Vegetarian Tour

Vegetarians, especially vegans, are often dismayed at The Weston A. Price Foundation’s emphasis on animal foods as essential for health. This website tour will give you an overview of our position in light of the scientific evidence that humans need animal foods, particularly animal fats, for optimum health.

The Foundation supports raising animals on pasture as much of the year as possible, and opposes confinement operations, feedlots, debeaking, growth hormones, routine antibiotics in feed, inappropriate feed such as soy, and other practices that harm animals’ health and well-being, harm the environment, and result in animal foods that are not optimally nutritious for humans.

The Foundation believes that strict vegetarianism (veganism) is detrimental to human health. Vegetarianism that includes eggs and raw (unpasteurized) dairy products, organic vegetables and fruits, properly prepared whole grains, legumes, and nuts, and excludes unfermented soy products and processed foods, can be a healthy option for some people. However, some people have difficulty assimilating vitamins, minerals, protein, and other factors from plant foods. These individuals may need a higher proportion of nutrients from animal foods to achieve optimum health.

Before taking the standard tour, vegetarians may wish to read the following articles:

The Vegetarian Tour

  1. Open Letter to Vegetarians: Foundation member Jim Earles presents an open letter to vegetarians, outlining those goals we share with most vegetarian groups.
  2. Our basic brochure, “Principles of Healthy Diets.” We have a 28-page introductory booklet that offers an excellent introduction to the foundation and the work of Weston A. Price. The booklet is recreated on this web page.
  3. Ancient Dietary Wisdom for Tomorrow’s Children: This article will get you better acquainted with the work of Weston A. Price.
  4. Vitamin A Saga: This article refutes the common misconception that humans can satisfy their need for the crucial Vitamin A with beta carotene from vegetables.
  5. The Ethics of Eating Meat: Charles Eisenstein considers the moral implications of killing animals for food.
  6. Myths & Truths About Vegetarianism: Stephen Byrnes examines 15 arguments against eating meat.
  7. Myths & Truths About Soy: This short piece examines common arguments in favor of consuming soy.
  8. The (Vegan Ecological) Wasteland: Mark Purdey discusses the environmental devastation that would result from eliminating livestock from farming.
  9. Vegetarianism and Nutrient Deficiencies: Chris Masterjohn looks at the hard facts.
  10. Twenty-Two Reasons Not to Go Vegetarian: Sally Fallon Morell responds to arguments for vegetarianism.
  11. The Gorilla Diet: What Can It Tell Us about a Healthy Diet for Humans?: This article refutes the notion that humans should eat a vegetarian diet like that of the gorillas.
  12. Out of Africa: What Dr. Price and Burkitt Discovered in their Studies of Sub-Saharan Tribes: These researchers noted the greater strength and health of the meat-eating tribes vs. the vegetarian tribes they examined.
  13. The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith: This Thumbs Up book review summarizes Keith’s arguments against moral, political, and nutritional vegetarianism.
  14. An Inconvenient Cow by Matt Rales: The truth behind the UN assault on ruminant livestock

After reading these articles, you may want to continue with the regular tour.

Jill Nienhiser has been a Weston A. Price Foundation member since 2001, and has provided web maintenance, editing, and proofreading support for and for many years. She also helped launched the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund in 2007.

25 Responses to Vegetarian Tour

  1. Daniel Donovan says:

    Why the hate on vegetarians and vegans?
    Why does this have so much misinformation about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle? What do you guys stand to lose/gain from people becoming vegetarian or vegan? Like take B12 for example, if omnivore’s got plentyful B12 in their diet why is practically everything fortified with B vitamins? Why is milk, cereals and every other product fortified with extra B vitamins?? Do they do this for the vegans and vegetarians who make up less and 1% of the western population??? I seriously doubt it??? Why do body builders and olympic athletes take monthly B12 infections??? Why???? I mean to my knowledge there is no other vitamin that vegans or vegetarian’s can not get if they do the research and get educated. So why does this site attack such a small minority of the population?? Well folks follow the money….

