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From: ridgerunner (
Subject: Health benefits of veggie diet
Date: July 3, 2003 at 12:51 pm PST

In Reply to: curious--new person posted by kaykay on July 2, 2003 at 12:38 am:

If you are primarily interested in the health benefits of a veggie diet, I highly recommend the books by Dr. Joel Fuhrman - "Fasting and Eating for Health" (1995) and "Eat to Live" (2003). He is a highly competent physician who has focused much of his career on a thorough study of all available dietary research available in international scientific journals. This guy is a true blue scientist who has carefully and objectively studied the facts and has meticulously documented his claims with footnotes to reputable sources (e.g. The Lancet, American Journal of Epidemiology, Journal of American Medical Association, American Journal of Cardiology, New England Journal of Medicine, etc.) There is a great review of "Eat to Live" (E2L) here at VegSource (and be sure to read the testimonials from fellow physicians at the bottom of the article). Although E2L is being marketed as a lose-weight diet book, its actually a mini-course in modern human nutrition. His philosophy and practice focuses on eliminating the primary dietary causes of disease rather than merely treating the secondary symptoms with drugs and/or surgery which is currently the medical status quo (i.e. prevention and cure rather than treatment).

When I went vegetarian 25 years ago, I did it for ethical reasons, but more recently I've been concerned with my health. I am a 46 yr old engineer and a natural-born skeptic who requires scientific evidence to be convinced of anything, so I was delighted when I found Dr. Fuhrman's books with their 100% believable and thoroughly documented truths on human nutrition and health. After reading these books I discovered that I had been eating really crappy all these years (though I've eaten no meat and even went vegan two years ago). Since switching to a truly healthy veg diet earlier this year (i.e. no animal products, very little or no processed foods, lots of whole foods: fruits, greens and beans with some nuts, grains and starchy vegs) my asthma, depression and skin problems have all but vanished.

There are several other excellent books which cover veggie nutrition by reputable physicians including Dr. John McDougall ( and Dr. Dean Ornish ( Also a very good source on the web is the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine ( headed by Dr. Neal Barnard. There's probably a few others that others might recommend. However, the most aggressively healthy diet of all (and the most up to date) is undoubtedly from Dr. Fuhrman.

Note on "Activists": The radical in-your-face, angry vegan, animal rights "activists" you may have encountered are far to the left and do not represent a majority of the vegetarian community. Once you've been around a while you'll find that most ethical veg*ns are peaceful, everyday folks who have simply chosen to live their lives in a manor which causes as little suffering as possible. We seek not to judge others, but rather to gently set a shining example that will inspire others to judge themselves. However, to their credit, all the angry vegans are upset for a very good reason (I've been known to occasionally regress and become one). One reading of the documentary book "Slaughterhouse" by Gail Eisnitz of the Humane Farming Association ( or "Mad Cowboy" by Howard Lyman ( will change just about anyone with half a heart. Keep in mind that vegetarianism and animal rights are separate entities that just happen to overlap.

But the best book by far, which covers ALL justifications and benefits of a veggie diet (and if you read only one book, this should be it) is "The Food Revolution" by John Robbins ( This is essentially a second revision of his previous work "Diet for a New America", and most would agree that this is the vegan bible (it is also impeccably documented). This should be required reading in all schools and for all Americans!

Peace, ridgerunner

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