Regardless of the quality of meat and its freedom from toxins induced by man, there are many other health hazards associated with the consumption of flesh foods.
It is a fact that all nutritive material is formed in the plant kingdom—---animals have the power to appropriate but never to form or create food elements. Plants can synthesize amino acids from air, earth and water, but animals—including humans—are dependent on plant protein, either directly by eating the plant, or indirectly by eating an animal which has eaten the plant.
A plant-eater utilizes one-tenth of the energy stored in his food—a meat-eater utilizes from meat only one-hundredth of the energy that was originally stored in the primary source, the plants. (Robert H. Dunn, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Preventive Medicine, Washington Adventist Hospital, Introduction to Meat on the Menu: Who Needs It? by Raymond H. Woolsey, published 1974.)
Flesh-eating animals also have the enzyme uricase, which breaks down uric acid into a harmless substance called allantoin; man does not possess this enzyme. Vegetable proteins, including nuts and seeds, contain enough carbohydrates to render this enzyme unnecessary.
John A. Scharffenberg, M.D., in Problems with Meat says, "Meat is a major factor in the leading causes of death in the United States, and probably in similarly affluent societies. In fact, next to tobacco and alcohol, meat is the greatest single cause of mortality in the United States." He makes this statement on p. 101 of his well-documented book, in summarizing "the formidable and persuasive scientific evidence we now have." He marshals this scientific evidence of the disease potential of meat and the relationship of meat to these specific problems: atherosclerosis, cancer, decrease in longevity or life expectancy, kidney disorders, osteoporosis, salmonellosis, and trichinosis. He quotes an editorial statement in the Journal of the American Medical Association: "A vegetarian diet can prevent 97% of our coronary occlusions." (Editor: Diet and Stress in Vascular Disease, JAMA, 76:134-35, 1961).
Several more recent, well-organized studies have identified the risk factors of atherosclerosis and heart attacks: a 1970 study by twenty-nine voluntary health agencies, in cooperation with the American Medical Association (these study groups consisted of many of the nation's top scientists); a 1977 study by the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs: a twelve-year Finnish Mental Hospital Study (Effect of cholesterol-lowering diet on mortality from coronary heart disease and other causes, Lancet 2:835-38, 1972); and a 1975 study comparing Seventh Day Adventists who had different dietary habits. The Seventh Day Adventist study revealed a 64% vulnerability to coronary heart disease in meat-users, 40% for lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and 23% for total vegetarians. The 1977 study by the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs reported the significant deleterious influence of. the consumption of dietary cholesterol (animal fat) and recommended the increased use of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and a decrease in the use of foods containing saturated fat (animal fat).
Meat is one of the main sources of food that provide little fiber—flesh foods lengthen the average transit time through the gastrointestinal tract from thirty hours to seventy-seven hours.
Colon cancer patients produce more than normal amounts of bile acids which enhance cancer growth. A more rapid transit time through the digestive tract reduces exposure time to these acids.
Meat contains virtually no carbohydrates and is excessively high in fat and concentrated protein.
Dr. Bircher-Benner, the great Swiss physician, said, "Meat does not give strength. Its composition is one-sided, lacking certain minerals and vitamins, and it introduces too much fat and protein into the system, disturbing the balance of nutrition and giving rise to intestinal putrefaction."
Examples are repeatedly cited of robust and apparently healthy individuals who are heavy meat-eaters. Dr. L.H. Newberg of Ann Arbor University found that when he fed large quantities of meat to test animals, they grew bigger and more alert than other animals on a vegetarian diet. But three months later these animals contracted kidney damage and died, while the vegetarian animals lived on healthily and happily. (Wade, C., Vegetarianism, Herald of Health, LXXII, Ap. 1967, p. 14)
Flesh eating is defended almost entirely on the premise that it is a source of superior proteins. The truth is exactly opposite. The pathological effects of encumbering our bodies with the proteins of other animals is Nature's method of vetoing these proteins for human consumption, in order to promote the stability of the human species and to protect the health of the individual. Dr. Herbert M. Shelton says (Animal Foods—booklet) that allergy and anaphylaxis are not mysterious; they are due to long-standing poisoning of the body by excess or inappropriate protein foods.
Animal proteins are often not reduced to their constituent amino acids, but are absorbed in more complex form. Absorption by the body of such partially digested proteins poisons the organism, and so-called "allergic symptoms" may be the result—or gout, arthritis, cancer, or any one or more of a host of degenerative diseases.
A meat-eater must also be concerned about digestive problems caused by too little dietary fiber; circulatory problems due to excessive cholesterol deposits from animal fats; loss of bone mass due to inadequate ingestion and retention of calcium; deficiency of vitamins and minerals; and inadequate carbohydrate intake (without increasing calories).
Plutarch writes in The Eating of Meat: "For my part I wonder what was the disposition, idea, or motive of the first man who put to his mouth a thing slaughtered and touched with his lips the flesh of a dead animal...Actually, the reasons those primitive people first started the eating of flesh was probably their utter poverty."
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), livestock raised for food produce 130 times the excrement of the human population, some 87,000 pounds per second. The Union of Concerned Scientists points out that 20 tons of livestock manure is produced annually for every U.S. household. The much-publicized 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska dumped 12 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, but the relatively unknown 1995 New River hog waste spill in North Carolina poured 25 million gallons of excrement and urine into the water, killing an estimated 10 to 14 million fish and closing 364,000 acres of coastal shellfishing beds.
Lack of Brain power?.........
The ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras was vegetarian, and until the mid-19th century, people who abstained from meat were known as “Pythagoreans.” Famous followers of Pythagoras’ diet included Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, George Bernard Shaw and Albert Einstein. The word “vegetarian” was coined in 1847 to give a name to what was then a tiny movement in England.