30 Reasons to Become Vegetarian

by Carol Crenna

1) You're in good company. Vegetarian actors include Brad Pitt, David Duchovny, Dustin Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Brooke Shields, Jerry Seinfeld,Michael J. Fox, Anthony Perkins, Rosanna Arquette,Ted Danson, Richard Gere, Candace Bergen, Kim Bassinger,Woody Harelson, Mary Tyler Moore, Eric Stolz, Drerw Barrymore, and Alicia Silverstone.

Vegetarian musicians include Sarah McLachlan, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Seal, Michael Bolton, Lenny Kravitz, Leonard Cohen, Joe Jackson, Indigo Girls, Billy Idol and Bob Dylan.

2) You'll eat fewer chemicals lower on the food chain. The more chemicals an animal eats, the more you will eat.In every bite, a typical beef.pork hotdog contains seven cancer-causing pesticides, and a quarter pound burger contains three cancer-causing substances. The primary source of nuclear radiation contamination in humans is from beef and dairy products. (Living Healthy in a Toxin World - David Steinman)

3) Persticides, industrial polutants and sex hormones are known to cause breast cancer and to have estrogen-like effects, are stored in animal fat. These contaminants tend to accumulate in human breast fat, reachings levels thousands of times greater than in food. Obeisity from fatty diets has also been known to cause breast cancer. (Dr.Samuel Epstein -The Breast Cancer Prevention Program)

4) Non-vegetarians had 54 percent more prostate cancer than vegetarians in results from Adventist Morality and Health studies. non-vegetarians had 88 percent more colon cancer than vegetarians. Non-smoking vegetarians have about half the rate of lung cancer as non-smoking non-vegetarians.

People eating meat three or mmore times per weeks had more than a two-fold increase in bladder cancer compared with vegetarians, and those consuming meat four or more times a week had a 66 percent higher mortality rate from ovarian cancer than vegetarians in the same study.(Brenda Davis - Becoming Vegan)

5) You can get enough protein as a vegetarian. According to many nutritionists, you can consume a healthy percentage of complete protein by combining organic lentils, beans, tofu, organic whole grains, free range eggs, spinach and other plant sources. (Becoming Vegetarian -Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina)

6) Minerals ? Adequate amounts of iron can be found in organic broccoli, bok choy,figs, whole grain, enriched cereals, and other plants.you can get required calcium from sesame seeds, beans, tofu, wax beans, hummus, and broccoli. There is more calcium in sesame seeds and broccoli than there is in milk. And calcium in cow's milk isn't easily absorbed by people who have difficulty digesting it.

7) You might lose weight by avoiding saturated fat in meat, butter and the animal fat used in baked goods, desserts and fried foods.

8) You won't miss red meat. The vegie-meat substitutes and chicken clones made into patties, nuggets, ground round and steak available in health food store delis, frozen food and produce sections have a great meat-like texture and taste. They have far fewer calories than the "real thing" too.

9) You save money at restaurants. Most menus offer vegetarian selections or chefs will oblige to prepare a vegetarian meal, and they're usually less expensive than their meatier counterparts. And many restaurants now feature innovative,organic ingredients in salads now at reasonable prices.

10) Nutritional value. Flesh foods are essentially protein and saturated fat. Plant foods are protein, unsaturated (essential) fat, nutrient-rich carbohydrates and life-saving enzymes.

11) Flesh foods are acid forming in the body, have no fibre, contain cholesterol, have naturally occuring toxic waste and cause unhealthy putrefaction bacteria in our intestines (which may contribute to indigestion, illness and disease)

12) plant foods are alkali-forming in the body, contain abundant fibre, have no naturally occuring toxic waste, little or no cholesterol and they don't putrefy as readily because they are much easier to digest. (Living Vegetarian website: www.jtcwd.com/vegie)

13) Our instincts are carnivorous. Most humans would not be able to kill an animal. They have to cook and disguise it so that it bears no resemblance to it's original state. Unlike carnivorous animals, we do not naturally salivate at the sight of raw meat (though we do for raw fruit).

14) Human physiology. Meat eaters have claws, no pores on the skin so they perspire through the tongue, and pointed front teeth to tear raw flesh. Plant eaters perspire through pores on the sking (since they are searching for food during hot hours, not hunting at sunrise/sunset or under cover of darkness as meat eaters do) and flat back molars to grind food.

Meat eaters have very strong hydrochloric acid in the stomach to digest animal muscle whereas plant eaters have well developed salivary glands needed to digest plants and grains and stomack acid 20 times weaker than meat eaters. Meat eaters have an intestinal tract only three times their body length so rapisly decaying meat in the stomach can pass out of the body quickly. Plant eaters' intestinal tract is several times their body length since plant foods don't decay as quickly. (Living Vegetarian - jtcwd.com/vegie)

15) Carnivores have an almost unlimited capacity to handle saturated fat and cholesterol, according to Dr. William Collins, NY Maim Onedes Medical Center. However, when plant-eating test animals were given a small daily dose of animal fat, they developed clogged arteries and disease. (Mad Cow ? - ED)

16) Historically, it's intelligent to be vegetarian. vegetarians throughout history include Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Albert Schweitzer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Ford, William Wordsworth, George Bernard Shaw, Martin Luther.

