Last updated on: 4/19/2017 11:10:03 AM PST
Should People Become Vegetarian?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated the following in their Jan. 31, 2011 "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010," available at www.cnpp.usda.gov:
"In prospective studies of adults, compared to non-vegetarian eating patterns, vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes—lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower total mortality. Several clinical trials have documented that vegetarian eating patterns lower blood pressure.
On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat (particularly saturated fatty acids); fewer overall calories; and more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C than do non-vegetarians. Vegetarians generally have a lower body mass index. These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians...
A healthy eating pattern focuses on nutrient-dense foods—vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats and poultry, seafood, eggs, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds that are prepared without added solid fats, sugars, starches, and sodium...
The USDA Food Patterns allow for additional flexibility in choices through their adaptations for vegetarians—a vegan pattern that contains only plant foods and a lacto-ovo vegetarian pattern that includes milk and milk products and eggs."
[Editor's Note: In the 2015-2020 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the USDA and HHS introduced a new "Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern," alongside their "Healthy US-Style Eating Pattern" and their "Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern."]
Jan. 31, 2011 - US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The American Heart Association stated the following on its webpage "Vegetarian Diets," available at www.americanheart.org (accessed Apr. 19, 2017):
"Most vegetarian diets are low in or devoid of animal products. They’re also usually lower than nonvegetarian diets in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Many studies have shown that vegetarians seem to have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer.
Vegetarian diets can be healthful and nutritionally sound if they’re carefully planned to include essential nutrients. However, a vegetarian diet can be unhealthy if it contains too many calories and/or saturated fat and not enough important nutrients."
Apr. 19, 2017 - American Heart Association
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) stated the following in its "Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets" published on pages 1266-1282 in the June 2009 Journal of the American Dietetic Association:
"[A]ppropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes...
An evidence-based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidencebased review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals."
[Editors Note: On May 10, 2011, ProCon.org contacted the ADA to clarify their official position on vegetarianism. As backing for their not clearly pro or con position on vegetarian diets, ADA has also published a July 2007 position paper titled "Total Diet Approach to Communicating Food and Nutrition Information" which states "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that the total diet or overall pattern of food eaten is the most important focus of a healthful eating style. All foods can fit within this pattern, if consumed in moderation with appropriate portion size and combined with regular physical activity."]
May 27, 2009 - American Dietetic Association (ADA)
The North American Vegetarian Society stated the following in its article "Vegetarian FAQ," available at www.navs-online.org (accessed Apr. 19, 2017):
"[C]ompletely eliminating meat and animal products reaps the greatest health benefits. Although different meats have varying amounts of fat, they all contain about the same amount of cholesterol. In addition, diets high in animal protein are associated with high blood cholesterol, thereby raising the risk of heart disease...
All animal products contain considerably more concentrated levels of pesticide residue than either vegetables or grains. Like red meat, poultry and fish contain no beneficial carbohydrates, fiber, or phytochemicals...
Fish contain substantially more heavy metals (such as lead, mercury, and cadmium) and industrial pollutants (such PCBs, DDT and dioxins) than land animals...
In the United States alone, about 10 billion animals are killed each year to be turned into meat. This translates into about 34 animals per person that are needlessly killed each year to appease the human appetite... Conditions on factory farms and at slaughterhouses are deplorable. Most farm animals live in cramped, filthy quarters that do not allow for even the most basic needs such as fresh air, sunshine, sanitary conditions, unrestrained movement, natural mating, suckling offspring, or developing normal social behaviors...
There is a common misconception that a vegetarians have a limited array of food choices. Just the opposite is true. Vegetarians commonly eat a wider variety of foods than most meat eaters."
Apr. 19, 2017 - The North American Vegetarian Society
Navneet Kumar Kaushik, Demonstrator at the Department of Physiology at the Pt. B.D. Sharma University of Health Sciences (India), et al., in a Mar. 2015 article titled "Vegetarian Diets: Health Benefits and Associated Risks," for the International Archives of Integrated Medicine journal, available from the Index Medicus for South-East Asia Region (IMSEAR) website, wrote:
"A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that wholesome vegetarian diets offer distinct advantages compared to diets containing meat and other foods of animal origin...
