The Truth About Meat

The Truth About Meat

“Meat is not man’s natural food, since he is not either a carnivorous or an omnivorous animal. Every argument drawn from comparative anatomy, from physiology, from chemistry, from experience, from observation, and when rightly used, from common sense – as well as the arguments from agricultural, the hygienic, the ethical and humanitarian standpoints – all agree in proving that man is not a meat-eating animal and that if he does indulge in this practice, it is to his own detriment being such an unhealthful, unnatural, and abnormal habit.” – Dr. Hereward Carrington

From an anatomical perspective, humans are not designed to be omnivorous. In fact, our anatomical design resembles that of a frugivore or herbivore. We have small canine teeth to tear apart the cellulose fibers in vegetables. Omnivorous animals use their fangs and sharp teeth to break down bones and cartilage. We do not have claws that can penetrate flesh or harm animals – we have soft, porous nails for peeling fruit. We are equipped with a long, plant-friendly digestive tract. Omnivores have short tracts allowing for them to digest and excrete animal-derived food sources easily. We sweat through pores in our skin, while omnivores sweat through the tongue and have minimal sweat glands. Our salivary chemistry is alkaline, while an omnivorous animals is acidic. Our body requires fiber to stimulate peristalsis, an omnivores does not. Our brain chemistry is fueled by glycogen while an omnivore requires fats and proteins for brain functioning. We even see in full color-scale like other herbivores and frugivores – omnivores and carnivores do not. Every component of our anatomy supports the notion we are not omnivorous or carnivorous mammals. We were simply not created to eat meat. All evidence points directly to us being put here on Earth to eat fruit, some leafy green vegetables, and nothing else other than the occasional nuts, seeds, and sprouts.

The article, Evolution and Prostate Cancer, was featured in the Winter 2000 edition of the Prostate Cancer Update journal published by the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The lead author, scientist Don Coffey, Ph.D., explains, “In nature, animals that are carnivores – meat-eaters like lions – do not have seminal vesicles. The only animals that have both prostates and seminal vesicles are herbivores – veggie-eating animals like bulls, apes, and elephants. We are the huge glaring exception to this rule: Men have seminal vesicles, too. In other words, man – a meat-lover – has the makeup of an animal that should be vegetarian. The fact that men eat meat seems to be a mistake that nature never accounted for.” We seem to be the only mammal with seminal vesicles who consciously chooses to indulge in animal-derived foods. We are also among the only mammals who develop prostate cancer.

In an October 2008 publication in the peer-reviewed Nutrition In Clinical Practice journal, The Cause of Atherosclerosis, Dr. William C. Roberts explains how carnivorous and omnivorous animals do not develop atherosclerosis. These animals can eat endless amounts of fat and cholesterol and their arteries will not clog up. In studies on herbivorous animals, however, atherosclerosis was easily produced when monkeys, rabbits, and rats were fed high cholesterol, high saturated fat diets comprised of eggs and meat. Humans choosing to eat animal-derived foods are experiencing an epidemic of atherosclerosis. There is a reason why true carnivores do not develop this condition, while humans continue to suffer from atherosclerosis.

Whether we are frugivorous, herbivorous, or omnivorous – beyond arguing over what we were created to eat – we cannot deny the harsh fact that meat consumption is killing us. Excess animal protein, and cooked meat carcinogens such as heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are linked to many degenerative diseases. These include: Alzheimer’s; cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and female anatomy; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; erectile dysfunction; macular degeneration; multiple sclerosis; and osteoporosis. Dietary cholesterol and saturated fats are damaging the endothelial cells lining our circulatory system. Trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), a metabolite generated when bacteria in the gut digest choline sourced from chicken, eggs, and fish, and L-carnitine found in red meat is seriously injuring our blood vessels. Malignant tumors are forming from a mammalian molecule known as Neu5Gc, found in most animal-derived foods. Infectious diseases are spreading through the food supply. Never before have we been so plagued with sickness.

