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rant. stupid lecturer

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afimelb afimelb VIC Posts: 141
1 20 Jul 2010
okay i have to rant a bit, im currently taking a unit at uni called environmental management. i first though great we will be discussing animal agriculture for obvious reasons in an unbias approach, but ofcourse i was wrong.
Today in class we were discussing ecology and energy effectiveness and outright my teacher said a vegetarian diet is not sustainable because it is too hard to maintain and we do not get all our nutrients from a meat free diet!
someone asked about suppliments and the teacher said they were neccessary! several other students thought that we get all our nutrients from meat.

my lecturer later when on to say that we were designed as ominvorves!
arrggggh there was no break in the convo at all for me to talk either.
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...2 ...2 WA Posts: 2307
2 20 Jul 2010
Argh. That's got to be so frustrating!
Try speaking to your lecturer after class about it?
o.O What a jerk.
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afimelb afimelb VIC Posts: 141
3 20 Jul 2010
i could but i think if he is a professor he may be defensive towards me.
whos knows after clas i may say something like.
could you please explain why you said we designed to eat meat?
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...2 ...2 WA Posts: 2307
4 20 Jul 2010
Yeah, one of my friends used that argument. Everything I said to him:
"No, having canines doesn't make us omnivorous, just look at gorillas."
and so on, he just rebutted with "Well, we adapted."  confused he didn't even say HOW he thought we adapted. It's amazing how repetitive people get when they feel defensive.
Good luck. happy
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Brendon Brendon NSW Posts: 1212
5 20 Jul 2010
afimelb said:
i could but i think if he is a professor he may be defensive towards me.
whos knows after clas i may say something like.
could you please explain why you said we designed to eat meat?
I'm a vegan and don't get me wrong I think that your lecturer is clearly pushing his own opinion into something he's not educated about.
BUT... We are somewhat designed to eat meat; just not loads of it. We're herbivorous (some would argue frugivorous) omnivores. So although we can eat meat we are optimally designed to consume plant matter. Generally it's thought that we can consume meat for times of famine.
I'd ask him:
1. How is meat sustainable when the grain that we feed to livestock is more then enough to feed the entire world?
2. What is in meat that doesn't exist in the plant world in abundance? The only one he might bring up is vitamin B12 and your argument should be about how it's in the soil but we wash our vegetables to heavily AND also that the part of the population with highest B12 deficiency is older meat eaters because it's hard to absorb B12 from your gut (your mouth has better absorption which is why most supplements are chewable/suckable) and meat lowers the rate of absorption. Greens/nuts/seeds have all the calcium/iron we need and when eaten with a vitamin C source we absorb it better then from meat anyways. Protein; I always use the logically argument that on a diet of optimal calories (say 2000 for the average man) it's impossible to get below 9% protein in your diet and 5% is all that is required for life. Everything contains protein but juice/oil and water.
Then end the argument asking him why if meat is our ideal food source why does it raise our cholesterol and hurt our organs; things that only happen in herbivores who eat meat? A carnivore like a cat or a carnivorous omnivore (the opposite of us) like a dog won't have raised cholesterol unless they're drugged (part of why it's SO hard for animal testers to show any conclusive evidence on cholesterol lowering drugs from animal tests since it's really hard to raise a dogs cholesterol).
God I wish I was in your class... I would've ripped him a new one.
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Karen Karen Australia Posts: 993
6 20 Jul 2010
Unleashed Admin
afimelb said:
i could but i think if he is a professor he may be defensive towards me.
whos knows after clas i may say something like.
could you please explain why you said we designed to eat meat?
I think that whether or not we were "designed" to eat meat is beside the point. (Whether or not we were "designed" at all is another question entirely! wink).

The point is we don't NEED to eat meat in order to be healthy, happy, and have ample energy. You are living proof of that! So is the statistic that gives vegetarians a longer life expectancy than meat eaters. He is likely to continue to mislead students, and other people, if someone doesn't set him straight. If you don't want to confront your lecturer, then why not write a polite and informative letter to the faculty?

It seems quite incredible that someone who lectures in environmental management in this day and age is unable to acknowledge the MASSIVE ecological benefits of reducing or eliminating animal products because he has been given completely false nutritional advice.

Sadly it's not uncommon for people to believe stories like this ... but your'e in an ideal situation to show him that it's a myth that we need animal protein to be healthy.

Consider this a golden opportunity! thumb

Good luck! happy
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Etranger Etranger ACT Posts: 53
7 20 Jul 2010
afimelb said:
okay i have to rant a bit, im currently taking a unit at uni called environmental management. i first though great we will be discussing animal agriculture for obvious reasons in an unbias approach, but ofcourse i was wrong.
Today in class we were discussing ecology and energy effectiveness and outright my teacher said a vegetarian diet is not sustainable because it is too hard to maintain and we do not get all our nutrients from a meat free diet!
someone asked about suppliments and the teacher said they were neccessary! several other students thought that we get all our nutrients from meat.

my lecturer later when on to say that we were designed as ominvorves!
arrggggh there was no break in the convo at all for me to talk either.
Actually those arguments except that a "vegetarian diet is unsustainable" (what exactly does he mean by that? CSIRO research suggests a vegetarian diet is very sustainable environmentlly), have some validity. Only some. As we all know we can get all our nutrient from a plant based diet, except B12, and only because we clean everything. A little honest dirt never hurt anyone.
As for being "designed" to be omnivores, I would rather express it that we have adapted to be able to eat meat, if neccessary. None of which invalidates the fact that a vegetarian diet is more compassionate and healthier than the standard modern diet.
We are able to choose our battles and this is probably one you will not be able to win. You probably will be able to suggest the refectory provide a vegetarian option, if they don't already, with more success
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Jen Jen VIC Posts: 619
8 20 Jul 2010
Lectures can be really hard to argue with (since they think they know everything - & I guess some may). I guess you've just to get all your facts together so you can have a very educational conversation with you teacher... happy
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Ellim Ellim United Kingdom Posts: 480
9 20 Jul 2010
I think you have two ways to deal with this.  
First - bring it up with your lecturer, calmly and with facts (write them down and take them along if you know you'll have trouble remembering on the fly).
Second - bring it up in your tutorial, even if your tutor isn't your lecturer.  Make a good discussion about it - again, with facts written down if you think you won't remember them.
(Personally, I'd go with option 2.  You might find that a lot of people agree with you already!)

And remember that your lecturer actually doesn't know everything, and is just a normal human being with opinions and bias just like everyone else.  They are not some kind of academic super-human.
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Tanya M Tanya M VIC Posts: 741
10 21 Jul 2010
afimelb said:
im currently taking a unit at uni called environmental management. i first though great we will be discussing animal agriculture for obvious reasons in an unbias approach, but ofcourse i was wrong.
Hey, Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in raising awareness on climate change, yet he failed to mention the impact of animal agriculture in his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth"

Do you think your lecturer would be open to watching "Meat the Truth"?? If not, I would accuse him of not being much of a scholar if he is unwilling to further or expand his own education!
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