Monday, October 03, 2005

A vegan manifesto - The Bulletin - it's the arts

I used to ridicule non-meat eaters mercilessly in my younger days. Why, I thought, would one want to sacrifice something as great as meat simply for the sake of some silly animal? In retrospect, my ignorance is somewhat appalling.

While there are an abundance of arguments for vegetarianism based on animal rights and environmental concerns, the clearest reason that one might change one's diet is simply for the radical health benefits associated with alternative diets. Meat eating has been linked to stroke, type II diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers, gallstones, hypertension, constipation, Alzheimer's, asthma, impotence, coronary artery disease, osteoporosis and myriad other ailments.

The American Heart Association agrees that there is a significant risk reduction for heart problems with a vegetarian diet. Heart patients who switch to vegetarian diets find a drastic reduction in heart problems and attacks. In fact, the only successful doctors in reversing heart disease relied heavily on meat-free diets in their patients.

Dairy products are hardly better. Obviously, cow's milk is best suited for the needs of a newborn calf, not a full grown human. A study in England reports that people who were suffering from irregular heartbeats, asthma, headaches, fatigue and digestive problems 'showed marked and often complete improvements in their health after cutting milk from their diets.'

Furthermore, milk is nothing near the source of calcium we are told it is. American women, who drink far more milk than any other nation, face higher rates of osteoporosis than almost any other nation in the world. Many studies actually indicate that milk depletes calcium from your body!

A balanced diet does not have to include any sort of animal product. Nature has provided us with a huge abundance of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes to care for our every nutritive need. Animal flesh and animal by-products are clearly harmful to your health; so what are you having for dinner tonight?

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