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Livestock and Climate Change

Whenever the causes of climate change are discussed, fossil fuels top the list.Oil, natural gas, and especially coal are indeed major sources of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). But we believe that the life cycle and supply chain of domesticated animals raised for food have been vastly underestimated as a source of GHGs, and in fact account for at least half of all human-caused GHGs. If this argument is right, it implies that replacing livestock products with better alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. In fact, this approach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmospheric concentrations—and thus on the rate the climate is warming—than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Livestock are already well-known to contribute to GHG emissions. Livestock’s Long Shadow, the widely-cited 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), estimates that 7,516 million metric tons per year of CO2 equivalents (CO2e), or 18 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions, are attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, horses, pigs, and poultry. That amount would easily qualify livestock for a hard look indeed in the search for ways to address climate change. But our analysis shows that livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32,564million tons of CO2e per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions.

This is a strong claim that requires strong evidence, so we will thoroughly review the direct and indirect sources of GHG emissions from livestock. Some of these are obvious but underestimated, some are simply overlooked, and some are emissions sources that are already counted but have been assigned to the wrong sectors.Data on livestock vary from place to place and are affected by unavoidable imprecision; where it was impossible to avoid imprecision in estimating any sumof GHGs, we strove to minimize the sum so our overall estimate could be understood as conservative.

The Big Picture

The table to the right summarizes the categories of livestock-based emissions and our estimates of their size.We begin with the FAO’s 7,516 million tons of CO2e per year attributable to livestock, an amount established by adding up GHG emissions involved in clearing land to graze livestock and grow feed, keeping livestock alive, and processing and transporting the end products. We show that 25,048 million tons of CO2e attributable to livestock have been undercounted or overlooked; of that subtotal, 3,000 million tons are misallocated and 22,048 million tons are entirely uncounted. When uncounted tons are added to the global inventory of atmospheric GHGs, that inventory rises from 41,755 million tons to 63,803 million tons. FAO’s 7,516 million tons of CO2e attributable to livestock then decline from 18 percent of worldwide GHGs to 11.8 percent. Let’s look at each category of uncounted or misallocated GHGs:


The FAO excludes livestock respiration from its estimate, per the following argument:
Respiration by livestock is not a net source of CO2…. Emissions fromlivestock respiration are part of a rapidly cycling biological system, where the plant matter consumed was itself created through the conversion of atmospheric CO2 into organic compounds. Since the emitted and absorbed quantities are considered to be equivalent, livestock respiration is not considered to be a net source under the Kyoto Protocol. Indeed, since part of the carbon consumed is stored in the live tissue of the growing animal, a growing global herd could even be considered a carbon sink. The standing stock livestock biomass increased significantly over the last decades…. This continuing growth…could be considered as a carbon sequestration process (roughly estimated at 1 or 2 million tons carbon per year).

Livestock Questions and Answers

Why should people act on your article when an agreement may be forthcoming this December in Copenhagen to reverse climate change by reducing fossil fuel?

Because of the high amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the life cycle and supply chain of livestock products, even major progress in reducing fossil fuel use would not eliminate the need to reduce meat and dairy consumption.

Your article recommends meat and dairy analogs, which would be made from crops such as soy and wheat. But isn't the farming of crops such as soy just as big a problem as meat?

The largest adverse impacts in growing soy and other crops come from the conversion of carbon-absorbing forests and other sensitive habitat in one place or another. But meat and dairy analog projects need much smaller quantities of soy and wheat than those presently grown for meat and dairy projects. Therefore, today's trend of increasing worldwide soy and wheat production would be stopped if analogs replace meat and dairy products. Already-converted land would be more than enough to supply soy and wheat for analog projects. We recommend against any more forest being converted for the purpose of growing crops - or in fact for any other purpose.

There are already campaigns underway for "Meatless Mondays" and the like. Why wouldn't they suffice?

Recommending that meat not be eaten one day per week suggests deprivation. This is not how any food product is normally marketed. Consumers tend to act on marketing that pitches for them to buy food that is tasty, economical, easy to prepare, and healthful. When a brand advertiser markets such a product, it normally pitches that the product be eaten all the time. For example, Coca-Cola is not advertised to consumers as a beverage to switch to from Pepsi-Cola once a week, but all week long.

Isn't methane the key greenhouse gas from livestock - and if so, then why does your article not focus more on methane?

Methane is important, but so are other GHGs. For example, the impact of any CO2 exhaled by livestock may be larger than the same amount of CO2 emitted from any other industry. That's because other industries emit CO2 with particulates - such as sulfates - believed to have a cooling effect that offsets CO2's warming effect, while breath has no such particulates. It is also important to focus on emissions attributable to carbon reduction foregone by using land to graze livestock and grow feed. That's because a foregone reduction of any magnitude has exactly the same effect as an increase in emissions of the same magnitude. More important, carbon reduction available from land used for livestock and feed is the only feasible way to absorb a significant amount of today's atmospheric carbon in the near term.

Your article suggests that NGOs' estimate of 50 billion livestock may be more credible than the estimate of 21.7 billion in the FAO's Livestock's Long Shadow. Why should people believe in an NGO estimate over the one contained in Livestock's Long Shadow ?

After our article was submitted for publication, we discovered that the FAO's own statistical division says that there were 56 billion livestock in 2007.

The article claims that biofuels can substitute for coal. How is that possible?

If more land is used to grow crops for biofuels (which may happen whether or not it is desired), care is needed to have the use of biofuels replace coal usage, rather than become added to it. This is possible to envisage. In the past, biofuels and coal have both contributed to global energy supplies but their fungibility has been limited. However, they have recently become more substitutable for each other, as capacity for biofuel production has been ramped up in many countries, the construction of new coal-fired power plants has been halted in some countries (including in the U.S.), and cars that can run on either electricity or biofuel - or both - have become increasingly available. This trend of increasing substitutability can be expected to continue.

Why should methane be accounted for under a different timeframe than carbon dioxide?

Each GHG should be accounted for in proportion to the time it survives as a GHG in the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the choice of timeframe in accounting for different greenhouse gases is a policy decision, not an issue of science. Using a 20-year timeframe for methane is supported by the following IPCC recommendation:

If the policy emphasis is to help guard against the possible occurrence of potentially abrupt, non-linear climate responses in the relatively near future, then a choice of a 20-year time horizon would yield an index that is relevant to making such decisions regarding appropriate greenhouse gas abatement strategies. In addition, if the speed of potential climate change is of greatest interest (rather than the eventual magnitude), then a focus on shorter time horizons can be used.

Can't methane be managed by mitigating it rather than avoiding it?

The livestock sector has reacted to discussions of the climate risks for which it is responsible by stating that it is working on developing new feed for livestock, and on converting manure to biogas. Such efforts would reduce methane emissions. However, developing new feed is still at the stage of research and development. Even if it moves to implementation, it is likely to be more expensive to grow than present feed, and unlikely to be taken up quickly in many parts of the developing world. While there are already some active projects to convert manure to biogas, even if the number of such projects were dramatically increased, and new feed implemented, these measures can mitigate at most a few percent of GHGs worldwide. If at the same time the number of livestock doubles, as the 2006 FAO report projects, then GHGs from all other aspects of the livestock sector might double, while GHGs from other industries are reduced. This would make the percentage of GHGs attributable to livestock even more unacceptable than it is today.

Why is it important to account for GHGs from cooling meat and dairy products?

The 2006 FAO report excludes GHGs attributable to refrigerants used for livestock products, such as chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and perfluorocarbons. Most of these gases have a global warming potential that is hundreds or thousands of times stronger than that of CO2. Much more refrigeration is needed along the supply chain for livestock products than is needed for alternative products.

Why is it important to account for GHGs from cooking meat and dairy products?

The 2006 FAO report excludes GHGs attributable to cooking livestock products. Even with the most efficient cooking methods, meat typically requires cooking at higher temperatures and for longer periods than do meat alternatives. However, meat is often cooked using stoves, barbeques, and street vendors' facilities, which in developing countries are often fueled by charcoal or kerosene. These methods are widespread and often culturally ingrained, but also highly inefficient and carbon intensive. They entail periods of heating and cooling for each cooking event, so are even more carbon-intensive per unit of thermal energy used than are coal-fired power plants. Deforestation is often exacerbated by the production of charcoal. Therefore, GHGs from cooking livestock products are significantly higher than those from cooking alternative products.

Why is it important to account for GHGs from waste management related to livestock products?

