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Editorial by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 92 (Spring 2002)

Springtime is a time for spring cleaning. So it is not inappropriate that this issue carries information on how to spring clean your body and achieve inner cleanliness. Not all of us will want to follow this route but it is important that vegans should stay healthy.

A balanced vegan diet has been shown to be at least as healthy as a conventional diet. Research on vegans shows that they are in fact healthier and less likely to suffer from major diseases. So when medical researchers tell us that animal experiments are necessary in order to find cures for the diseases that fill our hospitals, we should point out that prevention is better than cure and that attention to diet would greatly reduce the need for cures.

It is government policy to recommend that we eat at least five portions of fruit or vegetables a day, but this advice is swamped by advertising pressure on behalf of fast foods and ready meals.

But health is not the only reason for adopting a vegan diet. Concern about the way animals are treated is growing. Most people find factory farming repellent. That is the most economical way to produce food, yet many people think beyond economics and feel that we should give a decent life to the animals we rear, even if they turn a blind eye to the ultimate fate of sending them to slaughter. Perhaps some day they will make that connection too.

Tragically, the world today seems full of news of conflicts, which increase hatred and feelings of retaliation and revenge which tend to escalate. Only non-violent action can lead to de-escalation of violence and lasting progress to peace. Those who went to areas of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians have set a good example.

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Cross-reference: Medical Matters