Comprehensive coverage

Vitamin B12

From the book: "The Complete Israeli Guide to Nutritional Supplements", by Yaffe Shir-Rez and Dr. Udi Bar, scientific editing - Anat Tuag, Keter Publishing, February 2008

The cover of the book The Complete Israeli Guide to Nutritional Supplements by D
The cover of the book The Complete Israeli Guide to Nutritional Supplements by D
Vitamin B12

Vitamin 12B was the last to be discovered of all the known vitamins. In 1849, 101 years before the identification of the vitamin, a doctor named Thomas Edison described a dangerous disease, which was called "pernicious anemia" - those affected by it died because its causes were unknown, and there was no suitable treatment for it. 71 years later, in 1920, a researcher named Whipple discovered a treatment for the unexplained disease: he noticed that people who ate a lot of liver soup slowly recovered from anemia. In controlled treatment, the patients were completely cured of the disease as long as they continued to eat liver. In 1948, researchers were able to identify and isolate the "anti-anaemic" substance found in the liver in tiny amounts and it is called vitamin B12. To produce one milligram of B12 it was necessary to process 50 kilograms of liver! In the same year, an English researcher named Dorothy Hodgkin began to study the structure of the B12 molecule, which is the largest and most complex in composition among the vitamins. After many years she succeeded in deciphering the structure and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this in 1964. In 1973 a group of 99 researchers, who worked on the subject for 11 years, succeeded in producing the vitamin synthetically.

Vitamin 12B is an essential component for the production of DNA - the genetic material of cells, which oversees the process of creating new cells in the body, including red blood cells. Damage to this process can cause "macrocytic anemia" - an anemia in which the red blood cells are very large, in contrast to iron deficiency anemia, in which the red blood cells are very small.

B12 also helps in the creation of myelin - the cell envelope that isolates the nerve cells from their environment - therefore it is necessary for the maintenance of the nervous system. In its absence, the shell may be damaged and cause disturbances in the nervous system. In addition, it is necessary for the activity of certain enzymatic systems, where it acts as a co-enzyme - a substance that activates the enzymes. When there is a deficiency of this vitamin and the activity of these enzymes is limited, the level of the amino acid homocysteine ​​rises, which is known today as an important independent risk factor for many diseases - including coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular events and vascular diseases, as well as miscarriages, fetal malformations and more.
Vitamin 12B is also necessary for the utilization of folic acid and carbohydrates from food.

Although this vitamin is needed by the body in tiny amounts, it is of enormous importance. A lack of vitamin B12 can cause a wide range of symptoms and damage, starting with severe fatigue and fertility problems, and ending with increasing the risks of heart attack, Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer.

food sources

B12 is the only one of the vitamins that is not supplied to the body in the diet from plant sources - the only source from which it is available is animal foods. The largest amount of the vitamin is found in beef, especially beef liver.

Lack situations

Vitamin 12B deficiency was until recently considered rare, but in recent years it turns out that it is much more common than commonly thought. In the United States, it was found that 39 percent of the population has too low levels of the vitamin in their blood. The finding was discovered as part of a survey conducted by researchers from Tufts University in Boston, funded by the US Department of Agriculture, among 3,000 men and women in Massachusetts.

Studies conducted in Israel have also proven that the prevalence of vitamin deficiency among the population is surprisingly high. In a study conducted at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in collaboration with the MDA Blood Bank among 2,000 healthy blood donors, it was found that the prevalence of 12B deficiency is 13%-24%. Another study, conducted by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the "National Health and Nutrition Status" survey, indicated an even higher prevalence - about 15% of men and about 30% of women!

Another study, conducted by researchers from Hadassah Ein Kerem and Shaari Tzedek hospitals, also found that in Israel there is a nationwide problem of a lack of this vitamin. In addition, the study also pointed to distinct differences, dependent on ethnicity, in the prevalence of vitamin deficiency. In the population of Ashkenazi Jews, the prevalence of the deficiency is 22%, among Jews of Moroccan origin - 13%, among Jews of Yemeni origin - 21%, among Jews of Iraqi origin - 19%, and among Arabs - 24%.

Lack of vitamin 12B has two causes: one - insufficient eating of foods containing the vitamin, and the other - deficiencies in its absorption in the body as a result of various diseases and problems. The reasons for insufficient consumption of foods containing the vitamin are diverse: socio-economic problems (it is mainly found in meat, which is an expensive component of the diet), weight loss diets of various kinds and different eating cultures. According to the MBT survey, Israelis, and especially Israeli women, eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and too little meat, and this is the main reason for the twice-higher prevalence of malnutrition in women. Extreme vegetarians and vegans, who also abstain from eggs, milk and fish, are certainly at risk of deficiency. Other risk groups are the elderly and nursing babies whose mothers are vegetarians or vegans. In this last case, a deficiency that is not treated quickly can lead to a delay in development and even death.

The second cause of vitamin deficiency - deficiencies in the process of its absorption from the digestive system - may be due to various diseases, including gastric ulcer, celiac disease, Crohn's disease (a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestine) and more, or may arise as a result of gastrectomy and other surgeries in the digestive system.

The absorption process of vitamin B12 from the digestive system to the blood system is long and complex, and each of its stages is prone to malfunctions. One of the main causes of its absorption deficiency is a lack of a substance called "intrinsic factor" (glycoprotein - a compound made of protein combined with sugar secreted in the stomach); This substance binds to it the B12 that comes from the food, thus helping its absorption in the intestine. When there is a defect in the formation of the intrinsic factor - as a result of autoantibodies that attack and destroy it, or due to chronic inflammation in the stomach - the vitamin is not absorbed well.

