Eat meat?

by Christina on March 3, 2010

Doctor-patient interaction I witnessed today…

Patient (two years out from breast cancer diagnosis): 
What do you think about eating meat?

Doctor: 
If I had to give up meat, I’d kill myself. I don’t think there’s any evidence that eating meat is detrimental.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Caitlin March 4, 2010 at 1:07 am

I don't like this at all. I wonder, how did the patient react to this statement? I am sure the physician made this comment tongue-in-cheek, but I still think it is slightly crude to mention 'killing yourself' to a cancer survivor, especially over something like making a dietary change.

I don't think being a vegetarian is as radical a position as this physician implies. He/she easily could have said "eating meat is fine in moderation" instead.

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Christina March 4, 2010 at 11:48 pm

The patient just laughed and they moved on to another topic (I kept quiet!)

It was a moment that had so much potential but ended up being really disappointing.

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roberto March 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Yikes, sounds like that guy doesn't live too healthily! I'm glad a new generation of doctors like you is just around the corner. We need more open minds like yours in medicine.

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Jenny Palmer March 5, 2010 at 8:14 pm

wow. That is so bad.

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adam March 8, 2010 at 1:08 am

Do we really have to give up yummyness for health?
tho perhaps moderation is key…

Anthony Bourdain said to Jonathan Safran Foer(www.eatinganimals.com)on the Larry King Show:
“What about pleasure? I mean, for God’s sake man — pleasure! We were on Larry King together and I made what sounded like a facile jokey remark — you know, what about bacon? It’s good — but the fact is it is good. … Isn’t pleasure important? Isn’t taking pleasure, not just alone (sitting there alone stoned at 2 a.m. in the morning, eating bacon in front of the tube as an essential human experience), but sitting together at a table and enjoying meat — isn’t deliciousness important? Isn’t it really important?”

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Christina March 8, 2010 at 1:26 am

haha yes, that quote makes a good point Adam. I think the ideal would be if we could find great pleasure from engaging in healthy behavior/habits.

I would argue that there can be just as much pleasure (if not more) to be had in sitting together at the dinner table enjoying a delicious vegetarian meal.

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adam March 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm

As research after tax season I will be hosting a delicious vegetarian dinner party.

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