17) If everyone in North America reduced their animal food consumption by just 10 percent, the grain we would save from animal feed could be used to feed all of the hungry throughout the world (Earth Save)

18) Poultry operations alone use 96.5 billion gallons of water annually in the US, enough to meet all water needs of 4.5 million North Americans.

19) A rancher doesn't eat meat. EarthSave International president Howard Lyman was formerly a fourth generation cattle rancher who is now a vegetarian activist and author of the book,"Mad Cowboy: plain truth from the cattle rancher who won't eat meat".

20) Since Tina Poitras, six-time canadian champion and two-time Olympic champion, became vegetarian after the 1996 Olympic Games, she has shaved a minute off of her racing time. (National Living Today). Vegetarian Dave Scott, considered on of the world's top triathlelets, has a degree in exercise physiology and says athletes in rigorous training don't require animal protein. Canadian Ironman triathlete and vegan Brendan Brazier agrees.

21) Lethal microscopic organisms feed on animal waste.One such microorganism called Pfiesteria piscicida is a powerful nerve poison causing lesions, fatigue and asthma. At a Chesapeake Bay estuary in summer 2001, Pfiesteria killed tens of thousands of fish and sickened dozens of people. Scientists believe the 658,000 tons of manure from 600 million chickens raised around the Bay is the culprit (EarthSave)

22) Eastern cultures live longer and they eat meat substitutes. Unprocessed soy beans are a good source of protein, essential fat, and may decrease bone degeneration and stimulate bone health. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that soy effectively lowers high cholesterol levels. A University of Toronto research study concluded that eating soy daily could reduce the risk of heaert disease. The isoflavones it contains have been reported to neutralize cancer-causing properties of estrogen in women.

23) In Milford, Utah,population 1,164, Circle Four Farms raises 600,000 hogs. The operation generates as much waste as a city of 1.8 million people. There are two million residents in all of Utah. In 1996 this farm waited six weeks to notify the State of a spill in the area of 80,000 gallons of hog waste and chemicals. (EarthSave)

24) A Pulitzer Prize winning expose states, : " Imagine a city as big as New York on North Carolina's Coastal plain. Double it. Imagine the city has no sewage treatment plant and all of the waste is flushed into open pits and sprayed onto fields. Turn the humans into hogs and it has already happened." (Raleigh's News and Observer)

25) The Gulf og Mexico's infamous Dead Zone is a lifeless expanse of coastal water the size of connecticut caused by fertilizers and livestock waste pouring into the Mississippi River and the resulting algea blooms. (EarthSave)

26) Animals are considered units genetically manipulated to accelerate maximum yield. Factory farm turkeys are now so top heavy that they can hardly stand, and pigs are too long to support their own weight. Dairy cows are continuously impregnated to keep milk flowing. They spend most of their lives chained to milk stalls, reduced to milking machines. (Canadian Federation of Humane Societies)

27) Inhumanity of man. Factory farms put thousands of animals in one building with no fresh air and sunshine. During heat waves, severe trauma and death are widespread when barn temperatures soar. In Canada, on average, four laying hens are confined to a cage 16 by 18 inches, unable to walk, forage or nest. Resulting stress leads to agression so beaks are amputated, causing long term pain. Overcrowding on trucks causes thousands of crippled animals that are often dragged from the truck by rope. "The final hours for too many animals are unspeakably painful." (Toronto Vegetarian Association)

28) Approximately 30 percent of slaughtered chicken and fish is contaminated with salmonella. It sickens between 6.5 and 8 million people each year in the US (EarthSave). E.coli, salmonella and campylobacter bacteria causing food poisoning in restaurants are usually from animal products that are not cooked properly, have been sitting too long before being served, or are not fresh (such as raw egg used in some desserts and sauces)

29) Three Health Canada scientists have been fired. They publickly opposed rBST, a bovine growth hormone that enhances cow's milk production. Their critisism led to the decision not to approve it. The whistleblowers also criticized Carbadox, a drug used to promote growth in pigs, and Baytril, promoting growth in cows and chickens. They alleged that Health Canada was pressuring them because they in turn had been pressured by pharmaceutical companies to hustle through approvals of unsafe drugs.

30) Live longer than past generations of farmers. Calgary veterinarian Society president Valerie Fitch states, "When both of my parents got cancer when I was young, I became very interested in the adverse effects of farm animal chemicals, perticularly after hearing lectures by environmentalist John Robins." Those working with chemicals have hundreds of times higher exposure and greater risks.


This article was taken from Vista magazine,issue 37 Dcember 2004. Website: www.vistamagonline.com

Another useful link related to this subject : Am. Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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