When we are born, there is a reservoir of vitamin B12 in our body that is sufficient for a period of five years or so, and therefore the lack of 12B develops very slowly even when the supply of the vitamin is poor. Every day our body loses about 1-4 micrograms, which it is necessary to supply back to the body. This is a tiny dose, which is usually enough to achieve in a balanced diet that provides 10-30 micrograms of the vitamin per day, of which about 1-4 micrograms are absorbed. In the United States it was found that a diet rich in animal foods provides 32 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. In the menu that is poor in animal foods, which contains almost no meat, eggs and milk - as eaten by many millions in Asia - there is less than one microgram of the vitamin.

Deficiency symptoms

Because of its great importance in various systems of the body, the lack of vitamin B12 may cause a wide range of effects and damages, some of which are classic symptoms, and some of which are less well known. The classic symptoms include megaloblastic anemia, in which the blood cells are larger than normal, and various neurological problems, which are manifested in a decrease in memory and concentration, restlessness and excessive irritability, sleep disorders and a tingling sensation in the legs (stinging sensation like crawling ants). The less well-known signs are problems with the digestive system, manifested by abdominal pain, gas and constipation; Headaches; inflammations and ulcers in the mouth; Impotence and fertility problems.

A persistent lack of B12 can cause irreversible neurological problems, severe behavioral disorders and depression, as well as functional failure of cells in the immune system.

Due to the key role it plays in the nervous system, in the creation of new tissues and in the ovulation process, a lack of 12B in women can cause ovulation disorders and repeated miscarriages as a result of the fertilized egg not developing. A study conducted at the "Haemek" hospital in Afula proved that taking the vitamin as a dietary supplement helps to increase its level in the blood and prevent fertility problems and abortions. According to the findings of the study, 13 of the 14 women who participated in it (and who were found to have a significant vitamin deficiency) were able to conceive as a result of taking the vitamin. In their conclusions, the researchers state that the study proves the importance of measuring the level of vitamin 12B in all women undergoing a diagnostic process to find out the causes of fertility problems.

The effectiveness of the supplement

Until recently, those with vitamin B12 deficiency had to receive injections to make up for the deficiency. The main disadvantage of this treatment was the fact that these are painful injections. The basis of the treatment was the assumption that when taking tablets orally, the vitamin is not absorbed efficiently in the body of a patient who suffers from its poor absorption from the beginning, and therefore it must be injected directly into the blood system. However, a study conducted at the "Rabin" Medical Center and published in August 1999 in the Lancet medical journal contradicted this assumption. It turned out that the treatment with B12 tablets to suck under the tongue is not only more comfortable and less painful than the treatment with injections, but also more effective and safer. The study examined 18 people aged 23-30, who suffered from a vitamin deficiency for various reasons for a long period of time. The subjects, who before the start of the treatment had an average concentration of 127.9 micrograms B12 per milliliter, were treated with two B12 tablets per day. A week to 12 days after the start of the treatment, the concentration of the vitamin in their blood stabilized within the normal range - at a level between 200 and 900 micrograms per milliliter - and none of them suffered any side effects. The reason for the success of the treatment lies in the fact that the vitamin given is in a very high concentration - two sublingual tablets contain a total amount of 2,000 micrograms per day.

Vitamin 12B and breastfeeding

According to the recommendation of the American Organization for Disease Control (CDC), pregnant women and vegetarian breastfeeding mothers must be closely monitored to avoid a deficiency of this vitamin, and in deficient situations it is necessary to consume at least the daily dose recommended by the American Food and Drug Administration (RDA) - whether from food sources natural (from the animal) or as a nutritional supplement. Since the lack of B12 does not cause unique symptoms in newborns, it is difficult to identify it in them. Studies conducted in recent years show that it may cause a delay in the development of the baby and a delay in performing motor actions, walking and speaking.

Vitamin 12B and homocysteine

As mentioned, vitamin 12B, in combination with vitamin 6B and folic acid, is essential for reducing the levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, which is now known as an independent and important risk factor for cardiac and cerebrovascular events. Many studies conducted in recent years find a connection between high levels of homocysteine ​​and the development of atherosclerosis, which causes heart attacks, strokes and other diseases of the blood vessels. Some studies have even shown that the addition of vitamin 12B, 6B and folic acid after cardiac catheterization reduces the rates of recurrent narrowing of the coronary arteries. Additional research evidence points to the role of homocysteine ​​in the development of other diseases - including Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis - and even in fertility problems and the formation of defects in the development of the neural canal of the fetus.

Vitamin 12B and mood and behavior disorders

As mentioned, vitamin 12B is essential for the maintenance of the nervous system and its normal activity, and its deficiency may cause damage to the fatty myelin sheath of the cells, which may cause disorders of the nervous system.

Studies conducted on depressed people show that a large number of them lack B vitamins, especially vitamins 12B, 6B and folic acid. Additional studies have demonstrated that taking these supplements in combination can improve the results of treatment in depression. For example, a prospective study (in which a controlled change is initiated and the results are examined as a result) published in 2003 in the medical journal BMC Psychiatry, in which 115 patients who suffered from depression participated, showed that the higher the level of vitamin 12B, the better the results of the psychiatric treatment.

Side effects and overdose risks

There are no reports in the literature about risks arising from taking large amounts of the vitamin, since its excesses are excreted in the urine.
To the book page on the Keter website

To the previous chapter from the book on the science website - Introduction - what vitamins are, and what their role is

58 תגובות

  1. Anonymous (unidentified) user
    On the other hand - humans do not get the vitamin from bacteria - I have no idea why. What's more - I read about a place in India where the disease increased after they cleaned the whole village. It turns out that the inhabitants (vegetarians of the Indian type) got the vitamin from the bacteria....

