- Is Vegetarianism Healthy
- The China Study
- post-partum meat cravings
- 97 year old heart surgeon has been a healthy vegan
- plant based diet for heart disease
- could I get what I need from just coconut oil, eggs, Carlson’s Cod oil, & butter?
- eating cadavers
- The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith
Q. It is my understanding that vegetarianism is healthier, please comment.
A. I know of no conclusive study showing superior health benefits of a vegetarian diet. On the contrary, vegetarians, especially vegans, develop numerous health problems. These links may be helpful:
- Vegetarianism: What the Science Tells Us
- Thumbs Down Book Review: The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health
- The Oiling of America
The China Study
Q. Chris Masterjohn’s critique of the China Study and T. Colin Campbell fails to address a key question: why would Dr. Campbell who was dedicated to the animal food industry become vegan? Additionally, why would Howard Lyman a lifetime cattleman become a vegan activist?Appeals to authority are not arguments. Either the evidence does or does not support veganism. I made several very clear, distinct and approachable criticisms. If they are not valid, Dr. Campbell or anyone else can refute them. Lastly, I’d like to point out that the vegan way of life, a way that respects life, is coming and growing all the time. The meat and dairy industries can make no such claim and are fighting a losing debate. The world has always been a majority of vegetarians and in the very near future the industrialized countries will be, too. In the U.S. we’re only one major media story about Mad Cow Disease away.
A. Chris Masterjohn replies:
First, I’d like to draw your attention to Dr. Campbell’s response to my review:
And to my response to Dr. Campbell:
I think I did address this: Campbell became convinced through his laboratory experiments, his work on the China Study, and the other evidence he presents in the book that animal products are the cause of ill health and that a vegan diet constituted the optimal diet for humans. As I pointed out in the review, his lab evidence indicted isolated casein, not “animal-based nutrients,” as a problem. The data in the China Study do not lend any convincing support to his conclusion, and he presents the work of others with high selectivity and bias. I am not sure what you think I am leaving out.
I do respect life and quality of life is part of the reason I support open pasture farming in addition to nutrition. As far as I know, vegetarianism has been more or less absent for most of human history, so I’m not quite sure what you mean. Even in rural China, Dr. Campbell did not study any vegans.
Q. Where did you get the information for your review of the China Study?
A. The original data including the questionnaire is contained in the following monograph:
Junshi, Chen, T. Colin Campbell, Li Junyao, and Richard Peto, Diet, Life-style and Mortality in China: A Study of the Characteristics of 65 Chinese Counties, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
I borrowed a copy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. You should be able to find this either at a university library or through interlibrary loan.
Q: I have some health issues and I have been vegetarian and previously vegan. I’m six months post-partum and miss meat. But I do not have access to any other than conventional meat chicken n whatever. Is it better to be vegetarian than partake in this meat?
A: You absolutely NEED meat, especially post-partum. Your body is telling you something. And yes, if your only choice is conventional, then eat that. Conventional beef and lamb are better than conventional chicken and pork. Be sure to eat the meat with the fat!
Q: I am receiving snotty emails referring to an article in the NYT which claims this 97 year old heart surgeon has been a healthy vegan for over 30 years. Help! I need some intelligent retorts!
A: Two possible points here: One is that he didn’t start out a vegan, his body was not built on a vegan diet. And secondly, we do not know whether he is telling the truth or whether he cheats.
Q: I wonder if Ms. Fallon would have time to comment on this man’s approach to heart disease:
A: He promotes a plant based diet which is no guarantee against heart disease, and can lead to many deficiencies. One good thing is he tells people to get off vegetable oils, which is very important to do. It is the vegetable oils that are the main cause of heart disease, not animal products.
Q: Let’s say I continue to subscribe to your position on animal foods…but am still weary of the meats: do you think I could get what I need from say just coconut oil, eggs, Carlson’s Cod oil, & butter?
A: We’d recommend Green Pasture cod liver oil as well as seafood and raw dairy products. Please see our articles on vegetarianism
and this excellent website:
Q: After extensive survey of food alternatives, I have come to the conclusion that eating cadavers is not the way to go. Because I do not raise my own animals for food, I have no alternative to cadavers if I eat animals in any way other than did our original ancestors. My diet consists primarily of nuts and a pantheon of raw vegetables centerpieced on dandelion that I buy from a local grower as well as organic spinach, together with beans that are canned by Eden (no salt; bisphenol-A free linings). I eat nothing with sugar and I am extremely vigilant about fructose. The only animal food that I eat are eggs advertised as USDA organic and an occasional fish taken from local waters. My fat sources are the walnuts and almonds that I eat, as well as liberal amounts of organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive and coconut oils. I take salt in the form of a saturated solution of Himalayan crystal salt. In other words, but for my aversion to cadavers and dairy products, an aversion that borders on paranoia, I am a very good candidate for Dr. Mercola’s growing army of dietary revolutionaries. One of your articles on soy mentions “long fermentation” as a way of avoiding the unhealthy aspects of soy, Is there a guideline for “long”? The only form of soy that I eat is tempeh produced by Lightlife. It is advertised as being made from fermented organic soybeans. Because Lightlife was acquired by one of the major food corporations (i don’t recall which one), I have been considering making my own tempeh. I am wondering whether that would be worth the effort, that is to say – is there any process of fermentation that I might reasonably accomplish that would effectively address the problems of ingesting soy that you have cataloged?
A: A diet so low in animal products and containing a lot of soy is a recipe for thyroid and other problems. You really need at least to add butter and cod liver oil to your diet. Make soup with fish heads to counteract the thyroid-disrupting effects of the soy. Much better way to spend your time than making tempe.
Q: I read some comments and excerpts on your site on “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith. Next, I found the following review on the web: http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/09/review-of-the-vegetarian-myth.html Now I am all confused! May I ask you to comment on the review I read at the above URL?
A: This is written by a vegan, so naturally they are not going to be happy with Keith’s book. Please spend some time on our website—start with the Tour.