miércoles, 12 de diciembre de 2012


By Hugo M. G. von Österreich und von Toskana
Member of the Union of Concerned Scientists (USA) 

Source: Earth in Transition

We are constantly bombarded with the word "change" in the news nowadays, being climate change the most common of them all. We all know that everything under the Sun and far beyond in the entire Universe is always changing.   

Our bodies change with time as well. Yet we hang on to old ways and old traditions. Old habits are hard to quit or kill.

And one of the toughest to change is the habit of eating meat. We normally sit at the table to eat it without ever questioning where it came from, how it was produced nor if it is really safe to eat it. We just eat it. 

Mother sheep with her lambs. Source: Fanpop!

I used to do so until I saw a flock of sheep crying aloud and running around searching for their offspring, which had been sold by the shepherd and taken away to the slaughterhouse. Since that day on a long time ago I have never ever tasted another piece of meat of any kind, including fish and shellfish. No animal protein is my motto now and I am happier and healthier as a vegetable consumer. I invite you to bring a positive change into your life and become a vegan as well. There is life after meat. Healthier life!

We must become good wardens of Mother Earth

All of you know things are indeed changing, not fast but nevertheless the wagon is moving along. Many people are fighting for Animal Rights and there is a lot of concern about the environment and other important issues about our planet.

We humans are beginning to realise and take it seriously that planet Earth has finite resources, that it is a close system. We have done a lot of damage to Earth´s supporting systems and thus far we are left with a small window. And if we do not start taking care for it as we should we will soon join the Labyrinthodonts´ club, the fossil record.

And one of the best ways to start out with this change along the sustainable line is to consider quitting the habit of eating meat, particularly if it comes from factory farms (Video 1). These animal concentration camps require a lot of natural resources which otherwise should be channeled to other purposes. Instead of feeding the cereals and soybeans to animals we should eat these crops. This makes even more sense when we know that there are literally millions of starving human beings around the world. Furthermore CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) put out a lot of greenhouse gases which disrupt the biosphere chemical equilibrium.

                                             Video 1. Shocking chicken industry.

On the ethical side, it is not fair to treat animals the way we do at these concentration camps. If we already have laws to protect our pets, why is it taking us so long to put a stop once and for all to this horrible cruelty that is happening right now in the factory farms?  

Why are we human beings so callous when it comes to these animals? They also have the right to live as much as we do.

There is only one thing that stands in the way to give them the Rights they deserve: Human greed.

So we must take a very close examination within ourselves and sweep our own hearts out of all of the psychogarbage we carry around. Then this cardiac ecology should be projected onto our homes and family and next our neighbours and cities, continuing with the entire country and finally we should embrace the whole Earth. 

We are the change. If each of us changes there is hope for all of us. Big things are made up of small things. We are the captains of the ship of change and we must take the right direction: a truly sustainable stewardship of the Earth. Not just words but true sustainability with loving and tender care.

Animals Rights is a right direction

The struggle for Animal Rights, fighting against the legalised animal cruelty at the factory farms, is well worth it. Through it we come closer to what we enjoy calling ourselves "human" as in humane.   

On this march, it is quite comforting to know that some people have already taken the right direction: People that are working hard towards changing the nasty habit of eating our brethren in our societies.

And animals indeed are our brethren since we all share the same origin and spaceship Earth. Besides their lineages are much older than ours, so we should have respect for them as our Elder Brothers and Sisters.

Steering the ship towards Animal Rights is a good direction. It does not matter how we look at it we shall never loose as a whole.

Meat bites back

Now if we want to look at this matter form the medical point of view, there is plenty of scientific evidence that meat consumption is bad for us. Numerous diseases and many types of cancer are linked or why not say directly that these diseases are caused by eating meat: Lung cancer, testicular cancer, endometrial cancer, brain tumors, colorectal cancer, etc. (see references) and follow these links:

Wish a Happy Christmas to animals too!

As we approach the Christmas Holiday we should take some time to think about those that have nothing and the animals which will be killed to satisfy people´s appetite for meat during these days and beyond the holiday. We should show some respect and consideration to animals too. 

It is not fair to talk about love at Christmas time when we are stuffing ourselves with the body of what once was a living and sentient being. To do so amounts to be a grand hypocrite and from here on, from this point what else can be expected from us? 

The world is already full of corrupt people and we should never join their ranks.

We must always strive for making our planet a better place to live in. It is our moral duty to hand in a wholesome Earth to future generations of not only humans but also the rest with whom we share this beautiful spaceship: EARTH.


