These articles are from Facts of Vegetarianism a booklet that although we believe published in the early 1970s by a joint effort of the American Vegan Society, American Vegetarians, and Animal Liberation, Inc., still expresses valid considerations for adopting a vegetarian diet. Dudley Giehl, H. Jay Dinshah, Nellie Shriver, and Nathaniel Altman were contributing authors.
Facts Of Vegetarianism
- Are We Meat-Eaters By Nature?
- Health Aspects of Vegetarianism
- The Ethics of Vegetarianism
- Chemicals and Additives
- Vegetarian Diet Can Save You Money
- World Food Crisis
- Answers to Your Questions
Are We Meat-Eaters By Nature?
It has been found that the diet of any animal in its natural state corresponds to its anatomical structure and general body functions. Upon close examination, it is obvious that humans are not naturally suited to a diet which includes flesh.
For example, the natural carnivores (such meat-eating animals as the wolf, lion, hyena, and cat) all possess a digestive tract only three times the length of the animal's body, and are thus capable of eliminating rapidly decaying substances (such as meat) in a very short time.
The intestinal canal is relatively simple, and not convoluted. Unlike in vegetarians, the stomach is rich in hydrochloric acid, which enables them to digest bone and the tough fibrous tissue found in animal muscle.
On the other hand, the intestinal canal of humans and other naturally vegetarian animals (such as the anthropoid ape, camel, cow, horse) is ten to twelve times the length of the body, forming a winding, intricate route poorly adapted for the digestion and elimination of flesh food.
The digestive system of the natural omnivores (flesh and plant eaters such as the bear, raccoon, and wild boar) lies between these extremes, as they, too, are ideally suited to consume their natural diet.
Along with sharp claws, all carnivores are given powerful jaws and long fangs the sharp, elongated canine teeth for spearing and tearing flesh. Dr. A. S. Romer, Professor Emeritus of Zoology at Harvard, has written that "the canines . . . are long and pointed stabbing weapons in all flesh eaters."
The so-called "canine teeth" in humans (termed thus because of the relative position in the mouth) have no resemblance to those found in the dog, cat, or even the omnivorous bear. On the other hand, the vegetarian animals are well equipped with sharp incisor teeth for biting into fresh fruits and vegetables; and unlike the meat-eaters they possess very well developed molar teeth for grinding and chewing of vegetables, fruits, and nuts. The cat, for example, has no chewing ability whatsoever.
Nor has human dental structure significantly changed either from or to that of a flesh-eater, in all the time he has been on this planet, in the opinion of noted scientists.
"At the period and place, whenever and wherever it was, when man first lost his hairy covering, he probably inhabited a hot country; a circumstance favourable for the frugivorous diet on which, judging from analogy, he subsisted." Charles Darwin (The Descent Of Man, 2nd ed., 1874, page 156.)
The French naturalist, Baron Cuvier, also put forth this view: "Fruits, roots, and the succulent parts of vegetables appear to be the natural food of man: his hands afford him a facility in gathering them; and his short and comparatively weak jaws, his short canine teeth not passing beyond the common line of the others, and the tuberculous teeth, would not permit him either to feed on herbage or devour flesh, unless those aliments were previously prepared by the culinary processes."
In his article, "Source of Perfect Nourishment: The Plant Kingdom" (1949) Geoffrey Hodson quotes the great Swedish naturalist, Karl von Linne' (Linnaeus): "Man's structure, external and internal, compared with that of other animals, shows that fruit and succulent vegetables constitute his natual food."
He also cites the opinion of Ernst Haeckel, "Whatever part of the body we consider, we find upon the most exact examination that man is more nearly related to the higher apes (eaters of fruit and nuts) than are the highest apes to the lowest apes. It would therefore be unwarranted to regard man as constituting a (biological/anatomical) class by himself."
It would be imposslble to adequately discuss in this little treatise, the religious views on vegetarianism around the world; it suffices to say that there is considerable reference in both Old and New Testaments to the concept that people were created as totalvegetarians (Gen. 1:29) and will eventually return to this Edenic condition (Isaiah 11:6-9). And on the other side of the fence, anthropologists no matter how far back in time they go are unable to come up with any proof that humans have ever been NATURALLY carnivorous. On the contrary, all the scientific evidence points to exactly the opposite conclusion, namely that we have always retained our obviously vegetarian construction, even when apparently forced (as by an ice age, or a flood) to temporarily turn to flesh-foods for survival in emergency conditions.
We may study the fangs and jaws of the modern tiger, to realize the dental equipment necessary for a true carnivore:
Next, we may see the diagram of the fossilized skull reconstruction of Pithecanthropus erectus the so-called "Java Man", said by scientists to date back perhaps a half million years. Just as in the Cro-Magnon and the earlier Neanderthal humans, this sub-Neanderthal supposed precursor of humanity displays the teeth of a vegetarian or mainly frugivorous creature! Without indulging in theological and scientific disputations regarding the probable age of this planet, or the pedigree of the human race, we can easily settle this question for ourselves. Simply look in a mirror at YOUR OWN TEETH, or those of any other modern human, and decide if they can be said to resemble (by any stretch of the imagination) the fangs of a vicious tiger, or even a pet cat or dog.
In addition, carnivores perspire through their tongues, as their skin lacks pores. Being mainly nocturnal hunters, they sleep in the heat of the day. Hodson notes, "This is supported by the fact that dogs, being companions to man and having learnt to accompany him by day, thereby being exposed to greater heat, easily become overheated, "perspire" through the tongue, and pant to get cool. Furthermore, if carnivora were to perspire at night there would be danger of sudden chill to the skin."
As vegetarian animals normally function during the day, their skin has millions of pores, and they freely perspire through the skin to regulate body temperature. Once again, the omnivores in between more closely resemble carnivores in this respect than they resemble the vegetarians, including humans.
OUR NATURAL INSTINCT?
It is also obvious that our sensibilities are not inclined towards fleshfood. All meat-eaters (other than the scavengers: vultures, hyenas, etc.) kill their own prey and eat it in its natural state. Most of us must have our meat slaughtered by proxy, as we would be sickened if forced to kill the animals ourselves. Instead of eating meat in its original state, we age it, and we boil, bake, fry, or broil it, making sure the meat is first suitably "tenderized", and is well-disguised with sauces, spices, and gravies.