It has been shown that properly applied vegetarian diet is the most effective way of reducing body mass (expressed as BMI), improving the plasma lipid profile and in decreasing the incidence of high arterial blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome and arteriosclerosis. In addition, improved insulin sensitivity together with lower rates of diabetes and cancer has been observed... on balance it can be reasonably concluded that the beneficial effects of a vegetarian diet significantly, by far, outweigh the adverse ones."
Mar. 2015 - Navneet Kumar Kaushik
Ingrid E. Newkirk, President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), stated the following in her May 5, 2011 email to ProCon.org:
"Let me offer five good reasons to go vegetarian that are worth considering by every kind and just person: First, we share with all animals the ability to feel joy, love, pain, loneliness, and the desire to avoid harm, so let's relate to who is on our plate.
Second, if we find it horrifying to imagine stepping into a factory farm, separating a mother cow from her calf and slitting the infant's throat just so that we can experience the fleeting taste of a piece of meat, then we surely find something wrong with paying someone else - via our meat counter purchases - to do it for us.
Third, it is impossible to talk about justice, understanding, and multiculturalism and to object to violence, exploitation, oppression, discrimination, and supremacism without choking if we are still trying to find a way to justify stealing the very lives from other individuals we consider 'different.'
Fourth, meat is decomposing flesh from a body that was not given up without a struggle, fear, and suffering - unless we are eating roadkill from animals who died instantaneously and never knew what hit them.
Five, it is so easy to switch to vegan living, because today we have cookbooks like Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet; vegan fast food like Taco Bell's 7-Layer Burrito (hold the dairy); an endless variety of ethnic restaurants (e.g., Italian, Ethiopian, Japanese, Szechuan, Indian); and supermarkets that sell protein-packed and cholesterol-free taste-alikes (e.g., soy sausage, fakin' 'bacon,' vegan 'cheese' pizzas, and faux chicken) just in case we ever get a craving for the taste of meat or dairy products - and all of them come without the factory farming, environmental destruction, cruelty, and other ugly, dirty aspects of using animals as food."
May 5, 2011 - Ingrid E. Newkirk
James Cameron, director, screenwriter, and producer, in a June 2016 interview with Adrian Czarny for the James Cameron Online fansite, available from this site under the title "Q&A with James Cameron," stated:
"The conclusions are absolutely irrefutable - meat and dairy are not only un-necessary, they are the major contributors to the diseases of affluence plaguing developed nations - obesity, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, several major cancers, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, erectile dysfunction and others too numerous to list. And when I say meat, I'm talking about ALL ANIMAL MUSCLE TISSUE - fish, shrimp, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb - not just beef."
June 2016 - James Cameron
Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, Professor of Nutrition and Medicine at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, stated the following in his chapter "The Public Health Risk-to-Benefit Ratio of Vegetarian Diets: Changing Paradigms," published in the 2001 book Vegetarian Nutrition:
"Numerous studies show important and quantifiable benefits of the different components of vegetarian diets, namely the reduction of risk for many chronic diseases and the increase in longevity. Such evidence is derived from the study of vegetarians as well as other populations. While meat intake has been related to increased risk for a variety of chronic diseases, an abundant consumption of vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts, and legumes has been independently related to a lower risk for several chronic degenerative diseases such as ischemic heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many cancers. Also, frequency of consumption of plant foods has been identified as a factor for increased longevity in industrialized nations. Hence, foods of plant origin seem to be beneficial on their own merit for chronic-disease prevention. This is possibly more certain than the detrimental effects of meats.
Vegetarian diets, as any other diet pattern, have potential health risks, namely marginal intake of a few essential nutrients. However, from the public health viewpoint, the health benefits of a plant-based vegetarian diet far outweigh the potential risks."
2001 - Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine stated the following in their article "Vegetarian Foods: Powerful Tools for Health," available at www.pcrm.org (accessed Apr. 19, 2017):
"A vegetarian menu is a powerful and pleasurable way to achieve good health...
Vegetarians have much lower cholesterol levels than meat-eaters, and heart disease is less common in vegetarians...
An impressive number of studies, dating back to the early 1920s, show that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than nonvegetarians...
The latest studies on diabetes show that a vegetarian diet high in complex carbohydrates and fiber (which are found only in plant foods) and low in fat is the best dietary prescription for controlling and preventing diabetes...
