Meat, smoking, and massive consumption of alcohol are all things that can lead
to unhealthy or dead humans, but the first of these is the least realized among
the general population. The situation is confounded further by certain groups
of humans who wish to keep knowledge of this principle from other humans. The
most important messages contained in the book Diet for a New America
by John Robbins regarding this principle are based on studies that have been
around for quite a while, but just aren't spoken of by mass media.
The book is spectacularly documented and well thought out. The “meat”
of this book is geared toward educating the reader as to how our meat products
are raised and what effects their consumption has on humans and the environment
(which in the end are the same thing). So many excellent points are raised that
it would be impossible to put them all here. At the very least, open up this
book and just look at the pictures the next time you are at the bookstore. However,
there’s far more than just pictures in this book. Here are just a few examples
to whet your appetite:
- Vegetarian populations tend to not die off at the amazing rate that meat
eaters do—the correlation between heart disease, cancer and consumption
of animal products are all very strong.
- One person eating a pure vegetarian diet instead of the typical American
diet saves one acre of rain forest every year.
- If the government stopped providing huge subsidies to livestock producers
for their excessive water consumption, a typical family could save over $4000
per year in taxes.
These are just a few of the statistics taken directly from the book that provide,
I think, a very strong reason to not eat meat, or at the very least, substantially
curb consumption. All of these things taken together will drastically change
how you choose what you eat and make you a bit more conscious of what you put
into your body. One of the more entertaining quotes from the book was, “You
aren't what you eat. You are what you don't shit.”
The only argument the book didn’t address was the “meat tastes better”
argument, but this is usually what people say when they haven't had anything
other than raw vegetables. Raw vegetables are good, but cooked vegetables are
a whole lot closer to the meals most people are used to. However, if personal
pleasure was the only deciding factor in what a human consumed, then I imagine
heroin would be a tasty spice we added to all of our meals. Fortunately for
humanity’s sake, we have a bit more foresight than the immediate present
and are capable of making long term decisions. So go buy this book and make
one of the best long-term decisions you'll ever make!