Meat and Eggs Are Illegal Here: The World’s First Vegetarian City. Fascinating.

Jainism teaches against the consumption of meat and eggs, but dairy consumption is allowed, despite also causing harm to animals.

While the areas nearby the town’s most holy sites were already declared meat-free zones, roughly 200 Jain monks decided that they would rather die than continue to tolerate the slaughter and consumption of animals anywhere in the town.

They went on a hunger strike in June 2014, threatening to starve themselves to death unless the government declared the town a meat-free zone.

To accomplish this “meat-free” status, the monks’ demands included a shutdown of more than 250 butcher shops, and a ban on ritual animal slaughter.

“Everyone in this world — whether animal or human being or a very small creature — has all been given the right to live by God,” said Virat Sagar Maharaj, a Jain monk.

“So who are we to take away that right from them? This has been written in the holy books of every religion, particularly in Jainism.”

Jainism is practiced by roughly 5 million Indians, a tiny fraction of India’s 1.3 billion population.

“Meat has always been easily available in this city, but it’s against the teaching of our religion,” says Sadhar Sagar, a Jain believer. “We always wanted a complete ban on non-vegetarian food in this holy site.”

The monks called off the hunger strike after politicians began considering legislation that would ban meat, much to the dismay of the town’s Muslim majority, which makes up about 25% of the population.

The government said they would hear out other perspectives, including the Muslims, who called the potential ban discriminatory as they consume meat and eggs and perform animal sacrifice.

In August 2014, the Gujarat government declared Palitana a meat-free zone, banning the sale of meat and eggs, as well as slaughter of animals in the town.

The ban was a blow to Muslims who called it a violation of their right to consume meat.

“There are so many people living in this city, and the majority of them are non-vegetarian,” said Muslim scholar Jehangir Miyan.

“Stopping them from eating a non-vegetarian diet is a violation of their rights. We have been living in this city for decades. It is wrong to suddenly put a ban on the whole city now.”

Others who work in the meat industry complained of the financial difficulty this law would cause.

“We have been stopped from selling anything in Palitana,” said fisherman Nishit Mehru.

“They shouldn’t have taken this one-sided decision. How will we survive if we are not allowed to sell fish? The government should not make decisions under pressure.”

While many feel the government has no place telling people what they can and cannot eat, and religion should not influence policy, Palitana is not the only place with a ban on meat.

The slaughter of animals is also outlawed in the small country of Bhutan, where Buddhist monks are influential in policy making.


The Oxford Vegetarian Study: an overview


The Oxford Vegetarian Study is a prospective study of 6000 vegetarians and 5000 nonvegetarian control subjects recruited in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1984. Cross-sectional analyses of study data showed that vegans had lower total- and LDL-cholesterol concentrations than did meat eaters; vegetarians and fish eaters had intermediate and similar values. Meat and cheese consumption were positively associated, and dietary fiber intake was inversely associated, with total-cholesterol concentration in both men and women. After 12 y of follow-up, all-cause mortality in the whole cohort was roughly half that in the population of England and Wales (standardized mortality ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.42, 0.51). After adjusting for smoking, body mass index, and social class, death rates were lower in non-meat-eaters than in meat eaters for each of the mortality endpoints studied [relative risks and 95% CIs: 0.80 (0.65, 0.99) for all causes of death, 0.72 (0.47, 1.10) for ischemic heart disease, and 0.61 (0.44, 0.84) for all malignant neoplasms]. Mortality from ischemic heart disease was also positively associated with estimated intakes of total animal fat, saturated animal fat, and dietary cholesterol. Other analyses showed that non-meat-eaters had only half the risk of meat eaters of requiring an emergency appendectomy, and that vegans in Britain may be at risk for iodine deficiency. Thus, the health of vegetarians in this study is generally good and compares favorably with that of the nonvegetarian control subjects. Larger studies are needed to examine rates of specific cancers and other diseases among vegetarians.