  2. Really inaccurate, note that it is not the animals that provide us with B12, but bacteria found on plants:
    This series of compounds, known as vitamin B12, is also called cobalamins - a name derived from cobalt - the metal in the center of the molecule, and amine - a derivative of ammonia. This vitamin is created exclusively by bacteria that live in the soil and are in symbiosis with the roots of plants. It is not clear why the bacteria synthesize the vitamin that is not necessary for them and is also not necessary for the plants with which the bacteria are in symbiosis. It is possible that the process occurs to withstand the pressures required by symbiotic life.[1] The vitamin comes from the bacteria to the animals' bodies.

  3. Really inaccurate, note that it is not the animals that provide us with B12, but bacteria found on plants:
    This series of compounds, known as vitamin B12, is also called cobalamins - a name derived from cobalt - the metal in the center of the molecule, and amine - a derivative of ammonia. This vitamin is created exclusively by bacteria that live in the soil and are in symbiosis with the roots of plants. It is not clear why the bacteria synthesize the vitamin that is not necessary for them and is also not necessary for the plants with which the bacteria are in symbiosis. It is possible that the process occurs to withstand the pressures required by symbiotic life.[1] The vitamin comes from the bacteria to the animals' bodies.

  4. ethical

    This website is not a website for professional advice, therefore you will not receive a response to your question. Try asking in medical forums.

  5. Hello, I am responding to the information you gave at the beginning of the review..
    "Sources in food-

    B12 is the only one of the vitamins that is not supplied to the body in the diet from plant sources - the only source from which it is available is animal foods. The largest amount of the vitamin is found in beef, especially beef liver."

    The largest amount is found in seafood and fish far beyond the animals that walk on the ground, for example oysters, the amount of vitamin B 12 in them is 40 times greater than in beef!!! At least this is what was reported by the American Institute of Science, 1998.
    Oysters (steamed) 84.0 mcg per 85 grams, compared to beef (boiled) 2.1 mcg per 85 grams.

    go to

  6. If I hadn't taken care of vitamin b12 and folic acid I wouldn't exist today.
    Menstruation stopped at the age of 30, acute anemia, I could hardly walk, no appetite at all, shortness of breath, and ophthalmia, one after another, (antibiotics every month, antibiotics a week) immune system on the face.
    The question, perhaps stupid, is there excess b12?

  7. What is the importance of the vitamin?
    It is not written... (It is written, but it does not give an answer at all....)

  8. There is a situation
    Two people do not want to respect animals for the same reason that some of us do not believe in evolution
    Because according to evolution the reason we live is the same reason the dog lived
    An armed Uranzim that wants to continue to exist
    We will also slaughter animals because the world is for us "we are not animals"
    And when we don't eat animals it means because we understand that they are like us in a certain way

    what are you saying

  9. Michael and Shaul:
    You went round and round and didn't get to the point.

    Preparation of medicines involves the success of life.
    Eating meat is a luxury and it is too short to detail how (informed) vegetarianism is better for health.
    Michael will correct me in my mistake, but vegetarianism stems from where it can be avoided, and the consumption of medication in most cases is necessary.
    This is the reason why he will not hesitate to eat human flesh when he is on the brink of starvation and will avoid eating cow flesh when he is completely healthy and there is no imminent danger.

    The Bible is not relevant to a logical discussion, such as this one.

  10. borrowed:
    I looked online for the option to see what (as you claim) will never happen at the FDA.
    All I could see was what happened in it and what is happening in it now but predicting the future is probably still not possible even on the internet. There are a number of technologies that are being developed whose effectiveness, at least in some cases, is higher than the effectiveness of animal testing. I don't know what will happen in the future, but I'm pretty sure that a day will come when the FDA will not require animal testing either. In any case, since prophecy is not my profession, I will stick to the subject of numbers.
    He has not the slightest doubt that the number of animals killed in laboratories is thousands of times less than the number of animals killed for food. Your attempt to refer to all humans where I referred to the researchers is not justified because it is simply not true to claim that all humans use laboratory-killed animals. Unlike the case of slaughtering for food, in the laboratory - the slaughterer is also the one who uses the slaughtered animal. This sharply limits the rate at which animals can even be killed in the laboratory.
    The consumers of the drugs consume the drugs, not the laboratory animals, and it is much more reasonable to expect them to push for the development of test methods that do not kill animals than to demand that they refrain from using drugs (partly because a dead person cannot continue to fight for the welfare of animals).

  11. Last comment on the subject:

    The use of any drug necessarily encourages murder because the FDA will never (!!!) give a license to try it on humans (except for drugs that have a real justification to rush them to the market such as certain anti-AIDS drugs) if it has not been tried on animals first and thoroughly tested that not only is it useful but Also not harmful in any aspect or to a tolerable degree. Please, Google the FDA regulations and you will see that I am right.

    Since, for every drug that is approved, there are quite a few that are not approved, or that do not manage to mature enough to be submitted for approval, the number of animals killed due to the drug approval policy is much higher than a number that can occur to you at first thought.

    I blessed you with good health and longevity despite your vegetarianism.

  12. borrowed:
    I encourage you to go back to the comment from which this entire discussion was derived by picking one point of your own.
    I already gave the answer to your current question there when I explained that the use of drugs does not encourage a specific way of testing them and therefore does not encourage murder.
    I don't have the energy for this kind of discussion where all you do is twist facts (seriously! Do you really believe in the claim that for food purposes kill fewer animals than for research purposes? Enough with the stupid bullshit!) and take things out of context only to come back and ask (as if this is a response that just "to the point") questions that have already been answered before.
    Your modus operandi is called exhaustion and I have no intention of being exhausted.

