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Protein - Myths and Legends

"In my opinion, this article is one of the most important ones we have on our website. It was originally issued as a Newsletter over a year ago. The research and writing of it was done for HFR by Larry Spencer. Subsequently, it was used as part of a book titled, 'The OZ Factors' "

PROTEIN: Fact & Fiction

"Never have so many been so confused over a subject about which they know so little."

The word "protein" is derived from the Greek language and means "of primary importance". Amino Acids, the component parts of protein, are the biochemical basis for life and are required by every cell. The immune system’s antibodies are protein. Endocrine hormones are protein. The cement that holds our cells together is made of protein.


What do the following World Champion athletes all have in common, besides strength and endurance? They must be big meat eaters, right?

Henry Aaron – All Time Baseball Home Run Champion
Dave Scott - 6-time winner of the Ironman Triathlon (the only man to win it more than twice!)
Sixto Linares - World Record holder in the 24-hour Triathlon
Paavo Nurmi - 20 World Records and 9 Olympic Medals in distance running
Stan Price - World Record holder in the Bench Press
Andreas Cahling - Mr. International Body Building Champion
Roy Hilligan - Mr. America Body Building Champion
Ridgely Abele - 8-Time National Champion in Karate

All of these athletes are VEGETARIANS! There are many, many more top athletes who have discovered that eating meat decreases strength and stamina.

The strongest animals on Earth are also vegetarians: Elephants, oxen, horses, mules, camels, water buffalo, etc. The Silverback Gorilla is 3-times the size of a man and is 30-times stronger! A Silverback Gorilla is so strong it could throw a 200-pound man across the street like a Frisbee! What does a gorilla eat? Raw fruit and vegetables.

John Robbins, in his book, Diet for a New America, reports that " after study has found that protein combustion is no higher during exercise than under resting conditions."

The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1978 warns athletes (and non-athletes) against taking protein supplements, stating "Athletes need the same amount of protein foods as non-athletes. Protein does not increase strength. Indeed, it often takes greater energy to digest and metabolize the excess protein."

It has been known for decades that populations consuming high-protein, meat-based diets have higher cancer rates and lower life-spans (averaging as low as 30 to 40 years), compared to cultures subsisting on low-protein vegetarian diets. Some of these have life spans of more than 90 years.

Dr. Alexander Leaf published the findings of his research about the oldest people in the world in the January, 1973 edition of National Geographic Magazine. He found that the three most consistently disease-free and long-lived people on Earth are the Abkhazians of Russia, the Vilacabambans of Ecuador and the Hunzukuts of Pakistan. None of these peoples suffer from Western diseases: NO obesity, NO cancer, NO heart disease! On the average these people live to be over 100 years old. The men are physically active and still fathering children at 100 years of age.

The diet of all of these people consists of 70-80 percent high-water-content foods such as raw, uncooked fruits and vegetables. These people eat very little or no animal products.

Meat protein is the most difficult food for the body to digest. The average time for food (other than fruit) to pass through the entire gastrointestinal tract is between 25 and 30 hours. When meat is eaten, that time is more than doubled!

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, in September, 1982 states, "undigested protein must be eliminated by the kidneys. This unnecessary work stresses out the kidneys so much that gradually lesions are developed and tissues begin to harden."

In the colon, this excess protein waste putrefies into toxic substances, some of which are absorbed in the bloodstream. The University of Illinois Medical School reports that "A high protein diet also breaks down the pancreas and lowers resistance to cancer as well as contributes to the development of diabetes."

Human mother’s milk contains no more than 5% protein. This is enough protein to enable an infant to double it’s weight and size during the first 6 months of life! After that, the need for protein DECREASES. Independent researchers around the world agree that the human need for protein each day is only 25 - 35 GRAMS. (about 1 ounce). Many nutritionists feel that only 20 grams a day are more than enough. Meanwhile, the AVERAGE AMERICAN eats more than 100 GRAMS of protean a day - 5 times the actual need!

Reports in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition say that people do not need to consume more than 2.5% of their daily calorie intake from protein. Even the World Health Organization says people do not need more than 4.5% calories from protein.

So how many calories are provided from protein in common raw fruits and vegetables?

