The Principle Hygienic Concern Is Optimal Health
In the study of Natural Hygiene, we are concerned primarily with lifestyle and eating patterns which will result in optimal health and longevity. Much has been written about the “Vegetarian Alternative,” and the many reasons for avoiding the consumption of meat—all flesh foods: beef, veal, lamb, poultry and fish. Such reasons run the gamut from compassion and humanitarianism, ethics and morality, religion, aesthetics, ecology, conservation of resources (land, water, energy, food), economics—and better health.
In this lesson, we will be concerned with the anatomical, physiological, pathological and nutritional reasons for eliminating flesh foods from the human diet, and why optimal health is not possible on a meat-based diet. We will discuss the health problems that can be caused by the consumption of flesh foods, and the vibrant health that can be attained (or regained) by adherence to Hygienic principles of living and eating—without flesh foods.
The Best Fuel For The Human Body
The human body can be maintained on a conglomerate assortment of foods, or our race would have long since vanished. A gasoline engine can operate on kerosene, but it will clog up, parts will wear out sooner, and its serviceable life will be greatly reduced.
The human body will also work best and last longest when fed the fuel intended for man and on which he will best survive: raw fruits, raw vegetables, raw unsalted nuts and seeds, and sprouted legumes and grains. The biological equipment of humans is such that the body is much more capable of obtaining complete and optimal nutrition, without threat or stress, from plant foods.
Plants Are The Source Of Food Elements
It is a fact that all nutritive material is formed in the plant kingdom—animals have the power to appropriate but never to form or create food elements. Plants can synthesize amino acids from air, earth and water, but animals—including humans—are dependent on plant protein, either directly by eating the plant, or indirectly by eating an animal which has eaten the plant.
A plant-eater utilizes one-tenth of the energy stored in his food—a meat-eater utilizes from meat only one-hundredth of the energy that was originally stored in the primary source, the plants. (Robert H. Dunn, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Preventive Medicine, Washington Adventist Hospital, Introduction to Meat on the Menu: Who Needs It? by Raymond H. Woolsey, published 1974.)
Out of the amino acids found in plant and/or animal tissues used as food, the living organism synthesizes the numerous proteins needed by the cells and tissues of its own body. There are no amino acids in flesh that the animal did not derive from the plant, and that man cannot also derive from the plant.
Those who eat animals get only the nutritional elements which the animals have obtained from vegetation, and are of necessity deteriorated with the impurities. and putrescence invariably present in their blood and tissues.
When you eat foods from the plant kingdom, you receive the amino acids in ideal combinations with other substances which are essential to the full utilization of protein: carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, hormones—in addition to chlorophyll, which only plants can supply.
The best sources of concentrated protein for many are raw, unsalted nuts and seeds. In the raw state, all enzymes are intact and the amino acids are wholesomely alive and unchanged. They contain all the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, carbohydrates, hormones—and the life force necessary for the human organism to produce tissue and other body constituents of the highest quality.
Flesh Foods Cause Degenerative Disease
The habitual and frequent use of large amounts of flesh foods in the diet is actually one of the causes of degenerative disease in a substantial percentage of the population. The decrease in, or elimination of, flesh foods from the diet is one of the important steps toward optimal health.
Man’s anatomy and physiology are poorly adapted to the processing of meat, and it cannot be done without some putrefaction (in addition to the putrefaction already present in the meat at the time it is consumed). The result is toxemia, which is the starting point of degenerative diseases like gout, arthritis, heart disease, hardening of the arteries, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer, etc.
Anatomical and Physiological Basis for Rejecting Flesh Foods
There is a sound anatomical and physiological basis for the recommendation against the consumption of flesh foods. The human anatomy and digestive system are totally dissimilar from those of carnivores, which have sharp claws and teeth for killing and tearing. Carnivorous animals have short intestinal canals, and strong secretions of hydrochloric acid, so as to quickly digest and expel the waste products of the flesh they consume, before putrefaction can occur.
Flesh-eating animals also have the enzyme uricase, which breaks down uric acid into a harmless substance called allantoin; man does not possess this enzyme. Vegetable proteins, including nuts and seeds, contain enough carbohydrates to render this enzyme unnecessary.
The carbohydrate content of nuts also prevents a process called de-amination. Because the carbohydrate content of flesh foods is negligible, conventional nutritionists advocate eating protein with a carbohydrate since it is thought that the presence of carbohydrates is necessary for the digestion of protein and, when none are present, the liver will break down some of the amino acids and convert them to carbohydrates.
If this is true (and the experiments have not been conclusive), then it is obvious that the nuts supplied to us by Nature come completely packaged along with their digestive requirements, while flesh foods do not.
Lesson 18 of this course includes a preliminary discussion of this subject and contains an interesting chart, “Classification of Animals,” which is an effective demonstration of the fact that man is not a carnivore.
One of the comparisons that is made in this chart is the length of the alimentary canals, which are three times the length of the body in the carnivora, ten times the length of the body in the omnivora, and twelve times the length of the body in the anthropoid apes and in humans. These figures, of course, are approximate. Gray’s anatomy gives the length of the human alimentary canal as approximately thirty feet.
Hereward Carrington, in The Natural Food of Man, says that some have made the blunder of calling the proportionate length of the human alimentary canal one to six instead of one to twelve, by doubling the height through measuring humans while they are standing erect. He says, “This measurement is evidently wrong, for it includes the length of the lower extremities, or hind legs, whereas, in other animals, the measurement is made from the tip of the nose to the end of the backbone.”
The human digestive tract is about four times as long as in the carnivorous animal. The gastric juices of humans have less active antiseptic and germicidal properties. The intestine of the carnivore is short and smooth, to dissolve food rapidly and pass it out of the system. The human digestive tract is corrugated or sacculated, for the express purpose of retaining the food as long as possible in the intestine until all possible nutriment has been extracted from it.
These (and the other anatomical and physiological characteristics of the human digestive system) are the worst possible conditions for the processing of flesh foods. The excessive secretion of bile (necessitated for the digestion of flesh foods) may result in the premature breakdown of the liver, and the large quantities of uric acid created by a flesh diet may have disastrous effects on the kidneys. Dr. Robert Perk says that the excess of uric acid “causes contraction of the minute blood vessels, resulting in high arterial tension and often the blocking of the blood vessels by the uric acid. This results in serious interference with the circulation and blood supply to the tissues and throws great strain on the vital organs, especially the heart and kidneys.” (Scientific Vegetarianism, Szekely, p. 44.)
Morbid Results of Eating Flesh Foods
Meat is the most putrefactive of all foods. Flesh, when eaten by humans, tends to undergo a process of decay in the stomach, causing a poisoning of the blood. Putrefaction in meat eaters is evidenced by bad breath, heartburn, eructations, and the foul stool and odorous emissions—absent in vegetarians—and it is probable that the attempts of the body to eliminate these wastes has a profound influence on the shortening of man’s life span.