Our addiction to flesh foods is the Achilles heel sabotaging the human species. Meat consumption is carcinogenic, health degrading, and can be directly linked to nearly every disease afflicting man. Somewhere on the path of human evolution we were led astray into adapting the habit of eating flesh foods. While in some regions of the world our ancestors relied on meat for survival, today with advances in technology and transportation we no longer need to exploit animals for food. We are smarter now, and have a wide enough variety of plant-based foods available to diversify our palate and consider meat obsolete.

In his book, Meatonomics, author David Robinson Simon alerts us of programs managed by the US Department of Agriculture spending $550 million annually on advertisements and slogans encouraging American citizens to eat more meat and meat products. Mr. Simon also informs us of the American government spending $38 billion each year to subsidize the meat and dairy industries, while only 0.04 percent of this amount (i.e., $17 million) is going toward subsidizing fruits and vegetables. As multinational corporations and government organizations use industry propaganda to continually drill us with misleading nutritional information, trying desperately to keep us buried in an unsustainable way of life, we are slowly beginning to manifest a universal awakening. Human intelligence is claiming superiority over the dying hierarchy that has dictated our well being for far too long. With the aid of medical science, we now have enough evidence to support the notion that meat is killing us.

There is a sialic acid sugar molecule known as Neu5Gc that cannot be synthesized by humans, yet is found in the lining of hollow organs and blood vessels. According to a May 2010 study in the PNAS journal – Uniquely Human Evolution of Sialic Acid Genetics and Biology – this cellular-surfaced molecule is incorporated into human tissues from eating animal-derived foods. Dietary Neu5Gc tends to accumulate particularly in epithelial cells lining hollow organs where carcinomas develop, or in the endothelium lining blood vessels where atherosclerosis occurs. Once present in the body our immune system develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, and because this molecule attaches to endothelial and epithelial cells, the antibodies attack these cells. This immune response leads to chronic inflammation, and is likely responsible for the high frequency of diet-related carcinomas and other diseases in humans.

The Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences of the United States published a study in January 2015, A Red Meat-Derived Glycan Promotes Inflammation and Cancer Progression. Researchers used an improved method to survey common foods for free and glycosidically bound forms of the nonhuman sialic acid N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). Results displayed evidence of this molecule being highly and selectively enriched in red meat. The research team discovered the bound form of Neu5Gc is bioavailable, undergoing metabolic incorporation into human tissues, despite being a foreign antigen. Interactions of this antigen with circulating anti-Neu5Gc antibodies were found to promote inflammation and accelerate tumor growth. This carcinogenic compound is found primarily in beef, pork, lamb, egg and milk products – with trace amounts present in fish.

A study published in the September 2016 Glycoconjugate Journal, Developmental Changes In the Level of Free and Conjugated Sialic Acids, Neu5Ac, Neu5Gc, and KDN In Different Organs of Pig, found evidence of, “A non-human sialic acid sugar molecule called Neu5Gc – commonly found in red meat – having the potential to increase tumor formations when consumed.” The study – conducted by researchers at UC Davis School of Medicine and Xiamen University School of Medicineexamined presence of the acid in pig meat and found that pig organs, including the lungs, heart, spleen, kidney, and liver, had the highest concentrations. Results showed the risk factors associated with consuming Neu5Gc are significantly increased when the organs are cooked, and therefore, the researchers assert, “Dietary consumption of organ meats should be discouraged to protect against cancer, cardiovascular, and other inflammatory diseases.”

Dating all the way back to May 1962, a study was published in the Journal of Biological ChemistryThe Biosynthesis of Sialic Acids – finding all influenza A viruses were dependent on Neu5Gc to connect with cells. Fifty years later, in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, this discovery was elongated. An April 2012 study, Multifarious Roles of Sialic Acids In Immunity, explains how viruses contain glycoproteins that bind to sialic acids on the surface of human cells and cell membranes of the upper respiratory tract. Judging from the information in these studies, we could greatly reduce our chances of contracting a virus by eliminating animal-derived foods containing Neu5Gc. Rather than inoculating the body with viruses through administration of influenza vaccines, a safer and more logical way to protect yourself from the influenza virus could be choosing to eat vegan.

