Vegetarians Take on Meat-Eaters AGAIN: Who Lives Longer?

Eye Roll 7

vegetarians live longerFor the gazillionth time, someone has funded a study that is reporting a conclusion mankind has known for centuries: Vegetarians live longer. Surprise, surprise.

The study looked at just over 73K Seventh-day Adventists (because the church promotes vegetarianism), and over the six years participants were tracked, those who didn't eat meat experienced 12 percent fewer deaths. Non-meat eaters fared especially better when it came to heart disease -- 19 percent less likely to die than meat-eaters -- and they also avoided kidney failure and diabetes.

Interestingly, though, vegetarians were just as likely to get cancer, and men were more protected by vegetarianism than women were.

Still, color me unimpressed. Vegetarians can take their slightly better longevity filled with years of eating beans and tofu. I'll keep my organic chicken burrito bowls and grass-fed steaks, thankyouverymuch.

Trust me, it has nothing to do with feeling superior as a meat-eater!  Believe me, I've tried to go veg. But I'm a strong believer that everyone's dietary needs are different, and being a vegetarian doesn't suit me personally. I wouldn't be happy or satisfied or feel as vital without meat.

More from The Stir: Confessions of a 'Semi-Vegetarian': How I Learned to Like Red Meat

And I know there are other people in the same boat who will live full, healthy lives. Which leads me to wondering why researchers can't admit there's no black and white answer when it comes to vegetarian vs. carnivore. My educated guess would be that ultimately, longevity doesn't really boil down to being one or the other. It has to do with eating healthfully overall!

Do you believe being a vegetarian has superior health benefits to eating meat?

vegetarian, eating healthy, general health


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LadyM... LadyMinni

Vegetarians may live longer, but I'll live happier.

With severe allergies to tree nuts, including coconut, my doctor actually advised me against going vegetarian. She said I probably wouldn't be able to keep up enough protein, being unable to eat half of what keeps vegetarians alive. Obviously I will live longer as an omnivore.

Victo... Victoria0785

They probably only live longer because they also live healthier. I don't know know any vegetarians that smoke or drink a lot. They're usually (the ones I know) more "hippieish" meaning they ride bikes instead of drive when possible, they garden and eat their own home grown food vs commercially grown processed food. I'm a meat eater but strive to eat as clean as possible, try to avoid fast food or processed foods, which I feel shorten your life span. My own doctor has rolled his eyes at me when I've asked if going veggie was really that much better. He said just avoid the crap and I'll be fine.

1is20... 1is202rteens

I don't think this article is right at all.  If you see all the people who live into their hundreds they have all said they eat meat and drink alcohol.  The woman who just turned 105 this year and was on Leno stated she eats bacon everyday.  It is more about portions, variety, and exercise to live a long healthy life.  FYI, my great grandparents lived into their 90's, my grandparents are all in their 90's now and all ate meat!!


nonmember avatar Anonymous

Honestly, I would like to know what *kind* of meat-eaters and vegetarians they are comparing. Are they talking about people that grab a big Mac for lunch, or people who focus on eating organic, low fat meats with plenty of vegetables? Also, were the vegetarians strict, or were they eating pastries and other carb-heavy foods? I think that there are a lot of generalities in this article, which may mean there were generalities in the report. I think that you can be healthy either way. I am not vegetarian, but eat my weight in vegetables every day. I also focus mainly on chicken and turkey breasts (organic) and also eat a healthy portion of egg whites, black beans, etc., as well as a lot of fish. I think that if you do vegetarianism right, it is definitely healthy. As to whether it would be "as" or "more" healthy than someone who eats "clean" as a meat-eater, I would have to see more scientific evidence to that effect.

EarlG... EarlGrayHot

A vegetarian has to try harder to make sure he/she gets enough protein whereas a meat eater has to try harder to get protein without all the attendant fat.  There are different problems.  I have very little meat these days and get along fine with the wonderful veggie meals our local restaurants sever and what I fix.  I do think eating vegetarian helps me avoid the diseases inherent in eating meat.

Freela Freela

I'm a vegetarian. That being said, I think that there is more to be said for healthy eating than simply omitting meat. You can eat meat and have a healthy diet. You can be a vegatarian and not have a healthy diet. It's not an either/or. Ultimately people need to make their own decisions according to their conscience, beliefs, and dietary circumstances/needs.

nonmember avatar V

The point about cancer is a interesting one.. Since the China Study By T. Colin Campbell has come out.. it's interesting that he links the growth of cancer to consumption of any animal protein. He took mice and gave them animal protein and watch the growth of cancer, however when he took away the animal protein, the cancer growth stopped and even reversed. There might be more to eating vegan versus vegetarian. However, everyone knows their own bodies. I agree that everyone's dietary needs are different. That being said, if they found cancer on my body, you bet I'd be a strict vegan overnight!

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