A vegetarian diet helps prevent cancer. Studies of vegetarians show that death rates from cancer are only about one-half to three-quarters of the general population's death rates...
Vegetarians are less likely to form either kidney stones or gallstones. In addition, vegetarians may also be at lower risk for osteoporosis because they eat little or no animal protein...
It’s easy to plan vegetarian diets that meet all your nutrient needs."
Apr. 19, 2017 - Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Paul Watson, President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, stated the following in his Apr. 30, 2007 article "A Very Inconvenient Truth," available at www.mountainfilm.org:
"The meat industry is one of the most destructive ecological industries on the planet. The raising and slaughtering of pigs, cows, sheep, turkeys and chickens not only utilizes vast areas of land and vast quantities of water, but it is a greater contributor to greenhouse gas emissions than the automobile industry.
The seafood industry is literally plundering the ocean of life and some fifty percent of fish caught from the oceans is fed to cows, pigs, sheep, chickens etc in the form of fish meal...
There is not enough fish in the world's oceans to feed 6.6 billion human beings and another 10 billion domestic animals. That is why all the world's commercial fisheries are collapsing...
Most people don't want to see where their meat comes from. They also don't want to know what the impact of their meat has on the ecology. They would rather deny the whole thing and pretend meat is something that comes in packages from the store...
Eating meat and fish is not only bad for the environment it's also unhealthy. Yet even when it comes to our own health we slip into denial and order the Whopper. The bottom line is that to be a conservationist and an environmentalist, you must practice and promote vegetarianism or better yet veganism."
Apr. 30, 2007 - Paul Watson
Jane Goodall, PhD, Founder and President of the Jane Goodall Institute, stated the following in her 2005 book Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating:
"In the early 1970s, I learned about the horrors of intensive animal production... This happened suddenly as a result of reading Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. I had never heard of a factory farm before and as I turned the pages I became increasingly incredulous, horrified and angry...
I can still remember how I felt when I closed Singer's book. I thought about the delicious pork chops that I loved, the heavenly smell of frying bacon in the morning. And all the roast chicken, casseroled chicken, fried chicken, and chicken soup that I had enjoyed during my life... When I saw meat on my plate, from that moment on, I should think of pain-fear-death. How horrible.
And so it was clear. I would eat no more meat.
The good news is that vegetarian - and vegan - food is not only good for the environment, the welfare of animals, and human health, but it is also delicious when properly cooked...
I recognize that, for many people, giving up meat would be extremely hard. But if everyone knew and faced up to all the facts, most would either opt for drastically cutting their meat consumption and eating only free-range animals, or giving up meat altogether. For the mass production of meat on intensive farms is taking its toll not only, as we have seen, on the well-being of the animal victims, but also on human health. And it is wreaking havoc on the environment whether the animals are factory-farmed or grazed."
2005 - Jane Goodall, PhD
Melanie Joy, PhD, EdM, Professor of Psychology and Sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, stated the following in her May 27, 2011 email to ProCon.org:
"In much of the world today, people don’t eat animals because they have to; they eat animals because they choose to. And when eating animals is a choice rather than a necessity, it becomes an ethical and an ideological issue. The unnecessary slaughter and consumption of other sentient beings requires that people act against their core values - such as justice, compassion, and reciprocity - and that they remain unaware of the inconsistency in their values and behaviors. Such widespread ethical inconsistency is only possible within the context of a widespread ideology.
Carnism is the invisible ideology that conditions people to eat (certain) animals. Ideologies such as carnism, whose tenets run counter to core human values, maintain themselves by teaching us not to think or feel when we follow their dictates, and they do this by using a set of social and psychological defense mechanisms. ‘Carnistic defenses’ hide the contradictions between our values and behaviors, allowing us to make exceptions to what we would normally consider ethical. Consider how most people in the West (‘inedible’ species change from culture to culture) would feel disgusted eating golden retriever flesh, and yet regularly consume the flesh of pigs, who are equally if not more intelligent than dogs and who - like all sentient beings - have lives that matter to them.
Carnistic defenses include invisibility (the ideology and its victims are kept out of public consciousness), the Three Ns of Justification (we learn that eating animals is normal, natural, and necessary - the same myths used to justify other violent ideologies), and cognitive distortions (for instance, we refer to the chicken on our plate as something, rather than someone).
