My longest and most controversial article to date. A glimpse into humanity’s future and how our change to “lighter” diets can help restore us back to our full potential and heal our beloved Mother Earth. Please be aware that I recently switched to a vegan diet (on 3/7/2015 from a meat-dairy-eggs diet) so the information shared here will try to be enlightening to both vegans and non-vegans and both groups may not like some parts of this article because it will present information that supports both sides to a certain extent. The idea is to have compassion and understanding for both humans and animals, and hopefully resolve major misunderstandings between vegans and non-vegans.
Humans Ate Meat for Survival Not for Thriving
With the exception of those who lived in the Arctic or seasonally cold regions where vegetation was scarce, most paleolithic humans ate a largely vegetarian diet with occasional meat if vegetation was not enough and they needed to hunt and kill to get enough calories to survive. The misconception that the paleo diet was mostly meat-based probably came from the well-published cave art of Europe during the Ice Age (when vegetation tended to be scarce, especially in Europe during winter) that depicted hunting scenes with animals (Boyer, 2009). Unlike modern humans who only eat a few species of plants that are cultivated through modern agriculture, most paleolithic humans ate a significantly larger number of species of wild plants.
The indigenous people we know of today experienced something similar in that when they lived on their original lands which were free of deforestation and pollution, they ate a mostly vegetarian diet. However, as pollution, desertification (climate change), and environmental destruction made vegetation on their land scarce or significantly less bio-diverse (or they had their land stolen from them by government or other thugs and forced to move to less desirable land), they were forced to eat more meat in their diet just to survive. This is what happened to the Native American Indians according to Native American historian Rita Laws, PhD (Native Americans and Vegetarianism, 1994).
In addition, bones have a much greater chance of being preserved as fossils than the softer plant matter so just because we find more evidence of animal bone fossils does not mean that paleolithic humans ate mostly meat. The following lists several credible sources that provide evidence of the paleolithic human mostly vegetarian diet:
Though it is true that humans can eat just about anything to survive, it does not mean that eating meat, dairy or eggs is necessarily good for us long-term. Yes, we can survive on many different diets just like dogs and cats can eat grains, MSG, the meat of other exterminated dogs and cats, and synthetic additives in their conventional pet food. However, this does not mean they can thrive or be at their best health on this food.
Herbivore (Frugivore) by Design, Omnivore by Necessity & Habit
Deer and hippos are examples of herbivores by design (biologically or anatomically) but are known to eat meat by necessity when vegetation is scarce (Landers, 2012). However, this does not make them omnivores biologically. They are still herbivores who will have a higher chance of survival and less chance of extinction. Species who can survive in a variety of habitats and climates and can utilize many different food sources are referred to as generalists, while species like the koala who will only eat eucalyptus leaves are referred to as specialists. During times of environmental pollution, climate change, and deforestation, it is no wonder that koalas are now considered a threatened species. Like the deer and hippopotamus, humans are herbivores by design who are a generalist species who can survive in any climate and eat any food source.
If humans evolved from primates (e.g., we share 99% of our DNA with chimps and bonobos and 98% with gorillas), then it would make sense that we are a subclass of herbivores called frugivores like the chimps and bonobos. Scientific dietary classifications refer to what is eaten the majority of the time and is not necessarily exclusive. For example, being a frugivore means that you eat mostly fruits, but that does not mean you cannot eat other things such as insects, eggs, birds, or small mammals in smaller amounts. Omnivores do not eat one type of food predominantly and eat everything in relatively equal or unbiased amounts. See the following table to learn about our physiological features that make us frugivores by design:
Agriculture & Monetary System Significantly Increases Meat Consumption Beyond Survival Needs
With the advent of agriculture (which includes animal husbandry), eating meat is no longer for the purpose of survival but mostly for the acquired taste, habit or tradition. As a result, both grains and meat became more abundant in our diet and within a monetary system, most do not have to kill their own animal to eat it which makes it so much easier for humans to continue to eat animals and a lot more of it.
I would theorize that most people in the modernized world would stop eating meat if they had to kill their own animal to eat it. We have empathy and higher consciousness and therefore would not enjoy the experience of killing the animal. Animals, unlike plants, scream in pain, bleed, or try to run away or fight for their survival. That cannot be something we enjoy. It is no wonder that slaughterhouse workers have one of the highest turnover rates in the world and are increasingly being treated for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). Saying a prayer over the animal or giving thanks can be one way of alleviating our guilt, but if we really do not need to eat animal meat or byproducts to thrive and be healthy, why should we put these animals through this or put slaughterhouse workers through this? Humanely raising animals will spare animals from being tortured only up until the point when their life is taken away from them (against their will) when they are killed for meat. If you are really honest with yourself, killing or taking away the right to live from a fellow animal species against their will is not humane. The method you use to kill the fellow animal may be considered humane (e.g., painless and quick), but killing (or ending another’s life against their will) itself is never humane.
In addition, there is not only a huge monetary incentive to keep the populace sick (with foods that are not natural to their physiology) and dependent on Big Medical and Big Pharma, but the best way to keep the populace under control is to keep them feeble, weak, drugged, and poor.
Animal Products as Emergency Medicine, Plants as Holistic Medicine
Though humans have adapted to eating meat for survival due to climate changes, environmental pollution or destruction, and human foul-play, and then significantly increased meat consumption due to agriculture and monetary system, the physical damage and emotional stress caused by these factors actually increase the need for good animal products (as well as more plant products). Though plants are famous for their medicinal value, their effects tend to work more slowly but holistically and are great for treating chronic ailments. Plants are loaded with fiber, enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other potent phyto-nutrients. Animal products, on the other hand, tend to cause problems if too much is consumed or if consumed long-term resulting in diseases or shortened lifespan due to the unhealthy components of animal protein, cholesterol, and lack of fiber. However, they can be used as emergency medicine if there is extensive physical damage to the body or extensive emotional stress. Given the amount of toxic chemicals in our environment, products and food and stressful western lifestyles, this is not uncommon. This explains why those who do not do well on a vegetarian or vegan diet, tend to have more extensive physical or emotional damage and need more time to transition their diet. In order to understand this, we need to learn some truths about how our body uses certain nutrients and understand the process of detoxification.
