University of Waterloo Vegetarian Club

End Cruelty, Get Healthy, Save the Planet

Individual HealthPersonal Health

1. Personal Health: General

-according to the American Dietetic Association(ADA) vegetarian diets are associated with reduced risk for obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, mellitus, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and kidney disease.

-high fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, several common cancers and other chronic diseases(such as macular degeneration and cataracts

-whole grain consumption has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and stomach and colon cancer.

"Vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country ... they have a fraction of our heart attack rate, and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate."

—William Castelli, M.D., director of the Framingham Heart Study, the longest-running clinical study in medical history

2. Personal Health: Dairy Products

-“the human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk or giraffes’ milk” Michael Klaper MD

-the late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America’s leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow’s milk to children saying it can cause anemia, allergies and insulin dependent diabetes

-dairy products are a health hazard. They are frequently contaminated with pesticides hormones and antibiotics.

-dairy products are deficient in fiber, niacin, vitamin C and iron.

-dairy products are linked to allergies, heart disease, cancer and other diseases

3. Personal Health: Meat

-chicken contains as much artery-clogging cholesterol as beef(100mg in just four ounces)

-a single egg has twice the cholesterol as a hamburger

Estimated U.S. health care costs/year for excessive meat consumption $60-120 billion

4. Personal Health: Salmonella, other bacteria

-90% of all chicken flesh sold in the U>S. is swarming with salmonella, campylobacter, and other dangerous bacteria

-as many as 4000000 Americans get sick from salmonella “flue” each year and about 500 die.

-according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 325 000 people get sick and some die every year in the U.S. from eating contaminated seafood

5. Cancer

A study comparing the dietary habits of men in 32 countries found that the highest risk factors for prostate cancer mortality were meat and dairy products

6. Heart Disease

Mortality rates for heart disease are higher than those of all forms of cancer combined.

Studies have shown that a vegan (pure vegetarian) diet—rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables—can stop and even reverse heart disease. People following a plant-based diet have 2.5 times fewer cardiac events, including heart attack, stroke, bypass surgery, and angioplasty. By switching to a vegetarian diet, you can significantly reduce and even eliminate your chances of dying from heart disease.

Vegans have 26% less Heart Disease and 30% less stroke than regular meat-eaters.

Vegetarians have 34% less Heart Disease and 13% less stroke than regular meat-eaters.

40% of deaths in North America result from heart disease

7. Cholesterol

People with cholesterol levels below 150 are virtually assured of never having a heart attack, while nearly one-third of meat-eaters will die from one. Incidentally, while the average cholesterol level in the U.S. is 210, the average vegetarian’s cholesterol level is 161 and the average vegan’s cholesterol level is 133

For every 1% increase in blood cholesterol, heart disease risk increases by 2-3%.

Plant foods contain no cholesterol, whereas meats, eggs, and dairy products contain large amounts of cholesterol, saturated fats, and concentrated protein—all harmful substances

For every 1% increase in Blood cholesterol, heath disease risk increases 2-3%

8. Stroke & (High Blood Pressure)

researchers have found that a pure vegetarian diet is the only lifestyle change that has been shown to consistently reverse atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries that often causes strokes and heart attacks

Strokes can result in the death of parts of the brain, causing physical and mental impairments

Atherosclerosis is the narrowing and hardening of our blood vessels that is caused by the consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. Meat, eggs, and dairy products are the leading sources of saturated fat and the only sources of cholesterol in the human diet

High blood pressure is the single-most important risk factor for strokes, according to the American Heart Association.8 On average, vegetarians have lower blood pressure than meat-eaters do

26 percent of meat-eaters studied suffered from high blood pressure, compared to only 2 percent of vegetarians

one-point increase in body-mass index results in a 6 percent increase in stroke risk

Since vegetarians are slimmer, on average, they are less prone to having strokes and heart attacks and to developing diseases in which being overweight is a contributing factor.

According to Cornell University's Dr. T. Colin Campbell, director of the largest epidemiological study in history, "The vast majority of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented simply by adopting a plant-based diet."

Vegans- 26% less heart disease -30% less strokes

Vegetarian- 34% less heart disease 13% less strokes

Vegetarian have 1/3 of the rates of hypertension

9. Obesity

55% of adults over weight in NA

33% of adults are obese

33% of children ages 6-17 are overweight

20% of children ages 6-17 are obese

Vegetarians are 5% lighter then non-vegetarian

Vegans 5% lighter then vegetarians

Vegans 10% lighter then non-vegetarian

Health care costs directly attributable to obesity: over $100 billion/year

Money spent on weight reduction programs over 35 billion/year

50% of adult women trying to lose weight

30% of adult men trying to lose weight

Health consequences of overweight and obesity- Increases all risk of CVD, Lipid disorders, hypertension, stroke, gallbladder disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, certain cancers

Comparative Anatomy





Oblong stomach with rugae (folds)

As frugivore

Round stomach without rugae

Short, generally flat teeth, close-spaced

As frugivore

Long, invariably sharp teeth, wide-spaced

Long sacculated intestines, twelves times body length

As frugivore

Short non-sacculated intestines, three times body length

Cools body by sweating

As frugivore

Cools body by panting

Little if any digestive capacity to expel cholesterol

As frugivore

Great digestive capacity to expel cholesterol

Vitamin C must be obtained from food

As frugivore

Vitamin C is manufactured in the body

Alkaline saliva, blood and urine

As frugivore

Acidic saliva, blood and urine

Unable to live exclusively on flesh food

As frugivore

Able to live exclusively on flesh food

Grasping fingers, capable of using tools

As frugivore

Claws with no manual dexterity

Secretes no uricase (enzyme needed to break down uric acid from meat)

As frugivore

Secretes copious uricase

Refined lip and pouchy cheek

As frugivore

No lip or pouchy cheek

Thick smooth tongue

As frugivore

Thin rough tongue

Preference for sweet foods

As frugivore

Preference for salty fatty foods

Small frequent meals; well-chewed mouthfuls

As frugivore

Huge infrequent meals; barely chewed mouthfuls

Savours food

As frugivore

Bolts food

Secretes small amounts of pepsin (protein-digesting enzyme)

As frugivore

Secretes vast amounts of pepsin

Large rational brain

As frugivore (usually!)

Small less rational brain

Vegetarian-like intestinal flora

As frugivore

Non-vegetarian-like intestinal flora

Short jaw, capable of grinding

As frugivore

Long jaw, capable of vertical motion only

Saliva contains ptyalin (starch-digesting enzyme)

As frugivore

Salvia contains no ptyalin

Weak hydrochloric acid solution in stomach

As frugivore

Very strong hydrochloric acid solution in stomach (10-20 times stronger than non-meat eaters)

Small liver and kidneys; little bile secretion

As frugivore

Large liver and kidneys; copious bile secretion

Repulsed by raw flesh and blood

As frugivore

Attracted to raw flesh and blood

Protein content of mother’s milk about 2%

As frugivore

Protein content of mother’s milk about 10%

Lives in high-density groups, typical of low food-chain animals

As frugivore

Lives in low-density groups, typical of high food-chain animals

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