Religious leaders, philosophers and prophets long ago opposed the consumption of animals. The animal kingdom has its own objectives that we humans with our knowledge and our capacity for reflection must help to realize.
But after the prophet who carried out those messages died, they came to be looked down upon due to lack of understanding, selfishness, and greed, which are innate to humanity. This distortion is well detected in the days of Christianity, since all religions that seek parishioners also try to convert them through food, since it is a vital aspect of human existence. Due to selfishness, desire for comfort, feelings of superiority, and human hedonism, the original meaning of those words is not always conveyed. But each individual must decide against or in favor of the laws of life. Whatever decision is made, you have to suffer the consequences of it. One might think that the clear exposition on nutrition in religious texts as well as the consequences of not observing these laws would have served as a starting point. On the contrary, it seems that it is not so. The small number of true vegetarians and the high incidence of diseases in our countries due to ‘civilization’ show that this type of admonition was not very effective. The reasons for this must be found in the unilateral and incomplete information that the public receives regarding the relationship between nutrition and disease of which the scientific community knows a lot. Another reason may be that metabolic concepts that are actually hypotheses are always presented as the plain truth. These findings, however, are merely a reflection of the present state of science, which is not yet adequate. If the hypothesis turns out to be false, it will be celebrated as "scientific progress" without considering the fact that the new hypothesis could also be flawed. Still, the unprovable and often contradictory theories are accepted exactly as the many questions not yet answered. And it must also be remembered that close cooperation between interest groups and business determine what is published, its presentation and its propaganda.
Food, Health and Vitality
By nature, we need to drink and eat every day to supply the body with the energy necessary to maintain vital functions. So we do not live to satisfy our culinary pleasures, but food keeps us healthy and empowers us to cope with the physical and mental needs of everyday life. Therefore, any diet that does not contribute to those goals is wrong. The direct relationship between food, health and body function has been known and described forever. But research on animal foods as sources of disease had not begun until recently. Only recently has the pressure for general declining health standards and rising medical costs come to the attention of medical research. Despite progress in this area, the (often contradictory) statements regarding the role that meat, animal fats, carbohydrates, grains, vegetables, and raw foods play in the development of so-called "disease" civilization "can be described as strange. Until today, research is carried out with the aim of presenting technically produced, chemically modified, colored, genetically modified, taste-altered, preserved and irradiated articles as if they had the same nutritional value as natural foods. Thus, the motivation for investigations is generally a promotional presentation of the products and our laws facilitate this. Although the laws require that all the information presented in the advertisement be correct, they do not contain clauses that require that all known and possible adverse effects also be cited. Industry can use slogans like "Fleisch ist ein Stück Lebenskraft!" ("Meat is vitality!"), Which is essentially true, but only for the animal from which it comes.
Meat Consumption ...
The consumption of meat not only has negative effects on health, but also indirectly affects the climate, vegetation, and agriculture both here and in the Third World. A hundred years ago, our basic diet consisted of cereals, legumes, vegetables, potatoes, fruits, and dairy products. With the improvement in the standard of living, that diet was progressively changed with meat, fish, poultry, animal fats, and sterilized, cooked and preserved foods that do not contain many vital substances. Today, consumers in the Western world eat 35% more dairy products, 52% more meat, 84% more fish, 190% more eggs, and 280% more chicken than in 1900 More and more arable land is used for raising animals, a percentage of 65% of the land used for agriculture has been reached. Animals that are fattened for slaughter consume half of the world's cereals and 90% of the soybean crop. Their excrement leads to the contamination of groundwater and the methane they produce contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer. Not much is known, but in addition to methane, a single cow produces as much carbon monoxide as a car. Intensive agriculture is also partly responsible for air pollution, causing diseases of the lungs and respiratory organs as well as a greater occurrence of allergies. Animals on farms in the US and Europe produce 110,000 kg / sec of droppings which they cannot properly dispose of due to the huge amount. Depending on the animal, up to 17 kilos of cereals are required to produce a single kilo of meat. During this "processing", more than 90% of the vegetable protein, 92% of the carbohydrates, and all the fiber are lost. In the United States alone, more animals are slaughtered annually than the number of people in the world. If meat consumption were reduced by just 10%, more than a billion people could be fed a vegetarian diet, with only the grains remaining. But today some 38,000 children die of malnutrition each year; and in 1991, 20,000,000 people died of hunger. These figures were published by the world's most notable environmental organization: the Earth Save Foundation in New York.
A Significant Increase in Disease
To produce the enormous amounts of food that farm animals need, millions of tons of pesticides, vermicides, fungicides, and insecticides are used annually. These environmental poisons contribute to the contamination of drinking water and by themselves would be enough to kill the entire population of the world by poisoning. During the last 100 years (during the aforementioned shift towards animal protein), the number of fatal cardiovascular diseases has increased from 4 to 5% annually and today they represent two-thirds of deaths in Western countries. Likewise, cancer, rheumatic diseases, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis and allergies, to name a few, have increased significantly. In children under 12 years of age, cancer is the most common cause of death today.
"Modern man does not see himself as part of nature, but as an external force destined to conquer it. He still speaks of a struggle against nature, forgetting that if he never won the battle, he would find himself on the side that loses."