If we observe a tiger or leopard stalking its prey, killing and ripping it apart with only fang and claw, and eating it raw, we may then deduce that this animal has a carnivorous instinct. Most humans would become sick to their stomachs at the prospect of killing and eating an animal; even in the few sadistic humans who might relish such a thought and act, this is demonstrably not instinctive but a conditioned indoctrination, as it was not present at birth but carefully learned later in life.
On the other hand, a bowlful of grapes, cherries and peaches, would make any normal human's mouth water; and even the prospect of picking them and eating them fresh from the tree would convey no unpleasant or repulsive sounds, sights, smells, or thoughts. The same bowl of fruit would generally have no attraction whatsoever for the carnivore.
ARE ALL TYPES OF VEGETARIAN CREATURES THE SAME IN DIET?
No, there are many differences arnong the vegetarian animals, and these distinctions also point the way to a natural diet for man. The cloven hooves, several stomachs, and unique dental formula of the cow, for example, indicate that its natural diet consists of grass, herbs, possibly grains, and other plants.
But as we have noted, man bears the closest anatomical resemblance to the anthropoid ape (the very term "anthropoid" meaning literally "man-like"), whose natural diet is composed of fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, and green shoots. Our hands are made perfectly for gathering this type of food-and without any artificial implements whatever-and bear no resemblance to the hooves of the grazing animals or the "paws 'n' claws" of the carnivores.
Our stomach does not have the ruminant's many chambers for digesting grass, nor the murderously high hydrochloric acid content of a carnivore's (very useful in a cat, for example, to digest fur and bones from a mouse).
Certainly, under extreme conditions, animals may seem to be able to eat almost anything and survive for a time. But such emergency measures cannot be considered as a normal let alone ideal way of eating or living.
In some cultures and climates, such as in the Arctic regions, meat or animal fat is said to be necessary for survival, as it was during the Ice Age when, scientists believe, man was first forced by expediency and necessity to change from vegetarian to omnivorous diet. Polar explorers in difficult straits, and survivors of shipwrecks and airplane accidents in remote locations, have occasionally even turned to human cannibalism for the sake of emergency survival. However, this clearly is an aberration, and can hardly be said to be a natural or even desirable practice. Obviously, in our civilization meat is definitely not needed for survival, whatever may have been the case in ages past or some exceptional instance of adverse clime or emergency in the present.
So what are we supposed to eat? It seems clear that humans are anatomically and instinctively suited to a diet of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and perhaps grains. A diet composed entirely of such foods is termed pure vegetarian, total vegetarian, or "vegan".
Others maintain that from a standpoint of convenience, or for other reasons, humans may or should also eat dairy products and/or eggs. These diets are termed lacto-vegetarian (including milk), ovo-vegetarian (including eggs), or lacto-ovo-vegetarian (including both items of diet). Those who use some milk and/or eggs in their diet at present constitute the larger number of vegetarians.
People who include fowl, or fish or seafood in their diet are not vegetarians; they are meat-eaters.
Health Aspects Of Vegetarianism
a) Meat is high in saturated fats. The cholesterol that accumulates on the arterial walls constricts the flow of blood in the body, placing a greater burden on the heart to pump harder. Cholesterol is clearly a major factor in the causing of heart attacks the number one killer of Arnericans and crippling or lethal strokes .
b) Dr. W.A. Thomas reported in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. (6/3/61) that "a vegetarian diet can prevent 90% of our thromboembolic disease and 97% of our coronary occlusions".
c) Statistics indicate that in countries where meat consumption is high (U.S., Canada, Australia), the mortality rate for heart disease is also very high. Those developed countries with the lowest consumption of meat (Japan and Italy), have significantly lower mortality rates from heart disease. Two such statistical charts can be found in "Faith, Love, & Seaweed", by Ian Rose, and "Heart Attack, You Don't Have To Die", by Christiaan Barnard, M.D.
d) The mortality rate for coronary disease is 50% greater in overweight people. "People who become fat by overeating animal fats are more likely to develop coronary heart disease than people whose obesity is caused by an overindulgence in foods that do not elevate the blood cholesterol level." (Dr. Barnard, ibid.)
e) Citing the studies of Drs. Dawber, Kannell, and Dr. Ancel Keys, Dr. Barnard notes that "people who eat a diet high in animal fats have a higher incidence of coronary heart disease than those who donot..."(ibid.)
a) Livestock with cancerous tumors are routinely used for meat. The tumors are simply cut out before the meat is allowed to pass inspection as "wholesome" and fit for human consumption. There is a certain form of cancer found in chickens that can not be detected without a good deal of effort and expense. It is, therefore, often passed over. (Owen S. Parrett, M.D., from his essay, "Why I Don't Eat Meat")
b) "Some diseases assumed to be local may be systemic. I worked for a dairy herd, and when I found a diseased animal I recommended it destroyed. They shipped it anyway. One day, I found a sore on a cow, about the size of this book (held up a bookthe size of a typical Bible or church hymn book). I sectioned it and examined it with the microscope. Skin Cancer. They sent the animal to market. Did they lose the whole animal? No, just the loin, where the sore was!" (Richard Walden, M.D., D.V.M., M.S. Ahimsa 9/62.)
He also stated that even an animal raised by oneself is not necessarily asafe" as early disease stages would not be detectable. (ibid.)
c) Epidemiological studies have shown a strong correlation between the incidence of colon cancer and meat consurnption. (Burkitt DP: "Epidemiology of cancer of the colon and recturn." "Cancer" 28:3-13, 1971; Gregor O, Toman R, Prusova F: "Gastrointestinal cancer and nutrition." "Gut" 10:1031-1034, 1969; several other sources.)
"Because the diet, free of animal fats, results in a shorter transit time and probably the production of less carcinogens, the incidence of cancer of the colon should be substantially lower than that of omnivores. Time will tell; apparently no cases have yet been reported in vegans (total vegetarians)." (Eva Batt, in "Present Status & Aims Of Veganism", 1971.)
a) Meat, being material from a corpse, has a far greater amount of harmful bacteria than vegetarian foods.
After studying samples from 32 brands of frankfurters bought in supermarkets throughout the U.S., researchers stated:
"Food experts generally agree that putrefaction has set in when a frankfurter's total bacteria count has reached 10 million per gram.
