People become vegetarians for a few reasons, such as:
- Currently the greatest occurrences of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases in history.
- They’ve heard human bodies are not designed to eat meat.
- Concern for the environment and ecosystem.
- Spiritual reasons.
I will address all of those concerns but I will start by saying I eat small amounts of meat for a few reasons, which I will explain, but it is important to state however, that most meats in the US are quite unhealthy for you and the environment. That is because they are factory farmed, full of hormones, antibiotics, raised inhumanely, and fed an unnatural non-organic diet of grain and GMOs such as corn and soy as well as rendered animal parts and in some cases animal feces (1), all FDA approved. (More on how this impacts our health and the environment coming up.)
For this and many other reasons the ONLY meat I will eat or recommend is naturally raised organic, grass-fed beef, or organic free-range chicken, and from local farmers when I can get it that way.
Why I recommend for many people to try being a Vegetarian or Vegan
Most people are overloaded with toxins from the environment, their cosmetics, soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, candles, smog and more. Most people, especially in the U.S. are on the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), have seriouis inflammation, and for these reasons, they require a lot of detox and cleansing and an organic vegan or vegetarian diet are very helpful for them. (For terminal illness, the Dr. Sebi Diet takes this even a step further, and it's a diet proven in the supreme court to help overcome terminal illnesses.) So most people would benefit from a vegetarian or vegan diet. The information below is a case for meat and why it's okay in cases for active people who are healthy. But understand that our body only absorbs about 8 ounces in a meal, which is about the size of half a typical hamburger.
Weston A. Price’s research
One of the reasons I eat meat is based on research done in the 1930’s by Weston A. Price. He traveled the globe studying diets of native societies, while they were still uninfluenced by white man and the western diet of processed foods. (See “Nutrition & Physical Degeneration”, by W.A. Price). His primary result showed that wherever natives were exposed to processed foods such as white flour and sugar, degeneration and disease soon followed. But as important as this, he also discovered there were no healthy vegetarian societies or tribes. While he did find some vegetarians, there were always healthier tribes nearby eating meat or animal products backed by multiple generations of healthy meat eaters before them. This was for the same reason you will find if you study cultural anthropology, that the amount of meat consumed by any society was determined not by religious beliefs or health fads, but by availability alone.
Without exception, Dr. Price found a strong correlation among diets rich in animal fats, with exceptional health and athletic ability. Swiss athletes, for example, included bowls of fresh, raw cream. In Africa, he discovered that groups consuming diets rich in fatty fish and organ meats, like liver, consistently dominated athletic contests, and meat-eating tribes always dominated vegetarian tribes (10).
Recent studies were done in New York and South Africa show athletes who "carb-loaded" (popular in sports nutrition) had significantly less endurance than those who "fat-loaded" before athletic events (11).
For more info on Dr. Price’s research see:
- Price-Pottenger Foundation - ppnf.org Over 10,000 books and publications, with over 200 years of research
- Weston A. Price Foundation - www.westonaprice.org dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism.
I am also a follower of nutritional typing which is shown to be 100% accurate, unlike many other body type diets. So, another reason I eat meat is because I am a “mixed type”, which means I function best on a mixed diet of protein and carbohydrates. (That does not include processed foods, white flours, and wheat, but vegetables.) How do I know I’m a mixed type? Because I took the test for free, which you can do as well, here. (products.mercola.com/nutritional-typing/) This can tell you what ratio of fats, carbs, and protein your body needs to thrive. It is not based on blood or any other lab test but your mental clarity, energy level, and how you feel based on what you eat, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Dr. Mercola also provides you with a free cookbook based on your type.
To Address concerns of Many Vegetarians:
Heart Disease - Facts show before 1920, coronary heart disease was rare. (2) Hydrogenation of vegetable oils began around 1910 and vegetable oil consumption between 1910 and 1970 increased around 400%, while saturated animal fat consumption decreased overall. So, we’ve had a reduction of animal fat consumption, an increase in hydrogenated vegetable oils, and an increase in heart disease since 1920. These facts make it hard to see how consuming less animal fats has made for healthy hearts. And from an overall disease perspective, we are obviously far worse off with the diet we follow now since the 1920’s.
