|YOU WILL LIVE LONGER
Vegetarians live about 7 years longer, and vegans about 15 years longer than meat eaters. These findings are backed up by the China Health Project (the largest population study on diet and health to date), which found that Chinese people who eat the least amount of fat and animal products have the lowest risk of cancer, heart attack and other chronic degenerative diseases. And a British study that tracked 6,000 vegetarians and 5,000 meat eaters for 12 years found that vegetarians were 40 percent less likely to die from cancer during that time and 20 percent less likely to die from other diseases.
|YOU WILL HELP REDUCE WASTE AND AIR POLLUTION
Each year, the nations factory farms, collectively produce 2 billion tons of manure, a substance that is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency as one of the country's(U.S) top 10 pollutants. And that's not even counting the methane gas released by cows, pigs and poultry (which contributes to the green house effect); the ammonia gases from urine; poison gases that emanate from manure lagoons; toxic chemicals from pesticide; and exhaust from farm equipment used to raise feed for animals. Circle 4 Farms in Milford, Utah, which raises 2.5 million pigs every year, creates more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles.
|YOU WILL HELP REDUCE FAMINE
72 percent of all grain produced in the U.S is fed to animals raised for slaughter. It takes 15 pounds of feed to get one pound of meat. But if the grain were given directly to people, there would be enough food to feed the entire planet. According to the journal Soil and Water, one acre of land could produce 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 pounds of carrots or just 250 pounds of beef.
|YOU WILL GIVE YOUR BODY A SPRING CLEANING
Giving up meat helps purge the body of toxins (pesticides, environmental pollutants, preservatives) that overload our systems and cause illness. When people begin formal detoxification programs, their first step is to replace meats and dairy products with fruits, vegetables and juices. "These contain phytochemicals that help us detox naturally," says Chris Clark, M.D., medical director of The Raj, an Ayurvedic healing center in Fairfield, Iowa, which specializes in detox programs.
|YOU CAN SAVE MONEY
Replacing meat, chicken and fish with vegetables and fruits is estimated to cut food bills by an average of $4,000 a year.
|YOU WILL AVOID TOXIC CHEMICALS
The EPA estimates that nearly 95 percent of pesticide residue in our diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products. Fish, in particular, contain carcinogens (PCB's, DDT) and heavy metals (mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium) that cannot be removed through cooking or freezing. Meat and dairy products are also laced with steroids and hormones.
|YOU WILL PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that among Americans, there were approximately 80 million incidences of food-borne illness a year- resulting in 9,000 deaths. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 25 percent of all chicken sold in the U.S carries salmonella bacteria and, the CDC estimates, 70 percent to 90 percent of chickens contain the bacteria campylobacter (some strains of which are antibiotic-resistant), approximately 5 percent of cows carry the lethal strain of E. coli 0157:h7 9which causes virulent diseases and death), and 30 percent of pigs slaughtered each year for food are infected with toxoplasmosis (caused by parasites). All of which leads Michael Klaper, M.D., author or Pregnancy, Children and a Vegan Diet, to comment, "Including animal products in your diet is like playing Russian roulette with your life."
|YOU WILL HELP BRING DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT
We spend between $60 billion and $120 billion annually to treat the heart disease, cancer, obesity, and food poisoning that are byproducts of a diet heavy on animal products.
|YOU WILL HELP PROTECT THE PURITY OF WATER
It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, but just 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat. Not only is this wasteful, but it contributes to rampant water pollution. A 1997 study by the Senate Agriculture Committee found that 60 percent of American waterways were polluted, and the major reason is animal agriculture. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development lists nitrate pollution (from fertilizer and manure) as one of the most serious water-quality problems in Europe and the United States.
|YOU WILL PRESERVE OUR FISH POPULATION
Because of our voracious appetite for fish, 39 percent of the oceans' fish species are over harvested, and the Food & Agriculture Organization reports that 11 of 15 of the world's major fishing grounds have become depleted.
|YOU WILL SAVE YOUR HEART
Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in the U.S, and the standard American diet (SAD)that's laden with saturated fat and cholesterol from meat and dairy is largely to blame. Children as young as age 3 who are raised on fast food and junk food show early signs of heart disease, according to the Bogalusa Heart Study done at the Louisiana State University. Cardiovascular disease is found in one in nine women aged 45 to 64 and in one in three women over 65. Heart attacks are also deadlier to the fairer sex: 53 percent of women who have heart attacks die from them, compared with 47 percent of men. Today, the average American male eating a meat-based diet has a 50 percent chance of dying from heart disease. his risk drops to 15 percent if he cuts out meat, dairy and eggs. Partly responsible is the fact that fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidant nutrients that protect the heart and its arteries. Plus, produce contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. Incidentally, cholesterol levels for vegetarians are 14 percent lower than meat eaters.
101 REASONS WHY I'M A VEGETARIAN
101 REASONS WHY I'M A VEGETARIANby Pamela Teisler-Rice (Viva veggie Society, 1995)
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Last Update: 03/14/2000