The British Medical Journal has reported a study done by Southampton University of 8,179 people. Researchers found that people who had become vegetarian by the age of 30 had a higher IQ – more than 5 points higher – than meat eaters. Men who were vegetarian had an IQ score of 106, compared with 101 for non-vegetarians; while female vegetarians averaged 104, compared with 99 for non-vegetarians. The researchers found linkages of intelligence to health as well but the jury was still out on whether people who are more intelligent become vegetarian or people who were vegetarian had so much better health , specially in terms of heart disease and obesity – that their brains could develop more. I agree with the second theory – after all someone who is born into a vegetarian household does not use his brains to make a choice. The fact that he/she turns out more intelligent could be a result of the body having more time to devote to brain development rather than combat the food shoved into it. What else would explain the mental abilities of the Jain and Marwari communities for instance ? Or the Brahmins ? The researchers in the British Medical Journal, say it isn't clear why veggies are brainier - but admit the fruit and vegetable diet could somehow boost brain power. The study said that vegetarians were also more likely to have gained degrees and hold down high-powered jobs. Rsearcher Dr Gale said: ' Such a diet might have some beneficial effect on subsequent cognitive performance.'Might the nature of the vegetarians' diet have enhanced their apparently superior brain power? Was this the mechanism that helped them achieve the disproportionate nature of degrees?'
I am not surprised at this finding. In India , seventy five percent of the true achievers are vegetarian. The top businessmen , the top business classes , most of the top politicians and filmstars, models, athletes… Having grown up in a meat eating environment ( the army) I am happy that my husband Sanjay made me vegetarian at the age of 18. My favourite vegetarian , my son Varun , has been vegetarian since he was born and has an IQ of 161 ( proving this theory). All the vegetarian people whom I know are all significantly more intelligent than the average. I have a list of my favourite vegetarians and , thank God for India, I have a huge long list to choose from. I am only choosing the most intelligent in this list – the handsomest, most beautiful,sexiest etc – we will leave for another day.
Let me start with the Great Khali – the WWF wrestler who is the largest man I have ever seen on television. He is not just a vegetarian but is a gentle giant who feeds homeless people wherever he is. One of my firmest beliefs is that it takes intelligence to have compassion.
Pritish Nandy, poet, writer, filmmaker, painter, designer, thinker, the editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India when it was the single largest magazine in India and Member of Parliament much before it became mandatory to reward loyalty in journalists and industrialists with Rajya sabha memberships.
The Ambani brothers, their wives and their father and mother. Imagine creating and managing so much wealth that it becomes inspirational. Group them with Aditya Birla and his family and Narayanamurthy , the founder of Infosys and the entire IT movement in India which has given jobs to lakhs of people . The list of vegetarian creators of wealth runs into thousands of pages. Is a vegetarian diet the key to success as well as well-being?
Dr Abdul Kalam has been the finest President we have ever had and certainly a role model for many people – including my son. He is not just very bright , he is humane , graceful and disciplined. I wish he had had a second term – especially when I look at his successor who will come and go unnoticed – even though she is also a vegetarian.
LK Advani , the skilful and undisputed head of the largest party in India and a proud vegetarian
Hema Malini , actress and dancer is not just beautiful and generous but a smart and hardworking politician. Her daughters Esha and Ahana are equally bright and motivated.
Amitabh Bachchan , who at his age and with his health , manages his and his family members’ careers with such intelligence and sophistication.
Mandira Bedi who became the first woman commentator in the male preserve of cricket and with a joyful combination of intelligence and charm managed to make millions of new cricket fans.
Milind Soman who has made his career as a model last forever, remaining numero uno in his forties and now branching out into rejuvenating Indian textiles.
Chinny and Nanditha Krishna: Chinny heads a company that specializes in solving machinery problems for companies internationally. He also runs India’s first animal shelter. Nanditha is one of the country’s leading experts on mythology and culture. She heads a major educational foundation and is one of Penguin’s most prolific and best selling authors.
While I am conscious that all Indian spiritual teachers and Gurus are vegetarian , Sri Sri Ravi Shankar stands out because he has created an empire of intelligent people who embrace the modern while attempting to follow the refinement of a gentler India
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak who runs the largest NGO in India and has devoted his life to make provide sanitation and who has discovered the most ecological way to get rural energy
Dr Mukesh Batra who has made homeopathy a mainstream medicine and runs an empire as large as Ranbaxy’s.
This is about 1% of my favourite veggies- I am giving you the names of people you may have heard about. There are thousands of people who are as bright but I will have to put them into another grouping. My mother for one – her keen intelligence, warmth and zest for life has taken all of us through crises that would have destroyed most mortals. Ozair Husain , my co author in several books and the Nawab of Lorpur who has given up a kingdom to make People for Animals into the power it is today.
Noting famous vegetarian intellectuals proves nothing, but is food for thought nonetheless: thousands of the greatest thinkers in recorded history were vegetarians and advocated vegetarianism, including Pythagoras, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Leo Tolstoy, Plato, Voltaire, Mahatma Gandhi, Charles Darwin, Albert Shweitzer, Dr Benjamin Spock. Franz Kafka, H.G.Wells,Henry David Thoreau, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jeremy Bentham, Leonardo da Vinci, Milton, NikolaTesla, Percy Shelley, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socrates, Tolstoy, William Wordsworth, William Blake, Dr C.V.Raman, Annie Besant, the Bronte sisters, Rupert Brooke, Isaac Pitman, Ovid, Henry Salt, Schopenhauer , Seneca , Henry David Thoreau ….. If meat eating were required for a person to be intelligent, then we would expect to see few intelligent people supporting vegetarianism. George Bernard Shaw said, 'A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows', while Benjamin Franklin stated that a vegetarian diet resulted in 'greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension'.
BBC One has a hugely popular show every Saturday called the National IQ Contest. 80,000 people took part. The winners ,the brainiest Brits of the UK, were a 40 strong team of vegetarians with an average IQ score of 113 . The individual contestant with the highest IQ was a vegetarian too.Winner Marie Bidmead, 68, a mother-of-five from Gloucester said: “ I was in absolute shock when I got the top score! I’ve never considered myself to be a brain-box. I think it shows that we veggies are good ‘thinkers’ – we think about what we eat with intelligence for a start!”
If there is anything that proves that humans are meant to be vegetarian , it is this study. In today’s world , you need all the intelligence you can to survive. Parents – give your children the extra leg up , make them vegetarian today
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