Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Help Animals and the Life You Save May Be Your Own

We all know that animal-agricultural industries are cruel to animals—whether we want to be honest with ourselves or not—and that our consumption of meat and dairy contributes to this cruelty. But did you know there is another group of animals who also suffers from the meat and dairy industries, yet continues to support these industries at their own peril? We call this group of mammals, humans.

The greatest contributor to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and most chronic diseases is animal products. The meat and dairy industries and their insidious marketing would have us think otherwise, but those in the know, who have questioned the myths that have been systematically passed down through generations, recognize that a plant-based, vegan diet is the solution to optimum health.

Just ask President Clinton, who suffered for years from meat and dairy consumption. He began taking cholesterol-lowering medication in 2001, underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004, and had two coronary stents implanted in his heart just last year. Recently, the former president adopted a plant-based diet and has attributed his improved health to leaving meat and dairy off his plate.

These days, doctors are in the business of prescribing medications. Sadly, most people are content to take the easy way out and doctors are happy to oblige them, so they go on suffering and swallowing more pills, masking the real problem. With all the technology and information available to us today, the state of medicine is in the poorest shape it's ever been in, mirroring its patients. We all see the commercials for allopathic drugs that seem to do more harm than good. Why take drugs that don't treat the causalities of our illnesses and contribute to other serious side effects when we can simply change what we eat and eliminate from our diets those whom we eat?

There are plenty of ways to improve our health that simply involve changing our diet. As animals, we all produce our own cholesterol, so there is no need to add any to our diet. While some people have a genetic disposition for elevated cholesterol levels, the majority of those with cholesterol problems can be directly attributed to their meat- and dairy-laden diets. According to a Reuters article, statins, or cholesterol-lowering drugs, are the most widely prescribed medications by doctors. To avoid high cholesterol, as well as the potential for an ensuing heart attack or stroke, the solution is simple—stop eating meat and dairy products!

Likewise, fatty, greasy foods contribute to heartburn. Not surprisingly, acid reflux drugs are the second-biggest selling medications. Many acid reflux drugs are now sold over the counter, encouraging people to take a pill in order to keep eating their "favorite" fast foods; however, many can simply avoid heartburn by avoiding those foods that contribute to it. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry depends on those who would sooner take a pill than change their diet, continually eating the same foods that are making them sick in the first place.

According to his article, "Food Fight," in VegNews magazine, Mark Hawthorne explains that 75 percent of the world's population is lactose intolerant! That means five billion, two hundred fifty million people should not be drinking cow's milk or eating any dairy because their digestive systems cannot produce the enzymes needed to digest the sugar, lactose, found in cow's milk. Rather than wisely omitting dairy products from their diets (note: cow's milk is for calves!), consumers purchase more drugs and substitute their addiction with "lactose-free" cow's milk. And I don't use the word addiction lightly. According to Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, dairy actually has addictive properties. Cow's milk contains some morphine, as well as the protein casein, which releases an amphetamine-like chemical. These opiates, which are found in both cow's milk and human breast milk, are intended for suckling infants as a calming effect to ensure that babies bond with their mothers and get all the nutrients they need.

Gout attacks have also seen a steady uptick. It, too, is affected by meat consumption, directly, and indirectly as a symptom of obesity and high blood pressure. There are drugs on the market to treat it, as well, but with nasty side effects, including increased gout flare-ups—exactly what the drug is intended to prevent!

There are as many reasons to choose a plant-based diet, chock full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, as there are illnesses attributable to meat and dairy consumption. One such reason is that each person who adopts a plant-based, vegan diet saves approximately 95 animals every year. Another reason is that there may even be a 96th life saved—your own.

Order a Free Vegan Starter Kit and view the Vegan Food Pyramid.

Photo courtesy of the T. Colin Campbell Foundation.

1 comment:

Ken D Berry MD said...

Great post. After years of blindness, my Heartburn and bloating forced me to swear off dairy (and be nice to cows) and I'm glad I did.

Ken D Berry MD