The 2006 FAO report excludes GHGs attributable to waste management related to livestock products - that is, the distribution and disposal of inevitably large amounts of waste livestock products throughout the wholesale, retail, and consumer food chain. GHGs from the waste management of livestock products are significantly higher than GHGs from the waste management of alternative products. Much more than in alternative products, a large proportion of livestock products becomes waste in the form of bone, fat, and past-the-due-date spoiled products. Some such waste is converted into rendered products, in processes that typically use significant amounts of energy. The FAO report does not make clear whether it accounts for GHGs resulting from that energy usage. The FAO report states explicitly that it does not account for GHGs resulting from the disposal of some livestock waste in waterways, where it kills algae that absorb carbon, as well as other aquatic life that then emits GHGs while rotting. The FAO report states that lack of data makes extrapolating the amount of resulting GHGs impossible. In addition, the FAO report does not account for GHGs emitted from livestock waste disposed in landfills or incinerators, either of which would emit significant amounts of GHGs.

Why is it important to account for GHGs from livestock byproducts?

The 2006 FAO report excludes GHGs attributable to the production, distribution, and disposal of byproducts, such as products made of leather, feathers, skin, and pelage, and their packaging. Processes in the production of these byproducts are responsible for a much higher volume of GHGs than processes in the production of alternatives.

What would be the effects on health and nutrition from replacing livestock products?

Health and nutritional outcomes among consumers would generally be better than from livestock projects, in light the greater affordability of analogs (while poor malnourished people may not be able to afford meat and dairy products), and in light of the high incidence of obesity and overweight conditions and chronic degenerative diseases linked to livestock products, but not to meat and dairy analogs.

How did you come up with the idea of replacing livestock products with analogs?

Meat and dairy analogs make it easy for people accustomed to eating meat and dairy products to improve on their existing preferences. These analogs enable individuals in (and from) every region of the world to retain their family recipes and cultural traditions in food virtually unchanged.

Many people who partly or fully stop eating livestock products begin by consuming meat and dairy analogs, and most continue to consume them. Many tell of how trying analogs persuaded them that they could replace livestock products in their meals.

A significant measure of success in marketing analogs has already been achieved. Improvements in various attributes of analogs can potentially be achieved, which could help lead to greater success.

Dairy consumers regularly see dairy analogs as possible choices side by side with dairy products, while meat consumers do not regularly see meat analogs next to meat products. This may help explain why sales of dairy analogs have increased much faster than sales of meat analogs. For example, sales of soy milk have increased in the U.S. and in some other countries by over 20% per annum in recent years, while the increase in sales of meat analogs has been much smaller.

Many examples exist of analogs being avidly sought by consumers. For example, among foods, margarine is now often preferred over butter. In the apparel and furniture sectors, inexpensive knock-offs generally achieve a much higher volume of sales than the expensive designer versions on which they are based. For the small percentage of consumers unable to consume foods made of soy or gluten, other protein-rich foods are readily available.

Doesn't chicken have a lower carbon footprint than beef, meaning that replacing beef with chicken would be a good alternative to replacing all meats with analogs?

One conceivable strategy would involve distinguishing between different types of livestock products according to the amount of GHGs for which they are responsible, and then substituting livestock products with a smaller GHG footprint for livestock products with a higher GHG footprint. However, this would not be an effective strategy - because each kilogram of every livestock product is responsible for almost the same amount of GHGs. There is little variability between types of livestock when it comes to livestock respiration, land used to grow feed, and most of the other factors discussed in this article, which are responsible for most of the GHGs attributable to livestock products generally. The main factors involving significant variability are enteric fermentation, grazing, and amount of feed required to produce beef and dairy products. However, the difference that these factors make in total GHGs attributable to beef and dairy products vs. other livestock products is relatively insignificant. Therefore, eating chicken instead of beef (for example) would not result in any appreciable slowing of climate change.

When the FAO estimated that 18% of GHGs worldwide were attributable to livestock, it was perhaps reasonable for them to recommend measures to mitigate emissions rather than broadly avoid them. With the new, much higher estimate in this article, broadly avoiding emissions attributable to livestock becomes critical. It is now possible to understand that the dramatic expansion of the livestock sector in recent decades may imperil humanity, and that there may be no way to manage the climate risk of either the food industry or the world at large other than by replacing livestock products with better alternatives.

The 2006 FAO report recommends no action to prevent what it predicts will be a doubling of livestock production within several decades. Yet action seemed warranted five years before publication of the 2006 FAO report, when in 2001, one of its authors co-authored Livestock Development, a proposed development finance strategy that would "avoid funding" of large-scale livestock projects.

With the estimate of GHGs attributable to livestock made in the previous article, it may be even more important now than when the 2001 Livestock Development report was published for development finance institutions to implement a strategy of not funding large-scale livestock projects. No action to prevent a doubling of livestock production is inconsistent with the commitment to reducing GHGs by signatory nations to the Kyoto Protocol, and with actions being taken in other industries and economic sectors to reduce the GHGs for which they are responsible.

Are Humans natural meat eaters? Humans Vs carnivores

Let us examine what humans are supposed to eat by nature’s design. Physiologically and by our body structures, are we close to carnivores ie. Meat eating animals or are we made distinctly different than them and closer to Vegetarian animals such as cow, Horse etc.

Walking: We have 2 hands and 2 feet, and we walk erect. All of the carnivores have 4 feet and perform their locomotion using all fours.

Tongues: Only the truly carnivorous animals have rasping (rough) tongues. All other creatures have smooth tongues.

Claws: Our lack of claws makes ripping skin or tough flesh extremely difficult. We possess much weaker, flat fingernails instead.

Opposable thumbs: Our opposable thumbs make us extremely well equipped to collect a meal of fruit in a matter of a few seconds. Most people find the process effortless. All we have to do is pick it. The claws of carnivores allow them to catch their prey in a matter of seconds as well. We could no more catch and rip the skin or tough flesh of a deer or bear barehanded than a lion could pick mangos or bananas.

Births: Humans usually have children one at a time. Carnivores typically give birth to litters.

Offsprings: The non-meat eaters’ offsprings have their eyes open at the time of their birth like our children have, while meat eaters’ offsprings have their eyes closed at the time of their birth.

Colon formation: Our convoluted colons are quite different in design from the smooth colons of carnivorous animals.

The bowel: The bowel walls of non-meat eaters and man are full of pouches where meat could easily get stuck and putrefy. The meat eaters’ bowel walls are smooth.

Intestinal length: Our intestinal tracts measure roughly 12 times the length of our torsos (about 30 feet). This allows for the slow absorption of sugars and other water-borne nutrients from fruit. In contrast, the digestive tract of a carnivore is only 3 times the length of its torso. This is necessary to avoid rotting or decomposition of flesh inside the animal. The carnivore depends upon highly acidic secretions to facilitate rapid digestion and absorption in its very short tube. Still, the putrefaction of proteins and the rancidity of fats is evident in their feces.

Mammary glands: The multiple teats on the abdomens of carnivores do not coincide with the pair of mammary glands on the chest of humans.

Sleep: Humans spend roughly two thirds of every 24-hour cycle actively awake. Carnivores typically sleep and rest from 18 to 20 hours per day and sometimes more.

Microbial tolerance: Most carnivores can digest microbes that would be deadly for humans, such as those that cause botulism. Perspiration: Humans sweat from pores on their entire body. Carnivores sweat from the tongues only.

Vision: Our sense of vision responds to the full spectrum of color, making it possible to distinguish ripe from unripe fruit at a distance. Meat eaters do not typically see in full color. Their eyes can see in darkness and have a stronger sense of smell. These qualities are helpful in catching the prey.

Meal size: Fruit is in scale to our food requirements. It fits our hands. A few pieces of fruit is enough to make a meal, leaving no waste. Carnivores typically eat the entire animal when they kill it.

Drinking: Should we need to drink water, we can suck it with our lips, but we cannot lap it up. Carnivores’ tongues protrude outward so they can lap water when they need to drink.

Placenta: We have a discoid-style placenta, whereas the carnivores have zonary placentas.

Vitamin C: Carnivores manufacture their own vitamin C. For us, vitamin C is an essential nutrient that we must get from our food.

Jaw movement: Our ability to grind our food is unique to plant eaters. Meat eaters have no lateral movement in their jaws. The jaws of the meat eaters open wide to capture prey but don’t move sideways necessary for grinding plant foods. However, the jaws of non-meat eaters, and also of man, don’t open wide enough but move sideways to grind the produce of vegetation.

Dental formula: Mammalogists use a system called the “dental formula” to describe the arrangement of teeth in each quadrant of the jaws of an animal’s mouth. This refers to the number of incisors, canines, and molars in each of the four quadrants. Starting from the center and moving outward, our formula, and that of most anthropoids, is 2/1/5. The dental formula for carnivores is 3/1/5-to-8.

