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Saturday, December 5, 2009

What Doesn't Kill You

   When health is absent
   Wisdom cannot reveal itself ,
   Art cannot become manifest ,
   Strength cannot be exerted , 
   Wealth is useless and
   Reason is powerless .
              - Herophiles
 I haven't really touched on a fundamental part of whom I am because I know that there will be a backlash from those who are stagnant in their world views , but I have been forced by my sense of responsibility to tell all of you how and why my life has been changed forever . I am alive today because 5 years ago I made the decision to do something drastic to fix my ailing self. I made the decision to forgo meat and dairy in favour of choosing to live and let others live . I went vegan . 
   I grew up in largely agricultural areas with the mom-and-pop kind of small farms around and it seemed to be acceptable to consume the corpses of the same animals we would watch grazing in the fields . Even in death , there was a gratitude to these creatures for their flesh that we had been conditioned to consume . There was a consciousness of the suffering endured when an animal would die and people took steps to ensure that the creatures died as painlessly as possible. I now know that this is not the way in which over 95% of the animals we consume for food are raised . But even as I came to the understanding that animals are tortured for mass consumption , I would ridicule vegetarians as extreme . I had actually been put off of the idea of forgoing flesh because of the alarmist and degrading actions of some members of animal-rights organizations like PETA . Their "Holocaust On Your Plate" series horrified me because of the images of humans being treated in a manner one would treat factory farmed animals . I was stuck in the old rural way where watching free-roaming animals provided me comfort from the horrors of my childhood . The concept of mass cruelty was a foreign concept. Even after mountains of evidence to the contrary , I still hit up the meat counter at the grocer . 

   I did not become vegetarian because of factory farming or even because of the relation between meat "production" and global hunger. I did so because I collect cook books and bought one by Dr. John cDougall in a thrift store and actually READ it fully . I have been in poor health since my teens and his personal story of triumph through diet weighed heavily .  The good doctor may be a picture of perfect health at an age most of us would consider elderly , but he wasn't as a young person . Dr. McDougall very nearly never became a medical student - he had a massive stroke at age 18 due to eating a high-fat diet and had heart disease into his twenties . I was interested in the recipes for sure , but the health conditions treated and minimized by changing diet had a very personal interest to someone who was as arthritic as I . 
I was still a skeptic so I decided to look into things further and discovered a mountain of evidence to support exactly what the doc was saying . I found numerous examples from the medical arena and discovered John Robbins , the chosen heir to the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire who gave it all up because he kept watching his family members die from their dairy-rich d I had already removed some animal products from my diet and was noticing some physical changes , but "Diet For A New America" convinced me as to why this was happening and why our society is grotesquely unhealthy . The large pharmaceutical giants whom also produce the hormones and antibiotics given to factory-farmed animals do not want you to be healthier because it affects their bottom line . We have toddlers in diapers going into puberty and teens with coronary artery disease. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in my teens and my brother had a heart attack at 21 .  These are all facts that no amount of denial can alter. 

  I went for the more gradual dietary change - first red meat and poultry , then dairy , then wild meat . I had become sick of the idea of ending the lives of others for my tastebuds and gave away the residual deer held in my freezer . Fish left , and finally eggs over a span of less than 2 months . And I have been given back my life . I have gone from walking assisted by a cane to working in one of the most physically demanding occupations imaginable . The pills I had required every time I ate have been gone from my home since I got rid of the "food" that was killing me . My cholesterol level is so low that it is scientifically impossible for my arteries to clog and have lost 60 pounds of fat from my frame . I am living proof that something that we don't generally think about can be the difference between life and death . And I am not alone . There is a diet that can put Lupus and cancer into remission , lengthen the lifespans of those with diabetes , hepatitis , asthma , HIV and Multiple Sclerosis to name a few , and reverse heart disease and osteoporosis . The question is whether or not you are brave enough to throw what you have been taught out the window in favour of living a truly fulfilled life. You already know that if you had to slit the throats of the cows that you call steak that you could not do it . The dead animals that you consume for a moment of joy exact their revenge by slowly and painfully killing you . 

It's called karma , baby. 

Sidenote : For those curious about the ad for "Earthlings" in the sidebar , I have provided the space free of charge . It's disturbing footage for most , but an interesting documentary worth checking out.

1 comment:

  1. Would you please seriously consider starting a recipe blog along with all your knowledge on the vegan lifestyle?


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