I had so enjoyed many of Dr. Oz's segments on his TV show until last week. I thought he believed in many of my thoughts regarding good health, and so was stunned when he told his audience that we do need to eat meat at least once a week for some sort of benefit. I don't even remember what that benefit was because I was so dumbfounded with this statement, which for me, lacks solid evidence. I believe that we vegans/ vegetarians don't need to eat meat. In fact, doctors like Dr. Ornish have cured people with serious heart conditions with a vegetarian diet.
Contacting Dr. Oz on the internet re my difference of opinion on this matter proved a waste of time. At his site there were certain categories which would open up a comment box. The only one which seemed to allow me access was - "Your success story." And, for me, indeed this category was apropo. I wrote something like: "I am so disappointed in your show's segment where you say that it is necessary for all of us to eat meat at least once a week. This doesn't make much sense- giving that we vegans/vegetarians are basically healthier than meat eaters and many of us have been in this lifestyle for years.
At least, I believe this to be true of most of us- including this 80 year-old vegan who does not use prescription drugs and who seems to be healthy and well. I have eaten no meat since 1978 and no dairy or eggs since 1983. I shop for my 7 cats, 1 dog, 1 bunny, and the many sparrows, starlings, and pigeons who come to my yard each day for bird seed and the peanutbutter/veggie oil-covered torn bread pieces I prepare for them the night before."
There wasn't room for more but I could have added that these purchases require me to many times during the year carry into my house 25 pound bags of cat food, 25 pound bags of litter or wood shavings, 25 pound bags of bird seed, and numerous cases of canned cat food. Once a month I get 50 loaves of bird bread which I have to lug up to my upstairs frig in the summer. In the winter I am able to just put the bags in the spare garage. When was the last time you saw an 80 year- old woman do all of this? I also engage in some shoveling of snow in the winter time. In fact, my shovel-wide paths are sometimes the only ones I can see looking down the street. And in the sumertime, I mow my grass, trim my privit and rose bushes. I believe this energy comes from observing a vegan diet.
In fairness, I went to the internet for more information and was surprised to read posts like "Vegan no more." This particular post said that while she enjoyed the many comments some of them made re changes in eating, some of the posts were threatening to her and her family. I was appalled. We should never stoop so low because of the eating lifestyle which differs from our own.
I even read a while back that Paul Orbis whose brain child was the Vegetarian Times is no longer a vegetarian! Disappointing, but I am grateful to him for a magazine which could be read by those embracing this lifestyle. The person who said that she was a vegan no more said her doctor told her that she was lacking in some needed nutritional elements. Whether her food choices had been poor as a vegan, whether she had not used supplements available to her - I don't know, but I would never taunt her re her new lifestyle.
Some people will say that ours is an unnatural lifestyle. To that I always go back to Genesis where God said that He made seeds and grain for man and animals to eat. If you don't adhere to Biblical teachings this, of course, is meaningless to you. But I do, even though at the end of Genesis and after the flood, God does allow the eating of meat. So I guess the choice is ours.
There are other pluses besides health in being vegetarian/vegan. Professor Eshel at the University of Chicago said that environmentally, vegetarians have a smaller carbon footprint since animals expulse methane gas into the air. I do know that vegetarians also save more water and grain which is needed in great abundance for the animals. And, lastly, I do know that we are not responsible for the horrible cafos where today the animals are crated or caged, can't mix with their own, and can never enjoy fresh air or sunshine again. I truly cannot understand how we are allowing our animals to suffer so.
I am so grateful to know that there are other doctors who don't agree with Dr. Oz in this regard. To name a few who come to mind: Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. John McDougall, and Dr. Neal Barnard. Now instead of making time for Dr. Oz at 10, I can go to their books and/or internet sites for any information that I may need..