  13. I'm only answering to the point: when you talk about experiments for the sake of science, you're talking about the number of people actually killed, and when you talk about the dead for eating, you're talking about the number of consumers.
    In both examples, the actual killers are a few who kill many animals for the sake of entire populations who are supposed to benefit from it - and they do.
    You don't eat animal food, and you do take medicine (I am, of course, not talking about you personally since I have already blessed you to live to one hundred and twenty in good and perfect health...).


  14. borrowed:
    You still avoid answering most of the points I raised and the one you try to answer you answer with a wrong answer.
    Your simple logic doesn't make any sense at all and it doesn't even speak to the topic itself. As you know, chickens, rabbits, rabbits, deer, frogs and even your beloved mice are also killed for food.
    The fact that they are killed "only" for eating purposes and not for experimental purposes does not mean that their quantity is less and this demagogic argument only shows how determined you are to attack my vegetarianism without any reason or justification. At a slightly higher resolution it is like claiming that science killed more people than wars because in wars people killed "only" to win.
    How many scientists do you think experiment on animals? How many people do you think eat animals? In my opinion, what you call logic simply does not make sense at all.
    Regarding the axioms? Come on! I repeat that this is something that I believe in in almost every discussion and I often say that if someone wants to classify me as a "believer", then let him be, and therefore, in this particular and trivial case - let him be.
    Even in this conversation, you did not bring up the subject of axioms - I brought it up in exactly the same context before your personal comment, so the purpose for which you brought your personal comment was different and the attempt to change history will not succeed this time either.

  15. By the way, I added the personal side note because you admitted that you believe in these axioms (no matter what and how many); In other words, you are also a person of faith (and this is what I claimed, as I remember a long time ago).

  16. Dear Michael,

    Even that cow whose shoulder, for example, you avoid buying did not die for you personally, yet you avoid buying it.
    Simple logic means that the number of mice killed for medical research is much greater than the number of cows killed for eating (after all, cows are killed according to the actual consumption of their meat and mice are killed to verify or negate hypotheses which are extremely numerous)

    If the humor is not to hurt anyone but to sharpen the message, what is wrong with that?

  17. borrowed:
    I don't know why you choose to refer to fragments of things out of context.
    Did I say thousands of mice were not killed?
    I didn't say that.
    So how many mice and other animals were killed? I really don't know. I think if I guess ten million I must be exaggerating.
    So how many were killed for me personally? Only today there are about seven billion people living in the world and the medicines were also developed for those who no longer live in it, so please - one part of the other and you will get how many people have killed for my medicines.
    This is a reference to the accounting error you made, but apart from that you said nothing in your response and you didn't refer to almost anything I said.
    I don't know why you chose to add a side note on the subject of religion in a discussion that does not belong to religion and on a website that is not its topic. Your reasons are with you and don't complain that you got the right answer. There is no sarcasm here and there is not even the cynicism that characterizes all of your responses which probably express the same education that you flaunt.

  18. Dear Michael,
    Since the site is not dedicated to discussions of beliefs and opinions, I am exempt from referring to your in-depth theologians' words (which came as a response to my extremely side-splitting comment). Do yourself a favor, and curb the style. Believe me I also know how to ship; Simply because of the education I received I try to write respectfully.

    Regarding the killing of the mice: please find out a little. To the best of my knowledge (and I know a little) there is not a single drug for which thousands of mice were not sacrificed (if we add all the amounts together) for the FDA to give permission to try it (not market, try) on humans. Are you really that innocent? What did you think, that before giving the patient medicine they would try it on algae? They infect mice with a certain disease and then inject them with the drug, and then kill them (breaking the joint, if you really want to be interested), and then operate to see if the disease really disappeared, and to what extent. All this not in one old and sick mouse, but in many beloved and precious mice for their confirmation and their loving family, everyone's memory is a blessing.

  19. borrowed:
    You again make all kinds of unfounded assumptions and try to draw conclusions that do not even follow from these unfounded assumptions.
    What do you think I think about animal testing? Didn't you think you should hear her out before you base mountains of accusations on her?
    And let's say I don't support it at all - does this require me to avoid using the drugs developed on the basis of this research? I don't think so. The fact that someone killed these animals perhaps without justification (and I only say perhaps because at this point I prefer to deal only with the process of drawing your conclusions and not with its absent factual basis) should I be obliged to make this death also be in vain? In contrast to the consumption of meat, which encourages the entire process of making meat, the consumption of drugs, although it encourages the creation of drugs, does not necessarily encourage a certain way of testing them. Therefore, the use of drugs does not make me a consumer of animal murder.
    Of course, proportions never hurt anyone and the number of animals killed on the altar of health is far from the number of animals killed on the altar of your lust for the flesh (and don't tell me they were killed for your health because it is possible to be completely healthy without being a participant in this murder and I - unlike you - speak from Experience). With me, you should take this into account, there is a difference between health and the very possibility of living and lust for flesh.