Regarding the issue of pH in blood and a higher acid intake due to eating meat is unfounded and misleading propagated by any that favor a vegetarian diet. There are too many other factors including environmental influences on our biochemistry due to the rate of genetic modification that dismisses this theory. Examples are Eskimos, who maintain optimal pH balance on a diet of 90% animal foods, while some Hindus and inland Aboriginals maintain optimal pH balance of the converse of 90% plant foods. More evidence showing that knowing and listening to your individual body is crucial. It is important to note that pH changes more with exercise and water consumption than food consumption, and each of your organs all have different optimal pH levels so the statement in itself is questionable since all testing (saliva, urine, blood, organ, etc) will produce a different result.
Regarding inflammation associated with animal meat, it is important to note that inflammation from omega 6 rich vegetable oils will increase just as rapidly as non-organic meat. The reasons so many do better in regard to inflammation, chronic pain, mental clarity, energy levels and more initially on a vegetarian/vegan diet is because it is the first time they are eating real food, often organic. Fats store toxins, and if you are not eating naturally raised, organic meats (grass-fed beef or free-range chicken) you will be consuming large amounts of unhealthy toxins. Commercial farmers make their income by the pound, so feeding unhealthy foods build fat and allow these farmers to profit greatly from feeding them toxic food for their body. It is best to stay away from conventional meats all together as well as conventional vegetables, fruits and vegetable oils to avoid inflammation.
Cancer, Heart, and Kidney diseases, obesity, and other diseases
Eating commercially farmed animals that are raised on steroids, antibiotics, foodstuffs laden with mycotoxins (poisonous toxins from mold and fungus), and other toxic additives such as plastic chips, cement dust, sewage and dead animal parts and more. (all approved commercial farm feed)(5) These will definitely be a culprit in cancer and other diseases. That being said, so will processed foods with preservatives, colorings, emulsifiers, solvents and other chemicals; commercially grown produce with farming chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and rodenticides.
This is why there are serious initial benefits to a person going on a vegetarian diet especially in the short term, and if you are sick, diseased, on medication or eat unhealthy non-organic processed meats and other foods, as explained in the movie, “Fat, Sick and nearly dead.” This is because it’s the first time a person is eating real and organic foods and their body is able to make a quick initial change. Vegetables are also cleansing and healing but not nourishing. Once you are cleansed, you need nourishment and that comes in the form of animal fats and proteins. (12)
The diseases mentioned are primarily 20th-century occurrences, yet people have been eating meat and animal fat for thousands of years without a high occurrence of those diseases. There are also many native cultures such as the Innu, Masai, Swiss, Greeks, etc. whose traditional diets are rich in animal products but do not suffer from these diseases. (6). This tells us that other factors are involved such as consumption of refined sugar, margarine, trans-fatty acids, processed vegetable oils, pasteurized/homogenized milk, commercially raised livestock and plant food, junk food, smoking, alcohol, coffee, and more, all of which may be factors in promoting cancer and heart disease.
There has also been numerous studies showing that low fat and low cholesterol diets are associated with Depression, cancer, psychological problems, fatigue, violence, and suicide. (See Dr. McBrides book called “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” (GAPS) as well as references 6-9 below.) These same studies have shown that children on low-fat diets suffer growth problems, failure to thrive, and learning disabilities.
The China study
The “China Study” has become the holy bible of veganism and supposedly “proves” that vegan diets are the way to go. To clarify this was an observation, not an actual study (since there was no control group tested nor was it tested on real live patients) performed by a scientist who was heart set on proving his theories. He cherry-picked the data from his observations to support his conclusions and ignored the data that didn’t fit. He also made no distinctions from differences such as pasteurized dairy products versus raw.
The main findings of the China study have been thoroughly debunked.
Instead of mentioning them all, I recommend you look at these critiques:
- Denise Minger: The China Study – Fact or Fallacy- rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/
- Chris Masterjohn: What Dr. Campbell Won’t Tell You About The China Study - www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html
- Problems with china study - www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_KxX5HAYW8
- China study Problems - www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5gNzBNgZas
There is also a recent study from China which directly contradicts the findings of the China study. According to this study, men eating red meat had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and women eating red meat had a lower risk of cancer (13).
