Tough meat for vegetarians to swallow

Based on my considerable reading of the medical literature it seems as if everyone bends over backwards to put a healthy face on vegetarianism. A recent issue of Atherosclerosis, however, contains an article that goes against the herd.

Researchers in China recruited 57 healthy post-menopausal women who had been vegetarians for an average of a little over 10 years and age matched them with 61 healthy omnivores to study cardiovascular risk and carotid artery atherosclerotic disease.

To fulfill the criteria of apparently healthy subjects, women with any of the following conditions were excluded: a history of diabetes mellitus or fasting blood glucose over 126 mg/dL; hyperlipidemia (cholesterol level ≥240 mg/dL or triglyceride level ≥200 mg/dL); regular alcohol drinking or smoking; any treatment that might affect lipid metabolism; history of CVD, hypertension (systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥160 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥95 mmHg), or use of anti-hypertensive medication; or serum creatinine level ≥125 μmol/L; thyroid disease; and malignancy of any kind. Vegetarians were defined as exclusive consumption of a vegetarian diet void of meat, fish, and poultry for at least 5 years.

After an overnight fast the subjects provided blood samples that were evaluated for lipids, homocysteine, vitamin B12, and a host of other parameters. The researchers evaluated the presence and degree of any carotid artery disease present in the subjects using ultrasonography.

After the results were tabulated it turns out that vegetarians have significantly increased levels of homocysteine along with decreased levels of vitamin B12. The low levels of vitamin B12 would be expected because vitamin B12 is found only in foods of animal origin, which is one of the primary indicators that humans have evolved eating meat. Homocysteine, a substance thought to be toxic to the arteries, is involved in the metabolism of methionine and is reduced with folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. The interesting thing about the findings in this study is that when patients have elevated homosysteine levels they are usually advised to eat more fruits and vegetables to increase their intake of folic acid and to reduce their intake of meat, which provides large amounts of methionine, the precursor of homocysteine. In the case of the subjects in this study, they were already eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables while avoiding meat altogether, yet ended up with more homocysteine than those subjects consuming meat. (These findings are not unusual; most studies on vegetarians find this same phenomenon.) What this proves–at least to my satisfaction–is that vitamin B12 is more potent at reducing homocysteine that the combination of folic acid and vitamin B6. Another surprising finding was that the folic acid levels were the same in both groups.

Another finding in this study was that the vegetarians had elevated levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), an inflammatory substance implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. After some statistical legerdemain, however, the researchers discounted these findings.

This study demonstrates a significant association between levels of Hcy [homocystene] and sVCAM-1, and between vegetarians and sVCAM-1; however, these relationships were attenuated after adjustment for associated covariates.

As you would expect, the vegetarians had both lower LDL and lower HDL levels than the omnivores, which goes to show that if you want your HDL to go up, you’ve got to eat meat (or at least fat).

Ultrasonography showed no difference in carotid artery thickness between vegetarians and omnivores, which the authors of the study reported as showing no difference in degree of arterial disease. Surprisingly, one of the factors that was different between the two groups the researchers didn’t mention at all: pulse pressure.

The data clearly shows a difference in pulse pressure between the two groups that appears to be statistically significant (I say appears because all the data to make such a determination wasn’t provided–only the ‘p’ factor). An increased pulse pressure indicates that arteries are less compliant, which is an indicator of increased rigidity and, consequently, more disease. And the vegetarians had a pulse pressure of 56.6 compared to 52.6 in the omnivores. I would love to have seen this disparity at least mentioned, if not discussed, in the paper.

What did the researchers think of their findings?

In the present study we showed that CA [carotid atherosclerosis] was not significantly different between vegetarians and omnivores in apparently healthy postmenopausal Chinese women. However, we found that plasma Hcy and sVCAM-1 were elevated and plasma Vitamin B12 was lower in vegetarians as compared with omnivores, which seemed to be contradictory to the common belief that a vegetarian diet is beneficial to CVD.