If the body fluid that bathes our cell’s is overloaded with waste, causing an excessive secretion of bile—fatigue, weakening and aging are the inevitable results. The accumulation of toxic substances in the body causes the deterioration of the intestinal flora, and the blood vessels gradually lose their natural elasticity—their walls become hardened and thickened. Irreversible damage to the organism proliferates.
Can You Face The Ugly Truth About Meat?
Meats contain waste products that the animal did not get to eliminate, and toxic hormones and fluids released into the blood stream and tissues at the moment of the death of the terrified animal.
An animal’s cellular life continues after death. The cells continue to produce waste materials which are trapped in the blood and decaying tissues. The nitrogenous extracts which are trapped in the animal’s muscles are partially responsible for the flavor of the cooked meat.
Humans who eat the livers of the animals are bombarded with an even greater concentration of waste products and toxic substances. The liver, being the filtering organ of the body, is loaded with elements the body cannot use, which are trapped in the liver and remain there. Liver eaters are treated to higher concentrations of mercury and artificial hormones, plus other “goodies” that remain in the animal’s disposal system.
Liver increases, even more than muscle meat, the amount of creatine in the urine. Creatinuria (abnormal amounts of creatine in the urine) is involved in endocrine (glandular) disorders.
Meat not only harbors the bacteria infecting the living animal, but it may also carry molds, spores, yeasts and bacilli picked up during postmortem handling.
A book on meat processing explains that the flesh becomes more tender and palatable by the process of ripening, hanging and maturing (aging). Vic Sussman, in The Vegetarian Alternative, pp. 149-150, says, “Few meat eaters would like to hear the words putrefaction, rigor mortis, and rotting applied to their sirloin and pot roast. But flesh is flesh, though the euphemisms ripening, toughening and enzymatic action are kinder to the ear.”
Trained government inspectors use sight, smell and touch in a constant battle to protect meat eaters from intentional and accidental abuses. But effective regulation of flesh food is enormously difficult. Sussman says (p. 151) “Even the most conscientious inspectors are forced by circumstances and the pressure of time to let suspect carcasses leave the plant.”
Those who eat processed meats also get many of the odds and ends of the animals—eyes, ears, bladders, lips, udders, snouts and parts of the bones and skin. Not even a meat inspector can tell from what part of the body the sausages and frankfurters came—it is all meat tissue, and all legal. (Woolsey, Meat on the Menu…, pp. 21-22.)
In his pediatrics textbook, Dr. Emmet L. Holt of New York City says that if two dogs were put on a leash and one fed water and the other beef tea, the dog getting the water would live longer, because beef tea does not contain any nourishment if the fat is skimmed off, but does contain urinary wastes, which poison the dog.
Owen S. Parrette, M.D., in Why I Don’t Eat Meat, p. 13, says that when he was a medical student, the class was given glass test tubes to be used for growing bacteria that are present in human diseases such as typhoid, staphylocci, and bubonic plague. “The professor had us make up some beef tea, pour a little into each test tube, and place a cotton cork on top. We sterilized the tubes and later inoculated them with these dangerous bacteria. The germs all thrived on the beef tea. It was a perfect medium for them.”
Carrington also says (p. 109), “Meat-eating is the more or less direct cause of various diseases.” The tapeworm embryos are carried by beef, pork and fish. The deadly trichina parasite is found mainly in pork, but also in fish, fowl and other meats. Trichinosis closely resembles cerebro-spinal meningitis. Tuberculosis has been communicated from cattle, typhoid fever from oysters. Epilepsy has been traced to meat-eating.
Twenty-six diseases, including salmonellosis, staphylococcus and psittacosis, are known to be common to both man and poultry. (Meat on the Menu…, Woolsey, p. 27.)
Since little or no progress has been made in eradicating these dangers, the only people who are immune are those who never eat meat. Authorities recognize that the basic problem is with the nature of the product itself. The National Academy of Science reports, “Reluctantly, we are forced to recognize the infeasibility of eradicating salmonellosis at this time.” (“An evaluation of the Salmonella Problem,” National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 1969)
The late Dr. John Harvey Kellogg said, when he sat down to his vegetarian meal, “It is nice to eat a meal and not have to worry about what your food may have died from.”
Meat-Eating Predisposes to Disease
In addition to directly causing certain diseases, meat-eating also predisposes the body to disease. In pestilences of any character, meat-eaters are the chief sufferers. Wounds heal far more rapidly in vegetarian soldiers. Carnivores are far more subject to blood poisoning than are vegetarians. Vegetarians survive major operations more frequently than meat-eaters. (Carrington, pp. 111-112).
John A. Scharffenberg, M.D., in Problems with Meat says, “Meat is a major factor in the leading causes of death in the United States, and probably in similarly affluent societies. In fact, next to tobacco and alcohol, meat is the greatest single cause of mortality in the United States.” He makes this statement on p. 101 of his well-documented book, in summarizing “the formidable and persuasive scientific evidence we now have.”
He marshals this scientific evidence of the disease potential of meat and the relationship of meat to these specific problems: atherosclerosis, cancer, decrease in longevity or life expectancy, kidney disorders, osteoporosis, salmonellosis, and trichinosis. He quotes an editorial statement in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “A vegetarian diet can prevent 97% of our coronary occlusions.” (Editor: Diet and Stress in Vascular Disease, JAMA, 76:134-35, 1961).
Several more recent, well-organized studies have identified the risk factors of atherosclerosis and heart attacks: a 1970 study by twenty-nine voluntary health agencies, in cooperation with the American Medical Association (these study groups consisted of many of the nation’s top scientists); a 1977 study by the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs: a twelve-year Finnish Mental Hospital Study (Effect of cholesterol-lowering diet on mortality from coronary heart disease and other causes, Lancet 2:835-38, 1972); and a 1975 study comparing Seventh Day Adventists who had different dietary habits. The Seventh Day Adventist study revealed a 64% vulnerability to coronary heart disease in meat-users, 40% for lacto-ovo-vegetarians, and 23% for total vegetarians. The 1977 study by the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs reported the significant deleterious influence of. the consumption of dietary cholesterol (animal fat) and recommended the increased use of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and a decrease in the use of foods containing saturated fat (animal fat).
Vegetarianism Is Receiving More Attention
A consideration of an article from Today’s Health, published by the American Medical Association, appeared in the February 1975 Readers’ Digest. The article states: “Americans are meat eaters by tradition. Yet statistics show that vegetarians in this country are thinner, in better health, with lower blood cholesterol, than their flesh-eating fellow citizens. They may even live longer.”
The article mentions studies by Dr. Frederick Stare (!!) of Harvard and Dr. Mervyn Hardinge, Loma Linda, California School of Health, indicating that vegetarians have consistently lower levels of cholesterol. (It is rare indeed that Dr. Stare is ever “caught” criticizing the conventional diet.)
Quoting further from the article: “Meat eaters also may be bothered by poor elimination. Food with a low fiber content, such as meat, moves sluggishly through the digestive tract, making stools dry and hard to pass. Vegetables, by contrast, retain moisture and bind waste bulk for easy passage.”
