Introduction

Amanda Woodvine is consultant nutritionist for Viva! and Viva! Health. Her specialities include cardiovascular disease, obesity and children’s health. She has authored a number of guides and reports for Viva!Health, including White Meat Black Mark – a scientific report investigating the health consequences of consuming white meat. Amanda is currently undertaking postgraduate study in public health with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 

Colin Spencer is a novelist, playwright, cookery book writer and a former food columnist for The Guardian. His book – the Heretic’s Feast: a History of Vegetarianism – is an exceptionally well-researched and detailed look at vegetarianism through the ages. He is also the author of best selling cook books Green Gastronomy, Cordon Vert and The New Vegetarian. Researcher/Editor: Juliet Gellatley, BSc Zoology, Founder & Director, Viva! & Viva! Health.

One of the most pervasive myths surrounding vegetarianism is the belief that humans are naturally meant to eat meat – that we are evolutionarily adapted to eat and thrive on dead flesh. The evidence presented in this guide knocks this myth firmly on its head. Human beings belong to the primate family and the primate family is essentially a vegetarian one. Our closest living relatives such as chimpanzees and gorillas live on a diet of foods overwhelmingly derived from plants, and we ignore our evolutionary past at our peril. Indeed we are already seeing the dangers of dismissing what evolutionary studies show us we should be eating – plants, not animals – with the growing epidemics of killer diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes which are now occurring in almost every corner of the planet.

 

Published by Viva!. © Viva! 2010 Viva!, 8 York Court, Wilder St, Bristol BS2 8QH t: 0117 944 1000 e: info@viva.org.uk w: www.viva.org.uk

This is one of 20 guides by Viva!, covering everything from nutrition, health, pregnancy and shopping to animals, the environment and recipes. Please contact us for a full list or go to www.viva.org.uk/guides