Anytime you cook with high temperatures, whether your grilling, frying, broiling, etc, some pretty nasty chemicals are created:
- - Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs): - Linked to cancer, formed when cooking at high temps, and mostly present in the blackened section of the beef. So don’t char your meat and don’t eat blackened sections.
- - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): when fat drips into the heat source causing excess smoke, surrounding your food, it can transfer these cancer-causing PAHs to the meat from the smoke.
- - Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): Associated with heart disease, diabetes and other diseases, formed because of cooking at high temperatures.
Solutions to these cooking issues:
- The best solution is to cook high quality meat as a stew (boiling the meat).
- - Eating high quality beef not burnt, and as rare as possible avoids these issues.
- - According to Food Navigator a study showed that Malondialdehyde(MDA) in a burger was reduced by 71% in the meat by adding spices such as oregano, rosemary, ginger, black pepper, paprika garlic powder, cloves, and cinnamon. They can be used as a dry rub or marinade.
- - AGEs are also reduced by using an acidic marinade, such as lemon juice or vinegar. Flipping them often also avoids HCAs so not to get blackened.
(Myth) - Because of our teeth and intestines, Humans are not designed for eating meat
To address the argument the human body is not designed for eating meat because we have grinding teeth rather that tearing teeth like a lion, and longer intestines than meat eating animals, supposedly proving we are better-suited vegetarians; this idea leaves out several of our bodies important features that indicate a design for animal consumption.
Those are our stomach's production of hydrochloric acid, something not found in herbivores. HCL activates protein-splitting enzymes. And the human pancreas manufactures a full range of digestive enzymes to handle a wide variety of foods, both animal, and vegetable.
Although humans may have longer intestines than animal carnivores, they are not as long as herbivores. We also do not have multiple stomachs like many herbivores, and we don’t chew cud. This all proves our physiology indicates a mixed feeder, or an omnivore, much the same as our relatives, the mountain gorilla and chimpanzee (who have been observed eating small animals and, in some cases, other primates).
Typical problems in a Vegetarian Diet and What to be Aware of if you Choose to be a Vegetarian:
Of course anyone with an unhealthy diet can have these problems meat eater or not, but many vegetarians have been shown to have lower than recommended intakes of Vitamin B-12 (which cannot be obtained from plant sources (6)), Vitamin-A (Our bodies needs for Vit-A cannot be met entirely by plant food (6)), Vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc and occasionally riboflavin. Studies have also shown vegetarians are prone to low cholesterol levels; lower bone mineral density; which can lead to osteoporosis, dental problems, and other health conditions; and insufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids (principally found in animal foods especially fish and eggs as well as flax seed oil (6)).
Although vegetarian diets are higher in fiber, they run the risk of eating unhealthy snack foods, fried foods, unhealthy soy products, sugars, GMO and non-organic vegetables, pasteurized milk products, starches, and wheat. For these reasons, it is important to choose very carefully what you eat as a vegetarian/vegan and include essential fats such as coconut oil, hemp oil, olive oil (not cooked or heated), avocados raw nuts like walnuts, pistachios, flaxseeds and chia seeds. I would also recommend raw eggs and raw unpasteurized milk and butter, and supplementing the above vitamins and minerals.
Further, I will quote Rudolph Steiner and ParamahansaYogananda, who both said, “No man should become a vegetarian until it happens naturally”. Meaning listen to your body. This is what the nutritional typing diet mentioned above is based on. Although I think there are benefits, especially to the brain in eating animal protein and fats, I am not advocating everyone eat meat and the day my body, mind, and energy level responds better to a meatless diet, I will happily change to listen to it.
Regarding Eating Meat Being Against Spirituality
It is important to note that almost all our largest religions consume meat, especially during their celebrations:
- - Jews – eat lamb at Passover
- - Muslims – eat lamb for Ramadan
- - Jesus Christ was said to eat meat for Passover (Luke 22:7-8) and ate meat at the last supper (according to the canonical Gospels) Not to mention the many stories of Jesus eating and helping others catch fish.
Yes, Buddhist and Hindus do place strictures on meat consumption, but dairy is allowed. Considered deeply spiritual Native American tribes all consumed meat, Eskimos, and most native people. Those who elect to study with an enlightened master and give up meat should realize it is counterproductive to give up your bodily needs since spiritual development is dependent upon our body’s physical health.
