Thursday, November 25, 2010

Clare Veg Group Article in The Clare Champion

12 Reasons to Go Veg

Did you know Vegetarianism is the fastest growing alternative lifestyle in the developed world?

1. Avoiding meat is one of the best and simplest ways to cut down your fat consumption. Modern farm animals are deliberately fattened up to increase profits. Eating fatty meat increases your chances of having a heart attack or developing cancer. The more chemicals an animal eats, the more you will eat.In every bite, a typical beef.pork hotdog contains seven cancer-causing pesticides, and a quarter pound burger contains three cancer-causing substances.

2. Persticides, industrial polutants and sex hormones are known to cause breast cancer and to have estrogen-like effects, are stored in animal fat. These contaminants tend to accumulate in human breast fat (both male and female), reachings levels thousands of times greater than in food. Obeisity from fatty diets has also been known to cause breast cancer. (Dr.Samuel Epstein -The Breast Cancer Prevention Program)

3. ) Meat contains absolutely nothing - no proteins, vitamins or minerals - that the human body cannot obtain perfectly happily from a vegetarian diet. You can get enough protein as a vegetarian. According to many nutritionists, you can consume a healthy percentage of complete protein by combining organic lentils, beans, tofu, organic whole grains, free range eggs, spinach and other plant sources. (Becoming Vegetarian -Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina)

4. You save money at restaurants. Most menus offer vegetarian selections or chefs will oblige to prepare a vegetarian meal, and they're usually less expensive than their meatier counterparts. And many restaurants now feature innovative,organic ingredients in salads now at reasonable prices.

5. Historically, it's intelligent to be vegetarian. vegetarians throughout history include Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Albert Schweitzer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Ford, William Wordsworth, George Bernard Shaw, Martin Luther.

More current well known names include: Vegetarian actors include Brad Pitt, David Duchovny, Dustin Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Brooke Shields, Jerry Seinfeld,Michael J. Fox, Anthony Perkins, Rosanna Arquette,Ted Danson, Richard Gere, Candace Bergen, Kim Bassinger,Woody Harelson, Mary Tyler Moore, Eric Stolz, Drerw Barrymore, and Alicia Silverstone.

Vegetarian musicians include Sarah McLachlan, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Seal, Michael Bolton, Lenny Kravitz, Leonard Cohen, Joe Jackson, Indigo Girls, Billy Idol and Bob Dylan.

6. Animals who die for your dinner table die alone, in terror, in sadness and in pain. The killing is merciless, inhumane and completely unnecessary.

7. Vegetarians are fitter than meat eaters. many of the world's most successful athletes are vegetarian.

8. Save water. It takes one hundred times more water to produce a pound of beef than a pound of wheat. We have a growing world shortage of fresh water. We are using it up faster than nature can provide it. You can play your part in saving precious water by adopting a vegetarian diet.

9. There's more choice. The range of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts far exceeds the joints of meat in variety. Why have boring beef and chicken cuts every day when you can explore a nourishing world of colour, texture and taste.

10. It is said that vegetarians are calmer and more spiritual than meat eaters. Einstein said: 'Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind'

11. Vegetarians are more compassionate. Although improvements in health are important, it is often a caring attitude towards animals and birds which moves people to a diet which doesn't mean slaughtering another species.

12. Less food poisoning. Food poisoning gets millions of people each year — and many of them from meat, which is a good breeding ground for harmful bacteria, especially if not stored, prepared or cooked exactly right. Cut out meat and you lower your risk of food poisoning (especially if you also cut out eggs and dairy, but that’s optional). 30 % of slaughtered chicken contains salmonella.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Veggie Doggy Dilemma

Can a dog be vegetarian? Is it safe? Will he/she not fall down dead from lack of protein? I imagine many vegetarians and vegans have faced this issue with regard to their companion animal at some point in their chosen way of life. Thankfully the research has been done. Its good news people.

The decision, of course, shouldn’t be taken lightly, so always consult with your pet’s vet before proceeding. The groundwork will always need to be done to ensure that your dog’s nutritional needs are being met. That goes for every meal you prepare for your pooch. Remember: the health and life span of your pet is strongly dependent on the diet and lifestyle you provide for it.

There are many reasons why people decide to raise their dogs on a plant based diet, many of which stem from the owners own personal beliefs - whether ethical or health related.  Knowing the exact ingredients of commercial dog food is reason alone to go for home cooked meals for your dog. It’s interesting to note that pet food manufactures are often large commercial companies that use ‘pet food’ as a way of disposing of waste and excess unfit for human foods. Popular dog food brands in Ireland are Cesar, which is owned by Mars; and Hills Science Plan, which is owned by Colgate. It’s a whole new take on giving your doggy leftovers. Hmm…

Commercial pet food is made from meat rendered unfit for human consumption. To earn its 'unfit for human consumption' status, the law allows corporations to soak meat in chemicals such as oil, fuel or kerosene. One of the main ingredients in commercial pet food is what is known as 4D Meat: meat from Dead, Dying, Diseased or Disabled animals. I guess this is why it doesn’t really matter why the pet food is always next to the detergents and chemicals in a supermarket.

Dogs, like humans, are omnivores. That means neither of us need to consume dead animals to live a long and healthy life.