We could not demonstrate any significant beneficial effects of vegetarian diets on CA in this study.

The authors add this caveat:

Thus, all the evidence and inference should be under careful scrutiny.

Which, of course, means, hey, we know our data goes against what we all know to be true, i.e., that fruits and vegetables are good for us and meat is bad. And even though are data shows differently, these data need to be looked at with a jaundiced eye.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘peers’ who reviewed the article made the authors tack that line on as a condition of having the paper published.

Pass this post along to anyone you know who is a vegetarian for health reasons because it ain’t all that healthy. And for those misguided souls who persist in believing that vegetarianism is our natural state on this planet, just enunciate the words VITAMIN-BEE-TWELVE to them clearly. It’s like sticking a cross in a vampire’s face.

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15 thoughts on “Tough meat for vegetarians to swallow

  1. I could never be a vegetarian. I simply ADORE cheeseburgers. 🙂

    This is very interesting. I have an aquaintance who wants to become vegan, but I think it’s for ethical reasons rather than health.

    I think humans were created to eat anything and everything – which is why out species has done so well – and cutting out anything (other than junk) just isn’t smart.

  2. I tried vegetarianism when I was newly graduated from college and realized for the first time just how much of a dent meat puts in your grocery budget. After three days of lightheadedness and then nearly passing out in a store, I realized that it wasn’t for me and I’ve never looked back. Anyway, what was I thinking? I adore beef, chicken and pork in all of its forms and let’s face it, aside from the occasional helping of refritos properly made with lard (back when I lived in AZ), I’ve never cared much for beans. LOL, can’t you just see Dr. Ornish and CSPI’s Michael Jacobson clutching their chests at the very thought of lard in beans? Oh, the horror! Saturated fat! But I digress.

    And I have to laugh at all the nay-sayers who proclaim that it’s not healthy to cut out a entire food group when it comes to grains and other starchy foods and then turn around and say in their next breath that being a vegetarian/vegan is the healthiest diet of all. Heck doesn’t that entail cutting out a whole food group?

  3. Mike, interesting article.

    Although the authors defined what *they* considered a vegetarian diet for the purposes of their study (“exclusive consumption of a vegetarian diet void of meat, fish, and poultry for at least five years”), we all know there is no single vegetarian diet. I prefer meatless to describe my own basic vegetarian menus, because I’ve always included fish, dairy products, and eggs–things which the religion I was raised in doesn’t consider ‘meat.’ Others make different choices…meatless diets can run the gamut from people who only eat raw foods to people who, like me, aren’t going to debate whether fish is meat or not based on religious traditions.

    So while I appreciate that the researchers defined their dietary criteria, even that definition doesn’t really tell anyone what the subjects WERE using for protein sources, and in what quantities. It is possible to get sufficient protein as a vegetarian from eggs, dairy products, wheat gluten and minimally processed fermented soy (if you can tolerate those things–I do it for periods as long as a month or more, and I know it’s not only possible to do, but possible to sustain. Others’ mileage may vary. 😉

    But the best (IMO) vegetarian method cookbooks, like the ones in my library from the mid-70s, always advised vegetarians of the importance of getting adequate protein, didn’t restrict fats like butter for ovo-lacto diets or olive and nut oils for vegans, and the importance (especially for vegans) of supplementing vitamin B-12. I don’t supplement B-12, but even my ovo-lacto days appear from my journal stats and bi-weekly bloodwork to be providing enough from diet.