Further, many vegetarians avoid eating animals because they are sentient creatures. But looking at the research of Cleve Backster (Secret life of plants and secret life of the cell), you will find that plants, while less mobile, may be just as sentient as many animals. This being considered, we can’t avoid consuming sentient creatures if we want to survive. With this in mind, people should be more concerned about what they can contribute to society with what they’ve eaten, rather than eating meat and certainly not judging others based on their practice of eating meat. Those who input spiritually as a reason not to eat meat are too accustomed to going to the market for their needs and seem to be out of touch with survivalism and what they would do in the unfortunate circumstance of having nothing else to eat.
Animal rights and cruelty
Conventional or factory farming is against any logical person’s ethics, but becoming a vegetarian really doesn’t do anything to change the system. Insisting that meat is humanely raised, however will. Imagine how the demand would change the face of the meat industry if vegetarians everywhere simply sought out organic, grass-fed meats instead of avoiding the issue entirely. As Jenna Woginrich, former vegetarian turned sustainable meat farmer says that would be as if, “avoiding the battlefield and stepping aside as a pacifist.” In her blog (www.alternet.org/story/149601/why_i_stopped_being_a_vegetarian/) she mentions, “The plausible 25% of the world's inhabitants who have a mostly vegetarian diet aren't making a dent in the rate us humans are eating animals. In theory, a plant-based diet avoids consuming animals but it certainly isn't getting cows out of feedlots. However, "steak-eating consumers choosing to eat sustainably raised meat are.” If cruelty is bad for business, business will simply have to change. When consumers demand a higher quality of life from the animals they eat, feedlots will become a black stain of our agricultural past.
Further, regarding poor animal rights, commercially raised livestock are slaughtered in ways that promote adrenaline release, which could have harmful effects on those who consume them or any of the products they produce (milk, butter, eggs). Organic as well as Kosher and Hallal slaughter animals in a state of tranquility, minimizing or eliminating the release of harmful stress hormones, creating a more humane environment. If it’s the death of an animal still concerns you, then consider the alternative of overpopulation of animals and only eat those which are wild, and at least consider just consuming eggs, raw butter, raw milk from organic sources, since no death is committed.
If you are not familiar with the disturbing conditions in which factory farms raise their animals and want to know more see this recent article in Rolling Stone. www.rollingstone.com/feature/belly-beast-meat-factory-farms-animal-activists
Regarding Methane and the United Nation’s widely quoted statistic of cows being responsible for 18% of the world’s carbon emissions, grass-fed cows have shown to have the opposite effect as conventional feedlots. That is because while eating grass in the pasture, they trample the waste, cut the grass and push the decaying matter and manure into the soil, turning it into rich humus. This healthy soil keeps carbon dioxide underground and out of the atmosphere. The rest of the carbon footprint of beef comes from growing grain to feed the animals, which requires fossil-fuel-based fertilizers, pesticides, and transportation. Buying local, organic, grass-fed beef solves that problem as well. For more on this see Simon Fairlie, British farmer, and Author of “Meat: A Benign Extravagance”.
The ratios of plant foods used to produce meat is 5 to 1. It is important to state that this is with factory (conventional) farms, which if I haven’t made it clear already I am completely against these type of farm production of any product. When livestock is fed their intended diets of grass, which people do not eat, the ratio is 1.4 to 1, a much more sustainable proposition than the 5:1 of conventional, plus many other benefits from grass-fed cattle such as fertilization soil and more. One more reason to spend your voting dollars on organically farmed products.
Factory Farming is an all-around Health Disaster
Industrial farming practices used to raise the majority of meat in the US are unhealthy for the animals, the environment and you. They dump animal waste in large “lagoons” that leach into our groundwater and run off into surface waters, which according to Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal protection organization, kills millions of fish and is the reason 60% of America’s rivers and streams are “impaired,” further causing many diseases and brain disorders in humans. This as opposed to organic farms that use the waste for fertilizer to promote growth in the soil. Being raised in such filthy conditions and fed inferior quality food, also requires they feed the animals antibiotics to ward off sickness, which becomes a major source of antibiotic consumption in humans. In addition to destroying gut bacteria, this creates what is known as antibiotic resistance, allowing a growing number of dangerous bacteria impervious to our antibiotics. This is an issue so serious that this antibiotic use was banned in Europe and the FDA has recommended it be stopped here yet it still continues. What can you do? Vote by not buying this type of meat or poultry, instead of buying antibiotic-free organically raised meat. If you are not sure if it is because it is not marked, then assume it is not organic.