With that as a yardstick, more than 40 percent of the samples we analyzed had begun to spoil. One sample tested out at 140 million per gram." (Consumer Reports, 2/72, p. 76.)
b) According to Dr. Walden (M.D. and veterinarian who worked as a meat inspector): "Slaughterhouse workers are in constant contact with animals. According to the Bureau of Labor, the poultry processing industry is the 3rd most hazardous, even ahead of steelworkers and bulldozer operators, due to the occupational hazard of disease.
"The slaughterhouse is the salvation of the farrner. When he is losing his animals to disease, he just ships them off to market, and hopes they are accepted.
"One of the first suggestions a vet is supposed to make is: ship it to market." He also cited several cases where he had personally seen diseased animals shipped to "save their lives" by killing them for meat. (Ahimsa, 9/62.)
c) Two million people in this country are stricken each year with salmonella bacteria poisoning (in most instances not fatal). Meat with salmonella bacteria will contaminate any raw foods it contacts or simply by the bacteria carried on one's hands to other foods. "Swine and cattle are also prime sources of salmonella infection. Meat chosen at random in retail markets has shown a high incidence of contamination." (James Goddard, M.D., from "Nutrition Today", Sept. 1967.)
a) A carnivorous diet creates more waste products for the kidneys to contend with: "Comparative analyses of the urine of low protein feeders and those who take an ordinary mixed diet show that even moderate meat eaters require of their kidneys three times the amount of work in the elimination of nitrogenous wastes than is demanded of the kidneys of flesh abstainers. While the kidneys are young they are usually able to bear this extra burden so that no evidence of injury appears; but as they become worn with advancing age they become unable to do their work efficiently." (J. H. Kellogg, M.D., from The New Dietetics.)
The Ethics Of Vegetarianism
Many people nowadays have been lulled into a sense of complacency by the thought that animals are now slaughtered "humanely", thus presumably removing any possible humanitarian objection to the eating of meat.
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the actual facts of life . . . and death.
The entire life of a captive "food animal" is an unnatural one of artificial breeding, vicious castration and/or hormone stimulation, feeding of abnormal diet for fattening purposes, and eventually long rides in intense discomfort to the ultimate end. The holding pens, the electric prods and tail-twisting, the abject terror and fright, the accidental misses of the "humane slaughter" stunning device all these are still very much a part of the most "modern" animal raising, shipping, and slaugbtering. To accept all this and only oppose the callous brutality of the last few seconds of the animal's life, is to debase and corrupt the very word "humane"! With the exception of the moment of slaughter itself, all the other cruelties in the animals's life may remain exactly the same.
Nor, for that matter, is all slaughtering done by modern or "humane" methods, and you cannot tell how your meat was raised, or shipped, or killed.
COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS
The beginning of ethical vegetarianism is the knowledge that other creatures feel, and that their feelings are very similar to ours. This knowledge encourages one to ext˘nd personal awareness to also encompass the sufferings of others. This is the essence of compassion the feeling of the sufferings of others, and sympathizing with them, and doing all we can to change such sorry conditions.
Because we know in ourselves the feeling of pain and suffering, we refuse to be a party to inflicting such anguish upon others.
Because we can smell the urine-drenched straw in the livestock truck and see how the animals are packed in for transit (although they sometimes even fall and break their legs in the sudden stops and starts), we realize the grossly cruel conditions of servitude imposed by us upon these animals, and oppose that cruelty.
Because we know that mother cows love their young, and grieve when the calves are taken from them at birth to be fattened up for veal, we cannot in good conscience condone such practices. Indeed, a well-developed conscience dictates that we must stand in opposition to these brutal actions.
Ethical vegetarians oppose not only the killing but the whole assortment of cruelties, artificialities, debasements of humans and animals alike, that go with food-animal raising, shipping, and killing.
We recognize our moral obligation to actively work to correct such conditions, not by a dab of fresh straw here and there, but by doing away with the whole callous system of animal-killing for food.
This is done by refusing to create the demand which makes it
profitable for a few, and by helping to educate other thoughtful people to the ethical and other benefits of a common-sense vegetarian regimen.
REVERENCE FOR LIFE, AND HUMAN PROGRESS
It is occasionally stated that humans have somehow acquired a need for meat due to our higher developments. This fallacy is refuted by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton:
"Tenderness and mercy and gentility, and all the spiritual qualities that set man off so greatly from beasts of prey, are lacking in the lion, tiger, wolf and other carnivora. The claim that man has evolved to such a high mental and spiritual plane that he must have meat is exactly the opposite of the facts. He must crush and harden his higher nature in order to hunt and fish and prey. The hunter and the butcher are not symbols of spirituality. They are not embodiments of the higher mental, moral and social powers of man's nature." (Orthotrophy, vol. II.)
While the entire system of animal-keeping, raising, and slaughtering for man's food is catastrophic for the animal kingdom and for the nqtural ecological balance, it is no less than disastrous for the progress of humanity.
The great vegetarian artist and scientific inventor, Leonardo da Vinci, was of the same mind, when he stated:
"Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds theirs. We live by the death of others. We are burial places! (Merejkowski's "Romance of Leonardo da Vinci")
"I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I, will look upon the murder of animals, as they now look upon the murder of men." (From da Vinci' s Notes.)
A similar view in regard to the relationship between respect for human life, and respect for animal life, was expressed by the first President of the Republic of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad:
"Any integrated view of life as a whole will reveal to us the connection between the individual's food and his behavior towards others, and through a process of ratiocination which is not fantastic, we cannot but arrive at the conclusion that the only means of escaping the hydrogen bomb is to escape the (type of) mentality which has produced it, and the only way to escape that mentality is to cultivate respect for all life, life in all forms, under all conditions. It is only another name for vegetarianism." (Quoted in The Case For Vegetarianism, by Geoffrey L. Rudd, 1966 ed.)
Count Leo Tolstoy also recognized the ways in which preying upon the animals could stunt the peaceful aspirations and spiritual growth of humanity:
"This is dreadful! Not (only) the suffering and death of the animals, but that man suppresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity that of sympathy and pity towards living creatures like himself and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel." (From his essay, The First Step.)
The philosopher and playwright, Bernard Shaw, echoed this view:
"While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal conditions on the earth."