Teeth: The molars of a carnivore are pointed and sharp. Ours are primarily flat, for mashing food. Our “canine” teeth bear no resemblance to true fangs. Nor do we have a mouth full of them, as a true carnivore does. I am reminded of one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite retorts: “If you counted a sheep’s tale as a leg how many legs would it have?” Invariably, people would answer, “five”. To which Lincoln would respond: “Only four.” Counting the tale as a leg doesn’t make it one.

Tolerance for fat: We do not handle more than small quantities well. Meat eaters thrive on a high-fat diet.

Saliva and urine pH: All of the plant eating creatures including healthy humans maintain alkaline saliva and urine most of the time. The saliva and urine of the meat-eating animals, however, is acidic.

Diet pH: Carnivores thrive on a diet of acid-forming foods, whereas such a diet is deadly to humans, setting the stage for a wide variety of disease states. Our preferred foods are all alkaline-forming.

Stomach acid pH: The pH level of the hydrochloric acid that humans produce in their stomachs generally ranges about 3 to 4 or higher but can go as low as 2.0. (0=most acidic, 7=neutral, 14=most alkaline). The stomach acid of cats and other meat eaters can be in the 1+ range and usually runs in the 2s. Because the pH scale is logarithmic, this means the stomach acid of a carnivore is at least 10 times stronger than that of a human and can be 100 or even 1000 times stronger.

Uricase: True carnivores secrete an enzyme called uricase to metabolize the uric acid in flesh. We secrete none and so must neutralize this strong acid with our alkaline minerals, primarily calcium. The resulting calcium urate crystals are one of the many pathogens of meat eating, in this case giving rise to or contributing to gout, arthritis, rheumatism, and bursitis.

Digestive enzymes: Our digestive enzymes are geared to make for easy fruit digestion. We produce ptyalin-also known as salivary amylase-to initiate the digestion of fruit. Meat eating animals do not produce any ptyalin and have completely different digestive enzyme ratios.

Sugar metabolism: The glucose and fructose in fruits fuel our cells without straining our pancreas (unless we eat a high-fat diet). Meat eaters do not handle sugars well. They are prone to diabetes if they eat a diet that is predominated by fruit.

Intestinal flora: Humans have different bacterial colonies (flora) living in their intestines than those found in carnivorous animals. The ones that are similar, such as lactobacillus and e.coli are found in different ratios in the plant-eaters’ intestines as compared to those of the carnivores.

Liver and kidney size: Carnivores have proportionately larger livers and kidneys in comparison to their body size than humans. Meat eaters’ larger liver and kidneys are capable of removing the toxins from their meat-based foods.

Cleanliness: We are the most particular of all creatures about the cleanliness of our food. Carnivores are the least picky, and will eat dirt, bugs, organic debris, and other items along with their food.

Natural appetite: Our mouths water at the sights and smells of the produce market. These are living foods, the source of our sustenance. But the smell of animals usually puts us off. Meat eaters’ mouths water at the sight of prey, and they react to the smell of animals as though they sense food.

Meat eater Animals are Mercy-Killers and/or Scavengers: Every species has a purpose. A greater understanding will one day make it clear to us what role that particular species has to play and how it helps in maintaining the ecological balance on our planet. When carnivores kill for food they kill fast or scavenge the remains of the already dead animals. They don’t go hunting for entertainment, but solely to feed themselves. Man is neither a mercy-killer nor a scavenger.

Sense of smell: Humans have weaker sense of smell whereas carnivores have strong sense of smell to hunt.

Sight in darkness: Humans have much weaker sight in darkness. Carnivores/Meat eating animals have much stronger sight in darkness to catch the prey.

It’s clear from the above features that nature has designed the human body for us to be Vegetarians. Our body is distinctly different than meat eating animals or carnivores.
Source : From the book The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas N. Graham
Readers feedback/comments on this article will be greatly appreciated.

The Protein Myth- Do we need Meat to satisfy our Protein needs?

One of the most common argument given by meat eaters to justify eating meat is that they will lack Protein unless they eat meat. So much so that People suffering from many meat related diseases also do not want to give up meat fearing Protein deficiency.

The following article examines the facts vs fiction on the Protein myth.
Source : From the book The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas N. Graham

1. How Much Protein do We Need?

I often respond to the question, “Where do you get your protein?” with several questions of my own: “How much protein do you think we need?”, “How much protein do you think you currently eat?”, “What exactly is the function of proteins?”, “Have you ever met anyone with a protein deficiency?”

Although I have met many people who have begun to eat or are considering vectoring their diets away from animal foods, I rarely meet anyone who has a reasonable response to these queries. Usually they tell me that we need large quantities of protein for energy, or to keep us from getting sick. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Protein’s primary function is growth, which is negligible in adults, as well as repair from injury and replacement of worn-out cells.

2. Official Guidelines Recommend 10% Protein.

Sometimes I wonder whether the official nutritional guidelines for caloronutrient consumption are intentionally vague and confusing in order to better serve influential market forces. I mean, after 100+ years of testing we have a fairly good idea of which foods are most nutritious for us. Still, the U.S. government officially recommends that our protein intake should be somewhere between 10 and 35% of total calories consumed.

It is extremely difficult to consume more than 20% of total calories from protein, however, unless you are following a strict regimen of refined protein powder and egg whites. Currently fewer than 5% of Americans eat more than 21% of their calories from protein, with the average ranging from 10 to 21%.

Despite the advertising hype of the meat and dairy industries, humans require an extraordinarily low amount of protein in their diets.

Many official groups, including the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Academies’ Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council suggest that eating a mere 10% of our total calories as protein is sufficient.

Mother’s milk provides on average approximately 6% of calories from protein for growing infants. This should be ample proof that adults do not need more protein per calorie than this, as infants, with their extremely rapid rate of growth, have the highest need for protein per calorie of all humans.

Proteins (or more accurately, amino acids) are the building blocks of living cells. Once we have done our growing, we have very little requirement for the raw materials of which we are made. Think of the analogy of building a brick house: you need truckloads of bricks during construction stage. Once the house is built, however, if trucks continue to deliver bricks, you have a problem on your hands. The same is true of protein in the human diet: too much creates emergency conditions and keeps the body in a constant state of toxicity.

For those accustomed to seeing your protein recommendations in terms of grams of calories per unit of body weight, the 2003 U.S. RDA for protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, or 0.8 grams per kilogram (1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs.). The RDA calculates these numbers for a “typical” (sedentary) female and male who eat 1,600 and 2,200 calories per day, respectively, arriving at a suggested 44 grams of protein for a female and 55 grams for a male.

3. 10% Protein Includes a Wide Safety Margin.

The national and international organizations that set nutrient guidelines build into their numbers a margin of safety that increases the recommendations substantially, often near double. The 1989 U.S. RDA for protein of 0.8 g/kg/day, for example, was designed to meet the needs of 97.5% of a normally distributed population. It was calculated as follows:

» Conduct nitrogen balance studies to determine the mean amount of protein required to replace daily “obligatory losses” through sweat, urine, feces, and sloughed skin, hair, and nails.
» Add two standard deviations (25%) to this mean value.
» Add margins for digestibility and protein quality.

In his book The China Study, renowned Cornell University professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry T. Colin Campbell states that we require only 5-6% of our total calories to come from protein in order to replace the protein we routinely lose, and that “About 9-10% protein has been recommended for the past fifty years to be assured that most people at least get their 5-6% ‘requirement.’”

In addition to the safety margin, this recommendation assumes that people eat their protein cooked. Given that cooking substantially deranges protein and other nutrients, we can safely consume far less raw plant protein and still be assured of sufficient nourishment. Thus, you can see that 10% protein (maximum) is both sufficient and reasonable.
The fact that our protein needs actually run in the single digits (under 10%) often surprises people. Most all of us have unwittingly fallen prey to meat-industry propaganda that would lead us to believe otherwise. Truly, advertising has influenced our perception of reality so widely that the concept of “getting enough protein” is embedded in the culture.

4. Athletes and Bodybuilders: 10% Still Plenty.

Bodybuilders have long consumed extra protein and lowered carbohydrate intake in the mistaken belief that dietary protein builds muscle. In reality, only weight-bearing exercise builds muscle. When insufficient carbohydrates are supplied, it is true that requirements go up, as the body transforms the protein into carbohydrate (an energy-expensive process) and utilizes it for fuel. This does not, however, bring about the result they desire.

5. All Plant Foods Contain Protein.

Consuming approximately 5% of calories from protein is difficult to avoid if you are eating enough food to meet your daily calorie needs. All plant foods contain protein, and even if you ate a diet of only white rice, (not recommended) you would still end up with 8% protein for the day! But would it be the “right kind” of protein?