    My first thought on reading the article you linked and your comments is that there is no single vegetarian diet…and actual mileage will vary. As for the ‘disclaimer,’ yep…sounds like a peer-reviewer caveat. In “The Devil Wears Prada,” the heroine Andrea refers to this syndrome of equivocating as “the ‘Runway Paranoid Turnaround,’ applied whenever criticism of her lunatic boss surfaces in a moment of complete frustration.” Or maybe it’s a weird manifestation of “The Stockholm Syndrome” and too many people, including researchers, are still hostages of the prevailing attitudes. 😉

    Also

  4. Notwhithstanding, a person that decides to become a vegetarian, or more correctly, who decides not to eat meat but include dairy and eggs can still become a ‘responsible’ vegetarian if he/she is aware of the deficiencies that are most common. Supplmenting with B12, and other micronutrients that are lacking on a vegetarian diet may still be better than just deciding to go vegetarian on the erroneous notion “because it’s healthier”, which as we know, is anything but responsible.

  5. if anything the real human diet is completely a carnivorous one.
    Human beings evolved from red meat eaters a few million years ago. it was eating meat that gave us our big brains. a few groups of ape-man evolved millions of years ago, the vegetarian ape died, his friend who was a dead animal scavenger survived and developed tools and slowly we evolved as eating all meat, until about 10000 years ago when we started eating grains and vegetables, but this when we shrunk in size about 6″ and the diseases started to appear.
    Real eskimos and north indians are examples of what a 100% meat based diet does, these people are built perfect and have no diseases. nearly all of our vegetables we have today are only edible due to thousands of years of agriculture. to say we are vegetarians is ludicrous.

    Precisely.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  6. Hi, I am 36 years old and have fortunately been vegetarian/vegan since birth! I have always been extremely fit and healthy! By the age of 18, I had run 33 marathons plus 3 ultra marathons (56 miles)!

    If you are interested in the truth about nutrition, then please see this article published by VIVA…
    ps Tough Meat For Meat Eaters To Swallow!!

    Hi Paul–

    If it works for you, I would encourage you to stick with it.  You can then see the long term effects.

    There is not enough time in a week for me to respond to the inaccuracies in the article you referenced.  If you want to believe it, fine by me. It’s not tough meat for meat eaters to swallow, it’s tough BS for anyone to swallow.  Other than committed vegetarians who don’t want to take the time to check it out.

    Cheers–

    MRE 

  7. Paul – if you haven’t already, you might want to check out this site.
    It’s a site by/for vegetarians attempting to cover what’s known and unknown, rather than pushing “everybody knows” dogma.

    Dave

    Hi Dave–

    I’ll pass it along.

    MRE 

  8. I don’t need encouragement! The only grandparent I have, who is still alive, is the only one that took the initiative to go Vegan!

    Click on ‘References’ and you will see that the article I am referring to is a summary of 140 articles published by the likes of….

    1. The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, p14 9 May 1990.
    2. British Medical Association, Diet, Nutrition & Health, BMA Report, 4.11, p49 1986.
    3. Cambell T C, et al. Study on Diet, Nutrition and Disease in the People’s Republic of China, Cornell University, 1989.
    4. World Health Organisation, Geneva, Diet, Nutrition and the prevention of Chronic Diseases, 1991. Technical Report Series 797.
    5. Thorogood M, et al, Risk of death from cancer and ischaemic heart
    disease in meat and non-meat eaters, British Medical Journal, 1994, 308, pp.1667-70.
    6. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, Recommended Revisions for Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Jan 31,1995.
    7. USDA, US Dietary Guidelines, federal advisory committees nutritional
    recommendations to Secretaries of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, 1995, p.21.
    8. Mangels A R, et al. Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian Diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, June 2003, 103(6);pp.748-765.
    9. British Heart Foundation 2002.
    10. World Health Organisation, Geneva, Diet, Nutrition and the prevention of Chronic Diseases, 2003. Technical Report Series 916.

    etc, etc, etc …

    Hardly BS

    Cheers

    Hi Paul–

    Nice try, but selective citation doesn’t hack it.  For every citation you list I could give you 20 in refutation.  Too many people try to prove their points by proffering a paper or two that bolster them.  The medical literature has to be taken as a whole, and since I spend large amounts of my day poring over said, I can tell you that the preponderance supports a non-vegetarian diet.