  • SPINACH = 49%
  • BROCCOLI = 45%
  • LETTUCE = 34%
  • PEAS = 30%
  • GREEN BEANS = 26%
  • CUCUMBERS = 24%
  • CELERY = 21%
  • POTATOES = 11%
  • ORANGES = 8%
  • PEACHES = 6%
  • PEARS = 5%
  • BANANAS = 5%


Since our bodies recycle 70% of the protein waste, we lose only about 23 grams of protein a day. To replenish this lost protein, your body needs only about 1.5 pounds of protein a month! So, why do we think we must eat huge amounts of meat to be healthy? Advertising. The meat and dairy industries spend vast sums of money in television and magazine advertising every year to convince Americans that we must eat huge amounts of cow meat, cheese, milk, eggs, chicken and other assorted animal products.

What’s the truth about meat as a source of protein? The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council states, "One of the biggest fallacies ever perpetuated is that there is any need for so-called ‘complete protein’."

That fact is that protein is composed of amino acids. Amino acids are literally the building blocks of the human body. There are a total of 23 amino acids needed by the body, of which 15 of these our bodies manufacture in the liver -- provided the liver is in good working order. The other 8 amino acids must come from food so the body can build a complete protein.


The idea that we must eat meat to supply protein for our bodies is a lie. Factually, our bodies CAN NOT assimilate the protein found in meat or any other food. The food must be digested and broken down into amino acids. The liver re-forms the amino acids into useable protein for our bodies. Every one of the amino acids our body requires is found in raw fruits and vegetables!

Furthermore, when meat is cooked the amino acids in the meat are coagulated or destroyed. Meat releases large amounts of uric acid into our bodies when eaten. Uric acid is toxic to the human body. The human body does not even have the enzyme "uricase" to break down uric acid!

In order for humans to get any nutritional value from meat it would have to be eaten raw, like the carnivores. However, carnivorous animals, who can live on raw meat, have very little in common with humans.

Here is a list of physiological differences between Man and Carnivore:

  • Carnivore: long, sharp, pointed teeth for ripping and chewing flesh. Jaw moves up and down ONLY for tearing and biting.
  • Human: Have molars for crushing and grinding and jaws that move side to side for eating vegetation.
  • Carnivore: Saliva is acid for digesting animal protein.
  • Human: Saliva is alkaline and contains ptyalin for digestion of starch.
  • Carnivore: Stomach is a simple round sack that secretes 10 times more hydrochloric acid than humans.
  • Human: Stomach is oblong, complex and convoluted with a duodenum, the tube that leads to the small intestine.
  • Carnivore: Intestines are 3 times the length of the trunk, designed for rapid expulsion of meat, which rots quickly.
  • Human: Intestines are 12 times the length of our trunks, designed to keep food until all nutrients are extracted.
  • Carnivore: Liver will eliminate 10 - 15 times more uric acid than the human liver.
  • Human: Liver produces no "uricase" enzyme to eliminate uric acid.
  • Carnivore: Do not sweat through their skin and have no pores.
  • Human: Sweat through the skin to eliminate wastes.
  • Carnivore: Urine is acid.
  • Human: Urine is alkaline.
  • Carnivore: Tongue is rough for licking blood and flesh.
  • Human: Tongue is smooth.


According the John Robbins, in his video, "Diet For A New America", the average American meat eater pours 100 pounds of ANIMAL FAT into his veins and arteries EVERY YEAR! The Average American during his or her lifetime will chew up and swallow approximately, 12 entire 3,000 pound COWS, 6 WHOLE PIGS, 3,000 CHICKENS, 3,000 FISH and 30,000 quarts of MILK, not to mention all the other meat and dairy products and by-products.

The average American is 25 lb. overweight, has high cholesterol (average level is 200) and will have high blood pressure. Consequently, the leading cause of death in the US is heart disease and stroke. Nearly ONE HALF of all deaths in the US are caused by heart disease! In addition, another 20 percent, which amounts to 500,000 Americans, die of Cancer every year! This number is increasing.

According to Dr. Matthias Rath, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Unit at Linus Pauling Institute, HEART DISEASE, STROKES, CANCERS, DIABETES, LIVER DISEASE and ARTERIAL SCLEROSIS CAUSE 70 PERCENT OF ALL DEATHS IN THE United States EVERY YEAR!

