A few months ago I read the book, “Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor’s Program For Conquering Disease” by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., which led to my decision to engage in a 7-day water only fast.
If I were to pick one passage in the book which inspired me to do a fast it would be this one: “The innate wisdom of the body is such that, while fasting, it will consume for its sustenance superfluous tissues, carefully conserving vital tissues and organs. The body’s wondrous ability to autolyze (or self-digest) and destroy needless tissue such as fat, tumors, blood vessel plaque, and other nonessential and diseased tissues, while conserving essential tissues, gives the fast the ability to restore physiologic youth to the system.”
That was my motivation. Take a break from food and put my body into a fasting mode whereby it would spare protein and, instead, gobble up fat cells, cancer cells, diseased cells and atherosclerotic plaque.
Frankly, I have no idea if in the seven days of my fast I accomplished anything of that nature, with the exception of losing weight. I am, nonetheless, glad that I chose to fast for seven days and stuck with it.
What Fasting Taught Me
Although it was a physically and emotionally draining experience, it made me consider a number of things that I hadn’t thought much about prior to my fasting. It made me appreciate my willpower, that there is much I can accomplish if I apply similar tenacity and determination in other areas.
It made me appreciate my relationship with food, that my tendency in the past has been to eat when the clock, not my stomach, tells me to. Better to eat when I’m hungry, stop eating when I’m full, eat slowly to savor the distinctive flavors and taste sensations, and eat slowly for more healthy and efficient digestion.
It made me appreciate that I was not eating food for seven days by choice whereas there are millions of people not eating food for weeks and months, eventually starving to death, not by choice but because there is no food to be had.
This is disturbing enough as it is. Now add this nugget to the mix: “… the same amount of grain needed to produce one pound of meat could feed thirty-two people a day if they ate the grain directly. And so as our population increases, we will basically face the choice of whether to continue feeding our corn, wheat, barley, oats and soybeans to animals, while letting untold millions go hungry, or else to eat our grains directly, and have many times as much food available for human consumption.”
This quote comes from the book, “Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth From The Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat” by Howard F. Lyman. This book is very easy to digest, so to speak. And very powerful. Howard Lyman was one of the good ol’ boys who used all the modern technology, antibiotics and hormones to brutally terrorize, torture and mass murder animals for food and other commodities until he woke up to the truth of what he was doing to animals, to people and to the planet.
The Price of Beef
In terms of the planet, our rainforests are disappearing so that more cattle can graze. Plants, animals and fish are becoming endangered and extinct. Our water acquifers are drying up, turning once lush grazing land into eventual deserts. All of this is happening because of the animal-based food industry’s insatiable desire for profit by any means necessary.
Unfortunately, the majority of people on the planet are in favor of what is being done to the planet in order to have a flesh and blood based diet. The sad irony is that they are unaware of what is being done to themselves in the process.
For example, allow me to borrow another quote from “Mad Cowboy” which states that “… in 1991, a thirty-six country study reported a strong and direct correlation between consumption of dairy and animal fat and the incidence of prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer.”
In addition to cancer, an animal-based diet has clearly been implicated in the high incidence of elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart attacks and strokes. Nice, huh? We kill animals for food and then when we eat them, they kill us.
The Big Con
Most people don’t think they have any choice in the matter, believing that protein which is needed in the diet is equivalent to animal products and nothing else. This is a lie. Fruits, vegetables and grains, not to mention legumes, have sufficient protein that is necessary for people to survive and thrive. Consider elephants and horses, both of which eat only grasses, both of which are incredibly muscular and powerful beings. They don’t eat meat. They get plenty of protein.
It’s not just the cattle barons and dairy farmers who want you to believe the lie that animal protein is good for you and a prerequisite for good nutrition. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is in on the con. Consider the story that came out last week that the “food pyramid” is being phased out and a new paradigm, the “food plate” is being phased in.
If you look closely at the food plate, it lists fruits and vegetables as one piece of the pie, grains as another piece of the pie, and then protein as a third piece of the pie. The protein has a picture of fish and eggs associated with it, further feeding the misconception that protein comes from animals and nowhere else.
The media is in on the con, too. Consider all the excitement a week or so ago regarding the possibility that cell phones can cause cancer. Where’s all the hubbub about the possibility that animal and dairy protein can cause cancer? You just don’t see it. To publicize that story would be bad for business.
Did you know that in some states it’s against the law to claim that meat causes cancer. Howard Lyman and Oprah Winfrey learned that the hard way when Oprah had Howard Lyman on her show and supported such a claim. They eventually won the lawsuit that was filed against them by the beef industry.
A lot of people these days are decrying the concept of government mandates, that the government has no right to tell people what to do. This makes little sense to me. Certainly, when government intervention is unreasonable and excessive it is necessary that we speak up and protect our freedoms.
But the fact is I don’t think many people would disagree with the government mandates regarding driver’s licenses, automobile insurance, seatbelts, motorcycle helmets, cigarettes and toxic waste dumping. I do believe that a majority of people would be up in arms if the government mandated that they eat less meat.
Sadly, by not insisting that the government mandate the eating of less meat, we the people are mandating our heart attacks, strokes, cancers, diabetes and death, a failed healthcare system that can’t accommodate these catastrophic problems, as well as the demise of the ecological balance of our planet.
Don’t worry. Be happy…. Got milk?