Humans have been eating meat since the Ice Age. It was then, according to anthropologists, that man moved away from a plant-based diet and began to eat meat. This “custom” has survived to this day – due to necessity / for example, among the Eskimos /, habit or living conditions. But most often, the reason is simply a misunderstanding.
Over the past fifty years, renowned health professionals, nutritionists and biochemists have found compelling evidence that in order to to stay healthy, it is absolutely not necessary to eat meat, on the contrary, a diet acceptable to predators can harm a person. Alas, vegetarianism, based only on philosophical positions, rarely becomes a way of life. Therefore, let’s leave aside the spiritual aspect of vegetarianism for the time being – multi-volume works can be created about this. Let us dwell on purely practical, so to speak, “secular” arguments in favor of giving up meat. Let us first discuss the so-called “the protein myth”. Here’s what it’s about. One of the main reasons why most people eschew vegetarianism is the fear of causing in the body protein deficiency. “How can you get all the quality proteins you need from a plant-based, dairy-free diet?” such people ask. Before answering this question, it is useful to recall what a protein actually is. In 1838 a Dutch chemist Jan Müldscher received a substance containing nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and, in smaller quantities, other chemical elements. This compound, which underlies all life on Earth, the scientist called “paramount”. Subsequently, the real indispensability of protein was proved: for the survival of any organism, a certain amount of it must be consumed. As it turned out, the reason for this is amino acids, the “original sources of life”, from which proteins are formed. Total known 22 amino acids, 8 of which are considered major /they are not produced by the body and must be consumed with food/. These 8 amino acids are: lecithin, isolecin, valine, lysine, trypophan, threonine, methionine, phenylalanine. All of them should be included in appropriate proportions in a balanced nutritious diet. Until the mid-1950s, meat was regarded as the best source of protein, because it contains all 8 essential amino acids, and just in the right proportions. Today, however, nutritionists have come to the conclusion that plant foods as a source of protein are not only as good as meat, but even superior to it. Plants also contain all 8 amino acids. Plants have the ability to synthesize amino acids from air, soil, and water, but animals can only obtain proteins through plants: either by eating them, or by eating animals that have eaten plants and absorbed all their nutrients. Therefore, a person has a choice: to get them directly through plants or in a roundabout way, at the cost of high economic and resource costs – from animal meat. In this way, meat does not contain any amino acids other than those that animals get from plants – and man himself can get them from plants. Moreover, plant foods have another important advantage: along with amino acids, you get the substances necessary for the most complete absorption of proteins: carbohydrates, vitamins, trace elements, hormones, chlorophyll, etc. In 1954, a group of scientists at Harvard University conducted research and found: if a person simultaneously consumes vegetables, cereals, dairy – it more than covers the daily norm of protein. They concluded that it was very difficult to keep a varied vegetarian diet without exceeding this figure. Somewhat later, in 1972, Dr. F. Stear conducted his own studies of protein intake by vegetarians. The results were amazing: most of the subjects received more than two norms of protein! So the “myth about proteins” was debunked. Let us now turn to the next aspect of the problem we are discussing. Modern medicine confirms: meat-eating is fraught with many dangers. Oncological и сердечно-сосудистые заболевания become epidemic in countries where the average per capita consumption of meat is high, while where this figure is low, such diseases are extremely rare. Rollo Russell in his book “Causes of Cancer” writes: “I found that out of 25 countries whose inhabitants eat a predominantly meat diet, 19 have a very high percentage of cancer, and only one country has a relatively low rate, while at the same time out of 35 countries whose inhabitants eat meat in limited quantities or don’t eat it at all, there isn’t one that has a high percentage of cancer.” AT “Journal of the American Physicians Association” for 1961 it is said “The transition to a vegetarian diet in 90-97% of cases prevents the development of cardiovascular diseases.” When an animal is slaughtered, its waste products cease to be excreted by its circulatory system and remain “preserved” in the dead body. Meat-eaters thus absorb the poisonous substances that, in a living animal, leave the body with urine. Doctor Owen S. Parret in my work “Why don’t I eat meat” noticed: when meat is boiled, harmful substances appear in the composition of the broth, as a result of which the broth is almost identical in chemical composition to urine. In industrialized countries with an intensive type of agricultural development, meat is “enriched” with many harmful substances: DDT, arsenic /used as a growth stimulator/, sodium sulfate /used to give the meat a “fresh”, blood-red hue/, DES, synthetic hormone /known carcinogen/. In general, meat products contain many carcinogens and even metastasogens. For example, just 2 pounds of fried meat contains as much benzopyrene as 600 cigarettes! By reducing cholesterol intake, we simultaneously reduce the chances of accumulating fat, and therefore the risk of death from a heart attack or apoplexy. Such a phenomenon as atherosclerosis, for a vegetarian – a completely abstract concept. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, “Proteins derived from nuts, grains, and even dairy products are considered relatively pure in contrast to those found in beef—they contain about 68% of the contaminated liquid component. These “impurities” have a detrimental effect not only on the heart, but also on the body as a whole. The human body is the most complex machine. And, as with any car, one fuel suits it better than another. Studies show that meat is a highly inefficient fuel for this machine, and comes at a high cost. For example, the Eskimos, who mainly eat fish and meat, age very quickly. Their average life expectancy barely exceeds 30 years. The Kirghiz at one time also ate mainly meat and also lived longer 40 years is extremely rare. On the other hand, there are tribes such as the Hunza who live in the Himalayas, or religious groups whose average life expectancy fluctuates between 80 и 100 for years! Scientists are convinced that vegetarianism is the reason for their excellent health. The Maya Indians of Yutacan and the Yemeni tribes of the Semitic group are also famous for their excellent health – again thanks to a vegetarian diet. And in conclusion, I want to emphasize one more thing. When eating meat, a person, as a rule, hides it under ketchups, sauces and gravies. He processes and modifies it in many different ways: fries, boils, stews, etc. What is all this for? Why not, like predators, eat meat raw? Many nutritionists, biologists and physiologists have convincingly demonstrated: people are not carnivorous by nature. That is why they so diligently modify food that is uncharacteristic for themselves. Physiologically, humans are much closer to herbivores such as monkeys, elephants, horses, and cows than to carnivores such as dogs, tigers, and leopards. Let’s say predators never sweat; in them, heat exchange occurs through regulators of respiratory rate and protruding tongue. Vegetarian animals (and humans) have sweat glands for this purpose, through which various harmful substances leave the body. Predators have long and sharp teeth in order to hold and kill prey; herbivores (and humans) have short teeth and no claws. The saliva of predators does not contain amylase and is therefore incapable of preliminary breakdown of starches. The glands of carnivores produce large amounts of hydrochloric acid to digest bones. Predators lap up liquid, like a cat, for example, while herbivores (and humans) suck it in through their teeth. There are many such illustrations, and each of them testifies: the human body corresponds to the vegetarian model. Purely physiologically, people are not adapted to a meat diet. Here are perhaps the most compelling arguments in favor of vegetarianism.