Feel free to move this, as it may need its own thread, but this thread crystallized a few things that have been swimming around my head for a while... And please forgive the flights of thought; it's 2300 on a downer of a night at work.
n.b., I work in healthcare, the last decade at a University teaching hospital. I've done Atkins and now Paleo (even with non grass fed meat) and always lose weight and have improved cholesterol, etc numbers. When I get sloppy about eating and go from meat and veg to bread, my pants get tight again. Anecdote is not evidence of course, but those two facts suggest the philosophical questions to follow.
First, one objection is that high fat shortens your life. Every year here at our annual hospital wide rah-rah, we hear about out "mortality numbers". But no one has yet proven to me that mortality is necessarily a bad thing. To paraphrase Denis Leary (on smoking):
Well it's the ten worst years, isn't it folks? It's the ones at the end! It's the wheelchair, kidney dialysis, adult diaper f--king years. You can have those years! We don't want 'em, alright?
I have started a bit of black humor that the marketing department has yet to adopt: "More patients who come here, live... (They do it in a nursing home with a tracheostomy and a feeding tube and diminished mental capacity, but hey, that's a save!)
The Dartmouth study http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/downloads/reports/Cancer_brief_090413.pdf
showed that 25% of folks with advanced stage cancers are dying with escalating
, "go full tilt boogie" care. The Fenton study out of UC Davis http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22331982
suggests that in the push to make people "happy" (poor customer satisfaction being a metric Medicare will use to cut your reimbursements), healthcare spends more money and provides worse
We're permies, who care for people and the planet, and when I look at the system and consider it as resources in/ resources out, and energy in/ energy out, I don't see that we can justify spending a trillion dollars a year (federal only, ~30% of which is borrowed money from our great grandchildrens' salaries. Similar numbers on private sector insurance.) and countless tons of waste, from plastic IV fluid wrappers and syringe boxes (and the fuel that ships them from the single use tray factories in Pakistan and Mexico), to the detergent for washing the sheets to keep granny going another day?
Before the anecdotes of spry grannies begin, I know them, I see them, and I don't advocate Logan's Run. But "Live well, fall over dead" sounds like the best possible, and frankly the most permie way to live.
Second, there is a lot of talk on the ethics of meat. Natural free range/ grass fed/ "let the pig express its pigness" is the goal. As such feedlots are decried. Instinctively, they repel me as well. But considering what I've detailed above, is a feedlot any worse? Might not a cow, if capable of a rational argument, be told, "We will keep you in this small cage and milk you every day. After a couple of years you will be painlessly put down and recycled into food. In return, you will have three square meals a day, a warm place protected from predators, quality veterinary care, and a prolific number of offspring from high quality males." I suspect a certain number of cows would sign themselves up, because we see rational humans signing themselves up for all manner of slavery, both "stuck in a nursing home drooling on myself" ("He'll come back. Grandpa's a fighter!") to soul crushing jobs, and the forced extractions by the government.
As such, enjoying a good steak may be the better way, even if it does mean you die early of a heart attack. Just plant me in the orchard and recycle me into apples.