A Healthy Human Body Requires Significantly Less Protein Than What is Currently Consumed
The average recommended intake of protein is 42 grams a day yet non-vegetarians eat almost 80 grams a day and even vegetarians and vegans eat over 70 grams a day, an average of 70% more protein than they should eat (Greger, 2014). In fact 97% of Americans eat too much protein and only 3% do not get enough due to calorie restrictive diets. A person can benefit from a higher protein requirement if there is extensive physical damage to the body, or if they live or work in a highly stressful environment, or if a person regularly engages in intense levels of activity (with no adequate rest period in between) which can result in wear and tear or damage to the body.
Protein is “Dirty” Fuel For Our Body
Though media, doctors, nutritionists, schools, animal agriculture industry, etc. all say that we need to consume large amounts of protein to be healthy, the truth is that the human body naturally conserves, recycles, and reuses amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to use in building and repair, metabolism (in the form of enzymes which are a type of protein), and immune system function (also in the form of enzymes). Protein is not the body’s favorite source for fuel. Fuel is something which gets burned or used up fairly rapidly and therefore one needs a constant supply of it from the diet. If the body naturally conserves, recycles and reuses amino acids, it means that it is not burning it up as fuel. Protein is too hard on the body to burn as fuel and it produces toxic metabolic by-products (e.g., sulfuric acid, amyloid deposits, uric acid, ammonia). It is a lot easier for the body to burn sugars (e.g., glucose, fructose) as fuel and therefore is the body’s number one preferred fuel for energy. It burns quickly and easily. The second preferred fuel is fat because it is the next easiest to burn taking a longer time to obtain energy from and therefore a slower burning fuel but longer lasting.
Though protein can be used a fuel, it is a highly inefficient fuel source so the body burns it only when sugar and fat is not available. It is interesting that the media and other “authorities” scare the public away from all sugar and fat, but promotes a high consumption of protein which is backwards and a recipe for disaster. Maybe this is a great way to control the population by keeping them too tired and sick to think critically, think for themselves, question authority, or to fight back against injustices. It’s also guarantees billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical and medical industry.
We Require Significantly More Fiber Than What is Currently Consumed
On the other hand, 97% of Americans are deficient in fiber and fiber only comes from plants, not animal products. If one is filling themselves up with animal protein then they will most likely eat less fiber as the stomach can only hold so much in a day. Fiber acts as the body’s internal broom, allowing it to sweep and clean our insides thereby playing a key role in detoxification and elimination of unwanted or even toxic substances from the body. A lack of dietary fiber has been associated with a higher risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and various cancers, as well as higher cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Americans eat on average only about 15 grams of fiber a day when the recommended minimum intake is 31.5 grams a day, which is less than half of the daily requirement. There is such a deficiency in fiber, that it is listed as a nutrient of concern in the 2005 and 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, yet we hear frequently marketed in the media and commercials high protein products as if Americans were deficient in protein (Oren, 2011).
All Foods Contain Protein, Richest Sources are Actually Vegan
It may be surprising to know that all foods contain protein. The only reason why some foods are classified as proteins and others as carbohydrate or fats is due to the percentage of protein the food contains in proportion to other nutrients. In addition, the richest sources of protein are vegan. Spirulina and chlorella (ancient varieties of algae grown in high-altitude lakes) are about 60% protein. The following table lists the foods with the highest percentage of protein (Meyerowitz, 2008):
|Spirulina & Chlorella||60%|
|Pine (Pignolia) Nuts||31%|
|Sea Vegetables (e.g., nori, kelp, dulse)||25%|
|Beef, Chicken, Fish||25%|
|Pumpkin and Squash Seeds||24%|
|Almonds and Pistachios||21%|
|Tempeh (fermented soybeans)||18%|
|Tofu (soy curd)||8%|
Incomplete Protein Myth
The “incomplete protein” myth or theory of protein combining to obtain “complete proteins” (all nine essential amino acids) from vegan sources was propagated by mistake by Frances Moore Lappé in her 1971 book Diet for a Small Planet. In the 10th anniversary edition of her book (1981), she retracted her statement and basically said that in trying to end one myth—the inevitability of world hunger—she had created a second one, the myth of the need for “protein complementing.” In this and later editions, she corrects her earlier mistake and clearly states that all plant foods typically consumed as sources of protein contain all the essential amino acids (Novick, 2013). An essential amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized from scratch by the body and therefore must be obtained from diet.
The Max Planck Institute for Nutritional Research in Dortmund, Germany found that complete plant proteins are superior to, or at least equal to, animal proteins. If plant proteins are superior to animal proteins, then this could explain why herbivores in Nature tend to be significantly larger in size and more muscular. Complete proteins can be found in most fruits, all leafy vegetables, potatoes, soybeans, peanuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, etc. (Cousens, 2009). In fact, more and more athletes and bodybuilders are switching to a vegan diet to get a competitive edge. Check out the video below to see 14 examples of vegan body-builders and their favorite meals they consume:
With the exception of animal gelatin (e.g., jello and marshmallows), all proteins, plant and animal, are complete proteins, i.e., contain all nine essential amino acids. There’s basically no such thing as an incomplete protein in natural, unprocessed foods. Therefore, non-protein amino acids such as taurine (which is technically not an amino acid, but rather an amino sulfonic acid found in animal sources and sea algae), can easily be synthesize by the body from the essential amino acids cysteine and methionine with the help of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and vitamin C (Norris, 8/20/2015).