Proteins are complicated molecules made by assembling simple building blocks (amino acids) together in a chain (polypeptide chain). Some 20 different amino acids are used to synthesize proteins, eight or nine of which are designated essential (depending upon whose information you read). The term “essential” in nutrition means that the nutrient in question must be eaten or otherwise consumed, as the body cannot synthesize it.

6. The Complete Protein Myth.

In the 1970s, people often concerned themselves with combining proteins so that all of the essential amino acids were available at each meal. Later research has determined that this is not necessary, and in fact the author of the “incomplete protein theory,” Frances Moore Lappe, recanted 20 years later, saying that she was utterly mistaken. We do need all of the essential amino acids, but we do not have to eat them together, or even each day.

7. Sources of Protein.

Dietary protein is not the only source for building the proteins we need. Instead, our bodies efficiently recycle between 100 and 300 grams of our own protein every day. We have an amino acid pool from which to build new proteins. We add amino acids to the pool by breaking down the proteins we eat and the proteins in our bodies.

We can easily meet our protein requirements on a vegan diet, with no particular attention focused on combining proteins or selecting certain foods for each meal.

The table below shows the percentage of calories from protein in twenty-one common fruits and vegetables and in five animal foods, for comparison.

Protein Content of Common Foods
(percentage of calories)





















Grapes, red




Oranges, Valencia






Lettuce, green leaf






Tomatoes, red


Cheese, cheddar




Milk, whole


Potatoes, baked


Egg, poached


Rice, white


Ice, cream, choc.




Beef, ground (avg)


Mainstream nutritional science defines protein quality in terms of how efficiently the protein promotes body growth, rather than whether it produces health. Thus, milk and egg protein are considered the highest quality. However, in the words of T. Colin Campbell, “There is mountain of compelling research showing that ‘low-quality’ plant protein is the healthiest type of protein.”

Although many people are surprised to hear it, they understand the logic of this line of thought when they stop to consider what anthropoid primates in the wild eat: a diet that is made up primarily of fruits and vegetables. We have never heard that chimpanzees or orangutans –which are typically five times stronger than humans, pound for pound-need more protein than the amount they get from their plant-based diet.

8. The Dangers of Eating More Than 10% Protein.

To listen to the proponents of the meat industry, one would think we are in imminent danger of disease and death if we fail to eat meat three times a day. The truth is that eating meat this often causes the very conditions we’re taught to fear. This is a surprise to most people, who have been taught, incorrectly, that they need large amounts of protein to be healthy. Actually, the reverse is true: Most people suffer from an overdose of protein each day, and this accounts for a great deal of our ill health.

Too much protein in our diets is associated with all manner of health impairments, including such symptoms as constipation and other digestive disorders that often lead to toxemia (toxic blood and tissues) and, eventually, cancer. Autoimmune dysfunction, arthritis, and all other autoimmune conditions, premature aging, impaired liver function, kidney failure, osteoporosis, and many other degenerative and pathogenic conditions result from eating more protein than we need.

In general, protein-based foods are highly acid forming in the human body (even the high-protein plants, such as legumes). This is because their predominant minerals are the acidic minerals-chlorine, phosphorus, and sulfur. To maintain homeostasis, the body must counterbalance the acidity caused by excess protein consumption. Unfortunately, it does so in part by taking a precious alkaline mineral-calcium-from our bloodstream. The body replaces calcium into the bloodstream, where calcium levels must remain relatively constant, by removing it from our bones and teeth, setting the stage for osteoporosis and tooth decay.

It is no coincidence that fruits and vegetables contain just the right amounts of protein to build and maintain the human body. Nor is it a coincidence that the minerals they supply are predominantly the alkaline ones: calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

9. Protein Deficiency Does Not Exist.

On a whole-food diet that provides sufficient calories, there is no such condition as a protein deficiency. A brochure from the Vegetarian Society of Colorado says, “Studies in which humans have been fed wheat bread alone, or potatoes alone, or corn alone, or rice alone, have all shown that these plant foods contain not only enough protein, but enough of all of the essential amino acids, to support growth and maintenance of healthy adults.”

A 1999 journal article entitled “Optimal Intakes of Protein in the Human Diet” confirms this fact, saying ”…the true minimal [protein] requirement is likely to be so much lower than the amounts provided by natural diets (which are providing sufficient energy and other nutrients) that its magnitude becomes to some extent an issue of scientific curiosity only.”

In developing countries where insufficient food is available and people are literally starving to death, protein/calorie malnutrition conditions known as marasmus and kwashiorkor do exist, but these do not occur in developed countries. The symptoms-extreme emaciation, lassitude, and muscle wasting-resolve equally as well by the introduction of high-carbohydrate or high-fat foods as they do from the consumption of concentrated protein, and usually better. Protein deficiency, it turns out, just is not the cause of these problems. It is simply a shortage of food, a chronic severe deficiency of calories, that caused people to literally digest their own muscle tissues for fuel.

It is much more likely however, that a person would run into a huge host of other social, health, and nutritional problems long before developing the dreaded protein deficiency. Protein deficiency simply is not part of our reality. This is the main reason that this book focuses on just two of the three caloronutrients: only our fat and carbohydrate consumption rates tend to vary appreciably. As one goes up, the other, fairly reliably, goes down.

Veggie Diet,farmers and Canadian jobs

Now that United Nations and other reputable research bodies such as the Worldwatch Institute, 2 Washington, DC have all confirmed that Livestock and meat industry in particular are responsible for an average 35% of global green house gas emissions, there is little doubt that sooner or later, meat industry will have to face the wrath of general population. So far, very few have realized the direct link between meat consumption and global warming, meat and chronic diseases and consequent health care costs.

Livestock's Green house Gas emissions (% of total global GHGs)
As per UN's 2006 IPCC report, not including many key elements1 18%
As per Worldwatch Institute's October 2009 report including all key elements2 51%
Average Livestock emissions based on above 2 scientific reports 35%

British health officials and researchers have just endorsed a public appeal to cut meat consumption in Britain by at least 30% in view of unhealthy levels of meat consumption and its impact on carbon emissions and public health. The average meat intake in Britain per week in men is reported at 970 grams and in women 550 grams. The report said that a 30% reduction in meat intake will save at least 18000 lives from cardiovascular related deaths annually just in Britain.

We also heard a report from the US recently confirming that 40% of all food prepared in the US is wasted and ends up in garbage. The report said that food prepared in factory farms is too cheap to be valued. With this waste, all the resources that went into such food preparations such as water (15500 Liters needed to produce 1 kg of beef) and energy (16 times more energy usage for a meat diet compared to a Vegetarian diet) are also wasted. Food waste has increased 50 percent since 1974 and accounted for 25 percent of fresh water use in the US and 300Million barrels of oil per year. Food waste contributes to excess consumption of freshwater and fossil fuels which, along with methane and CO2 emissions from decomposing food, impacts global climate change, the scientists said.4 There is little doubt that most of this relates to meat based fast food and may apply to Canada as well.

Meat and poultry consumption directly adds to the risk of many diseases such as high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, type2 diabetes, kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, Osteoporosis, and of course overweight and obesity. Since health care in Canada is largely publicly funded, governments have to foot the bills of such chronic diseases. No wonder, the annual per capita health care cost in Canada has gone up from $1770 USD in 1990 to $3895 USD in 2007 and we still need a lot more due to long line ups

Ask Animals what they think about us:

On the question whether man is natural meat eater or vegetarian, it is important to see how animals perceive us or think about us. We all agree that animals are not biased and are always correct and think very naturally.

It is well known that animals and birds perceive the onset of earthquake, flood, volcano etc long before man is able to do so.

With this in mind we can now examine how Meat eating animals and the non meat-eating animals react when coming in close contact with humans.

For Meat eating animals, Man is a natural non meat eater

We know that Meat eating animals (lion, tiger, leopard etc) generally kill and want to eat the flesh of non-meat eating animals only. The less mighty meat-eating animals (wolf, fox, jackal etc.) don't fear for death when they are close to the mightier ones like lions etc.

We know that the mightier meat-eating animals like lions; tigers do occasionally kill and eat human flesh. Also, as humans we fear for our life when we see such meat eating animals because we know they might kill us easily.

This proves that

1. For the meat-eating animals, we are non-meat eaters and therefore they want to kill us and eat us.

2. If man was a natural meat eater like lion or even like Wolf or Fox, we will not fear for our life from the mighty animals like lions etc. just like wolf and Fox do not fear from Lion and Tiger.

