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Converted Die-Hard Vegetarian:

By   /   March 4, 2013  /   20 Comments

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More and more die-hard vegetarians are becoming meat eaters. Why the change of heart? It’s simple: They’re plumb tired of being sick and tired.

“For 14 years I felt sick, nauseated, and bloated,” says Lierre Keith. She’s the author of The Vegetarian Myth, one of the most important books on this subject. “Anything I ate became a bowling ball lodged in my stomach.”

Her stomach was distended because her digestion was damaged from her vegetarian diet. To fix it, she had to return to eating meat.

Lierre understands all the “noble” reasons that made her a vegetarian for 14 years. Her book is a compelling insight into why she now eats meat.

Most vegetarians won’t admit it, even to themselves, but they just can’t stand the health consequences. They have no energy. They feel frail. They’re getting sick. And they’re getting old before their time.

They’ve also damaged their digestive systems. And they can’t produce hormones like growth hormone, testosterone, and thyroid hormone.

Vegetarians often look down their noses at the rest of us, thinking they’re morally and politically correct. It’s elitist thinking. Vegetarians don’t believe they owe a debt to the energy we all share in nature. They want to remove themselves from the real world so they don’t have to participate.

But in the real world, you have to participate and play the game.

It’s the same game we’ve played successfully for millions of years until they wanted to change it. You borrow energy by eating meat. Then one day you get eaten, and you give it back.

Of course, you can avoid being eaten by a predator in modern times. But in the end, you’re going to be eaten by something. Eventually, your carbon, nitrogen, and your energy are returned back to the earth.

We’re not really at the top of the food pyramid when we eat meat. Because it’s not a pyramid at all. It’s a circle. And you’re a part of it.

Vegetarians like Lierre who convert back to meat eating have matured. They’ve stopped clinging to childlike arguments and wishful thinking. They act with what the ancients call “adult knowledge.”

Adult knowledge is what our primitive ancestors knew instinctively. That we’re indebted to nature from the moment we’re born. We’re dependent on other living creatures.

You can’t opt out of this system. Even if you’re willing to compromise your health and eat plants only, there is still a price to pay…

You Still Kill Animals by Eating Vegetables

Vegetarians talk about meat eaters like they’re predators. But it’s not a winning moral argument. Because when you eat grains, you’re killing animals, too. And worse.

Agriculture and commercial farming is one of the most destructive things we’ve done to our own planet. We are destroying all the creatures that depend on it.

Grain destroys the environment. It’s an annual grass that requires a huge amount of resources. It depletes the topsoil and is war on the ecosystem. You have to kill off every other plant to grow grain. When you do that, you kill off every animal in the ecosystem that depends on those plants. There’s nothing moral about doing that.

Even if you only eat vegetables, you’re still killing animals. Commercial farming practices have taken over and destroyed prairies, fields, and forests that animals have lived in for millions of years.

But when you eat animals that live in their native environment, there are no consequences to the environment. The environment continues exactly as it was before. There is no energy expenditure. All that annihilation of the environment goes away.

Vegetarians don’t want to face it. But they are part of this cycle. There is no getting out of it.

I’m not suggesting vegetarians run out to Outback Steakhouse. Or pick up a sirloin at the market on their way home and throw it on the grill. Because that is just as irresponsible as clinging to beliefs that make them sick.

The commercial farming industry is a travesty. But it’s the ethics of the system, not the meat, that’s the enemy.

Eating meat is not ethically wrong. But eating ethically wrong meat is wrong.

Hidden Dangers of Grain

Feeding cows a grain diet is dangerous to the cow and to humans.

Cows are ruminants. They have four stomachs. The first is the rumen, designed to digest plant matter. Cows “chew their cud” before it moves from one stomach to another. The word “ruminate” comes    Latin and means “to chew over again.”

When a cow’s diet switches to grain, two things happen.

Rumination stops. The rumen can’t digest grain properly. Instead, the grain creates great amounts of gas called, “feedlot bloat.” It builds up inside the rumen until it presses against the cow’s lungs. Cows suffocate.

Cows develop acidosis from too much starch and sugar in the grain, just as we develop acid indigestion. They stop feeding. They develop inflammation and disease.

