- Food and Cooking
Why I Am Not a Vegetarian
And Especially Why I Am Not a Vegan
I was a vegetarian for a whole three months. At the time, it was the wisest thing to do because I was sick. In fact, I had total kidney failure. My kidneys were totally shut down. My legs had blown up like balloons, and my mind was going. It was painful to walk, and if I tried to walk uphill, I couldn't keep my balance.
I went to an herbalist, and he put me on a very strict, low protein vegan diet, and gave me pipsissewa. He also advised something else I won't go into here, because I have decided that it was an unwise thing for me to do, personally. But I didn't try that until later, so it doesn't seem to have contributed to restoring my health, but as things turned out, it contributed to my putting on weight I didn't need and couldn't get rid of. (Not all natural healing methods are valid, and I have learned to be a little more discerning.)
Within 24 hours, my kidneys were functioning again. I continued with the vegan diet and herb for three months, and then said to myself, I can't live like this the rest of my life. So I went back to eating meat. And I have never had a further problem. My kidneys tend to function less efficiently during the day and make up for it at night. If I keep them warmer, they function better, and when I'm in bed, they're warmer.
(I want to try to make it clear that I have absolutely nothing against making fruits and vegetables an integral part of my diet. I simply think they're not sufficient, if eaten without any animal products whatsoever. I ENCOURAGE people to eat good vegetables and fruits, as fresh as possible.)
Then one of our sons married a Seventh-day Adventist. As some of you will realize, SDA's are usually vegans. They're supposed to be. Their "Spirit of Prophecy", Ellen G. White, said if they died with meat in their stomach, they would be condemned. The group promotes the idea that eating meat is not healthy, and that their members are healthier because of their diet. I will talk more about him a little later.
Eventually, his father-in-law developed Alzheimer's. He was a strict vegan.
What I have found is that the vegetarian diet is not all that healthy, and a vegan diet is downright dangerous! I will show many different aspects. I will explain why it would be impossible to feed the world on a vegan diet, and why some people who eat nothing but animal food are healthy. I will talk about the ethical issues, and I will talk about other issues.
My position is that the earth was populated with plants, animals, and people approximately 6000 years ago. The ins and outs of that is for another discussion, so bear with me. Originally, human beings were vegetarian, and so were all the animals that are now carnivorous. When Adam and Even were driven from the Garden of Eden, they continued to be vegetarians as far as I know, although their son Abel brought a lamb as an offering to God. I don't know whether that meant that sometimes they ate meat or not. And God had killed an animal to make skins for Adam and Eve before they were driven out. And a vegan diet was healthy for human beings. However, hundreds of years later, there was a worldwide flood. Among other things, it destroyed many habitats, and made a well rounded vegan diet nearly impossible. At that point, God COMMANDED Noah and his family to eat meat. I'll also talk about this more later.
The image is from Sakurai Midori and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.1 Japan license.
The Practical Issues
This is a "meaty" lens, but I hope it will be helpful.
There are vast areas of land on the earth where raising fruits and vegetables is not an option at least part of the year. For example, the only food that you can find in the Arctic throughout much of the year is fish and mammals. Eskimos have lived off this diet for centuries, if not millennia. They do not have the diseases that we westerners have. They eat a high fat diet in particular. They don't tend to have heart disease. In the summer, they can grow vegetables, which become very large because of the non-stop sunlight. But the rest of the year, they eat meat, or they starve.
The Maasai of Africa live in an area of grassland. They can't grow fruit and vegetables where they live, either. They live almost exclusively from their cattle. They eat meat, and drink milk and blood. And they are healthy.
There are many parts of the world that are grassland or desert. We live in an area where there isn't enough water to grow most forms of produce. People can graze cattle on the desert, among the cacti, but they have to irrigate to grow anything else. The cattle actually enrich the soil, and in time, it will support plants less suited to the desert, and the area will become less like a desert. This takes awhile, but it works. In fact, some similar projects have been tried in the Middle East with great success. The bottom line is that there are many regions of the world where being a vegetarian is simply not possible.
