VEGA News Item

The vegetarian debate - 22/03/2004
Extracts from supporters letters

1. Pity the poor veggie living with a carnivore and fridge and kitchen contaminating the cuisine with all those hazardous micro-organisms the Food Standards Agency warns us about. Too bad if you cohabit with a cat and are likely to become pregnant: handling raw meat or emptying the litter tray puts your baby at risk of brain damage and even blindness. At this time of year DEFRA has to send out warnings of more dangers from the protozoa causing toxoplasmosis and other organisms associated with abortion as ewes deliver more of those little bundles destined for the meat machine; women should therefore avoid attendance at lambing.

And production – and overproduction – of these objectionable foods enjoys hefty subsidies. Milk can be counted – as ‘liquid meat’ – among these deplorable commodities. It’s not good for the veggie taxpayer’s blood pressure. On the other hand a survey some years ago found that veggies spent less ‘down time’ under the care of doctors and hospitals, and degenerative diseases set in an average of a decade later in their lives.

2. Vegetarian diets are often advocated for patients suffering from kidney problems. The type and amount of protein, as well as the beneficial content of fruit and veg, appear to balance the body’s acid-alkaline balance favourably. Excretion of calcium and erosion of bone are reduced, which opposes the harmful effects of osteoporosis and osteomalacia.

The prospect of a diet of statins and polypills as a counter to the epidemic of obesity and cardiovascular disease has prompted some doctors into suggestions for “portfolio” catering that’s tasty and practicable, and combines the recommendations in various health messages; this drugless alternative matches the rapid benefits obtained from the chemist. It turns out to be strictly vegetarian (vegan). It offers consumers and the food industry plenty of scope for development.

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