For Non meat eating animals too, Man is a natural Vegetarian

The herbivores such as a cow, horse, sheep, deer etc. run for their life as soon as they perceive the proximity of a meat eating animal such as lion, tiger etc. However the Herbivores (cow, horse etc.) do not run for their life when they see humans, rather, after a little bit of initial fear, they quickly can trust humans and can easily be domesticated. Just a few friendly gestures are enough to gain trust of these Veggie animals because they presume that we are Vegetarians like them and therefore we will not kill or eat them.

In short, the herbivores or no meat eating animals think we are vegetarians and therefore do not run away from us but do so when they see the mightier meat eating animals.

This proves that in the eyes of non-meat eating animals, we are natural Vegetarians just like them.

• The Article above is written, compiled and edited by Mike Damani. However, the inspiration and logical explanations are derived from the book of Dr. Harish Chandra, PhD titled ' The Human Nature and Human food.

• Readers feedback/comments on this article will be greatly appreciated.

Plants also have life so why vegetarians eat them?

Plants do exhibit certain features of life and may have life in some sense but are not living beings like humans or animals. They are stationary, they do not have feelings like a living being, and they remain alive even if a major portion of a tree is broken/cut apart.

According to the ancient Vedic literature, a living being to be called so-called must have the following 6 characteristics of life none of which is found in plants:

» Ability to feel pleasure
» Ability to feel pain
» Desire
» Jealousy
» Effort
» Knowledge

Also, soul does not reside in a Plant in accordance with the Law of karma to bear the rewards of its actions or karma.

Plants therefore do not have life in the strict sense of the term, they are not living beings, they do not have a soul and therefore they are distinctly different than animals and humans and therefore eating plants is not killing a living being or a life. Eating plants is Ok, but killing animals and eating them is NOT OK. In fact eating even dead animals is not Ok due to health and ethical reasons.

There could be an argument that Scientists believe that Plants have life since they grow over time, consume certain gases from the atmosphere and also consume water, fertilizers, sunlight etc and can also reproduce and some even believe that they can react to things like Music also.

No one disagrees with most of the above argument except that these features in plants do not necessarily establish the existence of life in them. For example, the fact that Railway engine consumes Electricity or coal and moves fast to carry us around does not mean that there is life in the Railway Engine. Rivers, Mountains and Oceans display a lot of activity, movement and creations but that does not mean they have life; precisely because they do not have any or all the six features of life mentioned above or the soul in them. Absence of soul makes them inert objects and nothing else can make them like a living being. In fact Plants grow or consume gases and reproduce due to Physical, Chemical and bio- logical reactions something so well designed by nature to aid and assist human and animal life.

Regarding Scientific view of life in Plants, it's relevant to understand that Science knows about Matter only not about Spirit. Matter and Spirit are two different specialties. Questions such as existence of Life or not, existence of God or not fall under the realm of Spirit or Spirituality, not Science. Asking Scientists a question concerning spirituality will be like asking an English language teacher a question relating to space technology. To sum up, trying to club plants with meat, fish and eggs lead us to no choice of any kind of food, a scenario of either eat everything you see or eat nothing makes no sense at all. In fact the whole argument about plants being similar to animals is just a distraction and an attempt to justify meat eating and cruelty against innocent animals. Nature/God has designed human body and this universe so perfectly that all humans love and like plant foods without exception and they are grown or possible to grow abundantly and cheaply to feed entire man kind rich or poor.

The true human ingenuity is in creating new innovative preparations from grains, milk, fruits, vegetable and other produce of vegetable kingdom such as spices, herbs etc. There is no ingenuity in consuming meat, its expensive to produce and extremely harmful for the environment as evidenced in the 2007 United Nations report on Climate Change and must be eliminated from human diet.

This article is written, compiled and edited by Mike Damani. The author acknowledges the help received from the books such as

1. "What should we eat- Plants or Meat " by Ganga Prasad Upadhayaya and
2. A Thought for Food by Dr. Harish Chandra.

Readers feedback/comments on this article will be greatly appreciated.

Meat and the Environment

Global warming. Overexploited natural resources. Deforestation. Wasted land. Water and air pollution. The most serious environmental problems of our time are all directly linked to eating meat.

A 2006 United Nations report summarized the devastation caused by the meat industry by calling it "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." The report recommended that animal agriculture "be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity."

Many leading environmental organizations, such as the National Audubon Society and the Sierra Club, are now establishing the link between eating meat and eco-disasters like climate change. According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off U.S. roads.

Environmental organizations aren't the only ones making the connection. PETA has worked with many celebrities, such as Sir Paul McCartney and Chrissie Hynde, to help raise awareness about the undeniable link between eating meat and environmental devastation. To read Sir Paul McCartney's interview about the environmental crisis, visit PETA's blog The PETA Files.

To learn more about how raising animals for food causes global warming, wastes resources, and pollutes our environment as well as what you can do to help, please click on the links below Courtesy:

Dr. R K Pachauri won 2007 Noble Peace Prize as Chairman of IPCC along with former U.S Vice President Al Gore. IPCC stands for Inter-governmental Panel of Scientists of 146 countries on Climate Change set up by the United Nations to study the Climate Change issue. Dr. R K Pachauri presented the following slide show in London on Sept. 08,2008 which clearly shows how meat production and consumption is directly causing significant green house gas emissions and climate change.

Download Dr. Pachauri's slide show

Why Be A Vegetarian?

Download Full Presentation
This material is provided by The supreme Master Ching Hai International Association

How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian?

Download Full Presentation
This material is provided by The supreme Master Ching Hai International Association

We and our Ecosystem

How to manage and reduce our ecological footprint ?

- by Pradyumn, age 12, a student of Grade 7

Ecology is the study of the relationship between living organism and their environment. It defines the interactions between organisms including people and places where they live.

All living beings require a list of basic needs such as food to eat, habitat to live, air to breathe and water to drink. Living things are always interacting with each other and with non-living things in their environment.

An Ecosystem is the interaction between living and non-living things in a particular environment. A forest is a good example of an eco system. All of the living things such as trees and animals and all of the non-living things such as the sunlight and the air are interacting.

Humans affect the environment around them as they meet their basic needs. As human population increases, more and more people have needs that must be met. As their numbers grow, people have a greater impact on ecosystems around them.

We all depend upon nature, our food and shelter come from natural resources that Earth provided us and all our waste goes back to the Earth. We not only depend on nature, but we are part of nature. People in North America and other wealthy countries use far more than their share of Earth’s natural resources. They are not living in a sustainable manner.

Impact on the Ecosystem

Sustainability means that the resources of nature are being renewed at least as quickly as they are used and that all wastes are able to be completely absorbed. People are concerned at the rate in which our forests are being cut down or fish are being harvested, for example. Are we living sustainably or are we living far beyond the ability of Earth to provide what we want?
Each human has an individual impact on the environment. The difference lies in how much of an impact we have on our environment. For example, the surface of our planet covers 51 Billion Hectares. Excluding the oceans, deserts, and mountaintops etc. only about 8.54 Billion hectares of usable land remains. If this land were equally divided amongst 6.7 Billion people in the world, each person would have less than 1.5 Hectares. In reality though, the average Canadian would need about 6.9 hectares of land or about 6 city blocks. If everyone in the world continued to live as we do in North America, we would need at least 3 or more planets the size of earth to provide the resources and absorb the wastes.

One way to determine how much of an impact we have is to determine our ecological footprint or EFP. An ecological footprint is a calculation of total area of land and water needed to supply all of the materials and energy that we use as well as absorb all of the waste that we produce.

Please calculate your own EFP by visiting the following website with the link below:

Each of us can reduce our impact on the environment and the size of our EFP. Steps in this directions are:

» Awareness of the natural resources we consume
» Reduce the amount of energy we use and the number of products we buy
» Reduce the amount of garbage we produce
» Reuse the products or give them to charities rather than throwing them away
» Recycle products that can not be reused.
» Be a Vegetarian and avoid energy and water intensive processed foods such as meat, fish, chicken and eggs.
» Together, if we resolve, we can reduce our ecological footprint and still save this planet and its ecosystems.

Fast Facts & Quick quotes

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -- Albert Einstein

» Cost of meat consumption

Livestock sector directly or indirectly
• Uses 1/3 of the world’s land area.
• Uses up to 70% of our clean water.
• Pollutes most of the water bodies.
• Deforests the lungs of the Earth.

» Cost of meat consumption - 2

• Uses up to 43% of the world’s cereal.
• Uses up to 85% of the world’s soy.
• Causes world hunger and wars.
• 20% cause of global warming.
• 80% of all grain produced in America is used to feed animals but could feed 2 billion people.

