Top 10 Tuesday (Part 2): Vegetarian Myths

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

Although it’s actually Wednesday, we’re extending the fun of “Top 10 Tuesday” by dispelling more vegetarian myths.

Myth 6: Hitler was a vegetarian.

In his book The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler, Robert Payne, who is perhaps the foremost Hitler biographer, argues that Hitler’s “vegetarianism” was a myth propagated by Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda. Payne writes, “According to the widely believed legend, [Hitler] neither smoked nor drank, nor did he eat meat or have anything to do with women. Only the first was true. … By this outward show of asceticism, he could claim that he was dedicated to the service of his people. In fact, he was remarkably self-indulgent and possessed none of the instincts of the ascetic.”

Great vegetarian meatballs

With so many great mock meats available, there’s no excuse for not making the switch to a compassionate vegetarian diet!

Myth 7: Vegetarian athletes are weak.

From bodybuilders to long-distance runners, vegan athletes from a variety of sports have vouched for the incredible performance enhancement that a vegan diet can give you. Try kicking sand in these athletes’ faces!

Myth 8: Kids need milk to develop properly.

Kids don’t need to drink milk to grow up big and strong. Cow’s milk has been found to increase the risk of developing or aggravate many common childhood ailments, including runny noses, allergies, ear infections, recurrent bronchitis, and asthma. Many children are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk properly, causing gas, nausea, cramps, bloating, and diarrhea. Studies have also linked cow’s milk to more serious health problems, including osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, autism, juvenile diabetes, and cancer.

Myth 9: Following a vegetarian diet is expensive.

Vegetarian staples such as pasta, rice, tofu, and beans are much cheaper than meat. The money that you save from not buying meat can go toward paying just a little extra for nondairy milk and other staples. You can also save money by buying food in bulk at a grocery store, on the Internet, or through catalogs.

Myth 10: Vegetarian diets aren’t natural—humans are meant to eat meat.

Humans have no nutritional need for animal-derived products. Our evolutionary ancestors were vegetarians, and so are our closest primate relatives—with the exception of chimpanzees, who occasionally consume insects. Human teeth and intestines are designed for eating and digesting plant foods.

If you’re already vegetarian, these myth-busting responses are great to keep on hand the next time your die-hard meat-eating friends and colleagues start grilling you. And if you haven’t gone vegetarian yet, quit making excuses—take a proactive step for your health and for animals by taking part in our 30-day Pledge to Be Veg!