Really Healthy People Eat Their Veggies
The meat, dairy and egg industries would like you to think that their products are necessary for good health. It is their business and in their best interest for you to believe them when they say you need meat for protein and milk for calcium. They create smoke screens by funding studies which say their products are good for you and your family. It is not good for their business when people with no financial interest whatsoever tell you that meat and dairy are damaging your health. So they send teaching materials to schools so that they can brainwash the next generation….
Heart Disease – #1 Killer
The #1 cause of death in the United states is heart disease (38.3%). Cancer is #2 at 17.2% and stroke is #3 at 10.8%. These and other diseases are not simply misfortunes that we have to accept. They can be prevented, and in many cases reversed, with a change to a plant-based diet.
Meat, dairy, and eggs are the chief source of dietary saturated fat. They, along with fish, are the only sources of dietary cholesterol. It has been found that there is a direct correlation between the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in people’s diet and the death rate from heart disease.
A large study found that the heart disease mortality rates for lacto-ovo vegetarians (those who consume dairy and eggs) to be 1/3 less than meat eaters. Pure vegetarians, or vegans (those who don’t eat any animal products including dairy and eggs and sometimes honey), had 1/10 the heart disease rate of meat eaters. Out of 100 meat eating friends and family, 40 are likely to die of heart disease. In 100 vegan loved ones, only 4 will be lost to heart disease.
Heart disease doesn’t occur overnight in middle age. It is a childhood disease, beginning as early as the age of 2. It develops insidiously as meat and dairy are consumed and atherosclerotic plaques are laid down until the arteries to the heart are blocked. Failure to exercise the heart muscle aerobically, not learning how to manage stress, and smoking just facilitate the process. Strokes are similar to heart attacks, except that the atherosclerotic plaques block the arteries going to the brain.
Cancer is a profitable business and it really isn’t in the best interest of the pharmaceutical and medical industries to find a cure. Otherwise, it would be common knowledge that a plant-based diet prevents cancer! Our intestines are too long to process meat, which then putrefies and creates toxins. The cancers most associated with a high meat intake are colon, breast, cervical, uterine, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancers. Coincidentally, these also account for most cancer deaths in the US.
Overconsumption of dairy products will create an iron deficiency. (Milk fed veal is white because they are anemic!) Calorie for calorie, the best sources of iron come from spinach (11.3 mg iron/100 cals), cucumber (6 mg/100 cals), lettuce (3.8mg/100 cals), bell pepper (3.3 mg/100 cals), strawberries (2.7 mg/100 cals), cabbage (2.4 mg/100 cals), and lima beans (2.3 mg/100 cals). Meat and chicken average between .6-1.9 mg iron/100 cals and dairy contains < .1 mg/100 cals. Popeye had the right idea!
Our teachers used educational materials provided by the National Dairy Council and the Meat Board to teach us that we need eggs, dairy, and meat for protein. Some of your classmates have gone on to become teachers and doctors, continuing to spread this misinformation. And no further education is ususally pursued…. (Medical doctors MIGHT get one elective class in nutrition)
There is no consensus on how much protein is required. The range is from 2 1/2% to 8% of our total daily calories. Human mother’s milk contains 5% of its calories from protein. Most meat-eating Americans get too much protein. Legumes and vegetables contain more than adequate amounts of protein. If you ate nothing else besides potatoes (11% protein) you would still get enough protein!
The best plant sources of protein come from beans, nuts, tofu, and greens. It is actually a fallacy that you need more protein to build muscle- you actually need more carbohydrates to burn as fuel! Athletes such as the world record setting triathlete Dave Scott and the swimmer Sixto Lenares are vegetarians who know this.
Our bones are a storehouse for calcium; a certain blood level of calcium must be maintained at all costs so that our muscles function properly -especially our heart. High protein foods like meat and dairy, cause less calcium to be absorbed; dairy is actually a poor source of calcium because 30% of the calcium is used to metabolize the protein. Meat, chicken, fish (and soda) are high in phosphorus content, causing less calcium to be absorbed and used.
When blood levels of calcium go down, the body withdraws calcium from the bones. Meats and dairy are acid forming, upsetting the delicate balance; calcium is withdrawn from the bones to maintain the proper pH of the blood. When too much calcium is leached from the bone, osteoporosis develops.
The calcium in vegetables (especially leafy greens), fruits, and seeds (sesame) is much more available, absorbable and easily utilized.