In addition, excessive protein consumption is directly responsible for osteoporosis, teeth and gum disease, high cholesterol, acidosis, constipation, kidney infections and weakness, liver disease, water retention, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, allergies, hypertension and weak immune system, to name a few.

(Reference: " The PRO Vita Plan" by Jack Tips, ND, Ph.D., 1996 Edition.)

TOXINS FOUND IN ANIMAL FOODS ARE 100 TIMES MORE CONCENTRATED that those found in fruits and vegetables. Raw egg white and rattlesnake venom are, chemically, virtually the same. Proteins that putrefy in the colon cause most of the diseases, such as cancer, and other ailments, such as headaches, affecting people today. The toxic burden to the body caused by excessive protein consumption creates the "garbage" which disease viruses and bacteria feed on. Improperly digested protein poisons the lymphatic system, the bloodstream and the vital organs.

The chemicals given to commercially raised animals destined for slaughter are highly dangerous. These include, but are not limited to: penicillin, tetracycline, sewage-sludge which has been "decontaminated" with cesium-137, radioactive nuclear waste and fattening agents. Cattle are often fed hundreds of pounds of CEMENT DUST to increase their weight before going to the slaughter house. Once the cow has been killed, the carcass is dipped in sodium sulfite to kill the stench of decay and turn the meat red instead of the gray of dead flesh. American eat more than 300 million dead cows which have been handled like this every year! (Ref.: Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, "Fit for Life", 1985)

The inhumane atrocities of commercial meat production combined with the tremendous abuse and waste of our shrinking land and water resources are thoroughly documented by John Robbins in his video film and book entitled "Diet for a New America".


If one conceives animals to be stupid, dirty and brutish, it may help to ease the moral burden of killing and eating them. Pigs, along with other food animals, are highly intelligent. Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University has taught pigs to understand complex relationships between actions and objects in order to play video games. Pigs have been proven to be focused, creative, innovative and equal in intelligence to chimpanzees.

Food animals are butchered by the millions. Often they are skinned, boiled and butchered alive! Yet, if we are to eliminate the consumption of meat entirely, the food resources of the world would be sufficient to feed 10 billion people in 1998. On the average, it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce only one pound of beef, 6 pounds of grain to produce one pound of pork, 3 pounds of grain to produce one pound of chicken and 5.3 pounds of fish meal to produce one pound of farmed fish. The same grain can be consumed directly by humans.

The destruction of our environment caused by livestock production is a vast expense which is not calculated into the price you pay for a pound of flesh at the grocery store.

For example, the huge amounts of grain and grassland which are used to sustain the world population of 1.3 Billion beef cattle. The combined weight of domesticated cattle on Earth is more than that of all the people! Around the world, 60 percent of pasture land is overgrazed -- the leading cause of soil destruction and desertification. About 90 percent of US cropland is losing soil to wind and water erosion at 13 times the sustainable rate. Cattle disrupt ecosystems over half the world’s land mass. To add to this suicide trend, the US government subsidizes cattle ranchers on public lands with $500 million each year!

The so-called Environmental Protection agency decided that agriculture is exempt for the Clean Water Act in the US even though 60 percent of our rivers and streams are considered "impaired" due to agricultural water wastes. Hogs, for example, excrete an amazing 32 time their own weight in feces and urine every year. In central California, 1,600 dairies produce feces and urine of a city of 21 million people. Incredibly, five TONS of solid manure is produced by food livestock annually for every US citizen. That’s 130 times more waste than is produced by people! This waste is dumped into or is seeping through the soil into our fresh water supply.

There are 1.2 billion people in the world whose daily income is less than $1.00 a day. They spend 70 percent of their income on food, yet increasing grain prices due to competition with livestock is causing increased starvation globally. Ironically, in 1991, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine came out with the "New Four Food Groups": they are, Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains and Legumes (beans & peas). Meat and dairy are termed "optional" and not considered necessary for good health.

A further insult to our intelligence, or lack of it, as regards eating meat, has been revealed by the most extensive study of diet and lifestyles ever made, called the China Project. The study found that the eating of animal protein is linked to chronic disease! (source: "101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian" - 1998 Edition, by Pamela Rice)

The inhumane atrocities of commercial meat production combined with the tremendous abuse and waste of our shrinking land and water resources are thoroughly documented by John Robbins in his video film and book, entitled, "Diet for a New America".