Take the story of Bramble the collie for example: the world’s oldest dog who celebrated his 27th birthday in 2002. Raised in Britan and originally a rescue dog, Bramble followed the same diet as his vegan owner which consisted of lentils, rice and organic vegetables every day. Collies by breed are known for being hard working & high energy. Bramble was no exception.

From a study of over 300 vegetarian dogs conducted by PETA the following was concluded:

The longer a dog remains on a vegetarian or vegan diet, the greater the likelihood of overall good to excellent health and the less likely he or she is to get infections, cancer hypothyroidism.

Several participants of the survey commented on the improvement of their companion animal after switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Many had pre-existing ailments for years like regular cases of diarrhoea or vomiting, some skin irritations, even momentary paralysis - ALL of which disappeared once the dog changed to a vegetarian diet. Others reported their dogs becoming more energetic and playful with a better coat.

The Veggie Doggy Dilemma is one that appears to be easily solved… Don’t you think?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Strong as an Ox

The world today has been described as many things – a wreck, a wonder, a greed-riddled swamp, a heavenly planet, etc, et-head-scratching-cetera. In relation to diet, a cursory look on the internet will load your mind down with contradictory facts, sensationalist proselytisers and the average fat cat business mavericks whose interests revolve around the bit of the ching ching. You’ll also stumble upon dreamy, artistic sites that offer health at a price. So, what’s the truth?

Can the church offer it? The Government? The Corporatocracy? Possibly, one could argue, the truth emerges quite naturally from one place - and that’s inside. Inside you. Our intuition, which has long played second fiddle to our analytical faculties, has suffered. It is our intuition that directs us to the highest good; it’s that visceral, gut-instinct feeling we tend to only listen to when we’re in deep trouble. It’s a shame that intuition, the guardian of guardians, has been criminally neglected as we play victim to screaming advertisements telling us what to eat.

How can we heal our intuition? Maybe, we could start by taking a step back and looking at facts. Here’s what we, The Clare Vegetarian Group, have put together.


Diet is inarguably the primarily cornerstone of our physical health. So what’s best to eat? This particular question has burned itself indelibly into the collective brain of The Clare Veg Group. We have concerned ourselves with health and wellbeing and have done the research to boot. Our opinion, and it’s important to say opinion, is that a meat-free diet is where perfect health is at. It’salso important to stress that we’re not attempting to galvanize a movement, or pressurise people into eating a diet we think is healthy - we just want to propagate our honest findings and maybe enrich the lives of those who feel it resonates as truth.

Meat or Veg?

Jena Carper’s book, Food – Your Miracle Medicine, is based on more than 10,000 research studies concerning the connection between diet and health. In the back of her book, Carper lists 60 disease fighting foods. There is only one type of animal food listed that promoted health: fish and fish oil. Fifty-nine of the foods are fruits, vegetables, dairy products and other non-meat sources.

Her book also incorporates the following interesting facts:

1. A German study found that the white blood cells of vegetarians were twice as deadly against tumour cells as those of meat-eaters, thereby boosting immune defences.

2. Carper says that “devouring fruits and vegetables slash your chances of heart attacks and strokes - even if you’ve already had one.

3. Rats fed animal fat can’t find their way through mazes as easily as rats fed soybean oil. The precise reason isn’t know, but Carper cautions that “too much animal fat may dim your mental faculties.

It’s true that this is one study, but it is one study that incorporates 10,000 others, so we can call it a seminal reference text.

Consider, also, some other research we’ve looked into:

Pesticides, industrial pollutants, and sex hormones known to cause breast cancer and to have oestrogen-like effects, are stored in animal fat. These contaminants tend to accumulate in human (both male & female) breast fat, reaching levels thousands of times greater than in food. Obesity from fatty diets has also been known to cause breast cancer.

(Dr.Samuel Epstein -The Breast Cancer Prevention Program).

We also came across research seeming to link meat with early onset puberty:

The FDA allows the use of implanted hormonal agents for raising beef cattle, including oestradiol, progesterone, the synthetic progesterone norgestomet, testosterone, and the synthetic anabolic steroids trenbolene and Zeranol. Hormones are used by cattle farmers to increase the weight of cattle prior to slaughter. Some milk producers also use hormones, all of which is present in the products that stock your supermarket.
“It is very likely that hormone residues in…beef is a factor in the early onset of puberty among girls in recent decades,” said Carlos Sonnenschein of the Tufts University School of Medicine at Boston.

These are startling speculations from highly-qualified experts. Although farmers and industry affiliates would argue the case that meat is health-promoting, one has to at least wonder if their interests conflict with their business goals. Who funds research? Can a government relying heavily upon the revenue gained from the meat industry really be considered neutral? Just a question.

What we know is that a vegetarian diet has never been linked with cancer or hormone deficiencies. And the truth is that meat contains nothing that can’t be perfectly derived from a vegetarian diet. Nothing. And yes – this is despite what’s been said in the press about ghostly, anaemia-riddled vegetarians with wispy hair and brittle bones. It’s a myth, people. Consider for a second that the OX, the strongest and most powerful natural ploughing machine known to man, eats a vegetarian diet. Vegetarians are not deficient. It’s unfair and untrue to argue otherwise. Any person who neglects to balance their diet runs the risk of ill heath.

These are our thoughts. More to follow.