A new study from Harvard Medical School found that at least one-third of early deaths could be prevented if everyone switched to a plant-based diet.
Presenting the study at a recent conference, the doctors concluded that the benefits of a plant-based diet had been severely underestimated. In fact, the new figures suggest that at least 200,000 lives could be saved each year if people ditched meat.
Dr. Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard, said:
When we start to look at it we see that healthy diet is related to a lower risk of almost everything that we look at. Perhaps not too surprising because everything in the body is connected by the same underlying processes.
University of Toronto professor David Jenkins, who is credited with developing the glycemic index, said humans should follow a “simian” diet, one similar to that of lowland gorillas, who eat stems, leaves, and fruit. Dr. Jenkins explained that this type of diet was powerful in staving off heart disease—as effective in lowering cholesterol as medication but without the side effects.
Countless studies prove that plant-based foods are significantly healthier than animal products. Scientists have shown that a plant-based diet reduces one’s risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. In fact, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that long-term vegetarians lived on average 3.6 years longer than their meat-eating counterparts.
But eating vegan foods isn’t just great for your health; it also protects the planet and spares farmed animals a life of misery.
At factory farms, animals are subjected to intense and horrific abuse: gruesome mutilations; cramped confinement and overcrowding; and violent, bloody slaughter. If we treated just one dog or cat the way the meat, dairy, and egg industries treat billions of animals, we’d be behind bars for animal abuse.