    One of your citations alone, #6, craters your entire argument and demonstrates that it is indeed BS. There is no group more slippery and loose playing with the medical literature than the PCRM.

    Cheers–

    MRE 

  9. Merely your opinion!

    I am more inclined to take note of what the 5,000 doctors and scientists in the PCRM have to say….

    6. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
    In 1995 the PCRM – a highly-respected US body which numbers the late Dr Benjamin Spock and William Roberts, editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, among its 5,000 doctors and scientists – issued a report to the US Government (6). It confirmed the lower rate of disease amongst vegetarians and urged the government to recommend a vegetarian diet to US citizens. Until then, the US Dietary Guidelines had never made any mention of vegetarianism. The following year they did so for the first time and the section began:

    “…vegetarians enjoy excellent health: Vegetarian diets are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines and can meet the Recommended Daily Allowances for nutrients. Protein is not limited in vegetarian diets …” (7).

    The PCRM report reviewed over 100 pieces of published work from across the world and was in no doubt about what we should be eating: “The scientific literature clearly supports the use of vegetables, fruits, legumes (peas, beans, chick peas – pulses) and grains as staples. Meats, dairy products and added vegetable oils should be considered optional.” It was another clear and unequivocal statement, backed by unimpeachable science, that humans do not need to eat meat and are healthier for not doing so.

    A man is known by the company he keeps.

  10. I totally agree, this is the company I’d rather keep…

    Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
    -Albert Einstein

    The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of ‘real food for real people,’ you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.
    -Neal D. Barnard, M.D (Head of PCRM, see http://www.nealbarnard.org/)

    The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies.
    -Albert Schweitzer

    The average age (longevity) of a meat eater is 63. I am on the verge of 85 and still work as hard as ever. I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. I am oppressed with a dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism.
    -George Bernard Shaw

    etc, etc, etc…

    For the full list of Famous Vegetarians see http://www.famousveggie.com/ under ‘Quotes’ and ‘People’

    Neal Barnard?  Puhleeze.  That proves my point.

    You forgot Adolf Hitler.  No pithy quotes from him you’d like to pass on? 

  11. Obviously my last reply has left you with palpitations or you would have aired it !

    All you proponents of animal abuse will have gone down with some degenerative disease or other by the age of 65 !

    Just you wait and see !

    No palpitations, I was just out of town and away from my computer for a day.

    I guess I’ve got a few years until I’m 65, but no such diseases yet.  I gave blood a few days ago and my blood pressure was 110/62 after about 4 cups of coffee.  My cholesterol is normal, my trigylcerides are low, and my HDL is high, and I eat almost nothing but meat.  Sorry to disappoint you. 

  12. Funny thing: I spent over a year as a vegetarian. Exercised like crazy, did lose a little weight, but ultimately bounced it right back on when my first child was born. I began developing lots of symptoms of “getting older”, like achey joints, afternoon sleepiness, increasing blood pressure, etc. My doctor admonished me to “eat healthier”, yet I was largely vegetarian. How could I eat any healthier?

    After going on a high-protein diet, the weight fell off, despite rather little exercise. I didn’t need an afternoon nap anymore, didn’t feel all creaky when I got out of bed, my blood pressure fell. My doctor was ecstatic, though he got a little glassy-eyed when I told him about the new diet.

    Compare and contrast with one of my relatives: she’s also largely vegetarian and runs 10 miles every day. She suffers from a several health problems (mostly inflammatory), requiring prescription medications to manage (not to mention chronic joint pain). It seems like she has a new problem every time we talk to her.

    So, based on the evidence, which of us do you suppose is in the grip of degenerative disease?