The article cites documentation of the excellent health and longevity enjoyed by the Hunzas of Pakistan and the Otomi Indians of Mexico, confirmed by field investigations of these nonmeat cultures.
Reference is made to the experiences of Denmark and Norway, where the general health of the people improved when vegetarian diets were adopted during World Wars I and II, including a significant reduction in heart disease. “Both nations, however, reverted to meat diets as soon as the crises passed, and subsequent studies showed that the temporary health advantages apparently subsided.”
Remember, THIS INFORMATION WAS PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION IN 1975. Since then, vegetarianism and low-fat diets in general have been receiving more attention, and reports are trickling down of medical doctors who are recommending eliminating meat from the diets of arthritis and cancer patients, and even of medical doctors who are acknowledging the health benefits of vegetarianism for themselves and all of their patients.
The Evidence Is Mounting
Autopsies performed in Korea showed that 75% of American soldiers had hardened arteries, regardless of their age. Korean soldiers, on a simple diet of vegetables, grains, and very little meat, showed essentially no hardening of the arteries.
Worms are found in fish taken in the cold waters of Yellowstone Lake, and even in fish taken twenty miles out into the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Parrette’s Why I Don’t Eat Meat, published in 1972, says on page 17, “On the desk in in front of me is a clipping from a recent Los Angeles Times entitled “Disease Causes Halt of Some Trout Imports.”
The article tells of the California Fish and Game Department turning back six tank cars of rainbow trout fingerling that were shipped into California to stock our lakes and streams, but were found to be infected with liver cancer … Rabbits are susceptible to diseases of many kinds. As a lad, I had a friend who used to hunt rabbits and sell them. I often helped him clean them and noticed that nearly all the cottontails were infected with tapeworm.”
The rapid rise of leukemia in cattle calls our attention to the fact that blood cancer, or leukemia, is now a major cause of death among children in the United States.
Meat has been implicated in a wide variety of factors and processes known to be associated with cancer, including the following:
- Chemical carcinogens, added to the meat, or produced by heating.
- Cancer viruses found in tumors in animals, transmittable to humans.
- Lessened host resistance to invasive disease.
- Lack of fiber in meat, increasing transit time through the colon. Adequate fiber is also necessary to help remove bile acids from the gastrointestinal tract. (Colon cancer patients tend to produce more bile acids than other people.)
- Rapid maturation, early menstruation, higher rates of breast cancer.
- High-fat diet is also associated with breast cancer.
- High Prolactin levels—Prolactin is a pituitary hormone promoting milk formation and lactation. A high-fat diet increases the prolactin-estrogen ratio, which then enhances mammary tumor growth. When humans change from a meat to a vegetarian diet, the prolactin surge appears to be reduced to almost one-half. A diet high in fat, meat and milk (high in cholesterol) tends to increase the incidence of breast cancer. (Dr. Scharffenberg, Problems with Meat.)
It has been demonstrated that cancer can be transmitted from one (animal or human) species to another.
When one considers the evidence of the cancer-causing potential of meat, it seems incredible that it is ignored by so many intelligent people. Malignant tumors are found in animals. Many years ago I saw a tremendous tumor on the “innards” of a chicken that had been sold at the City Market in Indianapolis.
I witnessed the noisy altercation between the indignant customer who was returning the chicken and the proprietor of the stand. An .exchange was made, and the returned chicken was dipped in water and returned to the sales counter.
In addition to cancerous tumors in fowl, there is a carrier form which is impossible to detect except by painstaking laboratory experiments. “The conclusions drawn must consider the possibility that all chickens show the basic microscopic lesions of lymphomatosis.” (Dr. Eugene F. Oakberg, Poultry Science, May, 1950, p. 434)
Colon cancer is acknowledged to be the predominant type of cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer mortality. An article in the Wall Street Journal several years ago tells about a study of colon cancer by Dr. William Haenzel, Dr. John W. Berg and others at the National Cancer Institute, as a result of which Dr. Berg said, “There is now substantial evidence that beef is a key factor in determining bowel cancer incidence.”
Scientists have reported evidence that two characteristics of meat-based diets are specific influences in colon cancer:
- Fecal transit item; a low-fiber diet allows carcinogens to be concentrated and held in contact with the bowel mucosa for long periods, while a high residue diet (a vegetarian diet) produces more rapid passage of body waste.
- Influence of the diet on the amount of carcinogens produced by the body. It has been found that meat fat tends toward production of carcinogens in the intestine.
Dr. Ernest L. Wynder, president of the American Health Foundation, and a long-time cancer researcher, reported long ago that the results of his studies had convinced him of the cancer hazards of diets high in animal fats. On March 31, 1982, Dr. Wynder, now renowned as the health detective who first linked smoking and cancer a generation ago, reiterated his findings. He said that a low animal fat, high fiber, fresh fruit and vegetable diet helps fight both cancer and heart disease. He said that the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute also recommend such a diet.
Sussman (The Vegetarian Alternative, p. 61) gives documented reports about experiments with an anti-cancer enzyme, which can be produced by the liver, depending on the components of the diet. Dr. Leo Wattenberg of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine isolated the dietary elements that increased ability to produce this enzyme. The agents (called indoles) that induced formation of this enzyme were found in alfalfa, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, turnips, broccoli and cauliflower.
Citrus fruits also contain similar enzyme-inducing agents (flavones) and beans and seeds yield a type of plant protein (lectins) that also has demonstrated cancer-resisting effects.
Dr. Anthony B. Miller, director of the National Cancer Institute of Canada, said: “Evidence suggests that certain foods, particularly high intake of dietary fat, are associated with increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic, breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate and possibly renal cancer.” He also recommends increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Although these doctors aren’t specifically advocating totally vegetarian diets, it is interesting to note that more and more “conventional” professional people are warning against high consumption of animal fat, and recommending increased use of fresh produce.
Hygienists, of course, prefer not to use any part of the animal as food, and find it difficult to understand how so many people can ignore the overwhelming evidence against the use of flesh in the diet.
Modern Methods Accentuate Risks
Most of the deleterious influences of meat-eating which have been discussed thus far apply to any flesh foods, even those which are raised the “old-fashioned” way, without chemicals or hormones. The “modern” methods of producing and marketing flesh foods, and fish taken from polluted waters, increase the risks astronomically.
Those who eat processed meats are not only treated to sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite (which, together, form cancer-causing nitrosamines in the body), they also get sodium sulphite. Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are used as preservatives to retard the putrefaction process in processed meats (frankfurters, salami, bologna, sausage, etc.) The food can still spoil, but it is not as obvious.
Consumer Reports, February 1972, p. 76, reported that, after studying samples from thirty-two brands of frankfurters bought in supermarkets throughout the United States, researchers stated: “Food experts generally agree that putrefaction has set in when a frankfurter’s total bacteria count has reached ten million per gram. With that as a yardstick, more than forty per cent of the samples we analyzed had begun to spoil. One sample tested out at 140 million per gram.”