If you want to grow an organic garden, you are much better off if you fertilize with manure. I have a stockpile of goat manure, which is very good. My friend, who maintains that we are not DESIGNED to be vegetarians because of the type of colon we have, kept horses for many years, and used their manure to grow organic vegetables. If you don't ever use manure, you will eventually deplete the land.
There is a balance in nature. In order to maintain that balance, we must add ourselves to the equation, and we must raise animals and grow vegetables. We must also "cull" wild animals through hunting. This is done in a systematic way through licensing. If we do not do this, the animals will tend to overgraze, and then there will be mass starvation. The ecology was designed for the management and stewardship of the human race.
In India, where certain animals are considered sacred, there can often be famine because the animals eat food intended for humans. Cows that roam the streets and rats that get into granaries are a problem.
One of the unmentionable problems with being a vegetarian is that meat-eaters smell bad to you. So does meat. Wouldn't it be nice to be free of this?
The Ethical Issues
Many people are vegetarians for ethical reasons. They don't accept the idea that we have a right to kill an animal in order to eat, especially any kind of mammal, bird or fish. This is hard to refute, because I respect a person's right to freedom of religion, and this is a religious issue. I will confine my discussion to several perspectives which are religious in nature.
Some east Indians are vegetarians, but not all are. Some of their dishes are cooked with lamb or chicken. They do not eat beef, because cows are sacred. Cows freely roam in the streets of cities, I am told. Some people also make cheese from milk.
Westerners sometimes embrace vegetarianism for some of the same reasons that east Indians do. It is rooted in Hinduism. In Hinduism the concept of reincarnation is taught. It states that when we die, unless we have reached a high degree of spiritual development, we will be reborn in a new body. According to traditional Hinduism, this might mean coming back as an animal instead of a human being. Westerners who believe in reincarnation usually do not believe human beings can come back as animals, but they will still become vegetarians for a largely similar outlook.
It is not pleasant to slaughter an animal, at least not for me. It is not pleasant to watch. The only thing I can tell you about the occasions when we needed to do that is that the animals were raised in humane conditions, protected from harm, and we worked for a painless slaughter. And I don't even like to talk about it. The Jews' rules of kashruth (kosher) are well applied here. And Jews are required to eat lamb as part of the Passover observance, as well as other meat at certain specified times.
A thread that runs through the teachings for both Judaism and Christianity is that because of mankind's sin, there must be payment involving death. The slaughter of animals in the Old Testament was intended as a reminder of this fact. In general, death is presented as the consequence of sin, and as necessary for reconciliation between God and human beings.
Christians accept passages in the Bible that point to a requirement to eat meat. The earliest definite reference is to a description of what God told Noah right after he disembarked from the ark. God said, you SHALL eat meat. The verb in that passage is in the qal form. The qal form is a form that designates the idea that it WILL happen, and you can't stop it. So it is more than merely a command to be obeyed. If we do not obey it, we will suffer.
Christians are also heirs to the Passover observance, and although we do not eat meat as part of Communion, lamb was part of the last supper, a Passover seder that included lamb. Some Christians observe Passover, especially Messianic Jews.
In the book of Acts, God told the Apostle Peter to go preach to the Gentiles. Peter objected, so God showed him a cloth on which there were unclean animals, and commanded him to eat. At this point, Peter got the point, and did as he was told. This also served as permission for Christians to eat animals that were forbidden in the past.
A few people have written books and other materials promoting the idea that the Christian faith should result in vegetarianism. They cannot do this without twisting scripture. Some offshoots also teach vegetarianism, though technically, they are not Christian groups, but simply sects or cults.
Since I am discussing this again, I will tell you that when one of our sons was growing up, we didn't let him eat a lot of meat because he seemed to be able to control his temper better if he didn't eat meat. However, he did eat some meat, and he also drank milk. When he joined the Seventh-day Adventist church, he was well muscled and healthy. After that, he became a vegetarian, and his diet resulted in malnutrition. His body ate his muscle, and he looked like a scarecrow. (It has been my observation that most vegans who are elderly are usually badly overweight or underweight.) His wife also had problems with her hormones and became suicidal. Her sister became anorexic, and later she became badly overweight. When all three people started eating meat, at least some of these health problems resolved themselves. To be a little bit fair, Ellen G. White taught that food should be "well cooked", so people tended to cook their food to death, and this didn't help. Nowadays our son has regained much of his muscle, but he also laid the groundwork for excess fat, and he will have trouble with it in the future.