"When a man wants to murder a tiger, he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity!"
Possibly the most productive life for mankind, and certainly one of the most highly spiritual and saintly, in the past several centuries, was lived by Mahatma Gandhi of India a life-long staunch vegetarian but for a few youthful experiments and he declared:
"I do not regard flesh-food as necessary for us at any stage and under any clime in which it is possible for human beings ordinarily to live. I hold flesh-food to be unsuited to our species. We err in copying the lower animal world if we are superior to it. Experience teaches that animal food is unsuited to those who would curb their passions.
"...Vegetarianism...may not be lightly given up. It is necessary, therefore, to correct the error that vegetarianism has made us weak in mind or body, or passive or inert in action. The greatest Hindu reformers have been the activest in their generation and they have invariably been vegetarians..." (Young India, 7/10/26.)
The Nobel-Prize winning poet, Rabindranath Tagore, also recognized the danger in stifling the humane feelings regarding diet:
"We manage to swallow flesh, only because we do not think of the cruel and sinful thing we do. There are many crimes which are the creation of man himself, the wrongfullness of which is put down to their divergence from habit, custom, or tradition. But cruelty is not of these. It is a fundamental sin, and admits of no arguments or nice distinctions. If only we do not allow our heart to grow callous it protests against cruelty, is always clearly heard; and yet we go on perpetrating cruelties easily, merrily, all of us in fact, any one who does not join in is dubbed a crank. ...If, after our pity is aroused, we persist in throttling our feelings simply in order to
join others in preying upon life, we insult all that is good in us. I have decided to try a vegetarian diet."
In his logical and secular philosophy of Reverence for Life, Dr. Albert Schweitzer gave to the world and the individual an ethical yardstick against which to measure our attitudes and behavior toward others, both human and otherwise:
"From experiences like these, which moved my heart and often made me feel ashamed, there slowly grew up in me an unshakeable conviction that we have no right to inflict suffering and death on another living creature unless there is some unavoidable necessity for it, and that we ought all of us to feel what a horrible thing it is to cause suffering and death out of mere thoughtlessness." (Reverence For Life Philosophical Library, New York, p.5.)
Quite naturally, he extended his gentle lifeview to his refusal to kill animals forhis own meals. (Several interesting references to his personal dietary principles and practices including his typical vegetarian menu at the age of 90 are to be found in a beautiful article in "Life" magazine of 2/19/65. Photo: From the bust by Prof. Upton Clary Ewing.)
Vegetarianism has been advocated and practiced by many of the greatest philosophers, scientists, leaders, and others, including Emerson, Thoreau, Buddha, Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, Origen, Diogenes, Cicero, Herodotus, Porphyry, Sir Isaac Newton, Voltaire, Shelley, Pope, Plutarch, Ovid, H. G. Wells, Maeterlinck, John Wesley, Scott Nearing, Dr. Annie Besant, Field Marshal Lord Montgomery, Sir Stafford Cripps, Air Chief Marshal (RAF "Battle of Britain") Lord Dowding and Lady Dowding, Louisa May Alcott, Vinoba Bhave, etc.
On the lighter side, in the entertainment world, the ranks of vegetarians have included such stars as the late George Arliss, Dennis Weaver, Clint Walker, Samantha Eggar, Dick Gregory, Susan St. James, Candice Bergen, Melanie, and many others.
In the field of sports, a vegetarian regimen has long been known to help build endurance. Among the athletes who have lived and/or trained as vegetarians, are swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, Olympic multiple-gold-medal winner Murray Rose, "Flying Finn" runner Paavo Nurmi, wrestling champ George Hackenschmidt, and "Mr. America" wrestler
Gene Stanlee, Jack McClelland and Bill Pickering are famous channel swimmers who are vegetarian; in 1956, Pickering won farne by swimming the English Channel faster than anyone in history.
The Vegetarian Cycling and Athletic Club has held as many as 40% of the National (bicycle racing) Road Records, although their members comprise a small percentage of the racers. In 1963, vegetarian Ron Murgatroid swept a series of 15 out of 15 bicycle events in Great Britain.
In football, a 1970 article on former Oakland Raiders linebacker Chip Oliver (said to be "one of the finest young prospects in football") noted that he played better after switching to a vegetarian diet. And the annual race ON FOOT to the top of Pike's Peak, was recently won two years in a row by a vegetarian.
No serious vegetarian would claim that by adopting this way of living one will automatically become an instant superman, or increase one's I.Q. by 50 points. But we should examine WHY so many thoughtful, intelligent, compassionate people become vegetarians.
TOWARD A BETTER WORLD
The benefits of vegetarianism are available at the level of the individual, the family, the nation, or the whole world. Such progress, however, must begin with individuals, making their own free choice for this better way.
Vegetarians are not merely impractical idealists. On the contrary, vegetarianism is reinforced by consistent and authoritative medical and scientific facts, statistical surveys of comparative health in various groups, and by long practice over thousands of years in many parts of the world. The land-use and nutritional arguments in favor of vegetarianism make of it a humanitarian crusade of unparalleled urgency and importance to all of humanity today.
We are often told that people are inherently cruel or depraved, that it is part of our very nature to be vicious and selfish. Looking at the world around us, we could not deny that there might be some reason for such a pessimistic world-view. But vegetarians do not just view present conditions and ask "Why?". We are more interested in visualizinfg a better, nobler future and saying "WHY NOT!" We prefer to emphasize the higher and greater part of human nature, and to encourage this side of humanity to blossom forth with all the bountiful blessings this would bring upon the face of the entire world.
Chemicals and Additives
As the name implies, pesticides are used to control unwanted insects.
There is considerable controversy over the advisability of pesticide use. However, the fact remains that most crops today are grown with such chemicals.
DDT is one that has been very widely used [In the U.S.A. DDT was outlawed in 1972, but has been and might continue to be used in other countries. editor]. Scientists have found this chemical to be a probable cause of cancer and have also linked its use to liver disease. It is virtually impossible to find areas of land that are unpolluted with DDT, as it is easily carried long distances though the soil by the rain and underground streams. It is also blown by the wind for many miles from the place where it was originally sprayed. In view of recent restrictions placed on the use of this chemical, it is of interest to note that DDT residue will remain in the soil for many years, even if it were banned completely.