Osteoporosis is primarily thought of as a problem of post menopausal women, however, it really is a problem that begins in early in life. It is during the preteen years when the store house of calcium is being created. This is the time when the diet is most important, – and when many girls go on diets or junk food binges. The average meat & dairy eating woman has a 35% bone loss every year. The typical vegan woman has only an 18% yearly bone loss. Just by eliminating animal products, women can cut their bone loss in half!
Steak And Hormones
After WWII, it became common practice to use DES, a steroid hormone, to increase fat and weight in livestock to increase profit. Side effects of DES contamination, even in minute quantities, include impotence, infertility, breast enlargement, and a high-pitched voice. Numerous cases of precocious sexual development was noted in young children from consuming meat and milk contaminated with DES. The secondary sex characteristics resolved after consumption of animal products was ceased. DES was banned from use after it was discovered it causes cancer. Many factories, however, continue to use DES or other sex hormones with similar effects as DES.
Hormone use also causes a lowered resistance in livestock. As a result, they are often given antibiotics in their feed to prevent infection. Overuse of antibiotics causes bacteria to adapt and become resistant to antibiotics. It has been proven that this resistance is passed on to humans who consume meat.
Fish And Pesticides
With the advent of factory farming came an increase in pesticide use. Today we produce pesticides at a rate which is 13,000 times faster than 35 years ago. Even in 1966, the government admitted that there was no milk available the market which was free of pesticides. The government has very lenient guidelines for toxicity testing; only one in a quarter million animals is tested for toxic levels of chemicals. And they only test 10% of the toxic chemicals known!
Phosgene was responsible for most of the deaths due to poison gas in WWI. Today we use it as an herbicide (weedkiller) and pesticide. Zycor-B, a modern pesticide, was utilized by the Nazis to produce the deadly hydrogen cyanide gas used in gas chambers. Other pesticides, such as Malathion and Parathion, are also members of the nerve gas family.
Dioxin, or Agent Orange as it was called during the Vietnam War, is the most toxic chemical known to mankind. The beef and dairy industry commonly use Dioxin as a pesticide despite the fact that it is known to cause birth defects. It causes miscarriage, cancer, and death in lab animals at the infinitesimal dose of 1 part per trillion.
Scientists have made a link between pesticide ingestion and the increase of cancer and spread of AIDS. Dioxin and other chemicals damage the immune system and make the body more susceptible to illness – including AIDS. Cancer in kids was a rarity 40 years ago. Today, more children die of cancer than from any other causes. Children with learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and lowered IQs may have suffered neurological damage from pesticide poisoning, in utero. Often, birth defects are subtle and may go unnoticed, but the child who has been poisoned by pesticides may get sick all the time, have a compromised immune system, damaged livers and kidneys, and emotional problems.
Chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides like DDT, Kepone, Toxaphene, and PCBs are stable compounds. This means they don’t break down for decades or even centuries. DDT, 12 years after being banned, has been found in dolphins, and in animals of the remote areas of Antarctica and high altitudes of the Sierra mountains. Dieldrin, 5 times more toxic than DDT, was banned in 1974. The FDA found it in 96% of all meat, fish, and poultry and 85% of dairy. It continues to remain in the soil to which it was once applied and contaminates the livestock feed grown there.
PCBs cause the most widespread contamination with a million tons produced per year in the US – that’s 5 lbs for every person. PCBs are extremely stable and highly toxic; almost all the PBCs ever produced still exist and have contaminated all corners of the earth, causing birth defects and cancer. It is highly likely that there isn’t a single human on the planet who doesn’t carry any PCBs in their flesh. PCBs were found in 100% of the human sperm samples tested! Perhaps this is why American men have only 70% the sperm count they did 300 years ago.
Fish and shellfish have the highest concentration of PCBs because they are able to absorb and concentrate toxins; the EPA estimated that fish can accumulate 9 million times the levels of PCBs in the water in which they live. These same fish are fed to livestock in huge quantities – without testing the toxicity of the fish meal.
Modern factory farms are crowded and unsanitary. Cattle, pigs, and sheep are routinely doused with Toxaphrene to kill parasites. Toxaphene is absorbed through the animals’ flesh and contaminated the meat. It also causes bones to dissolve, miscarriages and death. Dichlorvos, a very toxic fly killer, has an accepted daily intake of .004 mg/kg – an amount exceeded by someone who stays in the same room with a small “No Pest” strip for 9 hours. Dichlorvos products, as well as larvicides, are regularly given to livestock in today’s animal factories to keep the fly population down. Larvicides produce chemically toxic manure and residues also show up i meat and milk causing damage to the nervous system. as well.