For those of us who have the luxury of reflecting on the ethics of our choices, once we step outside the carnistic box it becomes clear that the only logical and ethical choice is vegetarianism."
May 27, 2011 - Melanie Joy, PhD, EdM
Susan Levin, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition Education at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, stated the following in her Feb. 6, 2011 article "New Dietary Guidelines Could Save Lives," published in the Denver Post:
"Conclusive scientific evidence supports a low-fat, plant-based diet for optimal health. Peer-reviewed studies find that people who avoid meat cut their risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease - the number one cause of death in America. Researchers have found that low-fat, plant-based diets can even help reverse type 2 diabetes and heart disease after these diseases have already set in.
This is not new information, but the federal government has been extremely slow to accept that plant-based diets are the healthiest choice for Americans. Food industry interests have often gotten in the way of current evidence on nutrition and health...
But the bright spot is hard to miss: The new guidelines ["2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans" published by the USDA] devote two full pages to vegetarian and vegan diets and the health benefits of following these eating patterns. They point out that these diets provide nutritional advantages and reduce obesity, heart disease, and overall mortality."
Feb. 6, 2011 - Susan Levin, MS, RD
Paul McCartney, singer, songwriter, and vegetarian activist, stated the following in a video titled "Glass Walls," available at www.meat.org (accessed Apr. 19, 2017):
"I've often said, If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian...
Animals raised on modern factory farms and killed in slaughterhouses endure almost unimaginable suffering, I hope that once you see the routine cruelty involved in raising, transporting, and killing animals for food, you'll join the millions of people who've decided to leave meat off their plates for good...
Modern meat production is responsible for recent outbreaks of Mad Cow Disease, SARS, Bird Flu, and other diseases, and animal products are also often contaminated with a bacterial stew...
The consumption of animal flesh, all of which is riddled with fat and chloresterol, is also a prime contributor to today's epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and cancer...
If we care about the environment, cutting meat out of our diet is the most important action we can take. It is only prejudice that allows anyone to think there is a difference between abusing a cat and abusing a chicken, or abusing a dog and abusing a pig. Suffering is suffering no matter how you slice it.
Eating meat is bad for our health, it is bad for the environment, and it directly supports appalling cruelty to animals."
Apr. 19, 2017 - Paul McCartney
Mike Ness, lead singer and guitarist for the band Social Distortion, stated the following during a public service announcement recorded for PETA "Meat's Not Green," available at www.peta.org (accessed Apr. 19, 2017):
"The more I got educated about cruelty and inhumane treatment, then it was really a no brainer [to become a vegetarian]. You know, no one would barbeque their family dog. You know, why is a cow or a pig different, or a chicken different. They are just as much of a gentle animal as a dog or a cat...
Apr. 19, 2017 - Mike Ness
Michael Pollan, MA, author and Professor of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, stated the following in his article "Animal Welfare: FAQ & Useful Links," available at the website of Michael Pollan (accessed Apr. 19, 2017):
"I’m not a vegetarian because I enjoy eating meat, meat is nutritious food, and I believe there are ways to eat meat that are in keeping with my environmental and ethical values. I don’t make the decision to eat meat lightly. Meat-eating has always been a messy business, shadowed by the shame of killing... Forgetting, or willed ignorance, is the preferred strategy of many beef eaters, a strategy abetted by the industry. (What grocery-store item is more silent about its origins than a shrink-wrapped steak?)...
Meat eating may have become an act riddled with moral and ethical ambiguities, but eating a steak at the end of a short, primordial food chain comprising nothing more than ruminants and grass and sunlight is something I’m happy to do and defend. The same is true for a pastured chicken or hog. When obtained from small farms where these animals are treated well, fed an appropriate diet, and generally allowed to express their creaturely character, I think the benefits of eating such meat outweigh the cost. A truly sustainable agriculture will involve animals, in order to complete the nutrient cycle, and those animals are going to be killed and eaten.
