Saturday, January 21, 2012

meet your meat

Most of us don’t think much about the foods we put into our bodies or how they affect us and the environment. Not only that, we also rarely think about where our food comes from and how it got to be in that nice white shrink wrapped tray we see sitting on the grocery shelf.
Today, with increasing evidence of diet’s crucial effect on health and longevity, more people are investigating this question: is the human body better suited to a plant based diet or one that includes animal protein? Two areas should be considered in this search: the anatomical structure of the human and the physical effects of meat consumption.
Eating begins with the hands and mouth. Human teeth (like herbivores), are designed for grinding and chewing vegetable matter. We don’t have the sharp front teeth for tearing flesh that carnivores have. Carnivores generally swallow their food whole, not requiring molars or a jaw that can move sideways. The human hand does not have sharp claws, but has opposable thumbs, which is better suited for harvesting fruit and vegetables, than to killing dinner with our bare hands.
  • · Meat eaters have claws, herbivores and humans do not have claws
  • · Meat eaters have no skin pores and perspire thru the tongue, herbivores and humans perspire thru skin pores
  • · Meat eaters have sharp front teeth for tearing, with no flat molar teeth for grinding, herbivores and humans do not have sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding.
  • · Meat eaters have strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat, herbivores and humans have stomach acid 20 times weaker than carnivores
  • · Meat eater have salivary glands in the mouth that are not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits, herbivores and humans have well-developed salivary glands necessary to pre-digest grains and fruits.
  • · Meat eaters have acidic saliva with no enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains and fruits, while herbivores and humans do.
Another important difference is the comparison of digestive tracts. A piece of meat is just part of a corpse, and its putrefaction creates poisonous wastes in the body. Therefore meat must be quickly eliminated. For this, carnivores possess digestive canals only three times the length of their bodies. Since man, like other vegetarian animals, has a digestive canal twelve times his body length, the rapidly decaying flesh is retained for a much longer time, producing a number of undesirable toxic effects.
Our kidneys are greatly affected by these toxins, as the kidneys extract waste from the blood. Even moderate meat eaters demand three times more work from their kidneys, than vegetarians do. As a person ages, meat eaters are more like to acquire kidney disease or failure than vegetarians.
During WWI, the Danish government, dreading the possibility of severe food shortage, stopped feeding the nation’s grain to livestock in order to produce consumption meat, and instead fed the grain directly to the people. The result was a 34% decreased death rate by illness. After 1 year of eating meat again, the death rate was back to the pre-war level.
In 1958, Japan (which has a larger plant based diet than the US) had 18 deaths related to prostrate cancer, while the USA had 14,000 deaths. Men in the early stages of prostate cancer, who switched to a vegan diet, either stopped the progress of the cancer or even reversed the illness.
Another study in 2002, looked at the influence of a very low-fat vegan diet on subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. After only 4 weeks on the diet, almost all measures of RA symptoms decreased significantly. A vegan diet affects the immune processes that influence arthritis. The omega 3 fatty acids in veggies are a key factor, along with the near absence of saturated fat. (for more info check nutritional strategies for inflamed joints and other conditions by Michael Klaper, MD)
Scientific research has established the superiority of a vegetarian diet from the point of view of nutrition, the ecological system, better health and less vulnerability to deadly diseases like cancer, heart attack, and diabetes. A high intake of animal protein causes an excessive excretion of calcium, thereby causing loss of calcium from bones, which in turn increases the risk of developing osteoporosis, kidney and gall bladder stones. Excess protein from a meat diet has been linked to a ten time increase in cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, kidney disease, stokes, and diabetes. Dietary cholesterol is only found in animal proteins, and stays in our bloodstream creating “plague” in our blood vessels and is a major cause of heart disease. Lipitor, a medication for high cholesterol, is the most prescribed drug in the world.
The human body is unable to deal with excessive animal fats, indicating the unnaturalness of meat eating. However; carnivores can metabolize almost unlimited amounts of cholesterol and fat, without adverse effect. A high-fat, low fiber diet, has been linked to an increase in colon and rectal cancer. The result of this diet, is a slow transit time through the colon, allowing toxins to do their damage. A vegetarian diet, provides the ample fiber from vegetables, fruits and grains, and is naturally low in fat. The National Geographic reported that three longest lived tribes (the Villcabamba of Ecuador, the Hunzas of Tibet and the Azerbaijaines of the Caucuse) in the world, were Centenarian Vegetarians.