» "Violence anywhere hurts everyone everywhere. We are all connected."
- Martin Luther King

» Meat and world hunger

• The grain and cereals used to produce one serving of meat could have fed 45 people.
• It takes 16 lbs of grain to produce 1 lb of meat.
• 16 lbs of grain can feed 32 hungry people.
• 862 million people go hungry every year.
• WHO reports 29,500 Kids die daily of starvation

» Meat is a violent product, Violence on animals bounces back on humans, causes conflicts globally because : what goes around, also comes around.

» If each of us had to kill an animal ourselves, hear them cry and get their blood on our hands, chances are we would not eat the meat.

» Water Usage

• 1 serving of beef needs1,200 US gal/4,500 Litres
• 1 serving of chicken needs 330 US gal/1,250 Litres
• 1 vegetarian meal needs 147 US gal/550 Litres or less
• 4 quarter-pound burgers consume more water than a year’s worth of showers!
• We also have a water crisis on the planet, switching to a plant based diet is the only solution.

» What is Food?

• What is dead (ie animals) cannot create life.
• Life (live food) creates another life.
• Animals are NOT Food.

» Summary Benefits of a Veggie Diet

• Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
• Stronger immune system
• Reduces Type 2 diabetes
• Prevents stroke conditions
• Reverses atherosclerosis
• Reduces heart disease risk by 50%
• Reduces heart surgery risk by 80%
• Prevents many forms of cancer
Conserves up to 70% clean water
• Saves over 70% of the Amazonian rainforest
• A solution for world hunger:
- frees up 3,433 million hectares of land annually
- frees up 760 million tons of grain/yr (half the world’s grain supply)
• Consumes 2/3 less fossil fuels than those used for meat consumption
• Reduces violence, increases our focus.
• Increases life expectancy by up to 15 years
• Reduces pollution from untreated animal waste
• Maintains cleaner air
• Saves 4.5 tons of emissions per US household per year
• Stops 80% of global warming
• You will feel happy inside that no animal had to suffer for you. Your heart will be at peace.

» Let's do it
• Be Veg !
• Go Green !
• Save The Planet !

The government's view

Western Governments under pressure from the meat industry and the animal farming, poultry and fishing lobbies have traditionally scared people from the thought of Vegetarian diets. Most of their arguments in favor of meat industry have resulted in massive levels of obesity, heart disease and many more diseases to the extent that most governments now can not afford the high cost of health care. This and the growing medical evidence in favor of plant based diets have forced the governments to ask people to eat less meat and more vegetables, fruits and grains. Still, the influence of meat industry is so deep and intense that we believe, does not allow governments to tell the whole truth just yet.

We found the following material from Govt. of British Columbia(Canada) website which in fact confirms that Vegetarian diet is healthy. Readers will appreciate that the shortcomings mentioned by the BC govt. are easy to fix with little expense and care. Switching to a Vegetarian diet that includes Milk but excludes meat, fish, chicken and eggs can save thousands of dollars per year per person from lower food costs to lower health care costs and will make a huge impact in cutting GHG (Green house Gas Emissions) and global warming. Relevant to mention here that PAVF does not support Vegan diet, we only support and advocate for Lacto-Vegetarian diet.


What is a Vegetarian?

In a very general sense, a vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat meat. But that definition is too simple. There are several kinds of vegetarian diets:
• Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat milk products—such as milk, cheese, and yogourt—and eggs, but no meat. "Lacto" means "milk." "Ovo" means eggs.
• Lacto-vegetarians eat milk products, but not eggs or meat.
• Vegans(say "VEE-guns" or "VAY-guns") are total vegetarians. They eat only plant foods. They don't eat food that comes from animals in any way, including milk products, eggs, honey, and gelatin (which comes from bones and other animal tissue).

Many people are semi-vegetarian—they may eat fish and/or poultry, but no red meat. Or they may eat meat only once in a while.

There are many reasons why some people choose vegetarian diets:

• A vegetarian diet can be healthier than other diets.
• Some people think it's wrong to use animals for food.
• Some religions forbid eating meat.
• A vegetarian diet can cost less than a diet that includes meat.
• Some people just don't like the taste of meat.

Are vegetarian diets healthy?

If properly planned, vegetarian diets can provide all the nutrients you need. In addition to that, being a vegetarian can actually be better for you. In general, vegetarians:
• Weigh less than people who eat meat.
• Are less likely to die of heart disease.
• Have lower cholesterol levels.
• Are less likely to get:
o High blood pressure.
o Prostate cancer.
o Colon cancer.
o Type 2 diabetes.

In addition to diet, part of the reason for this good health could be that vegetarians tend to have healthier lifestyles. While there are always exceptions, as a group they tend to be non-smokers and tend to drink less alcohol.

The food guide

As a vegetarian, you can still use Canada's Food Guide. Use the following substitutions:

• In the meat and meat alternatives group, use the following as a substitute for 75 g (2.5 oz) of meat:
o ¾ cup (175 mL) cup cooked dried beans, peas, or lentils
o 2 eggs
o ¼ cup (60 mL) nuts or seeds
o ¾ cup tofu (175 mL)
o 2 Tbsp (30 mL) peanut butter
• If you do not use milk, use soy milk fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Count 1 cup (250 mL) as one serving. You can also use fortified soy cheese or soy yogourt.

How can vegetarians eat a balanced diet?

You may be worried that you won't get all the nutrients you need with a vegetarian diet. But as long as you eat a variety of foods, there are only a few things you need to pay special attention to.

• Calcium for vegetarians who don't eat milk products. If you don't get your calcium from milk products, you need to eat a lot of other calcium-rich foods. Calcium-fortified breakfast cereals, soy milk, and orange juice are good choices. "Calcium-fortified" means that the manufacturer has added calcium to the food. Other foods that have calcium include certain legumes, certain leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and tofu. If you don't use calcium-fortified foods, ask your doctor if you should take a daily calcium supplement.

• Vitamin D for vegetarians who don't eat milk products. Vitamin D is important to keep bones strong. Vegetarians who don't eat milk products can use fortified soy milk and breakfast cereals. Your body can also make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight on a regular basis. You may need to take supplements if you don't get enough vitamin D and don't get enough sun.

• Iron. Getting enough iron is not a problem for vegetarians who take care to eat a wide variety of food. Our bodies don't absorb iron from plant foods as well as they absorb iron from meats, so it's important for vegetarians to regularly eat iron-rich foods. Vegetarian iron sources include cooked dried beans, peas, and lentils; leafy green vegetables; and iron-fortified grain products. And eating foods rich in vitamin C will help your body absorb iron.

• Vitamin B12 for vegans. Vitamin B12 comes from animal sources only. If you are a vegan, you'll need to rely on food that is fortified with this vitamin (for example, soy milk and breakfast cereals) or take supplements. This is especially important for vegan women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Like everyone else, vegetarians also need to make sure they get the following nutrients:

• Protein. When considering a vegetarian diet, many people worry that they will not get enough protein. But eating a wide variety of foods—especially legumes and grains—will give you the protein you need.

• Omega 3 fatty acids. If you don't eat fish or eggs, you need to find other good sources of omega 3 fatty acids, such as hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, certain leafy green vegetables, soybean oil, and canola oil.

• Zinc. Your body absorbs zinc better when it comes from meat than when it comes from plants. But vegetarians don't usually have a problem getting enough zinc if they eat lots of other foods that are good sources of zinc, including whole-grain breads, cooked dried beans and lentils, soy foods, and vegetables.

Is it safe for children to be vegetarians?

A well-planned vegetarian diet that includes dairy foods and eggs is perfectly safe for children. Young vegan children tend to be slightly smaller but still within growth normal ranges. And they tend to catch up to other children in size as they get older.
If you are raising a child on a vegetarian diet, consider the following:

• Babies who get only breast milk should have supplements of iron after the age of 4 to 6 months. (This is not necessary if you add iron-fortified infant cereal to the child's diet at this age.)
• Breast-fed babies need to take vitamin D supplements starting within the first 2 months of life. This is because human milk does not contain all the vitamin D a baby needs.
• Breast-fed babies of vegan mothers need vitamin B12 supplements if the mother's diet is not fortified.
• Children younger than 2 years need the extra fat in whole milk for brain and nerve development. Don't give them low-fat or fat-free milk. If you are using soy milk instead of cow's milk, make sure that it's full-fat soy milk, and talk to your doctor or a dietitian to make sure your child is getting enough fat.
• Vegan diets contain a lot of fibre. Fibre is great because it fills you up without adding a lot of calories. But children have small stomachs, and the fibre they eat can fill them up before they get enough calories. Frequent meals and snacks—with plenty of cereals, legumes, and nuts—will help children get the energy and nutrients they need for healthy growth.

What if your teenager decides to become a vegetarian?