High vs. Low Quality Protein
When you hear about high versus low quality proteins, what they’re talking about are the relative proportions of the different essential amino acids, not whether they lack any of the essential proteins or not. The more closely the proportion matches our own proteins, the higher quality it’s considered. Therefore, the highest quality protein (or the most perfect protein) for humans would be human flesh (i.e., cannibalism) as the protein’s essential amino acid proportions matches exactly our own. The next closest would be the flesh of other large mammals and so on down the chain (Greger, 2012). This is the reason why animal protein can be used successfully as emergency short-term medicine as it supplies an almost ready-made protein that can be utilized without much effort for emergency repair and replacement of body tissue.
Chronically high levels of emotional stress is known to produce a lot of oxidative stress damage in the body (Bouayed, 2009) which explains why people under a lot of stress also typically crave for animal protein especially from large mammals (e.g., cows) and even organ meats (as many have damaged organs or tissue), bone marrow, or blood (especially in those cultures in which these are customary like in Traditional Chinese Medicine and indigenous cultures). Organ meat, bone, and blood are rich in nucleoproteins which act like stem cells in that they can be utilized to build any type of cell the body needs. Organ meats, especially the liver, are the most nutrient dense part of a animal. This also explains why some respond really well on the modern-day Paleo diet which emphasizes meat while avoiding dairy and grains. However, once the body is healed, the long-term damaging effects of animal protein will outweigh its initial benefits as we will learn below.
The Long-Term Damaging Effects of Animal Protein on the Human Body
The differences between animal protein and plant protein is what makes animal protein more harmful to the human frugivore body long-term. Instead of being a superior protein, it is actually a significant contributor to many common health problems. This explains why cultures that eat almost exclusively meat tend to have shorter lifespans or more health problems (e.g., Eskimos, Russian Chukotka, and Kenyan Maasai have an average life expectancy of 45 years) and those that eat 0-5% animal protein or almost exclusively a plant-based diet are more likely to be centenarians (e.g., Seventh-day Adventists, Okinawans, and Ikarians).
Sulfuric Acid: Osteoporosis, Teeth/Gum Problems, Osteoarthritis, Kidney Stone
Animal proteins have more sulfur containing amino acids which are then metabolized into sulfuric acid (a highly corrosive strong mineral acid commonly used in household drain cleaners to unclog pipes) in the body thereby increasing the acidity (lowers the pH) of the blood. Many cells of the herbivore/frugivore body require a slightly alkaline pH of 7.35 (as opposed to slightly acidic blood of carnivores and omnivores) in order to live and function so the body does whatever is necessary to keep the pH of the body at 7.35. When the pH starts to lower, the body extracts calcium from the bones, cartilage, joints and teeth to buffer the acidity and restore alkalinity in the blood. This over time results in bone loss (osteoporosis), teeth and gum problems, osteoarthritis, and kidney stones (which are made of calcium oxalates). However, in cases of the elderly who have sustained more damaged tissue or bones over time, animal protein may have short-term bone-building effects (Promislow, 2001; Munger, 1999).
Phytate Myth: Paleo diet promoters often say that plant protein comes with plant toxins like phytate (i.e., phytic acid bound to a mineral in a seed) that is believed to inhibit the absorption of minerals and therefore they claim that eating plant proteins lead to osteoporosis not animal protein. Phytate is a naturally occurring compound found in all plant seeds (e.g., beans, grains, and nuts) that over the decades has been blamed for osteoporosis and teeth problems due to old studies done on puppy dogs and rats. That’s why one hears advice to roast, sprout, or soak your nuts to get rid of the phytates so we can absorb more minerals, like calcium. However, recent studies on humans show the opposite which is the bone-protective effects of phytates. This is consistent with reports that phytate inhibits the dissolution of bone similar to anti-osteoporosis drugs like Fosamax (Greger, 2014). It seems rather convenient for natural plant phytates to be vilified and blamed for osteoporosis so the pharmaceutical companies can sell their anti-osteoporosis drugs that use the same bone-protective mechanism as natural phytates. Drugs are always significantly more profitable than cheap natural foods. As they say, always follow the money trail…
Glucagon & Prostaglandin 1 (PGF1): Kidney Disease
A paper published in Nature found that animal protein causes the kidney to behave very differently than vegetable protein. When you eat animal protein your body begins to secrete two chemicals called glucagon and Prostaglandin 1 (PGF1), which change the hormonal balance in your kidneys, causing more blood and other stuff to pass through it. More stuff passing through the kidney is called an increase in the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) which can cause the kidney to become swollen and lead to kidney hypertension. Kidneys are responsible for filtering water-soluble toxins from the blood so an increase in GFR can quickly clog up the kidneys’ filtration mechanism leading to auto-toxicity (i.e., a build up of toxins in the body).
Evidence of the relationship between animal protein and kidney function has become so strong that reducing animal protein is practically always considered the first step in treating any kidney disease (Greger, 2012).
Purines: Gout, Heart Disease
Purines provide part of the chemical structure of all animal and plant genes and therefore are found in all cells of the human body. However, a relatively small number of foods contain concentrated amounts of purines. In general, high-protein foods (both animal and plant sources) are high-purine foods. When cells die, the purines in their genetic material also get broken down. Uric acid is the chemical formed when purines have been broken down completely. In our blood, uric acid serves as an antioxidant and helps prevent damage to our blood vessel linings, so a continual supply of uric acid is important for protecting our blood vessels.