    We have already talked about the joke about the transmission of the Torah and the Torah being passed down from generation to generation (and more, from the hands of God!).
    There are many processes by which people can be made to believe this nonsense and fortunately we even have evidence left in our hands from no other source than the Bible itself that this belief is unfounded.
    I repeat that I already told you about the XNUMXnd chapter of XNUMX Kings where it is written that in Josiah's time no one knew the Torah, but you probably need a reminder, so I repeat and present what is written there.
    In the time of Josiah, as it is written in the above chapter, renovation works were carried out in the temple.
    They found a book there that no one knew and in it all kinds of laws that even they were not familiar with.
    The "surprised" Josiah followed two routes:
    In the one route - downwards - he issued an order to follow the instructions of the book, including destroying all the altars built for other gods.
    In the second route - towards "up" - he wore a sack and begged for God's mercy, explaining that they acted contrary to the book only because they did not know of its existence and its instructions.
    And what do we learn from this?
    Of course - if we don't bury our understanding in the sand, we learn that the sequence you are talking about - if it existed at all at any time - was interrupted in the days of Josiah, but if it was interrupted - how do we know that it ever existed before Josiah? It is much more likely that it did not exist at all before that and that the whole thing is a figment of Josiah's own hand. That's why I used quotation marks when I wrote "surprised" above.
    So not only do you have an axiom but you have an axiom that is clearly false.
    And what about other axioms?
    It is true that I have already seen that you do not bother to subject your words to the considerations of logic, but I tend to believe that this is only the result of mistakes (at best - because at worst it is malice) and not of basic beliefs. Do you really not accept the validity of the axioms of logic? I allow myself to say that if you say that you really don't believe in them, I say that you are flat out lying.

  20. To Roy, your words are acceptable to me. In the spirit of your words, I continue: all the cows and calves that were slaughtered in the slaughterhouses of all kinds did not die in vain either, they were killed for the health (so we assume) of all those many children you care for.

  21. borrowed,

    According to the 'did you know' attached to my bazooka gum, every second 9 children are born in the world. According to the statistics I read, before the era of pharmaceuticals and experiments began, 30% of all children died before they reached adulthood.
    In other words, all the animals that died on the medicine altar did not sacrifice their lives for Michael alone. They sacrificed their lives so that a third of the children born would not die.

    In a quick calculation of 9 children born every second, of which three were supposed to die, we arrive at a total of 259,200 children whose lives are saved every day thanks to tens of thousands of mice sacrificed for research purposes.

    In my opinion, this is a more than worthy goal.

  22. To the honorable Michael,

    Do you take antibiotics? You wrote yes.
    How many mice and other mammals (which are relatively superior creatures) lost their lives in the trials in the approval stages of the drug to prove that the drug works? thousands
    If we think a little more, we will find that thousands more mice have been slaughtered and strangled to death in thousands of laboratories on the altar of drugs that are not useful just to find those drugs that are useful. And so why? Just so that you are the only one who will be able to get through the winter in peace.
    Is the love of a mother mouse for her cubs less than the love of a cow for her calf? I am satisfied (everything I have written so far is before going into details about the experiments that are conducted on primates in hidden laboratories; experiments that we all condemn but know very well how to enjoy their results).
    Maybe you will take it upon yourself from now on to take only life-saving drugs and only in circumstances of having no choice?

    By the way, there is not a single axiom in my way of life. There is evidence of the status of Mount Sinai from generation to generation for thousands of years. I am the last person who would simply believe in superstitions (it is true, we have questions that need to be dealt with, but every scientist today knows that at least in physics there are quite a few contradictions that no one shys away from just because they exist).


    A small addition: yes, I eat meat, but with heavy pangs of conscience. A day will come when humanity will rise and with it the whole of creation will rise, and then the wolf will live with the lamb, and we will neither need nor eat meat.

  23. Peter:
    If you understood my words you would understand that you have a mistake in logic.
    The fact that you are not aware of this mistake shows that you did not understand

  24. Peter:
    In the spirit of your words. It's a shame that you didn't understand what I said at all, but I will survive too. If I were you, I would read it again because there is something you are missing in the field of logic. It may not be as important to you as not being convinced, but it is still important and has many uses in life (and ones that are more useful than not being convinced).

    You make unfounded assertions about vegetarians.
    Have you heard of organic farming?
    Besides, there is a huge difference between the supreme living beings and those who don't even have a brain.
    If you read what I wrote on issues related to embryonic stem cells, you could see that I support this issue because it is a creature that has not yet developed a nervous system and does not yet have any consciousness.
    I, as you know, do not think that there is a soul that goes beyond the sphere of activity of the body and what I think is worth avoiding is harming sentient beings.
    You may be surprised to hear, but I really don't see anything morally wrong in eating the flesh of a person who is already dead.
    It is true that I have an aesthetic reluctance about this, but I can clearly imagine conditions in which I would do this, as others did (such as those whose plane crashed and the corpses of the accident victims were all they could eat).
    Eating the enemy that has been killed is also practiced in some places (or at least was practiced in the past) and this shows you that avoiding this is not necessarily dictated by our nature and does not stem from considerations that are actually moral.
    The joke is known about the cannibal who comes to visit Europe and hears about the huge number of dead in the World War and asks: "But how can this be? Who ate them all?" And when they answered that they didn't eat them, he wondered about the poor morals of the Europeans who killed people for nothing - not even to eat them.
    I might add that there are creatures I actively kill every time I take antibiotics. As mentioned, these are creatures without consciousness and I am not deterred by this for a moment.
    Sometimes it is difficult for non-vegetarians to understand that the decision to become vegetarian does not stem from the desire to commit suicide, but to minimize the suffering of others.
    I even believe in the correctness of the saying "Rise up to kill - be ready to kill" even when the one who rose to kill is a person.
    I repeat what I have already said to you on another occasion. I do not claim that I do not have axioms which I accept without proof. It's really an impossible situation, but I choose my axioms carefully and it's clear to me that each one of them is really necessary for me in the sense that I can't even imagine what it means to live and think without it. I am aware of my axioms, admit their existence and try to anchor all my other conclusions in rational considerations and based on data.
    This is my definition of rational behavior and according to this definition I know at least one rational person.

  25. By the way, those who distinguish between cows and caterpillars because cows are more superior than caterpillars on the evolutionary scale, should perhaps consider eating fish, since they are generally inferior.