An Adventist leader named Canright wrote a book in which he said that the Adventist diet was so deadly that farmers were dropping over and dying. The farmer leads a life in which physical stamina is a serious requirement. Canright subsequently renounced Adventism. I have noticed that Adventists all believe that for exercise you should go out early in the morning and take a walk. I always said that this is because they don't have enough energy to do any other kind of exercise (said with tongue in cheek, but not entirely.)
Vegetarianism is not the only source of unethical eating. People who market animals raised in contained animal feeding operations (CAFO) also contribute. Among other things, cattle raised in a CAFO receive hormones and antibiotics (they are the major consumers of antibiotics, and have helped bring about the development of anti-biotic resistant strains of bacteria, including flesh-eating bacteria like MRSA). They are subjected to health problems like feedlot bloat, acidosis, suffocation from bloat crowding the lungs. We can also get E. coli and Camphylobacter from grain fed beef. Cattle were not designed to eat grains. And they are also being fed genetically engineered soy and corn, which is very dangerous.
To maintain the ecology, you must let cows graze. When they walk on their manure, it puts it back into the soil, producing humus. Wheat has a huge carbon footprint. Cows have a much smaller one. Devastating the ecology with monocropping kills many animals. Animals eat each other. They're supposed to. Vegetarians ignore the fact that animals prey on each other, and decry people who protect animals and provide for a healthy life until slaughter. In our household, we call the anthropomorphizing of animals the "Bambi syndrome", named after the Walt Disney film Bambi. Children who watch this movie may grow up thinking of animals in human terms, and may ignore the ethics of animals, equating them ethically with humans. Vegetarianism is also unethical because it supports elite agribusiness companies that market genetically engineered plants.
In other words, vegetarianism and commercial animal husbandry are two sides of the same coin. Both are extremes, and both contribute to suffering in animals, wild or domesticated.
I have been hounded in the past by an east Indian who was determined to convince me that I should become a vegetarian. When I explained that with my heredity, I require a high protein diet, and cannot adopt a vegetarian diet, it did absolutely no good. Even though he is not a Christian, he tried to convince me that Christianity teaches vegetarianism. He is really an ethical vegetarian, which is his right. But I am an ethical omnivore. Eventually I got tired of how he misrepresented the Christian faith and told him I didn't want to talk to him anymore. There are simply some vegetarians who try to tell everyone else what to do. If you want to be a vegetarian, I advise against it, but it's your choice. I won't hassle you about it. I expect the same respect.
The Nutritional Issues
A vegan diet is very, very deficient in certain critical nutrients. There is NO source of Vitamin B12 that the body can make use of that comes from a vegetarian source. ALL B12 MUST come from animal sources. Without B12, a person will develop dementia and other problems related to the destruction of the nervous system. Adventists don't talk about it, but there is a high incidence of dementia in their community.
Failure to eat meat adversely affects nails and hair, and causes cancer, loss of muscle, energy, immune function, and mental focus. Vegetarians crave sugar to give them the energy their diet strips from their bodies. A vegetarian diet leads to exhaustion, ill health, depression, stops the menstrual cycle, makes the body cold, skin dry and flaky, itching. It causes degenerative joint disease and twisted spine. It unbalances blood sugar, LDL and HDL, and makes triglycerides worse. Sugar and carbs lead to cancer, while animal fat leads away from it. (But you must be careful of animal fat in CAFO animals (see below). Animals raised on the food they were designed for will have healthy fat.)
Another important nutrient is Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These come from fish oil. These have many, many important functions in the body. These can also be derived from krill oil, but krill is a tiny water animal. Some people take flax seed oil in the attempt to get their Omega-3 Fatty Acids. That's not really a solution. Flax seed oil is rich in arachidonic acid (Omega-6) and this is not healthy for some people. In fact, it can cause depression. Much of it is fortified with Omega-3 from animal sources, and people don't always know they're getting animal oil.
