Why be a Vegetarian?
The Vegetarian Page
Why be a vegetarian? What do vegetarians eat?
What is the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan? Find the
answers to these and many more questions plus links
to other vegetarian pages and some great recipes. Need more reasons?
All artwork and content copyright ©1998,
Despite all the rhetoric and brainwashing we have been exposed
to by governments and the media, courtesy of the meat and dairy industries,
you don't have to eat meat to survive and be healthy. On the contrary,
if you follow the most valid scientific research you'll find there is far
more unhealthy about meat than you ever dreamed. Besides cholesterol,
and fat there are some wonderful other ingredients that make up commercial
Antibiotics: Modern science has seen to it that animals
are given a healthy dose of antibiotics before they reach us to minimize
losses due to illness. By eating this meat, we ingest these antibiotics
and by being dosed when we don't need them, they have less effect when
we take them because we are ill.
Bacteria and Parasites: Meat is a magnet for some of the
most dangerous bacteria and parasites. Does E-coli ring a bell?
How about Mad Cow disease? Trichnosis? If you are a vegetarian, you
NEVER need to worry about getting these diseases.
Putrefaction: Fruits ferment into alcohol like wine.
Vegetables likewise ferment or decay creating gases. Meat on the
other hand putrifies which means it creates poisons that are toxic to humans.
Fruit and most vegetables are easy to digest and don't stay in your digestive
system as long as meat does. This gives it more time to putrify.
It also gives those nasty bacteria and parasites (above) more time to multiply.
Digestive problems such as constipation are often due to a heavy meat diet.
Doctors recommend fruit and vegetables (roughage) as a cure for constipation
(when will they just recommend becoming a vegetarian?).
Antioxidants the cancer fighters: Do you ever hear about
beef or pork being a source of cancer fighting agents? No, it's always
some fruit or vegetable containing antioxidants or some other factor that
is seen as being a cancer fighting agent.
Chemical toxins: Animals are higher on the food
chain and thus concentrate toxins contained in the food they eat.
Thus one ounce of meat will usually contain far more chemicals than the
equivalent amount of grain or legumes. Plus some animals are fed
animal parts that already have concentrated the toxins of their diet.
The numbers are staggering. The amount of land required
to grow one cow to maturity versus the amount grain that can be produced
in the same acreage. By raising cattle on arable land, our species
is being inefficient in it's use of resources. By choosing to be
at the top of the food chain we consume unwisely, making it difficult to
feed our ever growing population.
The rainforest: The Central American and Amazon rainforests
are being destroyed to provide farmland and cattle grazing. The farmers
can only raise a few crops before the thin soil is depleted, causing them
to burn more virgin rainforest. The land is then only suitable for
cattle to graze the thin grasses. This is the real reason the farmers
are allowed to burn the forest. They are the pawns of the cattle
industy in Brazil. They do the dirty work, and the ranchers get more
land for their herds. This endless cycle spells doom for the "lungs
of the Earth" and perhaps for all of us.
In many countries the taste for meat has been introduced
by companies like McDonald's or Burger King. People whose diets consisted
of fruits and vegetables now see meat eating as a sign of affluence and
status. Densely populated countries whose land is under intense cultivation
and where pressure to urbanize has reduced that cultivation are also pressured
to raise beef. This inefficient use of their land will one day doom
them to starvation.
For more info on how being a vegetarian can help the environment
check out Tipping the
Scales for the Environment.
Meat is more expensive than vegetables. It takes
more protein to feed animals than they yield. They require more water.
Meat is more perishible, takes longer to harvest, requires refrigeration,
is transported over vast distances, uses more resources, so of course it
For rich countries and well off populations eating meat
is normal. But in developing countries it is seen as a sign of affluence.
Owning animals is status.
Food Factories: That's where meat comes from.
No one likes to think about where that hamburger or hot dog or chicken
nugget comes from, much less what's in it! As a species we have lost
touch with the source of our food. In our hunting/gathering days
we were very much in touch with nature, animals and their spirits.
If we had to hunt or raise and slaughter our food ourselves we could appreciate
what it really is - a living animal that we must kill to satisfy our hunger.
Nowadays a big mac means you won't have to cook tonight.
To provide this convenience, multinational corporations
have setup food factories around the world that take the worry and fuss
about having that next meal off your mind. What you don't see can't
hurt you - or can it?
Certain animals are raised in appalling conditions.
To produce veal - a very young cow, the animal spends it's whole life caged
up in a pen no bigger than itself. This prevents it from moving and
developing strong muscles thus keeping the flesh tender. It's short
life is spent standing in its own urine and feces, never to graze fields
of green grass, never to see sunsets, never to live the life a cow is meant
to live. Because of the conditions under which it lives it must be
given massive doses of antibiotics to stave off sickness, which are then
passed on to those who love to eat these poor animals.
Chickens: Little chicks are hatched and sent on conveyor
belts where they are examined for sex and deformities. Like the station
at Auschwitz they are then either routed to the growing area or ground
up to feed their siblings. The lucky chick survivors then have their
beaks burned off to prevent them from pecking the hundreds of other chickens
they'll be cooped up with. Most chickens in America never see the
light of day. They are kept in huge rooms where the density of chickens
per sq. ft. is maximized. The lighting is controlled to maximize
their feeding and growth. Since they are so densely packed, they
are highly prone to infection and must be given massive doses of antibiotics
to suppress illness.
Pigs: One need only visit a pig farm to grasp the
horrifying conditions under which they are raised. Once the inhabitants
of forests, they are now penned up and fed just about anything. Is
it any wonder nobody wants a pig farm in their neighborhood?
Meat is big business. The cattle, dairy, pig, and chicken
industries all have powerful lobbies that keep Congress in their camp.
It takes a total disaster like Mad Cow disease before people even think
about what they eat. What a political mess that was! No other
country wanted British beef, yet the British were still stuck eating it!
Most Western countries have had meat in their diets for centuries.
You eat meat because your parents eat meat, because their parents eat meat,
etc. Yet most Eastern/Asian countries have little or no meat in their
traditional diets. What meat is consumed is considered a treat.
Of course now these diets have changed due to western influences like hamburger
But why not reverse our centuries old habit? New
cuisines have combined food ideas from all over the world, and with such
a varied assorment of ingredients available nowadays, let's take advantage
of the many vegetarian options. It's not necessary to become a strict
vegetarian overnight. It's easier to eat less meat, more grains and
vegetables more often. First stop eating red meat, especially fast
foods. Then cut back on poultry. Finally eat less fish and
soon you'll be a vegetarian. I can guarantee you'll lose weight (absolutely
a great benefit!), you'll feel better, and have more energy. You
won't get that heavy bloated feeling after eating a heavy meat meal.
And of course you won't get all those illnesses meat eaters get.
You might notice more gas, but that is the only negative side effect.
Did you know that the most dangerous job is working
in a slaughter house?
For a good Q&A about vegetarianism check out VEGETARIANISM:
ANSWERS TO THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For More links go to our Vegetarian