Re: “It’s the amount of meat that counts”, Have Your Say, January 17.
Indeed it is, and a zero amount of meat is damaging to health. In contrast to the highly selective and comparative “studies” that Eric Bahrt relies upon, let’s look at an Austrian analysis of homogeneous European health data. It conclusively shows that, within a single population, vegetarians are prone to more sickness than their meat-eating counterparts. The Graz Medical University study found that vegetarians have twice as many allergies as meat-eaters (30.6 per cent versus 16.7), massively higher cancer rates (4.8 versus 1.8), and a higher rate of heart attacks (1.5 versus 0.6).
Of the 18 chronic illnesses studied, vegetarians suffered worst in 14 of them. The Graz findings are supported by a survey of workers in Britain last year, which found that vegetarians took twice as many sick days as meat eaters and visited their doctor four times more often during the flu season.
Most telling of all, the incidence of mental illness is almost double for vegetarians (9.4 per cent versus 4.8). Perhaps this explains Bahrt’s humour deficit? Could it be why Diane Cornelius (“eating vegan is a great source of celebration”) chose to “celebrate” the holiday season by writing yet more furious diatribes to The Nation? I recommend a month of sausages for Barht, Cornelius and Jenny Moxham – their health will improve, and if so, “Have Your Say” will be a more joyous place.