As DDT is fat-soluble, it is usually stored in the fatty tissues of the body. When eating meat, you are taking into your own body the concentrations of DDT and other chemicals that have accumulated in the animal for the fifteen months or so that it was being raised. Because of this accumulative effect, it is estimated that meat contains thirteen times as much DDT as opposed to vegetables, fruits, and grains.
It is interesting to note that the choice cuts of meat are "marbled" with fat (this is what provides that "rich" flavor). The prime grade contains about 63% more fat than the general grade, and that much more DDT.
"The fatty storage depots act as biological magnifiers, so that an intake of as little as 1/10 of 1 part per million in the diet results in the storage of about 1O to 15 parts per million, an increase of one-hundredfold or more. In the diet in the average home, meats and any products derived from animal fats contain the heaviest residues of chlorinated hydrocarbons. This is because these chemicals are soluble in fat. Cooking does not destroy residues." (Rachel Carson, in Silent Spring, Fawcett, 1962, pp. 29/162.)
Arsenic is, of course, a known poison. It is used in the feed of livestock animals as a growth stimulant. Arsenic compounds used as feed additives include arsenilic acid, sodium arsonilate, and 3-nitro-4 hydraxyphenyl arsonic acid. Black's Veterinary Dictionary says this of arsenic: "The disposal of dung containing arsenic residues from poultry houses, etc., may accordingly be fraught with danger. Administered in small doses over a long period, arsenic may give rise to cancer."
Arsenic is also the main component of a solution that is used to "dip" cattle and sheep to rid them of mites, ticks, and other parasites. The value of "cowhide" (a by-product of the meat industry) is greatly decreased if it contains too many tick marks.
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Yearbook for 1915 stated that the Meat Inspection Service recognized the existence of 42 distinct groups of "diseases or conditions which make the meat of the affected animals dangerous or abhorrent". The report further stated, "It is not at all likely that science will everbe able to do away with all of these". The U.S,D.A. Yearbook of 1954 reported that there were 80 different diseases affecting livestock which could also be transferred to humans. Scientists estimate there are at least 1000 varieties of parasites that prey on these animals. In the earlier part of this century, such diseases as anthrax, blackleg, hog cholera, bovine tuberculosis, diphtheria, and others spread to epidemic proportions throughout the country and struck a serious economic blow to the meat industry. The health of the nation was, of course, also jeopardized. Special breeding and the large quantities of animals used in this industry make it quite susceptible to such outbreaks on epidemic levels as witnessed at that time. Anthrax, for example, is noted by the U.S.D.A. to show a "marked preference for high-grade stock".
These diseases are now controlled by the use of various antibiotics that are given to meat animals. Some of the drugs used for this purpose are terramycin, bacitracin, hygromycin B, oxytetracycline tyosin, neomycin, aureo 250, streptomycin, penicillin, tetracycline, chlortetra cycline, and aureomycin. Aside from the standard vaccination shots the animals receive each season, these antibiotics are regularly mixed with their feed. Antibiotics are also used to promote growth and as a preserving agent.
Scientists have warned that continued use of these drugs will create a resistance to them and could have serious consequences for patients treated with such antibiotics in severe illness. The consequence of eating meat with antibiotic residue range from violent reactions (for those people with a low tolerance to such drugs) to an acquired immunity to such drugs as penicillin or streptomycin. The Journal of the American Medical Assn. states, "A method of developing sensitization is by administering the agent in small repeated dosage, in the manner paralleling that of repeatedly ingesting food preserved with an antibiotic".
A government task force (January, 1972) voiced strong criticism of the use of antibiotics in meat. Their findings were in accord with previous studies which state that constant exposure to antibiotics could make human disease organisms resistant to the drugs. Even worse, the report continues, we then may have NEW disease strains that are immune to penicillin or other commonly used antibiotics.
An example of this occurred in 1969 when 41 babies were admitted to several pediatric clinics in Manchester, England. The diarrhea and vomiting they experienced was caused by an intestinal bacteria (Escherichia coli). Doctors unsuccessfully tried to treat them with various modern antibiotics, but the babies died. Two microbiologists from a London research institute for intestinal diseases were sent to make a complete report on the tragedy.
According to their findings, the death of the children was caused by a NEW germ-type that had devloped a resistance to antibiotics by their use in animal feeds.
The staphylococcus ("staph") germ has already developed a resistance to antibiotics. It is sometimes fatal. Interestingly enough, a major meat packing company in the U.S. recalled its salami (7/71) when it was found to contain toxins produced by "staph" bacteria. Several people who ate the tainted meat experienced vomiting and nausea.
Dr. Hartman, commenting on the harmful effects of antibiotics, noted that aureomycin, which is widely used in animal feed, destroys bacteria in the intestinal tract upon which we actually depend to make vitamins for us.
SODIUM NITRATE, SODIUM NITRITE, AND SODIUM SULPHITE:
Sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate areused as preservatives to retard the putrefaction process (to which all meat is subject), in sandwich meats such as frankfurters, salami, bologna, sausage, etc. This type of meat may remain in the store for weeks before it is sold.
It should be borne in mind that the conditions of spoilage (as reported on page 8, col. 2) can exist even with the use of toxic chemical preservatives .
Dr. Charles C. Edwards, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, in testimony before a House subcommittee (3/71) stated that sodium nitrite is potentially dangerous to small children, can deform the fetus in a pregnant woman, and can cause serious damage to anemic persons. He also stated that the use of this chemical in meat is a possible cause of cancer, an opinion held by other scientists for some time now.
Sodium sulphite is used to give meat a "fresh red appearance". This chemical can restore the color of rancid meat that has turned black, and will also miraculously eliminate the strong odor of putrefaction. One New York State survey found sulfite in 26 out of 30 samples of hamburger. ("Der Spiegel", June 21, 1971.) If you have ever purchased meat that "looked delicious" but tasted bad, it is very likely that it had been doused with sodium sulphite.
People who eat meat now have three alternatives. They can insist that the use of antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, and poisons such as arsenic, be banned. If this could be done, the price of meat would have to be greatly increased. If meat were not preserved with hazardous chemicals and antibiotics, it probably could not be marketed on the mass level that it is at present. It would certainly necessitate better refrigeration and handling methods, and a far higher standard of sanitation than is likely to be maintained on an economical basis.
