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Veganism is the latest change in my diet. As an early teen, first it was the abolition of soda in my diet. Next, years later, I learned about the dangers of trans fatty acids in many foods. High fructose corn syrup came afterwards. Artificial sweeteners soon followed. Now, on February 19, I initiated a vegan diet.

I'm ridiculed by my father on an almost daily basis on my diet. He calls it my "religion." My mother silently agrees, but her and my father both have said more than once, "We just want you to come back to normal."

I return that statement by saying, "I would be more of a normal son if I were to eat meat again? It's only food; I didn't join a cult!"

Well, my question is about the validity of the statements I've read on the internet and books about vegetarianism and veganism. I'm a vegan for me, not the animals. I'm a vegan for the vitality and the increased mental clarity. Most importantly, I'm a vegan for my health, because I believe eating animal products is a big contributor to heart disease and strokes.

I was browsing on the internet to get an unbiased, scientific review of a vegan/vegetarian diet to find out of there really is a powerful benefit of eliminating animal products from our diets. I've seen nothing but polarized sites. Either they were vegan and swore by every claim or they were meat lovers and debunked the claims of the vegans.

One website listed popular myths about vegetarianism and some of the myths were: Do vegetarians live longer? Heart disease is caused by animal products.

There were some others, but I didn't read any further.

So...can someone provide me a truthful article or website about vegetarianism/veganism? I am currently in limbo: "Do I eat meat again, but only very lean meats, or do I continue to try veganism?"

Any help/guidance would be very much appreciated.
 

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I'm in a very similar position as you. I'm 16 and I avoid all those things you listed, and I'm a vegan for my own health. My veganism is a constant battle with my parents, but it has to do with more than just this. As for sites that are unbiased, there aren't very many. VeganHealth is a very good site that is well researched and fairly unbiased.
 

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I would suggest that you continue visiting this site and explore all the info.. If after a time you don't come to the conclusion that it is not only right for your diet but right for the animals and the enviornment, then let that be your religion.

I personally have embraced all the ethical reasons for staying a Vegan.
 

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http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg...3_ENU_HTML.htm

I can't see any benefit to eating meat at all. even if you don't give a **** about the animals, animal fat/protein are NOT good for you, and meat is incredibly environmentally destructive.

Brendan Brazier is a vegan ironman (and 2006 Canadian 50k ultra marathon champion) and has written a couple books on the vegan diet strictly from a health perspective. His most recent one is called The Thrive Diet. I've found his books very useful in explaining why certain foods are good/bad and why a vegan diet is superior health-wise.
 

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I feel for you and your situation. It can be hard on a family to see the child "give up the values of meat and dairy." It seems so central to life: like nationality, religion, or politics. I really don't understand why- I became veggie for health reasons. The benefit for our fellow earthlings was a benefit that I have been able to wrap myself around and feel great about.
 

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This might help , sorry I had to post the full article tried the link but it would not open

Eating even small amounts of red meat daily can increase the risk of breast cancer by 56 per cent in older women, according to British research published today.

Researchers were quite surprised that only 2oz of red meat a day appeared to have an effect

As little as 2oz (57g) of beef, lamb or pork a day showed an effect. Post-menopausal woman who ate larger amounts, 3.6oz (103g), of processed meats such as sausage, bacon, ham or pies had an increased risk of 64 per cent.

Even younger, pre-menopausal women had a slightly raised risk if they ate red meat daily, the study from the University of Leeds found.

The research, led by Prof Janet Cade, a professor of nutritional epidemiology and public health, involved 35,000 women aged between 35 and 69 who have been followed for nearly eight years.

The women all of whom completed 217-item food questionnaires, were divided into three groups depending on whether they were high, medium or low meat eaters. They were compared with women in the sample who were vegetarian.

The researchers took into account smoking, weight, fruit and vegetable intake, class, education and use of hormone replacement therapy.

"The findings are robust. Whatever we adjusted the data for we could still find an association," Prof Cade said yesterday. The study, in the British Journal of Cancer, says: "Women consuming the most total [all kinds] meat, red meat and processed meat were at the highest risk compared with non-meat eaters, although red and processed meat were only statistically significant post-menopausally".

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A 2oz portion of meat equates to a half a lamb chop or two thin slices of roast beef and Sandy Crombie, the chairman of the Scottish region of The Guild of Q Butchers, said: "Two ounces is absolutely tiny. I have never heard such rubbish. It's a tiny amount. This is ridiculous, it's silly.

"Think of a quarter pounder burger, it's half of that. It's barely worth talking about."

Prof Cade said the researchers were quite surprised that only 2oz of red meat a day appeared to have an effect. "This is a complex piece of work and it was designed specifically to compare different patterns of diet," she said.

Earlier analysis from the study found that pre-menopausal women who had the greatest intake of fibre cut their breast cancer risk by half.

The Leeds work supports other studies. In November, an American study found women who ate the largest amounts of red meat had a rising risk of breast cancer. But different studies have presented conflicting views.

Prof Cade said one reason why red meat may contribute to a raised risk of breast cancer is that it is a rich source of saturated fat. The women who ate the most meat were also more likely to be fatter.

"Really these results could apply to all women. At home I have cut down on the amount of red meat we eat as a family a week," she said.

"I am not suggesting that everyone should become a vegetarian, that would be unrealistic, but the findings were strong and I think we should pay attention to them."

Henry Scowcroft, of Cancer Research UK, said: "Our best dietary advice to women worried about their breast cancer risk is to maintain a healthy body weight by taking regular exercise and avoiding large regular portions of fatty foods like red and processed meat, and excess alcohol. It's also important to be breast aware, and to go for screening when invited by your GP."

Dr Alexis Willett, of the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: "We encourage all women to eat a balanced diet, limit alcohol consumption, exercise regularly and keep a healthy weight to maintain general good health."

Breast cancer is rising in Britain and 44,000 new cases a year are diagnosed. The disease kills 12,500 women a year.

Related articles

'One in four chicken flocks has salmonella'

14 November 2006: Red meat 'doubles' breast cancer risk
 

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While I don't know specific sites, I think you should look at how you're reading stuff on the internet, not what you're reading. If everything seems to be one sided, then it's a question of which side is right. So look at their references.

If a one sided site gives arguments without siting the specific scientific research that led to their conclusions, then they may as well be trying to convince you that the sky isn't blue. Even if they do site references, check the details of the references. Are they basing health statistics on studies of a dozen people, and drawing conclusions on what could easily be a statistical anomaly? Or did they study tens of thousands (like the "beef causes cancer" study above), so it's a pretty sure bet that they're right?

One more thing to think about: Even meat eaters go on and on about the importance of lowering the cholesterol in the human diet. Since all cholesterol in food comes from animal sources, vegans consume no cholesterol at all.

As far as unbiased sources, though, I'd love to see the census bureau include questions about diet in their surveys, so we can see real statistics of what foods have what impacts. That's a method no one could possibly argue with.

--Fromper

 
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