However, uric acid levels in the blood and other parts of the body can become too high when we ingest a constant supply of animal purines (Choi et al., 2004) or when there is an excessive breakdown of cells (i.e., many cells are being damaged and are dying) and our kidneys are either unable to filter out the excessive uric acid in the body (i.e., kidney problems or disease, kidney hypertension, clogged up kidney filtration mechanism due to long-term consumption of animal protein) or cannot filter them out fast enough (due to excessive amounts). Since our kidneys are responsible for helping to keep blood levels of uric acid balanced, kidney problems can lead to excessive accumulation of uric acid in various parts of the body. When uric acid accumulates, uric acid crystals (called monosodium urate crystals) can become deposited in our tendons, joints, kidneys, and other organs causing a painful condition called gouty arthritis, or simply “gout” (whfoods.org, 2015). Uric acid build-up can also cause coronary artery calcification by calcifying blood cholesterol (which is normally soft) hardening them into plaque (Berezin, 2013; Kritchevsky, 1995; Greger, 2012).
Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1): Cancer
IGF-1 is a growth hormone mostly secreted by the liver as a result of stimulation by growth hormone (GH) from the pituitary gland. IGF-I is important for both the regulation of normal physiology, as well as creating a number of pathological states, including cancer as it promotes cell proliferation and inhibits cells death (apoptosis). Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) is thought to be a primary growth factor required for fetal development while IGF-1 is required for achieving maximal growth during childhood and for repairing damaged tissue. The two IGFs play roles in the promotion of cell proliferation and the inhibition of cell death or apoptosis (Wikipedia, 8/15/2015). During fetal development and childhood, levels of IGF-1 are naturally high to ensure optimal growth during this period. However, during adulthood, levels of IGF-1 naturally drop-off to stop growth unless animal protein is consumed on a regular basis. Animal protein, because of its closeness to human protein, signals the liver to secrete more IGF-1 to utilize the protein to build and repair. When adults do not need to grow anymore or do not have damaged tissue that needs repairing, the IGF-1 stimulates tumor or cancer growth (Greger, 2013; Greger 2012; Gholipour, 2014).
Amyloid: Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Thyroid Cancer, Heart Disease, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s
Amyloids are accumulated misshapen proteins that can damage any body tissue and disrupt organ function creating a disorder called amyloidosis. Examples of amyloid-associated diseases include Alzheimer’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, cardiac arrhythmia, thyroid cancer, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. Amyloids can be produced in your bone marrow under chronically stressful conditions or ingested into the body through consumption of chronically stressed animals (e.g., factory-farmed animals). For example, ducks under stress tend to deposit amyloid throughout their internal organs, stressed chickens tend to localize amyloid in their muscles and joints, and stressed cows have amyloid deposits in all their organs and muscles (Gregor, 2011; Glynn, 2013; Mayo Clinic, 2015, Dong, 2009; Wikipedia, 8/16/2015; Murakami, 2012).
TMAO: Heart Disease, Stroke
TMAO (trimethylamine-n-oxide) is a toxic byproduct of animal protein consumption. It is created by certain gut bacteria converting carnitine and choline to a toxic substance called trimethylamine, which then gets oxidized in our liver to TMAO and decomposes to TMA (trimethylamine), which is the main odorant that is characteristic of rotting seafood (HMDB.ca, 8/22/2015). TMAO/TMA have been shown to oxidize or harden cholesterol making them build up in the arteries and increasing the chances of a heart attack or stroke. Normally, our kidneys would be able to filter out water-soluble toxins like TMAO but those who eat animal protein on a long-term basis tend to suffer from kidney problems thereby building up TMAO in the bloodstream to toxic levels.
Carnitine is a substance found in almost every cell in an animal’s body, including our own. It plays a crucial role in energy production, as it is responsible for transporting fatty acids to the mitochondria. Our body synthesizes carnitine from the amino acids lysine and methionine so there is no dietary requirement for carnitine. The highest dietary sources of carnitine is red meat such as beef and lamb with moderate amounts in beans (Oz, 2013).
Choline is a nutrient that our body also makes and plays a role in methylation (a signaling process that helps turn on or off many bodily processes or functions) when folate is not present. It is also used to produce phosphatidylcholine, one of the most important structural building blocks of a living cell. Choline is also the backbone of acetylcholine (a nervous system signal molecule or neurotransmitter) that helps run your heart, keeps your intestines moving, or tell any other muscle when to contract (Mateljan, 8/23/2015). The highest dietary source of choline is eggs with moderate amounts found in seafood, beans, and green leafy vegetables (Stein, 2015).
The type of food you eat on a regular basis can influence the type of gut-bacteria you have. For example, if we eat a lot of fiber, then we would promote the proliferation of more fiber-consuming bacteria over time, and some of the compounds the fiber-eating bacteria make are beneficial, like propionate which have an anti-obesity effect. If we eat a lot of animal products, then animal-product digesting bacteria would proliferate as well as their harmful waste product, TMAO. This explains why vegans do not have elevated levels of TMAO in their blood because they lack the animal-product digesting gut bacteria that would produce TMAO from vegan dietary sources of carnitine or choline. In addition, vegans are a lot less likely to have kidney problems due to lack of animal protein consumption so any TMAO that is produced (through accidental or short-term, intentional consumption of animal protein) is easily filtered out of the body by the kidneys (Greger, 2013).
