World Heart Day: Eat Plants to Avoid the World’s Number One Killer

Posted on by PETA Australia

Everyone knows that animal advocates are all heart. But did you know that being animal-friendly can actually protect your heart?

According to the World Health Organisation, cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer. It claims 17.5 million lives a year worldwide. That’s around 31 per cent of all deaths worldwide – more than result from malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis combined. But there’s one way to help prevent heart disease: by following a plant-based lifestyle.

Fruit, Berries, Radishes, Avocado©

Animal-derived foods are loaded with heart-damaging fat and cholesterol. So dumping them is like dumping a bad partner – it does your heart a huge favour. For World Heart Day (29 September), PETA is urging everyone to have a heart – a vegan one.

Going vegan can help prevent the vast majority of instances of cardiovascular disease as well as other degenerative illnesses. According to the American Heart Association, one of the world’s leading health authorities, vegetarians “have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer”.

By abandoning animal-derived foods, people can also lower their cholesterol levels, reverse the effects of heart disease, and lead healthier, fuller lives.

Former US President Bill Clinton knows all about the heart-healthy benefits of vegan foods. Once well-known for his McDonald’s habit and fatty, meaty meals, he soon also became known for his struggles with heart disease. But Clinton had an epiphany: his taste for dead animals was soon going to claim one more victim – the former president himself. After switching to primarily plant-based eating, Clinton reversed his heart disease and lost weight in the process.

Leading doctors are well aware of the possibility of reversing heart disease with good eating. Dr Dean Ornish of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute took a group of patients with advanced heart disease, placed them on a low-fat vegetarian diet, and asked them to walk a bit each day. The patients reported that their chest pains went away, and their cholesterol levels dropped significantly – without the need for drugs.

“[W]e used to think that heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure were just inevitable consequences of aging. All these are now bygone notions, refuted by massive data”, says Dr Michael Greger of, who advocates for a plant-based lifestyle.

Don’t let animal-derived foods break your heart. Go vegan for World Heart Day.

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