When a cow’s stomach is acidic, bacteria such as E. coli become resistant. Grass-fed beef has 80% less E. coli. Switching    grain-fed beef decreases E. coli by 10,000,000 times.3

Campylobacter is another bacteria passed on to humans. 58% of grain-fed cows carry it compared to 2% of grass-fed cows.4

Grain-fed cows are injected with synthetic hormones. rBGH and rBST are outlawed by the European Union, Japan, Australia, and Canada due to animal and human risk. Both are used frequently in the U.S.5

This should be a rally cry for these converts. Former vegetarians who now eat meat understand this concept. When you purchase grass-fed beef from small, independent ranchers, it’s sustainable. And much healthier than hormone-stuffed burgers – or no burger at all.

Commercial farming practices create sick, diseased animals. But you buy them for dinner without a second thought.

You can’t see the difference when you look at the meat in the butcher’s case. You might not even taste the difference. But if you’ve never been to a commercial feedlot, let me give you an idea of what’s going on.

First, bulls are castrated. Then they’re injected with synthetic hormones to make them grow. They live out their lives standing in their own filth in cement sheds, never seeing the light of day. Their diet is so unnatural it makes them deathly sick. Then they’re kept barely alive by antibiotics until they’re slaughtered at an early age.

This is what you’re served up at restaurants and in your own home, if you’re like most people.

It might look good on the plate, but you’re getting a dose of hormones with every bite. Commercial beef in the U.S. contains dangerous, synthetic hormones that are ending up in you and your children.

Why do you think young girls these days are going through puberty when they’re still babies? Why are young boys developing breast tissue?

This is a worldwide health concern. Hormone-treated, U.S. meat has been banned throughout the European nations since 1989.1

In the U.S., 70 percent of all antibiotics go to “healthy” livestock instead of people.2 But commercial livestock isn’t healthy. Commercial farmers use the antibiotics to keep dying animals alive just long enough to sell to you.

Why Grass-Fed Beef Is Better

  1. Less overall fat and calories: A six-ounce grass-fed loin has 92 fewer calories than grain-fed. This saves an average American 16,642 calories each year.6
  2. More Omega-3: Grass-fed beef has 2 to 10 times more omega-3′s than grain-fed beef and a healthy ratio as little as 1:1. Grain-fed beef is as much as 14:1.7
  3. More CLA: Grass-fed beef has two to five times more CLA than grain-fed.8 CLA supports immune and cardiovascular function and lean muscle mass. Studies show women with highest levels of CLA have 60-74% lower risk of breast cancer.9
  4. More Vitamin E: Grass-fed beef contains three to six times more vitamin E than grain-fed beef.10
  5. More Carotenoids: Grass-fed beef has up to four times more beta-carotene than grain-fed beef.11 Carotenoids promote eye and macular health.
  6. More B Vitamins, CoQ10, and Zinc: Grass-fed beef has more B vitamins, CoQ10, and zinc than grain-fed beef.

Your Plan for Better Health

Step 1: Choose grass-fed, but don’t stick to beef. Try buffalo, pork, venison, or other responsibly raised meat. Here is a comparison of basic nutrients you’ll find in grass-fed meats:

Based on 3 1/2 ounces Buffalo Beef Pork Venison
Calories 141.89 281.8 246.08 156.47
Protein (g) 28.18 25.8 26.89 29.97
Fat (g) 2.38 19.05 14.59 3.18
Iron (mg) 3.37 2.68 0.99 4.47
Sodium (mg) 56.66 60.53 58.54 53.58
Potassium (mg) 358.2 343.32 404.84 332.4
Saturated Fat (g) 0.9 7.58 5.33 1.24
Monounsaturated Fat (g) 0.94 8.29 6.46 0.87
Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 0.24 0.74 1.2 0.62
Cholesterol (mg) 81.36 82.36 81.36 111.13

As you can see in the table above, buffalo has more protein than beef and almost no fat. If you haven’t tried it, let me tell you, it really tastes great on the grill.

If you can’t find a family-owned farm or rancher in your area, go to the web. Many independent farmers advertise online and ship right to your doorstep.

If this is your first bite in years, go slow. It takes up to a week for enzymes in your body to adjust, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

Step 2: Try reintroducing organ meats. In the wild, predatory animals instinctively know that organ meat contains the most nutrients. Many cultures prize organ meat, but Americans still shy away. Try grass-fed organ meat such as liver, heart, or kidneys. Serve it for dinner or add small amounts to your favorite recipes for a nutritional boost.