L-carnitine is a protein which occurs only in red meat. It is made up of two amino acids that also only occur in red meat. It is important for the regulation of bodyweight. If a vegetarian supplements, the supplement will come from animal sources. Another derivative of the same nutrient is Acetyl-L-carnitine. According to William Campbell Douglass, II, MD, Acetyl-L-carnitine is important to regenerate brain cells and reverse the effects of brain aging.
Many vegetarians eat a lot of textured soy protein, and soy in other forms. Soy is NOT a healthy food. In its raw state, it is poisonous. It is difficult to digest, and it will unbalance a person's hormones.
A man who eats a lot of soy will have far too much estrogen, and this will feminize his body and cause health problems. The extra estrogen isn't good for women, either. Feeding soy formula to a baby is like giving the baby 5 birth control pills a day. Soy keeps testosterone from binding with receptors. It contains serum hormone binding globulin which leads to impotence and low libido. In women, it causes infertility, polycystic ovaries, acne, and uterine cancer.
Soy is used to make many different bad chemicals for foods. It is usually used to make waxy coatings for fruit. I have found that many nutritional products contain soy lecithin (which I want to avoid), even though lecithin can be derived from other sources.
Since human beings crave meat (because we NEED it), textured soy protein is manufactured (that's right, manufactured) to taste like meat. One of the main things they tend to do is add Monosodium Glutimate. MSG is a neurotoxin that fries neurons. It will eventually cause dementia. MSG nearly destroyed my adrenal glands, which caused me to develop panic attacks, among other things. And if that weren't bad enough, soy contains a substance that appears to potentiate MSG, and by itself, contains MSG (textured soy protein is an ingredient to avoid at all costs because it is loaded with MSG.) Soy causes blood cells to cluster, leading to interference with oxygen absorption. The only form of soy that is safe to eat and healthy is fermented soy.
Soy causes nausea, gas pains, indigestion, thyroid problems, gout, and cancer, and has bad fat. Soy interferes with mineral absorption and the digestion of protein. It is high in omega-6 fatty acids.
Soy is toxic in the raw form. Soy processing is nasty. It follows the these processing steps: washing in an alkaline solution, boiling in petroleum-based solvents, bleaching, deodorizing, adding chemicals, heat-blasting, and crushing into flakes
Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote a book called Excitotoxins, which explains why MSG and aspartame are deadly. I included it in the Amazon section.
Vegetarians have a tendency to get too many carbohydrates. This leads to blood sugar problem, obesity, and diabetes. From my own study, I have learned that I cannot get sufficient protein from a vegetarian diet, and tend to get far too many carbs. Carbs are the main cause of malnutrition in the modern diet.
Dr. Al Sears (MD) wrote a book called Why I'm Not a Vegetarian. It is not easy to obtain a copy of this book. It is one of the "free" books he gives out with a 2 year subscription to his newsletter. He recommends the Paleo Diet, which I personally do not recommend, and he also promotes the Theory of Evolution, which is just a hoax. But his book contains a lot of useful information about why it is not healthy to be a vegetarian. He also points out that vegetarian practices are as hard on the ecology as contained animal feeding operations (CAFO), which I also condemn.
Genetic engineering is very dangerous for animals and humans.
In one experiment with hamsters fed GMO food, by the 3rd generation, they no longer able to reproduce. Many babies died. They had hair clumps coated in mucus growing in their mouths. It sounds something like morgellons to me. Morgellons are hairs growing through tissue. They itch and hurt. Experiments have shown that genetically, they are identical to the contents of viruses used to inject new genes in the genetically modified plants. And these are the same viruses that carry the herbicide-resistant genes into superweeds, which grow as tall as trees and have thick trunks. These are almost impossible to eradicate, so farmers just abandon the land. We have about a million acres of abandoned land in the United States alone.
