…at least some of the time
As a long-time vegetarian (almost 20 years now), I have learned quite a bit on this long, green path. But the most important lesson I learned is that everyday there is another reason to surrender the animal foods in our diet in favor of plant-based goodness. Not only is animal agriculture devastating to our environment, it is by every definition cruel to animals of every stripe and it’s pretty bad for our bodies too.
Today I learned that the fats of animals (including humans) have the tendency to collect the bad stuff in our environment, and if you eat animal foods, you are taking in the pollution that the animal may have acquired.
Did you know that animal fats can concentrate things like PCBs, dioxin and heavy metals? It has been repeatedly found that meats (including chicken and fish) significantly increase the risk of bladder cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Additionally, dairy products double our risk for Parkinson’s disease, heart attack, and many types of cancer (prostate cancer, colorectal, testicular). This information is from Industrial Carcinogens in Animal Fat.
If you are interested in nutrition and food, NutritionFacts.org is a site you should check out as soon as possible. Dr. Michael Gregor, a general practitioner with a focus on clinical nutrition, is the smarts behind the site. He currently serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society. The website is super valuable because it distills all the jargon of current peer-reviewed medical research and turns it into short videos about everything health topic imaginable.
Best of all, all the videos are available for free on the site. Dr. Gregor advocates for a vegan diet, and after watching a few of his videos, you might find a new reason to decrease animal foods in your diet too.
Andrea Devon Bertoli is a vegetarian chef and cooking instructor based on the gathering isle of Oahu. She runs Manis Kitchenworks, offering nutritional consultation and cooking lessons, and works as a cooking instructor for a vegetarian health food store. She is a dedicated kale lover, surfer, yogi, reader, and writer of veggie-friendly news. Follow her daily growing, baking, and eating adventures onBakeryManis, on Twitter, and find more of her writing at Healthy Bitch Daily, Green Business Owner, Bliss.com, and Hawaii Women’s Journal.
Editor: Seychelles Pitton
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