    It’s more evidence of the strength of dogma. My ailing relative won’t try the low carb approach, because “everyone knows meat is bad for you”, blah blah blah. She even once commented that my weight loss was due to incipient colon cancer brought on by overconsumption of red meat. I doubt she really meant it – probably just brain issues from high blood sugar and low cholesterol 🙂

    I suppose it’s childish for me to poke at Paul like this, but I feel so much younger since adopting a low-carb diet, I couldn’t resist 🙂

    Paul – if you haven’t already, you really should check out http://www.beyondveg.com. The people there acknowledge that the vegetarian diet is less-than-optimal for health, but maintain it for personal reasons (e.g., not contributing to animal cruelty). I think you’ll find some good info there.

    Dave

    Hi Dave–

    Thanks for the feedback.  I don’t have a problem with people who are vegetarians for what they consider ethical or religious reasons.  It’s the ones who do it for what they perceive as health reasons that drive me crazy because the preponderance of the medical literature indicates that it isn’t.  In fact, pure vegetarians develop vitamin B-12 deficiencies, some immune deficiencies, and even some critical protein deficiecies to boot, but they can’t be convinced otherwise.

    Cheers–

    MRE 

  13. As usual, you have your facts wrong again!!

    While it is true that Hitler’s doctors put him on a vegetarian diet to cure him of flatulence and a chronic stomach disorder, his biographers such as Albert Speer, Robert Payne, John Toland, and others, have attested to his liking for ham sausages and other cured meats.

    “I do not mean to spoil your appetite for stuffed squab, but you might be interested to know that it was a great favorite with Mr. Hitler, who dined in the hotel often.”

    – From a review by Rynn Berry that appeared in the Summer 1995 issue of Vegetarian Voice.

    New York Times posts a correction – Hitler “did eat at least some meat.”

    The March 15, 2005 New York Times “Corrections” box included the following important item on page two:

    “A film review about ‘Downfall,’ which looks at Hitler’s final days, referred incorrectly to his diet. Although the movie portrays him as vegetarian, he did eat at least some meat.”

    – From a Jewish Vegetarians of North America news release. The link includes more information about Hitler’s meat eating and the fact that the Nazis banned vegetarian organizations in Germany and the lands they invaded and occupied.

    Hitler – Vegetarianism’s skeleton in the closet

    [Adolph Hitler] is said to have given up meat out of a fear of developing cancer*. Meat eaters love to cite Hitler’s fondness for vegetables as proof that one may eschew meat and still be aggressive, cruel, megalomaniacal, psychopathic, and everything else unlovely. What these critics choose to ignore is that no one has shown that those who tortured and murdered in his name, the S.S. storm troopers and Gestapo, ever shunned meat. The point is that a vegetarianism concerning itself only with [human] health and not the animals’ – their pain and suffering – can easily end up as a cultic “ism,” an attachment to a particular diet for its own sake.

    *In his book Adolph Hitler, author John Toland says that Hitler had a great fear of contracting cancer, because his mother had died of the disease, and that he followed an essentially vegetarian diet in the belief that meat eating and pollution in general caused cancer.

    To begin with, not only are you scientifically innacurate, you’re grammatically innaccurate as well.  Wrote you: “As usual, you have your facts wrong again.”  Sorry to break it to you, but facts are facts; they can’t be wrong.  Had you written …you have your ‘facts’ wrong…or…your opinion is mistaken…you would have been okay.  Looks like you need a little schooling in the proper use of your native tongue along with the schooling you desparately need in biology.

    I’m sure that many, if not most, of the folks on your much-vaunted ‘famous vegetarians’ list ate at least as much meat at some point in their lives as did Hitler.  If so, then either they should be removed from the list (which would make it a very short list indeed) or Adolf should stay.  You can’t have it both ways.

    Speaking of which, the very fact that a list of ‘famous vegetarians’ exists implies that in the great scheme of things there aren’t very many.  How large do you suppose the list of ‘famous non-vegetarians’ would be?  I would imagine it would be larger than many large metropolitan phone books.  Since that list would be so much larger than the list of ‘famous vegetarians’ is that an argument based on numbers of the fallacy of vegetarianism?  If you think not, then don’t be arguing for such idiocy based on a much smaller list of names.

