Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, and Heart Attacks

Due to its role in heart disease, meat-eating is believed by many doctors to be responsible for just as many deaths as smoking and drinking combined. Is it an addiction? Is it negligence? Is it procrastination? Whatever the case, it would be safe to say that foresight is a function that’s not frequently employed when it comes to minding our health.

The average American eats 5 hamburgers a week and at least one meat product (including eggs) at every meal. Yearly, 52% of American deaths are attributed to symptoms of heart disease. Another 25% are attributed to various forms of cancer, namely breast, colon, lung, and prostate. Many more die prematurely of diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver. Statistically, this is ample evidence to support a connection between the act of eating meat and chronic degenerative diseases. Scientifically, the connection between animal products and heart disease has been proven over and over again. So why are the physiological dangers of meat-eating not common knowledge? Could it be that it is people’s choice to disregard the 3 basic and brutal facts that disagree with their tastebuds?

Firstly, it is extremely unusual- insane even- that a society destroys its own habitat. Collectively, we just can’t seem to get it together and reverse bad habits fast enough to salvage the environment. One of the worst pollutants in the world right now is the meat industry- or factory farming. We keep buying hamburgers and chicken wings- supporting a meat industry that creates vast lakes of manure, which in turn- poison the land, the air, and the water.

Secondly, it appears as if the majority of people are unable to abstain from meat on behalf of badly mistreated and terrorized animals (much less acknowledge the existence of such suffering). Rare is the individual who makes the connection between their ham sandwich and an act of violence.

Finally, if people cannot act on behalf of the planet or the animals, are they able to act on behalf of their own bodies? Meat consumption has been proven to be a cause of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, intestinal cancer, and depression- to name a few. But people just can’t resist the convenience of a hotdog stand or something as seemingly harmless as a grilled chicken caesar. They turn a blind eye to what really occurs behind the scenes of their lunch. The food industry has perfectly conditioned them to give in to their cravings.

Meat consumption has been proven to be a cause of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, intestinal cancer, and depression- to name a few.

Eating Terror

It is a well-known fact that when animals are brought to slaughter, they are in a state of terror. As the animals are prodded towards their death (listening to their fellow-creatures get it before them), large amounts of adrenalin are released throughout their bodies. The animals are then stunned (methods vary and are frequently unsuccessful), their throats are slit, and they are hung upside down by their back legs to bleed to death. Often they are fully conscious and in a state of sheer trauma.

Adrenalin is a long protein enzyme chain, meaning that many of the chain links survive the cooking process so that the eating of animal flesh is the biochemical consumption of anger, terror, and other violent emotions. Adrenalin also increases the heartbeat unnecessarily.

On average, the vegetarian heart pumps the same amount of blood as a meat-eater’s with 20,000 fewer beats per day. A vegetarian’s heart beats 50 odd beats per minute. A non-vegetarian’s heart pumps 70 odd beats a minute. A rapid heartbeat shortens one’s life.

Also contributing to a quickened heartbeat, is uric acid. This substance is the pre-urine present in the muscles of the animals. It is the poison that would have been excreted had the animal lived.

Of all the animals who include meat in their diet, man is the only one who cannot break down uric acid to allantoin. This is due to the fact that man does not possess the necessary enzyme, uricase. This inability to break down uric acid leads to its accumulation in the body when animal products are consumed. Uric acid, is correlated to arthritic deposits, to hypertachia (rapid heartbeat), and to overacidity- which is an unnatural appetite stimulant. It also heightens the metabolism- again stimulating the appetite, increases risk of pancreatic cancer, and causes unneeded adrenalin to be released by its consumer.

On average, the vegetarian heart pumps the same amount of blood as a meat-eater’s with 20,000 fewer beats per day.

Fatty Blood

One might wonder what the liver has to do with heart disease, but since the liver is responsible for filtering and breaking down foreign substances in the body, the liver thereby protects our heart in many ways. The human liver unlike the liver of carnivores, can process only a limited amount of cholesterol. If significant amounts of animal products are consumed, cholesterol levels rise, thus increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. (Atherosclerosis is a vascular disease involving high levels of fat in the blood and is associated with the heart attacks and strokes that kill half of the people each year) Either we are not biologically equipped to break down meat or we have the wrong liver.

A mountain of evidence already exists on the effects of high cholesterol (or fatty blood) and its clogging effects, but just as serious as cholesterol, is the lesser-known homocysteine.

Homocysteine, a property way more intrinsic to the composition of meat than fat or cholesterol (meaning it cannot be butchered off or reduced), causes molecules to link up in blocks much too large to pass through arteries. It also causes arterial scarring. The worst thing about homocysteine- which is present only in meat products- is that it causes other food molecules- which wouldn’t do so otherwise- to stick to the arterial walls. For example- on a vegetarian diet, saturated fats derived from vegetables wouldn’t naturally stick to the arterial walls. But on a non-vegetarian diet, the homocysteine not only collects meat-derived fats in the arteries, but vegetable fats as well. Basically, homocysteine is like an internal fly-trap.

A mountain of evidence already exists on the effects of high cholesterol (or fatty blood) and its clogging effects…

Finally the Fat

On the average vegetarians weigh anywhere from 12 to 22 lbs. less than meat-eaters (depending on whether they eat dairy products or not).

In 1998 a study showed that there are some 91 million obese people in America, that’s approximately 1 in 3. Less than 1% of obese people are vegetarian. Simply by common sense, one can see that there is a strong correlation between meat-eating and obesity. Heart disease is most common among people who are overweight. This is largely due to- not just the fat clogging the arteries- but also the extra weight’s strain on the heart.

On the average vegetarians weigh anywhere from 12 to 22 lbs. less than meat-eaters (depending on whether they eat dairy products or not).

No Upside To Meat In The Diet

Due to its role in heart disease, meat-eating is believed by many doctors to be responsible for just as many deaths as smoking and drinking combined. Is it an addiction? Is it negligence? Is it procrastination? Whatever the case, it would be safe to say that foresight is a function that’s not frequently employed when it comes to minding our health.

If we cannot abstain from meat for the sake of the animals, the planet, or a sense of spiritual well-being, most surely we can at least abstain for the sake of our own bodies. But sadly, it seems we consider our tastebuds to be the overruling part of the body, and therefore the overruling part of the Mother Earth and the animals. So now, resulting from the power we’ve allowed our tongues, there is an animal holocaust occurring in the form of factory-farming. There is widespread ecocide. And there is the destruction of our own bodies.

The other day, my carnivorous mother smiled and said,

“Ignorance is bliss..”

To which I could only reply “Yeah, but it creates hell.” She shrugged and took a bite of her turkey sandwich. “I really like your articles.” She complimented. “I don’t get it then…” I said. “Does it just not register?” She blinked innocently, “Does what not register?”

For many, the change to vegetarianism looks like a radical one. For me it took a year of hearing about a more compassionate lifestyle before I could finally detach from my tongue and my habits long enough to make a change. I had to compete with a lifetime of habitual carelessness. I had not been taught to care. Eventually playing dumb to the dismal reality no longer worked and I began to feel awful. I had to inquire why.

When I looked at the big picture, I saw there were tremendous responsibilities I was avoiding. I’m grateful now to finally see those responsibilities. I’m grateful someone found me to be worth the time to inform me- as arrogant as I was. Even if it did take a year to sink in.

I hope my mom likes this article.

What you have in your mind?