I compared meat to tobacco as a killer, but to be fair, in one way alone tobacco outshines meat as an evil: it is physically addictive. As we all know, tobacco companies have a history of trying to target their ads to teenagers in the frequently fulfilled hope that these young people will be in their thrall for the rest of their lives. Meat, by contrast, is in no way physically addictive. Eating it is merely a habit, one that people are socially conditioned to believe is normal, even healthy. Whether you choose to phase meat out of your diet slowly, over time, or to stop on a dime and become a vegetarian overnight, you won't suffer any real symptoms of “withdrawal.” But you probably will feel more energy, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.
Ch. 2: The Simple Facts, pp. 40-41
And suddenly the circle came together for me. We were as a civilization making one big mistake, a mistake that was understandable because we had been raised to make it. We had been culturally indoctrinated to believe it to be not a mistake at all, but rather a normal and healthy habit. But this mistake was killing us as individuals just as it was destroying our land and our forests and our rivers. We were eating dead animals, and it wasn't working. If those animals had set out to take their revenge on us, they couldn't have done a better job.
Ch. 4: From the Farm to the Capital, pp. 80-81
Within a year of eating no meat, my health problems all started to go away. Not only did I feel better physically, but I felt better knowing that there was one answer to many of the different ills afflicting both ourselves and our environment. Everything revolved around the fork.
Ch. 4: From the Farm to the Capital, p. 81
Humanity is rich in folly, but it's hard to think of a folly more mind-bogglingly stupendous than that of transforming infinitely rich, diverse, dense jungle into desert in a few years' time for the sake of a few more hamburgers.
Ch. 7: Bovine Planet, p. 149
The question we must ask ourselves as a culture is whether we want to embrace the change that must come, or resist it. Are we so attached to the dietary fallacies with which we were raised, so afraid to counter the arbitrary laws of eating taught to us in childhood by our misinformed parents, that we cannot alter the course they set us on, even if it leads to our own ruin? Does the prospect of standing apart or encountering ridicule scare us even from saving ourselves?
Dementia is not a natural condition that we should expect to “grow into” at any age. Like heart disease, dementia has acquired a patina of normalcy only because so many of those around us succumb to it. But I believe that, like heart disease, it is a distinctly abnormal condition brought about by an abnormal diet.
Ch. 4: Alzheifer's Disease?, p. 56
To state the obvious: vegetarians live longer than meat eaters simply and solely because we do not consume the filthy, fatty, disease-ridden, decaying flesh of animals.
Ch. 5: Message for My Meat-Eating Friends, p. 61
Vegetarians and vegans are not morally superior to everyone else. We're simply healthier, and a hell of a lot better for the environment around us. Of course, just because we're not morally superior doesn't mean we're not on the side of the angels. I believe we are. After all, we're practitioners of a diet that's better for people, better for animals, and better for the environment.
Ch. 5: Message for My Meat-Eating Friends, p. 78
For those who are still merely vegetarian and not yet vegan, I ask, what in heaven's name are you waiting for? If you are trying to avoid the health pitfalls of eating carcasses—high fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol content; lack of fiber; deficiency of vitamins and enzymes; abundance of stored toxins—well, then take a good look at the dairy you're eating. Dairy is basically liquid meat without the iron. … Milk should be viewed as no more or less than what it is: a delivery system for fat, cholesterol, blood, pus, antibiotics, and carcinogenic growth hormones. … If your reason for abstaining from meat has more to do with an emotional attachment to animals than a concern for your health, then understand that dairy cows are truly sick, miserable, abused creatures … Someone who has become vegetarian for emotional reasons ought to switch to the vegan diet as swiftly and surely as someone brought to vegetarianism for reasons of health.
Ch. 6: Message for My Fellow Vegetarians and Vegans, pp. 79-80