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smart vegetarians

A December 2006 Southampton University study published by the British Medical Journal reported a distinct correlation between vegetarianism and higher IQ. Does a vegetarian diet make one more intelligent, or is a vegetarian diet simply the choice of intelligent people? Either way, reason is telling us something . . .

Twenty* brilliant vegetarians of the past 3 millennia:
Cyrus the Great (Emperor of Persia, 6th century BC)
Pythagoras (mathematician, philosopher)
Socrates (ethicist and philosopher)
Plato (mathematician and philosopher)
Aristotle (logician and philosopher)
Matthew (disciple and biographer of Christ)
Plotinus (mystic and philosopher)
Plutarch (Greek historian and essayist)
Leonardo da Vinci (artist, scientist, inventor)
Isaac Newton (mathematician, physicist)
Henry David Thoreau (philosopher)
Thomas Edison (inventor, grandfather of iPod nation)
Vincent van Gogh (artist/painter)
Leo Tolstoy (novelist/essayist)
Mohandas Gandhi (statesman, peacemaker)
Albert Schweitzer (physician, polymath, theologian)
Albert Einstein (theoretical physicist)
Srinivasa Ramanujan (mathematician)
Cesar Chavez (advocate and activist)
Jane Goodall (primatologist and activist)


*The above list of 20 vegetarian notables could be much longer. A list of celebrity vegetarians (movie stars and so forth) might be more interesting for some people, but the VeGenius mission is to highlight vegetarianism as being an intelligent choice, not merely a cool or hip one. While vegetarians are not only prominent among Nobel Prize laureates and humankind's most original and most creative thinkers, they also include Olympic and professional sports champions (for example, Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Bill Walton, and Martina Navratilova). The vegetarian advantage to the human body rivals the vegetarian advantage to the human mind. Vegetarians, on average, enjoy immensely reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, dramatically lower incidence of gastrointestinal tract cancers, reproductive cancers (prostate, breast & ovarian), stroke, autoimmune diseases, and other serious health problems concomitant to the typical Western diet, than do meat eaters. Studies have associated many diseases of eye, bone, and brain, with an animal foods based diet (compared to the rate of occurrence in the general US population, Alzheimer’s disease is nearly nonexistent among vegetarians). All of which contribute to this: Vegetarians also live longer (males up to 7.3 years longer in one major study cited by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)!

“Eleven years into my career as a surgeon, I became disillusioned with the treatment paradigm of U.S. medicine in cancer and heart disease. Little had changed in 100 years in the management of cancer, and in neither heart disease nor cancer was there a serious effort at prevention. I found the epidemiology of these diseases provocative, however: Three quarters of the humans on this planet had no heart disease, a fact strongly associated with diet.” – Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., Olympic gold medalist, Bronze Star recipient as a US Army surgeon, internationally eminent cardiovascular and cancer surgeon, renowned research scientist, author, vegetarian

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© Wes Janssen 2009