That said, I have the ultimate respect for vegetarians and vegans. For they have actually done the work of thinking through the consequences of their eating decisions, something most of the rest of us have not done. My own examination of those consequences has led me to the conclusion that eating a small amount of meat from certain kinds of farms is something I can feel good about. But we all have to decide this question for ourselves, and different people will come to different conclusions, depending on their values."
Apr. 19, 2017 - Michael Pollan, MA
Vaclav Smil, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Manitoba (Canada), in a July 19, 2013 article for the Scientific American website titled "Should Humans Eat Meat?" wrote:
"Killing animals and eating meat have been significant components of human evolution that had a synergistic relationship with other key attributes that have made us human, with larger brains, smaller guts, bipedalism and language. Larger brains benefited from consuming high-quality proteins in meat-containing diets, and, in turn, hunting and killing of large animals, butchering of carcasses and sharing of meat have inevitably contributed to the evolution of human intelligence in general and to the development of language and of capacities for planning, cooperation and socializing in particular... [T]here is no doubt that the human digestive tract has clearly evolved for omnivory, not for purely plant-based diets. And the role of scavenging, and later hunting, in the evolution of bipedalism and the mastery of endurance running cannot be underestimated, and neither can the impact of planned, coordinated hunting on non-verbal communication and the evolution of language...
Meat consumption is a part of our evolutionary heritage; meat production has been a major component of modern food systems; carnivory should remain, within limits, an important component of a civilization that finally must learn how to maintain the integrity of its only biosphere."
July 19, 2013 - Vaclav Smil, PhD
Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Founder and former CEO of Microsoft, in an Apr. 21, 2015 article for his blog GatesNotes, titled "Is There Enough Meat for Everyone?" wrote:
"In my late twenties I went vegetarian for a year. Some of my friends were strict non-meat-eaters, and I wanted to try it out... In the end, though, I couldn't keep it going, and I eventually returned to my carnivorous ways.
Years later, I came to realize that it was a luxury for me to spurn meat. In most places, as people earn more money, they want to eat more meat. Brazil's per-capita consumption has gone up fourfold since 1950. China's nearly doubled in the 1990s. Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan have also seen big increases.
More countries are sure to follow, and that's a good thing. Meat is a great source of high-quality proteins that help children fully develop mentally and physically. In fact part of our foundation's health strategy involves getting more meat, dairy, and eggs into the diets of children in Africa."
Apr. 21, 2015 - Bill Gates
Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability, stated the following in her 2009 book:
"[L]ongings - for compassion, for sustainability, for an equitable distribution of resources - are not served by the philosophy or practice of vegetarianism... The vegetarian Pied Pipers have the best of intentions. I'll state right now what I'll be repeating later: everything they say about factory farming is true. It is cruel, wasteful, and destructive...
Certainly, most people who consume factory farmed meat have never asked what died and how it died. But frankly, neither have most vegetarians.
The truth is that agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have done to the planet, and more of the same won't save us. The truth is that agriculture requires the wholesale destruction of entire ecosystems. The truth is also that life isn't possible without death, that no matter what you eat, someone has to die to feed you.
When the rainforest falls to beef, progressives are outraged, aware, ready to boycott. But our attachment to the vegetarian myth leaves us uneasy, silent, and ultimately immobilized when the culprit is wheat and the victim is the prairie...
The vast majority of people in the US don't grow food, let alone hunt and gather it. We have no way to judge how much death is embodied in a serving of salad, a bowl of fruit, a plate of beef...
A vegetarian diet - especially a low-fat version, and most especially a vegan one - is not sufficient nutrition for long-term maintenance and repair of the human body. To put it bluntly, it will damage you. I know. Two years into my veganhood, my health failed, and it failed catastrophically."
2009 - Lierre Keith
Sally Fallon Morell, MA, President and Treasurer of the Weston A. Price Foundation, stated the following in her Spring 2008 article "Twenty-Two Reasons Not to Go Vegetarian," published in the magazine Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts:
"Not a single bite of food reaches our mouths that has not involved the killing of animals. By some estimates, at least 300 animals per acre—including mice, rats, moles, groundhogs and birds—are killed for the production of vegetable and grain foods, often in gruesome ways. Only one animal per acre is killed for the production of grass-fed beef and no animal is killed for the production of grass-fed milk until the end of the life of the dairy cow.
