1907 New York Times Article Shows that Meat Causes Cancer.
A Century Later, Many People Still Haven’t Heard the News
In a recent NPR debate about the risks of meat-eating, I put forward the proposition that meat causes cancer. Judging by faces in the audience, this was a new idea. While everyone understands the link between cancer and cigarettes, the link with meat has somehow escaped notice.
I cited two enormous studies—the 2009 NIH-AARP study, with half a million participants, and a 2012 Harvard study with 120,000 participants. In both studies, meat-eaters were at higher risk of a cancer death, and many more studies have shown the same thing.
How does meat cause cancer? It could be the heterocyclic amines—carcinogens that form as meat is cooked. It could also be the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or the heme iron in meat, or perhaps its lack of fiber and paucity of antioxidants. But really the situation is like tobacco. We know tobacco causes lung cancer, even though no one yet knows exactly which part of the tobacco smoke is the major culprit. And although meat-eaters clearly have higher cancer rates, it is not yet clear which part of meat does the deed.
The tragedy is this: The link between meat and cancer has been known for more than a century. On September 24, 1907, the New York Times published an article entitled “Cancer Increasing among Meat Eaters,” which described a seven-year epidemiological study showing that meat-eaters were at high cancer risk, compared with those choosing other staples. Focusing especially on immigrants who had abandoned traditional, largely planted-based, diets in favor of meatier fare in the U.S., the lead researcher said, “There cannot be the slightest question that the great increase in cancer among the foreign-born over the prevalence of that disease in their native countries is due to the increased consumption of animal foods….”
Over the past century, meat eating in America has soared, as have cancer statistics. USDA figures show that meat eating rose from 123.9 pounds of meat per person per year in 1909 to 201.5 pounds in 2004.
The good news is that many have woken up and smelled the carcinogens. They know there is plenty of protein in beans, grains, and vegetables, and that traditional Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Japanese foods—and endless other cuisines—turn these plant-based staples into delicious and nourishing meals. Meat eating has fallen about one percent every year since 2004.
If you haven’t yet kicked the habit, the New Year is the perfect time to do it. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has you covered with Kickstart programs, books, DVDs, and everything else you’ll ever need. Let’s not wait another hundred years.
Article originally published on PCRM.org
Now read The China Study and Whole by T. Colin Campbell, to convince yourself with the largest medical study conducted on the subject.
The only people that will tell you it is bogus are those addicted to animal flesh that think they can't give it up!
And if these two books don't change your mind about eating animals perhaps this one will open your eyes:
Now and then I read a book that I know I will remember for my lifetime and keep coming back to as a source of information and inspiration. Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering (Changemakers Books, 2013), by Mark Hawthorne, is this kind of book.
The book is encyclopedic in its coverage of humans’ use of animals and, chapter-by-chapter, covers the ways in which animals are used for food, fashion, experimentation, hunting, sports, entertainment, sacrifice, art, work and sex. Hawthorne has brought together expert researchers and long-time animal advocates from every corner of the world, spanning cultures and continents, in this meticulously researched work. For anyone concerned with extending compassion to animals, this book is an extraordinary resource for becoming educated and conversant about countless animal advocacy issues. There is not another book that I can think of that so thoroughly documents these hidden worlds in a single volume.
I read the bulk of Bleating Hearts on a plane travelling back and forth between Seattle and Chicago. When I stepped off the plane in Seattle at the end of my trip, I felt like I was seeing the world differently. I was haunted by all of the hidden ways animals were suffering every moment of every day around the world. I was haunted, more so than ever before, by the routine, normalized use of animals in every facet of human life. Of course, the food available for purchase on the plane was largely derived from animals’ bodies and reproductive outputs – the cheese plate, the beef jerky, the deli sandwiches, and so on. The airplane seats were likely made from the skins of animals. The wool, leather, and silk clothing of my fellow passengers were the remnants of animals who had suffered.
These were readily visible traces of animal suffering with which I was already familiar. But as I stepped off the plane in Seattle, I wondered how many live ‘exotic’ animals were languishing, crammed into luggage in cargo holds as they were illegally smuggled around the world. I wondered how many orcas, seals and other marine species were being hunted and killed for food, fashion or sport or trapped for zoos and aquaria off the West Coast at that moment. I wondered how many foxes, mink, and rabbits were caught in fur trappers’ traps in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, or how many more were pacing frantically in cages on fur farms across the United States. These thoughts and hundreds more have raced through my mind since reading this book.
Bleating Hearts is not an emotionally easy read. But reading this book is a deeply empowering experience. As a long-time advocate for animals, Hawthorne understands firsthand the difficulty of facing these truths and the book is structured in such a way as to help you along on this journey of education, empowerment and action. The chapters are scattered with hopeful and inspiring quotes and anecdotes from animal advocates about the power of compassion and hope for a kinder future. He ends each chapter with a section called “What You Can Do” with current resources for taking action to make the world a kinder place for animals.
Hawthorne includes a quote from author, activist and humanitarian, John Robbins, which resonated with me as I read the book. It illustrates beautifully the necessity of seeing the (at times difficult and painful) truth with clear eyes and, rather than getting buried by it, responding by living our lives with great hope, dedication, and kindness:
“I look out into the world and I see a deep night of unthinkable cruelty and blindness. Undaunted, however, I look into the human heart and find something of love there, something that cares and shines out into the dark universe like a bright beacon. And in the shining of that light within, I feel the dreams and prayers of all beings. In the shining of that beacon I feel all of our hopes for a better future. In the shining of the human heart light there is the strength to do what must be done.” ~John Robbins in Bleating Hearts
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful that I never became "addicted" to animal products!! It was so easy for me to eliminate them from my life, almost 5 years ago, and I will never look back. I also pray that advocates for animals can unite in the fight against human cruelty too and fight for the Right to Life!! That would be beautiful!!!!! Peace.