Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products. —Wikipedia
Reasons to Go Vegan
If humanity does not urgently change its ways, several critical thresholds may be exceeded, beyond which abrupt and generally irreversible changes to the life-support functions of the planet could occur.
One of the simplest lifestyle changes that we all can make and could have one of the biggest impacts on reversing species, habitat, ice and atmospheric loss is to adopt a plant-based diet and healthy vegan lifestyle.
WHAT IS VEGANISM?
Vegans live a lifestyle which rejects the enslavement, torture and killing of animals for the many ways a human consumes them: from leather in your clothes and car, to sleeping under feathers, to rejecting animal acts like the circus, rodeo and ocean-going animal shows. Vegans do not eat animals including products made from animal flesh and fluids.
You might hear of a famous person being vegan because their doctors have put them on a plant-based diet. That's not being vegan. A vegan diet is one that comes from a human not willing to be part of animal torture or slaughter.
Bill Clinton, for example, is eating a plant-based diet to help heal his heart. He is not doing it from the heart, therefore he isn't vegan, he's a plant-based eater.
For some who have not made the connection of the pain and suffering of animals outside of their own pets, this may sound like hair-splitting. For vegans it is not, as it is the basis for what we believe and the actions we have chosen to take in this world.
Vegetarians avoid meat, fish, and poultry. Those who include dairy products and eggs in their diets are called lacto-ovo vegetarians. Vegans (pure vegetarians) eat no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products. While there is a considerable advantage to a lacto-ovo vegetarian pattern, vegan diets are the healthiest of all, reducing risk of a broad range of health concerns. —Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine
It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.
Why is your health #1?
Whether you are vegan to protect animals and/or to heal the planet or yourself, or to cut household expenses, we can only be as good as our health allows. We owe it to ourselves, families, friends and the systems within which we live to be in the best of health to do the utmost for the world around us. How can we help others if we ourselves are not at our finest?
Secondly, the best way to tell people about the benefits of being vegan is by example. Our shining health and glowing skin that so often comes when we eat a healthy, whole foods, plant-based diet is the best possible witness to the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. You win, your friends win and so do the animals as well as our lovely Mother, our Earth. Oh, yes, and your pocketbook.
Even the most severe cases of heart disease can be halted and reversed with diet alone.
Reduce or eliminate diabetes medication: Dietary changes can enable diabetic patients to go off their medication (completely).
Type 1 diabetes, one of the most devastating diseases that can befall a child, is convincingly linked to infant feeding practices.
Eating dark leafy greens while avoiding animal foods and processed foods provides plenty of dietary calcium without increasing risk of osteoporosis!
30% of the earth is used by livestock with 33% of the world's arable land used produce their feed. A plant-based diet supports a sustainable world, by reducing the need for pasture land and subsequent pressure on forests.
Prevention is the best medicine; the American healthcare system is the third leading cause of death in the country, with adverse drug reactions, medical error, hospital infections, and surgical errors totaling more deaths than heart disease or cancer.
Prevent Cancer. Synthetic chemicals in the environment and in your food, as problematic as they may be, are not the main cause of cancer.
Researchers studied the dietary habits of 80,000 people in Britain and surveyed participants on life satisfaction, mental well-being, history or presence of mental disorders, nervousness, feelings of depression, and personal self-reported health and happiness.
As subjects' daily intake of fruits and vegetables increased, so did their sense of happiness and well-being. The dose-dependent pattern peaked at seven servings per day; eating more yielded no additional mood enhancement. More…
Health officials are seeing more food poisonings caused by a bacteria commonly linked to raw milk and poultry.
A study released Thursday said campylobacter (camp-eh-lo-BACK'-ter) cases grew by 14% over the last five years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report was based on foodborne infections in only 10 states ? about 15% of the American population. But it is seen as a good indicator of food poisoning trends.
SCIENTISTS at the Food and Drug Administration systematically monitor the meat and poultry sold in supermarkets around the country for the presence of disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. These food products are bellwethers that tell us how bad the crisis of antibiotic resistance is getting. And they?re telling us it?s getting worse.
The agency doesn't know enough about the antibiotics that are being fed to these animals. This is a major public health problem, because giving healthy livestock these drugs breeds superbugs that can infect people. We need to know more about the use of antibiotics in the production of our meat and poultry. The results could be a matter of life and death. More…
The researchers had come to believe that what damaged hearts was not just the thick edge of fat on steaks, or the delectable marbling of their tender interiors. In fact, these scientists suspected that saturated fat and cholesterol made only a minor contribution to the increased amount of heart disease seen in red-meat eaters. The real culprit, they proposed, was a little-studied chemical that is burped out by bacteria in the stomach after people eat red meat. It is quickly converted by the liver into yet another little-studied chemical called TMAO that gets into the blood and increases the risk of heart disease.