An August 2010 study in the Journal of Experimental MedicineNovel Mechanism for the Generation of Human Xeno-Autoantibodies Against the Nonhuman Sialic Acid N-Glycolylneuraminic Acid – introduces the term xenosialitis. This describes the interaction between non-human Neu5Gc and circulating Neu5Gc antibodies resulting in chronic inflammation that promotes carcinogenesis and atherogenesis. Researchers examined infants to determine when anti-Neu5Gc antibodies develop in the body. Their findings indicate a lack of the production of anti-Neu5Gc IgG antibodies at three months when their diets were devoid of Neu5Gc. Soon after the introduction of Neu5Gc in the diet in the form of cow’s milk formula and baby foods containing red meat, the levels began to rise. This highlights how introducing animal-derived foods to children can be detrimental to their health.

A May 2016 Mayo Clinic study, Is Meat Killing Us?, presents more evidence supporting the surety of meat increasing mortality rates. Mortality rates for red meat-eaters were found to be higher for all causes of death. The study observed one million individuals across the United States, Europe, and China during a period of five to twenty-eight years in addition to cross-referencing thirteen cohort studies that included 1.5 million people and found consumption of red meat, processed or not, led to higher mortality risks across illnesses including heart disease and cancer. This was published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Researchers concluded, “Despite variability in data, the evidence is consistent that increased intake of red meat, especially processed red meat, is associated with increased all-cause mortality. Red meat also increases cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality in Western cohorts. A vegan diet has been shown to improve several parameters of health, including reversal of cardiovascular disease, decreased body mass index (BMI), decreased risk of diabetes, and decreased blood pressure.” The study suggests avoidance of red and processed meats and a diet rich in plant-based whole foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes as a sound, evidence-based recommendation.

Heart disease is mostly attributed to poor diet. An early phenomenon of atherosclerosis and heart disease is endothelial dysfunction. A study featured in the November 1997 Circulation journal, Endothelial Dysfunction is Associated With Cholesterol Levels in the High Normal Range in Humans (17), introduces the association between dietary cholesterol and impaired endothelium dependent vasodilation. Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels. The endothelium is a thin layer of cells covering the inner surface of the arteries –  separating the circulating blood from the tissues. In this study, dietary cholesterol levels in what is considered the normal range were linked to decreased vasodilation and endothelium dysfunction. As more cholesterol is ingested in the diet, endothelial cells are further damaged, atherosclerotic deposits begin to form, and heart disease transpires.

Dietary cholesterol is found only in animal-based foods. In the China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell studied the dietary effects on blood cholesterol levels and determined that animal protein consumption by men was associated with increasing levels of ‘bad’ blood cholesterol, whereas plant protein consumption was associated with decreasing levels of this same cholesterol. This tells us we should avoid animal products if we want to lower our cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Simply restricting calories will not prevent disease from occurring. We have to abide by clean diets free of chemicals to assure good health.

In addition to dietary cholesterol contributing to atherosclerosis because of impaired endothelium function, an oxide known as trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), has also been discovered to promote heart disease. In the May 2013 Nature Medicine journal, a study was released documenting how bacteria in our gut metabolize L-carnitine – a nutrient found in fish, meat, milk and poultry – into TMAO. These same bacteria also break down choline from eggs and high-fat dairy products into TMAO. When dietary choline and L-carnitine are ingested by bacteria in the intestines, they are metabolized into trimethylamine (TMA). Once TMA enters the liver, an enzyme converts the compound to TMAO, which penetrates the bloodstream and alters whole-body cholesterol metabolism, vascular inflammation, and formation of unstable plaques in the arterial walls. In this study, TMAO accelerated the development of atherosclerosis. Vegan and vegetarian subjects were also included in this research, and found to produce less TMAO following ingestion of isolated L-carnitine. The study is titled, Intestinal Microbiota Metabolism of L-carnitine, a Nutrient in Red Meat, Promotes Atherosclerosis. Scientists have discovered carnitine and choline from plant-derived foods do not generate production of TMAO when metabolized by bacteria in the gut as forms of these nutrients sourced from meat, dairy, or eggs have demonstrated.

