With numerous studies pointing to a correlation between animal consumption and a variety of diseases, including cancers, heart diseases, and the bovine disorders, many have adopted a form of vegetarianism, ranging from less meat to total consumption of plant food.
Vegetarian diets are bulkier than those containing animal products. Because they are relatively high in carbohydrates and fiber, overeating, obesity, and constipation are generally not seen in vegans, but do appear within other groups of vegetarians that include meats and dairy in their diets. Because it can take up to five days for meat to be digested, putrification is common and is the prime source of growth of undesirable bacteria, which are the forerunners to disease. A plant-based diet is eliminated from the body within a 24-hour period, thereby preventing any potential accumulation.
Studies have shown that animal protein increases blood cholesterol levels, while plant protein reduces it. It is estimated that for every 100 mg. of cholesterol consumed per 1000 calories, there is an increase of blood cholesterol of 12 mg/dl. Oxidized forms of cholesterol in meats, particularly, are more damaging to arteries than the cholesterol itself. Cholesterol can be oxidized simply by exposing the fat to high temperatures, light, storage, oxygen, and a range of such pro-oxidizing agents as additives.
Additives can hide the true nature of food. For instance, in a purchased meat pie, the following are used: polyphosphates (E450) to emulsify fat and incorporate water, 128 (Red 2G) to color the fat so that it looks like meat, a flavor enhancer 621(MSG) so that the food has an addictive chicken-like flavor and so the senses will not detect all the fat, BHA and BHT to prevent the food from changing color or going rancid, E320 and E321 also to make sure that the excessive quantities of fat do not go rancid. With further additions of salt and a little meat surrounded by a pastry of white flour and lard, a product is born, containing all of the additives and saturated fat that the government advises to eat in moderation.
Bone loss is a concern for many today. Science has difficulty in accepting the bottom line of many studies that indicate bone loss is the direct result of too much protein in the diet and not solely from a lack of calcium. The loss of calcium from the system is directly proportional to the amount of protein that is consumed. Those countries noted for their high protein consumption have the worst rate of osteoporosis in the world, while the disease is almost unheard of in the poorer nations that cannot afford meat or drink milk.
There is also a relationship between colon cancer and high protein diets. In fact, the former science advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research gave up eating meat when the mounting evidence could no longer be ignored. T. Colin Campbell stated that there is “a strong correlation between dietary protein intake and cancers of the colon, breast, prostate, and pancreas.”
“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all the natural disasters, and all the automobile accidents combined,” says Dr. Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.