And what about the human beings, especially growing human beings, who are suffering from nutrient deficiencies and their concomitant health problems as a consequence of a vegetarian diet? Or does only animal suffering count?...
Vegetarians wishing to make a political statement should strive for consistency. Cows are slaughtered not only to put steak on the table, but to obtain components used in soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, plastics, pharmaceuticals, waxes (as in candles and crayons), modern building materials and hydraulic brake fluid for airplanes. The membrane that vibrates in your telephone contains beef gelatin. So to avoid hypocrisy, vegetarians need to also refrain from using anything made of plastic, talking on the telephone, flying in airplanes, letting their kids use crayons, and living or working in modern buildings.
The ancestors of modern vegetarians would not have survived without using animal products like fur to keep warm, leather to make footwear, belts, straps and shelter, and bones for tools. In fact, the entire interactive network of life on earth, from the jellyfish to the judge, is based on the sacrifice of animals and the use of animal foods. There’s no escape from dependence on slaughtered animals, not even for really good vegan folks who feel wonderful about themselves as they finish their vegan meal...
Going vegetarian is very difficult. The body needs animal foods and provides a powerful drive to eat them. Cravings and resentment are a natural byproduct of a vegetarian diet, not to mention separation from the the majority of humankind by unnatural eating habits and sense of moral rectitude."
Spring 2008 - Sally Fallon Morell, MA
Simon Fairlie, Editor of The Land magazine, stated the following in an Oct. 12, 2010 interview, "Simon Fairlie: How Eating Meat Can Save the Planet," published in TIME magazine:
"Every agricultural system produces a surplus of waste and hard-to-use biomass that is best kept in the food chain by feeding it to livestock. Meat or dairy produced this way has little extra environmental impact...
Scientists have calculated that globally the ratio between the amounts of useful plant food used to produce meat is about 5 to 1. If you feed animals only food that humans can eat - which is, indeed, largely the case in the Western world - that may be true. But animals also eat food we can't eat, such as grass. So the real conversion figure is 1.4 to 1...
[Y]ou can afford to eat a modest amount of dairy and meat without destructing the environment. But, of course, it is not what we eat individually - it is what we eat as a whole society that has the impact on the environment. Some vegans may continue their vegan ways. I'm arguing for meat in moderation, not to eradicate meat entirely, nor to overconsume it...
I was a vegetarian from 18 to 24 years old, and I gave up meat partly because I had misgivings about the cruelty to animals. But I began eating meat again when I moved to the [English] countryside and started keeping goats. I had to do something with the male goats. They wouldn't produce milk or offspring, so I started eating them. At 59, I now eat meat twice a week. I still to this day have some misgivings about killing animals for food. But intellectually, I know it is the right thing to do."
Oct. 12, 2010 - Simon Fairlie
Stephen Byrnes, PhD, RNCP, former clinical nutrition specialist, stated the following in his Jan. 2002 article "The Myths of Vegetarianism," available at westonaprice.org:
"[A]s a practitioner who has dealt with several former vegetarians and vegans (total vegetarians), I know full well the dangerous effects of a diet devoid of healthful animal products...
The mainstream health and vegetarian media have done such an effective job of 'beef bashing,' that most people think there is nothing healthful about meat, especially red meat. In reality, however, animal flesh foods like beef and lamb are excellent sources of a variety of nutrients as any food/nutrient table will show. Nutrients like vitamins A, D, several of the B-complex, essential fatty acids (in small amounts), magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, iron, taurine, and selenium are abundant in beef, lamb, pork, fish and shellfish, and poultry. Nutritional factors like coenzyme Q10, carnitine, and alpha-lipoic acid are also present. Some of these nutrients are only found in animal foods--plants do not supply them...
[I]t is often claimed that, since eating meat involves the taking of a life, it is somehow tantamount to murder... Modern peoples (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) have lost touch with what it takes to survive in our world...
When Native Americans killed a game animal for food, they would routinely offer a prayer of thanks to the animal's spirit for giving its life so that they could live. In our world, life feeds off life. Destruction is always balanced with generation. This is a good thing: unchecked, the life force becomes cancerous. If animal food consumption is viewed in this manner, it is hardly murder, but sacrifice. Modern peoples would do well to remember this."