The second alternative is to maintain the status quo. We can continue to eat meat, with the added risks of cancer, the known or unknown side-effects from drugs or antibiotics in the meat, and the developing of sensitivity or immunity to the drugs on which we might rely in the future.
The manufacturing process of certain vitamins in the body could also be impaired, leaving one prone to various diseases caused by vitamin deficiencies.
The third alternative: We can return to our natural diet, by choosing to be vegetarians.
A BIOLOGIST LOOKS AT INTENSIVE ANIMAL-FARMING
Writing in regard to the atrocities of the modern factory-farm, Rachel Carson warned not only of the physical harm to the animals and to humans, but also of the ethical and other questions involved:
"As a biologist whose special interests lie in the field of ecology, or the relation between living things and their environment, I find it inconceivable that healthy animals can be produced under the artificial and damaging conditions that prevail in the modern factory-like installations, where animals are grown and turned out like so many inanimate objects. The crowding of broiler chickens, the revolting insanitary conditions in the piggeries, the lifelong confinement of laying hens in tiny cages....
"....This artificial environment is not a healthy one. Diseases sweep through these establishments, which indeed are kept going only by the continuous administrations of antibiotics. Disease organisms then become resistant to the antibiotics. Veal calves, purposely kept in a state of induced anaemia so their white flesh will satisfy
the supposed desires of the gourmet, sometimes drop dead when taken out of their imprisoning crates.
...The menace to human consumers from the drugs, hormones, and pesticides used to keep this whole fantastic operation somehow going is a matter never properly explored.
"The final argument against the intensivism now practised in this branch of agriculture is a humanitarian one . . . Has (man) the right, as in these examples, to reduce life to a bare existence that is scarcely life at all? Has he the further right to terminate these wretched lives by means that are wantonly cruel? My own answer is an unqualified no. "It is my belief that man will never be at peace with his own kind until he has recognized the Schweitzerian ethic that embraces decent consideration for all living creatures a true reverence for life."
(Rachel Carson, from her Foreword to the book Animal Machines, by Ruth Harrison.)
Vegetarian Diet Can Save You Money
In the past several years, food prices have skyrocketed, with meat leading the spiral. The average person who manages a home is hard pressed to make the best use of the grocery dollar, and provide the family with good, nourishing food.
A vegetarian diet has been proven to be an excellent source of quality protein, as well as the other nutritional constituents, at a very reasonable price. For the average family, an imaginative meatless diet of salads, soups, casseroles, loaves, stews, fresh breads, and fruit and nuts, can sharply reduce the food bill.
Contrary to popular belief, vegetarians are not merely restricted to a monotonous dietof limp celery or canned soyabeans. The variety of vegetarian dishes is nearly endless, and the imaginative chef can provide a family with literally hundreds of exciting, palatable, nutritious, and economical meals.
THE COST OF PROTEIN
The following table compares the cost of usable protein which the average 154-pound male is said to need each day. The list includes meat, fish, and dairy products, as well as grains, nuts, and other high protein sources from the vegetable kingdom. It should be noted that in this context, the term "usable protein" refers to the complete amino-acid balanced protein that requires no further arnino-acid supplementation to be of high biological value to a human being.
We might bear in mind that the vegetable products generally contain additional significant amounts of amino-acids which are NOT in the ideal combination or balance, and it is erroneous to think of these as "useless proteins"; quite the contrary: they are everybit as useful to the body if the amino-acid(s) in which they are deficient aremadeup,through combining with another food of different deficiency. In any normal meal, such foods as fruits, leafy greens, etc., would also contribute significant amino-acids which would further raise the quantity of complete, usable protein available from that meal.
In preparing this chart, these factors have deliberately been ignored; if they were also considered, it would obviously still further lower the costs of obtaining complete protein from the vegetable foods.
SELECTED PROTEIN COST COMPARISONS (Prices given are typical of supermarkets in the New York City area in June, 1973.)
COST OF 43.1 GRAMS OF USABLE PROTEIN MEAT: (per lb.) Chicken @ 69¢ $ .62 Hamburger @ 95¢ .69 Porterhouse Steak @ $1.89 2.03 Pork Loin @ $1.99 2.07 Lamb Rib Chops @ $2.09 2.61 DAIRY PRODUCTS: Dried nonfat milk solids @ 85¢ .21 Cottage Cheese @ 43¢ .29 Eggs @ 75¢ doz. .43 Milk @ 32¢ qt. .54 Cheddar Cheese @ $1.19 .64 SEAFOOD: Cod @ 99¢ .41 Tuna @ $1.07 .54 Sardines @ 1.75 1.06 LEGUMES: Split peas, dry @ 19¢ .19 Soybeans, dry @ 39¢ .20 Pinto Beans, dry @ 25¢ .27 Lentils, dry @ 54¢ .46 GRAINS: Whole Wheat Flour @ 16¢ .20 Wheat Germ @ 72¢ .30 Oatmeal @ 35¢ .35 Brown Rice @ 32¢ .55 Whole Wheat Bread @ 35¢ .69 NUTS AND SEEDS, etc. Peanut Butter @ 59¢ .54 Sunflower Seeds @ 98¢ .68 Peanuts, raw @ 79¢ .68 Brewer's Yeast @ $1.35 .60
Not that protein is all there is to good nutrition, but as it is of prime importance to the body, and it is the nutritional constituent so constantly advertised and publicized by animal-food interests, it is well to illustrate how easily we can obtain our protein requirements from vegetarian food, and at less expense.
This should be no surprise, when we consider the 90-95% waste factor involved in feeding vegetable-foods (grains, soyabeans, etc.) to animals for meat, as pointed out already. And if we were to examine nutritional constituents other than protein, such as vitamins, useful minerals, enzymes, etc., then of course we would again demonstrate
quite clearly the economic and nutritional benefits weighing so heavily in favor of vegetarianism.
THE WORLD FOOD SITUATION
According to United Nations sources, more than half of the world's people are hungry or malnourished, and nearly half of them have barely enough food on which to survive.
In terms of the world food deficit, there is a shortage of over eight million tons of food, which will increase to a shortage of an estimated 100 million tons by the year 2000.
Are we using the land in the most practical and productive manner?