Breast Or Bottle?
In 1976, the EPA found significant concentrations of DDT and PCBs in over 99% of the mothers breast milk tested from different populations. They also found that vegetarian women had much lower concentrations of pesticides. Breast milk of the average vegetarian American woman contains only 1-2% pesticide contamination. The benefits of breastfeeding are many and formulas are also contaminated as they are usually made from milk products. Young girls should become vegetarians now in order to have low concentrations of toxins in their breast milk when they become mothers.
Reduce pesticide intake by:
1) Eliminating intake of fish, meat, dairy, chicken, and eggs.
2) Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes which have been grown organically. Organically raised animals will still have high pesticide concentrations in their fat.
3) Don’t consume imported foods, including friuts, vegetables, grains, meat, tea, coffee, and sugar. They may use pesticides which have been banned in the US.
Waste Not Want Not
It is such a shame that there are people dying of starvation in this world just because 80-95% of the food grown is used for feed. The livestock population consumes enough grain and soy to feed 5 times the human population; 16 pounds of feed is needed to produce 1 pound of meat. Yes, that means 15 pounds ends up as manure. What a waste! One meat eating person needs 3 1/4 acres of land per year to support his habit. An ovo-lacto vegetarian (eats eggs and dairy) needs 1/2 acre. A vegan (no animal products are consumed) requires only 1/6 acre!
Our Natural Resources Down The Drain
Factory farming is causing us to lose our natural resources at an alarming rate. Soil erosion has been known to cause the decline of many civilizations – and we may be next. Topsoil is needed for plants to grow. We are losing 4 million acres of cropland every year due to topsoil erosion and 85% of this loss is directly associated with livestock raising.
In the time it took you to read this, an acre of forest was destroyed in order to make land available for meat production. Forests are the one place that topsoil erosion isn’t occurring, however we will lose our forests in 10 years if we continue to cut them down for meat. By switching to a vegetarian diet, you have the power to spare one acre of forest per year.
Rainforests contain 80% of the earth’s vegetation and are home to half of all species on earth. In 1960 there was 130,000 square miles of rainforest; now there is less than 80,000 remaining and will be gone in 40 years as it is leveled to create grazing land for cattle. Irreplaceable rainforests are being leveled to create grazing ground for cattle just so we can have a Big Mac (Most rainforest beef is sold to fast food chains because it is cheaper. That’s right, Burger King and all the rest of the hamburger producing chains save all of 5 cents per burger when they buy meat from cattle raised on our irreplaceable rainforest!) When the rainforest goes, so does our oxygen supply. Without air to breathe we won’t have to care about whether we should eat meat or not.
The supply of water is decreasing at an alarming rate due to our meat habit. At our current rate of water consumption, our major water supplier will be exhausted in 35 years. Over one half of the water consumed in the US is used for livestock feed and more is needed to wash away the 20 billion pounds of waste produced every day . Newsweek stated, The water that goes into a 1,000 pound steer would float a destroyer. 25,000 gallons of water go into just 1 pound of meat. One meat eater needs 4,00 gallons of water per day. An ovo-lacto vegetarian uses 1,200 gallons. And a vegan consumes just 300 gallons of water per day.
The Age Of Vegetarianism!
The beef and dairy industries have been allowed to thrive at our expense. Coverups of toxic situations weren’t report it to the public because they didn’t want to scare them! It’s time to put that fear into action for the sake of our planet and the lives of our children. As long as people continue to buy their products, these industries have the power and resources to fight reforms and pump money into the schools with educational propaganda. Let’s help the next generation just say NO to meat!
For more information:
John Robbins has written extensively on the health, environmental, and moral aspects of vegetarianism in Diet For A New America and more recently, “The Food Revolution.” He is also the founder of EarthSave International. For more info go to http://www.conari.com
Veg Source Interactive: http://www.VegSource.com
Centers for Science in the Public Interest: http://www.cspinet.org
PETAs GoVeg Campaign: http://www.goveg.com
Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet: http://www.mothers.org
Rainforest Action Network: http://www.ran.org
Food First: http://www.foodfirst.org
Food Not Bombs: http://www.foodnotbombs.net
Organic Consumers Association: http://www.purefood.org
Pesticide Action Network: http://www.panna.org
International Vegetarian Union: http://www.ivu.org
North American Vegetarian Society: http://www.navs-online.org