Plant Toxin Myths
Wheat Gluten: Though billions of people have subsisted on gluten-based foods for thousands of years (including vegetarian Asians eating seitan gluten mock meat), much of the digestive problems associated with gluten has been blamed on modern wheat having a higher concentration of a particular gluten peptide known as glia-α9. However, research into alternative therapies for Celiac disease (where gluten is blamed for the immune system attacking the lining of the small intestines which can lead to malabsorption and leaky gut syndrome) has shown that gluten is actually not the problem, but the lack of probiotics or good gut flora which actually help digest and break down gluten. In fact, wheat has FODMAP fructans that act as prebiotics to feed our good bacteria and gluten improves our body’s ability to fight cancer and viral infections by significantly increasing natural killer cell activity. High gluten bread also improves triglyceride levels better than regular gluten bread. (Greger, 2014; Adams, 8/19/2015)
Lectins: Lectins are a diverse family of carbohydrate-binding proteins found in nature. All plants and animals contain them. These proteins play various roles in normal physiological functions, for example, they help cells and molecules stick to each other, and perform various immune system related functions including preventing cancer or tumor cells from proliferating (Chan, 2013). In fact, there is a patent on lectins for their anti-tumor activities so it makes sense that natural foods that contain lectins would be vilified so that these cancer drugs would be the only alternative for cancer therapies. It would also be profitable to increase cancer rates if people avoided lectins, too (Swamy, 2010).
Lectins also help protect plants and animals from being overeaten as consuming lectins in large amounts, like most other dietary substances, is harmful. Although all foods contain some lectins, only about 30% of the foods we eat contain them in significant amounts. Legumes and grains contain the most lectins, followed by dairy, seafood, tubers (e.g., cassava, taro) and nightshade plants (e.g., tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant). However, most of the lectins are eliminated after cooking, and even more after soaking, sprouting, or fermenting (Leech, 8/20/2015; Taraday, 8/20/2015). Since other animals in nature do not know how to cook, soak, sprout or ferment, they avoid eating raw legumes, grains, and tubers which makes it exclusively a human-only food. This has let some researchers to believe that this difference in diet (cooked starches) is what helped humans brains evolve and differentiate itself from the rest of the animal kingdom (Hardy, 2015; Zimmer, 2015; Herculano-Houzel, 2013).
Nightshades: Nightshade vegetables or fruits include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, goji berries, Cape gooseberries, garden huckleberries, ground cherries, ashwagandha adaptogenic herb from Ayurvedic medicine, tobacco, all bell peppers, and all kinds of spicy or mild chili peppers like habaneros, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne, and jalapeno. Black and white pepper, sweet potatoes, yams, normal gooseberries, and blueberries are not nightshades. It is thought the name nightshade originated among the Romans who ground up a so-called deadly black nightshade (which we know today is called tobacco) and put it in an alcoholic drink intended for an enemy and the shade would come down that night for their enemy (they died). Nightshades have received negative attention for their high levels of nicotine, glycoalkaloids, calcitriol (the active form of vitamin D), and capsaicin, but the truth is that they all actually have great health benefits (click the links in this sentence to read more about each). As with any other compound, overdosing on any of these compounds is not good, but eating them in moderation is good. And again, there are pharmaceutical forms of these compounds so that explains why the food sources of these compounds are vilified.
Oxalic Acid: Many animals, plants, and fungi produce oxalic acid as a natural end-product of metabolism. Critics of eating raw vegetables like to say that it is found in high concentrations in green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens and that it prevents the absorption of calcium, creates kidney stones, and harms your thyroid gland and therefore you should avoid eating any of these leafy greens raw and instead eat them cooked as cooking significantly reduces their oxalic acid content. It is true that eating anything in very high concentrations can lead to illness which is why it is always a good idea to eat a variety of foods and rotate among them on a regular basis. However, any of the potential negative effects of high concentrations of oxalic acid can be mitigated by drinking lots of water and exercising on a regular basis which we all should do anyways for optimum health. In addition, studies indicate that the levels of oxalates are too high to be just an inert end-product of metabolism and therefore suggest that there may be an oxalate oxidase pathway in animals which uses oxalate to produce H2O2, which could be used to promote a proliferation of phagocytes which are white blood cells that protect the body by engulfing and breaking down disease-producing micro-organisms (e.g., harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi), foreign particles (e.g., chemicals, toxins), and cell debris (Caliskan, 1998). This explains why many actually experience significant improvements in health when drinking green smoothies with benefits increasing over time. This also explains why there is a U.S. patent on oxalic acid in the treatment of cancer (Patent No. 6,133,317).
Canavanine: Critics of eating raw alfalfa sprouts say that the canavanine in them is a natural toxin that can harm the immune system. However, the truth is that there are U.S. patents on canavanine (Patent No. 5,552,440) and pinotol (another powerful compound in alfalfa and some other plants) because they have powerful immune system boosting and adaptogenic properties. Sutherlandia frutescens, otherwise known as the Cancer Bush, is long used by indigenous people in South Africa to treat cancer, tuberculosis, flu, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome and AIDS. The key compounds in sutherlandia are canavanine and pinotol.
Psoralens: Critics of eating raw celery say that the psoralens in them sensitizes the skin to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. However, the truth is that there is a U.S. patent on psoralens (Patent No. 4,196,281) because they have the ability to help your skin produce melatonin to protect you from the sun’s damaging rays and produce vitamin D which helps treat acne, eczema, psoriasis, and vitiligo (abnormality of the immune system which results in patches of white color on the skin).
