Six Reasons to Give Up Meat & Adopt a Plant-Based Diet

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Thrive

No matter how the food industry spins it, you can’t get away from the deluge of news regarding the horrendous quality of meat in the United States.  Everyday, the public is subjected to massive recalls as we are served contiminated food, all stemming from the meat industry.

You Can’t Polish a Turd

The sources are not bloggers and hippies. The studies are peer-reviewed with massive study groups. Our own government, the last place you go for unbiased opinions, has recently made overt moves towards a diet less reliant on animals. No amount of lobbying can hold back the stream of research confirming the obvious. Meat is a “killing industry” for everyone involved.

Right off the bat let me identify my agenda. I had quadruple bypass surgery at the age of 40, in 2011. Prior to that day, I ate meat once a day. I have done my research and I directly attribute my heart disease to the Standard American Diet. In the recovery ward, I was fed sausages, eggs, milk and turkey and slowly began to understand the bubble I was living in. By a miracle, I was presented with a very simple solution to my immediate problem.

My brush with death.  March 2011

My brush with death. March 2011

Animals are a source of protein. They are not the only source of protein.

The animals being eaten today by Americans are in terrible shape, and represent a very poor quality of nutrition. Organic, free range, lean… blah, blah, blah. Six states have made it a crime to film animal suffering because they absolutely don’t want you to see beyond the pretty cellophane package in your freezer. The meat is inedible. If you saw the cow or chicken you are about to eat, you wouldn’t touch it, much less eat it.

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.” – Sir Paul McCartney

Do you honestly feel that an animal raised in a pen/crate, with no exercise, no sunlight, surrounded by feces, eating byproduct feed, injected with growth hormones, antidepressants and massive amounts of antibiotics, then slaughtered, sprayed with chlorine, full of death stress hormones is a good food decision? If so, don’t read any further.

Not eating meat is not a casual decision anymore; it’s a matter of life or death.

If you are a selfish person, as I was, you choose not to eat meat to save your own life.

If you are a kind and empathetic person you choose not to eat meat to save humanity.

If you are an intellectual, you understand the long-term ramifications of raising livestock on the environment: 2,500 gallons of water to raise 1 pound of beef. “The water that goes into a 1,000 pound steer would float a destroyer.” – Newsweek.

The economist will understand the benefits to the economy by eliminating 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the life cycle and supply chain of livestock products.Robert Goodland

We need to continue to evolve as a species. True change in nature occurs over very long periods of time but we can exploit that knowledge. We can speed up the discovery phase and experiment with our own well-being.

Why wait for thousands of years to conclude that the meat we are eating is killing us off one by one. The beauty of eating a plant-based diet is the change occurs very rapidly. We improve our health and thus improve our lives. We live longer and pass on our habits to the next generation. Albeit these are not genetic changes, they do give us the opportunity to change our destiny within our own lifetime. Please consider not eating meat.

“We cannot escape by forging on, resolutely and regardless, driven by the unmitigated inertia of our outworn habits, until we have forced ourselves over the brink in the ‘giant step for mankind’ nobody needsWhen you have reached the edge of an abyss, the only progressive move you can make is to step backward…” (Alwyn Rees, Author).   An unknown author then added instead of stepping backwards; “Turn around and step forward”.

evolution-of-obesity1

SIX REASONS:

1. Antibiotics

New York Times

Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration systematically monitor the meat and poultry sold in supermarkets around the country for the presence of disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. These food products are bellwethers that tell us how bad the crisis of antibiotic resistance is getting. And they’re telling us it’s getting worse.

We don’t know much more except that, rather than healing sick animals, these drugs are often fed to animals at low levels to make them grow faster and to suppress diseases that arise because they live in dangerously close quarters on top of one another’s waste.

In 2011, drugmakers sold nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics for livestock — the largest amount yet recorded and about 80 percent of all reported antibiotic sales that year. The rest was for human health care.

MeatEat

2. Fecal Matter

Consumer Reports

In our first-ever lab analysis of ground turkey bought at retail stores nationwide, more than half, 69%, of the packages of raw ground meat and patties tested positive for fecal bacteria. Some samples harbored other germs, including salmonella and staphylococcus aureus, two of the leading causes of foodborne illness in the U.S. Overall, 90 percent of the samples had one or more of the five bacteria for which we tested.