An additional study in the November 2014 Cell Metabolism journal, γ-Butyrobetaine is a Proatherogenic Intermediate in Gut Microbial Metabolism of L-carnitine to TMAO, introduced a separate metabolite of L-carnitine known as γ-butyrobetaine. This intermediate byproduct of meat digestion is formed in abundant amounts by microbes in the gut and converted into TMA – eventually forming TMAO. Not only does TMAO damage blood vessels, in January 2015 Circulation Research journal published a study, Gut Microbiota-Dependent Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) Pathway Contributes to Both Development of Renal Insufficiency and Mortality Risk in Chronic Kidney Disease, documenting the capability of this metabolite to contribute to progressive renal fibrosis and dysfunction. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) were also found to have elevated plasma TMAO levels – suggesting a link between CKD and meat consumption.

A study in the March 2016 Cell journal, Gut Microbial Metabolite TMAO Enhances Platelet Hyperreactivity and Thrombosis Risk, shows how scientists are able to predict incidence risks for thrombotic events in human subjects stemming from elevated TMAO levels. The paper explains how normal platelet function is critical for healthy blood flow, while heightened platelet reactivity is associated with cardiometabolic diseases and enhanced potential for thrombotic events. This study successfully demonstrates how generation of TMAO directly contributes to platelet hyperreactivity and enhanced thrombosis potential.

Most recently, a prospective cohort study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic and published in the October 2016 Journal of the American heart AssociationTrimethylamine N‐Oxide and Mortality Risk in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease – found elevated TMAO levels were associated with a 2.7‐fold increased mortality risk in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). This was discovered after examining the relationship between fasting plasma TMAO and all-cause mortality over five years among 821 consecutive patients with adjudicated PAD. It seems the only way to avoid this deadly metabolite is to abstain from eating animal-derived foods.

In a video released in January 2013 on nutritionfacts.org, PhIP: The Three-Strikes Breast Carcinogen, Dr. Greger discusses heterocyclic amines and how PhIP is one of the most abundant heterocyclic amines in cooked meat. These carcinogenic compounds are formed at high temperatures from the reaction between creatine or creatinine, amino acids, and sugar in meat, dairy, and egg products. PhIP is nearly impossible to avoid for those who indulge in animal-derived foods because the toxin is found in many commonly consumed cooked meats – particularly chicken, beef, and fish. After absorption of PhIP, the compound is converted to a genotoxic metabolite in the liver – becoming more likely to cause DNA mutation, trigger cancer, and promote tumor growth. In a 2009 issue of Mutagenesis Journal, a study was published titled Dietary Intake of Meat and Meat-derived Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines and Their Correlation with DNA Adducts in Female Breast Tissue (24). Researchers discovered ingestion of PhIP causes DNA mutation that may initiate tumor growth, promotes cancer due to potent estrogenic activity, and promotes the invasiveness of breast cancer cells. Abstaining from dairy, eggs, and meat is the safest way to evade this amine, and is a method of prevention for living cancer free.

In the March 2005 Chemical Research in Toxicology journal, a study – Formation of a Mutagenic Heterocyclic Aromatic Amine from Creatinine in Urine of Meat Eaters and Vegetarians – was published finding more than twenty heterocyclic amines in cooked meats, fish, and poultry prepared under common household cooking conditions. This includes baking, boiling, broiling, frying, grilling, sauteing, and smoking. Urine samples from subjects eating meat were found to contain high levels of PhIP, and other health degrading heterocyclic compounds. Even those who refrained from eating meat, yet still included boiled eggs, or cheese in their diet showed traces of these compounds.

Many of these heterocyclic and polycyclic compounds found in grilled meats are also present in cigarettes. In fact, some grilled meats can be more abundant in pyrenes and other polycyclic compounds than cigarettes. In a comparative risks analysis study, one piece of grilled steak was found to contain the equivalent carcinogenic load as six-hundred cigarettes. This is comparable to smoking a pack a day for thirty days each time a steak is eaten. This information was presented decades ago in a study – Metabolism of Polycyclic Compounds – published in the February 1964 Biochemical Journal. The main source of these carcinogens in grilled meats are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These polycyclic compounds are highly carcinogenic atmospheric pollutants formed by incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels such as coal, tar, wood, fat, tobacco, and incense. When the fat and juices from the meat drip over the heat source – causing flames – these flames then adhere to the surface of the meat. Multiple studies have shown that high levels of these hydrocarbons are found in cooked foods –  particularly in meats cooked at high temperatures, such as with grilling or barbecuing – and in smoked fish. When we consider the vast amount of people who smoke and eat steak regularly, we begin to understand why heart disease and cancer are so prevalent.

