SHOULD WE BE VEGETARIANS?
These days it is a very popular practice to be a vegetarian, that is, to eat no meat or fish. Some people even adopt a vegan diet, eating no animal foods at all, not even dairy products or eggs.
People who promote vegetarianism and veganism claim that this diet is healthier than a diet containing animal foods. Sometimes they say that if you don’t eat meat, you won’t get cancer or heart disease. This claim is not true. The heart is a muscle that requires the nutrients found in animal foods. And vegetarians and vegans can develop cancer; in fact, some types of cancer are more common in vegetarians than non-vegetarians.
The problem with a vegetarian, and especially a vegan, diet is that sooner or later it leads to deficiencies. Complete protein, healthy fats, important minerals like iron and zinc, and critical vitamins A, D, K2 and B12 will be lacking in a diet low in animal foods. Over time these deficiencies can lead to low energy, difficulty concentrating and then to serious health problems.
Vegetarianism and veganism are especially popular among teenagers and young adults. Unfortunately, this is just the age when these future parents need a nutrient-dense diet containing animal foods to prepare them for having healthy children. Vegetarianism can often lead to infertility and, in children, can result in failure to grow properly. One of the earliest signs of deficiency in children raised on a vegan or vegetarian diet is serious tooth decay.
Many people embrace vegetarianism out of concern for the welfare of animals. They reason that if they don’t eat animal foods, they will not contribute to the suffering of animals. It is true that our modern agricultural system treats animals very cruelly, keeping them in confinement in deplorable conditions. However, an alternative exists in the pasture-based farming system, where animals live happy, healthy lives in the open, eating green grass and enjoying the sunlight. They are then killed quickly and painlessly. Animals living in the wild often die of starvation or are painfully killed by predators.
Human beings are omnivores, meaning that they need both animal and plant foods to be healthy. Animals that eat only plants have several stomachs, while human beings and other omnivores have only one stomach. And in many other ways, humans resemble meat-eating animals like dogs more than plant-eating animals like cows and sheep.
NUTRIENTS IN ANIMAL FOODS THAT PROTECT AGAINST CANCER
VITAMIN A - strengthens the immune system and helps the body detoxify.
VITAMIN D - is very protective against breast and colon cancer.
VITAMIN B6 - is needed for special enzymes that protect us against cancer.
VITAMIN B12 - is found only in animal foods; deficiencies of this vitamin are associated with higher rates of cancer. CLA - conjugated linoleic acid is a special fat found in the fats of grass-fed animals; it protects against breast cancer and possibly other types of cancer.
CHOLESTEROL - is a potent antioxidant that protects against free radicals in cell membranes. People with low levels of cholesterol tend to be more prone to cancer.
CO-ENZYME Q10 - is highly protective against cancer.
SATURATED FATS - help the immune system to function properly.