    (Following Yehuda's statement, I note about myself: I eat kosher meat...)


  26. Just a question for vegetarians:

    When growing vegetables, living creatures such as caterpillars and other agricultural pests are necessarily exterminated (either by simple extermination or biological extermination); Who decided that the 'soul' of a cow is bigger than the 'soul' of a caterpillar? Although, cows are more superior creatures from an evolutionary point of view, but who gave us the authority to sort out who is not allowed to be killed and who is allowed?

    Another note: when you think about it, it is wiser to eat human flesh that has already died (let's say from a car accident) than to kill an animal and eat it, and in the XNUMXth century eating human flesh is considered wrong. why?

    More of the Harunt: killing the enemy is permissible (in a justified war, no matter what the circumstances), but eating him after his death is 'not nice'. Does anyone have an explanation as to why?

    conclusion. No one is rational (continuation of my claims detailed on the page on which Avi Blizovsky volunteered to dedicate his website to propaganda for the Zionist and pioneer enterprise 'Ali Shlekht')


  27. Michael,

    I said that in my opinion, in the future meat will be outlawed or have a moral taboo on it. And before that I wrote down the theories that brought me to this intuition.
    Note - you are allowed to disagree with my opinion and not agree. It will be very difficult for me, but I'm sure I'll be able to survive.

  28. The last two answers are of course mine.
    I had problems with firefox and temporarily switched to explorer and didn't notice that I hadn't entered my name.

  29. Peter:
    An example of the logic in your argument:
    1) The world is becoming more and more moral.
    2) Cheating on your partner is immoral

    Conclusion: In the future, cheating will disappear.
    do you believe it

    Another example:
    1) The world is warming
    2) The evaporation of water cools the world

    Conclusion: In the future the water will not evaporate
    (If you say that this is really the case because the water will already be all vapor or that the atmosphere will be saturated, this will be a demagogic evasion equivalent to saying that eating animals will indeed stop because there will no longer be animals)

  30. Peter:
    I am close to exhaustion.
    I understand exactly what you are saying and I also clearly know what the logical flaw in the process of drawing your conclusions is but I am unable to convey the things to you.
    Morality, in general, as we both agree, is a product of evolution (like the rest of our traits) but it is ultimately made up of a large collection of preferences and judgments not all of which derive from the fact that they help us - some of them - as I mentioned - are by-products.
    Evolution only promotes things that help us survive and not all by-products are like that.
    Some will disappear with time, some will remain because they do not interfere and do not cost us survival, and another part will remain because evolution will not find a way to eliminate it without harming us more than it is beneficial by eliminating other features.
    This is also true for those elements of morality that are by-products and the tendency to vegetarianism is exactly such an element - specifically it does not help us at all.
    I explained exactly what the necessary qualities are in the moral elements that evolution "pushes" and vegetarianism, as mentioned, is not endowed with these qualities.
    You must understand that evolution does not know what morality is and does not treat it as a whole.

  31. And why not work according to the following logic:

    The world is going to be more and more hungry, so they can eat anything that moves!!!!

    That is, as long as there are animals, then they will eat them. There are already whole areas in Africa and other places where you don't see the wild animals.

    The day is approaching when there will be no fish left in the sea (almost)

    enjoy your meal!
    Sabdarmish Yehuda
    Eating meat

  32. I don't understand where the difficulty is in understanding the claim.
    This is not such a revolutionary theory.
    You yourself said that you are a vegetarian for moral reasons. It means that you are aware of some connection between morality and vegetarianism.
    On top of that, you agreed with me about the definition of morality, as well as about the fact that studies and theories prove that man becomes more and more moral. Evolution helps the development of morality in man as a tool for survival. Being moral is more effective.
    Now all that remains is to make transitivity between these two claims. And to simplify it:
    1) Man becomes more and more moral.
    2) Killing animals is immoral.
    Conclusion: In the future there is a reasonable chance that the killing of the animals will stop.

  33. Peter:
    You said you thought eating meat would stop.
    I really hope to I don't know.
    However, you presented the conclusions of game theory as relevant to our case and that is what the debate was about.
    I hope you are convinced that considerations from game theory do not play here 🙂

  34. This is my opinion and belief, Roy, that's why I opened the paragraph dealing with the context of morality and animals with the word "in my opinion" (see my announcement of 14/02).

    Michael, it's from excitement. we forgive you

  35. Good:
    Now I already went to the book and read the correct historical story.
    It turns out that Axelrod performed the experiment and Rapoport is the one who wrote the winning plan - TIT FOR TAT or - "Measure for Measure"

  36. Wow wow wow - some typos!
    I had to type in word first as I often do and not directly to the website.
    By the way, when I read about the experiment we discussed for the first time, I enjoyed it so much that the next day I took a photo of the text describing it and posted it on the bulletin board of the computing project I was managing in those days.
    In the days that followed, I enjoyed watching from my "aquarium" window the people who stood for long minutes by the bulletin board and read the article or who took it to their desk, read it and (yes!) put it back in its place as part of applying its lessons.

  37. Peter:
    Indeed, the description you gave relates exactly to what I have already explained which does not apply in the cases we are discussing.
    The experiment you referred to is also the one I referred to (I was debating the division of roles between Raffennert and Axelrod and in the end I was probably wrong when I thought that Rapoport performed and Axelrod reported on it in Mathematical monthly and not the other way around. I first came across this experiment in Hofstadter's book - MetaMagical Themas which I still have and I was just too lazy to go check it out.
    Be that as it may - it is possible to throw crack from here to attack groups that are able to maintain reward and punishment relations and not to groups where one is powerless over the other (what reward or punishment can a cow or a chicken give us)

  38. Peter,

    thank you for the detailed explanation. Your example about the creation of cartels is very interesting, by the way, because in the free market there are laws against the creation of cartels on the grounds that they are not 'moral' towards the public (a very wise law, in my humble opinion).

