"Nothing will benefit health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." - Albert Einstein
There is growing evidence that animal products are not suitable for us to consume
Anatomy & Physiology
Human anatomy and physiology are very different from those of a carnivore that is designed to eat meat.
Carnivores have long teeth and claws for holding and killing prey; vegetarian animals have short teeth and no claws. Man has hands with fingers for plucking fruits and vegetables.
The saliva of Carnivores contains no ptyalin so cannot predigest starches. It is acidic - suitable for the digestion of meat. The saliva of vegetarian animals is alkaline, contains ptyalin for the predigestion of starches in vegetables and other vegetarian food.
The jaws of carnivores only open in an up and down motion; to tear flesh. Canines are predominant. Jaws of vegetarian animals also move sideways for additional kinds of chewing. The canines are not as developed and there are molars for chewing and grinding vegetable foods.
Flesh-eating animals secrete large quantities of hydrochloric acid to help dissolve the flesh in their diet. Vegetarian animals secrete little hydrochloric acid.
The GI tract of carnivores is very short compared to its body length. It is designed for the rapid expulsion of food that rots quickly. The GI tract of vegetarian animals is much longer. It is designed for the extraction of maximum nutrients from the food. Man's intestines are two and a half times the length of his body!
The enzyme Uricase is required for the efficient digestion of uric acid in meats. It is present in carnivores rather than in vegetarian animals.
Carnivora must lap liquids (like a cat); vegetarian animals take liquids in by suction through the teeth.
Carnivores are nocturnal and can see by night for hunting; vegetarian animals are diurnal and cannot see at night. Eyes of carnivores are placed for a much wider angle of viewing for hunting purposes, unlike eyes of vegetarian animals.
Even the urine of carnivorous animals is acidic while that of vegetarian animals is alkaline.
All this seems to indicate that man is primarily meant to live on a vegetarian diet.
Toxicity of animal products
Salmonella poisoning, mad cow disease, foot and mouth disease – all these problems stem from the consumption of animal products and do not bother vegetarians.
Accumulation of pesticides animal products
When we eat animals that eat plants, the pesticide used on the plants gets accumulated and concentrated in the animal flesh. This shows up in pesticide contamination in breast milk. Vegetarian mothers have 98% lower pesticide residues in their breast milk!!
The human body makes the cholesterol it needs. Eating foods rich in cholesterol only results in plaque in our arteries- leading to higher BP and heart disease.
In his book, "How to Reverse Heart Disease without surgery”, Dr Dean Ornish confirms what natural hygienists knew for over a hundred years. A diet free of animal products can not only prevent heart disease but also help reverse it!
Inefficient and resource-intensive.
Raising livestock for their meat is a very inefficient way of generating food. 225 litres of water needed to produce a kilogram of wheat; 40000 litres for a kilo of beef! Water used by the livestock industry accounts for almost half of the total water usage in the United Staes
Eighty per cent of the corn and 95% of the oats grown in the U.S. is eaten by livestock.
One acre of land can produce 18000 kg of potatoes or 115 kg of beef. To produce 1 kg of beef, you need to feed the animal 16 kg of grains and beans!
Sensory, Gustatory and Aesthetic appeal
Try feeding a baby fruit and meat - and see the difference in its reaction!
Meat is harder to digest than plant foods. It takes about 4 hours to be absorbed in the intestines versus 2 hours for grains and vegetables.
Livestock is bred in unhygienic conditions and is prone to infection. Hence they are fed loads of antibiotics; that helps them put on weight too! These antibiotics end up in their flesh which we eat!
Disease- heart attacks, cancer....
The risk of contracting breast cancer is 3.8 times greater for women who eat meat daily compared to less than once a week; 2.8 times greater for women who eat eggs daily compared to once a week; and 3.25 greater for women who eat butter and cheese 2 to 4 times a week as compared to once a week.
The risk of fatal ovarian cancer is three times greater for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week as compared with less than once a week. Virtually every degenerative disease of modern society can be traced back to the consumption of animal products.
Compare this with the Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet. (from the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM website)
Preventing cancer: "Numerous epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that vegetarians are nearly 50% less likely to die from cancer than non-vegetarians."
Preventing heart disease and lowering blood pressure.
Preventing and reversing diabetes.
Preventing and alleviating gallstones, kidney stones and osteoporosis.
Preventing and alleviating asthma.
The China Project was the world's largest study on the long term effect of diet and nutrition on health. It was, carried out on thousands of Chinese families over 20 years, by a team led by Dr Colin Campbell of Cornell University. They also concluded that a plant-based diet is good for health
I’m not even going into the religious, ethical and spiritual reasons for vegetarianism like ahimsa, prevention of cruelty to animals.