“I try to stick to a vegan diet heavy on fruit and vegetables.” – Clint Eastwood, Hollywood Actor and Producer

In the October 2015 edition of The Lancet Oncology journal, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a report providing evidence of processed meats and red meats being strongly correlated with colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. These processed meats include bacon, deli cold cuts, ham, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, and sausage. Beef, goat, lamb, and pork can all be considered red meats. In the analysis, eating fifty grams a day of processed meats was found to increase the risk of developing colon cancer by up to eighteen percent. Red meats were found to be associated with greater susceptibility to cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas, and prostate.   These findings prompted the World Health Organization to classify all processed and red meats as probable carcinogens – substances known to cause cancer.

Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) tend to shorten telomeres, accelerating the aging process. Glucose binds to cooked animal proteins, leading to the formation of AGEs, and by eating meat we damage our cells and shorten telomeres. In a September 2013 study led by Dr. Dean Ornish and published in The Lancet Oncology journal, Effect of Comprehensive Lifestyle Changes On Telomerase Activity and Telomere Length In Men With Biopsy-Proven Low-Risk Prostate Cancer, researchers determined changes in diet, exercise, stress management, and social support can result in longer telomeres – the parts of chromosomes that affect aging. For five years, researchers followed thirty-five men with localized, early-stage prostate cancer to explore the relationship between comprehensive lifestyle changes, and telomere length and telomerase activity. All the men were closely monitored through screening and biopsies. Ten of the patients embarked on lifestyle changes that included: a plant-based diet (high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains, and low in fat and refined carbohydrates); moderate exercise (walking thirty minutes a day, six days a week); and stress reduction (gentle yoga-based stretching, breathing, meditation). They were compared to the other twenty-five study participants who were not asked to make major lifestyle changes. When the five-year study ended, the group that made the lifestyle changes experienced a significant increase in telomere length of approximately ten percent. Researchers found that the more people changed their behavior by adhering to the recommended lifestyle program, the more dramatic their improvements in telomere length. Meanwhile, the men in the control group who were not asked to alter their lifestyle had measurably shorter telomeres – nearly three percent shorter. This study demonstrates how we can slow the aging process by choosing to eat plant-based, exercising, and eliminating stress.

In addition to accelerating aging, eating animal-based foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs, is strongly associated with depression. This is likely because of the arachadonic acid contained within these foods – along with the low-level energy, and harmful pathogens. A February 2012 Nutrition Journal study, Restrictions of Meat, Fish, and Poultry In Omnivores Improved Mood, found by simply eliminating animal products from the diet of omnivore subjects their mood improved within two weeks. Researchers discovered arachadonic acid – found primarily in chicken and eggs – was to blame for their initial depression before the elimination of these foods. They acknowledged arachadonic acid as a compound that can adversely impact mental health via a cascade of brain inflammation. High intakes of this acid began to promote changes in the brain that resulted in disturbed mood and this was demonstrated with the group of subjects who continued to eat fish for the duration of the study. Fish-eaters reported significantly worse moods than vegans. The conclusion was restricting meat, fish, and poultry improved short-term mood state in modern omnivores.

In a 2010 Nutrition journal cross-sectional study, Vegetarian Diets are Associated with Healthy Mood States, vegetarian test subjects reported significantly less negative emotion than omnivores. The researchers concluded arachadonic acid was to blame for the anxiety, depression, mood disturbance, and stress experienced by those who included meat in their diet. Miraculously, by eliminating chicken, fish, and eggs, their symptoms improved within two weeks. The top sources for arachadonic acid are chicken, eggs, beef, processed meats (sausage, hot dogs, bacon, and ribs), fish, burgers, cold cuts, pork, and pizza. If you are unhappy, and your diet is abundant in these foods, perhaps consider adapting some dietary changes. Try skipping meat once or twice a week to start, and then progress to removing animal-derived foods entirely from your diet. You will be thankful once you transition.