If you haven’t seen it already, “Food Inc”, available on Netflix, is an eye-opening movie that exposes factory farms and why you should avoid them and buy local and organic. View the trailer here:
Although I believe eating some naturally raised organic animal protein and fat products (such as raw organic dairy and eggs) will benefit virtually everyone, I am not advocating everyone eats it, but understands the facts about meat all around and takes the nutritional typing test to find out a diet that will allow them to function at their best physically and mentally.
Pork and Processed Meats
I will say I do Not eat pork, simply because almost all pork is raised inhumanly in the US. I am not anti-pork so much as I am anti-factory farms that raise pork. If you know of a local farmer that raises pork organically, pasture-raised such as Polyface farms, then, by all means. For more information about the unhealthy ways in which most pork is raised see these links here:
- - www.undergroundhealth.com/put-down-the-pork-chops-us-pork-is-hazardous-to-your-health/
- - http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/02/the-trouble-with-pork-part-2/
I also never eat any processed meats, hot dogs, bacon, cold cuts and of course non-organic factory farmed or commercial turkey, chicken, or farmed fish. (In other words, nothing that isn’t natural. If you are unsure, ask yourself, did our early ancestors from hundreds of years ago have this? If not, it’s probably processed and unhealthy.)
Organic food currently represents less than 2 percent of the food economy, and local food makes up well under 1 percent. Supporting these economies over the conventional factory farm model has been proven to benefit your health, the environment and the humane treatment of animals.
If you don't have a local source, you can get grass-fed beef and other organic meat by clicking Here:
US Wellness Meats sells quality grassland meat products - Visit us Online!
For which meat to eat see Part 2 about Grass Fed versus Grain Fed.
Oxford Vegetarian Study www.ajcn.org/content/70/3/525S.full
(2) – fallon, sally and mary enig. Nourshing traditions. 2nd edition. Winona lake, IN: new trend publishing, 1999
(3) – kellog, William r. and andrea s. dworkin. Surviving the toxic crisis. Comprehensive health publishers, 1996
(5) – Chek, Paul. Lifting the veil of deception. Vista, Ca: C.H.E.K. Institute.
(6) – articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/04/02/vegetarian-myths.aspx
(7) Jnl of American Med. Assoc. 248(12):1465, September 24, 1982
(8) Lancet 339:3/2/92
(9) Fallon and Enig, “Tripping Lightly Down the Prostaglandin Pathways,” Jnl of PPNF, Fall 1996; Lands, W.E.M., “Biochemistry & physiology of n-3 fatty acids,” The FASEB Journal, vol. 6, May 1992, pp. 2530-2536.
(10) Price, op. cit.; Fallon, S. “Nasty, Brutish, and Short?” The Ecologist, (London), Jan/Feb 1999; Enig & Fallon, “Australian Aborigines,” Jnl of PPNF, Summer 1998.
(11) “Carb Loading for Athletes? Not Such a Good Idea,” Jnl of PPNF, Fall 1996
antibiotics in feed – articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/29/is-this-the-end-of-antibiotics.aspx
spices and chemicals in beef – www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Antioxidant-rich-spice-mix-shows-potential-for-heart-health?utm_source=RSS_text_news
grass fed vs conventional – articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/23/how-grassfed-cows-could-save-the-planet.aspx
grass fed – www.mercola.com/beef/health_benefits.htm
grass fed – eatlocalgrown.com/article/grass-fed-vs-feedlot-beef-difference.html?c=cure
grass fed – articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/01/benefits-of-eating-meat.aspx
grass – articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/07/Ethical-Meat-and-Unethical-Hype–A-Look-at-All-Natural-GrassFed-and-Other-HalfTruths.aspx
vegetarian or meat eater which is better