Maximum Lifespan
An Animal Rights Article from


Greg Lawson
December 2013

I remember reading an article in the science magazine Omni in the early 1970s entitled "Some of Us Alive Today Will Never Die."

Unfortunately, scientists have piddled around with other things and the breakthrough into the secret of immortality will probably not come until shortly after this body I like to be in has been laid to rest, and I have gone on into my next incarnation or something.

But great progress in this field has been made in recent years.

There are several lines of approach to life extension. One is technological, implanting our engrams or souls or personalities or whatever you wish to call it into computers and/or robots. Then the only threat of dying we would face would be glitches in the next version of Windows.

What bothers me about this approach is that anyone with enough wealth could buy more time. In my opinion, the rich people of the world aren't the best choice for continuing the human dream.

Another approach you might have heard about is calorie restriction. As much as I hate animal research, I'm not very much upset by studies that placed rodents on calorie restrictive diets and found that they lived longer. Recent research has found that it's not necessarily the calorie and protein restriction that led to these results, but the reduction in consumption of the amino acid methionine.

Recent studies have shown that animals who have less methionine in their tissues have longer lives. And now pharmaceutical companies are racing to find a drug which will reduce methionine levels in humans. I think that reducing methionine intake might be a better strategy.

Methionine is an essential amino acid and we need it in small quantities, but in the amount consumed by the Standard American Diet it seems to cause a shortened lifespan for a number of reasons.

In vitro studies have shown that all cancer cells are methionine dependent. Without this amino acid, cancer cells die while normal cells live on. Methionine is most present in animal products. Vegetable sources of protein are lower in this amino acid. Soybeans are especially low in methionine. This might explain why statistically, a well planned plant based diet is associated with a longer lifespan.

Who really knows? And who cares? I'm rich. I'm vegan, and I have several inactivated clones standing by in stasis for a brain transplant. Just wanted to share.

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