Jan. 2002 - Stephen Byrnes, PhD, RNCP
Ron Schmid, ND, naturopathic physician, stated the following in his article "Recovering from Vegetarianism," available at www.drrons.com (accessed Apr. 19, 2017):
"[T]he centerpiece of a truly healthy diet must be animal foods. That means a substantial portion of meat, seafood, fowl, eggs or raw dairy at just about every meal. That is how one recovers from vegetarianism and builds lasting health and strength."
Apr. 19, 2017 - Ron Schmid, ND
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association stated the following in their 2011 article "Lean Beef Strengthens Diets for a Leaner, Healthier America," available at beefnutrition.org:
"At a time when calories really matter, lean beef is a great solution that can satisfy your appetite and provide more nutrients for fewer calories than many other foods. Nutrient-rich lean beef can help you meet the new Dietary Guidelines because it provides 10 essential nutrients for about 154 calories. In fact, it can take two to three times more calories to get the same amount of protein from many plant-based alternatives than from lean beef...
Research shows beef's high-quality protein and essential nutrients make good diets better, improving overall nutrient intake and diet quality, and contributing to positive health outcomes like weight management."
2011 - National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Anthony Bourdain, chef and host of the television show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, stated the following in his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly:
"Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demiglace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It's healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I've worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold. Oh, I'll accommodate them, I'll rummage around for something to feed them, for a 'vegetarian plate', if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine...
Like I said before, your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride. Sure, it's a 'play you pay' sort of an adventure, but you knew that already, every time you ever ordered a taco or a dirty-water hot dog."
2000 - Anthony Bourdain
Jacky Hayward, former Editor and Community Manager at ChefsBlade.com, stated the following in her article "Why I Eat Meat (And Why You Should, Too)," available at Chef's Blade (accessed Apr. 19, 2017):
"I started writing about food because I was tired of vegetarians and vegans telling me I should stop eating meat all together as my carnivorous consumption was inhumane and contrary to humanities’ evolution as a species. I eat meat. I will continue to eat meat. And I think you should too...
One of the strong arguments against eating meat is that great amount of food energy wasted every time an animal eats another animal (a 9-to-1 ratio), but in the case of cows that are grass-fed, they are eating biomass from which we cannot glean food calories. In addition, the energy to grow grass comes from the sun, which means cows are, in essence, converting the sun’s energy, through the venue of grass, into food energy that we can consume. And, importantly, grass fed beefy is mighty tasty.
And to my final reason for eating meat: It tastes good. I crave it. I am lethargic both physically and mentally without it. I also have canine teeth. Vegetarians and vegans often say that humans have evolved to a point where they don’t need to eat meat to survive. While I would be able to live without meat, my life would not be as good. Just as cows can live on corn meal rather than grass, humans can live only plants, but maybe they shouldn’t. I believe there is a biological reason I crave meat: My body needs it...
And so, I will now say again: I eat meat. I will continue to eat meat. And I think you should too."
Apr. 19, 2017 - Jacky Hayward
Ted Nugent, musician, hunter and author, stated the following during a June 11, 2002 interview "I Have the American Dream Licked," published in Salon:
"Pure, perfect-quality protein is available to everyone who wants to flex their natural instinct to be self-sufficient, independent, more honestly in tune with the source of their sustenance. There's plenty of critters to go around, plenty of land to go around... help reduce the damned deer population! Or the mountain lion, or the elk - there's more elk, there's more moose, there's more buffalo than in over 150 years. Everybody's got too many geese! Everybody's got too many turkeys! Everybody's got too many deer! Kill 'em and grill 'em!
I really mean it! If you want your body to be healthier, get off the salmonella, e-coli, mad cow, assembly-line toxic hell train! God I love that statement. What did I just say? The salmonella, e-coli, runaway toxic hell train of mass assembly-line slaughter! It's indecent. What I do is pure...!
I balance the land. The Mitchell-Satcher butterfly is thriving on my property based on the scientific report that I kill enough deer to save the Christmas tree fern so that they can produce and breed! That's how you do that! It's not heh-heh, the deer's in danger heh-heh, let's save Bambi!...!
If you want to do good, you will take part in a conscientious, intellectual, hands-on relationship with this lovely thing called the cycle of life and death."
June 11, 2002 - Ted Nugent