Fat, not meat, may have led to bigger hominin brains

Fat, Not Meat, May Have Led to Bigger Hominin Brains

Northern Ethiopia was once home to a vast, ancient lake. Saber-toothed cats prowled around it, giant crocodiles swam within. The streams and rivers that fed it—over 3 million years ago, during the Pliocene—left behind trails of sediment that have now hardened into sandstone.

Deposited within these layers are fossils: some of early hominins, along with the bones of hippos, antelope, and elephants. Anthropologist Jessica Thompson encountered two of these specimens, from an area named Dikika, in 2010.

At the time, she was a visiting researcher at the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University. Given no explanation as to their history, she analyzed the bones and found signs of butchery. Percussion marks suggested someone may have accessed the marrow; cut marks hinted that flesh was stripped from bone. To her surprise, the specimens were 3.4 million years old, putting the butcher’s behaviors back 800,000 years earlier than conventional estimates would suggest. That fact got Thompson, now an assistant professor in the department of anthropology at Yale University, thinking there might be more traces of tool use from those early times.

In a wide-ranging review published in February’s issue of Current Anthropology, Thompson joins a team of researchers to weave together several strands of recent evidence and propose a new theory about the transition to large animal consumption by our ancestors. The prevailing view, supported by a confluence of fossil evidence from sites in Ethiopia, is that the emergence of flaked tool use and meat consumption led to the cerebral expansion that kickstarted human evolution more than 2 million years ago. Thompson and her colleagues disagree: Rather than using sharpened stones to hunt and scrape meat from animals, they suggest, earlier hominins may have first bashed bones to harvest fatty nutrients from marrow and brains.

Humans are the only primate to regularly consume animals larger than themselves. This nutritional exploitation, something Thompson and her colleagues call the “human predatory pattern,” has long been synonymous with the flesh-eating, man-the-hunter view of human origins.

Because large animals such as antelope pack a serious micro-and-macro-nutrient punch, scientists have thought their meat contributed to humanity’s outsized brains. A consensus arose in the 1950s that our ancestors first hunted small animals before moving on to larger beasts around 2.6 million years ago. Flaked tool use and meat eating became defining characteristics of the Homo genus.

It’s a very appealing story,” says Thompson. “Right around that time there appeared to be the first stone tools and butchery marks. You have the origins of our Homo genus. A lot of people like to associate that with what it means to be human.”

Then, starting in the mid-1980s, an opposing theory arose in which Homo’s emergence wasn’t so tightly coupled with the origins of hunting and predatory dominance. Rather, early hominins first accessed brain-feeding nutrients through scavenging large animal carcasses. The debate has rolled on through the decades, with evidence for the scavenging theory gradually building.

In pursuit of nutrients from marrow and brain, early hominins likely smashed animal bones with percussive tools, such as the flint hammerstones in the top row. Flaked stone tools, such as the ax-head fragment in the lower photo, may have been crafted for other tasks.
In pursuit of nutrients from marrow and brain, early hominins likely smashed animal bones with percussive tools, such as the flint hammerstones in the top row. Flaked stone tools, such as the ax-head fragment in the lower photo, may have been crafted for other tasks.Frank Basford/Wikimedia Commons (Top/Bottom)

The new paper goes further: Harvesting outer-bone meat would have come at significant costs, the authors argue. The chance of encountering predators is high when scraping raw flesh from a carcass. Chewing raw meat without specialized teeth doesn’t give much energetic benefit, studies have shown. In addition, meat exposed to the elements will quickly rot.

Marrow and brains, meanwhile, are locked inside bones and stay fresh longer. These highly nutritional parts are also a precursor to the fatty acids involved with brain and eye development. And more easily than flesh-meat, bones could be carried away from carcass sites, safe from predators.

Conventional thinking has been that the behavioral package of early hominins was to go after meat and marrow together, explains Briana Pobiner, a paleoanthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution, who did not contribute to the new paper. But in the new paper, she says, “This team has shown that marrow may have in fact been more important. It’s a nuance, but an important nuance.”