These are just a few of the hundreds of papers that deal with the medical problems that are linked to meat consumptionYou may check out the references at the end of each publication to extend your knowledge on this topic.

Alonso Melero M. R. (1994). Nuevo marcador epidemiológico en Salmonella enterica subespecie I serotipo Enteritidis. Tesis Doctoral, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España. 192 p.

Balzan S., de Almeida Quadros C., de Cleva R., Zilberstein B. & Cocconello I. (2007). Bacterial translocation: Overview of mechanisms and clinical impact. J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol., 22: 464-471.

Bernard R.W. (1996). Meat-Eating. A Cause of Disease. Human Research Books, 48 p.

Brands D. (2006). Deadly Diseases and Epidemics: Salmonella. Chelsea House Publishers, Philadelphia, PA, USA. 102 p.

Cross A.J., Ferruci L.M., Risch A., Graubard B.I., Ward M.H., Park Y., Hollebeck A.R., Schatzkin A. & Sinha R. (2010). A Large Prospective Study of Meat Consumption and Colorectal Cancer Risk: An Investigation of Potential Mechanisms Underlying this Association. Cancer Res., 70 (6): 2406-14.  
FAGRO (n.d.) Microbiología de la Carne. 44 p.

Ferreira de Holanda L. Rodrigues Holanda & Araújo Pereira B.J. (2011). Influencia da carne aviária no desencadeamento das crises enxaquecosas. Neurobiologia, 74 (1): 43-48.

Gill C.O & Harris L.M. (1982). Contamination of Red-Meat Carcasses by Campylobacter fetus subsp. jejuni. Appl. Environ, Microbiol., 43 (5): 977-980.

Goldbohm R.A., van den Brandt P.A., van´t Veer P., Brandts H.A., Dorant E., Sturmans F & Hermus R.J.J (1994). A Prospective Cohort Study on the Relation between Meat Consumption and the Risk of Colon Cancer. Cancer REes., 54: 718-723.

Jensen W.K., Devine C. & Dikeman M. (Eds.) (2004). Encyclopedia of Meat Sciences. 1st Edition. Academic Press, Waltham, MA, USA. 3 Vols. 1500 p.  

Kotula A.W. & Stern N.J. (1984). The Importance of Campylobacter jejuni to the Meat industry. J. Anim. Sci., 58: 1561-1566. 

Lake R. (2002). Risk Profile: Toxoplasma gondii in Red Meat and Meat Products. Institute of Enviropnmental Science & Research Limited, New Zealand, Client Report FW0138, 36 p. 

Lam T.K., Cross A.J., Consonni D., Randi G., Bagnardi V., Bertazzi P.A., Caporaso N.E., Sihna R., Subar A.F. & Landi M.T. (2009). Intakes of Red Meat, Processed Meat, and Meat Mutagens Increase Lung Cancer Risk. Cancer Res., 69 (3): 932-940.

Miki K., Maekuna R., Hiraga T., Hirotani A., Hashimoto H., Hitada S., Miki. M., Hoshimura K., Naka N., Motone M., Fujikawa T-, Takashima S., Kitazume R., Kamzaki H., Nakatani S., Watanuki H., Tagusari O., Kabayashi J. & Ito M. (2005). Infective Tricuspid Valve Endocarditis with Pulmonary Emboli Caused by Campylobacter fetus after Tooth Extraction. Intern. Med., 44 (10): 1055-1059.

Shahibi F. (Ed.) (1998). Flavor of Meat, Meat Products and Seafoods. 2nd Edition. Blackie Academic & Professional, London, UK. 212 p.

Uribe C. & Suárez M.C. (2006). Salmonelosis no tifoidea y su transmisión a través de alimentos de origen aviar. Colombia Méd., 37 (2): 151-158.

Vincent C., Boerlin P., Daignault D., Dozois C.M., Dutil L., Galanakis C., Reid-Smith J., Tellier P.-P., Tellis P.A., Ziebell K & Manges A.R. (2010). Food Reservoir for Escherichia coli Causing Urinary Tract Infections. Emerg. Infect. Dis., 16 (1): 88-95.

Warris P.D. (2000). Meat Science: An Introductory Text. CABI Publishing, Oxon, UK. 310 p.

WHO (2002). Risk assessments of Salmonella in eggs and broiler chickens. FAO/WHO, Microbiological Risk Assessment Series 2, 302 p.

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