I want to discuss with you why a vegetarian diet is best. We will see why humans are designed for a vegetarian diet, why vegetarian diets help prevent chronic diseases and cancer, and how vegetarian diets help the environment. If I told you that you were, on a daily basis, consuming food which could give you cancer, would you still eat it? If I told you that by limiting your intake of this food, you could not only live a longer and healthier life, but also be at a lesser risk for many types of cancer and chronic diseases, what would you do?
Most of you are, in fact, on a daily basis, eating some form of meat, poultry or fish — all of which have been linked to cancer and other chronic diseases. I have been a vegetarian for the past four years and over the course of those years, have done extensive research on living a healthy vegetarian lifestyle. Every part of the human digestive tract points toward a vegetarian diet. Digestion begins in the mouth. Let’s examine the tooth and jaw structure of humans. Have you ever compared your teeth to those of a wolf or a tiger?
Human teeth are flat or slightly rounded at most — designed to grind plant material, not tear into the carcass of an animal. Carnivores, like wolves and tigers, can only move their jaws up and down whereas herbivores, like cows and horses, can move their jaws up and down as well as side-to-side. This side-to-side motion allows for the grinding and mastication of leaves and plants. Humans have the tooth and jaw structure which most closely resembles a herbivore – not a carnivore. The human mouth produces a salivary enzyme known as alpha-amylase.
The sole purpose of this enzyme is to break down complex carbohydrates, which are found in plant foods, into simple sugars. There are no carbohydrates in meats, so a carnivore has no need for this enzyme – yet humans produce it in abundance. The stomach juices of a carnivore are rich with very strong acids which digest the muscle and bone a carnivore ingests. Digestion of starches, vegetables, and fruits is easily accomplished with the much weaker acids found in the stomachs of herbivores and humans.
Human intestines are long and coiled, like those of cows and horses. This anatomical feature makes digestion slow, allowing for the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. The intestines of a carnivore, like a cat, are short and straight – allowing rapid digestion of flesh and excretion of the remnants before they putrefy. Herbivores and humans have vastly more complex intestinal systems than do carnivores. Many Americans have dangerously high cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is found only in animal-based foods. According to DrMcDougall.com, “Humans, like other plant eating animals, have livers with very limited capacities for cholesterol removal — they can remove only a little more than they make for themselves for their own bodies — and as a result, most people have great difficulty eliminating the extra cholesterol they take in from eating animal products. This apparent ‘inefficiency’ is because humans have evolved on a diet of mostly plant based foods (containing no cholesterol), and therefore, they never required a highly efficient cholesterol-eliminating biliary system.
” Moreover, our instincts are for plants. To most people, the idea of chasing down, slaying, and consuming freshly killed meat is repulsive. To eat decaying flesh, like a vulture, is utterly unthinkable. Even if the meat is cooked, most people are disgusted by the idea of eating a slab of horse, rat, dog or giraffe. Most people do not have negative reactions to unfamiliar plants like they do with meat. For instance, if I asked you to sample the tropical Star Fruit, you would do so with minimal hesitation.
If, however, I asked you to taste a bit of cow’s brain or bull testicles, you would react with much more reluctance. Why is this? Because your natural human instincts are to eat fruits and vegetables! We will now examine why a vegetarian diet helps prevent chronic diseases and cancers. Vegetarians avoid poisonous chemicals like hormones, antibiotics, and chemical contaminants found in animal products.
A few examples include heptachlor, PCBs, toxaphene, as well as bacteria like salmonellas and campylobacter — all of which are linked to food poisoning, immune deficiencies, sterility, contamination of a human mother’s breast milk, and a plethora of other health problems. According to Yale. edu, “Scientific studies have shown that vegetarian diets are associated with lower rates of killer diseases like heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and even lung cancer. Americans are amongst the biggest meat-consumers in the world and consequently have the highest rates in the world of these diseases.
” According to Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. , M. D. in his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, “Every segment of our bodies is compromised of cells, and every individual cell is protected by an outer coat. This cell membrane is almost unimaginably delicate…yet it is absolutely essential to the integrity and healthy functioning of the cell. And it is extremely vulnerable to injury. Every mouthful of oils and animal products, including dairy products, initiates an assault on these membranes and, therefore, on the cells they protect.
These foods produce a cascade of free radicals in our bodies — especially harmful chemical substances that induce metabolic injuries from which there is only partial recovery. Year after year, the effects accumulate. And eventually, the cumulative cell injury is great enough to become obvious, to express itself as what physicians define as disease. Plants and grains do not induce the deadly cascade of free radicals. Even better, in fact, they carry an antidote.
Unlike oils and animal products, they contain antioxidants, which help to neutralize the free radicals and also, recent research suggests, may provide considerable protection against cancer. ” According to Naturalnews. com, “People who want to avoid cancer are strongly advised to stop eating red meat for life and switch to a primarily plant-based diet. ” Experts are now saying that 80% of cancer is preventable through healthy diets which contain low amounts of fat and oils and high amounts of fiber — the model vegetarian diet!
We will now discuss how a vegetarian diet helps the environment. According to Yale. edu, “Vegetarian diets support the health of the environment by avoiding the massive deforestation, wasteful feeding of grain and corn to livestock, and over-consumption of water required to support a meat-based diet. ” Vegetarianism, if widely supported, has the power to help the world hunger crisis. If Americans were to reduce their meat consumption by only 10%, every one of the 60 million human beings that starve to death on this planet could be adequately fed.
Vegetarianism is based on the ideal of humane treatment of all living creatures. Cattle, chickens and hogs are, at this moment, living in tight and ill-cared for living quarters simply because they will be slaughtered at the end of the season. According to Colin Spencer’s book, The Heretic’s Feast, “Meat eating and intensive factory farming are one factor that has several disastrous effects: Meat production dominates agriculture worldwide: everywhere domestic animals compete with forests and wildlife and the basic needs of people.
Producing and consuming less meat, fewer dairy products and eggs would release land in developing countries and enable people there to feed themselves better. ” As we have discussed, the human body is clearly designed for a vegetarian diet. Following a vegetarian diet can help prevent chronic diseases and cancer; and a vegetarian lifestyle helps the environment. I hope you all thoughtfully reconsider your health and the positive effects vegetarianism would have on your life.