Meat contains accumulations of pesticides and other toxic chemicals up to 14 x more concentrated then those found in plant food. Large amounts of antibiotics are being fed to livestock to control bacterial diseases, which are becoming immune to these drugs at an alarming rate. Of all antibiotics used in USA, 55% are fed to livestock, and in turn are passed on to people who eat their flesh. The resistant disease is not just in the animals receiving the antibiotics, but in humans as well. Welcome, MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococus aureus
“If people ate grains directly instead of cycling them thru livestock, the benefits to the ecosystem would be staggering. There is not a single aspect of the ecological crisis that would not be immediately and profoundly improved by such a transformation”. JOHN ROBBINS author of The Food Revolution. Let’s hear some facts about the environmental ramifications of an animal based diet.
  • · For every acre of forest land consumed by urban development, 7 acres are devoured by the meat industry, for grazing and growing cattle food.
  • · Rain forests are being destroyed at a rate of 125,000 square miles per year to create space to raise animals for food
  • · Each individual who switches to a vegan diet spares an acre of trees per year.
  • · 25 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of wheat, where as 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef.
  • · By switching from a meat-based diet to a vegetarian diet, a person would conserve 1,423,500 gallons of water.
  • · 1 acre of prime land can produce 40,000# of potatoes, 30,000# of carrots, 50,000# of tomatoes and only 250 pounds of beef.
  • · At least 85% of US topsoil loss is directly associated with livestock raising.
  • · More than 50% of water pollution can be linked to wastes from the livestock industry.
  • · If the US switched to a vegetarian diet, 60% of US imported oil requirements would be cut.
  • · A family of 4 that cuts back on meat consumption by 2 # per week saves the equivalent of 104 gallons of gasoline in one year.
  • · The livestock in USA produce 20 times as much excretion as does the human population
  • · 55 square feet of rainforest is needed to produce 1 quarter-pound hamburger which releases 500# of CO2 in the atmosphere
  • · Scientists estimate that the world’s 1.3 billion cattle and other ruminant livestock emit approximately 60 million tons of methane (a relatively potent greenhouse gas that affects degradation of the ozone layer) each year.
  • · About 40% of the world’s grain harvest is fed to food animals. Half of this grain would be more than enough to feed all hungry people on this planet.
  • · If Americans cut their meat consumption by 10%, it would free enough grain to feed every one on the planet who is presently starving to death.
  • · In the USA, grazing has contributed to the near demise of 26% of the federal threatened and endangered species list, including the desert tortoise, pronghorn antelope, sage grouse, black tailed prairie dog, black footed ferret, and bighorn sheep. (
  • · Approximately, for each hamburger made from rain forest beef ( Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras are in the top 10), approximately 20-30 different plant species, 100 different insect species, dozens of bird, mammal and reptile species are destroyed. (Campbell’s soup uses rainforest beef, burger king backed down on it use after a 2004 boycott, the rainforest is the largest supplier of rawhide chews for dogs.)
Think of your dogs(or cats, or horses, or “pocket pets”) and their love for you, the faithfulness towards you. Imagine the way they look at you with trust and faith, imagine the happiness when they see you, running to greet you when you come home. Can you imagine killing them and eating their flesh? I have avoided mentioning animal rights until the end, I wanted to lead with the less controversial issues of health and environmental impact. Personally, the animals themselves should be reason enough to eat a plant based diet, but health and environmental impact, also prove this point. Animals suffer when maintained for milk, eggs, cheese and definitely when slaughtered. Their wellbeing is my biggest passion and I will advocate for them as long as I live.
Factory farmed meat and animal product animals never see the light of day, they’re confined to pens that do not allow them to move or turn around. They live in their own waste, forced to constantly breathe in ammonia and other waste products. They are pumped full of antibiotics because of their polluted living conditions. They are fed foods that they are not designed to digest, because it is cheaper and more efficient. They’re pumped full of hormones to make them grow bigger and produce more. They are frequently mutilated without the use of painkillers. Finally, they are often slaughtered while they are fully conscious. So, they basically live a life of hell.
As students and advocates of the healing arts, do we really want to ingest that pain, that poison, that those innocent animals felt? How does that resonate with healing vibrations? It doesn’t. I believe that one cannot heal, while perpetuating the suffering of another being. I do not desire to cause suffering or to be involved in the slaughter of innocent creatures. It is my hope that one day mankind will look back in horror at the carnivorous, murderous habits of its predecessors. The eating of animals will seem as barbaric and disgusting to future man as the eating of human meat now seems to the average American.
He is closest to god who harms no living creature. BHAGAVAD GITA
Sources and information: T. Colin Campbell foundation(,, physicians committee for responsible medicine (, (available to view instantly on net flix).

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