Reduce risk of the No. 1 killer – Heart Disease
Vegetarian diets tend to be naturally lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and have a higher intake of plant nutrients than most meat-based diets.1 Vegetarians have been shown to have a 24% lower risk of dying of heart disease than non-vegetarians. Furthermore, world-renowned physician Dr. Dean Ornish found that patients on a low-fat vegetarian diet actually reversed coronary heart disease.
Regularly consuming a diet that contains fruits and vegetables is strongly associated with a reduced risk of some cancers. There is evidence that vegetarians tend to have a lower overall rate of cancer compared to the general population. “Red meat and processed meat consumption is consistently associated with an increase in the risk of colorectal cancer.” Reducing your risk of cancer is a great reason to eat your fruits and vegetables!
Avoid Toxic Food Contaminants
Flesh foods can harbor contaminants such as hormones, herbicides and pesticides, and antibiotics. As these toxins are all fat-soluble, they concentrate in the fatty flesh of the animals. Not to mention the viruses, bacteria and parasites such as salmonella, trichinella and other worms, and toxoplasmosis parasites.
Saving our forests. Tropical forests in Brazil and other tropic regions are destroyed daily, in part, to create more acreage to raise livestock. By not supporting the meat industry, I directly reduce the demand to pillage these irreplaceable treasures of nature. Since the forest land “filters” our air supply and contains botanical sources for new medicines, this destruction is irreversable.
Asthetics. Decaying animal parts, whether in a freezer case or served in restaurants, can never be as asthetically pleasing to the senses as the same foods made from wholesome vegetable sources. Only habit can allow one not to perceive this: a change in diet makes this self evident.
No deficiencies. There is no nutrient necessary for optimal human functioning which cannot be obtained from plant food. High fat plus cholesterol. Animal foods are higher in fat than most plant foods, particularly saturated fats. Plants do not contain cholesterol. Agricultural Chemicals. Being higher on the food chain, animal foods contain far higher concentrations of agricultural chemicals than plant foods, including pesticides, herbicides, etc. Exposure to livestock drugs. There are over 20,000 different drugs, including sterols, antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary drugs that are given to livestock animals. These drugs are consumed when animal foods are consumed. The dangers herein, in secondary consumption of antibiotics, are well documented.
You’ll ward off disease. Vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States.
You’ll keep your weight down. The standard American diet—high in saturated fats and processed foods and low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates, making us fat and killing us slowly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
You’ll build strong bones. When there isn’t enough calcium in the bloodstream, our bodies will leach it from existing bone. The metabolic result is that our skeletons will become porous and lose strength over time. Most health care practitioners recommend that we increase our intake of calcium the way nature intended – through foods. Foods also supply other nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D that are necessary for the body to absorb and use calcium.
You’ll spare animals. Many vegetarians give up meat because of their concern for animals. Ten billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption each year. And, unlike the farms of yesteryear where animals roamed freely, today most animals are factory farmed: crammed into cages where they can barely move and fed a diet tainted with pesticides and antibiotics.
People become vegetarians for many reasons, including health, religious convictions, concerns about animal welfare or the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock, or a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive use of environmental resources. Some people follow a largely vegetarian diet because they can’t afford to eat meat. Vegetarianism has become more appealing and accessible, thanks to the year-round availability of fresh produce, more vegetarian dining options, and the growing culinary influence of cultures with largely plant-based diets.
Strictly speaking, vegetarians are people who don’t eat meat, poultry, or seafood. But people with many different dietary patterns call themselves vegetarians.
Nuts are also heart-protective. They have a low glycemic index and contain many antioxidants, vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy fatty acids. The downside: nuts pack a lot of calories, so restrict your daily intake to a small handful (about an ounce). The upside: because of their fat content, even a small amount of nuts can satisfy the appetite.
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Increased energy and endurance: A vegetarian diet improves your stamina, concentration, and sense of well-being. In one study, athletes who switched to a vegetarian diet improved their endurance to almost 3 times as much as those who remained carnivorous.
Humans are by design vegetarian: our flat teeth are perfect for grinding grains and vegetables, not for tearing apart animal flesh. Similarly, our hands are designed for gathering, not for flesh-ripping. Our saliva contains the enzyme alpha-amylase, the sole purpose of which is to digest the complex carbohydrates in plant foods. (This enzyme is not found in the saliva of carnivores.) Basically we have all the right apparatus to consume vegetarian products, and none of the right apparatus for flesh foods.
Become a more peaceful person: when we consume animal flesh products we are necessarily at odds with nature and our fellow living beings. Consumption of flesh foods has been scientifically linked with violent and aggressive behavior.
Have compassion for animals: animals who are raised for slaughter needlessly experience incredible suffering throughout their life and death. Many people try not to think of the torturous experiences of the animal whose flesh ended up in their hamburger or on their dinner table. But if it is distasteful to think about, consider what it is like to experience it.
Vegetarianism is moral and ethical: give the devastating consequences of meat eating on an individual, social and ecological level, as thinking, caring beings we should choose vegetarianism. Many great philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, Leo Tolstoy, and George Bernard Shaw have taught the morality of vegetarianism.
The consumption of meat is hazardous to your health! According to the American Dietetic Association, meat-eaters have an increased risk of heart disease, colon cancer, obesity, adult-onset diabetes, gout, osteoporosis, kidney stones, gallstones, diverticular disease, lung cancer and breast cancer.
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Pesticides. Flesh products are the most concentrated source of pesticides (i.e. chemical poisons) in the human diet. Ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of toxic chemical residues in the American diet come from meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs. Pesticides such as dioxin (a component of Agent Orange), heptachlor, PCB’s, toxaphene, DDT, aldrin, and kepone are so toxic that even the most minute doses cause cancer, birth defects, abortions, and death, in studies performed on lab animals. The production and use of pesticides is largely unregulated, and as a result toxic pesticides are used in staggering amounts in factory farming. The fat-soluble pesticides become concentrated in the fatty flesh of the animals, ensuring a plentiful supply of poison in the diet of meat-eaters.
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Bondage and liberation are states of mind. The mind, as a mass of vibrating energy, is limited by the constitution or condition of that energy. If the energy is heavy or inert, little can be done with it to produce the state of silence and clarity needed to reflect the truth of spirit. Certain elements darken the mind and make it thick or heavy, vibrating very slowly–sometimes seemingly not at all. On the other hand, some elements lighten the mind, making it fluid and subtle, vibrating at a very high level. It is this latter condition that is needed for attaining the state of liberation–or rather, the state that liberates the spirit from the illusion of bondage and suffering. It is really the mind that becomes liberated, but that liberation also affects the essentially ever-free spirit and sets it free. To attain such liberation the mind must be purified and refined, vegetarian diet being one of the best and strongest means for its purification.
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The purification of our subtler levels depends upon the purification of our physical entity. This makes sense when we realize that all that goes to constitute a human being is formed of energies of various types, and the only source of energy is that which is brought into the body through sunlight, air, and food. And it is material food that provides by far the greatest amount of the energy from which our multilevel complex is shaped.
What is perception? Volumes have been written on that question, but we can consider it very simply. The mind is a field of energy which, when acted upon, is modified. Those modifications are the perceptions which the pure consciousness of the spirit witnesses, and which the intellect–also an energy field–classifies and evaluates. So the mind shapes itself in response to stimuli, and it is the modifications of the mind-energy which we perceive–not the actual thing itself. Obviously, then, the mind should be extremely sensitive and capable of easily forming into the patterns of perception. For this to be so, the mind (and intellectual) energies must be light and fluid. Such energies are obtained through eating substances composed of those energies–and those substances are fruits, vegetables, and grains.
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