That, at least, was the theory. So the question that morning was: Would a burst of TMAO show up in peoples’ blood after they ate steak? And would the same thing happen to a vegan who had not had meat for at least a year and who consumed the same meal?
The answers were: yes, there was a TMAO burst in the five meat eaters and no, the vegan did not have it. And TMAO levels turned out to predict heart attack risk in humans, the researchers found… Additional studies with 23 vegetarians and vegans and 51 meat eaters showed that meat eaters normally had more TMAO in their blood and that they, unlike those who spurned meat, readily made TMAO after swallowing pills with carnitine.
Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests.
One in every 17 people followed in the study died. However, those eating more than 160g of processed meat a day - roughly two sausage and a slice of bacon - were 44% more likely to die over a typical follow up time of 12.7 years than those eating about 20g. More…
A study published in Jan, 2012 in British Journal of Cancer essentially suggests that eating too much of eggs and meat or drinking too much whole milk may increase risk of ovarian cancer in women.
Ovarian cancer is expected to be diagnosed in 22,280 women this year in the United States and the disease is poised to kill 15,500 women in the same year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The study showed women whose intake of animal fat was in the highest quintile were 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, compared with those having the lowest intake.
Animal fat comes with meat and dairy products. The study could mean that eating meat, eggs and drinking milk may be associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer. It is known that meat and dairy protein is a good fuel for the cancer progression.More…
Over the years, eating too many burgers, steaks pork chops or other red meat products has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. In particular, processed red meat, such as bacon, hot dogs or bologna, has especially strong links to chronic diseases.
But the latest research brings even more dire news for hardcore carnivores. In addition to increasing the odds people will get sick, red meat--whether it is processed or not can actually increase the risk of premature death overall. More…
The study of more than 120,000 people suggested red meat increased the risk of death from cancer and heart problems.
The researchers analysed data from 37,698 men between 1986 and 2008 and 83,644 women between 1980 and 2008.
They said that during the study period, adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to someone's daily diet would increase the risk of death by 13%, of fatal cardiovascular disease by 18% and of cancer mortality by 10%. The figures for processed meat were higher, 20% for overall mortality, 21% for death from heart problems and 16% for cancer mortality. More…
Roxarsone, known by its brand name 3-Nitro, kills intestinal parasites, promotes growth and makes meat look pinker. It contains organic arsenic, which is far less toxic than its inorganic counterpart. For decades, it was believed that animals simply excreted organic arsenic. But evidence is emerging that it may also be converted into its carcinogenic cousin in the body of the chicken.
The study, which measured inorganic arsenic levels in chicken, found roxarsone in about half the samples. The researchers said they tested meat samples that were gathered from December 2010 to June 2011 ? before the sale of roxarsone was suspended ? because they wanted to examine whether the drug led to increased levels of inorganic arsenic. More…
Last week, researchers from New Zealand published a paper that showed that kids raised on livestock farms had an elevated risk of developing blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma later in life.
The team found that subjects whose parents were livestock farmers were 22 percent more likely than those whose parents weren't farmers to develop blood cancer as adults. The finding was especially pronounced among children of poultry farmers, whose blood cancer rate was three times that of their non-farm-kid peers. More…
Use of aresenic in chicken feed to kill parasites, killing humans
Scientists confirmed what grandmothers have known for centuries - chicken soup is good for colds. Chicken soup-like grandma used to make-contains several ingredients that affect the body's immune system. Dr. Stephen Rennard and a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found anti-inflammatory properties that helps explain why it soothes sore throats and eases the misery of colds and flu.
But "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!" To make huge profits Tyson pioneered the factory production of chickens, raising them by the thousands in overcrowded conditions, feeding them recycled "rendered" feed processed from cancerous chickens, road kill, chicken manure, offal and a witches' brew of odious chemicals and drugs. It is not surprising these chickens were unhealthy.
Profits went down because chicken raised in such unnatural conditions are so seriously infested with parasites they barely grow. In the 1970s the poultry industry began adding arsenic-based chemicals to chicken feed. Roxarsone is commonly mixed with feed to control intestinal parasites and promote growth in both poultry and hogs. More…
Would you like your chicken traditional, crispy, or extra-cancerous?
It sounds like a bad dream at KFC, but unfortunately, it's true: Consuming conventional, nonorganic chicken meat can increase your risk for cancer.
This is due to the way factory-farmed chickens are raised and fed, including with arsenic, a known carcinogen. The arsenic is part of a growth-promoting ingredient called roxarsone, produced by a subsidiary of Pfizer. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, roxarsone helped prevent a parasitic disease in chickens known as coccidiosis. More…
Lauren Hodge, a Dallastown Area High School student from York Township recently won top honors in her age group at the Google Science Fair in California. Her science fair project looked into whether certain marinades reduce the amount of cancer-causing compounds created by the grilling of meat, specifically chicken.