Here is a little information from Dr. Sears' book, with a few added thoughts of my own:
We need 8 essential amino acids in the same day, along with Vitamin D, pre-formed Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, and Coenzyme Q10. Beans are a poor source of protein because they are not a complete set of amino acids. They are often combined with grains to make a complete protein, but the result is eating too many grains, which leads to disease. And many people, particularly Adventists, are not familiar with food combining. Plant protein leaches calcium out of bones, but animal protein does not. Thus, plant proteins cause lower bone mineral density because it is an incomplete protein. Taking calcium also lowers the density. There are other minerals a person should take instead. People who take calcium in rock form (such as limestone or animal skeletons, seashells, etc., i.e. calcium carbonate) will not absorb it. Instead, it will collect in the wrong places, such as joints, or form stones in some organs.
Vitamin A formed from beta-carotene requires bile acids, which come only from animal fat.
CoQ10 is a source of ATP, the energy substance for the cells. It is found in organ meats, never in plants. Being a vegan and taking statins, which destroys CoQ10 in the body, is especially dangerous.
Avocado is the only source of protein higher in quality than some meat products. Some sources say avocados are bad for you, but I don't agree. Avocado also has a healthy fat.
Milk is also adulterated; it comes from poorly fed cows, pasteurized, homogenized, and stored in plastic containers. Some people say we should not drink cow's milk because it is from the wrong species. Personally I prefer goat's milk, which is closer to human milk, and can be fed instead of formula. I prefer it raw and unhomogenized. That is difficult to find, and our government is doing its best to make it even harder. Goat's milk can become goaty tasting in a hurry, but I have found from personal experience this is caused by feeding goats an unhealthy diet of grains and molasses. Molasses is a junk food and precipitates diabetes in goats. And it's these diseased goats that make milk that may become goaty. If you feed freshly sprouted grains with a tablespoon of liquid chlorophyll, their milk will stay sweet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are made up of two substances. One, DHA, is required for the cell membranes in the brain. The body does not make DHA, and it is very difficult to get from plants. Flaxseed oil is said to be a good source, but it is often fortified from animal sources. The best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally fed fish, eggs, and beef.
Grains are a source of diseases such as heart disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, obesity, and sexual dysfunction.
We have the jaws with tearing-crushing ridged molars of meat-eating animals, a short colon, putrefactive bacterial flora, and lack rumination. We cannot digest cellulose. One friend of mine who is very knowledgeable in herbal medicine for horses, and who uses herbs extensively for her own health, also eats meat, and explains the same reasons.
Grass-fed beef is rich in Omega-3, CLA, Vitamin E, Carotenoids, B vitamins, CoQ10, and Zinc. Dr. Sears recommends "wild game" meats like venison, buffalo, wild pork (I don't recommend wild pork, because it could be infested with trichinosis). You should eat organ meats: liver, heart, kidney, gizzards, and sweetbreads. Some people think sweetbreads are brains, but they're not. I do not recommend eating brains because of the danger of contracting Mad Cow Disease. A properly fed cow won't get Mad Cow Disease, because it is passed on when cows are fed dead cow meat. But be on the safe side.
Soy fake meat products
Nick Pineault quotes some unhealthy ingredients from a couple of fake meat products:
"Morning Star Vegan Patties: wheat gluten (first ingredient...), soy protein
concentrate, corn oil, canola oil
"Veggie Brat Classic Vegan Sausages: isolated soy protein, wheat gluten, canola oil,
corn syrup solids, dextrose"
Obviously, increasing a person's intake of wheat gluten is a very bad idea. Many people are sensitive to wheat gluten, and many of them don't know it. They just know they don't feel good. Furthermore, wheat is a carb which in general is best avoided for optimum bodyfat. One of the most effective ways you can lose fat is to cut back on carbs, especially processed carbs, such as bread and pasta.
We've talked about soy protein above.
Canola oil is derived from what was once the rapeseed plant. It was designed by a primitive form of genetic engineering. And like all vegetable oils, it's not a healthy oil in its own right. People use it in products like this because it's cheap. In fact, there are other unhealthy vegetable oils that are far preferable, such as sunflower seed oil. And why are they preferable? Because there is no genetically engineered version, so you don't have to worry about unlabeled GMO's.
