Heart disease is caused by the buildup of fatty deposits on the walls of the coronary arteries, causing blood flow to be reduced to the point that the heart can no longer function properly. While bypass operations, angioplasties and stents do a temporary job of reopening clogged arteries, the only real cure for heart disease is preventing or reversing the buildup of fatty deposits. Doctors such as Dean Ornish, Caldwell Essellstyn and John McDougal have cured heart disease with a low-fat vegetarian diet. Studies have shown that often-recommended measures such as eating chicken without the skin do not prevent the further advancement of heart disease, at best only slowing its progression.
I urge Dick Cheney, and anyone else who is struggling with this disease, to consider going vegetarian. Vegetarian foods are delicious and plentiful and there is no reason to feel that a vegetarian diet is a deprivation. People have nothing to lose by trying it; and by not trying it, they could lose their life.
Richard Shumberger, Tulsa
Richard Shumberger is president of Northeastern Oklahoma Animal Helpers.