First, the cons. The traditional foods to which we are accustomed are mostly inedible when raw. Meat and dairy products would be far less harmful consumed raw as they are by some native populations, but most people find the idea of raw meat, chicken, etc, objectionable, and raw dairy products, because of legal germ phobia, unobtainable. But this is as it should be; Nature is trying to tell us something . . .

The pros: Dr Max Garten in his book The Health Secrets Of A Naturopathic Doctor (1967) described how his health had not much improved by becoming a vegetarian and how this led him to try a completely raw food regime. He said:

"The results were electrifying, within a few days I felt much stronger with a return of my former enthusiasm. Many of my patients whom I had been able to convert to this new diet also reported similar results."

Dr Garten observed that putrefactive bacteria in the colon increased not only with the eating of meat but also with the degree of heat used in cooking all food, and with this increase so also did the odiferousness of the stool increase along with the appearance of aches and pains. He said:

"It could only be deduced that certain agents in the diet were either missing or had been altered by the heat. The respective protein content of the vegetarian diet had also been found to be indicative of changes in the intestinal flora, legumes such as beans, lentils, peas etc. equally contributing to the display of putrefactive changes."

Thus, although vegetarians usually are healthier and outlive meat-eaters, they may not maintain very good health or live to a very advanced age if they continually cook their food.