To give you an idea what you’re missing, here’s a list of nutrients found in organ meat:



A Phosphorous
B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 Iron
Biotin Copper
C Magnesium
D Selenium
E Zinc
Folate Molybdenum
K Iodine
Amino Acids
Coenzyme Q10
  1. “American Beef: Why is it Banned in Europe?” Cancer Prevention Coalition: http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/general/hormones_meat.htm
  2. “FDA Official Support Livestock Antibiotic Limit” Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/fda-livestock-antibiotic-pampta-0261.html
  3. Diez-Gonzalex, F., Callaway, TR., et al. “Grain feeding and the dissemination of acid-resistant Escherichia coli    cattle.” Science. 1998 Sept;281(5383):1666-8.
  4. Graham D Bailey,G., Vanselow, B., “A study of the foodborne pathogens: Campylobacter, Listeria and Yersinia, in faeces    slaughter-age cattle and sheep in Australia.” Communicable Diseases Intelligence. 2003 June; 27(2).
  5. rBGH & rBST. 2009. http://www.sustainabletable.org/spread/handouts/rBGH.pdf. Accessed 02 2010.
  6. Robinson, J. “Pasture Perfect: The Far Reaching Benefits of Choosing Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products    Grass-Fed Animals.” Vashon Island Press. 2004.
  7. “Scientific Research.” http://www.eatwild.com. Accessed 02 2010.
  8. T. R. Dhiman (2001). “Role of diet on conjugated linoleic acid content of milk and meat” (PDF). Journal of Animal Science 79. http://www.adsa.org/jointabs/iaafs108.pdf.
  9. Bougnoux, P., Lavillonniere, F., Riboli, E., “Inverse relation between CLA in adipose breast tissue and risk of breast cancer,” Inform 10;5:S43, 1999.
  10. Smith, G.C. “Dietary Supplementation of Vitamin E to Cattle to Improve Shelf-Life and Case-Life for Domestic and International Markets.” Colorado State University. Complete reference not known.
  11. Prache, S., A. Priolo, et al. (2003). “Persistence of carotenoid pigments in the blood of concentrate-finished grazing sheep: its significance for the traceability of grass-feeding.” J Anim Sci 81(2): 360-7.


This information is provided by Al Sears, M.D., Power For Healthy Living. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription to the Doctor’s House Call e-letter, please visit www.alsearsmd.com

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  1. The May Clinic:
    A plant-based diet, which emphasizes fruits and vegetables, grains, beans and legumes, and nuts, is rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. And people who eat only plant-based foods — aka vegetarians — generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less, and have a lower risk of heart disease than nonvegetarians do.

    Just eating less meat has a protective effect. A National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people found that those who ate 4 ounces (113 grams) of red meat or more daily were 30 percent more likely to have died of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who consumed less. Sausage, luncheon meats and other processed meats also increased the risk. Those who ate mostly poultry or fish had a lower risk of death.

    Lacto-ovo-vegetarians – Do not eat meat products but do consume eggs and dairy products.
    There are many benefits of following a vegetarian diet and it is easy to find vegetarian recipes online whichever type of vegetarian you are.
    Benefits of cooking vegetarian recipes and cutting out meat products include:-
    1. A lower risk of disease – Cutting out meat and eating more vegetarian recipes will cut your risk of contracting coronary heart disease and strokes. This is due to the fact that vegetarian recipes and diets are low in saturated fats, high in good fats and high in antioxidants. An average American man can cut his risk of heart disease from 50% to 15% if he cuts meat out of his diet.

    2. A longer life – On average, vegetarians live about 7 years longer than meat eaters and vegans live up to 15 years longer.

    3. A vegetarian diet is high in antioxidants because of the high fruit and vegetable content of vegetarian recipes. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage by cancer causing free radicals, such as pollution and smoking, and help reduce the signs and effects of ageing.

    4. Lower cholesterol – Good fats in nuts and seeds in vegetarian recipes help to lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol. Vegetarians tend to eat more soya protein which contains iso flavones which also lower cholesterol. On average, vegetarians have 14% lower cholesterol levels than meat eaters.

    5. Lower risk of blood clots – Iso flavones in soya protein reduce the risk of blood clots.

    6. Lower risk of bone loss and therefore osteoporosis – Studies have shown that vegetarian women are at a lesser risk of osteoporosis.

    7. Weight loss – Vegetarians tend to be slimmer than meat eaters because vegetarian recipes and diets are lower in saturated fats and calories.

    8. Lower risk of Cancer – Studies have shown that plant based diets help to protect against many types of cancer and soya protein inhibits tumour growth.
    Of course, if you are going to cut out meat and eat chips, chocolate and cheese all day then you are not going to benefit from any of these. To have a healthy vegetarian diet you need to include the following in your diet and vegetarian recipes.