Dr. Charles C. Edwards, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, testified before a House Subcomittee in March 1971, stating that sodium nitrite is potentially dangerous to small children, can cause deformities in fetuses, can cause serious damage to anemic persons, and is a possible cause of cancer.
Sodium sulphite is used to give meat a fresh, red appearance, even after it has become rancid and turned black. This chemical will change it back to bright red, and will also “miraculously” eliminate the strong odor of putrefaction.
Dr. Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest says that sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite in processed meats have caused numerous cases of blood poisoning (methemoglobinemia), many reported in medical journals. He says that meat contains residues of more than a dozen chemicals used to fatten the animals— all of them proven in the laboratory to cause cancer.
The chemicals and hormones are mixed and administered on the farms by stockmen, who often use greater than recommended amounts, and fail to withdraw drugs far enough ahead of slaughter.
Both penicillin and tetracycline are routinely used in poultry and cattle feed. When the FDA moved toward restricting the addition to animal feed of antibiotics that are also used to combat human diseases (because of the consequent growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria), the meat industry was outraged at the proposal.
Most laws relating to “wholesome” meat apply only to their processing. Some local laws apply to monitoring of sanitary conditions in the market. After that, the consumer is at the mercy of the retailer. Labeling, classification, pricing are variable and undependable. “Economical management” by market owners does not always include discarding spoiled meat. Mold can be washed off, or the meat can be recycled by cutting up, grinding, adding spices, or cooking to disguise color, odor and taste.
“Hearings before a Senate Investigating Committee in 1969 revealed that a major, brand-name, nationally famous meat packer on the West Coast accepted unsold meats from retailers and repackaged and recirculated them. Reasons for returning included moldy, sour, discolored, slick and slimy.'” (Woolsey, “Meat on the Menu…” p. 38).
Charcoal broiled steaks contain an average of nine micrograms of benzopyrene, a cancer-producing agent. The fat dripping into the fire changes the chemical properties of the fat and the benzopyrene goes up in the smoke from the charcoal and coats the steaks.
Eating Low On The Food Chain
Eating low on the food chain significantly reduces the threat of pesticide residues. Tests in Britain have shown the pesticide residue levels to be highest in meat eaters, lower in lacto-vegetarians, and lowest in total vegetarians.
This is due to the concentrating factor as the contaminant goes through the additional link in the ecological chain, and the animal concentrates the pollutant in its body. The meat eater may eat in a few minutes the pesticides that an animal has accumulated over a lifetime.
A study by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Defense Fund revealed that breast milk of vegetarian women contained significantly lower levels of pesticide residues than that of meat-eating women.
Further research by author Nat Altman disclosed that vegetables and nuts contain about 1/7 the pesticide residues of flesh foods; fruits and legumes about 1/8 as much; and grains about 1/24 as much.
Meat-Based Diet Presents Complex And Grave Nutritional Problems
Even beyond the grave dangers presented by meat-based diets is the misconception that meat is an ideal nutritional source against which vegetable proteins are measured and found wanting. The fact is that it is much more difficult to have even a reasonably good diet with meat than without it.
“Complete Protein” Status of Meat?
In the first place, even the much vaunted “complete protein” status of meat is, at best, based on a colossal error (if not a hoax). The complete protein of the animal could exist only if the animal were consumed raw and whole. Meat-eating animals eat the blood, bones, cartilages, liver, etc. of their prey—not just the muscle and fat. They eat it raw—so that they do not lose any of the mineral elements. The muscle meats (most commonly consumed by humans) are grossly inadequate as a protein source.
On the other hand, humans who eat the livers of the animals don’t win either. As previously indicated, those who eat liver are exposed to greater concentrations of morbid substances. Even though liver is touted as an optimal source of such substances as iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin B-12, it can hardly be regarded as anything remotely resembling wholesome food.
For years, conventional nutritionists have maintained that complete and optimal nutrition is assured on a diet using animal foods as the primary source of protein, and that a vegetarian diet presents many problems. Dr. Scharffenberg produces well-documented scientific evidence (Problems with Meat) indicating that the truth is exactly the opposite.
Meat Deficient in Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber and Carbohydrates
and Excessively High in Fat and Concentrated Protein
Meat is one of the main sources of food that provide little fiber—flesh foods lengthen the average transit time through the gastrointestinal tract from thirty hours to seventy-seven hours.
Colon cancer patients produce more than normal amounts of bile acids which enhance cancer growth. A more rapid transit time through the digestive tract reduces exposure time to these acids. Meat contains virtually no carbohydrates and is excessively high in fat and concentrated protein.
Dr. Bircher-Benner, the great Swiss physician, said, “Meat does not give strength. Its composition is one-sided, lacking certain minerals and vitamins, and it introduces too much fat and protein into the system, disturbing the balance of nutrition and giving rise to intestinal putrefaction.”
Meat is Highly Stimulating and Innutritious
Hereward Carrington, The Natural Food of Man, p. 114, says, “In the first place it must be pointed out and insisted upon that meat is a highly stimulating article of food, and for that reason, innutritious. Stimulation and nutrition invariably exist in inverse ratio—the more the one, the less the other, and vice versa. The very fact, then, that meat is a stimulant, as it is now universally conceded to be, shows us that it is more or less an innutritious article of diet, and that the supposed “strength” we receive from the meat is due entirely to the stimulating effects upon the system of the various poisons, or toxic substances, introduced into the system, together with the meat. It is for this reason that those who leave off meat and become vegetarians experience a feeling of lassitude and weakness for the first few days—they lack the stimulation formerly supplied, and now notice the reaction which invariably follows such stimulation. This feeling of weakness, or “all-goneness,” is therefore to be expected, and is in no way a proof that the diet is weakening the patient. Let him persist in his reformed manner of living for some time, and he will find that this reaction wears off, and that a general and continued feeling of energy and well-being follow.”
Results of High Protein Diets Organism Subjected to Toxic Byproducts
Protein is the most complex of all food elements, and its utilization is the most complicated. People with impaired digestions will find it preferable to ingest a lesser quantity of concentrated protein, which they are capable of utilizing, rather than a greater quantity, which not only cannot be processed efficiently, but which may poison the body. When protein is eaten in greater amounts than the body is capable of utilizing, the organism is subjected to the toxic byproducts of protein metabolism, which it has been unable to eliminate—and the inevitable result is degenerative disease.
The tremendous amounts of protein frequently recommended—75 to 100 grams daily (or more)—are far in excess of the body’s needs, and are the source of much trouble.
The famous nutritionists Dr. Ragnar Berg, Dr. R. Chittenden, Dr. M. Hindehede, Dr. M. Hegsted, Dr. William C. Rose, and others, have shown in extensive experiments that our actual need for protein is somewhere around thirty grams a day, or even less. Many leading contempporary scientists and nutritionists in Europe, such as Dr. Ralph Bircher, Dr. Bircher-Benner, Dr. Otto Buchinger, Jr., Dr. H. Karstrom, Prof. H.A. Schweigart, Dr. Karl-Otto Aly, and many others, are in full agreement with the findings of Drs. Berg, Chittenden, Rose, et al, and are recommending a low protein diet as the diet most conducive to good health.
