How can we eat well without rabbits & chickens? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Assuming a worst case scenario, do I really need meat for a healty lifestyle? Anybody have any suggestions on surviving on vegetarianism in a world that has lost convenient access to staples such as eggs, nuts, and other high quality proteins?

-- a (a@a.a), March 23, 1999


Hello! Yes - you can eat a healthy diet without including meat. Dairy-free vegans face a significant (but not impossible) challenge. Ovo-Lacto vegans have an easier time of it because of the complete proteins from eggs and milk. I will not pretend to be an expert, you will need to research it (complete proteins and such). I can speak for chickens though...if you are not looking for meat, chickens are still extremely easy to raise and are very efficient producers of eggs & fertilizer for the garden. I would recommend "light" breeds instead of heavier breeds as these are more efficient egg producers. There are great resources on the web, just run a search on poultry and/or chickens. Though my flock of 25 eats a main diet of commercial laying food they get all the kitchen scraps and leftovers as well as the remains of my toddler's meals daily - they love it! Take good care of them and 14-15 hens should keep you in about a dozen eggs per day (slows way down when daylight hours decrease/winter). Also, depending on your situation, you may wish to consider dairy goats - I just started and love it! Keep in mind that goats require more substantial housing and care. A good quality doe costs between $100-$200 and gives milk up to 10 months per year. My 3 y.o. Alpine gives a gallon of fresh delicious milk per day! (yes it tastes just like cow's milk if very fresh). Younger does may only give .5 gal. per day. Please research carefully before buying chickens or goats (or any animal) as it is easy to underestimate the work and care involved. As I was re-reading your post it occured to me that you may have very limited space - sorry if my ramblings are not helpful. Chickens are very adaptable though & many neighborhood zoning laws actually allow a small number of hens (no roosters...) to be kept. Good Luck!

-- Kristi (, March 23, 1999.

I eat very well and never touch meat. I haven't for a long time, and I'm quite healthy. I also don't eat eggs, butter or milk, except for soy milk which I love. I eat lots of different grains; soybeans, oats, oatbran, cracked wheat, seven grain cereal, bean, lentils, split peas, bread, lots of veggie, except celery which I don't like, but use to cook with. I fix a drink with fruit, soy milk and flax seed oil, which is delicious. And sardines which we love, have lots of omega 3 oils, the good oil, in them.

I do eat cheese and I will miss that, but I've bought cheese powder and some Velveeta which keeps a long time. Actually Americans eat to much protein, and so that isn't a problem if you eat sardines, mackeral, salmon and tuna which all have a very long shelf life. Soy milk can be mixed up on an as needed basis. Pasta and rice are very good and rice and beans is a complete protein combination. Actually I won't eat too much different than I do now. I've stocked TVP for its texture and to make better meatless meals. I've also bought canned stews and meat soups for my husband, who's not a vegetarian.

Good luck. Experiment, it's not that bad.

-- gilda jessie (, March 23, 1999.

In among the cobwebs:

Keeping roosters quiet in the morning.

Make only one perch available to the gentleman. Think about a rooster crowing. Feathers fluffling, head shaking, stretches up and opens beak for morning announcement. Uh Huh, got you laddie. Make the distance between the perch and the roof a height so the the rooster never gets to straighten his neck. Crowing stiffled on the first mumble.

Works for most.. except those who jump down and announce the dawn from the floor.

Smart floor crowing roosters make good chicken soup.

-- Bob Barbour (, March 24, 1999.

It would be good to note that there has never been a Vegan culture in the history of the world. It's a recent invention, made possible primarily by the availability of large quantities of highly processed soy products. All indigenous cultures include at least some animal protein in their diet, even if it's just bugs or grubs, suggestingly strongly that human physiology requires some animal protein for optimum health. Check out an absolutely fascinating organization dedicated to studying native diets:

I agree, however, that just eggs and dairy products could provide that needed animal protein. In your case, a, it looks like goats might be a difficult swing for you, since you're talking rabbits and chickens.