Adding to the concern, almost all of the disease-causing organisms in our 257 samples proved resistant to one or more of the antibiotics commonly used to fight them. Turkeys (and other food animals, including chickens and pigs) are given antibiotics to treat acute illness; but healthy animals may also get drugs daily in their food and water to boost weight gain and to prevent disease.

ConsumerReports

3. Mortality

Harvard School of Public Health

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health published results of a groundbreaking study that made headlines around the world.

The massive, 120,000-subject, 28-year study showed that people who consumed a serving of beef, pork or lamb per day had a 13 percent increased risk of death, compared with people who ate very little or no red meat. Those who ate a daily helping of processed meat, such as bacon and hot dogs, had a 20 percent increased risk of death from diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

In an interview on National Public Radio, Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health, a co-author of the study, called the statistics “staggering.”

This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death,” Hu.

warning3

4. Cancer

National Cancer Institute

A 10-year National Cancer Institute study of more than half a million Americans showed that those who ate the most red meat boosted their overall risk of death 30 percent. It found that men who were big meat eaters had a 22 percent increased risk of death from cancer and a 27 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared with men who ate the least. For women who ate the most meat, the risk of cancer death increased by 20 percent and the risk of heart disease increased by 50 percent.

Those who eat two portions a day — equivalent to a bacon sandwich and a filet steak — increase their risk of bowel cancer by 35 percent over those who eat just one portion a week, the study found.

Researchers concluded that a daily serving of unprocessed red meat (about the size of a deck of cards) carried a 13 percent increased risk of death, and one daily serving of processed red meat (one hot dog or two slices of bacon) carried a 20 percent increased risk.

Tumors are very common in our farm animal’s flesh. Ask any butcher. There is nothing unusual with purulent tumors in the animal flesh you buy. They cut the tumor off and wash the pus away with a lot of bleach, and then after it is cleaned out they sell it to you.

Tumor

5. Cruelty

Philip Wollen, Kindness Trust

He is a former vice-president of Citibank and general manager at Citicorp.

Meat is the new asbestos – more murderous than tobacco. CO2, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide from the livestock industry are killing our oceans with acidic, hypoxic Dead Zones.

90% of small fish are ground into pellets to feed livestock. Vegetarian cows are now the world’s largest ocean predator. The oceans are dying in our time. By 2048 all our fisheries will be dead. The lungs and the arteries of the earth. Billions of bouncy little chicks are ground up alive simply because they are male.

Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7 billion alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week. 10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one species. We are now facing the 6th mass extinction in cosmological history. If any other organism did this a biologist would call it a virus. It is a crime against humanity of unimaginable proportions…”

Full speech on YouTube: Animals Should Be Off the Menu

Number of Animals killed in 10 minutes.

Number of Animals killed in 10 minutes.

6. Nutrition:

One burger = 75% fat.

1/2 cup of ground beef or 4 oz burger, . 21 grams protein.

OneBurger

Lentils = 0.00% fat

One cup of lentils, 8 oz = 28 grams of protein.

lentils

Other sources of protein easily substituted in for meat:

Brendan Brazier’s Thrive 4 page guide: http://thriveforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/03-Protein-for-Athletes-Ref-Visual-Guide-to-Plant-Based-Proteins.pdf

It is time for us to be kinder stewards of our Earth’s animals and in return – we save ourselves.

 

 

IRW

 

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Why Did the FDA Tell Me to Stop Taking Aspirin?

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Babyaspirin

According to a large-scale study of elderly Italians in Chianti, red wine shows no benefit to health. Oh, chocolate does zero as well.  Not to mention the benefits of olive oil, nada benefito… Wait, hold on, red wine is good for you.  Sorry, I just saw a study done on hobo’s riding rail trains in the midwest, confirming a large majority of wine-o’s rarely see doctors.

In the last three years of blogging and reading health headlines, I have become relatively immune to the constant tug of war of studies yanking readers one way or the next. I am convinced 99% of all food and drug studies are initiated to manipulate; run by marketing departments looking for third-party stories to prop up their product. Ok. We get it. Don’t believe the hype.

What about Aspirin? The single most effective drug ever invented. “Take two and call me in the morning“. It seems everyone in the world takes a baby aspirin before bed. I do.

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Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused a labeling request by Bayer AG, the original German aspirin manufacturer. The FDA restricted Bayer AG from labeling their product’s value of preventing heart attacks and strokes in people who have not had cardiovascular disease.  I was quite surprised when I read the FDA’s new stance against aspirin.  Especially, since it has been the most recommended drug in history.  Aspirin is well-known for its blood thinning effectiveness. In the 1980’s the FDA acknowledged aspirin use as a preventative drug for heart attacks.

