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And you say Vegans are crazy?

Updated: Apr 29

Part 2 of 3

In the 1st part of this 3 part post we looked at the reason why people choose to switch to a plant based diet that makes us most uncomfortable, and therefore the one we ignore and try not to think about. That reason is the insane level of cruelty that the meat and dairy industries inflict on the animals we consume as part of the standard modern diet. If you missed that post here is a link to it.

Part 2: Meat & Dairy are not good for you!

In this 2nd part we will be looking at the health facts and myths around dairy and meat consumption. As in Part 1, all we ask is that you look at the data with an open mind. We are under no illusions that this is a simple or easy debate. Food is so stitched into the fabric of our cultures, traditions and way of life and for South Africans in particular, red meat cooked over an open flame or "braaied" is where family life, sports, celebrations, commiserations, music all come together.

So what's all the fuss about then?

As a team dedicated to the prevention, treatment and reversal of chronic disease with Lifestyle Change, we have been watching the research carefully.

The link between meat and dairy consumption and the exponential increase in chronic disease is, and has been for some time now, rock solid. Cutting meat and dairy is not a panacea but we believe it is a key part of any long term preventative or curative health strategy. This is also by no means an exhaustive list but here are some headlines about why we support a decrease or removal of meat and dairy from your diet.

Lets start with dairy

Lactose Intolerance

Around 70% of all humans on the planet have some form of lactose intolerance. Have you ever considered why that may be the case. The answer is much simpler than you think.

Cows milk is perfect, for baby cows. Like human breast milk is perfect for baby humans. Cows milk is not good for adult cows and human breast milk is not good for adult humans.

Evolution has ensured that this is the case because if it was, we would never stop drinking our mothers milk and this would be really counter productive for mothers. It's ironic that we have forced female cows into that cycle.

What about organic milk?

Unfortunately buying organic milk makes the the fundamental error of solving the wrong problem.

The problem is that milk designed for the babies of any other species, in fact milk designed for any babies, is designed specifically not to be good for adults, and consuming that milk is one of the foundations of chronic disease.

What about calcium?

This is where the power of advertising, lobbyists and "sponsored" research rears its ugly head. With less than 10% of all research in nutrition regarded as credible, this is a fertile breeding ground for the dairy and meat industries to use their considerable financial and political resources to control the narrative. Click on the link below to learn more.

The quote below can be found today on the Osteoporosis Foundation of SA website. I suggest you look at the corporate sponsors of that organisation. That will explain why this is still there.

Milk makes a very valuable contribution to a healthy diet as it contains all the macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat). Milk protein has a high biological value because it contains the essential amino acids needed by the body.

In a real and credible peer reviewed study called “Milk Intake and Risk of Mortality and Fractures in Women and Men,” researchers following more than 100,000 men and women in Sweden for about 20 years found significantly higher rates of bone and hip fractures, heart disease, cancer, and premature death in general for women who drank more milk.

Three glasses a day was associated with nearly twice the risk of dying early. Men with higher milk consumption were also recorded having a higher risk of premature death

What about dairy and cancer?

All animal-based foods contain sex steroid hormones, such as estrogen. These hormones naturally found even in organic cow’s milk may play a role in the various associations identified between dairy products and hormone-related conditions, including acne, diminished male reproductive potential, and premature puberty.

The hormone content in milk may explain why women who drink it appear to have five times the rate of twin births compared with women who do not drink milk. When it comes to cancer, leading experts have expressed concern that the hormones in dairy and other growth factors could potentially stimulate the growth of hormone-sensitive tumors.

Lets Talk about Meat

What about meat and cancer?

In 2018, arguably the most prestigious cancer research institution in the world, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), within the World Health Organization, published their report on processed meat, concluding that foods like bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meat, and sausage are cancer causing, classifying processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen, in the same group as cigarette smoking and plutonium.

“These findings,” concluded the director of the agency, “further support current public health recommendations to limit intake of meat.”

In his testimony before the Dietary Guidelines Scientific Committee, Dr Michael Gregor, founder of made what may sound like a hyperbolic metaphor. He asked,

“We try not to smoke around our kids; why would we send them to school with a ham sandwich?”

The risks of meat consumption is not limited to processed meat. The diagram below is the official cancer risk description from the International Agency for Research on Cancer. You will notice that meat products feature in the top 2 classifications. The question you may be asking yourself (we certainly asked it) is "why do we not know about this?"

The answer may be a bit disturbing. Like the dairy industry, the meat industry has used its enormous financial resources and political influence to drive health policy and research.

What about protein?

One of the most persistent questions asked of people who have switched to a plant based diet is "where do you get your protein from?" In fact no one cares about your protein intake until you say you are vegan or vegetarian, then all of a sudden, everyone in concerned about your lack of protein sources.

Myth - Guess what - Protein comes from plants.

All of the protein that we consume from animal products, originally came from the plants that the animals we eat, ate themselves.

So why don't we just go to the source and eat the protein directly from the plants instead of using animals to process it for us?

The Great Protein Con

Clever marketing of protein-packed products has duped lots of us into believing that a high-protein diet is the healthiest way to eat. Protein is hugely important for the healthy functioning of the human body, BUT most people consume more than they need?

One of my favourite comparisons of plant based vs animal protein

A great list of plant based protein sources


The title of this post is "And you say vegans are crazy". We would maybe re-phrase that to

"Non vegans are crazy"The facts are that we consume large amounts of meat and dairy despite that the preponderance of the evidence suggests that is is detrimental to our health"

Hopefully we have been able to shed some light on the 2nd reason why people switch to a plant based diet. In Part 3 we will explore the effect of animal agriculture on the plant.

If you are looking to switch to a plant based diet but don't know how to go about it, check out our soon to be launched 30 day short course.

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