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I’m an idiot for tackling this issue because, well, that’s exactly what PETA wants journalists to do. I’m taking the bait for one reason only: because the organization’s proposal to lower health insurance premiums for vegetarians is the stupidest idea I’ve heard in years.

Why? Simple: It’s based on the massively faulty assumption that vegetarians, just because they don’t eat meat, somehow subsist on a healthier diet. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Not every vegetarian lives a pastoral, Michael Pollan-like existence in which they plant their own gardens, carefully tend their own vegetables, and make their own meals every night. Some pig out (sorry) on veggie junk food: chips, soda, french fries, candy bars, you name it. There are fat vegetarians, too.

Yeah, I know you can send me all the research about how non-meat eating leads to lower rates of heart disease and cancer and all that shit, and I can counter with research on how how saturated fats (i.e., animal fats) alone don’t cause heart disease. The fact is, you can find studies to justify anything you want. The truth is, diet alone will not determine your health over the long term. PETA knows this, insurance companies know this, scientists know this.

Can we stop scaring people about what they eat, for chrissakes?