    This is my last response on this subject.  It’s pointless to argue the merits of a cultish adherence to a way of eating that has been shown repeatedly in the medical literature to be suboptimal.  As Paul Simon wrote: “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”  It’s even more pointless to argue science with vegetarian bien pensants who counter not with science but with lists of ‘famous vegetarians.’  I mean does the fact that George Bernard Shaw was a vegetarian prove anything other than that he wasn’t in complete control of his senses?  Finally, I don’t want my site to be used as a forum for such drivel.

    So, were I you, I wouldn’t waste a lot more time composing these lunacies because I will simply delete them should they arrive in my comments awaiting moderation box.  On second thought, I might publish them, so go ahead and waste the time.

    Cheers–

    MRE 

  14. Dave, You began developing symptoms of “getting older” due to your new born child, not due to being vegetarian!!
    All new born’s take it out of you for the first few months until things settle down. Ask around!

    Also, your relative is so healthy that she is able to run 10 miles a day, which I am very impressed with, and I bet you couldn’t!!
    The fact that she has aches and pains is because she is pounding the road whilst you are being a couch potato!!

    Some more facts for you MRE,

    Vegans are amply supplied by the use of B12-fortified foods such as soya milk, mock soya meats (TVP), most breakfast cereals, margarines and yeast extracts eg, Marmite, Vecon and Vegemite.
    It is now thought that vitamin B12 from fortified foods is better absorbed by the body than the vitamin B12 from meat, poultry and fish.

    I see that you say that you eat almost nothing but meat and that your cholesterol is normal!
    Well I would be very worried if I were you, as we all know what the normal level of cholesterol is for meat eaters!!

    The Official Position…
    The world’s most important health advisory bodies are now in complete agreement – a balanced vegetarian diet can be one of the healthiest possible. And it seems the fewer animal products it contains such as milk and cheese, the healthier it is. In other words, the closer it is to being vegan, the healthier it becomes.

    Meat Eaters
    Carnivorous animals, including the lion, dog, wolf, cat, etc., have many unique characteristics which set them apart from all other members of the animal kingdom. They all possess a very simple and short digestive system — only three times the length of their bodies. This is because flesh decays very rapidly, and the products of this decay quickly poison the bloodstream if they remain too long in the body. So a short digestive tract was evolved for rapid expulsion of putrefactive bacteria from decomposing flesh, as well as stomachs with ten times as much hydrochloric acid as non-carnivorous animals (to digest fibrous tissue and bones).

    Meat-eating animals that hunt in the cool of the night and sleep during the day when it is hot do not need sweat glands to cool their bodies; they therefore do not perspire through their skin, but rather they sweat through their tongues. On the other hand, vegetarian animals, such as the cow, horse, zebra, deer, etc., spend much of their time in the sun gathering their food, and they freely perspire through their skin to cool their bodies. But the most significant difference between the natural meat-eaters and other animals is their teeth. Along with sharp claws, all meat-eaters, since they have to kill mainly with their teeth, possess powerful jaws and pointed, elongated, “canine” teeth to pierce tough hide and to spear and tear flesh. They do NOT have molars (flat, back teeth) which vegetarian animals need for grinding their food. Unlike grains, flesh does not need to be chewed in the mouth to predigest it; it is digested mostly in the stomach and the intestines. A cat, for example, can hardly chew at all.

    Plant Eaters
    Grass-and-leaf-eating animals (elephant, cow, sheep, llama, etc.) live on grass, herbs, and other plants, much of which is coarse and bulky. The digestion of this type of food starts in the mouth with the enzyme ptyalin in the saliva. these foods must be chewed well and thoroughly mixed with ptyalin in order to be broken down. For this reason, grass-and-leaf eaters have 24 special “molar” teeth and a slight side-to-side motion to grind their food, as opposed to the exclusively up-and-down motion of carnivores. They have no claws or sharp teeth; they drink by sucking water up into their mouths as opposed to lapping it up with their tongue which all meat eaters do. Since they do not eat rapidly decaying foods like the meat eaters, and since their food can take a longer time to pass through, they have much longer digestive systems — intestines which are ten times the length of the body.