Vegetable Fiber: Critics of eating raw vegetables also say that the fiber in vegetables can cause constipation, gas, and prevent the extraction of minerals. It is true that if you eat a lot of fiber, you will be constipated if you do not drink a lot of water to help distribute and soften the fiber. Drinking a lot of water is a great idea anyway since most of us are chronically dehydrated and don’t know it and water is so important to many of our bodily functions everything from digestion and metabolism to circulation and elimination. Gas is produced if you don’t chew the raw vegetable well to break down the fiber and cell walls. Many of us do not take the time to chew our food thoroughly because of time constraints and bad habits like not paying attention to our eating and watching TV, reading, or talking while eating. This is why blending it in a green smoothie eliminates the problem of gas. Chewing well or blending also makes it easier for your body to extract the minerals in the vegetables and exercising actually significantly increases your chances of your body absorbing the minerals into your bones, joints, and other tissues that need them. In summary, eating raw green leafy vegetables is a great way to motivate you to eat a variety of food, exercise, drink more water, and take the time to chew your food thoroughly to avoid any potential side effects and reap all their amazing benefits.
Cholesterol vs. Saturated Fat
Cholesterol and saturated fat are used so interchangeably that most people think they are one and the same, but they are actually two different things and understanding these key differences will help us make appropriate dietary choices.
Saturated fats are chains of fatty acids (a carboxylic acid consisting of a hydrocarbon chain and a terminal carboxyl group) that are completely and evenly filled with hydrogen atoms (see Palmitic Acid and Stearic Acid chains on the left side of the diagram). Triglycerides (an ester formed from glycerol and three fatty acid groups) are the main constituents of natural fats and oils. Fats (triglycerides) that contain palmitic acid and stearic acid are therefore known as saturated fats and are solid at room temperature.
Unsaturated fats have some missing hydrogen atoms and have some carbons connected by a double-bond (see Oleic Acid and Linoleic Acid chains on the right side of the diagram). Oleic acid (an omega-9 fatty acid) is is a mono-unsaturated fat (e.g., olive and avocado oil) because it contains only one double bond, whereas linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid found in high concentrations in corn and grapeseed oil, for example) is a poly-unsaturated fat because it contains more than one double bond. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. They can be made solid at room temperature by hydrogenating it, i.e., saturating it with hydrogen by breaking the carbon double bonds and attaching hydrogen to it (heat the oil and add pressurized hydrogen gas and a nickel catalyst) thereby creating “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil”, otherwise known as margarine or vegetable shortening (the cardiovascular disease-causing trans fats). (Brain, 8/20/2015)
All fats and cholesterol can be synthesized by the body, mainly by the liver (75%), which indicates their lack of relative importance in obtaining them from diet (unless one has a compromised liver) and therefore there is no such thing as an “essential” fatty acid (Peat, 8/20/2015; Pranarupa, 2012). Cholesterol and saturated fats are very different structurally and therefore cannot be converted from one to the other so the idea that the ingestion of saturated fats leading to more cholesterol circulating in the blood is a myth. They only share one function in common, as we will see in the table below:
|Fats (including saturated fats) can be found in both animal and plant foods.||Cholesterol is only found in animal foods and is the main component of human breast milk.|
|Fats are used as fuel/energy (provide calories).||Cholesterol is not used as fuel/energy.|
|Cell membranes are made up of phospholipids, glycolipids, and cholesterol. Phospholipids are the largest component of the three and are made up of saturated and unsaturated fat.||Cholesterol is also a component of cell membranes and of the myelin sheath, the waxy substance that protects your nervous system.|
|Fats help carry fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K throughout the body.||Cholesterol is used to synthesize bile salts used for fat digestion, vitamin D, and steroid hormones (e.g., testosterone, progesterone, estrogen).|
|Fairly simple molecular structure||Rather complex molecular structure|
Cholesterol is Not Inherently Bad
Both cholesterol and fats fall under the class of organic compounds called lipids which are not water-soluble. Lipids are absorbed together in the intestines and into the bloodstream and because blood is mostly water, they are transported via water-soluble protein-coated carrier molecules called lipoproteins. The liproproteins for cholesterol are LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein). LDL and HDL play complementary but opposing roles in the body. LDL, featuring more fat and less protein, delivers cholesterol wherever it’s needed for tissue or cellular membrane repair. The liver naturally produces more LDL when there is damage in the body so there is no such thing as inherently “bad” cholesterol. HDL, consisting of more protein and less fat, actually helps remove excess or unused LDL from the bloodstream and takes it back to the liver to be recycled or reused. LDL only becomes bad when it is oxidized by acidic toxins in the blood or calcified by excess levels of uric acid or calcium and becomes hardened plaque (Rosedale, 2005). Because of its lower density, LDL is more susceptible to oxidation or calcification than HDL.
If you have a compromised liver and have damage to tissue in the body (and no cancer), or if you have normal liver function but extensive tissue damage, then temporarily obtaining cholesterol from diet may be helpful. This is why ghee (clarified butter with most of the animal protein removed) has been successfully used in Ayurveda (ancient system of medicine in Indian) for thousands of years. For even more extensive tissue damage, temporarily supplementing with animal protein, cholesterol, and fats will be useful.
Cancer Cells Need Cholesterol, Fats, Protein & Choline to Multiply
Since cholesterol, fats, protein, and choline (in the form of phosphatidylcholine) are used in cell membranes to give it structure and provide a selective barrier between the fluids inside the cell and the fluids outside the cell, it makes sense that rapidly re-producing cancer cells would use up a lot of the LDL and phospholipids circulating in the blood. This is why low-fat, cholesterol, and low-protein plant-based diets tend to be really effective in stopping cancer-cell proliferation. In the case of cancer, we have too much cellular growth (no need to grow or build such as in a repair scenario) so eating more cholesterol, fat, and animal protein does not make sense (Greger, 2013; Greger, 2014; Ackerstaff, 2013; Tewari, 2013; Greger, 2014).
