Being a vegan is great... being a smart INFORMED vegan is even better! There is nothing more satisfying than knowing the reasons behind your lifestyle choices. Not only will you be able to answer questions about your changes, you will also feel good about it!
I absolutely love this snippet from Alicia Sliverstone's "The Kind Mama":
- HORMONES LINKED TO CANCER: The China Study (2005), found that dairy contains hormones which are linked to cancer. This isn't just the normal huge amounts of the cow's own oestrogen and progesterone levels, but also the added growth hormones. Milk contains added hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. Rachel Krantz agrees with this when reviewing the effects of milk on the human body, ""Among the routes of human exposure to estrogens, we are mostly concerned about cow's milk, which contains considerable amounts of female sex hormones," Dr. Davaasambuu Ganmaa said in a talk at Harvard. Hormones in milk might also be to blame for the rise of "man boobs": A 2010 Japanese study found that men's testosterone levels decreased after they began drinking milk."".
- DAIRY PROTEIN LINKED TO CANCER: The China Study (2005) showed the link between dairy protein (casein) and cancer growth. It discovered that cancer growth rates could be turned on and off by the varying the intake of casein in the human body. Rachel Kratz describes how "In 2006, Harvard researchers published the results of a meta study that looked at 100,000 women aged 26 to 46. Those who had the highest intake of meat and dairy products also had the highest risk of breast cancer (33 percent more than those who consumed the least). For men, over 20 studies have established a strong link between prostate cancer and milk consumption."".
- CHOLESTEROL: lots of it. Full stop.
- BAD FOR YOUR BONES: Dairy is good for our bones? No way! Mel Wells (Nutritional Health Coach) reviewed the many reasons we should ditch dairy including revealing how "The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which started in 1989 and followed more than 75,000 women for 12 years, showed absolutely no protective effect of dairy consumption on fracture risk in bones.". Rachel Krantz reviews how "Prof. T. Colin Campbell, professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University, puts it this way: “The association between the intake of animal protein and fracture rates appears to be as strong as that between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.”".
- CAN'T DIGEST IT: She also mentioned that "In order to digest Lactose, the sugar found in milk, our body must produce the enzyme, Lactase. But humans naturally lose all traces of this enzyme after they are around two years old - after they should be stopping breast feeding."".
- ASTHMA: She also outlined how cutting out dairy can help asthma sufferers! "One study removed dairy from the diets of 48 people suffering from either migraines or asthma — and 33 of them reported their condition improved significantly.".
- DIOXINS: Rachel Krantz outlines how "Dairy products contribute from one-fourth to one-half of most people's dietary intake of dioxins. "Dioxins" is a catchall word for any highly toxic compound produced as the result of some manufacturing processes. All of these toxins do not readily leave the body and can eventually build to harmful levels that may affect the immune, reproductive, and the central nervous systems, and have also been linked to cancer.".
- PIMPLES: The Harvard School of Health concluded that "We found a positive association with acne for intake of total milk and skim milk. We hypothesize that the association with milk may be because of the presence of hormones and bioactive molecules in milk.".
- LINKED TO OBESITY.
Plus so much more. Do some research... it is very interesting!!!
Meat, Eggs and Animal Products in General:
- Carly Shuna mentions how "According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, giving up meat can reduce your risks of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney stones, gallstones and osteoporosis. Further, ChooseMyPlate.gov from the USDA notes that eating more fruits and vegetables can cut risks of high cholesterol, heart attack and stroke. The drop in such risk factors is partly due to lower cholesterol intake, since plant-based food items are cholesterol-free and dairy products tend to be lower in cholesterol than meat.".
- REDUCED LIFESPAN: Linda Melone (CSCS) outlines that the "Harvard School of Public Health found an association with red meat consumption and increased risk of a shortened lifespan.". On this note, Elizabeth Renter agrees saying that "Harvard Medical School indicates cutting out red meat could prolong your life by up to 20%."
- CARCINOGENIC: The World Health Organisation just declared bacon, processed meats and red meat as carcinogenic. BBC News reported that processed meats have "now placed processed meat in the same category as plutonium". Crazy stuff! Fox News reported that "In 2002, researchers at Loma Linda University began a 10-year study of nearly 70,000 Seventh Day Adventists, whose religious doctrine advises them against eating meat. Their research found an association between a vegan diet and a decreased risk for all cancer types. Researchers also discovered that vegetarians experienced less gastrointestinal cancer, such as colorectal cancer, and that vegan women experienced fewer female-specific cancers, such as breast cancer.".
- HEART DISEASE: This study shows that eating a plant-based diet can reverse the effects of and reduce your chance of developing heart disease.
- LINKED TO OBESITY: The Department of International Health's study showed "positive associations between MC (meat consumption) and risk for obesity and central obesity.". Fox News states that "A large, five-year study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2013 revealed that people who don't eat meat have a lower average BMI than meat-eaters, and that vegans have a significantly lower obesity rate than omnivores (9.4 percent versus 33.3 percent). Plus, a new study presented at The Obesity Society's 2013 meeting found that overweight/obese people following a vegan or vegetarian diet lost more weight than those who consumed meat—even though both groups took in the same number of calories."
- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: Consuming animal products can increase your blood pressure. Fox News states that "Vegetarians and vegans have less hypertension than meat-eaters, according to findings published in the journal Public Health Nutrition. Researchers say it's due to their lower average weight and higher intakes of fruits and vegetables."
- DIABETES: Animal products increase your risk of developing diabetes. They also reveal that "An American Diabetes Association study found that people following a vegetarian diet had a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors linked to type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Study subjects who avoided meat and poultry products tended to have lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides, as well as smaller waists, than those who regularly consumed those foods.".
We learn more and more about the effect of animal products on the human body every day. The best thing you can do is be informed and to make wise choices. Nothing better than a vegan with his/her smart pants on! :)