Beat the Meat

As reported by PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) the scientific link between eating meat and cancer can be documented at least as far back to the early 1900’s. A headline in the New York Times proclaimed “Cancer Increasing Among Meat Eaters” with a sub-headline that “Italians and Chinese, Practically Vegetarians, Show the Lowest Mortality Rates of All.”

CancerThe study noted that those who consumed processed meats such as sausage, dried or pickled meats, and canned meats had higher mortality rates than the Italians who regularly ate pasta and the Chinese who regularly ate rice. The problem was particularly pronounced among foreigners (as opposed to people who were born in the United States) noting that although foreigners consumed similar meats in their “home” countries, the higher wages in the U.S. allowed them to buy more meat than they would have been able to afford back home.

The study also found that there was a disproportionally higher rate of cancer among the poor, noting the quality of the meat they ate was often poor or came from diseased animals and animals that were fed garbage. It seems the meat producers were more concerned about profits than quality products, much the same as it is today.

Yet over 100 years later, despite dozens of subsequent studies that link meat consumption to lung, colon, prostate, breast and other cancers, people are still consuming meat at near record levels, much of it in the way of fast food. Could it be that, like cigarettes, people are addicted to meat and simply can’t quit? Shouldn’t the surgeon general, who is supposed to be looking out for the health of all Americans have warnings plastered on the packages of meat in the supermarket?

Meat is bad for you, plain and simple, but we have been seduced by multi-billion dollar corporations that have a product to sell and therefore are going to try and make eating meat look attractive and healthy – in much the same manner as the tobacco companies used (and still use in foreign countries because U.S. sales have dropped).

Over 100 years of proof should be enough. It’s time to kick the habit.

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