WELCOME TO THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEING A VEGAN PAGE
"The vast majority of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illnesses can be prevented simply by adopting a plant based diet." (Dr. T.Colin Campbell, nutritional researcher at Cornell University).
Heart disease, strokes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, and other diseases have been linked to meat and dairy consumption.Chickens, pigs, cows, and fish accumulate toxic chemicals in their flesh and fat, which is why the meat and dairy products are responsible for almost all the toxic residues-dioxins, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and antibiotics that Americans consume. In fact, 80-90% of dietary pesticide exposure, as well as 100% of dietary hormone and dioxin exposure, comes from eating animal products, and many of these chemicals are know to cause cancer in humans. (Peta, Vegetarian, pg. 4).
Vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country. They have a fraction of our heart attack rate, and they have only 40% of our cancer rate. (William Castelli, M.D., director, Framingham Heart Study. Re: Peta, Vegetarian, pg.5)
Vegan vs. Meat, In Our Need For Protein
What about protien?
The need for protien is usually the excuse given for "needing" to eat meat, yet it's been found that is Western coutries, we really do not need that much protien. Interestingly, alot of food products contain protien. Healthy vegan sources include oatmeal, peanuts, beans, whole wheat bread, peas, nuts, broccoli, and mushrooms. Vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds provide the essential amino acids.
Animal protien can actually produce too much protien, which can be detrimental to human health, as it can cause people to excrete calcium through their urine, which can further pose the risk of osteoporosis. A strain on the kidneys can also occur if too much protien is consumed, which can lead to kidney disease.
The Truth About Raising Cows
More than 27 billion animals are killed by the meat industry each year. The average American meat eater may eat on average about 90 animals a year.
Corporate owned farms are now becoming the norm. These massive factories are the facilities where cows are chained by the neck on concrete in huge sheds and treated like milk machines. While cows would normally produce milk to nourish their babies, as humans normally do, cows in dairy farms, instead, have their calves taken from them shortly after birth. THEN, female calves are either added to the dairy herd, OR, sadly, slaughtered for the rennet in their stomachs (used to make cheese). High milk production can lead to udder ligament damage, mastitis, and lameness. (Peter Cheeke, PhD, textbook Contempory issues in Animal Agriculture, 2004). When the mother cow's production diminishes, generally about 4 years, these cows are killed and sold for their meat.
Male calves, who are often sold to the veal industry, are also often raised in dark sheds, Chained by their necks inside tiny stalls, they have literally no room to turn around in the cramped space they are forced to reside in, often stepping in and reeking of ammonia from the large amounts of waste. Under these conditions, diarrhea, pneumonia, anemia, and lameness are often the consequences of living in these crammed quarters, where there only chance of seeing daylight may be on their way to be slautered.
The Beef Cattle Industry
The journey of a cow who is raised for human food consumption is a tough one. They are often raised in overcrowded feedlots, (where to secure a profit, a steer may be given only 20 square feet of living space. There is the dehorning, castration and yes, even the branding, with yet, often without anesthetics.There are no laws that regulate animals being transmitted for slaughter (except by train). So sadly, what happens, is that animals who are moved by truck, may be subjected to extreme weather conditions, hunger, overcrowding, and thirst. Many animals may die from either freezing to death or dying from heat exhaustion. There has been evidence that some of these animals are also dismembered or skinned while still conscious.
Whether free range or factory farmed, Federal law requires that mammals be stunned prior to slaughter. This captive bolt stunning, is when a pisol is put agianst an animal's head and a metal rod is thrust into the brain. The rod can often miss it's mark, as the cow may fight till the last second for his life.(Meat & poultry, 3/97). After the electric stunning, that causes a seisure to the animal, their neck is then cut. (USDA NASS, Agricultural Statistics, 2001).
Vegan vs. Consuming Milk and Eggs
Alot of people may not know that drinking milk has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and surprisingly, some forms of osteoporosis. A high intake of animal protien can actually cause calcium to be depleted from the body. A lower calcium intake tends to actually guard against osteoporosis, which can lead to hip fractures, according to Harvard Medical School. While there is milk that has less fat, some milk may contain alot of fat and cholesteral, as well as a growing variety of pesticides and antibiotics that have been fed to cows.
You will find that a great alternative for securing calcium is found in plant consumption. Tofu, grains, beans, broccoli, and calcium fortified orange juice will all aid calcium needs.