High Incidence of Degenerative Diseases
The Seventh-Day Adventists and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who advocate a low animal-protein diet, have fifty to seventy per cent lower death rates than those of average Americans. They also are reported to have a much lower incidence of cancer, tuberculosis, coronary diseases, blood and kidney disease, and diseases of the digestive and respiratory organs.
Negative Lime Balance (Calcium Transfer)
Bone calcium is at dangerously low levels in those using meat as compared to vegetarians, especially in people over fifty. A high-protein diet (especially meat protein) increases the urinary excretion of calcium. Thus vegetarians are less prone to osteoporosis (porous bones).
H. J. Curtis’ Biological Mechanism of Aging gives documentation of the role of high protein diets, particularly animal protein, in causing osteoporosis. Calcium is transferred from the hard tissues (bones) to the soft tissues (arteries, skin, joints, internal organs and eyes). The transfer of calcium to the soft tissues results in catastrophic fractures, hardening of the arteries, wrinkling of skin, arthritis, the formation of stones, cataracts, high blood pressure, degeneration of internal organs, loss of hearing, senility and cancer.
A study of elderly female vegetarians at Michigan State University showed they lost less bone to osteoporosis than a group of the same age that ate meat.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that when the protein intake of young men was raised to 140 grams per day, they all proceeded to lose bone calcium, even though they took liberal amounts of calcium and magnesium supplements and protein extracts which contained no fat and little phosphorus—the supplements didn’t help at all.
Young men had strong bone retention with protein intake of around fifty grams per day—only a reduction in protein consumption avoids the threat of osteoporosis.
Athletes who eat much meat are especially susceptible to arthrosis, a degenerative process of the joints. Among twenty conventional-diet professional football players who were observed for eighteen years, 100% incidence of ankle arthrosis and 97.5% of knee arthrosis were found.
A negative lime balance is easily produced by increased protein supply. The eminently important minerals—potassium and magnesium—are known to be deficient in an every day diet rich in meat, eggs, cheese, fat, sugar and grains, but richly present in a full-value vegetarian diet predominating in raw food.
Rapid Maturation and Early Death
Examples are repeatedly cited of robust and apparently healthy individuals who are heavy meat-eaters. Dr. L.H. Newberg of Ann Arbor University found that when he fed large quantities of meat to test animals, they grew bigger and more alert than other animals on a vegetarian diet. But three months later these animals contracted kidney damage and died, while the vegetarian animals lived on healthily and happily. (Wade, C., Vegetarianism, Herald of Health, LXXII, Ap. 1967, p. 14)
Accelerated growth = accelerated maturity, accelerated degeneration and accelerated demise. Rapid growth and short life go together, verified by repeated studies and experiments.
Since rapid maturation occurs as a result of high protein diets, this produces earlier onset of menstruation. Girls who start menstruation before thirteen have a 4.2 times greater incidence of cancer than those who start several years later. In countries with higher meat fat consumption, breast cancer mortality rates increase, and there is a higher incidence of colon and prostate cancer.
It must be emphasized that diet alone is not the single component in cancer and other degenerative diseases, but optimal nutrition does play a fundamental and preventive role, and faulty dietary habits play a causative role.
Kofranyi of the Max Planck Institute in Russia proved that complete nitrogen balance and performance ability could be maintained on 25 grams of protein daily, and Oomen and Hipsley found a population that develops not just full health, but magnificent structure and corresponding physical performance on 15 to 20 grams of protein daily.
The High-Protein Hoax
Dr. Bircher-Benner describes the method used by the American Research Council’s Food and Nutrition Board to agree on a daily requirement for adults of seventy grams, found in their tables.
Sherman, a member of the board, said that evidence pointed toward a much lower amount, somewhere around thirty-five grams. But if the protein requirement had been set so low, there would have been a public outcry. And so, a corresponding “margin of safety” was adopted, and “seventy grams” was published. Because the scientific basis for this was nonexistent, the word “recommendation” was used instead of “requirement.” Of course it was publicly interpreted as the requirement, in fact, as the minimum.
“The smallest amount of food able to keep the body in a state of high efficiency is physiologically the most economical, and thus best adapted for the body’s needs.” This is the Chittenden concept, stated years ago by Russell Henry Chittenden, which applies forcibly to protein. The average American diet contains 45% more protein than even the National Academy of Sciences recommends, and is certainly not “best adapted for the body’s needs.”
Insoluble Problems of Meat-Based Diets
Flesh eating is defended almost entirely on the premise that it is a source of superior proteins. The truth is exactly opposite. The pathological effects of encumbering our bodies with the proteins of other animals is Nature’s method of vetoing these proteins for human consumption, in order to promote the stability of the human species and to protect the health of the individual. Dr. Herbert M. Shelton says (Animal Foods—booklet) that allergy and anaphylaxis (see definition) are not mysterious; they are due to long-standing poisoning of the body by excess or inappropriate protein foods.
Animal proteins are often not reduced to their constituent amino acids, but are absorbed in more complex form. Absorption by the body of such partially digested proteins poisons the organism, and so-called “allergic symptoms” may be the result—or gout, arthritis, cancer, or any one or more of a host of degenerative diseases.
A meat-eater must also be concerned about digestive problems caused by too little dietary fiber; circulatory problems due to excessive cholesterol deposits from animal fats; loss of bone mass due to inadequate ingestion and retention of calcium; deficiency of vitamins and minerals; and inadequate carbohydrate intake (without increasing calories).
The Senate Committee recommended fifty to sixty per cent of daily calories from carbohydrates, but, actually, it should be more like ninety percent (provided, of course, that they are natural and not refined). It is well-nigh impossible to solve such problems on a meat-based diet.
A Healthful Diet Without Meat
Dr. Scharffenberg says, “In contrast, contrary to conventional belief, it is simple for a vegetarian to maintain a healthful diet. There is no worry about cholesterol and little concern about saturated fat. Fiber and carbohydrate are adequate without any special calculation. HOW IRONIC THAT FOR SO LONG IT HAS BEEN THOUGHT THAT IT WAS THE VEGETARIAN WHO HAD DIFFICULTY.
IN LEARNING TO GET ADEQUATE NUTRITION… THE OLD WORRIES ABOUT A VEGETARIAN DIET BEING PROTEIN-DEFICIENT ARE GROUNDLESS AND SHOULD BE LAID TO REST.” (Caps mine—author)
The intelligently planned meatless diet has none of the disease problems of flesh foods and provides a dependable source of all the nutrients—including adequate protein.
Complex judgments or computations, such as are necessary in planning a meat-based diet, are obviated. It is extremely difficult for meat eaters to maintain a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in carbohydrates and fiber, and containing adequate calcium to compensate for the effects of meat in increasing excretion and transfer of calcium.
