- The Washington Times - Friday, October 17, 2008


Wendy’s coined the phrase “Where’s the beef?” in the 1980s. Today, it seems that meat is out, and more expensive soy products and supplements are in. Helped by activist groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who cry “Meat is murder,” they make Americans feel embarrassed to bite into a steak or take a swig of milk.

Health nuts ponder, should I eat meat? It can be fattening and can contain growth hormones that most of us can’t pronounce. Americans could be better off without meat and animal products altogether, right? Well, experts say - a resounding no. Our bodies need meat and animal products, such as dairy, to function.

As animal-rights activists continue to protest the consumption of animal products, more evidence comes forward contradicting their obvious lack of knowledge where the human body is concerned. This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled the required dose of vitamin D needed for children to 400 daily units. The health benefits go unreported by activists. Women with higher levels of vitamin D are more likely to survive breast cancer once diagnosed and treated. Vitamin D helps prevent rickets, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer and lowers mortality risk. The best source of vitamin D for the body comes from whole milk. In fact, human breast milk does not always contain enough vitamin D for developing babies. Try telling that to PETA.

Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, a lifelong vegetarian, now eats meat following a life-threatening plane crash last month. He suffered third-degree burns all over his body and realized: “I need protein from food rather than just protein supplements. I changed my diet,” Mr. Barker said. His doctors told him his body needed actual meat to help heal his wounds and speed recovery. Lean cuts of red meat, chicken and fish provide such necessary nutrients as zinc, protein, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids to boost the immune system.

Adding a comedic take to the hyper-sensitive approach to meat-eating, a recent episode of “Desperate Housewives” had Marcia Cross’ character, Bree Van de Kamp, “secretly” feeding a hot dog to her grandson as her daughter tries to raise the boy as a vegan.

Experts are not suggesting an all-out bonanza at the bratwurst bar, of course. Moderation is key. But while most adults don’t necessarily need whole milk, growing children do.

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