The Pliocene—between 5.3 and 2.6 million years ago—was an era of dramatic change. An intensely variable and cooling climate transformed vast swaths of rainforest into mosaics of grassland and savanna. Large clearings spawned ecological niches for opportunistic and versatile hominins like Australopithecus, a likely contender for the Homoancestor, and Kenyanthropus to fill in. Larger predators may well have left carcasses for them to scavenge.

Evidence suggests hominins shifted their diet around 3.76 million years ago as they took advantage of the open spaces. By around 3.5 million years ago, some species of Australopithecus already showed increased brain sizes, up to 30 percent larger than chimpanzees of comparable body size. Canines had shrunk to proportions later seen in the genus Homo, and hand morphology was already more human than ape, with potential both for terrestrial travel and tool use.

Percussive tools, the authors argue, were the key to the transition to large animal exploitation. Rocks could bash open bones, exposing the marrow inside. The alternative—that humans sharpened stone against stone, creating a flaked tool to carve meat from bone—seems more onerous, they say. They argue that such meat carving and the associated tool creation would likely come later.

As to who wielded these percussive instruments, the timeline presents a puzzle. The earliest Homo specimen is now dated to 2.8 million years. The Dikika fossils suggest butchery behaviors at 3.4 million years ago. Homomay have emerged earlier than scientists suspected—a theory that would need more fossil evidence to support it—or another hominin, such as Australopithecus, may have created tools before Homo.

Some scholars aren’t convinced by the study’s arguments, however. For example, Craig Stanford, an anthropologist at the University of Southern California, questions the emphasis on hominin scavenging behavior appearing before hunting. “We have no examples today of animals that scavenge but don’t hunt,” he adds.

To test the new theory, the review authors suggest seeking out further evidence of percussive tools that predate flaked tools. Researchers could, they note, broaden the search for the signatures of such instruments within both the existing fossil record and at dig sites. Thompson’s graduate students, for example, are using 3D scanning and artificial intelligence techniques to improve the identification of marks on fossils—whether they were created by early hominins, saber-toothed cats, hyenas, or other types of creatures.

What they uncover could deal a blow to their theory, but it will also, undoubtedly, enrich our understanding of how our ancestors evolved.

Reality check for Indian Liberandus: Meat and Climate Change

Are Hindu festivals threatening climate change or western food habits:
👉Research by leading world scientists n scientific groups have come to the conclusion that the only way to save world is by redcuing pork consumption by 90%, beef by 75%, eggs by 50%
👉Many solutions suggested by the team for world: educationing masses, increase tax on non veg food n third one cross subsidies veg food. Details in link.
👉Many countries including China has decided to decrease beef/pork consumption by making its cost beyond the reach of common
👉By suggesting Indian way of food they have actually endorsed our scientific way of living
👉Who designed our way of life, food, festivals, ayurveda, yoga: Rishis
👉Rishis whose mantra of life was Jan Kalyan n basic thinking pattern was man whose work in tandem with nature can such people give you wasteful festivals
👉There is deep thinking beyond have festivals round the year n as per change of season
👉Every person wants change from routine. Festival offers that opportunity. Its keeps mind engaged, offers even the poorest of poor to enjoy pleasant moments in life. Inspite of lots of problem in life, late marriages due to poverty we see less violence n rapes in society
👉West has nothing to offer to its society. People feel very lonely, mind is empty which than goes for drug abuse, record rapes, violence. Just for thrill in life they resort to crime
👉India is less stress society due to this n highest medicine selled in west is hypertension
👉Hindus never ever be ashamed by your way of life. Remember u r the balancing factor of world. They look to us for solutions. If we become like them doom day of humanity is very close. Be proud of yourself. Happy Rangpanchami.