The Obsolete Amino Acid Theory
One of the favorite arguments of flesh eaters is that proteins from the plant kingdom are “incomplete,” because no one plant food contains all of the twenty-three identifiable amino acids (although the carrot, with twenty-two amino acids, comes quite close).
Studies of man’s physiology, and the effects of his consumption of foods from the plant kingdom, have shown conclusively that it is not necessary to consume all of the amino acids at one sitting, not even the eight (some references say ten) “essential” amino acids that are not fabricated within the body.
The foods we eat are processed by the body, and the amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients are reserved in a pool for later use as needed. When we eat, we replenish the reserves in this pool, to be drawn upon by the cell as required. We do not live upon one protein food, but upon the protein content of our varied diet, which supplies all of the protein needs of the body. Guyton’s “Guidance Textbook of Medical Physiology” is authority for this important information. The book contains five pages showing that amino acids are picked up from the bloodstream and cells of the body.
If you have read Diet for A Small Planet, you are familiar with Frances Moore Lappe’s assumption that it is necessary to consume all the “essential” amino acids at each meal, and her complicated “solution” to this “problem” for vegetarians by combining certain foods from the plant kingdom to form complete proteins, resulting in some abominable food combinations, which, of course, do not take into account human digestive limitations.
Nowhere in Nature is there any evidence of the necessity for such complicated maneuvering to obtain optimal nutrition. Not only are humans not dependent on the animal kingdom for their nutrition—it is also not necessary to play a numbers game with nutrients or foods at each meal.
The Truth About Amino Acids
New knowledge has completely reversed the old theory, which was based on studies between 1929 and 1950 that used purified amino acids. We eat foods—not purified amino acids Recurring studies reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association and other medical journals (since 1950) show that it is not necessary to feed complete protein at each meal. One such study by E.S. Nasset, reported in World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 14:134-153, 1972, indicated that the body can make up any of the amino acids missing in a particular meal from its own pool of reserves, as long as a variety of foods are included in the diet.
Only gelatin and isolated protein factors are completely devoid of one or more amino acids. “Vegetable protein foods are not lacking totally in any specific amino acid…. the average vegetarian ingests adequate amounts of protein, and the amounts of essential amino acids in the diet not only meet the minimum requirements—they more than twice exceed them.” (Scharffenberg, Problems with Meat.)
There is also a proliferating availability of additional documentation of the fact that humans and animals fast for lengthy periods, and that, instead of suffering protein deficiency, the end of the fast finds them with restored protein balance.
Those individuals who have experienced prolonged fasts (of perhaps fourteen days or longer) invariably have experienced remarkable improvement and hardening of the nails of the fingers and toes. During my twenty-nine day fast in 1967, I marveled at the improvement in my own finger nails, which lengthened and hardened, a new experience for me.
If the body were not capable of storing amino acids, this obviously could not have occurred during a period of abstention from all food. Nor could this have occurred if the protein supply were dependent on continuous and simultaneous external sources of all the essential amino acids.
It is true that protein is not stored in the body in the same sense that excess carbohydrate is stored as glycogen or fat. But the body can compensate for temporary deficiencies by withdrawing what it needs from the pool of materials within the organism—as material is sloughed off intestinal walls, from digestive secretions, and from the autolysis of old cells, fat, etc.
Many foods from the plant kingdom contain so-called “complete” proteins; that is, humans may obtain from them all of the essential amino acids which they cannot synthesize, but from which other amino acids may be synthesized as needed.
The argument that the best source for protein is meat because the analysis of animal protein (amino acids, particularly) is much closer to that of the human body than is plant protein is an excellent argument for cannibalism. If that contention were true, all animals would be best nourished by eating their own species since, obviously, that would be the only source of identical protein and their best source of optimal nutrition. I believe that even the heartiest flesh eaters would find this idea repugnant.
Besides, it must be remembered that no human can use the protein in the form in which it is consumed. It must always be disassembled into its constituents and reassembled or synthesized into the particular protein required by the cells and tissues of the new host. As previously explained, cooked and coagulated animal protein presents great difficulties in this necessary breakdown of the long chains of amino acids.
Superiority of Uncooked Plant Proteins
All nuts, except the hickory, contain complete proteins. This has been verified by experiments by Cajori, Kellogg and Berg. Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are in the same category. Peanuts, beans, and a long list of vegetables also contain all the essential amino acids: carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, fresh corn, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, okra, peas, potatoes, summer squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
This listing is by no means complete. Most vegetables, of course, contain lesser amounts of amino acids than do concentrated proteins like nuts, seeds and legumes. Soybeans (which may be sprouted and eaten raw) contain all of the essential amino acids—in fact, a higher quantity of all amino acids (weight for weight) than meat or eggs.
Some grains do not contain all of the essential amino acids (as far as has been presently determined). When grains are used together with an abundance of raw green vegetables, whichever amino acids are missing from the grains are well supplied by the green vegetables. But remember that you do not need to concern yourself about securing all of the essential amino acids at one sitting.
An adequate supply of protein in the overall diet is indispensable for normal health and well-being. But such an adequate supply of protein is not dependent on killing animals for food, nor upon using a calculator to add up the amino acids at each meal.
Use a variety of the available Hygienic foods—choosing from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts—not all at each meal, of course—or even necessarily, every day—but over the course of the weekly diet.
Dr. Hoobler, who did some research at Yale University, demonstrated the superiority of nut protein. It was he who proved conclusively that the protein of nuts not only provides greater nutritive efficiency than that of meat, milk and eggs, but that it is also more effective than a combination of these three animal proteins.
Fruits and vegetables, though containing relatively smaller amounts of protein in their natural state, are excellent sources of supplementary amino acids for complete and optimal nutrition.
The protein in raw nuts and seeds, and in uncooked fruits and vegetables, are readily available to the body, and are therefore said to be of high biological value. During the process of digestion, the long chains of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are gradually broken up for the body’s use in synthesizing its own protein (as any species must do).
It must be reiterated and re-emphasized: when proteins have been cooked or preserved, they are coagulated. Enzyme resistant linkages are formed which resist cleavage, and the amino acids may not be released for body use. In this case, the protein is useless and/or poisonous to the body, becoming soil for bacteria and poisonous decomposition byproducts.
Since the nutrients available from raw food are several hundred per cent greater than those available from food that has been cooked or otherwise processed, and since, obviously, flesh foods are usually not eaten raw by humans, this in itself would be an important reason why first-hand protein foods from the plant kingdom, which may be eaten uncooked, are superior.
Raw food decreases the need for protein in yet another way: the usual conventional diet requires six to eight grams of protein per day for the synthesis of digestive juices. But raw food, with all the enzymes intact, economizes on digestive enzymes.
Nuts are subject to few contaminating influences; they supply everything we can get from flesh foods, in better form, better condition, cleaner, more easily used, and without the risk of eating chemicalized or diseased flesh foods. And nuts can be eaten without cooking or processing.