  2. mh says:

    Vegetarian and Weston Price
    I can relate to your stress feeling as if your values as a vegetarian are being attacked. I was a vegan for 8 years, and although I had serious health and hormonal problems as a result of my vegan diet, I cried when I read a book that attacked the vegan/ vegetarian diet (not a weston price book by the way). I have eventually gone back to eating meat and dairy in my diet and do so in an ethical, sustainable and healthy way.As a result, I no longer have hormonal problems, my acne cleared up, my brain was no longer fuzzy and I regained energy. Note: I was a very healthy vegan eater it is just simply my body type needed meat. I have found that the Weston Price practice is very compassionate to vegans and vegetarians as the values are in alignment with one another regarding the belief in the importance of eating for health in an ethical and nutritious way.

    Now to answer your question regarding b12 supplements, etc. There is a big difference between a vegan diet, a Weston Price diet and a standard diet. The majority of the western world is currently on a standard diet and consumes low quality meat and cheeses which are harmful to their health, environment and are cruel to animals. As a result of this unhealthy diet, they are in fact not getting enough of the important nutrients they need and that is why good companies are legally required to supplement their poor quality food with vitamins and why many who think they eat a healthy diet of conventional fruit, veg and meat are in fact not getting the nutrients they should from this poor quality food.

    If being a vegan/vegetarian is important to you, I respect that and believe that some people are able to eat a healthy vegetarian diet, but please don’t think Weston Price is attacking your choices, because they are only offering another perspective on health that is relevant for the rest of us. “One man’s food is another man’s poison” We are all different and have different needs for nutrition.

    Best wishes on your journey to good health.

  3. Tim Boyd says:

    Reply to Donovan
    Yes, do follow the money. You can do that at:

    You might also want to read what we say instead of making assumptions about who we are attacking …

  4. Hannah says:

    I have been a vegetarian for 4 years. My family has become extremely worried about my health and safety, but I actually feel a lot better!

  5. Well Icannottell says:

    I’m Vegan and healthy!
    I don’t see why all the criticism,but I’m a vegan and quite healthy. I’ve read all these sites and still will not change.

    • Taco Raptor says:

      I tried being vegan once and did felt more tired, generally not as good, and craved meat more. I went back to eating meat and animal products and felt much better. I’m not convinced it’s possible to be as healthy as a vegan as you could eating meat. (Also I don’t believe in relying on too much carbs or soy. In my experience, I don’t feel as good eating that and am foggy/unfocused, tired, have more hormone balance issues).

      Do you take certain supplements to ensure you get all the nutrition you need? What kind of food do you eat? What part of the world are you from? What is your ancestry? Do you think that could affect what you need to eat?

      • Will says:

        If you felt more tired or not as good, you weren’t eating a balanced enough diet. It is said on this page (and believed by many) that it all depends on body type. That is false. If a plant-based diet did not “work” for someone, they didn’t do it right. What makes you think that one can’t be as healthy eating a vegan diet as they could when eating meat, when, and look this up, biologically speaking, our bodies are literally not designed to eat meat which you can tell when you compare humans with carnivorous animals.

  6. nogenre says:

    It is true!
    I was a vegetarian for two years and felt just horrible! I’m eating meat for every meal now and feel great.

  7. Misha says:

    Just thought I’d add a note…I just got back from India, where I met plenty of people who were healthy well into their old age and had never tasted meat a day in their lives. They don’t seem to worry about b12 or iron a bit. One big difference I saw in their diets was, in addition to lots of good grains/veg/legumes, they eat a lot of natural yogurt and soft, natural cheese. So I have to agree with the quality dairy assessment!

  8. Dio Miranda says:

    Mr. Well I Cannottell
    How come we hang up on the “criticism”?
    When someone thinks different than you, then you get offended.
    I really don’t think this is the idea of this blog whatsoever.
    …and make vegetables work for you.
    Good intentions to you.

  9. Dio Miranda says:


    Do you live in India or US?
    The environment will also dictate your dietary needs.
    …and please I am not here to fight with anyone, as this is becoming like a religion fight.
    thank you

  10. un told says:

    eye opener
    Well i thought that i would just add to what Misha said, I live in the u.s. and have often visited India. I would like to point out that being vegan is very different than being vegetarian. vegan do not take in any dairy products or egg etc. and most vegetarians do. There are also substitues to meat and B12. Many Olympic athletes are also (note) vegetarians,so in all do respect for this site, I would like to say being vegetrian is a life style, you can not change your life style unless you would really want to, so, if you are one of those people who say i’ve tried being vegetarian..and it’s hecka hard, I would like to say…since you were born into eating meat it’ll take more than just to TRY to become a vegetarian.