You may remember a science fiction movie starring Charleton Heston called "Soylent Green". In the movie the character played by Heston discovers that the green pellets being served to people as food each day were made from the recycled remains of dead human bodies, making everyone into unwitting cannibals! We may be only one step away from that reality.

Today, public relation campaigns and catchy slogans notwithstanding, we have a new food chain, which goes something like this: For reasons of efficiency and economics, many cattlemen feed their animals anything. Repeat: anything.

Environmental reporters, Satchell and Hedges, tell us: "Agricultural refuse such as corncobs, rice hulls, fruit and vegetable peelings, along with grain byproducts from retail production of baked goods, cereals, and beer, have long been used to fatten cattle."

The authors continued, "In addition, some 40 billion pounds a year of slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone, and viscera, as well as the remains of millions of euthanized cats and dogs passed along by veterinarians and animal shelters, are rendered annually into livestock feed - in the process turning cattle and hogs, which are natural herbivores, into unwitting carnivores."

Many of America's once proud cattlemen have not only turned herbivores into carnivores, but they've also turned their cows into cannibals!

Let's look at an article entitled "The Dark Side of Recycling" from the Fall, 1990, Earth Island Journal to learn about dead animal "rendering plants":

"The rendering plant floor is piled high with 'raw product': thousands of dead dogs and cats; heads and hooves from cattle, sheep, pigs and horses; whole skunks; rats and raccoons - all waiting to be processed. In the 90-degree heat, the piles of dead animals seem to have a life of their own as millions of maggots swarm over the carcasses.

"Two bandanna-masked men begin operating Bobcat mini-dozers, loading the 'raw' into a 10-foot-deep stainless-steel pit. They are undocumented workers from Mexico, doing a dirty job. A giant auger-grinder at the bottom of the pit begins to turn. Popping bones and squeezing flesh are sounds from a nightmare you will never forget.

"Rendering is the process of cooking raw animal material to remove the moisture and fat. The rendering plant works like a giant kitchen. The cooker, or 'chef,' blends the raw product in order to maintain a certain ratio between the carcasses of pets, livestock, poultry waste and supermarket rejects.

"Once the mass is cut into small pieces, it is transported to another auger for fine shredding. It is then cooked at 280 degrees for one hour. The continuous batch cooking process goes on non-stop 24 hours a day, seven days a week as meat is melted away from bones in the hot 'soup.' During this cooking process, the soup produces a fat of yellow grease or tallow that rises to the top and is skimmed off. The cooked meat and bone are sent to a hammer mill press, which squeezes out the remaining moisture and pulverizes the product into a gritty powder. Shaker screens sift out excess hair and large bone chips. Once the batch is finished, all that is left is yellow grease, meal and bone meal.

"As the American Journal of Veterinary Research explains, this recycled meat and bone meal is used as 'a source of protein and other nutrients in the diets of poultry and swine and in pet foods, with lesser amounts used in the feed of cattle and sheep. Animal fat is also used in animal feeds as an energy source.' Every day, hundreds of rendering plants across the United States truck millions of tons of this 'food enhancer' to poultry ranches, cattle feed-lots, dairy and hog farms, fish-feed plants and pet-food manufacturers where it is mixed with other ingredients to feed the billions of animals that meat-eating humans, in turn, will eat.

"Rendering plants have different specialties. The labeling designation of a particular 'run' of product is defined by the predominance of a specific animal. Some product-label names are: meat meal, meat by-products, poultry meal, poultry by-products, fish meal, fish oil, yellow grease, tallow, beef fat and chicken fat.
"Rendering plants perform one of the most valuable functions on Earth: they recycle used animals. Without rendering, our cities would run the risk of becoming filled with diseased and rotting carcasses. Fatal viruses and bacteria would spread uncontrolled through the population.

"Death is the number one commodity in a business where the demand for feed ingredients far exceeds the supply of raw product. But this elaborate system of food production through waste management has evolved into a recycling nightmare. Rendering plants are unavoidably processing toxic waste.

