Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I can't really agree that meat is necessary, at least not for all (there are those Eskimos, right?) as my grandchildren have been raised totally without meat and have suffered not harm whatsoever, according to their pediatrician, who is not a vegetarian.  But they get plenty of protein through legumes, tofu, etc.  And they avoid the antibiotics and growth hormones that are so prevalent in US-raised cattle.  

Anecdotally, when I was at a bed-and-breakfast in Dublin a few years back, I had a chat with a contractor who also ran a family-owned cattle ranch in the USA.  He said he supported my vegetarianism as probably healthy, and said that he kept two cows "out of the herd" at his ranch for his family's yearly meat consumption, since he didn't want his kids exposed to the antibiotics and growth hormones with which all the other cattle were injected.  It was his opinion that the massive meat-eating in the USA was responsible for the increased height of the kids and the earlier and earlier onset of menstruation seen in girls here.  
I personally try to limit my eating of cheese to that which is imported from Europe, in an effort to avoid the hormones and such that are injected into the cows in the USA.  I recall that Dr. Benjamin Spock, author of the best-selling how-to books for raising babies in America, in his later years said he had decided, based on all the available evidence, that cow milk was not healthy for infants  

Also, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [http://www.pcrm.org/ endorses a vegetarian diet all the way.  And sorry for no citation, but I saw a Discovery Channel or some other science show about ten years ago that reexamined the evidence for whether humans were omnivores, and showed that a case could be made that the incisor teeth were needed for breaking into certain roots and such and that early tools were less for animal-hunting weaponry than for preparation and cultivation of other foodstuffs (sorry my memory of this is so sketchy!)
Anyway, I certainly don't intend offense to any meat-eaters, having been one myself and still occasionally having some (but not after this diary, which has done much to remind me why I became a vegetarian in the first place) but I wanted to share some bits of pieces I'd heard regarding the subject of whether one can be healthy with/without meat.

(don't know why part of my post is coming out in blue type, not something I did on purpose, but I don't know how to get rid of it!)

Karen in Austin

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 07:08:12 PM EST
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