Consider for a moment all the countries of this vast and beautiful planet and you’ll notice that every culture is defined by its cuisine.
The Italians have their pasta, the French their pate, the Mexicans their tacos and tostadas.
The Chinese are known for their largely dairy-free, vegetable-centric diet, as well as for their low rates of many Western diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and strokes.
In fact, the Chinese eat 30 percent more calories than the average American, and weigh 20 percent less!1
Two words: Fast food.
Or, if you prefer, one word:
Lacking its distinctive culinary dishes, America is fast adopting fast food as its fare of choice. A Big Mac, Super Size fries and a large Coke at McDonalds now contains 1500 calories, about 40 percent of those from fat.
The result is that more than two-thirds of the population is overweight. In fact, it is said that Europeans can spot American tourists not so much by their binoculars and colorful shirts but by the 30 or so extra lbs that the average Joe or Jane America carries around his waist (or her hips).
Eric Schlosser, author of the best-seller "Fast Food Nation," has urged Americans to consume less fast food because of its high fat-content, citing its contribution to the obesity epidemic that is hitting our nation's children.
In response, McDonald's issued the following statement.
"His opinion is outvoted 45 million to one every single day, because that's how many customers choose to come to McDonald's for our menu of variety, value and quality."
It really is a shame that a nation priding itself on being the best in everything has a diet, with its reliance on processed grains and high-fat animal protein, that is by far the worst in the world!
It is high time that America adopt a diet to suit the ideals on which it was founded:
Life, not death.
Liberty, not slavery to empty-calorie foods.
The pursuit of happiness, not animal cruelty.
And while we're upgrading the American diet, why not shoot for the stars, and make the cuisine that defines this country the best out there?
The scientifically-proven healthiest diet is a whole food, plant-based diet that is high in water, fiber and other nutrients, and naturally low in calories, cholesterol and chemicals.
A diet rich in sweets (fruit), greens (veggies), beans and seeds is cost-effective, time-efficient and easy on your wallet. Not to mention that it spares the planet the pollution, pesticides and petroleum poured into the animals we savagely consume.
And so, here are ten reasons to adopt a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Or, if you prefer, the top reasons to eat less meat and more sweets. Share it with someone you love.
I. If you eat meat, what you eat, EATS you.
1. Meat fills you up, and leaves you empty.
Though loaded with saturated fat, cholesterol and toxic chemicals, meat is low in most vitamins and minerals and contains little water and no fiber. The one nutrient it does have - animal protein - is linked to cancer, heart, bone and kidney disease. Humans can easily fulfill their daily protein requirement by eating only fruits and vegetables.
Take leafy greens, for instance. Calorie for calorie, spinach has more iron, calcium, protein and all major minerals than top sirloin. And spinach is filled with water, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, without cholesterol or saturated fat.
2. Meat kills.
Animal protein causes cancer, heart disease and stroke, the top three killers in America.
3. Meat is not meant for us.
Our earliest ancestors were predominately fruit eaters, as are our primate relatives (apes, gorillas), whose digestive systems ours most closely resemble. Animal protein makes up little if any of the caloric intake of these human-like species.
4. Dairy is to die for.
Cow's milk is indigestible by most humans and causes cancer (breast, prostate) and osteoporosis. It is also linked with autoimmune dysfunction, arthritis, acne, asthma, allergies, ear infections and kidney stones, among many other diseases. No animal drinks the milk of another species, or drinks it into adulthood, except humans. No animals suffer these same diseases, but us. Coincidence? Likely, not.
5. Eggs rot your heart.
Your body manufactures all the cholesterol it needs. Any dietary intake is by definition too much. In fact, excess cholesterol is deposited in the lining of the arteries supplying your heart and can give rise to heart attacks. The cholesterol in one egg (300 mg) can increase blood cholesterol by as much as 15 mg, and increase your risk for heart disease by 30 percent.2 All animal foods contain cholesterol. Plant foods are naturally cholesterol-free.
II. If you eat meat, what you eat, EATS the planet.
6. A meat feast causes worldwide famine.
The United Nations has recently recommended a global shift to a vegan diet. Meat eating is directly responsible for the water shortage, third world starvation and the greenhouse effect, in addition to deforestation and industrial pollution.3
Eating one hamburger for lunch has 25 times the greenhouse effect as driving a car for a day. Over 5,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 lb. of beef, over 200 times the 25 gallons that go into a lb. of lettuce.
Nearly fifteen times more land is used for growing hay for livestock than for growing vegetables. In countries where starvation is a reality, most of the agricultural land is used to raise livestock that the poor cannot afford. As a result, the number of underfed and undernourished people in the world is now over 1 billion, which equals the number of those who by consuming excessive animal protein are overfed and undernourished.
Geophysicists estimate that if every American reduced meat consumption by just 20 percent, the greenhouse gas savings would be the same as if we all switched from a normal sedan to a hybrid Prius. That's a reduction in animal consumption of just one day per week.4
To achieve this, start by observing Meatless Mondays.5 The following week, make it Monday and Tuesday. Work towards a meat-free week.
7. A meat-eater's pleasure comes by way of pain.
Animals raised for slaughter are robbed of their natural habitat and subjected to a savage cruelty that makes Hitler's concentration camps look like Club Meds.
Just because cows and pigs speak a language we cannot understand should not make us deaf to their cries of pain. In fact, the nerves of many animals are many times more sensitive than humans, which means they feel pain that is worse than our worst nightmares!
By eating chicken, beef, pork and fish, we participate in the misery of these unfortunate creatures and take in the toxic residues of the antibiotics, pesticides, hormones and fertilizers that make up their lives and their pain.
8. Meat eating bankrupts the economy.
US Healthcare is a 2.4 trillion dollar industry, of which 1/3 is wasted on errors and inefficiency.
To avoid meat is to avoid the diseases and the lengthy hospital stays that drain the household, the nation and the globe. Without these diseases and the costs they incur, insurance premiums will go down, universal health coverage will be a reality, and we'll have less of a need for hospitals, because we'll be less sick.
III. By eating plants, you heal the world, starting with yourself.
9. Plant eaters are stronger, faster, leaner, and longer-lived than meat eaters.
Clinical studies show that those who do not eat meat have more strength and stamina, recover faster and live 5 to 10 years longer than meat-eaters.
10. A diet free of meat, eggs and diary is guilt-free, inexpensive and easy.
Buying, preparing and enjoying your own vegan cuisine provides you with health-sustaining nutrients and costs less than eating three fast food meals, which offer nothing but empty calories that promise to make you fat. Not only that, but nutrient for nutrient, fast food is several times more expensive than a home cooked vegan meal.
Let’s compare 1 cup of boiled spinach to one McDonald’s apple pie. Spinach has 30 calories, apple pie has 260 calories. To get the amount of vitamin C in spinach (200 percent of the daily value), you’d have to eat 5 apple pies, and in so doing consume 1,300 calories and 60 grams of fat. And no amount of apple pies could ever equal the quantity of fiber, water and most vitamins and minerals present in one leaf of spinach!
So, thinking back to McDonald's statement. How do you vote?
Cook for yourself and your family. Love your animal brothers. Be an American for the new Millennium. Heal the world, starting with yourself.
Eat your sweets today.
1The China Study; T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.; 2006.
2Please see: Diet for a New America; John Robbins; 1987.
5Please visit: www.meatlessmonday.com.
Fisher, Irving, "The Influence of Flesh Eating on Endurance,"Yale Medical Journal, 13(5):205-221, 1907.