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Reasons to go vegetarian

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.


   

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Last Update: 03/14/2000