Vegan vs. Eating Fish
Fish has been thought by some to be a healthier alternative to eating meat. Yet, many don't know that Dr. Neal Barnard (Foods That Fight Pain), found that the flesh of fish can accumulate toxins up to 9 million times as concentrated as those in the waters that they live in. The flesh of some sea animals, like shrimps and scallops contain more cholesterol than beef. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's been estimated that 325,000 people get sick and some die every year in the U.S. from eating contaminated fish and other sea animals from contamination, and/or antibiotics often passed along to humans from fish on farms. People may not realize that human bodies already have the needed cholesteral to maintain healthy cell membranes and healthy nerves. Added cholesteral, through animal products, subjects the body to an increase in cholesteral, that may not be beneficial to human health, and can in actuality, lead to clogged disease, and possibly heart disease.
An Institute of Modern Ethics (U.K.) panel tentatively concluded that fish do indeed feel pain. They are long lived (if given the chance), they have complicated nervous systems, and have been found to be capable of learning complicated tasks. (New Scientist, 4/25/92).
Each year in addition to countless fish, approximately 80,000 dolphins and thousands of other marine mammals are snagged in fishing nets worldwide. Most die (Science, 5/14/99).
Eggs, have been actually found to be a salmonella carrier, that has affected more than a million people, and has been found to kill over 500 in the U.S. every year.
Vegan vs. Eating Chicken
Humans probably don't think that the chickens they may eat regularly, are often forced to live in huge warehouses where up to 40,000 birds may live per warehouse, 400 times more birds than can possibly establish a pecking order, thereby the birds go after each other. To reduce losses, small chicks beaks are quickly sliced off shortly after hatching, which is said to be so painful, that many chicks end up dying of shock, or starvation caused by the pain. (Bernard E. Rollin PhD, Farm Animal Welfare (Iowa State University Press, 1995). Ventilation and lighting are controlled by machines and where a system failure means mass death. Farmers drug and have been found to genetically manipulate broiler chickens to increase profits. These birds are then made to suffer from various crippling, painful bone disorders and spinal defects, which is further escalated for laying hens, who are often confined seven or eight to a small cage, resulting in atrophy in their wings from disuse, and feet and legs that end up growing twisted and deformed from standing on slanted wire cage bottoms. The male chicks? Well, every year, millions of male chicks, who are obviously not needed for great value like laying eggs, are either suffocated, then tossed away, or grinded, hacked or crushed to death. It makes one wonder, what, how, and where the chicken additives humans consume actually come from, & what barbaric experiences and measures are taken to keep them alive, till factory workers decide to kill them.
To enduce paralysis in birds, electric stunning is usually used. However, it is not known exactly how much pain these birds experience (as it's been stated they indeed do feel). Each year, large numbers of turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese reach scalding tanks alive and are either boiled to death or drowned. (USDA FSIS Animal Disposition Reporting System, 1998. USDA FSIS, Meat and Poultry Inspection Manual, part 11.)
IT'S BEEN FOUND THAT CHICKENS ARE ACTUALLY THOUGHT TO BE AS INTELLIGENT AS CATS, DOGS, AND EVEN PRIMATES. IN NATURAL SETTINGS, (AWAY FROM FACTORY FARMS), THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND TO FORM SOCIAL HIERARCHIES, AND FRIENDSHIPS, DEVELOP PECKING ORDERS, RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER, CARE FOR THEIR YOUNG, AND ENJOY A FULL LIFE.
VEGAN VS. EATING PIGS
More than 100 million pigs are killed for food in the U.S. every year. On factory farms, the life of a pig involves being castrated, wire cutters that cause the pig to have bits of their teeth torn out and the flesh in their ears ripped off, as well as their tails chopped off. This often done without painkillers. If the stalls are stacked, then the excrement will naturally have to fall to the pens below, causing an accumulation of feces, filth, and urine, that can then lead to a quarter of the pigs suffering from mange, and sadly, three-fourths have pneumonia by the time they have reached the slaughterhouse. Genetic breeding and drugs is rampant. This in turn leads to approximately 400,000 pigs a year ending up crippled. Living their whole lives confined to stalls barely bigger than their bodies, and impregnated several times during their short lives, these pigs are then sent off to the slauterhouse, where metal hooks are jabbed into pigs eyes, mouths, or rectums to keep them in line, and force them to move faster.
Hogs are dunked in tanks of hot water after they are stunned to soften the hides for skinning. Some end up being consious as they are lowered into the scalding water, then drowned. ("Modern Meat: A Brutal Harvest," Washington Post, 4/10/01)
Pigs are actually very clean. The mud they may roll around in, is primarily used to keep cool and evade flies. Pigs have been found to be more intelligent than dogs, and actually are very energetic and friendly.