A new report says we should tax meat-eaters like smokers

Eating too much meat and smoking both have an impact on the public, from an environmental and health perspective. Meat production degrades the environment by releasing greenhouse gas emissions and using up a disproportionate amount of land and water per unit of protein, while smoking leads to enormous health bills that the public often has to pay for.

In a new report, investment analysts suggest passing on the costs of the meat sector’s impacts to those directly responsible, the same way we tax smokers. The simple idea of the so-called meat tax is that if your burger ends up costing as much as a plate of caviar, you may decide to explore vegetarian options.

“Meat consumption is also one sector where both the issues of environment and health overlap,” Rosie Wardle, head of investor engagements with the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) Initiative, told Futurism.

Image: The Conversation

“We feel that everyone should have the right to a healthy and nutritious diet,” she said, “and ideally that should help promote a shift towards eating more plant proteins, which is healthier and better for the planet.”

The analysis explores three fields in which damaging practices have been successfully targeted with various tax schemes by governments, and asks whether meat could be the fourth. Over 180 countries already impose a tax on tobacco, 60 jurisdictions have rolled out a carbon tax scheme, and there is a tax on sugar in at least 25 countries.

A new meat tax “would generate money that could be spent in healthcare,” Waller explained. She added that while nothing has been executed yet, “we are seeing these proposals coming up more and more. It’s becoming a discussion item.”

A growing army of carnivores

Nordic countries such as Denmark and Sweden were among the first to recognize the mounting threat of unchecked meat consumption driven by a booming global population. In 2016, the Danish Council on Ethics proposed a tax on red meat based on climate impacts. In Sweden, the Green party also called for a climate tax on food, asking for the introduction of a climate label to help consumers understand the footprint of their dietary choices.

According to Oxford University’s Our World in Data project, global meat production has grown almost five fold since 1961. Asia alone produces between 40 and 45 percent of the world’s meat. In Asia, production has increased 15 fold since 1961, and is projected to continue to grow in the future.

The threats associated with this trend are more complex than those posed by tobacco, carbon or sugar. The meat industry is not only a big source of carbon emissions; red meat over-consumption has also been linked with increased risk of diabetes, cancer and the spread of antibiotic resistance.

However, eating meat is not necessarily bad for you if done in moderation. Additionally, in places where hunger or malnutrition are still rife, introducing beef, pork or poultry to more plates would have clear health benefits.

Barring meat, boosting inequality?

“Consumers respond to price changes in different ways,” Josef Schmidhuber, deputy director of the trade and markets division at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told Futurism. “Some will immediately adapt their behavior when prices change, other will stick to their old habits.”

Generally, people who are poorer adapt quicker to fluctuating prices, a trend that economists call “elastic demand.”

“So if you have a beef tax, who will you tax out of the market? Those who are poorer,” explained Schmidhuber. “And that’s a bad idea, because you penalize those who need to increase their meat consumption. We call this model ‘regressive tax.’”

On the other hand, Schmidhuber argues, a tax on meat will have little impact on those who consume too much, as this group often has extra money to spend on expensive meat. The tax would therefore fail to target the group that most contributes to the problem.

A softer approach to the problem is offered by the nudge theory, for which the economist Richard Thaler was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize. It suggests that rather than punishing people for making the wrong choice, we could make it easier for them to do the right thing.

In the case of meat consumption, tissue culture could soon do this by providing a substitute that is close enough to the animal product that more people will switch with no regrets. Soy-based main dishes already have a place on most supermarket shelves, but visionaries are experimenting with vegetable meat that looks so much like beef that you can see it sizzle on the grill and even bleed.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem. While money is poured into developing more sustainable foods, the idea of a meat tax remains attractive, especially in rich countries. “Based on our findings, and looking at the pathways other products have been on to get to the tax,” Wardle said. “We think we may have something on the table within the next five to 10 years.”

China’s plan to cut meat consumption by 50%

The Chinese government has outlined a plan to reduce its citizens’ meat consumption by 50%, in a move that climate campaigners hope will provide major heft in the effort to avoid runaway global warming.