Bayer is making a big move towards becoming a the major player in the consumer OTC market. May 6th, Bayer agreed to buy Merck’s consumer-health unit for $14.2 Billion! At the same time, they sold a medical device division to Boston Scientific; a device that removes blood clots from veins & arteries. This puts Bayer second to Johnson & Johnson in the global consumer market. With Aspirin as the foundation for their consumer market sales, it is no wonder that they asked the FDA to approve labeling it as a prevention drug for heart disease.  Bayer also has a stake in 2011 FDA approved blood thinner, Xarelto; on track to be a multi-billion dollar blockbuster.

Compared to the blockbuster drugs, Aspirin is cheap.  It is available OTC and it is estimated 40 million Americans self diagnose with a daily dose of Aspirin.  Are we being guided away from Aspirin towards the $$$$?  Just sayin…

aspirin

“Those risks are what the FDA considered when Bayer, maker of low dose aspirin, asked the agency to consider re-labeling its product to include a recommendation for preventing heart attacks and strokes. But while aspirin is relatively safe, it does come with a cost – an increased risk of bleeding, both in the stomach and intestines, as well as in the brain. The FDA found that the evidence showing that otherwise healthy people who take aspirin could prevent a first heart attack is not as strong as that for avoiding recurrent heart problems, so when compared to the bleeding risk, FDA officials felt recommending the drug for healthy people wasn’t justified.” Who Should and Who Shouldn’t Take Daily Aspirin.

According to the FDA; If you have not had a heart attack, you don’t need to take it. Why would the FDA take such an aggressive stand against the world’s greatest drug?  In fact, all the blood thinners prescribed to patients have equal risk for bleeding.  In fact, Pradaxa, FDA approved in 2010 had so many reports of gastrointestinal and brain bleeds, the FDA had to re-evaluate it, which it did in 2012. (They stood by their initial approval)  The dangers of thinners are well-known as generations of people have died as a consequence of thin blood, not blood clot prevention.

I am confused.  I had quadruple bypass surgery, but no heart attack?

It is no secret, I dropped all my drugs last summer; no more statins or blood pressure medication.  I had to make a choice and I choose a lifestyle plan versus a prescription plan.  But I continued to take my daily baby aspirin.  I did not particularly feel it was a drug, more of a simple, effective, all-encompassing solution.  I honestly, felt all the research had been done on Aspirin, it has been around for 100 years!?

Aspirin as we know it has had quite a history. Before Bayer started selling it in 1899, people were using medicines derived from willow trees back as far as 2000 BC. saliciylate-rich plants were used prior to chemists creating modern-day, salicylic acid.

Chemical_structure_of_salicylic_acid

Click image for Wikipedia definition of SA

When in doubt, I like to fall back on my foundation.  I am Plant-Based, so why not run a little background on Salicylic acid (SA).  Salicylic acid is a phenolic phytohormone and is found in plants.  In fact it is vital to a plants health.  SA is produced in plants when they are threatened by infection or other danger.  It acts as a signal molecule that kicks off a series of reactions that help defend the plant against external threats.

Hey, that is exactly what I am looking for, a of warning signal to fire up the body’s defensive system.

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Foods that are high in Salicylic acid include many spices such as curry, cayenne pepper, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, licorice, and peppermint. Fruits high in salicylates include raisins, prunes, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, and strawberries. 

I have been very happy juicing my Inflammation Buster; seems to me the ginger & turmeric have been supplying me with a good source of “natural aspirin”.

-My inflammation buster concoction

-My inflammation buster concoction

For now, I am going to drop the daily baby aspirin and rely on my intake of salycic acid from natural resources.  Why be duplicative?

 

I am curious when Bayer will make a comment regarding this recent denial by the FDA.   

 

Ian

 

Disclaimer:  My approach is exactly that, my approach.  I make broad decisions based on non-medical facts and gut instinct.  I choose to address my particular health problems with a nutrition based course of action.  To date, I have not found a general practitioner that is entirely supportive of this decision.  Please weigh your personal circumstances carefully before applying my blog advice as medical expertise.  For a very thorough discussion on the benefits versus the risks associated with taking aspirin, please visit: Aspirin Risks and Benefits: Science Based Medicine

 

 

 

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