Grass is greener

Published: Wednesday 15 May 1996

"Mad cows aside, why cat meat at all?" is the question being posed by some today. The disease has managed to reopen the familiar debate on the advantages and the wisdom of adopting vegetarianism. Mad cows seem to have instilled a fear in some flesh - eaters regarding the possible occurrence of brain damage caused by the consumption of infected beef. Keepers of beef culture in the US are trying hard to allay unsubstantiated fears like the one above arid encouraging America's steak and hamburger lovers to continue chomping away, But such morale boosting contrasts sharply with the mountains of statistics available on the health care costs of meat-eating.

Heart disease, cancer and hypertension, apart from a host of other ailments, have been directly associated with flesh-eating habits. John A McDougall, the author of 'McDougall's Heart Medicine: Never Have a Heart Attack Again, says, "We have conic to accept cardiovascular disease as a natural consequence of living." From the point of view of the history of human diet, McDougall declares that "The American diet is the anomaly. But for many doctors, reaching out to the American public effectively would prove a formidable task, given the financial and propagandist power of the meat and cattle industry.

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