Raw? Vegan? Vegetarian? Lacto-Ovo? Pescatarian? Mediterranean? There have been so many diets promoted in natural health circles in America over the last decades. It seems they all have various benefits. And the one thing most have in common is the avoidance of consuming of cows and pigs.
Red meat and pork have no known health benefits. The animals are treated brutally and killed in a gruesome bloodbath that is easy to ignore because so few have witnessed our fellow mammals’ slaughter. Those who are employed to do the dirty work get very low wages and often incur injuries because of the size and weight of the animals and the speed of the work. It is very difficult to watch. Even when Cargill, one of the largest meat processing companies in the nation, allowed Oprah Winfrey into a couple of sanitized areas of a processing plant, they did not allow her cameras to film a cow being killed. Out of sight means out of mind.
We are very fortunate that there are so many other things to eat! This meat can feel energizing because of all the adrenaline in the animal when it is killed, and there is iron in blood and flesh, but there is also iron in spinach, dried fruit, and lentils. There is a tradition of the hunt and the roast, and this holds a special allure and place in our hearts. However, when you realize that is far from how the animals get to our plates nowadays, the romanticized vision vanishes.
One hamburger can contain up to 100 different cows. The US kills 35 million cows a year, and 13,200 pigs an hour. That is a lot of bloodshed, death, and killing. What would our country be like if that stopped? Our cardiovascular health would improve, as would our regularity. Less suffering for the animals coincides with less suffering for humanity.
If you would like to see what really goes on behind the closed doors of the slaughterhouse, it is a great motivator for change, although very sad to watch:
These videos have a louder volume, so you may wish to mute (this also makes them more bearable to watch):
This was filmed at Agriprocessors which was the largest (Glatt) Kosher meat producer in the United States, and the only one authorized by Israel’s Orthodox Rabbinate to export beef to Israel, before it was shut down in 2008 by inspectors (best to mute):
Thank you for being willing to read this, and watching some of the videos. I know it is very difficult to consider this topic because for so long we have been removed from the reality of it and since we were children we were taught to eat a certain way. Make sure to be gentle with yourself and go slowly when making changes in eating habits. Perhaps begin with a “meatless Monday.”
This film describes the positive environmental impacts that forgoing meat just one day a week can make:
For a well done documentary about one man’s journey with this issue, watch this clip:
Another inspiring story with regards to getting back to a plant-based diet is that of Dave the trucker. He was dying when he decided he had to tackle this problem head on:
Even the Mayo Clinic recommends “meatless meals”:
Recent articles in the LA Times and the Huffington Post lend weight to this conclusion:
Because of all the droughts we have been having in the US, the cattle are starving, and the herds are shrinking:
Cows are very gentle creatures. There is no skill or chase in hunting them. They are docile pacifists who give their milk and eat grass. They hurt no one, and do not deserve this torture. Pigs frolic and forage, are as sociable and intelligent as dogs, and genetically are surprisingly similar to humans (more so than any other domesticated animal):
The slaughter house is like hell on earth. It is time for the madness to end. It does not have to be this way. Humans have freedom of choice, and when we know better, we do better. And when we learn, we care.
These items can function in place of meats in traditional American recipes when needed, they’re pretty tasty, and the most popular ones are available at supermarkets:
I had a great experience when I asked my supermarket to carry a natural product they did not already have, and they now stock it in the store – thank you Vons!
If you are taking medications or have had surgery, please consult your doctor before making any changes in your diet and only undertake such changes under her/his supervision and monitoring. This is because dietary changes can lessen the need for certain medications. Also, listen to your body – if you need red meat, eat it. If you can avoid it when possible, and still feel good, please do. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice.
In recovery we often start taking better care of ourselves, trying to eat well and get enough rest. We may also begin cooking more for ourselves and our fellows out of a desire to eat and share healthy meals and have fellowship and community.
Olive oil is one popular cooking oil. Organic butter or Kerrygold Irish butter are other options. Or ghee!
For those who are up for something a bit more tropical, coconut butter, which becomes oil when heated, can be a light and tasty choice. Barleans makes it. And they also do a nice flax oil which is an excellent supplement or salad dressing with lemon juice, but must never be heated! Coconut oil, in contrast, can be eaten raw or used for cooking, and has a milder taste. Other popular brands are Matyah’s, Artisana, and Nutiva. Delicious on popcorn!
