Dealing with the "authoritative but contradictory" voices of the "system"
This post is a bit longer than most but contains information worth sharing. It may take you a few minutes longer to digest this important information about one of the biggest barriers we face in our grassroots effort -- the failure of "mainstream medicine to embrace the life-saving power of whole foods, plant-based nutrition.
Even though a former president of the United States has gone public with what sounds like a 4-Leaf diet-style to me, I am almost certain that some 95% of the M.D.'s in America would not have advised him to embrace a near 100% plant-based diet -- giving up all meat and dairy. But that's exactly what President Clinton did -- after studying the works of Campbell, Esselstyn and Ornish -- doing it so that his heart could heal itself. Those M.D.'s that would not have given him that powerful advice comprise a critical part of those "authoritative but contradictory" voices.
So why don't the vast majority of the M.D.'s in America advise their patients to do the same as President Clinton did? Because they are all part of a huge, inter-connected "system" with strong incentives to maximize revenue and maintain the status quo in terms of who controls the flow of information to the public. As Dr. Campbell summarized in The China Study:
"The entire system -- government, science, medicine, industry and media -- promotes profits over health, technology over food and confusion over clarity...it is a silent enemy that few people see and understand."
Well, as one of those people who does see and understand it; I have made it my #1 priority to share that simple understanding with the world. And doing so by providing "clarity" every chance I get. As such, I occasionally receive note of encrouragement -- like this recent email from a reader (Frances) on the Isle of Wight in the UK.
"I follow your blog because it helps reinforce my conviction that I am on the right track. I do wish you success, but you have got a very big mountain to climb; there are so many authoritative but contradictory voices.”
Part of "climbing that mountain" is helping people understand why they will rarely ever get the very best health-promoting information from those employed within the system. That's because, as a rule, the vast majority of them:
- Do not seem to understand that our typical western diet is harmful (to us and the planet), is wasteful (water, energy, land), unsustainable (for many reasons) and frighteningly cruel to the 60 billion animals who live their entire lives in a virtual hell on Earth, so that we may dine on their flesh.
- Haven't accepted the fact that our typical Western diet is driving up to 80% our healthcare dollars.
- Ignore the science proving that animal protein is strongly associated with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis -- to name just a few.
- Use protein as a synonym for meat, dairy, eggs and fish -- never acknowledging that whole plants easily provide the "right protein" for our bodies in just the right quantities.
- Never explain in simple terms exactly how you must eat in order to promote the very best health for you and your family. Confusion over clarity prevails everywhere within the system.
Dr. Campbell did explain it very simply in The China Study, saying in Chapter 10, "What you decide to do with this information is up to you, but you can at least know that you, as a reader and a person, have finally been told something other than hogwash."
To be fair, I truly believe that virtually all medical doctors are well-intentioned. They just find themselves trapped in a system where there is no money to be made if everyone got healthy. The only way they can earn a living is to do what they have been taught -- conduct tests, prescribe drugs and conduct procedures. I selected two well-known physicians to drive home my point; went to their respective websites and made some observations. To be clear, I have nothing in particular against these two doctors, I just chose them because they are famous and their advice is consistent with most of the other professionals operating within "the system."
Andrew Weil, M.D. Very impressive credentials indeed; from his website at drweil.com: Twice on the cover of TIME Magazine, his ten books have sold approximately ten million copies:
Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, where he is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health and the Lovell-Jones Professor of Integrative Rheumatology. Dr. Weil received both his medical degree and his undergraduate AB degree in biology (botany) from Harvard University.
Dr. Weil is an internationally-recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle, his philosophy of healthy aging, and his critique of the future of medicine and health care.