  11. Wyandotte says:

    While I myself don’t eat meat, I did recommend to a vegan who was pregant for the 2nd time that she must start eating animal products of all kinds. Her first baby was born defective and I think it was caused by her vegan diet. Deep down, she suspects this but it is hard for her to come to terms with. Her child is in a care home, he’s that sickly.

    • Jade says:

      Don’t you understand one bit how research works? You just named ONE case where a vegan mother had a baby with a defect. What makes you think that being vegan caused this? There are a zillion reasons of why things can go wrong during a pregnancy. I can say to you that I’m a nurse and came across a lot of people that had miscarriages, babies with Down’s Syndrome, malformation of bodies, brain damage and so on. And all of these people ate meat. Does that mean it’s caused by eating meat!? No, it just doesn’t work as simple as that. I am very curious why you don’t eat meat yourself but recommend it to someone else. There is no need for animal products. I am a vegan, and I can get everything I need from a plant-based diet. Including during my pregnancies and I have two healthy vegan children.

  12. jessie says:

    i was raised a vegetarian and cannot stand the taste of meat, seafood or eggs. i did a lot of research in my late teens and determined that i need meat and that it is natural and healthy to eat it, and that all those vegetarian arguments were bogus (like the intestinal length, teeth, etc.) but for twenty years now, i’ve been trying to eat some grassfed beef, salmon, eggs, etc. and they are just so disgusting. i’ve tried lots of different recipes – i just can’t do it. fortunately, i do eat and love dairy products but would really like to learn to enjoy meat. what can i do to get over the taste problem? especially eggs! they are awefull! by the way, i’m ok with the textures and have never had a bad reaction or sickness from eating meat like other vegetarians i have heard about.

    • Taco Raptor says:

      What about dairy? Do you like cheese? (Raw milk is the best if you can get it).

      Also, if you want egg nutrition, but don’t like eating them, you could just crack some eggs in a cup and drink them raw and get it over with in a few seconds. You could mix it with orange juice if you want.

  13. AnneMarie says:

    Oh boy
    Oh boy! Look at the facts. Vegetarians have higher IQs, live longer and have fewer health problems. Statistics that if you look into properly you will not be able to refute, no matter how much you want to believe that you need to eat meat 🙂
    My family and I have been veggie for over 20 years and every time we go to the doctors we get comments on how remarkably healthy we are. Our blood work ups are always off the chart good. When they then discover we are veggie they are surprised because of the propaganda that is put about against vegetarianism. My baby is vegetarian and she is miles ahead of her peers. Try to approach things with an open mind and don’t be looking for the answer you want to hear.

  14. Lyly says:

    Human meant to eat a balance diety. Meat and vegetable. For those who choose to be vegetarian because of the love for animal, have you guys thought about the vegetables’ felling? They are alive too the same as the lovely animal. All I want to say is eat with thankfulness and try not to waste any food because they give up themselves to support our life greatly.

    • Nyx says:


      “Human meant to eat a balance diety. Meat and vegetable.”
      Nope, humans are herbivores, see and click on the “Humans Are Herbivores” article. Also see “Vegan Nutrition Concerns”:

      “have you guys thought about the vegetables’ felling? They are alive too the same as the lovely animal.”
      In case you weren’t aware of this difference, to have feelings, to feel pain, to suffer, you need a functioning central nervous system attached to a brain, plants have neither, therefore they don’t have feelings. See “Vegans Kill Plants! (Warning: GRAPHIC PLANT VIOLENCE)”

      “All I want to say is eat with thankfulness”
      If a bear ate your kid, but said thank you, would you be ok with it?

