Einstein once said that: “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” And although the protein, calcium, meat myth has been so often stated that most of us believe it to be true, studies have shown that renouncing meat and dairy products not only means an increase in life expectancy, life quality and reduced weight gain in comparison to meat-eaters but it also means an increase in health, lowering of cholesterol and overall improvement in health.
In the documentary “Earthlings” some horrible truths come to light, most of all concerning the abuse that man subjects animals to. It is of course obvious that no one wants to meet the cow that is now their burger but we do need to wake up to the cruelty we are inflicting by passively enforcing the meat and dairy industry. Yearly, a vegan will save more than 100 animals from abuse, which would otherwise be exposed to unsanitary and horrific conditions. Think about that the next time you order a burger.
- Weight loss and energy
On average, a vegan is 10 kg lighter than their meat-eater counterparts. This is because a smart, vegan diet will eliminate all unhealthy food choices, high in fat or sugars that would contribute to an increase in weight. Not only this, but unlike fad diets where the weight comes back eventually, staying vegan will ensure a leaner you for as long as you live.
- Avoid Toxins
It has become common knowledge that animals nowadays are fed antibiotics and growth hormones along with their normal food. This is because fast and more are a necessity: animals have to gain as much weight as possible in as little time while not dying or catching diseases. But this means that all the toxins they have ingested will pass into the bodies of those consuming their meat, milk or eggs. And since cow milk is designed by itself to double a calf’s weight within a year, it is no wonder that our children drinking growth hormone enhanced milk are slowly but surely weighing more than we do.
- Less land and water consumption
Growing animals designed for slaughter involves enormous water and land necessities (and more often than not this land is obtained by deforestation): it takes 2500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat while it takes 25 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of wheat. Not only this, but 20 vegans could happily live off the same amount of land that is needed to feed a meat eater.
- Heart disease and diabetes risk
The number one killer worldwide is heart disease: be it acute myocardial infarction or chronic heart disease. Vegans have a 57% reduced risk of developing heart disease mostly because of their reduced fat intake (and almost no saturated fats they eat). Diabetes is also rare within the vegan community, some of them actually managing to reverse type 2 diabetes with a raw vegan, alkaline diet.
- Enough protein
Too much protein can also be very damaging- the average American eats twice the daily recommended protein intake and the majority of that comes from red meat. But studies have shown that purine rich foods increase the risk of illnesses such as gout, colon and breast cancer. Moreover, vegan protein choices such as beans, lentils, grains are not only much healthier but provide easily assimilated protein that is much healthier.
- Hormone health
Returning to the subject of hormones, it is not only weight gain and toxic accumulation they promote, but also early puberty and cancer development. Even though hormone feeding is an accepted practice in the meat industry, as they enter your bodies they not only disrupt natural balance of your own hormones but may also contribute to tumor development. Not only this, but since 1950, children percentile curves have shown that girls hit puberty 4-7 years earlier than before, and that boy’s sperm counts have decreased up to 50% because of hormones present in commercial dairy and meat products.
- Global warming
Believe it or not, the number one world’s environment destroyer is not the car, the plane but the cow. Yes- the growing number of herds is the greatest threat to climate, forests and wildlife as they are responsible for 18% of the greenhouse gasses (more than planes ,cars or and all forms of transport put together).
- Reduce cancer risk
Vegans have the lowest cancer risk, significantly lower than their meat eater or vegetarian counterparts. A study of the Loma Linda University found that vegan women have a whopping 34% lower cancer rate for breast, cervical and ovarian cancer compared to a group of omnivores who ate only a fraction of the mean consumed by the average population.
- Reduce risk of osteoporosis
Indeed, calcium deficient (or so it is believed) vegans do not have lower bone densities than their omnivorous counterparts. Not only this, but studies performed in 2009 at the Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine and in 2008 at the Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital show that vegans surprisingly process calcium more efficiently since the consumption of meat interferes with calcium metabolism.
The list could continue endlessly but in spite of all the nay-sayers out there, veganism is well worth considering if health and longevity is on your mind.