Utilization of nuts is best if eaten with uncooked plant foods of high biological value, such as large green salads. Sprouted grains and legumes are excellent supplementary sources of protein of high biological value.
In abnormal conditions, as after a prolonged fast, recovery from a debilitating disease, during lactation or pregnancy, or during weight training, a slightly greater amount of protein may be necessary, if not in excess of the digestive capabilities of the body. Concentrated proteins are more difficult to digest than most other foods, and must be consumed within individual limitations rather than according to charts.
Some people are fearful that a diet which does not include animal proteins will be deficient in Vitamin B-12, and that they may become victims of pernicious anemia. Beef and beef liver are said to be the finest sources of B-12. Well, where does the herbivorous cow get this vitamin? Vitamin B-12 is manufactured by the friendly bacteria in the animal’s intestinal tract. This is true for all vegetarian animals, including the human being, as well.
A deficiency of Vitamin B-12, which is a forerunner of pernicious anemia, is not necessarily due to dietary inadequacy. A report released from a Vitamin B-12 Conference stated, “Pernicious anemia appears to arise not from shortage in the diet, but from impairment of the ability to absorb Vitamin B-12.” (Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 71st Scientific Meeting, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, January 5, 1952, p. 295)
Study after study has shown that the deficiency of Vitamin B-12 is due to the lack of absorption of the vitamin from the intestinal tract, due to the absence of “intrinsic factor,” a substance which is normally present in the gastric juices.
Putrefactive bacteria can destroy friendly bacteria, thus inhibiting the synthesis and absorption of Vitamin B-12. The principal cause of putrefaction in the digestive tract is the ingestion of cooked animal protein (though putrefaction can occur as a result of bad food combining, overeating of any concentrated protein foods, chemical additives and drugs).
There have been repeated instances of improvement in the condition of the blood as a result of fasting, plus subsequent improvement in the diet, especially when flesh foods are eliminated.
The myth that plants do not contain B-12 has been propagated and fostered by vested interests. The
truth is that B-12 is found in plants in very small amounts. This is consistent with the fact that our need for Vitamin B-12 is miniscule (under one microgram (a millionth of a gram) daily, and the body can store it for two to eight years. (Vitamins of the B Complex, 1959 U.S. Department of Agriculture Yearbook of Agriculture, Section on Food, pp. 139-149) Robin Hur’s article in this lesson suggests that our actual need for Vitamin B-12 is considerably less than one microgram per day.
Vitamin B-12 has been found in significant amounts in many plant foods, some of which are bananas, dates, greens, peanuts, and particularly sprouts and raw sunflower seeds.
A correspondent to the New England Journal of Medicine (12/7/78, p. 1319) notes that vitamin B-12 is manufactured by micro-organisms, making it possible to obtain B-12 from certain seeds and nuts, and from soybeans. He also cites synthesis of the vitamin in the digestive tract of humans when adequate amounts of unheated seeds are eaten, and points to healthy babies who are breast-fed by strict vegetarian mothers.
In studies on vegetarian humans, Dr. Wolfgang Tiling discovered the synthesis of B-12 in the intestines of children on a soy milk diet.
Dr. Karl-Otto Aly of Sweden examined the Hunzakuts and they showed no B-12 deficiency symptoms, though they have been almost 100% vegetarians for 2,000 years.
Dr. Alec Burton (Australian Hygienic professional) has seen countless people go for 25 to 30 years on vegetarian diets, and never display a deficiency of Vitamin B-12.
Current research at Loma Linda University found excellent B-12 levels for tested vegans (people who eat plant foods only), who eat all, or most, of their food fresh and unheated. Vitamin B-12 is water soluble, and therefore best obtained in raw foods.
Studies have demonstrated that Vitamin B-12 is heat sensitive and normal cooking can destroy as much as 89% of it. High consumption levels of fat and protein, refined foods and tobacco increase the need for B-12, while at the same time interfering with the synthesis and absorption of B-12. Thus the conventional meat-eater may indeed be a more likely candidate for Vitamin B-12 deficiency and pernicious anemia than the individual on an adequate vegetarian diet.
I have known a number of people who were found to be deficient in B-12 and who were receiving injections of this vitamin, but they were all flesh eaters. I have never known a Hygienist or vegetarian who was receiving these injections.
The list is long of children who nursed at their vegan and Hygienic mothers’ breasts, and grew into exemplary specimens of perfect health: Dr. Virginia Vetrano’s daughter and granddaughter, Helen Lamar’s son, Dr. Bressak’s children, Jay Dinshah’s children, and others.
Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) is the only vitamin that contains a mineral—cobalt. It has been hypothesized that supplying this mineral to growing plants will increase their potential for being a source of the natural phenomenon which results in the production of Vitamin B-12.
Dr. Scharffenberg (p. 84, Problems with Meat) says: “The reality of the problems” (with meat-based diets) “is evident in the high mortality from cancer and atherosclerosis, among other disease problems, which makes it tragically obvious that it is not easy for the average person to learn how to eat properly on a meat diet.”
A summary of the specific health reasons for eliminating flesh foods from the diet follows.
- Flesh foods cause putrefaction by decomposing in the intestines, reducing the functioning of intestinal flora, and interfering with the synthesis and utilization of Vitamin B-12.
- Their byproducts of toxic substances (uric acid, purines, etc.) and carcinogens cause degenerative diseases.
- Saturated fats from meat produce abnormal cholesterol deposits, causing heart and arterial degeneration.
- Meats contain parasites, chemicals and hormones, which damage the body and cause disease.
- Diseased animals pass their diseases on to humans.
- Flesh foods provide a favorable medium for the multiplication of the bacteria of disease.
- Flesh foods lessen the resistance of the body to disease.
- Vegetarians have stronger bones.
- Meat-based diets present complex and grave nutritional problems.
- People who eliminate meat from their diets are better nourished, and have better health and greater longevity than meat eaters.
As indicated at the beginning of this lesson, there are many other arguments against the use of flesh foods. In addition to the reasons listed there (that are not specifically health-related), the following should be included:
- The lack of strength and endurance of meat-eaters, compared with vegetarians, has been repeatedly demonstrated (e.g. Olympic champions, etc.).
- A meatless diet is conducive to symmetry and normal development of the human body.
- A meatless diet improves the various senses and renders them more acute.
- Meat, being highly stimulating, tends to cause overeating and other excesses (e.g. alcohol).
- Meat-eating influences the mental, emotional and moral life. Flesh foods tend to make a person pugnacious.
The poet Shelley maintained that there is no disease, bodily or mental, which a meatless diet does not mitigate. He said, “On a natural system of diet, old age would be our last and only malady.”
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I be sure I am getting enough protein? What percentage of the Hygienic diet should be concentrated protein—nuts, seeds or legumes?
