Vegetarianism. Part V

The putrefaction of meat is another important consideration, especially in hotter climates. Meat, particularly liver, putrefies very rapidly, far more rapidly than non-flesh foods. This process produces highly noxious poisons formed by the bacteria present. These bacteria invade the large intestine by the billions after consuming meat, which in turn produces more and more toxic substances. This leads to disruption of the digestive processes and poisoning of the system, creating favourable conditions for infection and disease. Vegetarianism reduces this tendency.

Many diseases, particularly heart ailments would seem to be closely associated with heavy meat eating. For example, Eskimos seem to exist quite happily on an exclusive diet of meat. However, what is rarely appreciated is that they do not generally live for more than thirty years. Furthermore, the occurrence of heart ailments and arteriosclerosis is very high among these people.

Constipation has also been closely connected with meat eating. People who have become vegetarians have often noticed a great improvement in their bowel movement. Meat eating (especially over-consumption) has been associated with a wide variety of other ailments.

However, we cannot attribute the cause of these ailments solely to meat eating, for vegetarians also suffer from them. There are many other factors involved. We do feel, however, that a vegetarian diet helps to reduce the likelihood of certain diseases occurring.

So far, we seem to have devoted most of this discussion to pointing out the disadvantages of eating meat. This is necessary, for it is only the disadvantages associated with eating meat that indicate the advantages of vegetarianism. If there are no drawbacks to meat eating then for most of us there would be little reason to become vegetarian. If there were positive benefits to eating meat then it would seem justified to continue. But what are the advantages of eating meat? It is doubtless a reasonably good source of protein, but as we will point out later, there are better vegetarian sources. Meat does contain the vital minerals iron and phosphorus, together with some of the vitamin B complex. However, these can be obtained quite adequately from other vegetarian foods. So while we would like to give a list of the advantages of meat over other forms of food, we feel that there are not many known at present.

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