A January 2014 Nature journal study, Diet Rapidly and Reproducibly Alters the Human Gut Microbiota, explains how long-term dietary intake influences the structure and activity of the trillions of microorganisms residing in the human gut. These same microorganisms communicate with our brain and have an impact on our appetite, behavior, feelings, and mood. Researchers studied the impact animal-based diets and plant-based diets have on the gut microbiota by dividing the groups into vegan, or strictly meat-based diets. In the study, the research team found, “Short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal products alters the microbial community structure and overwhelms inter-individual differences in microbial gene expression. The animal-based diet was found to increase the activity of bilophilia wadsworthia, showing a link between dietary fat, bile acids, and the outgrowth of microorganisms capable of triggering inflammatory bowel disease.”

Bilophilia are microbes that love bile. Because bile helps to digest fats, more bile is produced when the diet is rich in meat, dairy, and eggs. When extra bile is produced, we generate more of these microbes. Blooms of bilophilia are known to cause inflammation and colitis – conditions closely associated with depression. In this study, researchers observed fifty clustered, species-level bacterial phylotypes and how each diet had an impact. Among those eating plant-based diets, only three of these bacterial clusters were altered, while twenty-two of the phylotypes on animal-based diets were changed significantly. The microbiome of those on meat-based diets had clusters composed of putrefactive microbes, bilophilia wadsworthia, increased lactic acid bacteria, staphylococcus, increased enteric deoxycholic acid concentrations (DCA), and several other potentially damaging organisms. DCA is a secondary bile acid that promotes liver cancer, DNA damage, and hepatic carcinomas. A high level of bilophilia wadsworthia is known to cause bowel inflammation. This alteration in the gut microbiota could also explain symptoms of anxiety and depression.

“We have known for fourteen years that a single meal of meat, dairy, and eggs triggers an inflammatory reaction inside the body within hours of consumption. Within five or six hours, the inflammation starts to cool down, but then what happens? At that point we can whack our arteries with another load of animal products for lunch. In this routine, we may be stuck in a chronic low-grade inflammation danger zone for most of our lives. This can set us up for inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers one meal at a time.” – Dr. Michael Greger, nutritionfacts.org

In March 2012, researchers at Harvard Medical School released the results of a study – Red Meat Consumption Linked To Increased Risk of Total, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality – concluding a diet high in red meat will shorten life expectancy. They studied over 120,000 people and found red meat consumption increased their risk of death from cancer and heart problems. The team analyzed data from 37,698 men between 1986 and 2008, and 83,644 women between 1980 and 2008. Their study proved by adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to someone’s daily diet, they would increase their risk of death by thirteen percent, developing cardiovascular disease by eighteen percent, and cancer prognosis by ten percent. The figures for processed meat were higher, with a twenty percent overall mortality – twenty-one percent for death from heart problems, and sixteen percent for cancer mortality.

While most studies point directly to red meat and pork as being the most toxic meat sources, poultry also poses a serious health threat. In July 2012, ABC News and the Food & Environment Reporting Network carried out a joint investigation presenting evidence from medical researchers that more than eight million women are at risk of contracting urinary tract infections from superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics and growing in chickens. The report, Superbug Dangers in Chicken Linked to Eight-Million At-Risk Women, explained how these superbugs are being transmitted to humans in the form of E.coli and prions. Prions are infectious agents composed of proteins in a misfolded form. They are responsible for the transmissible encephalopathies found in many mammals and cannot be destroyed by means of irradiation, or any other form of pasteurization, or cooking. All known prion diseases affect the structure of the brain or other neural tissue, and are untreatable and universally fatal. Amee Manges, epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal, shared her knowledge on this issue stating, “We are finding the same, or related E.coli in human infections and in retail meat sources – specifically chicken.” Maryn McKenna, reporter for the Food & Environment Reporting Network, summed this up by announcing, “What this new research shows is, we may in fact know where it is coming from. It may be coming from antibiotics used in agriculture.”

