Thursday, April 3, 2014
Why I Am a Vegetarian (Vegan)
by Dee Newman
I am a vegetarian (vegan) because I am a human being, an evolved moral creature, capable of choosing one action over another. Let me explain.
The structure of my digestive system is not designed for eating other animals. Humans are vegetarians by nature. Animals who are vegetarians (herbivores) have long gastrointestinal tracts (10 to 12 times the length of their torsos) with intestinal walls that are extremely rutted, designed for maximal nutrient and mineral absorption.
In contrast, the intestines of carnivores and omnivores are very short (three to six times the length of their torsos), straight and smooth, allowing for rapid elimination of animal flesh that can putrefy quickly.
In addition to the fact that human beings have the same intestinal tract characteristics and ratio as herbivores, our saliva and stomach acidity matches theirs, as well.
We also (like other herbivores) require dietary fiber to move food through our long uneven and convoluted digestive tracts, to prevent our bowels from becoming clogged with rotting food. Carnivores do not require fiber to help move food through their short and smooth digestive tracts.
Furthermore, since our bodies manufacture all the cholesterol we need, humans have absolutely no dietary need for cholesterol. A plant-based diet is by definition cholesterol-free. Therefore, consuming cholesterol found in other animals is detrimental to our health.
In fact, aside from smoking, there is no greater health risk for humans than eating other animals. Cardiovascular disorders are the number one cause of death in the United States. The relationship between the human consumption of other animals and heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer and strokes has been definitively substantiated. The list of other diseases which can often be prevented and/or cured by a low fat vegetarian diet include: kidney stones, gallstones, hypoglycemia, constipation, diverticulosis, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, obesity, diabetes, prostate cancer, peptic ulcers, arthritis, gum disease, acne, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, hypertension, osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, and asthma, just to name a few.
I have been a total vegetarian for over 45 years. I will be 70 years old this year and in remarkable physical condition. I am living proof that human beings cannot only get all the nourishment we need from a plant based diet while maintaining good health, but in doing so avoid the pain and suffering of many diseases.
However, I did not choose to be a vegetarian for health reasons. Nor did my choice come from any adoring fondness for other animals. I chose to embrace my natural and intrinsic character for one reason and one reason only – to maintain my integrity, to be true to who I am.
I am naturally not only a vegetarian, I am also an evolved moral creature with the ability to distinguish right from wrong and to make decisions based on that knowledge. In short, I have the capability to choose one action over another.
Being a moral creature I have a responsibility to choose to act honorably. The fundamental moral principle of reciprocity, more commonly known as The Golden Rule, requires me to never allow my wanton desires to interfere with the basic needs and interest of others.
Since I have no need to consume other animals to maintain good health (in fact, consuming them is detrimental to my health), choosing to do so would be a licentious desire that would unnecessarily cause great suffering and harm to other living sentient beings, and therefore, morally wrong. It is that simple.