For what it's worth, we have been raising chickens, rabbits and goats for the past five months. The chickens are effortless. They are a must-have for any homestead. Get a breed that will set on and hatch its own eggs (not all will) and be sure to have a couple of roosters; chickens will only lay really well for a couple of years. Speckled Sussex is on possibility. Check out McMurray Hatcheries catalog for fine descriptions of the mothering proclivities of various breeds.

The rabbits are also easy, although strangely enough we've been having trouble getting ours to breed. Goats are a lot more work and a lot more interesting. But it sure is wonderful to have one's own supply of milk. We haven't bought milk or yogurt since Lady Bass freshened 7 weeks ago.

-- David Palm (, March 24, 1999.

Goats are a lot more work and a lot more interesting.

I agree. Our goat, Vittles, is a riot. She follows us around like a big dog, plays with the chickens (they think she is their mother), and she complains all the time - fusses, even.

Goats are a hoot.

-- Mr. Kennedy (, March 24, 1999.

How to find out about zoning laws and do I want state, city, or county?

Brain is on hold today.

I just want my ticket out of here and to a place with no one but Y2K GIs around.

Don't want to be "in the world" NOW, much less during Y2K.

Feeling very down.


-- Mercy (, March 24, 1999.

a, I'm not sure if you're familiar with the clever zog on GN's discussion forums, but he presented a fantastic study in ecology:

Grow a big garden, reserving a percentage for your rabbits.

Grow worms under the rabbits, who will appreciate the rabbit's waste products.

Feed the worms to your catfish (or any fish) in the pond.

Make a meal/scratch out of the catfish trimmings to feed the chickens (you'd probably need some supplementation here).

Eat the chickens and eggs, fertilize the garden with their droppings, give scraps to the catfish.

Eat the rabbits, give scraps to the catfish.

Eat the worms as a last resort.

Nifty little operation, eh?

Answering the first question: no, you don't need meat, unless you're a fan of BBQ.

-- Lisa (lisa@work.hithere), March 24, 1999.

It would be good to note that there has never been a Vegan culture in the history of the world.
The traditional Hindu culture came pretty close, for thousands of years.

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), March 24, 1999.


Does that mean no milk or eggs at all? That seems hard to believe. I have had all kinds of meat/milk/egg products in Indian restaurants. Granted that's probably far from authentic but it does seem like they have plenty of these products in their diet. But please, tell me (us) more.

-- David Palm (, March 24, 1999.

Mercy-hang in there. Linda

-- newbiebutnodummy (, March 24, 1999.

Thanks and hugs, Linda.

Just having one of those bad days.


-- Mercy (, March 24, 1999.

For the poster who claimed that there has been no vegan culture in all of human history I ask you to show the proof. With the Blue Himalayan, I point to Hindu cultures,....let's see citations.

-- Donna Barthuley (, March 29, 1999.

caSTLEBErrY CHiLLi!!!!!! 50 CenTS foR a 15 ouNCe cAn aT suPErwaLMArt!!!!!! sCRew the RAbbiTS, bUy cOws IN CAns!!!!!!

-- Dieter (, March 29, 1999.

Don't forget, you can pressure can meats, fish, poultry this summer and fall. Watch out for the "loss leaders" in grocery store ads for less than great cuts of beef, pork, etc. All can be pressure canned - no refrig or freezer needed! The meat is cooked during processing, so for beef, you could have almost an "instant beef stew" base to add more veggies,etc.

-- jeanne (, March 29, 1999.

Metabolic individuality is a theory whose time has come IMO. Some do better on high animal protein, some on vegetarian diets and some in the middle, and tend to get unwell when we stray from that. What I firmly believe is that not one size fits all. Has something to do with one's regional ancestry, but other things are being determined and researched. Many people have determined by trial and error what suits them best. For me, when I started Zoning it was a revelation how much better I felt. I've refined it further since then. Not that metabolic typing is a simple matter however, nor one that is very popular. The book "Eat Right for your Type" seems to have some validity but the science in it is incomplete.