    Anyway, the point I would like to focus on is the one that Michael has already mentioned. The morality that is examined in the prisoner's dilemma and other game theory challenges is based on the idea that every action has an outcome that depends on the rational action of the other player.
    The simulations showed that it is better to be altruistic, and I certainly support your explanations of the simulations.
    The problem emerges when you throw forward the conclusions, and say that, "In my opinion, in the future eating meat will be outlawed or at least become a moral taboo." Vegetarianism will become the norm and eating meat will be considered a barbaric act."

    Morality is probably really the result of behavior that benefits society as a whole, but this is assuming that your 'partner' is also capable of reaching a rational decision regarding his course of action. In other words, he is able to subject himself to a certain social code or to Hobbes's famous 'social contract', in order to avoid an 'all-male' situation where only the strongest rule.
    But now comes the important point: animals do not have the ability to reach rational decisions. I mean, if you tell a Siberian bear that he has to accept a certain social convention, he will still eat you. Cows don't accept a social contract either. If we tell them we won't eat them, they won't participate in a mutually beneficial relationship with us. We get a much bigger profit from them by fully utilizing the resources they make available to us.

    So the theory of utilitarian (or evolutionary) morality, in my opinion, cannot subject itself to the relationship between man and animals.

  39. Michael and Roy,

    Yes. I would love to do this, firstly, the theory is very intuitive.
    We will define morality as something that a person does for the benefit of another - it can be many things - a smile, a gift, help, cooperation for the sake of common profits or any other action that will not be completely egocentric.
    If you treat every person you come across nicely, then although some of them will not return the favor, there will also be some who will agree to cooperate with you and they will do you a favor in return. The more you form alliances with more people and cooperate with more people, then your common benefit will be greater than the sum of your individual benefits. This is what brought people to live in tribes and communes. The tribe is better than the life of a lone wolf. This is what makes us a sociable animal - giving is more effective and increases our survival because this way you create more allies who support you, back you up, give back to you. Shared benefit will bring you greater profit. If Yitzhak produces bananas and Shmulik produces apples, it is better for them to cooperate and trade between them, thereby increasing the basket of products they can receive.

    The most famous computerized experiment that confirms this is Robert Axelrod's experiment in which 200 computer programs competed in a game that represents the prisoner's dilemma. I will not go into detail about the prisoner's dilemma so as not to get into technical calculations (if you want, read about it on Wikipedia in the "Prisoner's Dilemma" entry). In the end, the computer program that won the most profits was the one that cooperated and did not take an "egoistic" path, meaning that the winner was the program that preferred to make joint profits and not "cheat".

    In economics, one can see the application of the method when several companies that are apparently competitors, can form a cartel and increase the profits of both of them more than they could do if they did not cooperate. Let's take the cell phone companies for example - the cost of a cell phone call doesn't really cost that much, but if each cell phone company lowered prices in an attempt to gain as many subscribers as possible, then the other company would lower more so that the subscribers would switch to it and in the end the price would be too low and not No company had profits.
    The smart cell phone companies decided to get together and stipulate that they do not lower prices and keep the prices very expensive, and thus a kind of mutual alliance was created on this issue, between companies that apparently want to step on each other and fight.

    Additional sources:
    The book "The Origin of Virtues" / Matt Ridley - which explains in each chapter how morality developed and what benefits morality provides.
    The book "Game Theory" / Avinash Dixit and Barry Nailbuff - starting on page 121 explains how competing objects may sometimes prefer to cooperate.

  40. One more thing for Daniel:
    I am, as I often point out, a vegetarian for moral reasons.
    For moral reasons, I also try to stick to the truth in all my claims (maybe I don't always succeed, but I sincerely try).
    I think sticking to the truth is also the correct practical strategy in a debate between people who think that every time you say something that is not true or is demagogic you run the risk of the things being exposed by the people of the flag and presenting them as proof of dishonesty which damages the credibility of everything you say.
    This is the reason why I personally rush to reveal the mistakes of people whose positions I support and also my own mistakes when it becomes clear to me that I have failed in my words.
    It is important for me to do this before others do because then it will be difficult for me to prove that the mistake was not actually a lie.

  41. Hello Daniel,

    As you say, morality changes from generation to generation. The definition of morality varies from person to person and according to the times. That is why it is so important for me to understand what the rules of morality are that we examined in Peter's studies.
    I'm sure you'll agree with me that the studies wouldn't be worth much if the morals of the researchers justified slavery, for example.

  42. Daniel:
    Roy asked a question about a scientific claim made by Petar.
    His question, as I mentioned, is justified in my opinion.
    What is this attack?
    Did he say he was in favor of immoral acts?

  43. Roy:
    In the past it was acceptable and legal:
    1. To kill all the members of the people defeated in the war
    2. Kill captives
    3. Take the wives of the defeated
    4. Destroy/confiscate their property
    5. Buy humans into slavery
    6. To impose death sentences on believers in other gods
    7. After the abolition of slavery, employment of children in hard work
    8. Employing workers 7 days a week, 14 hours a day
    9. Dismissal of an employee without compensation
    10. Preventing workers from organizing

    It is possible to write a list of several thousand acts that were legal in different periods, because they were not considered to cross the moral line. Today they are understood as immoral, and their legality has been terminated.
    (Until recently, it was not understood that a person smoking next to another in a closed room was hurting him in an unacceptable way, and such an act was legal).
    When you see this unceasing process, of taking actions outside of the moral and legal, a person can ask himself: of everything we do today because the law does not forbid us, which actions will be illegal in the future?
    The same question could have been asked by a person who is sensitive to the suffering of others, a few hundred years ago, and decided on his own mind not to buy a slave or a slave, even though the norms and the law allowed him to do so.
    If so, what things can I stop doing today, without waiting for a future when a legal ban will force it on me?
    Are you sure killing mammals and other animals will be legal in the future? Is he moral in your eyes today? Have you ever visited a slaughterhouse?