    Interestingly, recent studies have shown that a meat diet has an extremely harmful effect on these grass-and-leaf eaters. Dr. William Collins, a scientist in the New York Maimonedes Medical Center, found that the meat-eating animals have an “almost unlimited capacity to handle saturated fats and cholesterol”. If a half pound of animal fat is added daily over a long period of time to a rabbit’s diet, after two month his blood vessels become caked with fat and the serious disease called atheriosclerosis develops. human digestive systems, like the rabbit’s, are also not designed to digest meat, and they become diseased the more they eat it, as we will later see.

    Fruit eaters include mainly the anthropoid apes, humanity’s immediate animal ancestors. The diet of these apes consists mostly of fruit and nuts. Their skin has millions of pores for sweating, and they also have molars to grind and chew their food; their saliva is alkaline, and, like the grass-and-leaf eaters, it contains ptyalin for predigestion. Their intestines are extremely convoluted and are twelve times the length of their body, for the slow digestion of fruits and vegetables.

    Humans
    Human characteristics are in every way like the fruit eaters, very similar to the grass- eater, and very unlike the meat eaters.The human digestive system, tooth and jaw structure, and bodily functions are completely different from carnivorous animals. As in the case of the anthropoid ape, the human digestive system is twelve times the length of the body; our skin has millions of tiny pores to evaporate water and cool the body by sweating; we drink water by suction like all other vegetarian animals; our tooth and jaw structure is vegetarian; and our saliva is alkaline and contains ptyalin for predigestion of grains. Human beings clearly are not carnivores by physiology — our anatomy and digestive system show that we must have evolved for millions of years living on fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables.

    Furthermore, it is obvious that our natural instincts are non-carnivorous. Most people have other people kill their meat for them and would be sickened if they had to do the killing themselves. Instead of eating raw meat as all flesh-eating animals do, humans boil, bake, or fry it and disguise it with all kinds of sauces and spices so that it bears no resemblance to its raw state. One scientist explains it this way: “A cat will salivate with hungry desire at the smell of a piece of raw flesh but not at all at the smell of fruit. If man could delight in pouncing upon a bird, tear its still-living limbs apart with his teeth, and suck the warm blood, one might conclude that nature provided him with meat-eating instinct. On the other hand, a bunch of luscious grapes makes his mouth water, and even in the absence of hunger he will eat fruit because it tastes so good.”

    Scientists and naturalists, including the great Charles Darwin who gave the theory of evolution, agree that early humans were fruit and vegetable eaters and that throughout history our anatomy has not changed. The great Swedish scientist von Linné states: “Man’s structure, external and internal, compared with that of the other animals, shows that fruit and succulent vegetables constitute his natural food.”

    View chart for easy comparison http://www.jtcwd.com/vegie/chart.html

    Enjoyed the pseudoscience.  Keep it up.  The charts showing the difference between meat eaters and plant eaters are a scream.  Someday when you want to do something enlightening with your time, spend an afternoon with a textbook on comparative anatomy and physiology.  Pay special attention to the sections on the GI tract of a dog and, say, a sheep, then compare those GI tracts to a human one.  Even you might learn something.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  15. I’m vegetarian and have been for over 15 years and have never been healthier. My physician insisted on all kinds of blood readings after about 6 years and every single one of the readings was far better then before I became vegetarian. I think this study shows only that it is not for everyone. I think to live a healthy lifestyle you have to listen to your own body and make the best decision for you. No matter how many studies are published against being a vegetarian I will never go back to meat consumption.