Lauren's research was inspired by a lawsuit against seven major fast food companies in which samples of grilled chicken were found to contain cancer-causing mutagens and carcinogens. These chemicals form when proteins combine with sugars after heat is applied. More…
What about avoiding pesticides and other industrial pollutants? A recent autopsy study found higher levels in the brains of Parkinson's victims of certain PCBs found in Monsanto's Aroclor, which was banned in 1979. The more PCBs found in the brain, the worse the brain damage. The worst three appeared to be PCBs 138, 153, and 180, all of which are significantly lower in the bodies of those eating plant-based diets. More here… and Here…
That's according to a study published on line Monday in the journal Atherosclerosis, which examined the effects of egg-yolk consumption on the thickening of arterial walls.
Plaque buildup increased according to age after age 40 in a fairly steady fashion. But among the 20 percent of participants who reported eating the most egg yolks - three or more per week - [emphasis ours] carotid plaque increased "exponentially," according to the study. The buildup equaled about two-thirds of that seen among the heaviest smokers in the group. More…
Plaque buildup increased according to age after age 40 in a fairly steady fashion. But among the 20 percent of participants who reported eating the most egg yolks—three or more per week—carotid plaque increased "exponentially," according to the study. More…
Three different studies have come out in the past year, finding that the consumption of hot dogs can be a risk factor for childhood cancer.
Peters et al. studied the relationship between the intake of certain foods and the risk of leukemia in children from birth to age 10 in Los Angeles County between 1980 and 1987. The study found that children eating more than 12 hot dogs per month have nine times the normal risk of developing childhood leukemia. A strong risk for childhood leukemia also existed for those children whose fathers' intake of hot dogs was 12 or more per month.
Researchers Sarusua and Savitz studied childhood cancer cases in Denver and found that children born to mothers who consumed hot dogs one or more times per week during pregnancy has approximately double the risk of developing brain tumors. Children who ate hot dogs one or more times per week were also at higher risk of brain cancer.
Bunin et al, also found that maternal consumption of hot dogs during pregnancy was associated with an excess risk of childhood brain tumors.
Two other reports in the same issue of Cancer Causes and Control also suggest that children born to mothers who eat at least one hot dog per week during pregnancy have double the normal risk of developing brain tumors, as do children whose fathers ate hot dogs before conception. More…
Saturated fats are hard for the body to digest and it responds by pumping more bile into the gut. This changes the gut environment and leads to a change in the bacteria growing there, the researchers said. More…
A new study just out of Loma Linda University funded by the National Cancer Institute reported that vegans have lower rates of cancer than both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Vegan women, for example, had 34 percent lower rates of female-specific cancers such as breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer. And this was compared to a group of healthy omnivores who ate substantially less meat than the general population (two servings a week or more), as well as after controlling for non-dietary factors such as smoking, alcohol, and a family history of cancer.
Why do vegans have such lower cancer risk? This is fascinating stuff: An elegant series of experiments was performed in which people were placed on different diets and their blood was then dripped on human cancer cells growing in a petri dish to see whose diet kicked more cancer butt. Women placed on plant-based diets for just two weeks, for example, were found to suppress the growth of three different types of breast cancer (see images of the cancer clearance). The same blood coursing through these womens' bodies gained the power to significantly slow down and stop breast cancer cell growth thanks to just two weeks of eating a healthy plant-based diet! (Two weeks! Imagine what's going on in your body after a year!) Similar results were found for men against prostate cancer (as well as against prostate enlargement). More…
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Americans eat more meat than any other population in the world; about one-sixth of the total, though we're less than one-twentieth of the population.
But that's changing…
Considering the fairly steady climb in meat consumption over the last half-century, you might say the numbers are plummeting. The department of agriculture projects that our meat and poultry consumption will fall again this year, to about 12.2 percent less in 2012 than it was in 2007. Beef consumption has been in decline for about 20 years; the drop in chicken is even more dramatic, over the last five years or so; pork also has been steadily slipping for about five years.
While this decline in meat consumption has helped to reduce the number of animals raised for food, a drive for better treatment of farm animals has also been increasingly successful during this same period. In fact, while 10 years ago no state had banned any standard factory-farming practice over animal-welfare concerns, today nine states have passed laws to prohibit practices such as confining pigs, calves, and chickens in tiny cages, cutting off dairy cows' tails, and force-feeding ducks for foie gras. And an increasing number of major retailers are also demanding improved treatment of farm animals by their suppliers.
For more on the nutritional value of a plant-based diet, see our Nutrition page.
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Nutritional information contained on this site is not intended to replace medical advice from a physician or nutritionist. If you are experiencing an emergent medical situation contact a doctor, urgent care facility or hospital emergency room. Talk over any major lifestyle changes with your trusted medical professional.