A recipe you may wish to try for a refreshing dish is combining the coconut oil with quinoa, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a little sea salt! It also makes a nice coleslaw with shredded cabbage, dash of stevia powder, dry mustard, celery seed, pepper, and vinegar.
Purported to be good for the lungs, thyroid, and hair, coconut oil is generally cooling and nourishing. As well it supports the immune system.
A promising article regarding the antiviral capacity of coconuts can be viewed here http://www.living-foods.com/articles/coconutbenefits.html
Coconut oil can be used topically as well as a natural moisturizer!
if you are at Trader Joes….
1) 100% blueberry juice- (not mixed with any other juices) great for eyes and memory
2) Larabars- made only of nuts, fruits, and spices like ginger and cinnamon- incredibly delicious treat
3) bag of ‘Southern Greens’- prewashed, prechopped collard, turnip, and mustard greens- easy to make and packed with nourishment
if you are at Costco….
4) large ‘Pomwonderful’ pomegranate juice- an almost 4 pound jug for 10 bucks! may be good for the heart, brain, prostate, and immune system- plus studies in Israel show that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone
5) dried sour montmorency cherries- a study was conducted at Michigan State University to find out whether traditional claims about these cherries relieving chronic aches and pains, arthritis and gout were true, and researchers discovered that indeed the anthocyanins, natural anti-inflammatory compounds in the pigment of the montmorency cherry, are 10 times more potent than aspirin
6) quinoa- (which is also in the bulk bin at the health food store with red and darker colored varieties) high in protein and minerals- serve with beans, avocado, cheese, veggies, or chicken- don’t overcook as it cooks really quickly (very convenient) and is best still a bit firm
if one is at the health food store….
7) chia seeds- chia is the Mayan word for ‘strength’- better known for their appearance as chia pets! tiny seeds which are powerhouses of energy and endurance
‘barleans’ flax oil- flax is purported to be good for hormonal balance, hair, skin, and nails- just a squirt a day chased with water!
9) dulse- contains high levels of natural iodine which can nourish the thyroid gland- chewy, salty snack
if one is online….
10) www.wholesalepinenuts.com American grown pinenuts in the shell! excellent source of fiber and nutrition
Low-level radiation is a silent killer, because we cant see it, feel I, hear it, taste it, or smell it. I am not talking about just nuclear weapons, but rather the low levels of exposure we are continuously exposed to on an every day basis. This post is dedicated to a friend of mine, and was born out of my concern for her, as she flies often.
Hollywood actor Richard Gere is supporting a plan to transform the site of Buddha’s enlightenment into a vegetarian zone to spread the message of peace. Gere hasn’t eaten meat for 30 years. He this week took part in a five-day training session with Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama, in the Indian town of Bodhgaya. Photo: AP
If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco, be sure to check out (or into) the Orchard Garden Hotel, one of California’s greenest.
I recently heard that for the first time three vegan books are in the top 100 books on Amazon. It made me want to share some of my favorite books with you.
At Al Gore’s book signing in Beverly Hills, it wasn’t the former VP who drew the most attention from onlookers-it was Peta’s sexy Mother Earth who turned heads. The crowd showed Mother Earth all the love she’s not getting from Gore, whose refusal to stop eating meat is getting in the way of his call to go green.
Gore has admitted that going vegan helps save the environment. And the official handbook for Live Earth-the concert series that Gore himself helped organize-states that not eating meat is the “single most effective thing you can do” to curb climate change. So why hasn’t he taken Peta’s effortless Pledge to Be Veg yet? Apparently, the simple, delicious truth is just too inconvenient.
My copy of Gandhi’s autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth arrived a few weeks ago and holy cow! I have a new found appreciation for Mahatma. I knew he was a vegetarian (oh, and that in his spare time he liberated India from British rule and single-handedly established the civil disobedience movement) but I had no idea he was the central figure in pioneering the animal rights crusade in India.
A green wedding can be with as much or as little eco-friendliness as one can muster. For some it means saving resources by having the wedding and reception in the same place so that guests arent driving between venues creating smog and using fuel. Kim Carlson investigates…