With careful planning, a vegetarian diet can be very healthy for teenagers. In fact, it can be a great way to get them into a lifelong habit of healthy eating.

If your teen decides to become a vegetarian, teach him or her how to plan meals to get all the right nutrients every day. Remember that teens need a bit more calcium than adults. And iron is especially important for teen girls who are menstruating. Canada's Food Guide can help your teen learn about healthy eating. And you may want him or her to talk to a dietitian to learn how to plan a healthy vegetarian diet.

It's important to find out why your teen wants to follow a vegetarian diet. Some teens adopt a vegetarian diet as a way to lose weight, and "being a vegetarian" can hide an eating disorder like anorexia.

Other Places To Get Help

Dietitians of Canada
480 University Avenue
Suite 604
Toronto, ON M5G 1V2
Phone : (416) 596-0857
Fax : (416) 596-0603
Web Address :
The Dietitians of Canada Web site provides a wide range of food and nutrition information, including fact sheets on frequently asked food and diet questions, quizzes and other tools to assess your diet habits, and meal planning guides.


» Mangels AR, et al. (2003). Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103(6): 748–765. Also available online:
» Johnston PK, Sabaté J (2006). Nutritional implications of vegetarian diets. In ME Shils et al., eds., Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed., pp. 1638–1654. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

• Whitney E, Rolfes SR (2005). Vegetarian diets. In Understanding Nutrition, 10th ed., pp. 208–213. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.


Author Ralph Poore
Author Cynthia Tank
Editor Katy E. Magee, MA
Editor Brenda Vanden Beld, RN, MSN, MBA
Associate Editor Michele Cronen
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Ruth Schneider, MPH, RD - Diet and Nutrition
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE – Diabetes Educator
Specialist Medical Reviewer Donald Sproule, MD, CM, CCFP, FCFP – Family Medicine

The Holy Cow Vs Vegans

The 2006 IPCC report of The United nations Climate change Panel confirmed that Livestock causes 18 % of the global green house gas emissions, full 5 % more than all of world’s automobile and airline industry combined. Ever since then, many Vegan organizations have cited this report to justify condemning the dairy industry and advocating Milk avoidance. So much so that many Vegans have attempted to lump together meat and milk consumption as if both are equally bad to the environment and are equally unethical and unnecessary. By advocating Plant based diet, they want everyone to stop consuming milk and milk products also since Milk is an animal product.

It is true that dairy industry in the west and many parts of the world feeds the meat industry and a lot of dairy farms are using milk enhancing techniques that are unethical. The way milk is produced in these farms need to be improved, milk production must be done humanely. However, Vegans should not mix together milk as a product and the dairy industry.

Milk and dairy industry are two different subject matters. Anyone coming from rural or agricultural background especially from India knows too well that in many countries Milk is a product from the individual Milkman and not necessarily the dairy industry. Cow is revered as a mother and just like mother’s milk is good for us so is the milk from Mother Cow. Just like old mother is not sent to slaughter houses so is the case with older cows, they are sent to Cow houses( Go- shalas) and not for slaughter. Male cows are used extensively to plough the farms without using the fossil fuels. Cow dung is used extensively as manure and cooking fuel and cow’s urine is used for Ayuervedic medicines. Cow dung is possible to be used as an alternative source of energy, with very little investment; it can be used to generate Electricity in Villages. In short, not only the cow converts useless materials into a delicious food product ie. Milk, in many ways and being a vegetarian animal with simple nature, the cow can be truly called as the best friend of humans supporting 2/3rd of worlds rural economy.

What is needed is to support or re-start the good practices possible to be implemented by the dairy industry and de-linking it from the meat industry in a way that can support the village economy. Milk as a product is distinctly different than Meat, humanely, it requires better care of the animal not its slaughter.

One living cow can feed or support feeding 410,440 people for one time’s diet but the meat from it can feed only 80 people. See calculations in the article below. If we consider keeping cows only for Milk consumption, the world will need only 10 % of current cow population estimated at 2.5Billion. We will not need most of factory farmed animals that are raised just for slaughter. Such livestock industry will cause only 2% of green house gas emissions, not 18% or more. The benefits to rural economy and energy savings will be several times more and in a non- violent manner. Our Vegan friends must not therefore mix Milk with Meat. We must avoid meat to fight against climate change, not necessarily Milk.

Some Vegan friends also argue that since no other specie drinks the milk of another specie, we should not drink milk. Respectfully, we need to ask them- are humans supposed to do everything exactly the way animals do? Animals do not go to schools or build universities or Hospitals and do not wear clothes. As humans, should we remain naked or close all Universities? Are we supposed to follow animals all the time or as more intelligent creatures, can we balance our needs with the obligation to take care of animals in a non-violent manner so that both can benefit and survive? Humanely produced Milk is an excellent example of such a balance. Such humane Milk production is agreeably more difficult but it’s not impossible. Just like ending world hunger and poverty are very difficult, as a civilization we have not given up on such lofty objectives so why give up on humane Milk production?

Another set of Vegan argue that since most of world’s population is Lactose intolerant, we should avoid Milk. This is same as saying that since most people suffer from digestion related issues, they should not eat anything. This argument against Milk makes no sense. The good news is that lactose intolerance is fully curable and an Ayuervedic medicine that will cost less than $1.00 per month can cure this disease without any side effects. Of course no one is forcing one to consume Milk, do not drink milk if it does not suit you.

One of the biggest problem with the Vegan’s insistence to avoid milk is that when you ask people not to even consume Milk, you are essentially telling them that being Vegetarian is not a practical solution. Milk being an inexpensive farm based product so heavily used by almost 99% of world’s population, it’s hard to believe that people will stop drinking Milk. Milk production supports village economy in a non violent manner so no government will ever support a Vegan diet, on the other hand, Vegans will make the whole Vegetarian movement weaker.

Lastly, Milk was part of the Vegetarian diet of all ancient Indian Yogis and saints. From Mahatma Gandhi to Dayanand and almost all of famous Vedic saints and the Vedas which are the source of a Vegetarian life style said very highly about milk and its virtues and stressed on Cow protection as a means to help humanity. The question is who should we believe? – the newly fashionable and very few Vegans or the combined knowledge of Vedic and other ancient Spirituality ?

We request our readers to please read the two articles below. One is produced from the book of Dayanad, the most prominent Vedic scholar of modern times who died in 1883 but strongly advocated for Vegetarian diet and the economic importance of Cow protection . Another is ISKON’s view on Cow and its importance.

Dayanand And The Cow

According to Swami Dayanand (1824-1883) and his book- ‘Go- Karuna Nidhi’, one cow can feed or support 410,440 people at least once during her life time along with her off springs whereas if slaughtered one cow’s meat can feed only 80 people. His Calculations are as follows:

The milk from a cow can range between 2 Litres to 20Litres(L) per/day. Therefore the Average. milk per cow is expected to be approximately 11Litre per/day. In one month therefore, the amount of milk will be 11L x30 days or 330 Litres per cow on Average.

The milking period of cows range between 6 months-18 months therefore the Average. milking period will be 12 months. Hence. Avg. milk per year will be 330Lx12months or 3960L per cow.

Making rice pudding (i.e. Kheer) from 3960L will feed 1980 people if each eats Avg. 2L equivalent milk’s rice pudding.

A cow gets pregnant 8-18 times during her lifetime, Avg. 13 times per cow. Total number of people that can fed from one cow’s life-time milk is 1980 x13 or 25,740 people eating once each.

We discussed that an Average cow will get pregnant approximately 13 times in her life time. We presume that this will result in 6 female cows and 7 male cows. Presuming that one male cow will die during pregnancy also, we are left with 6 female cows and 6 male cows.

As seen above 25,740 people can be fed from one cows life-time milk, therefore the 6 female cows, produced by one cow during her lifetime will feed in total 25,740 x 6 or 154,440 people during their combined lifetimes. So, ‘A’ (that is contribution from Female cows) = feeding 154,440 people at least once.

Now, consider the contribution of the 6 male cows also produced by the same cow. 6 male cows or 3 pairs of them can plough field to produce crops. Each pair can help to produce 8000 kg of food grain/year. So, 3 pairs can help in production of 24000 kgs of grain per year.

Average working life of a male cow is 8 years approximately so 3 pairs can produce 24000kg x 8 years or 192,000 kg total in a span of 8 years. On an Average, one can consume no more than 750gms of food grain each time. Therefore, number of people that can be fed by the work of 6 male cows will be 192,000kg divided by 0.750gms or 256,000 people eating at least once. We call this result as ‘B’= 256,000 people

Adding A+B gives us the following,

A = Female cows contribution……. 154,440 people
B = Male cows contribution ………… 256,000 people
A+B = 410,440 people
To sum up, we can conclude that One cow and its off springs can feed or help feeding 410,440 people at least once.