I wish it were so, that mankind is best suited to vegetarianism. Whoever designed this system, where creatures have to kill and eat other creatures in order to survive, must have been having a serious bad hair day.

A good thread (someday) to follow up on your idea, might be how are us lowcarbers (Zoners and others, if there are any out there) going to do on all those rice, beans, and grains. This is not top of my list. So far, affordably stocking up so as to eat for as many months as possible is the priority, only later think about optimizing macronutrients. I do enjoy eating rice, grains and beans, although I don't feel best eating that way. Next important is to make sure we have seeds for growing a variety of sprouts and getting essential fatty acids (a stock of flax seeds), and we'll have lots of vegetables from the garden, some of which we will dry.

Of all the beans, soybeans are a complete protein closest to animal protein. Other beans and grains can be eaten in combination to help make up complete proteins. There used to be a theory that you had to combine the vegetable proteins in exactly the right combinations (Frances Moore Lappe, "Diet for a Small Planet") so as to get complete protein, but this theory has largely been discounted (in her most recent version of the book). The body is smarter than that.

Last, we may want to start canning meats. This means allocating the time to do it and the money for a pressure canner. Also there are commercially canned meats (chicken) and fish (clams, shrimp, mackerel, salmon) sometimes at good prices. Trouble is, heavily cooked and canned meats just don't have the nutritional value of lightly cooked, fresh meats and fish (raw is best, but I don't trust our food supply!). So... no great ideas yet. If it goes on long term, I'll just have to adapt. As in so many other areas.

-- Debbie (, March 29, 1999.

While there are metabolism types,,...there is no zone. Human beings are at least omnivores, at best herbivores...our teeth and length of digestive systems testify to our propensity for vegetables, in comparison to carnivores. I'll cite some references ASAP.

-- Donna Barthuley (, March 29, 1999.

Hi Donna!

It's OK... I've read widely on the subject. But I would find the cites interesting anyway. I only said that the Zone is a "zone" for me, and am not attempting to generalize for anyone else. His book makes the same mistake that most nutritional theorists make, of saying that it's the answer for everyone. I'm not even convinced he has the right reasons for why the Zone feels best for some.

And the zone that feels best for me is one of eating high amounts of steamed and raw vegetables and meats, and very few grains, beans, or fruit. "Low carb" is really a misnomer in my case--just low in the dense carbs. It does pose a challenge for post-Y2k food planning!)

Yep our teeth and relatively long digestive tract are those of an omnivore, not a carnivore. It's quite apparent.

-- Debbie (, March 29, 1999.

The jury is so out on nutrition, is the area of human medicine that lags behind all other studies. All they do know is that a diet that is heavy in animal protein is harmful to human beings. All heart disease and intestinal cancers point to animal protein. In my readings I have read that cardiologists all suggest vegetarian diet for heart patients. I am not militantly vegan. We can however control the amount of animal protein that is in our diets and more than adequately substitute vegetable protein with little change in life style. Doctors and patients are kept ignorant. Who benefits?

-- Donna Barthuley (, March 29, 1999.

I tend to think the jury is also out on animal protein, which has been around for millennia without the amount of degenerative disease there now is in civilized countries. There are so many new and insidious 20th century things which are heavy in the SAD (Standard American Diet) so associated with degenerative disease, which possibly just coincidentally is meat-based. When people go vegetarian, they usually clean up a whole slew of bad habits across the board.

The above is just my POV based on some studies, but not others. It is true, nutrition and the whole field is really so baffling and contradictory, the more so as the amount of data is exploding (as in the healing arts). Also this is not as easy to study as it is with, say, the branch of medicine which studies the effects and uses of pharmaceuticals. I wish I would be around in 100 or 200 years to see the advances in what we we know. Thanks for the comments!

-- Debbie (, March 29, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