Why I’ll Always Be a Vegetarian

I will always be a vegetarian and for my belief I have in the past been viciously attacked and lied about by the meat industry – an industry which is ever deceitful and mercenary and which has created a good many myths and misconceptions to promote meat eating.

These myths (let’s be honest and just call them lies) are regularly paraded by bent doctors and journalists – in the same way that bent doctors and journalists promote vaccines. And because many people like eating meat, the lies are devoured with relish.

The shills spew lies with the same enthusiasm as the insane global warming cultists – the lunatics who fervently claim that if we all live on avocado and bean-shoot salads then we’ll save St Paul’s Cathedral from drowning.

You can safely ignore them all.

The truth is that human beings are omnivores not carnivores. The sharp teeth give us a choice not a compulsion. Eating meat is an option not a necessity. You don’t need to eat meat any more than you need to eat marzipan or those multi-coloured sprinkles people put on birthday cakes and trifles.

On the other hand, please don’t listen to the argument that we should avoid meat to save the planet. That is manipulative bollocks designed by the conspirators who are behind the Great Reset, the covid fraud and various social credit schemes.

The shills say that without meat we won’t get enough iron. But there is plenty of iron in green, leafy vegetables, nuts, cereals and beans. Foods rich in vitamin C eaten at the same time as iron-containing food will considerably increase absorption – increasing it by a factor of five. A good, well-balanced vegetarian diet will contain plenty of iron. Although it is true that meat contains iron, the irony is that meat eaters are often more likely to develop iron deficiency anaemia because they tend to eat less fruit and vegetables.

The following diseases have been proved to be commoner among meat eaters: anaemia, appendicitis, arthritis, breast cancer, cancer of the colon, cancer of the prostate, constipation, diabetes, gallstones, gout, high blood pressure, indigestion, obesity, piles, strokes and varicose veins. (My book Meat causes Cancer and other Food for Thought contains extracts from 26 scientific papers proving beyond argument that eating meat causes cancer.) Dr Dean Ornish has shown that heart disease can be treated, in part, by eating a meat-free diet.

The result is that lifelong vegetarians visit hospital 22% less often than meat eaters – and for shorter stays. Now that we have poorly managed hospitals, long waiting lists and a dead or dying health service, staying healthy is incredibly important.

Moreover, avoiding meat is one of the best and simplest ways to cut down your fat consumption. Modern farm animals are deliberately fattened up to increase profits. Eating fatty meat increases your chances of having a heart attack or developing cancer.

And if you’re still not convinced how about the fact that there are millions of cases of food poisoning recorded every year and the vast majority of all those cases are caused by eating meat. And that is perhaps not surprising since ‘Meat’ can include the tail, head, feet, rectum and spinal cord of an animal, and a sausage may contain ground-up intestines. How can anyone be sure that the intestines are empty when they are ground up? Do you really want to eat the contents of a pig’s intestines?

Moreover, if an animal has cancer when it is killed, meat eaters will eat the cancer. Do you really want to sit down to dinner and eat a large chunk of cancer?

And if you eat meat you are consuming hormones that were fed to the animals. No one knows what effect those hormones will have on your health. In some parts of the world as many as one in four hamburgers contains growth hormones that were originally given to cattle. Attempts to outlaw the use of hormones have proved remarkably ineffective. Add to that the fact that some farmers use tranquillisers to keep animals calm. The result is that when you eat meat you are eating the residues of those drugs. And those residues are often very powerful. And considerably more than half of all the antibiotics sold are given by farmers to healthy animals so that they will produce more meat. The percentage of infections resistant to antibiotics such as penicillin has risen dramatically as a result.

It’s not surprising that vegetarians are fitter than meat eaters. Many of the world's most successful athletes are vegetarian.

But put aside the proven health advantages of a vegetarian diet.

That’s not why I’m vegetarian.

I just don’t like eating animals of any kind – whether they’re cows, sheep, dogs, cats, pigs or people.

The meat industry treats animals appallingly – with terrible cruelty.

Every minute of every working day thousands of animals are killed in slaughterhouses. Many animals are bled to death. Pain and misery are commonplace. In America alone, 500,000 animals are killed for meat every hour. Animals who die for your dinner table die in terror, in sadness and in pain. The killing is often inhumane. Some religions insist that animals are killed inhumanely by having their throats cut. Conditions in abattoirs are often disgusting. I really don’t want that on my conscience.

Every day tens of millions of one-day-old male chicks are killed because they will not be able to lay eggs. There are no rules about how this mass slaughter takes place. Some are crushed or suffocated to death. Many are used for fertiliser or fed to other animals.

In a lifetime, the average meat eater will consume 36 pigs, 36 sheep and 750 chickens and turkeys. I don’t want that much carnage on your conscience?

The truth is that animals suffer from pain and fear just as much as you do. How would you like to spend your last hours locked in a truck and then cruelly pushed into a blood soaked death chamber? Animals being transported sometimes spend days packed into two-storey lorries. Some of the animals die of starvation before they reach their destination. The animals on the lower level are subjected to a constant shower of faeces and urine from the animals above them. Anyone who eats meat condones and supports the way animals are treated.

Animals which are a year old are often far more rational — and capable of logical thought — than six week old babies. I once kept four sheep as pets – they were intelligent and sensitive. They knew their names and could pick me out of a crowd. Evidence suggests that pigs and sheep are brighter than dogs and brighter than small children. If you wouldn’t eat a dog or a small child then you shouldn’t eat a sheep, a pig or a cow.

Sound statistical evidence proves that vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters and they live longer too.

There is one very good, straightforward reason to avoid eating bits of dead animal: because you like animals, disapprove of the way they are farmed and transported, and would rather be friends with them than eat them. And animals can make very good friends.

That’s why I’ve been a vegetarian for decades.

And that’s why I would rather die than eat meat.

However much I am attacked by the meat industry and its many supporters.

Vernon Coleman’s book Meat Causes Cancer. And More Food for Thought is available as a paperback and an eBook.