"The dead animals (the 'raw') are accompanied by a whole menu of unwanted ingredients. Pesticides enter the rendering process via poisoned livestock, and fish oil laced with bootleg DDT and other organophosphates that have accumulated in the bodies of West Coast mackerel and tuna.

"Because animals are frequently shoved into the pit with flea collars still attached organophosphate-containing insecticides get into the mix as well. The insecticide Dursban arrives in the form of cattle insecticide patches. Pharmaceuticals leak from antibiotics in livestock, and euthanasia drugs given to pets are also included. Heavy metals accumulate from a variety of sources: pet ID tags, surgical pins and needles.

"Even plastic winds up going into the pit. Unsold supermarket meats, chicken and fish arrive in styrofoam trays and shrink wrap. No one has time for the tedious chore of unwrapping thousands of rejected meat-packs. More plastic is added to the pits with the arrival of cattle ID tags, plastic insecticide patches and the green plastic bags containing pets from veterinarians.

"Skyrocketing labor costs are one of the economic factors forcing the corporate flesh-peddlers to cheat. It is far too costly for plant personnel to cut off flea collars or unwrap spoiled T-bone steaks. Every week, millions of packages of plastic-wrapped meat go through the rendering process and become one of the unwanted ingredients in animal feed.

"Rendering plants have become a silent partner in our food chain. Do you wonder how much rendered flesh gets fed to the animals that people will eventually eat? A 1991 USDA report states that "approximately 7.9 billion pounds of meat and bone meal, blood meal and feather meal [were] produced in 1983." Of that amount, 34 percent was used in pet food, 34 percent in poultry feed, 20 percent in pig food and ten percent in beef and dairy cattle feed. Scientific American cites a dramatic rise in the use of animal protein in commercial dairy feed since 1987.
Let's just consider possible health reasons for not feeding rendered remains to the animals that eventually become human fare.

"In 1990, the USDA and FDA convened a committee dominated by the cattle, dairy, sheep, and rendering industries. They launched a 'voluntary ban' on feeding rendered cows to cows. This was simply a PR maneuver. A similar voluntary ban failed miserably in Britain. The feeding of ruminant protein to cows continues at a rate of millions of pounds per day.

One final indignity. The cattle that so many folks eat every day not only fatten on the flesh of their fellows, but they also feed on the manure of other species. Feast your eyes on this information from the U.S. News and World Report: "Chicken manure in particular, which costs from $15 to $45 a ton in comparison with up to $125 a ton for alfalfa, is increasingly used as feed by cattle farmers despite possible health risks to consumers... more and more farmers are turning to chicken manure as a cheaper alternative to grains and hay."

The same story quotes farmer Lamar Carter, who feeds to his 800 head of cattle a witches' brew of soybean bran and chicken manure: "My cows are as fat as butterballs. If I didn't have chicken litter, I'd have to sell half my herd. Other feed's too expensive."

Reporters Satchell and Hedges indicate: "Chicken manure often contains campylobacter and salmonella bacteria, which can cause disease in humans, as well as intestinal parasites, veterinary drug residues, and toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. These bacteria and toxins are passed on to the cattle and can be cycled to humans who eat beef contaminated by feces during slaughter."

"Animal-feed manufacturers and farmers also have begun using or trying out dehydrated food garbage, fats emptied from restaurant fryers and grease traps, cement-kiln dust, even newsprint and cardboard that are derived from plant cellulose. Researchers in addition have experimented with cattle and hog manure, and human sewage sludge. New feed additives are being introduced so fast, says Daniel McChesney, head of animal-feed safety for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that the government cannot keep pace with new regulations to cover them." (Hallelujah Acres Online Opinion No. 6 - September 11, 1997 "From Cow to Cannibal...Beef! It's What's for Dinner. Or is It?" by Chet Day)

Cattle and hog manure and human sewage sludge are among the possible foods for the animals eaten by human beings.

Cattle are often fed hundreds of pounds of CEMENT DUST to increase their weight before going to the slaughter house. Once the cow has been killed, the carcass is dipped in sodium sulfite to kill the stench of decay and turn the meat red instead of the gray of dead flesh. American eat more than 300 million dead cows which have been handled like this every year! (Ref.: Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, "Fit for Life", 1985).


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