Now why in the world would anyone put any form of sugar into a fake meat? Beats me! Sugar is often substituted to give taste to low fat products. But it is far worse for you, and in fact, a low fat died will cause the body to retain fat.
And corn syrup? Ouch! Fructose. It causes sugar spikes and can precipitate metabolic disease. I used to eat something with added fructose at bedtime because the sugar spike would make me sleepy and I'd fall asleep sooner. I no longer do this. It isn't healthy. Fructose belongs ONLY in whole fruit, and noplace else. As a matter of fact, the fiber in fruit moderates the release of fructose so it tends not to cause sugar spikes.
Do you REALLY want to eat such stuff?
The human body craves meat because there are substances in meat that are essential for nutrition. So people eat fake meat products (just like they drink stuff with Aspartame in it) hoping that this will satisfy the craving. All it does is unbalance a person's health more because of the bad ingredients used to make fake meat.
Soy-based fake meat
The fact is that people who turn vegans only to turn to ultra-processed fake meat replacement are doing themselves a huge disservice.
2) Soy is NOT healthy
I hate tofu.
There, I said it.
Soy is bad for you
* "High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium,
copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation
methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have
caused growth problems in children.
* Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause
pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused
* Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause
infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
* Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may
cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to
autoimmune thyroid disease.
* Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's
requirement for B12.
* Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.
* Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy
protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
* Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and
highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
* Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food
processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
* Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and
--The Weston A. Price Foundation
Do you think rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, IBS and fibromyalgia are just bad luck? No, vegetarian food mostly triggers candida and that itself is responsible for all of the above and even cancers and cysts outside the intestines and colon.
List of Online Resources
This is a linked list of web sites that have further information about how to obtain food from local farmers, healthy food. I have collected these links from various sources. This food is not necessarily organic, but if you get to know the farmer, you can learn whether or not he uses dangerous agricultural practices. Local farmers' markets also sell such food. I have not visited most of these, so you are on your own to evaluate the usefulness of the information.
These are in alphabetical order by link.
An excellent source of information is the web site of Dr. Mercola. His expertise is limited to medical issues. Spiritually, he is way off base, and he does make recommendations for various metaphysical practices, without acknowledging that this is what they are. So don't pay any attention to those. Emotional Freedom Technique is a metaphysical practice that is not compatible with the Christian faith (and probably some other religions as well). But here are some articles that contain additional information as well as many more links to sources of other information about such topics as raising animals in natural ways:
To reach this site, copy and paste the link.
He recommends Sierra Club, PETA, and the Humane Society. I do not. Many organizations are anti-human, and take on stands that are inappropriate (such as supporting legal abortion). PETA and the Humane Society also have anti-animal policies.
Never forget: human beings are part of the ecology. Our stewardship is necessary for the long-term protection and care of the ecology.
A word of advice from Dr. Sears:
If you switch to eating meat, do so slowly, because it takes a week to build up the necessary enzymes. Start with meat broth (but, I add, watch for hidden or overt sources of MSG) Start with chicken. Start with meats you liked before becoming a vegetarian. Include meat in casseroles. Take pro-biotics.
Pro-biotics are foods that contain the bacteria that are beneficial to your body. Fermented foods are excellent sources. These include sauerkraut, kim chee, kombucha, kefir, and other foods.
You are about to re-discover some wonderful tastes that you may have totally forgotten about. There is no harm in eating vegetarian dishes as long as you have a balanced diet. Keep all your old favorite foods and recipes, and just enrich your life with what you will re-discover. Good luck!
How do you eat?
Have you ever been a vegetarian?
Health Benefits of Vegetarianism Questionable
In the article entitled "Should You Go Vegetarian to Lower Your Blood Pressure?" Dr. Mercola explains that the idea that becoming a vegetarian will lower your blood pressure is based on flawed studies. Eating more vegetables will lead to better health and lower blood pressure, but vegetarianism and especially veganism lead to malnutrition.