  44. Roy:
    Your question is very valid.
    In my opinion, such a thing has never been proven in the context we are discussing.
    There is proof in game theory of the effectiveness of moral behavior in an environment where the victim or those close to him can punish the offender, but not in a situation where one of the parties is powerless.
    In a situation where the victim can punish the offender, a computer experiment was even conducted (if I'm not mistaken, by a man named Rapoport) that created an almost commercial equivalent of the prisoner's dilemma and allowed computer programs that implement certain strategies - some fair and some unfair - to compete in accumulating points and producing more offspring (replications) of themselves the more points they earned.
    In general, the experiment could be summed up with the words "the good won - and by and large" but this, as mentioned, in an environment where there is punishment (because there are many meetings and the programs remember what every other program did to them in the previous meetings).
    It's a nice experiment with an optimistic message, but beyond the fact that it assumes the ability to "punish" or "reward" it also assumes that the party harmed by your behavior knows that he was harmed. This is not always true even between humans and certainly not between humans and animals.
    In my opinion, the sense of morality is indeed a product of evolution, but not because it is entirely evolutionary justified. Part of it - the altruistic behavior towards your many gene partners and towards those who can punish you - is a clear result of evolution and part of it - the extension of this behavior to all humans and even all animals - is a byproduct (there was no evolutionary justification to create a more complicated moral mechanism to distinguish between gene partners and those who have the ability to punish and others, partly because most of man's encounters, at least during most of the evolutionary period, were with gene partners, who probably, at least potentially, also had the ability to punish).

  45. History proves that man is becoming more and more moral.
    Science proves that morality is an integral and important part of human development and survival. There are even some extreme theories that hold that the development of morality is actually the most important stage in human evolution.
    From game theory and from many studies done on computerized populations (ie computers that simulate the behavior of entire populations), it is unequivocally derived that the development of a system of moral codes of conduct is more effective for man and contributes more to the survival of his genes.

    If so, in my opinion, in the future eating meat will be outlawed or at least become a moral taboo. Vegetarianism will become the norm and eating meat will be considered a barbaric act.

  46. Daniel,
    Eating animal meat is not "killing animals for the sake of pleasure", after all, who like us knows that meat has many substances that the body needs (vegetarians are usually thin and are in an anabolic state, therefore there is no vegetarian who develops muscles without additives such as protein, creatine (which exist naturally) in meat) and the like)
    That's why saying to be careful not to exaggerate vegetarianism is not a rude word, or at least to be tested.

    Advice for the vegetarians among us: eat legumes, majdera, etc. There aren't many things at this level that contain proteins and b12..

    Full disclosure: I was a vegetarian for a long time (I did not eat eggs and meat of any kind (beef, chicken, etc.))
    Today I eat beef (I don't eat chicken and eggs) only rarely (once every three weeks/month)
    And throughout my life I eat Majdera often! So I got off cheap!

  47. "Exaggerating vegetarianism" is not killing animals. What word is there for "not killing humans"? What word is there for "don't steal"? "Not to be violent"? "Don't be cruel to animals"? How do you exaggerate all of these?
    Just because the majority still kills animals methodically and for fun for their own pleasure, a collective term has been coined for the minority who do not kill animals, "vegetarian".
    When slavery was legal and accepted (most of the years of human history, until recently), how could those who avoided its use be called then? "self-employed"? "Suckers"?
    What will happen if everyone "exaggerates" by not killing?
    Where will we go?
    Want to philosophize or know? If you know, start in the only place you can start: yourself.
    And a question along the lines of Sabdarmish: Who knows what world the killers are preventing from all of us?
    (Served with love by a healthy, strong and happy non-animal-eater).

  48. No need to exaggerate anything.
    I don't know if being XNUMX percent vegetarian is an exaggeration or not.
    There is a funny confusion of terms on this subject when it is customary to call someone who does not eat meat but eats milk and eggs a vegetarian and someone who does not eat eggs and milk a vegan.
    According to this definition I am a hundred percent vegetarian (I don't eat corpses) for about half a year.
    I feel perfectly fine and my physical fitness is comparable to that of people half my age.

  49. And maybe the conclusion should be not to exaggerate the vegetarianism and be only 90 or 95 percent vegetarian?
    Who knows what other substances the extreme vegetarians and vegans prevent themselves from.

    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  50. Something from the experience of a vegetarian:
    When I decided to become a vegetarian, of course I didn't decide to harm myself in terms of health, so I made sure to eat meat substitutes such as soy foods like schnitzel, sausages and the like.
    I did this in the belief that the manufacturer makes sure to add to them all the vitamins found in the meat and in particular B12 (as it is explicitly written on the packaging).
    I made sure to eat a lot of these foods and I thought that despite my moral motives I was also acting in a way that was beneficial to health.
    After twenty years of vegetarianism, I did a blood test and specifically asked that they check the level of B12 in my blood.
    It turned out that I was still within the limits of the norm but crossing its lower limit.
    A week of sucking pills raised the vitamin level in my blood to the upper limit of the norm.
    This means that I probably have no problem absorbing the vitamin and the conclusion I tend to draw from this sample (of a single person) is that the meat substitutes do not have enough B12 available.
    Therefore, vegetarians, I suggest you get tested.

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