New dietary guidelines drawn up by China’s health ministry recommend that the nation’s 1.3 billion population should consume between 40g to 75g of meat per person each day. The measures, released once every 10 years, are designed to improve public health but could also provide a significant cut to greenhouse gas emissions.

The Chinese Communist party has found unusual allies among Hollywood celebrities, with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and director James Cameron involved in a series of new public information adverts encouraging Chinese people to consume less animal flesh to help the environment.

Should the new guidelines be followed, carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from China’s livestock industry would be reduced by 1bn tonnes by 2030, from a projected 1.8bn tonnes in that year.

Globally, 14.5% of planet-warming emissions emanate from the keeping and eating of cows, chickens, pigs and other animals – more than the emissions from the entire transport sector. Livestock emit methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, while land clearing and fertilizers release large quantities of carbon.

“Through this kind of lifestyle change, it is expected that the livestock industry will transform and carbon emissions will be reduced,” said Li Junfeng, director general of China’s National Center on Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.

“Tackling climate change involves scientific judgement, political decisions, entrepreneurial support, but at last, it still relies on involvement of the general public to change the consumption behavior in China. Every single one of us has to believe in the low-carbon concept and slowly adapt to it.”

Meat has gone from rare treat to a regular staple for many Chinese people. In 1982, the average Chinese person ate just 13kg of meat a year and beef was nicknamed “millionaire’s meat” due to its scarcity.

The emergence of China as a global economic power has radically altered the diets of a newly wealthy population. The average Chinese person now eats 63kg of meat a year, with a further 30kg of meat per person expected to be added by 2030 if nothing is done to disrupt this trend. The new guidelines would reduce this to 14kg to 27kg a year.

China now consumes 28% of the world’s meat, including half of its pork. However, China still lags behind more than a dozen other countries in per capita meat consumption, with the average American or Australian consuming twice as much meat per person compared to China.

According to a new report by WildAid, the predicted increase in China’s meat consumption would add an extra 233m tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere each year, as well as put increased strain on the country’s water supply, which is already blighted by polluted and denuded rivers and groundwater.

The report warns that unchecked Chinese meat consumption will also degrade its arable land and worsen the country’s problems with obesity and diabetes. An estimated 100 million Chinese people have diabetes, more than any other country.

Research released by the thinktank Chatham House in 2014 forecast that China alone is expected to eat 20m tonnes more of meat and dairy a year by 2020 and warned that “dietary change is essential” if global warming is to not exceed the 2C limit eventually imposed at the climate accord in Paris last year.

A separate report by scientists at the Oxford Martin School this year found that the widespread adoption of vegetarianism around the world could bring down greenhouse gas emissions by nearly two-thirds.

“China’s move to cut meat consumption in half would not only have a huge impact on public health, it is a massive leadership step towards drastically reducing carbon emissions and reaching the goals set out in the Paris agreement,” said James Cameron.

“Animal agriculture emits more than all transportation combined. Reducing demand for animal-based foods is essential if we are to limit global warming to 2C as agreed at COP21.”

Despite the Chinese government’s new commitment to reducing meat consumption, it may be difficult to convince the country’s rising middle classes to cut down. There are also strong cultural traditions attached to the eating of many animals, especially pigs. The Chinese character for “home” depicts a pig underneath the roof of a house.

Recently, Chinese companies have been buying farms in the United States and Australia to provide feed for the country’s dairy and beef industries.
In late 2013 a Chinese company, Shenghui, purchased the largest US pork producer, Smithfield Foods, to help keep up with demand.
“China’s consumption of meat is skyrocketing,” said Jeremy Haft, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and author of a 2015 book, “Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China’s Economic Miracle.”
“China’s demand for meat will continue to grow and support hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US meat industry,” he added. “From a climate perspective, the methane will still be created, but will be shifted to the United States.”