The Pure Vegan

Why Vegan?


"We now have a deep and broad range of evidence showing that a whole foods, plant-based diet provides the best protection against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases (e.g. multiple sclerosis). . . Furthermore, it turns out that if we eat the way that promotes the best health for ourselves, we promote the best health for the planet. By eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, we use less water, less land, fewer resources and produce less pollution and less suffering for our farm animals. . . . Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence. All parts are interconnected."
-Dr. Colin Campbell, author of:"The China Study"


Why Vegan? Your Health and the "Diseases of Affluence"

A whole foods plant-based diet is associated with healthy weight and reduction of all of the so-called "diseases of affluence", those diseases that kill those of us living in Western societies. The diseases of affluence include obesity, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, heart disease, and stroke. 

In the the third world, people die of malnutrition related disorders. Americans die of over nutrition. We eat too much animal protein, too much fat and too much sugar. Plus, the average American does not get enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which protect us from these same diseases. 

Diets that are high in fiber are also associated with lower risks of the above mentioned diseases, and associated with lower body weight. Fiber is essential to good health. It keeps the digestion moving, and eliminates toxins . Fiber is *only* found in plant foods.

Antioxidants such as the carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene), Vitamins C, and E prevent damage from free radicals, thereby protecting us from cancer. They boost immunity and prevent destruction of cells. Antioxidants are only found in plants, not in animals. We must eat plants to get them.
 

"Five to ten percent of all cancers are caused by inherited genetic mutations. By contrast, 70 to 80 percent have been linked to diet and other behavioral factors." Karen Emmons, M.D. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston.

"A low-fat plant-based diet would not only lower the heart attack rate by about 85 percent but would lower the cancer rate 60 percent."

-William Castelli, M.D. Director, Framingham Health Study

"The same diet that is good for the prevention of cancer is also good for the prevention of heart disease, as well as obesity, diabetes... Alzheimer's...multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and other diseases.  That diet is a whole foods, plant-based diet."

-T. Colin Campbell, PhD


Why Vegan? Animal Welfare

Modern day animal agriculture bears no resemblance to the nursery school songs we grew up on.  Just a few facts that illustrate the reality of modern animal agriculture:

Chickens:

             Egg-laying hens:  Around 95% of commercially available eggs come from egg factories, where the birds are held in battery cages -very small cages with slanted wire floors. Five to eight birds are crammed in 14 square inches cages. To prevent aggression (due to the stress) chicks are debeaked. About 200 million male chicks are killed annually because they have no value to the egg industry.

             Broiler chickens: Broiler chickens are selectively bred and genetically altered to produce bigger thighs and breasts, the parts in most demand. This breeding creates birds so heavy that their bones cannot support their weight. As they are bred to grow fast they reach market weight of 3 1/2 pounds in seven weeks. Broilers are raised in overcrowded broiler houses instead of cages to prevent the occurrence of bruised flesh which would make their meat undesirable. Their beaks and toes are cut off and the broiler houses are usually unlit to prevent fighting among the birds.

Pigs: Our closest relatives at the factory farm:

             Hog Farms: Piglets are taken away from their mothers when they are less than 1 month old; their tails are cut off, some of their teeth are cut off, and the males are castrated, all without any pain relief. They spend their entire lives in overcrowded pens on a tiny slab of concrete. More than 170,000 pigs die in transport each year, and more than 420,000 are crippled by the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse.

             Breeding Sows: Breeding sows spend their entire lives in tiny metal crates called gestation crates so they cannot turn around. Shortly after giving birth, they are once again forcibly impregnated. This cycle continues for years until their bodies finally give up and they are sent to be killed.

Cattle:

             Dairy Cows: As dairy cows only produce milk for about 10 months after giving birth, they are impregnated continuously to keep up the milk flow. Female calves are kept to replenish the herd and male calves are either killed or sent to become veal (see below). When cows become unable to produce adequate amounts of milk they are sent to slaughter and turned into cheap ground beef.

             Veal Calves: Calves are kept in small wooden crates which prevent movement and inhibit muscle growth so their flesh will be tender. They are fed an iron deficient diet to keep their flesh pale and appealing to the consumer. They spend their whole lives confined, alone, and deprived of light and are killed at about 4 months old. Veal calves are a “by-product” of the dairy industry.

             Beef: Most beef cattle spend the last few months of their lives at feedlots, crowded by the thousands into dusty, manure-laden holding pens. The air is thick with harmful bacteria and particulate matter, and the animals are at a constant risk for respiratory disease.


Why Vegan? The Environment

 

  • “Livestock production is one of the major causes of the world’s most pressing environmental problems including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity” – excerpted from a Statement by the United Nations Commission on Agriculture.
  • According to the United Nations, “A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change…”
  • Many scientists predict the total collapse of all fished species within 50 years. The ocean will basically be void of fish if we don’t change.

 

“There is enough in this world for every man’s need but not for his greed.”- Ghandi
For much more information on the health benefits of a plant-based diet, please visit the following sites:

The T. Colin Campbell Foundation:
http://www.tcolincampbell.org/

Forks Over Knives:
http://www.forksoverknives.com/

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
http://www.pcrm.org/health/