Saturday, April 10, 2010

Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus

I finished reading 'Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating' by Erik Marcus this week. The book includes studies where vegan diets have helped those with cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol or just those looking to lose weight. It's a good read for those who want more scientific and environmental reasons to be vegan. The clincher for me was learning that by drinking milk one contributes to the veal industry (i.e. evil incarnate).
Favorite quote: "Some people like to tell me that the way I eat is radical. Well, I think it's radical when they take you into a hospital on a gurney and decide you need a $40,000+ operation. I think it's radical when they saw your ribs open and then take pieces of your artery from your legs and sew them onto your heart. That's radical! Eating beans, delicious vegetables and grains is not radical." ~ Robert Siegel

Notes on the book
  • Vegans have cholesterol levels 35% lower than average (vegetarians 14% lower than average)
  • Dr. Ornish's diet program for reversing heart disease shows that people who had previously had a heart attack were able to lower their cholesterol 100 points after 1 year (250 points after many years). Dr. Ornish's diet program was so efficient some people were able to stop taking their daily heart/cholesterol medications. Even WebMD has a great review for his diet and research detailed in the book "Eat More, Weigh Less"
  • The China Project, which studied the dietary lifestyle patterns and health of numerous villages/cities in China, found that Chinese who ate the least fat and animal products had substantially lower rates of cancer, heart attack and other chronic degenerative diseases.
  • Vegetarians/Vegans have less colon cancer risk. Vegetarians/Vegans have lower concentrations of carcinogenic bile acids and lower pH levels in their colons. Vegetarians/Vegans eat more fiber.
  • Diary is not the answer to osteoporosis. America has one of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world, yet we consume the most diary. Studies hint that high protein diets can actually cause calcium loss.
  • The body produces its own cholesterol. It's essential for all animal life. However, the body doesn't need the excess cholesterol we get from eating meat and diary.
  • 38% of the world grains goes to feeding livestock. It takes 4.5 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef. Vegans consume 2,500 calories of crop production, people who eat 30% of their food from meat require 9,000 calories of crop production.
  • Eating eggs contributes to the killing of millions of male chicks. Soon after chicks are born they are divided by sex. The males are not as efficient in producing meat and don't lay eggs, so they are killed. They are either suffocated in a bag, gased with carbon dioxide or grinded.
  • Consuming diary contributes to the veal industry. To keep milk yields high dairy cows are kept constantly pregnant, giving birth on average every 13 months. This produces a surplus of cows. The extra calves are sold to the veal industry.
Next on the food reading list "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver

1 comment:

  1. love Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Probably my favorite food book next to Omnivore's Dilemma, especially love the sections on Turkeys, the youngest daughter's business endeavors, and zucchinis!