Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day that I last tasted meat. Since January 10, 2007, I have not gnawed on an animal carcass or nibbled on dead animal flesh of any variety. I have not swallowed a teaspoon of milk or eaten a deviled egg. Steak, chicken, and fish of any kind have been off limits. Not one piece of shrimp, no chicken nuggets, and most definitely no hamburgers. And I must tell you that it feels great. I feel a great sense of accomplishment at having been strong on the vegetarian front for a full year, and I'm full steam ahead with that program for the foreseeable future.

Many people cannot understand my conversion. I have explained several times on this blog why I decided to eschew the consumption of animal flesh. For me, it was primarily a decision to strive for healthy living. After battling high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure with limited success, I decided to take control of the situation. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr. Bryant Stamford, a professor at Hanover College who (via his C-J column) turned me on to The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell.

In The China Study, Dr. Campbell debunks the myths that we have been fed about nutrition in our society. Contrary to popular belief, animal proteins are bad, bad bad for us! We have been sold a bill of goods, encouraged to drink milk and eat fish and other meats, not realizing that these substances are killing us. And this important health information has been kept from us because billions and billions of dollars are being made courtesy of our blissful ignorance. The dairy industry, meat producers and most especially the pharmaceutical companies to not want us to discover the truth that we are killing ourselves by consuming animal proteins.

I did not come to this realization easily or lightly. For 45 years, I drank milk and ate meat every day, convinced that those foods would cause me to be healthy and strong. I couldn't have been more wrong.

A diet consisting primarily of whole foods, fruits and vegetables is the key. The evidence is clear that in societies where milk and other animal products are not a substantial part of the diet, and where whole foods, fruits and vegetables are emphasized, there is a much lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other devastating health problems. It also turns out that the consumption of slaughtered animals is injurious to our environment--in case anyone cares about that.

I would urge anyone within the sound of my voice, or within the reach of these written words, to read The China Study and decide for yourself.


Blogger white rabbit said...

Me again...

Okay - interesting - speaking as a carnivore. Just two questions: did you lose weight and what's wrong with fish?

3:57 PM  
Blogger Meatbe said...

Hello again white rabbit, my new friend. Welcome.

In answer to your questions: Yes, I did lose weight. Within six months of adopting a vegetarian diet, I dropped about 25 pounds. Keeping it off has been a challenge, as I am admittedly a fan of beer, but there is no question that I remain more slim than I was when I was consuming meat and dairy products.

Your question about fish is one that is often posed to me. I do have mixed feelings on that topic. From what I have read, I understand that some fish contain oils which can be beneficial to us. Still, the main thesis of The China Study is that consuming animal proteins of any kind causes a rise in our levels of casein. According to all of the research cited, the production of casein is tied to heart disease and other health maladies.

If I were to consume any animal now, it would be fish. If I could limit myself to that, I wouldn't feel too bad about it. I tend to take an all-or-nothing approach in my life, though, and so it is easier for me to give it all up. Fortunately, I do love fruits and vegetables.

8:31 PM  

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