk. Therefore, and omni diet is not optimal. 



Populations who live the longest tend to eat predominantly plant based

iBack to the chimpanzee argument, if Okinawans only consumed 2% or less of their calories from meat, it is absurd to claim that their advantageous health outcomes were a result of 2% of their diet. Makes much more logical sense to base their health outcomes on the majority of their diet, the 98% of which came from plants.

At the very least, Con has to concede that a diet of more than 2% of meat is not optimal.

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TLDR:



Pro is ignoring many of the cases made for meat intake attributing to poorer health:
1) Meat intake has been shown to increase risk of cancers
2) Meat intake has been shown to increase risk of developing heart disease

Pro is ignoring the evidence supporting that a vegan diet is optimal:
1) A vegan diet reduces your risk of heart disease
2) A vegan diet reduces your risk of certain types of cancer

Pro is making too many assumptions and absurd claims that 3% or less of calories in a given diet accounts for a diets benefits while ignoring the 97% which is far more likely to be the significant factor.

Therefore, by demonstrating the various harmful aspects of consuming meat, and the various benefits of a vegan diet, it is safe to conclude that a vegan diet is the optimal diet.


Added:
--> @User_2006
It's a weird one. If not for the deception, and not bothering to appeal the previous ban, I wouldn't mind so much.
Heck, I can think of a few non-exploitative reasons someone might want to be both sides in a debate.
#15
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--> @Crocodile
Pretty sure. Either way, the accounts have chosen to present themselves as indistinguishable from alt accounts of Human.
#14
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I can see why people would create alts just to vote themselves and extract info on the forums, but debating yourself? That's just next level.
#13
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--> @Ragnar
So these are the same exact people?
#12
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--> @Human
***
I'm opting to not delete this debate, as I do appreciate the hard work you put into it.
-Ragnar, DM
***
#11
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If your going to be vegan, do your research on how to obtain the nutrients you need from other sources so you don't become deficient in anything.
#10
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--> @fauxlaw
I would enjoy a sandwich with toasted bread, lettuce, cheese, ham, and mayo. It seems pretty omnivorous. I am not a vegan either but I admit eating veggies is definitely healthy.
#9
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--> @User_2006
Nope. Omnivore all the way. I have incisors and canines. They're to tear flesh. There is an enzyme in saliva which sole purpose is to begin the digestion of flesh.
#8
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--> @User_2006
Also, I'm not sure you can separate the environmental sense from "optimal health" (e.g. covid).
#7
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--> @fauxlaw
I speculate that you aren't vegan?
#6
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--> @pense
Well, Pro is talking about vegan diets, which means anything that is a meal and contain no meat is counted. Also, if you are using that argument it is up to no good because, no semantics, and this no changing the pragmatic sense the instigator created.
#5
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IMO veganism is not only one diet, it's a set of diets. Definitely there is a vegan diet that is not optimal, hence the resolution is trivially true. The question to me is: "is there a vegan diet as optimal as a non-vegan one?"
#4
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I mean, I am super evident in that veganism is the optimal diet in ane environmental sense, but for humans alone and only for eating? nope.
#3
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--> @QueefJuice
Superb first argument! Well done. I often tell vegans, "You can keep your rice [the cultivated rice paddies emit methane], but leave my steak alone!"
#2
Added:
--> @QueefJuice, @LePelch
Don't forfeit.
#1
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Winner 1 point
Reason:
PRO's argument was far superior but if this voter is reading the user ban logs correctly then one known former debater (username:Human) was composing both sides of the argument, therefore PRO's superior argument was not the outcome of a contest but manufactured by deception. BOTH PRO and CON cheated were the same user and alike in bad faith argument. Therefore, tie for equally atrocious conduct.
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Winner 1 point
Reason:
Argument: The Pro argument of human biology and physiology of an omnivore diet is a sound argument, alone, based on sourcing. The fact that no whole society on earth utilizes a vegan diet, but only small percentages of each, is also a sound Pro argument by sourcing. Finally, the argument of the differentiation of "adequate" and "thriving" is also a telling argument based on sourcing.
Sourcing: Pro's sourcing is credible. Con's sourcing, one in particular, by the claim that the Okinawa diet is a valid vegan diet is refute3d by Con's sourcing, and the source's source, which indicates that the Okinawa diet is NOT vegan, but includes "light meats." points to Pro.