Regaining our Perspective: Raising Awareness of our Precious Animal & Plant Heritage

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Great Protein Lie

I have noticed a rather interesting phenomenon lately, when we happen to mention that we are vegetarian : almost without exception, the comment in response is something like this :

"Oh well, I guess that makes sense - you're now in your middle age and the body doesn't need as much protein as before". And somebody else commented "You're going to have to be careful as you get older - a pure vegetarian diet will need to be supplemented with meat, otherwise there could be problems".

Oh woe to the vegan/vegetarian - they're all on course for their bodies to fall apart as they age, unless they resort to meat protein!

Clearly, this is another of those popular "old wives tale" - misconceptions at best, and at worst it's a deliberately orchestrated effort by the pro-meat lobby to get the general public to eat more meat.

Let's kill the lie straight away - "An acre of cereal produces five times more protein than an acre used for meat production; legumes such as beans, peas and lentils can produce 10 times more protein and, in the case of soya, 30 times more." - ("Meat Makes the Rich Ill, and the Poor Hungry" - Jeremy Rifkin)

And from the same source, it can be noted that 157 million tonnes of cereals, vegetable protein and legumes are fed to animals annually, to produce 28 million tonnes of animal protein. Imagine if that plant material were to be funnelled instead into feeding humanity? And who benefits? Why the global corporations which supply the world's seed, chemicals, cattle and which control the slaughterhouses, the sale and distribution of meat of course!

It's a stark thought that 80 per cent of the world’s hungry children live in countries which have food surpluses which are fed to animals for consumption by the affluent in other countries.  And while diseases of affluence such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer are brought on by eating animal products, the world’s poor are dying from diseases of poverty. And as another example, consider that almost the entire population of India and China, nearly two billion people, could be fed on the protein consumed and largely wasted by the United States’ beef herd.(Ibid.)

Do you want to Feed the World  ? It's easy! See also Plant based protein sources and also Obtaining adequate protein. Incidentally, while on the latter page, be sure to also look at Mad cow 1 and 2, and also Mad Cow Researchers.

"Dying for some lunch" takes on a new meaning.... 

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