Animal Protein & Cholesterol Increases Sex & Stress Hormones
Since animal protein tend to have more sulfur in them than plant protein and cholesterol is only found in animal products, regular consumption of sulfur and cholesterol encourages the body to produce more sex and stress hormones. This creates hormonal imbalances to the point where sex can become obsessive, perverted or destructive and children’s bodies are reaching puberty when they are not mentally ready yet leading to teenage unwanted pregnancies. Our intelligence is literally hijacked by these steriod hormones. Brain development, for example, slows down significantly once puberty kicks in so the later puberty kicks in the more our brain can develop during these formative years leading to greater levels of intelligence as adults. Too much testosterone has been linked to increase in aggressive, impulsive and violent behaviors. Sociopaths and psychopaths have the highest levels of testosterone and therefore the most likely to repeat their offenses. Elevated stress hormones keeps us in a constant “fight or flight” mode making us easily susceptible to anger, anxiety, fears and worries. In short, animal protein and cholesterol keeps us locked in our “reptilian” or lower brain (Write, 2014; Fuhrman, 10/8/2015).
The Real Sources of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B-12 is actually manufactured by bacteria in our intestinal flora, by bacteria that can be found in the organic soil (not conventional pesticide, herbicide, fungicide-laden soil), and by bacteria found in oceans and lakes. The bacteria eats decaying organic matter and excrete nutrients into the soil or water, including B12. The B12 along with other nutrients are absorbed by the plants first into its roots and then eventually to the rest of the plant. In the water, algae and aquatic plants use the B12 to grow and sustain themselves and then become food for marine animals. Unwashed organic vegetables contain higher amounts of B12 because of the soil on their surface in addition to the B12 already inside the vegetable. Scientists usually find little B12 in vegetables because they test vegetables grown in soil sterilized with chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, nematicides (chemical to prevent roots from rotting), and chemical fertilizers. B12 can also be found in the meat, liver, milk, and eggs of animals that eat unwashed organic plants and marine or aquatic plants.
Why Vegans Do Not Need B12 Supplements: Generations of vegans can survive without animal sources of B12 or B12 supplements in their diet if they have enough intestinal flora in their gut making the B12, eat organic produce, take the time to thoroughly chew their food, live a mostly peaceful and stress-free life (stress consumes a lot of B12), produce adequate stomach acid, have adequate amounts of calcium, and avoid alcohol, coffee, tobacco, antibiotics, antacids, and anti ulcer drugs (all which deplete B12). 60% of the total B12 in the body is stored in the liver and 30% is stored in the muscles. The liver stores and secretes B12 through bile into the beginning of the small intestine where it travels down to the end of the small intestine to be reabsorbed. About 65-75% of the B12 is recycled and reabsorbed in this way so our need for B12 is reduced and our B12 stores can last up to 20-30 years if we do not obtain any more B12 from probiotic foods or organic produce.
How Vegans & Non-Vegans Can Become B12 Deficient: Unfortunately, many environmental toxins (e.g., nitrous oxide or laughing gas from dental offices and nitrous oxide emissions from catalytic converters in automobiles), chemicals in our food, and pharmaceutical drugs create toxic build-up in our intestines which then kills off the good bacteria that produce B12 for us and prevents the recycling and re-absorption of B12 that normally takes place in our intestines. Antibiotics also kill off these good bacteria.
In addition, stomach acid production declines as we get older because our beliefs and views about how things should be becomes rigid thereby reducing our ability to “digest” or “stomach” life leading to a decline in hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid not only separates the B12 from the protein it is normally bound to, but the acid also has another protein (R-protein) that attaches itself to the freed B12 and then carries it to the small intestine where enzymes secreted from the pancreas release the B12 from the R-protein and then an intrinsic factor carries the B12 to the end of the small intestine where the intestinal cells latch onto the intrinsic factor carrying the B12 and absorbs it into the bloodstream to be distributed throughout the body where needed. Without sufficient stomach acid, the B12 cannot be removed from the protein it is bound to and therefore cannot be transported and absorbed leading to a B12 deficiency. The more you chew your food, the more stomach acid is produced. This is why eating fast and swallowing large pieces of food can easily lead to indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, gas, and constipation.
B12 also requires calcium for absorption so a calcium deficiency (which can also be caused by taking a type 2 diabetes drug like Metformin) can also result in a B12 deficiency. Emotional, psychological, and prolonged physical stress can deplete B12 reserves quickly. Alcohol, coffee, tobacco, antacids, and anti-ulcer drugs are also known to interfere with B12 absorption rendering any B12 consumed from diet useless.
Detoxification: The Cure for all Diseases
Very few people would argue against the fact that we currently live in the most polluted world now with pollution seemingly getting worst each passing day. There are so many toxic chemicals in our air, food, water, personal care, household cleaning products, buildings, and many other products we use. It is no wonder why we have so many diseases or health conditions now. Living in polluted environments cannot be healthy for our body and mind. It is logical to conclude then that everyone would benefit from some level of detoxification of the body and that diseases are cured if not significantly alleviated by removing toxins from the body so the body can do its job of healing itself effectively. The body already has organs for detoxification (i.e., liver, kidneys, colon, lymphatic system, skin) but if exposure to pollutants are too high, they can eventually impair or damage the detoxification organs themselves. At this point, our bodies definitely need external help.
A very important aspect of detoxification that some tend to overlook is that we not only have to focus on getting the existing toxins out of our body, but we also need to stop putting toxins in our body, otherwise, the detoxification effort is negated in the end (like trying to dump water out of a sinking boat while water continues to come in). This is easier said than done because toxins are embedded in almost everything we use and in almost every place we go. However, we can at least reduce a significant amount of exposure by making changes to our diet (food and water), personal care, and household cleaning items we use. The most effective (and cost-effective), permanent way to detoxify the body through diet is to change to a plant-based diet gradually. It will not only detoxify your body but it will also stop the toxins from entering your body through diet.