E.F. Schumacher, Economist
Between 1975 and 1985, according to statistics from the German Federation of Health Insurance Companies, the number of patients with cardiovascular diseases increased by 41%, those with tumors by 80%, those admitted to the hospital by 114% and illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth increased by 228%. I do not claim that this is due exclusively to the consumption of meat. However, statistics show that vegetarians are less affected by these ills. Despite this, the public is constantly "informed" that vegetarians are unhealthy, malnourished, weak, and vitamin deficient. The reason for this type of propaganda is obviously to draw attention to the real reasons for the deterioration of general health.
To obtain reliable data, large-scale studies were undertaken with vegetarians. For example, in Germany, to name a few, studies were conducted at the University of Giessen, by the Heidelberg Cancer Research Center, and by the Berlin Health Administration. We also have the results of the California Mormon study in which they looked at 10,000 people who had been lifelong vegetarians; from the Norwegian study of interventions with 1,232 men; from the large American wellness study with 13,344 men and women; from the Oslo study on rheumatism and the very obvious results of the Chinese vegetarian study carried out by Cornell University (USA) with more than 8,000 men and women. Each of these investigations overwhelmingly demonstrated higher average life expectancy and lower risk of disease among vegetarians. The Oslo study of rheumatism also showed that a vegetarian diet can be used successfully as therapy and that it not only results in subjective improvement, but also objective and functional improvement of affected joints is observed. In the Chinese study, the conditions under which people live were of great importance. More than 90% of these people live and die in the region where they are born. They eat almost exclusively locally produced and unprocessed food, drink the same water, and live and work under the same conditions throughout their lives. They rarely travel and, due to their reduced mobility, it is a very homogeneous group of people, genetically speaking. Their way of life, unlike the western world, is basically the same from childhood to old age. Each of the studies I have mentioned concludes that vegetarians have by far the most normal weight, the best blood pressure and composition, and are less sickly compared to omnivores. Despite their longer life expectancy, the incidence of cancers is lower than average and the survival rate improves if a vegetarian diet is adopted after cancer diagnosis. Deficiency diseases were not diagnosed and the number of infectious diseases was less than 25% of the average. Without exception, the blood values were normal and the iron and uric acid levels were also normal. The levels of cholesterol and triglycerides that put at risk of heart disease in 80% of those analyzed were at the lowest levels within normal and lower even in vegans.
The unproven belief that vegetarians are deficient in vitamin B-12 led the authors to focus on this issue. Those who claim that this danger exists say that there is no vitamin B-12 in plants and that the human body cannot produce it, so it would have to be consumed through animal protein. These claims have been refuted, since all the vegetarians and vegans examined had normal levels of vitamin B-12. This means that humans appear to be capable of producing this vitamin, probably in the enteral area. Furthermore, the amounts of vitamin B-12 consumed in the form of microorganisms and bacteria from the soil appear to be sufficient to prevent a deficiency of this vitamin in vegetarians.
In addition, there is the theory that animal protein and fat are not only partially responsible for the large number of cases of heart disease, but also create conditions under which the common forms of cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and many metabolic diseases can appear. The more foods of animal origin in the diet, the more these diseases are diagnosed. The statistical relationship between breast cancer and meat consumption was also established. Vegetarian women have a lower incidence than omnivores. This well-known fact is often mentioned in connection with the fact that vegetarian girls reach puberty two or three years later than other girls, on average. Vegetarian women also have a lower risk and lower levels of post-menopausal osteoporosis. The Chinese vegetarian women analyzed consume only a third of the amount of calcium that European women consume, but in their case, all calcium comes from plant foods rather than dairy products as in Western countries. Osteoporosis as we know it is almost non-existent in this region and none of the women analyzed had this disease! The result of all these investigations can be summarized in a single sentence. As Professor Colin T. Campbell, who led the Chinese research, put it: "Diets containing animal fats and protein make us sicker than we care to admit."
Knife and Fork Suicide
Considering that more than 70% of fatal diseases are caused by dietary factors, the claim that it is possible to commit suicide with a knife and fork is not so laughable. But this is a problem that everyone must face personally and no one can make this decision for someone else. However, clear and well-founded information makes this decision easier. There is a Chinese saying that affirms that in a very long journey the first steps are the most difficult… In any case, the religious postulates about the relationship between man and animals that our Creator conceived should also be considered. The ruthless perversion of this can be seen in the gruesome images of the transport of animals from Europe to Asia and Africa. This type of irresponsible exploitative mentality is not only legal, but is also subsidized by the taxes we pay and is justified by the churches using Biblical quotes.
Change Our Way of Thinking
Vegetarianism shows us the way to a healthier way of life, to necessary spiritual realizations, to the improvement of the general health of the population, to the reduction of healthcare costs and to avoid the death of millions of people due to malnutrition now and in the future. Furthermore, vegetarianism leads us to the protection of our fellow beings, which is more necessary now than ever since the role of the animal kingdom in the plan of creation is not to be the objective of any type of exploitation or to serve as food for the people. human race. Rather, as intelligent beings with higher wisdom and more intuition, we are truly obligated to help the animals in their lives. So the real question is: What prevents us from living and eating as vegetarians? The answer can only be found in the hopes and wishes of each individual. The environment in which we live with our fellow beings is a product of our way of thinking. The world that we have created in this way can only change if we ourselves change our way of thinking, and thus our way of living.