The title for this post was taken from this humorous (but fact based) website: Vegetarians Are Evil.
While the website is a bit over the top, with articles like "Evil Vegetarians in History," the basic facts are pretty well documented.
I've gotten into plenty of arguments with vegans and vegetarians over the years about what is or is not a "healthy" diet.
I got into a protracted debate in the comment section with a few vegans at self-proclaimed libertarian (though she voted for Obama...go figure) Megan McCardle's blog, Asymmetrical Information.
In response to one of the vegan's, I wrote the following to once and for all settle the debate. My last post was a thread killer - seems to me all of the vegans and veg-heads couldn't respond at all. Here's what I wrote:
Everyone is entitled to make their own food choices.
Everyone is free to proselytize their lifestyle choices to try to convince others to follow them.
Please recognize that the human body has evolved or was created (whichever you believe) to be OMNIVOROUS.
Physiologically, our dental structure has incisors designed specifically for tearing flesh. We also have stomachs that produce hydrochloric acid.
These are physiological traits that are ONLY found in omnivorous and carnivorous species on the planet. Therefore, it requires no morality judgment or contention to say that consuming animal protein is quite natural and healthy, provided the source animals are natural and healthy.
Therefore, whether you believe in a religion based on the worship of an Omnipotent Deity or Deities as your source for moral principles, or if you are a Darwinist evolutionary atheist/agnostic/humanist, understand that you were designed to eat, digest and live off of animal protein. The physiological facts are indisputable.
Equating animals to humans or the predation of prey species as some kind of moral question is UNNATURAL.
Even if you cannot bear the idea of an animal dying to promote your own subsistence, there are still plenty of means of obtaining the vital animal protein's YOUR OMNIVOROUS BODY REQUIRES - humanely raised, free range organic chicken's allowed to eat their natural, omnivorous diet provide high quality eggs full of protein and essential fatty acids. Milk and milk fat produce derived from free range, pastured cows NOT PASTEURIZED, also provide a whole range of beneficial food products that your body will thrive on. And neither require cruelty or "exploitation." In fact, both sources require excellent husbandry of these animals to provide the highest quality foods that promote health and vitality.
On the question of environmentalism - the modern large scale industrial methods of producing meat and produce are harmful to the environment, inhumane to the animals, and provide substandard and even harmful "food."
Cows were not meant to be confined to feed lots, wallowing in their own offal and eating grains. They were designed/evolved to eat grass on pasture land - in which they exist in perfect symbiosis with their natural environment. They're eating the food they were designed/evolved to, and their offal fertilizes the land they just grazed, promoting new growth of the grass they just consumed. Also, naturally pastured cows provide milk and meat with high levels of Vitamin D, Conjugated Linoleic Acids and Omega-3 fatty acids...as well as Vitamin B12 - the one Vitamin your body absolutely needs, but cannot obtain through strict vegetarian diets.
Vegans and Vegetarians will often point to the produce of the Big Corporation Meat Production industries, their environmentally degrading feedlots and unhealthy reliance on preservatives and chemicals to extend shelf life and maximize profits as an indictment of all carnivorous dietary practices. This is akin to saying one should avoid eating all Spinach, simply because some unethical farmers spray neuro-toxic pesticides and use cholera-infected human feces as fertilizer on their Spinach crops.
There is a huge distinction in health and environmental benefits/detriments when discussing ANY food production techniques. But to say one's entire diet should be based on avoiding an entire class of food simply because SOME sources of that food are produced in an inferior and harmful manner is to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.
Another physiological point of consideration is the bodies requirement of proteins and fats. Vegans and Vegetarians think plant based substitutes are adequate and/or superior to animal sources of proteins and fats. Soy is the most popular (note Megan's suggestion to add Tofu as a protein source.)
What they often do not know is that Soy for the most part is full of estrogenic isoflavones that upset the bodies hormonal balance and can lead to a whole host of health problems.
This site, Soy Online Service offers a very comprehensive but easy to understand explanation to back up what I just claimed about Soy. There are plenty of other sites dedicated to the health dangers of Soy foods. Google it yourself.
Finally, many vegans and vegetarians are under the mistaken assumption that avoiding animal derived foods is the healthiest diet possible. But even the modern feed lot, preservative laden denatured animal products are healthier for you than the primary culprits of the modern, industrial societies degenerative diseases that are found in abundance in the typical Western societies diets - simple carbohydrates (refined grain products & sugar), trans-fats, chemical preservatives and taste enhancers and the proliferation of vegetable oils that oxidize easily and upset the optimal ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Veganism and Vegetarianism is based on emotional appeals (how you FEEL about the animals treatment) rather than an objective look at the scientific facts.
It relies on propaganda and scare tactics to try and convert people into adopting their own dietary practices...because anyone that truly and objectively researches the facts of the matter will come to realize that veganism is not a natural or health-optimizing diet.