My statement in the title should be pretty evident given all the studies consistently showing that a vegetarian lifestyle is a healthy alternative to the average omnivorous American diet. I wrote the text below while responding to a comment by Roger Ebert on his own improved health after he adopted a vegan lifestyle. Invariably, people came out of the woodwork to defend eating meat, ridicule veg*ans, etc. The fact that so many people are so sensitive about their diet of animal flesh tells me that, like religion, they have deep doubts about its validity but continue to believe and behave as they do for the sake of personal comfort.
My family (wife and 3 kids) have been vegetarian for years, two of the kids since birth. We would like to be vegan but don’t have the will right now. My kids are very healthy, big and strong. Genetics plays more of a role than diet.
You do not need animal products to live, especially not meat. There are whole societies in India that have been vegetarian for thousands of years and live full and healthy lives. You really don’t need milk either, since humans were around for a long time before they domesticated animals. Many people survive and live long and healthy lives without animal products of any kind.
People have many (usually trite and ill-reasoned) arguments for why humans need to eat animals, but the fact is that millions of people around the world have never eaten meat and are at least as healthy as those who do. Eating meat is a matter of convenience and pleasure, nothing more. And because it’s a cruel way to live, my family is vegetarian.
Invariably, hunters and rednecks think about now that I’m some ___ (fill in the blank) who’s led a sheltered life, etc. Not so. I served in the Army Infantry and Law Enforcement before going to college and starting a non-dangerous career. I find the single biggest factor in moving people to adopt vegetarianism is education. It’s no secret that colleges, particularly the top schools, have far more vegetarians than the general U.S. population.