Do Vegetarians Have Smaller Brains?
One researcher, at least, has now questioned whether vegetarians have smaller brains from maintaining an animal food-free diet: “Scientists at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain – with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.” But what does this even mean? Is a smaller brain necessarily a bad thing as long as it functions optimally? The jury is still out on this one.
There’s such a huge, ongoing debate over the value of being a vegetarian that it’s difficult to keep up with the pros and cons. I certainly cannot argue against the practice on ethical grounds. People who feel it’s wrong to kill animals are mostly to be commended for their moral, ethical and empathetic stand. Animals have feelings and there’s no doubt that slaughterhouses tend to be places of disgusting animal abuse and outright psychopathic behavior on the part of the butchers.
From a health standpoint, we have another set of considerations. There are benefits of animal foods that cannot be gleaned from vegetarian foods. Plus, there’s an ongoing debate as to whether human beings are meant to be vegetarians or whether we are genetically programmed to be meat-eaters.
Source of study: Vogiatzoglou A, et al. Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly. Neurology 2008; 71(11): 826-32.