I think by now it should be fairly well known that C-Reactive Protein is a major player in heart disease. CRP as it is referred to is a marker of inflammation in your arteries. This can be measured with a simple blood test. The range is from 1 to 3. If you are at 3 or above you are at a higher risk of dying from heart disease. Many people who have virtually no inflammation in their arteries are far below even 1.
As for cholesterol it has been found in multiple studies that 50% of those who die of heart disease have high cholesterol. The other 50% have either low or normal cholesterol. This should tell people a whole lot. The reason that modern medicine has not abandoned the cholesterol paradigm yet is because drug companies stand to lose billions of dollars. Also, there is no magic pill which can be taken that can bring down CRP (inflammation in your arteries). This can only come from eating a really clean diet, adding some fish oil, eliminating fired foods and of course training 4 to 6 times per week. It's not as easy as popping a pill so you know that it works!
As for being a vegetarian, aside from the obvious lack of protein you will most assuredly lower your iron levels which is a really bad thing to do and can lead to anemia. Vegetarians who say they get all the iron they need from vegetables like spinach etc. do not understand that there are two types of iron, heme which is the easiest to absorb and found only in meat and liver, and non-heme which is quite difficult to absorb and it is found in vegetables.
There are also other important nutrients that are mostly found in meat such as B-12, carnosine etc.. But that's another topic.....
Suffice it to say that meat is good food and should be consumed in any healthy diet.