The pharmaceutical industry makes tremendous amounts of money from selling drugs to the animal farming industry for the livestock, and then they make more money from the people suffering from the effects of eating the chemically-saturated meat, dairy, and eggs. According to the FDA, eighty percent of the antibiotics sold in the US go to the livestock sector.  In the 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists report on antibiotic use in livestock – Prescription for Trouble: Using Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock – the author and director of their food and environment program, Dr. Margaret Mellon, reported,U.S. livestock producers use about 24.6 million pounds of antibiotics annually for ‘non-therapeutic’ purposes (growth promotion and disease prevention) as opposed to treatment of disease. The non-therapeutic total includes about 10.3 million pounds in hogs, 10.5 million pounds in poultry and 3.7 million pounds in cattle. By contrast, humans use approximately three million pounds of antibiotics annually in the U.S.” This statement uncovers how pharmaceutical companies make more money from selling drugs to owners of factory farms for injecting in animals for non-therapeutic purposes, than they do from humans purchasing them to attempt to combat illness.   

A step in the right direction for us is the outcome of a court case in March of 2012. In the case of Natural Resources Defense Council et al. v. FDA, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, no. 11-3562, a federal judge ruled U.S. regulators start proceedings to withdraw approval for the use of common antibiotics in animal feed, citing concerns that overuse is endangering human health by creating antibiotic-resistant superbugs. At the time of this ruling, antibiotic-resistant infections were costing Americans more than twenty billion dollars each year. This number was determined by a 2009 study conducted by the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and Cook County Hospital. As we awaken to the dark side of the meat industry and begin to see how meat consumption is in no way benefiting our health, I have hope we will be on the better side of many more court rulings.

In August 2016 Bloomberg Markets (bloomberg.com) published an article, Why Big Pharma Wants to Switch Billions of Farm Animals to Vaccines From Antibiotics. The author, Jared Hopkins, informs us of the animal-health and drug industry planning to replace the use of antibiotics on animals with vaccines. Rather than injecting antibiotics to potentially kill the superbugs and infectious diseases prevalent among farm animals, they are proposing to inoculate them with live strains of viruses and superbugs using aluminum, formaldehyde, and mercury adjuvants and preservatives to strengthen immunity and keep the enormous populations of caged farm animals resistant to disease. Not surprisingly, a June 2015 market research report – Veterinary/Animal Vaccines Market Product, Diseases, Technology – Global Forecast to 2020 – estimates the global animal-vaccine market will be worth $7.2 billion by 2020, up from $5.5 billion in 2010. As long as they are generating revenue, what goes into the global meat supply will always be a mystery to consumers.          

As we remain focused on extending longevity, we must nourish with healthy foods. Eating meat has consistently proven through medical science and nutritional research to damage our organs, drain our vitality, and void our opportunity to experience vibrant health. Carcinogenic compounds, cholesterol, and fats in animal-derived foods slow our body systems, alter our ability to detox and eliminate waste, and leave residues in our tissues – laying the groundwork for the accumulation of more toxins. Even the high iron levels which some pro-meat propagandists claim are beneficial have been proven to be detrimental to our health and linked to cognitive decline. A study in the August 2013 Journal of Alzheimer’s DiseaseIncreased Iron Levels and Decreased Tissue Integrity in Hippocampus of Alzheimer’s Disease Detected in vivo with Magnetic Resonance Imaging – explains how heme iron from red meat induces oxidative damage to oligodendrocytes. These are the cells responsible for producing myelin. In the study, researchers explain how the destruction of myelin, the fatty tissue that coats nerve fibers in the brain, disrupts communication between neurons and promotes the buildup of amyloid plaques. These amyloid plaques in turn destroy more and more myelin, disrupting brain signaling, and leading to cell death and the classic clinical signs of Alzheimer’s. We are literally self-destructing as we eat meat.

“The more red meat and blood we eat, the more blood thirsty and violent we get. The more vegetarian food we eat, the more peaceful we become.” – Ziggy Marley

Eating meat or meat products will not help us to extend longevity. To assure good health, our best option is to drastically reduce our consumption of meat until we are able to omit this food from our diet. Archaeologists determined years ago the average adult life expectancy for a caveman was thirty to thirty-five years old. We are no longer living in the past, and we are not cavemen. Today we know eating plant-based is the surest way to prevent disease, defer aging, elevate our energy levels, and live to be one-hundred.