OUR WASTED LAND
It has been found that arable land will support far more human beings per acre, if devoted to the growing of vegetable matter for direct human consumption, than for raising animals for food.
Isaac Asimov, noted biochemist and professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, states: "At each step of feeding there is considerable waste so that only 10 percent of the living matter of the creature fed upon is converted into thelivingmatterof the creature who is feeding." Taking the ecological chain one link further, he says that a creature living on other carnivorous creatures would only return about 1% (10% of 10%) of the food value eaten by the first creatures in the chain. On the other hand, "By cutting out items in the food chain, then, afeeder can do better in terms of its own numbers and mass" He makes the point that if we were to bypass just one link in the ecological food-chain, we "would then have a food supply ten times as great" compared with the former, second-hand food source. (Where Do We Go From Here? Fawcett Crest Book, edited by Dr. Asimov, 10/72 ed., page 247.)
Slightly more than half of the acreage harvested in the United States is planted with animal-feed crops: 91% of the corn, 77% of the soybean meal, 64% of the barley, and 88% of the oat crop is fed to animals instead of to people. If these tremendous food resources were rechanneled for direct human consumption, our present American food shortage would cease to exist, and would instead become a whopping surplus.
The following chart (used some years ago in "Corn Or Cattle", by C.W.Forward) gives estimated possibilities of food production for one acre of land in one year or in a day. Obviously, many variable factors exist; but the animal-to-vegetable ratios are always great:
Nature of Produce Per Year Per Day Beef 182 1/2 lbs. 8 ozs. Mutton 228 lbs. l0 ozs. Wheat 1,680 lbs. 4 1/2 lbs. Barley 1,800 lbs. 5 lbs. Oats 2,300 lbs. 6 lbs. Beans 1,800 lbs. 5 lbs. Maize 3,120 lbs. 8 1/2 lbs. Rice 4,565 lbs. 12 1/2 lbs. Potatoes 20,160 lbs. 55 lbs.Even if we compare food production exclusively from the protein standpoint, vegetarian foods prove their vast superiority.
Meat runs generally under 20% protein, leg of lamb running about 16%, with corned beef going up to 25%.
Protein contents of the vegetable foods in the above table, are estimated as follows: Wheat, 12%; Barley, 9.6%; Oats, 12%; Beans (Soya, fresh), 10.9%; Maize (corn), 3.5%; Rice (Whole brown), 7.5%; Potatoes, 2.1%. These are by no means the highest-protein vegetable foods (Peanuts run 26%; Pumpkin and squash seeds, 29%; Sunflower seeds, 24%; Pignolia nuts, 31%), but even with these given examples we can easily demonstrate the wisdom of direct consumption of vegetable foods by human beings. (Figures, from Composition And Facts About Foods, by Ford Heritage; and Why Kill For Food? by Geoffrey L. Rudd.)
The following chart is based on the first one, and gives the production figure per acre per day, of actual protein in each respective food:
BEEF ......2.0 oz. OATS.......11.5 oz. MUTTON.....1.6 oz. BEANS...... 8.7 oz. MAIZE...... 4.7 oz. WHEAT .....8.6 oz. RICE.......15.0 oz. BARLEY.....7.7 oz. POTATOES . 18.5 oz.It may readily be seen from this, that the protein requirements of human beings are ill served by the feeding of vast quantities of vegetable foods to animals, to produce the tiny protein amounts returned to humans. The waste factor is far more than we can afford. Nor should it be supposed that the quality of vegetable protein is in any way inferior to that of animals; in fact, many of the concentrated protein sources within the vegetable, kingdom (including most nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, wheat germ, soya beans, etc.) are in complete amino-acid balance for human needs, and virtually every other proteinous food can be utilized in harmony with others to make up complete protein combinations.
Nor can we let the matter rest with the highly favorable showing of vegetable foods in the matter of protein production. In the production of similarly necessary and vital vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, vegetarian foods are incomparably better than animal flesh. Another vital factor in feeding the world's billions, is simple caloric requirement (food energy, or fuel for the body). In this
case, we may see again how much more productive is the vegetable kingdom than the animal:
FOOD ENERGY STORED IN A GIVEN TIME FOR HUMAN USE (BASED ON A BEEF AND MUTTON CONSTANT OF 1.0)
BEEF . . . . . . 1.0 MUTTON . . . . . 1.0 WHEAT . . . . . 10.0 BARLEY . . . . . 11.6 OATS . . . . . . 15.5 BEANS . . . . . 4.5 MAIZE . . . . . 5.4 RICE . . . . . . 30.0 POTATOES . . . . 27.9What this table illustrates is that, in regard to a specific amount of land and in a specified length of time, for every single food-energy calorie produced by meat-animals, 10 times as much would be produced by wheat, or 4 1/2 times as much by soyabeans, or 30 times as much by rice, or nearly 28 times as much by potatoes.
It is a great modern tragedy that today the have-nations are even importing tremendous quantities of foodstuffs from have-not nations; England, for example, imports every year from India, some 100,000 tons of oil-seed cake material which is very high in protein. Methods have been developed already, to extract this high-quality protein from the oil-seed cake material, for human consumption. But the 100,000 tons per year of oil-seed cake material are used to help feed the vast quantities of factory-farmed food-animals of Britain, so that the British people may continue to enjoy their high standard of dietary cholesterol! Similarly, Europe takes in from Africa comparable amounts of such materials, for use as food for animals that are destined for ultimate slaughter. The amounts involved would apparently at least make up the protein deficiencies in these poorer areas of the world.
Pure water is becoming increasingly scarce these days. But if we eat meat we are in effect consuming far more than our rightful share. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, the mixed meat-and-vegetable type of diet uses 8 times as much water as the purely vegetarian regimen.
The standard omnivorous diet in the United States requires 2500 gallons of water per person per day (used for irrigation of crops, drinking water for the animals, washing, cooking, etc.). The pure-vegetarian (vegan) diet uses only 300 gallons, while the lacto-ovo-vegetarian (using milk andl eggs) would lie between these extremes.
Moreover, the cost of water per pound of meat is about 25 times that of the cost of water for a pound of vegetables, according to U.S.D.A. sources.
100,000,000 gallons of water are used every day by just one plant that processes chickens. This is enough water to service acommunity of 25,000 people. ("Food Price Rises" by Sylvia Porter, N.Y. Post, 7/27/73.)
