>>"Vegans live much longer and have fewer health problems than meat eaters (and vegetarians)."<<
I do not believe that... my ancestors (even those living) routinely live into their 90's with several centenarians - eating animal products - raw dairy... they did dry, smoke, and cook their meats.
Grandma is 98... and counting.
Dad was diagnosed terminally ill at 52 (toxic occupational and hobby exposures)... he is still living at 75 and his BP was 118 - 76 Friday... a long while back we gradually got mom and dad to move away from processed foods, go organic when possible (farmers markets from local growers mostly), organic free range meats and eggs, wild caught fish, and I helped get him on raw goat milk and dairy over a year ago and that is the only real change he made in his diet that caused BP numbers to fall. Needless to say, he has left several medications behind and will likely live well into his 80's, and perhaps beyond.
About 1997, the last of those with his illness died (they were all in a Mayo study group)... making him the longest living survivor with this terminal illness... ever... by far.
In fact, one small family within ours... chose to go vegetarian and all passed in their 50's and 60's - most from heart attacks... The last two vegetarians in this family, were married, couldn't have children and they are no more, passing away in the late 1960's... illustrating that my personal experience with your statement has taught me different.
That said... *some* people given their ancestry may find better health and well being as vegetarians.
No need for either side, or the middle to get so riled up or defensive.
It is best for ALL of us to recognize that there is NO one size fits all way of eating for all people. The take home message with all of this should be a focus on the food quality first and foremost.
Focusing on food source and quality, my *meat* consumption has fallen easily to 1/5th of what it was before due to the increased nutritional values and food density.
I am sure raw meat eaters have probably experienced the same, perhaps even to a greater degree than I. I would like to hear if that is true.
There are common, rather well known, health problems with vegetarians\vegans - primarily with those that do NOT incorporate a wide enough range of foods in their diets, and\or try to be vegan\vegetarian when their biological (genetic) need indicates otherwise. This was, and is my point in how agribusiness has enabled this lifestyle... without food importation and *stores*, most of us on this planet would not be able to sustain this way of eating... unless we had 5 or more acres with good soil and weather conditions for 2 or more growing seasons a year... which would likely be a VERY small fraction of the people.
One man's food, is another man's poison... you may have heard that before... and it is true to the extent that a food that may be beneficial for one, may harm another.