    • Rick Ward says:

      Well, based on those numbers there’s about a 120% chance that I died forty years ago. Fancy that.

  2. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    Well there you go using what certain parts of information that might suit your twisted viewpoint… Here is the title of that article you use as your Mayo Clinic reference…..

    “Meatless meals: The benefits of eating less meat, You can eat healthfully without spending a lot. One way to achieve healthy savings is to serve meat less often.”
    By Mayo Clinic staff

    It spoke of limiting red meat intake not giving it up. Its just like limiting foraging on Brussels sprouts. The preponderance of medical evidence says that a total vegan diet is just as bad as a total meat diet…. Balance…. A lack of COQ10 and other essential minerals and vitamins that are unavailable from veggies, is what causes early onset senility amongst vegans.

  3. Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn what you eat.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      That is a total change of mindset…. just yesterday you were touting your superiority of being a vegan to the rest of us….. Your change of heart is either a sign of hope for you or that early onset senility we’ve been talking about.

      • Dan, you are full of your self. No one is superior to anyone.

        You are out of shape, overweight and have a medical problem caused by obesity — yet your crowing like a rooster. Tell you what…

        I challenge you to any sort of physical endurance or exercise you want, from swimming to walking 10 miles. What do you say big shot?

        • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

          Well there you go…. change the subject…. vilify or diminish the opponent… When you loose to logic you try to change the subject. So when left looking a fool you turn to juvenile challenges. Next you’ll be challenging us all to nimbly pegs.

          The good thing about my being overweight is I can loose it by dieting. I can reclaim my stealthy frame… You on the other hand are an homely, bitter, old fart, who has to sneak up on a mirror to shave. No kind of new diet or lifestyle change can change the outcome of your lonely existence.

          “A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left.” Ecclesiastes 10:2

  4. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    Good article! And is it possible this is a topic Branson might actually know a something about?

    • Paparrazi Paparrazi says:

      LOL Mike, Vegans suffer many maladies including a higher incident of mental illness.

  5. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Okay, I have to get my two-cents in here. Some years ago I spent 6 months at a Utah cleansing/health clinic to learn how to be a vegan. It does require education. I came home after 6 months and ended up in bed almost unable to stay awake. Finally, I went to my doctor and he asked me what I had been doing that might cause my problem and I told him that for the first time in my life I had decided to eat healthy and become a vegan! His dr. orders were for me to go back to eating red meat 4oz per meal for the next two weeks and see if I felt better…and that did the trick. It seems that my pancreas was unable to produce insulin fast enough to break down and utilize all the carbohydrates and my enzyme make-up was unable convert the vegetable proteins into fuel to run my engine, so to speak. I was running on empty and nearly in carb/sugar shock. My point is, as my dr said, there is not a one size fits all diet…for some people, they do not produce enough of the type of enzymes required to break down animal proteins, especially if their ancestry comes from a place that ate primarily vegetable proteins and grains…for others, like me, it is just the opposite. As much as I love all animals…and I cannot give too much thought to the meat I eat…for some of us it is a matter of survival. I did try, Branson, to do what I thought was the right thing, and it is not easy to do if you do it right. Being a vegan requires supervision of your intake to be certain you get the proper amount of proteins, and not too many carbs, for your pancreas’ sake. It is not our business to dictate to others what to eat as it is a very complex subject.

    • You don’t have to be a vegan. I’m not. Eat sensible and eat healthy.

      • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

        Branson Hunter
        March 4, 2013 at 7:02 am

        I have not eaten meat in forty years. Four million dogs are put down each year in the U.S. Such a waste. How about some fido meat in your belly?

        So was your statement on the 4th of March a lie or is this a lie? You either have not eaten meat in forty years or you have misspoke… Which is it?

        • Dan, you need to educate yourself about what a “vega” is. I am not a vagan. A vagan is the practice of abstaining from the use of all animal products.

          Many Vegetarians such as myself eat eggs and cheese but not animal flesh.

          In your haste to glory, you stumbled over your own belly. Nice try though.

  6. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    “…shit house rat crazy bastard…” – cool.

    • Nice try Dan.

      How about you juxtaposing your picture alongside a lean person who lots from natural and healthy food sources?

      • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

        Do you feel better now?

        OK…. I’m an flipping 11 next to you my friend. You see Ben, I can lose a little weight and pump a little iron and return to a reasonably handsome old duffer…. You on the other hand no matter how much you exercise and prune yourself, no matter how many alfalfa shakes and watercress sandwiches you consume, you will remain as you have throughout your miserable life.

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