One study of wastes from the meatpacking industry in Omaha, Nebraska, cited the fact that the meat packing companies located in that city discharge over 100,000 pounds of grease, carcass dressing, casing cleaning, intestinal waste, paunch manure, and fecal matter from the viscera, into its sewer system each day. This empties into the Missouri River. (Terracide, by Ron Litton.)
Slaughterhouses and feedlots (where the animals are fattened up before slaughter) are among the nation's most arrogant pollutors of the land, water, and air. The discharges of phosphates, nitrates, and fats into the waterways, and the noxious odors and smoke from the 7000 U.S. and Canadian abbatoirs, are notorious.
The waste runoffs from the various feedlots in the United States have been termedby Newsweek as "ten to several hundred times more concentrated than raw domestic sewage."
(A page of brief but illuminating answers to some of the questions most often asked about vegetarianism.)
1) CAN YOU REALLY GET ENOUGH PROTEIN? WHAT DO YOU SUBSTITUTE FOR MEAT?
Actually, it is meat that is the substitute for more natural foods, and its place in the diet can be taken easily by these vegetarian foods.
Remember, the vegetable kingdom is the real source of ALL protein. Vegetarians simply eat it "direct" instead of getting it second-hand from the vegetarian animals.
Concentrated sources include most nuts and seeds (about 15-30%, of mainly complete-balance protein); legumes (peas, beans, lentils, about 6-8% protein in the fresh state); leafy greens also contribute an excellent quality protein in smaller but significant amounts. And many vegetarians also use dairy products and/or eggs for this purpose.
Whole grains also furnish protein (averaging 10-12%), and nutritional yeast runs about 50%.
2) ISN'T IT VERY DIFFICULT TO PLAN VEGETARIAN MEALS? AND IT MUST BE BORING, JUST EATING SPINACH AND CELERY?
...Plus a hundred other types of vegetables, plus the delicious seeds and nuts, plus all the luscious ripe fruits, plus the whole grains, plus (for most vegetarians) the variety of daiy products, etc., plus all the innumerable delightful recipes that can be prepared form such tempting natural ingrediants! "Vegetarian" does not mean "straw-eater", nor confine one to vegatables alone. There is a great assortment of vegetarian recipe books available, and one can become quite a gourmet if one wishes.
It is true that many vegetarians prefer a much simpler dietary regimen, but this is out of choice, not lack of imagination or possibilities.
Vegetarian meals can be nutritious and well-balanced while still being attractive, tasty, and yet simple and easy to prepare. A nice dividend is the liberation from the drudgery of cleaning up greasy pans and sticky ovens. Even when it is cooked, vegetarian food usually requires far less preparation time, and it is much easier to clean up afterwards.
3) WON'T THE ANIMALS OVERRUN THE EARTH, IF WE DO NOT CONTINUE TO KILL AND EAT THEM?
It is difficult to imagine how, considering that virtually all the meat we use from land animals and birds, comes from pitiful domesticated or even caged creatures whom we have specifically bred for this purpose.
At a time when we are exterminating so many species from the face of the earth through greed and rapacious ecological ignorance and manipulation, it should be clear to all by now that it is WE not the animals who are in danger of overrunning the earth.
4) CAN I RAISE MY CHILDREN AS VEGETARIANS?
Yes, if you want them to have the best chance of enjoying good health and long, vigorous life.
Comparative medical and dental studies prove that children raised as vegetarians, on the type of recommended natural whole-foods, have incomparably better teeth, and much greater freedom from so-called children's diseases as well as colds, allergies, and problems of degenerative diseases.
5) ISN'T IT A HYPOCRISY FOR A VEGETARIAN TO WEAR FURS, OR LEATHER SHOES?
It would depend upon one's motives for being a vegetarian. If based upon healthful reasons, then it would not necessarily be so inconsistent to wear fur or leather. Most ethical vegetarians would of course oppose killing animals for furs as well as for food.
Many vegetarians hold that leather is a by-product of slaughter rather than a prime cause of it. Many others have re-examined this position, and a large proportion have changed to shoes of natural or synthetic non-animal materials.
Vegetarianisn. is not a monolithic cult; it embraces many points of view, from the basic vegetarian (who eschews meat, fish, and fowl) to the extreme vegan (who uses no food, clothing, soaps, cosmetics, etc., with any animal ingredients).
6 ) EXPERIMENTS INDICATE THAT PLANTS HAVE CONSCIOUSNESS; HOW DO VEGETARIANS FEEL ABOUT THIS?
Wonderful! Vegetarians have been battling for centuries against the cynical attitude that even the ANIMALS are unfeeling brutes; and vegetarian sages of India have taught plant-consciousness and the Universality of all Life, over the past thousands of years. So we are at last making progress in educating the public. Pioneering scientific experiments in this field were made half a century ago by a vegetarian, when Dr. Bose examined rudimentary consciousness in the plants, albeit a greatly different type from that in humans and animals. But we need no Crescograph or Polygraph to prove that ANIMALS are subject to the SAME feelings of pain and emotions as we are.
Still, vegetarians can easily live on those foods which do not require the killing, or even harming, of the plants. These would include ripe fruits & nuts, berries and melons, legumes, tomatoes, seeds, squashes and pumpkins, okras, cucumbers, and many other vegetables. Potatoes are dug from the ground after the planthas died. Most vegetables are annuals, harvested at or near the end of their natural life. But please bear in mind that animals must eat about ten times as much vegetable food to return to us one unit of food value as meat. Thus, even in terms of destruction of plant-life, we see a factor of 10 to 1. Obviously, the question of plant consciousness can only be a strong point FOR vegetarianism.
7) THERE IS SO MUCH CRUELTY TO PEOPLE; WHY DO YOU WASTE TIME ON ANIMALS?
Can we really separate cruelty to fellow man, to children, to animals, or to nature and the world? If we never learn compassion, pity, and mercy for the weak and defenseless, is it likely we will ever begin to treat our fellow man fairly?
ALL brutality and cruelty poisons and stifles the higher, finer nature in humanity; ALL kindness helps make a better world for all. Vegetarianism and all it implies is of the utmost importance and potential benefit for animal and human alike. Thus, there is no question of choosing between them.