      “and try not to waste any food”
      A meat, egg, dairy, honey, eating diet is the most wasteful diet on the planet, even if it’s “grass-fed”, “free range”, or “organic”. See: “Can Veganism Solve World Hunger? National Debt? Your Colon?” “You CANNOT Be a Non-Vegan Environmentalist!” “Save the Environment with Your Diet!” “What If The World Went Vegan Tomorrow?” “Vegans Kill Animals! More Than Meat-Eaters?” “Honeybee Ecology” (talks about the environmental detriments of honeybee cultivation)

      “because they give up themselves to support our life greatly.”
      They don’t support your life, they end it with saturated fat, cholesterol, naturally occurring trans fatty acids, animal protein and more, all of which you cannot remove no matter how “raw”, “organic”, “free range” or “grass-fed” the animals are, and are all major risk factors for major diseases. “Trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol: Tolerable upper intake of zero”

      Finally, they don’t give themselves up, they fight back, they try to escape. See: “Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 “

  15. LD says:

    It is so interesting to me that both sides of this argument yell “lies! propaganda! our info is the ONLY REAL INFO!!!!” just because someone disagrees with their lifestyle. Nothing I have read here is unbiased, from anyone. Doctors, medical studies, anecdotal evidence will all point to a variety of things in the human diet being healthy…. Why don’t you just go eat what works for you? Nobody os forcing anyone to do anything they don’t want.

    • Will says:

      To respond to “Why don’t you just go eat what works for you?”: One reason is because animal agriculture is killing the planet so veganism is helping to fight that. Another reason is that eating animal foods does not work for anyone, in the long run. It may appear to make people feel better, but the cholesterol and fat is doing harm to the body perhaps just in a slow way for some people.

  16. Peyote Short says:

    I’m vegan, but I applaud your efforts to make meat much less of a horror then our current industrial food practices. I like to think if people in general decreased proportion of meat in their diets that traditional farming could become the norm.

    Sunday free-range chicken dinner, good. Back seat filled with McDonald’s sacks, bad.

  17. Lindsay says:

    Sort of funny how some people are so adamant that their diet is the “right” one despite so many different things seeming to work for different people. I also love the assertion that if you felt like shite on a vegan diet or a paleo one, the proponents of that diet will assert you didn’t try hard enough. False. Each of our bodies are different, born in different climates to different parents. We weigh different amounts, have different metabolisms, are tall and short, dark and pasty – is it so impossible to think maybe different nutritional styles work best for different people?

    I’ve tried it all. Lacto-ovo veggie, vegan, no carb, fermented carbs only – none of them were exactly perfect. A vegan diet left me feeling run down, thin hair, stomach aches. Paleo left me feeling a strange sense of low energy, almost flu like. That did not work at all. I tried lacto-ovo veggie, but too much dairy gives me bad diarrhea.

    Mostly lean meat, some beef around that time of the month, mostly fermented dairy products and some limited lower fat products – I try to focus on foods naturally low in fat and limit “low fat” products. Lots of veggies and fruit. My body LOVES starchy carbs in reasonable portions, especially sweet potato, fennel, carrots, root veggies. Too much meat and I feel heavy, greasy, crappy. Not enough and my iron plunges. So I have to find a constant balance of things. I’ve never found a “diet” that really worked for me or fits the bill. Closest thing is South Beach Diet, but I don’t like to eat low fat products, so for me, I’d rather eat moderate amount of the full fat tasty stuff.

  18. Nailea says:

    Vegetarians and Vegans, please carry on with what you are doing. I don’t want you driving up the price of good quality raw dairy, organ pastured meats and clean wild seafood. Thank you!

  19. Surak says:

    I come down in between. I was lacto-ovo-vegetarian for about 30 years. My health gradually deteriorated. I was underweight, became anxious, and my endocrinologist said I had gradually exhausted my body’s supplies of trace micronutrients. I resumed a kosher omnivorous diet, and gradually recovered my health (kosher meaning no pork or shellfish, and no dairy/meat combinations).

    My wife is Asian and has chronic health problems like fibromyalgia. She has urged me to eliminate the small amount of remaining animal food in my diet, which she claims is inflammatory. Her health has improved somewhat with a mostly vegan diet, with occasional well-cooked poultry. She has a degree in food science and she knows more than I about food, nutrition, and biochemistry.

    Nevertheless, she is still not completely well. She has natural cravings from time to time for animal-based products. When she tries to eat other animal foods, she generally has a reaction – perhaps allergic, perhaps sensitivity. If it is sensitivity, she needs to try de-sensitization.

    Moreover, my late mother observed that my wife and I have different ancestries and different ancestral diets. Those arguing above about the optimal diet do not seem to acknowledge the possibility that different ethnic groups might require different diets for optimal health.

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