Vegetarian Nutrition is the diet of the 21st Century
from European Vegetarian, Issue 1/2000

A couple of years ago the religious scholar Dr. Alan Wauters from New York told me that Nostradamus (French astrologer, 1503-1566, known for his prophecies) is believed to have said that at the end of the 20th century smoking will be banned from public buildings and at the beginning of the 21st century meat eating will be taboo.
There is evidence world-wide, but especially in the western countries, that this prediction is not far from the truth.
More and more people are adopting a vegetarian diet or reducing their meat consumption drastically. Vegetarianism has become a modern trend, attracting especially the young generation. Between thirty and forty-per-cent of meals at universities in Germany and Switzerland are vegetarian. While 30-40 years ago only few people knew the meaning of "vegetarianism", today every child knows the word.
Many epidemiological studies have proved that a vegetarian lifestyle is healthier and, contrary to what the meat and dairy industry claim, it is now known that not only is it possible to live without animal protein, it is even advisable. Many studies, which were undertaken already many years ago are coming to light only now thanks to the Internet. This allows authentic information to be accessed by all and sundry in an uncensored form. I am firmly convinced that thanks to the World Wide Web the vegetarian lifestyle will be adopted rapidly by more and more people in every country.
The most famous naturalists - i.e. Carl Liné, Alexander Humbold, Charles Darwin - left no doubt that humans were and are plant eaters. They deduced this from researching the history of origins and the comparative anatomy. Humans eating meat is the same as cows being forced to eat animal protein. The mad cow disease (BSE) and the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have shown the world what happens to creatures that have not been given the diet programmed for them by nature. Cancer, coronary heart disease, rheumatism, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson"s, Alzheimer, Creutzfeldt-Jakobs, Osteoporosis disease are only a few of the diseases that have increased rapidly parallel to the growing consumption of processed food and animal products.
During the last century the diet in western countries has transgressed and unfortunately it seems that the trend is also spreading throughout Asia.
Compared to the year 1900, a person nowadays in Europe and America consumes, on average, 35% more dairy products, 50% more beef, 70 % more fish, 120% more eggs and 280% more poultry. During the same period, with the exception of the war years, heart disease and cancer increased by 3-5% annually and are still on the increase. Cancer is the most common cause of death in children under the age of twelve.
Instead of recommending a healthier lifestyle and trying to avoid such health risks, the medical researchers create new ways of replacing destroyed organs. After exhausting the supply of human organ donations, which are never enough, they are now looking into the terrible prospect of xeno-transplantation (animal to human transplants) where animals, especially pigs, will be turned into spare part factories, and will be plundered for their organs.
Destruction of our environment
More than 6 billion inhabitants are living on our earth and every second 5 more children are born. How can they all be fed?
A meat based diet requires 20 times more land and 14 times more water than a plant based diet. The production of 1kg of meat requires 10-16kg of cereals and other plant food. 70% of the world"s water production is needed for the production of fodder. About 70% of meat produced is waste! The mad cows have shown us what happens if the waste is used as "concentrated food" for herbivores. Animal excrement (110t per second in Europe and America), pesticides and fertilisers are responsible for the pollution of lakes, rivers and groundwater (fish become hermaphrodites and infertile).
Two-thirds of the excrement is liquid manure. The evaporation of the ammonia from this liquid is partly the cause of acid rain, after having changed to nitric acid. Eighty-five percent of the ammonia, considered to be mainly responsible for the dying forests, is being caused by emissions from livestock.
Animal suffering
But the main reason why we should abstain from meat eating is because sentient, suffering creatures are being robbed of their life for it. Every year in the world 13 billion animals are slaughtered. The production of such a large number of animals is only possible in factory farms. The animals are confined to narrow spaces, with no place to rest, are fed on unnatural food, and have no social contact. All this causes the animals a lasting stress and the torture has to be combated with a growing amount of medicines, antibiotics, hormones, drugs, tranquillisers, etc. The medicines accumulated in the body of the animals are then in the end-effect served up to the consumer.
Recently the production of "Bio" meat has become popular. The animals are kept and raised under so-called natural conditions. But the fact remains that their most precious possession, their life, is generally taken after only a very short time.
"Bio" (coming from the Greek) means "life". It is worthwhile to note that not so long Brigitte Bardot said, that meat is swrved as "nicely decorated carcass".
More and more famous people are prepared to confess with pride, the fact that they are vegetarians: Martina Navratilova, Edwin Moses, Richard Gere, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Robert Redford, Madonna, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Montserra Caballé, Queen Sofia from Spain, Swiss Traffic Minister Moritz Leuenberger, Stevie Wonder and Peter Gabriel to name only a few. Throughout the past there have always been people who adopted a vegetarian lifestyle for various reasons: Albert Einstein, Bonifatius, Chrysostomus, Benjamin Franklin, Mahatma Gandhi, Sven Hedin, Horaz, Alexander Humboldt, Charles Darwin, Isaac Singer, Leonardo da Vinci, Zarathsutra, Mother Theresa.
To conclude I have added a few quotations from famous vegetarians which might help "still meat eaters" to rethink their eating habits:
Albert Schweizer said: "Nothing on earth will benefit human health and increase the chance for survival on earth as much as the adoption of a vegetarian diet."
Leo Tolstoi : "As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields".
George Bernard Shaw, who was a vegetarian for more than 60 years: "Animals are my friends and I don"t eat my friends."
Sigrid De Leo, Secretary of the European Vegetarian Union,
Bluetschwitzerweg 5,
9443 Widnau,
Tel./Fax: +41 71 722 64 45,