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Even at an early age, Cheryl Day was a passionate and practical advocate for agriculture. Check out her viewpoint on current agricultural topics.

Can I Pay You $1,000 NOT to Eat Meat?

Oct 01, 2011

The North American Vegetarian Society kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month with World Vegetarian Day

"Make a difference this October by informing others about the benefits of vegetarianism. You will be helping to create a better world because vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives and help to preserve the Earth."  

If an individual makes an educated, well-researched effort with hard-core facts to make a dietary change, that is their business and not mine. However, if you make a dietary decision based on falsehoods placed in a promo then SHAME ON YOU.

I have several issues with Vegetarian Awareness Month and the current campaign to switch the world to the vegetarian way of life.

Closer Look

Myth:  Vegetarianism mproves health benefits

Truth:  Straight-up lean cuts of meat give you more bang for the buck. Meat is a great source of high-quality protein that no single vegetarian food can provide.

Facts about cholesterol from the American Heart Organization:

It may surprise you to know that cholesterol itself isn't bad. In fact, cholesterol is just one of the many substances created and used by our bodies to keep us healthy. Some of the cholesterol we need is produced naturally (and can be affected by your family health history), while some of it comes from the food we eat. Learn more about the sources of cholesterol.

Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75% of blood cholesterol. The other 25% comes from the foods you eat. Cholesterol is found only in animal products. Diet and physical activity contribute to overall blood cholesterol levels as well as the cholesterol that is made naturally by the body. The amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood is controlled in two important places: the liver and the intestines. The liver produces cholesterol (using it to make digestive — or bile — acids) and also removes cholesterol from the blood. The intestines absorb cholesterol, which comes from food and from bile.

Know your Fats

LDL cholesterol is affected by diet. Knowing which fats raise LDL cholesterol and which ones don't is the first step in lowering your risk of heart disease. In addition to the LDL produced naturally by your body, saturated fat, trans-fatty acids and dietary cholesterol can also raise blood cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats appear to not raise LDL cholesterol; some studies suggest they might even help lower LDL cholesterol slightly when eaten as part of a low-saturated and trans-fat diet.

Fats have an essential role in your health. Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too.

Closer Look at Lean Cuts of Meat (3-oz. serving):

 

Cut of Meat

Calories

Total Fat (g)

Sat. Fat (g)

Cholesterol(mg)

Protein (g)

Iron(mg)

Zinc (mg)

Daily Value

2000

65

20

300

50

18

15

Chicken Breast -Skinless, Boneless

140

3.0

0.9

72

26.4

0.9

0.06

Turkey- Skinless, Boneless

115

0.6

0.2

71

25.6

1.3

1.5

Beef-Eye Round & Steak

144

4.0

1.4

53

25.3

2.1

4.3

Ground Beef-95% Lean

139

5.1

2.3

65

21.9

2.4

5.5

Pork-Loin Chop

141

3.6

1.3

65

25.4

0.5

1.8

Tenderloin

159

5.4

1.9

80

25.9

1.2

2.5

 

* Daily Values Source: USDA           Compare Other Cuts of Lean Meats

Meat and other animal products provide additional essential natural nutrients like zinc, protein, iron and B vitamins. These nutrients build strong muscles, provide energy, build healthy immune systems and improve cognitive development. The key to a healthy lifestyle is selecting lean cuts of meat and a variety of food choices for a balanced diet.

I also invite you to read last Monday’s blog post, which compares plant proteins and animal proteins.

 

Myth: Vegetarianism helps to preserve the Earth

Truth: Anti-animal agriculture groups always state that raising animals for beef will single-handedly destroy the Earth. Here are the facts straight from Judith L. Capper, Ph.D., an assistant professor of dairy science in the Department of Animal Sciences at Washington State University:

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) claims that national carbon emissions would be reduced by 4.5% if everyone in the U.S. chose a vegetarian diet. This is an impressive achievement given the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites livestock production (including poultry and horses) as accounting for only 3.1% of total U.S. emissions. Where does that extra 1.4% come from?

 

Let’s do the math based on the EPA numbers. The EWG report focuses on the impact of red meat and dairy, so if we remove poultry and horses from the EPA’s 3.1% figure, we get a total red meat and dairy impact of 3.05%. Divide that by 7, and the impact of one meatless day per week is equal to 0.44% of the U.S. carbon footprint – and that’s assuming that the U.S. population of 311 million people all adopts this lifestyle change.

 

0.44% is minuscule. It’s a tiny fraction of the impact that we could make on the national carbon footprint. But if we put it in consumer-friendly numbers, it’s like taking 5.7 million cars off the road each year, or planting 4.5 billion trees. Sounds far more compelling now, doesn’t it?

 

Read More from Dr. Capper

 

But wait, fabricated statements are NOT the only disturbing thing about Vegetarian Awareness Month. There is also the effort to "get your friends to try vegetarian and they could win up to $1,000." If you can get your friend to go at least one day meat-free, they are qualified to win big dollars.

Do you think they would mind if I go without meat for one day but eat eggs, cheese, etc.? Or if I complete the challenge for one day and then spend the $1,000 on meat?

Seriously, does it take propaganda AND cash to get you to not eat meat?

Here are the facts: To be the winner, you must sign a statement certifying you have never been a vegetarian and you have abstained from all meat, fish and fowl.  Hmm... A winner trusted to tell the truth - the complete TRUTH - is selected randomly by an organization that presents lines and lines of UNTRUTHS about meat.  You be the judge.

 

 

 

 

 

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