Meat of one cow can feed only 80 people, therefore it makes no sense to kill a cow for meat consumption.

Importance of Cow as per ISKON

People are generally unaware of the importance of cows. Cows produce, in large quantities, the miracle food, milk. Milk is produced from the blood of the cow, however she is happy to give her blood transformed in a peaceful, non-violent way in the form of milk.

The cow is so merciful she is freely giving us her milk which contains all the vitamins, proteins and other nutrients found in flesh. If people drink milk there is absolutely no need for animal killing and no possibility of their diets being deficient in any way. One can survive simply by drinking milk. Milk is a complete food in many ways.

The Nectar of Immortality

Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one's life.

In modern civilization, milk is not thought of as being important, therefore people are not living very long.

Although in this age anyone can live up to one hundred years, the duration of life is reduced because people do not drink large quantities of milk. Instead of drinking milk, they prefer to slaughter an animal and eat it's flesh.

The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one's life and develop the finer tissues of the brain.

The Cow is Our Mother

The Vedic Scriptures refer to the cow as our mother When we stop taking milk from our mother the cow gladly takes over the role of supplying milk. For this reason the cow is our mother.

It is natures special arrangement that the cow provides milk to give nourishment to civilized people. The barbarians take blood by cutting the throat of a poor innocent animal, while civilized people drink milk which contains all of the nutritious qualities of meat without the necessity of violence.

We are now killing millions of cows every year in such a brutal way in enormous slaughterhouses. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that in 1984 229,249,000 cattle and calves were killed for meat production. This cow killing is the most sinful activity and we are suffering in many ways as a result of the enormous burden of bad karma it generates.

Living Cows are an Economic Asset

It is quite clear that a living cow yields society more food than a dead one - in the form of a continuing supply of milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and other high-protein foods.

In 1971 Stewart Odend'hal of the University of Missouri conducted a detailed study of cows in Bengal and found that far from depriving humans of food. they ate only inedible remains of harvested crops (rice hulls, tops of sugarcane, etc.) and grass. "Basically", he said, "the cattle convert items of little direct human value into products of immediate utility." This should put to rest the myth that people are starving in India because they will not kill their cows. Interestingly enough, India seems to have surmounted her food problems, which have always had more to do with occasional severe drought or political upheaval than with sacred cows. A panel of experts at the Agency for International Development, in a statement cited in the United States Congressional Record for December 2nd. l980. concluded "India produces enough to feed all its people." If allowed to live, cows produce High quality, protein rich foods in amounts that stagger the imagination. It is abundantly clear that cows (living ones) are one of mankind's, most valuable food resources.

Movements to save seals, dolphins and whales from slaughter are flourishing -- So why shouldn't there be a movement to save the cows?

Vegetarian and Vegan Elite of the World

No Picture Name Nationality / Title
1 Rabindranath Tagore Bengali poet, Brahmo philosopher, visual artist, playwright, composer, and novelist; 1913 Nobel Laureate in Literature
2 Albert Einstein German theoretical physicist; 1921 Nobel Laureate in Physics
3 George Bernard Shaw Irish playwright; 1925 Nobel Laureate in Literature
4 Sir C. V. Raman Indian physicist; 1930 Nobel Laureate in Physics
5 Albert Schweitzer German theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician; 1952 Nobel Laureate in Peace
6 Linus Pauling American quantum chemist and biochemist; 1954 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and 1962 Nobel Laureate in Peace for his campaign against above-ground nuclear testing
7 George Wald American biochemist; 1967 Nobel Laureate in Medicine
8 Isaac Bashevis Singer Polish-born American Jewish writer of short stories and novels; 1978 Nobel Laureate in Literature
9 Chandrashekar Subrahmanyam Indian-born American astrophysicist; 1983 Nobel Laureate in Physics
10 Elie Wiesel Hungarian novelist, philosopher, humanitarian, political activist, and Holocaust survivor; 1986 Nobel Laureate in Peace
12 Aung San Suu Kyi Myanmar (Burma) nonviolent pro-democracy activist; 1991 Nobel Laureate in Peace
13 V. S. Naipaul Trinidadian-born British of Hindu heritage and Indo-Trinidadian ethnicity writer; 2001 Nobel Laureate in Literature
14 JM Coetzee South African/Australian writer; 2003 Nobel Laureate in Literature
15 Sir Isaac Newton British physicist, mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, inventor, and natural philosopher; father of physics
16 John Ray British naturalist; father of English natural history
17 Leonardo Da Vinci Italian Renaissance polymath: architect, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, inventor, geometer, musician, and painter
18 Benjamin Franklin American author, journalist, scientist, inventor and statesman
19 Thomas Edison American inventor and businessman
20 Nikola Tesla Serbian-American inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer
21 Srinivasa Ramanujan Indian mathematician
22 Edward Witten American mathematical physicist and Fields Medalist
23 Brian Greene American physicist and one of the world's foremost string theorists
24 Jane Goodall British primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist
25 Vijay Raj Singh Indian medical physicist
26 Kalpana Chawla Indian-born American astronaut and space shuttle mission specialist
27 Steve Jobs American founder and CEO of Apple Computer
28 Nathaniel Borenstein American, creator of MIME (email) language
29 Alexander Dargatz German athlete, 2005 Body-building World Champion, physician
30 Elena Walendzik 2005 German featherweight boxing champion
31 Carl Lewis American track & field star, nine-time Olympic champion
32 Edwin C. Moses American track & field star, two-time Olympic champion
33 Leroy Burrell American track & field star, Olympic champion
35 Robert Parish American NBA (basketball) star
36 Benjamin Spock American pediatrician, author
37 John Mackey American, founder of Whole Foods, the world's biggest organic grocer
38 Charles Darwin British naturalist, geologist and originator of the evolution theory
39 Diogenes Greek philosopher and cosmologist
40 Henry David Thoreau American author, naturalist, pacifist, and philosopher
41 Plato Greek saint and philosopher
42 Pythagoras Greek mathematician and philosopher
43 Ralph Waldo Emerson American author, poet and philosopher
44 Socrates Greek saint and philosopher
45 Voltaire French Enlightenment writer and philosopher
46 Yehudi Menuhin American-British orchestral violinist and conductor
47 Stella McCartney Renowned British fashion designer, daughter of Paul McCartney
48 Anna Paquin Canadian actress, Oscar winner
49 Candice Bergen Acclaimed American actress
50 Christian Bale British actor, star of the hit movie "Batman Begins"
51 Danny DeVito American actor, producer and director
52 Dustin Hoffman American actor, two-time Oscar winner; Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner

One World

One world examines the global best practice and success stories on tackling world’s most common and pressing problems with the aim to expect decision makers at homes, organizations, communities and countries to learn from them and adopt them as much as possible.

Corruption, Work ethics , Government budget deficits, Governance, Education, Family values, Environmental protection, Economic development , Women’s issues etc. are all all global issues where best practices should be shared and considered globally.

1. Corruption   Corruption is a global problem with far reaching consequences. Most in the developing world are resigned to the fact that corruption is a fact of life, its everywhere so no point talking about it or trying to control it. This cynicism has resulted in gradual de-gradation of all walks of life- from Governments to NGOs to private businesses. Though much of this is true, the fact is there are success stories that give us the hope that things can be changed for better if we all can learn from them . We invite readers to review the global corruption numbers and indexes provided by Global Integrity Report each year at :

Georgia- a small eastern European country is the latest success story on tackling Government corruption. It has made significant progress towards achieving corruption free governance in just last 10 years, something others thought was impossible. Much still needs to be done but what is done already is no less than a miracle and an example for others to follow.

New stories and Videos on Georgia and its fight against corruption:

BBC NEWS report


Business climate improves in Georgia due to anti corruption efforts:

Transparency International on Georgia:

The Economist hails Georgia

Worldwide success stories on Corruption by World Bank:

The countries with the lowest reported bribery rate are Denmark, Finland, Japan and Australia, they all have a bribery rate of just 1%. Read more here:

2. Lessons from Germany

This one hour documentary on BBC examines why Germany is such a success story despite being burdened to pay the bills of other fellow EU countries. From work ethics, small manufacturing businesses to great lifestyle and public discipline, Germans do things differently than the British and Americans. Irony is, most of the world has followed the British and American models, few even know why German model is so much better.German’s don’t fear China, they beat China in most of German manufactured products.

Please read the article in this link : or better still watch the eye opening 1 hour BBC documentary: Make me a German aired recently on BBC world.

Another article on same story:

Got another success story that the world can learn from ? Please do send us one to post in this section.