Vegetarians and Vegans Don’t Live Longer, They Just Miss Out on Juicy Steaks

Grilled Wagyu Beef Steak

Are you missing out on Grilled Wagyu Beef Steaks for nothing?
image by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

Did you know that a number of vegetarian and vegan websites promote health benefits of such diets through shoddy research like the one below?

In a research by Seventh Day Adventists published on the The Wall Street Journal here it is claimed that in a period of 6 years a diet study was conducted on 70,000 people. The researchers claim that “male vegetarians have a 12% lower chance of dying than meat-eaters”

However people who actually ate fish and even ate meat occasionally were added to the vegetarian group. When you take the fish-eaters and occasional meat-eaters and put them back to the meat-eating group, there is actually no difference in the life expectancy of vegetarians vs. meat-eaters.

Oh, The Lies!

Vegan vs Vegetarian vs plant based. The Lies

A number of Vegetarian and Vegan websites have some terrifying inaccuracies. image by Pixomar

Some of these vegetarian or vegan promoting websites are on a “noble” mission to save animals from our BBQ grills and ovens and go too far. Jeff Nelson of explains:

“Experts who try to convince their audience that the “vegetarian diet” or the “vegan diet” can produce this or that health benefit, and then cite research on the diet programs of Esselstyn, Pritikin, PCRM or McDougall to back that claim — are doing a disservice to the public (often for noble motives having to do with an animal agenda, but not health).

What you often see from such outlets is a mishmash of “facts” and conclusions that are misleading at best, useless at worst. “

Vegetarian vs. Vegan vs. Plant-Based

The information found on such sites can be misleading but there is nothing much misleading about diet programs like Esselstyn, Pritikin, PCRM or McDougall. However these are plant-based diets which are not the same as vegetarian and vegan diets. Thomas Samaras who has studied longevity and nutrition for about 35 years says:

“Most areas famous for their longevity and high percentage of centenarians follow a plant-based diet. (However, they also eat some animal products as well)”.

So let’s look at the difference:

  • A vegetarian does not eat any kind of animal but will eat products produced by animals such as eggs and dairy.
  • A vegan does not eat animals and also does not eat any animal products.
  • A plant-based dieter may be a vegetarian or vegan or neither. He primarily consumes a whole food plant-based diet which may include a very small amount of meat, fish or eggs.

What Now?

As I said many times, this blog does not propagate the use of certain diets or promote any trends out there. My job is to bring you the information so that you can make the right decision for yourself.

If you had been caught up in the battle between vegan, vegetarian, and meat-lovers (like myself [God, I love meat]) and you have not heard of the benefits of a plant-based diet you might want to take a look at Esselstyn, McDougall, Pritikin and PCRM.

Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below. Thank you!




20 thoughts on “Vegetarians and Vegans Don’t Live Longer, They Just Miss Out on Juicy Steaks

  1. Interesting blog, 03alwi. I just wanted to add though, that when we are talking about traditional plant-based diets, such as the Okinawan diet, it should be pointed out that meat consumption needs to be kept below 1% of the diet. A Wikipedia article on the Okinawan diet says, “Records from the early part of the 20th century show that Okinawans ate less than 1% of their diet from animals products with no dairy.” That means that a traditional plant-based diet restricts meat consumption (not just red meat consumption, but all meats including even fish) to about one serving per month.

    One resource you didn’t mention is probably the best source of nutrition information on the internet, Dr. Greger and his team comb through the latest nutrition studies, and compile the information in brief video segments. Here, for example, is a video on meat consumption:

    Stay healthy.

  2. Interesting posts (and comments). Like you I eat a mostly plant based diet but (though hypocritically I love animals) I can’t manage to give up meat or dairy completely – time and cravings!(I console myself at least its generally a bit more humane here in the UK and try to buy appropriately).
    I suspect common sense and following your bodies lead have a part to play though. I like the fact you are questioning the current “in trends” (going vegan etc.) I saw an interesting article stating that actually vegans are a lot more prone to heart attacks due to a nutritional lack (it was a pro vegan article explaining how to obtain the necessary stuff but it was a seriously big deal to do so.) Sorry I don’t remember the details but it alerted me that its good to maybe have a balance in my eating.
    Thanks for the input.

  3. Pingback: 4 Healthy Reasons You Should Start Smoking or Smoking More | The Zeit
  4. Vegans and all of the offshoots tend to be more health conscious and that’s what makes them healthier people. I stray away from eating meat 97% of the time and only eat read meat a handful of times a year.

    • I eat red meat once every two months or so, fish and chicken and sometimes turkey is what we usually eat. Maybe that is the reason why red meat tastes so good when I do eat it.

  5. Since 2009 after finding out of my illness and undergone operation of my liver and removing my gallstone. meat is out completely. Fish, fruits and vegetables are the best for my health and got a best progress in health. Removing meats in diet, is best anti aging help.

  6. Gee, I’ll miss out on this:

    The consumption of meat and other foods of animal origin is a risk factor for several types of cancer
    Tumors Use Meat to Grow
    Red meat linked to risk of premature death
    Meat is manly? Think again (erectile dysfunction & prostate cancer)
    Diet changes can help protect against prostate cancer

    (Edited: Too many links in your comment)

  7. I like NOT being on a diet. If you read my blog I am trying to break habits, not lose weight. First I broke the sugar habit. (sort of). Then I broke my grocery store habit of cruising every aisle. I broke my potato with every meal habit. I broke my coffee cream and sugar habit. I’m losing weight but it’s as a result of breaking habits.

    Keep up the fine work on this blog!

  8. Pingback: Vegetarians and Vegans Don't Live Longer, They ...
  9. I always feel better when I eat primarily plant foods with a controlled amount of animal proteins. I feel weak and deficient when I eat absolutely no meat. That being said, I think the food industry, and primarily the meat industry sucks for various reasons. The changes required to make it more humane for animals and the environment of course would cost money, and corporate greed is involved, so no such changes seem to be realistic in the immediate future. Folks can always try to source animal products from local, small farms if they want to be more socially and environmentally conscious of their food. I wish I could afford to eat exclusively organic and local animal products but unfortunately it’s super pricey for people in my income bracket.

    • Totally agree! I eat a Pescatarian diet mainly because I prefer seafood & I was raised on a horse & grain farm but surrounded by many other types of farms….meaning all my li’l pals cried & screamed when their ‘charges’ were taken off to be slaughtered annually and sold (1 or 2 of these animals were then packaged & brought home to the freezers for the families to eat; horrific!). The cycle continues generation after generation & I’ve visited a hot dog factory….NO MORE meat for me! My daughter became vegetarian at age 13, when I thought she was old enough to do the research & understand what foods she needed to have the correct nutrition for her own body’s health. Her reasoning was because of her immense love of animals. Today she’s a Zoologist & adores her job educating others at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Luckily, many more fake-meat products are becoming available at restaurants; of course, we make our own ‘creations’ at home and meal-time is fun.

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