First of all, don't forget the considerable protein in sprouts, bananas, potatoes, and, of course, a variety of vegetables. Most foods (including fruit) contain some protein, even though they are not thought of as protein foods because they do not contain concentrated protein. Concentrated protein foods usually contain somewhere between eight and twenty-five per cent protein. Actually, the protein in the foods that are less concentrated is easier to digest and assimilate than that of any concentrated foods (concentrated proteins, starches, dried fruits).
Dr. Scharffenberg says that if 10% of a vegetarian diet contained concentrated proteins, the person would be getting approximately 56 grams of protein daily. If the concentrated protein were reduced to 5%, the individual would still be getting approximately 34 grams of protein daily—no deficiencies there! Even the Food and Nutrition Board regards 56 grams as the recommended daily allowance and 34 grams as the minimum required daily allowance. Hygienists know we need even less.
Dr. Scharffenberg calculates that about 28 grams would be enough to maintain nitrogen equilibrium, based on a calculation of a nitrogen loss each day equivalent to 20 grams of protein of 100% biological value. Hygienists know that the biological value of uncooked proteins is highest, and it is well-nigh impossible to come up protein-deficient on a Hygienic diet that includes a small percentage of concentrated protein foods. A vegetarian might be protein-deficient if he regularly ate a considerable percentage of "cheat foods" containing refined sugars and starches.
The following two studies indicate:
- The average vegetarian ingests adequate amounts of protein. (Hardinge, M.G.; Stare, F.J.; "Nutritional Studies of Vegetarians, I. Nutritional Physical and Laboratory Studies." J. Clin. Nutr. 2:73-82, 1954.)
- The amounts of amino acids in the diets of vegetarians not only meet the minimum requirements— they more than twice exceed them. (Hardinge, M.G.; Crooks, H.; Stare, F.J.: "Nutritional Studies of Vegetarians, V. Proteins and Essential Amino Acids." J. Am. Diet Assoc. 48:25-28, 1966.)
Can humans be infected with diseases of plants?
There is absolutely no evidence that diseases of plants can be transmitted to humans.
I am under the impression that only hogs are injected with trichinosis—and that other meats do not carry these larvae.
The trichinae do originate in the hog. But, in 1974, New Jersey had more cases of trichinosis from beef than from pork. It seems that kitchens use the same knives and meat grinders for the beef and pork, and the trichinae may be thus transmitted to the beef. Studies by the New Jersey Health Department and the National, Center for Disease Control showed that as many as 8% to 20% of stores had beef contaminated with pork. (National Communicable Disease Center: Trichinosis Surveillance, Atlanta, May 1969)
Is the "Prudent Diet" the same as the Hygienic diet?
No, but it is several steps in the right direction. The Prudent Diet is one that was used by Dr. Norman Jolliffe of New York City's Bureau of Nutrition in an "anti-coronary" club. Dr. Jolliffe was successful in reducing the incidence of heart problems by one-half during a ten-year period. The Prudent Diet is low in meat, cholesterol, saturated fat and calories, and high in fruits, whole grains, vegetables and legumes.
How would you rate the health hazards of meat as compared to other health hazards?
I believe Dr. Scharffenberg's Health Hazard Poll is fairly accurate. He rates the various health hazards as follows:
15% Dairy Products, Eggs, High-Fat Foods
10% Lack of Exercise
15% Alcohol, Tea, Coffee, Stress, Sugar, Snacks, Lack of Sleep, etc.
Dr. Scharffenberg includes "No Breakfast" in the final 15%, which I left out, because Hygienists know this is definitely not a health hazard, but an excellent practice. I am in basic agreement with Dr. Scharffenberg on his other factors, except that I know that lack of exercise deserves a larger percentage. Alcohol, a metabolic poison, should also be much higher on the pole.
My Health Hazard Poll would look like this:
30% Tobacco and Alcohol
25% Flesh Foods
25% Lack of Exercise and Obesity
10% Dairy Products and Eggs
10% Tea, Coffee, Stress, Sugar, Snacks, Lack of Sleep, etc.
Isn't it true that when meat is "bled," as in kosher meats, all or most of the toxic wastes are drained off?
Some may be, but not enough to really matter, especially as far as urea and uric acid are concerned. Most of the flavor of meat is due to these wastes. If all the blood were really drained off, the meat would be almost tasteless. Besides, many of the waste products are trapped in
the tissues themselves. In addition to the urea and uric acid, there are large amounts of adrenalin produced during the pre-slaughter and slaughtering, dead and virulent bacteria, contamination from fecal matter, and, of course, various chemicals and hormones. There is no way to make meat really fit for human consumption.
I know that a vegetarian diet is said to regulate (or actually lower) the serum cholesterol level. Is there documentation for this claim?
A diet high in fiber increases the amount of lipids (fatty substances) eliminated by the body in the feces. Plant sterols—substances with a chemical structure similar to that of cholesterol—appear to help in the regulation of the human cholesterol level. Pectin (contained in fruits and vegetables) has also been shown to actually lower abnormal serum cholesterol levels. Fifteen grams of pectin eaten daily (corresponding to the upper level found in natural fruit and vegetable diets) result in an average decrease by 5% of the serum cholesterol in a three-week period. (Unmeat, Stoy Proctor, p. 16.)
Four studies (among many others) which have been published and reported in scientific journals, documenting these phenomena, are listed below:
- A. Keys, F. Grande, J.T. Anderson, "Fiber and Pectin in the Diet and Serum Cholesterol Concentration in Man," Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, Proceedings, Vol. 106 (1961) p. 555.
- A.R.P. Walker and U.B. Arvidsson, "Fat Intake, Serum Cholesterol Concentration, and Atherosclerosis in the South African Bantu," Journal of Clinical
Investigation, Vol. 33 (1954) p. 1358.
- C. Joyner, Jr. and P.T. Kuo, "The Effect of Sitosterol Administration Upon the Serum Cholesterol Level and Lipoprotein Pattern," American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Vol. 230 (1955) p. 636.
- Knut Kirkeby, "Blood Lipids, Lipoproteins, and Proteins in Vegetarians," Acta Medica Scandinavica, Supplementum 443 (1966) p. 70.
I have been under the impression that meat-eating maintains bodily heat in the winter, and in cold climates. I note that vegetarians often are bothered by air conditioning, while meat-eaters are comfortable.
You have it backwards. Vegetarians maintain body heat well, while meat-eaters are continually in a more or less feverish condition.
Dr. Trall pointed out that ordinary vegetarian foods contain all the carbon and hydrogen requisite to sustain the animal (or human) heat in all climates, and under all circumstances of temperature; and if every surplus carbon or hydrogen is taken into the system, it is, of course, thrown off; and when a large amount of surplus carbon and hydrogen is taken, the labor of expelling it is attended with a feverish excitement—which, instead of warming the body permanently, only wastes its energies, and renders it colder in the end. (Carrington, The Natural Food of Man.)
Carrington says, "All the conditions requisite for the due regulation of the animal" (including human) "temperature are: good digestion, free respiration, vigorous circulation, proper assimilation, and perfect depuration; in two words—good health." (p. 115)