Detoxification Through Gradual Changes in Diet: If you come from a meat-eating diet, do not go directly to a vegan diet and then blame the vegan diet for being the wrong diet for humans. A wholesome vegan diet (especially raw vegan) is extremely detoxifying due to all the fiber, chlorophyll, antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients. Detoxifying your body too fast (beyond your liver, kidneys, colon, lymph and skin’s ability or capacity to eliminate them from the body) can do more damage to your body than good as well as produce massive cravings or withdrawal symptoms so transition slowly over a longer period of time to ensure success. There is really no one “right” way to do this. Make the changes as fast as you feel comfortable using the following order of the least detoxifying to the most detoxifying types of food as your guide.
Eliminate refined, processed, artificial, GMO, non-organic, or chemical-laden junk food
Eliminate also meat (e.g., beef, chicken, pork, seafood) – vegetarian diet
Eliminate also dairy and eggs – vegan diet
Eliminate also cooked foods – raw vegan diet (first eat more veggies than fruits and then gradually eat more fruits than veggies, towards a more frutarian diet)
Eliminate also solid foods – raw vegan smoothies
Eliminate also bulk fiber – raw vegan juices
Eliminate also juices except for lemon juice, water and maple syrup – lemonade fast
Eliminate also lemonade – water fast
Eliminate also water – dry fast (not recommended unless you are spiritually and physically ready)
You do not have to go in the exact order listed above. You can jump around and back and forth between numbers 2 through 8 as you see fit. However, doing number one on the list above as soon as possible and as permanently as possible is always a good idea as these are considered junk, fake, or always toxic foods (never is good for you) that should never be in a diet anyways). When starting number 2 above, some people start by eliminating the largest animal first and then work their way down to the smallest animal. Others just focus first on having one vegetarian meal a day, and then eventually extend that to two vegetarian meals a day, and then one whole vegetarian day a week, and then two whole vegetarian days a week and so on over time. If you start getting detox symptoms that are too much for your body to handle, slow down the detox by adding back some components of your previous diet (as on as it is natural, organic food devoid of chemicals as much as possible, and avoid the obvious toxic junk or fake foods at all costs).
Detox Symptoms vs. Nutrient Deficiencies: Detox symptoms can range from simple cold/flu or withdrawal symptoms to full-blown diseases or resurfacing of old injuries or traumas through the release of cell memories so be careful and be prepared. Another important reason for making the detoxification process gradual is to prevent mistaking a detox symptom for a valid craving (or nutrient deficiency) your body has. For example, craving for cholesterol or animal protein, can be a valid craving if your body has extensive damaged tissue and your liver is compromised. Craving for cooked food (especially cooked starches) can also be a valid craving when your body needs easy access to glucose to fuel a lot of repair work that needs to be done. Just keep the source of cholesterol, animal protein, or cooked food as clean and free of toxins as possible and know that the valid craving will eventually go away on its own as your body repairs itself. It took me eight years to successfully transition (i.e., not have any cravings or detox symptoms) to a 90% raw vegan diet (10% cooked vegan). I could have made the transition shorter if I did not have three children to care for and work full-time (i.e., had the time and luxury to just stay in bed for about a month to allow my body to heal itself).
Food for the Largest Brain in Your Body
The single most important thing you can do during your transitional diet is to regularly eat probiotic-rich foods such as unpasteurized or raw fermented foods (e.g., fermented vegetables/fruits, water kefir, kombucha tea, apple cider vinegar, banana vinegar) as well as prebiotic-rich foods (i.e., food for your probiotics) such as sweet fruits, cooked beans, wheat, cassava (yuca) root, unripe banana/plantain, rice, and potatoes, or raw potatoes. Probiotics not only produce B12 for you and help you digest and utilize gluten and many other nutrients, but they also help you detoxify your body, neutralize toxins minimizing the detox symptoms, and uplift your mood through the increased production of serotonin in the gut. Your gut looks like a large brain because it is the largest brain in your body and therefore produces many of the same neurotransmitters found in the brain in your head.
Beyond Factory Farms: Environmental Destruction from Humanely Raised Animal Agriculture
Non-vegans and vegans would both most likely agree that factory farm animal torture practices and environmental destruction need to stop. Though vegans cite factory farms as one of the main reasons to switch to a vegan diet or lifestyle, many non-vegans do not see it as a reason to switch to a vegan diet. Non-vegans believe that animal torture or cruelty is not necessary to obtain their meat, dairy, or eggs and believe that humanely and organically raising farm animals will also end environmental destruction and climate change. However, simply replacing factory farms with real organic farms (there are some fake ones out there) will only have a small impact on the environmental destruction or climate change. In fact, it will most likely increase the need for deforestation and most likely result in a significant increase in cost to non-vegans since humanely and organically raising animals costs more. Humanely raising a grass-fed cow requires at least 1 hectare of land per cow, so it is estimated that we would need five planet Earths at the current animal product consumption rate. Humanely or organically-raised animal agriculture will not solve the following environmental problems because:
Livestock is the leading cause of species extinction and habitat destruction. The leading causes of rainforest destruction are livestock and their feed crops. For example, livestock is responsible for up to 91% of the Amazon rainforest destruction. 136 million rainforest acres have been cleared for livestock (as of 8/13/2009). Up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction. 1,100 rainforest protection activists have been killed in Brazil in the past 20 years to silence them.
Nearly half of the contiguous US is devoted to livestock (and that is mostly with the factory farm concentration camps of today–imagine if they were all turned into humanely-raised organic farms which require much more space). Instead of having species diversity with restoration of forests and natural wild animal habitats, we have an overpopulation of a few species taking up an enormous amount of space. 10,000 years ago 99% of biomass (i.e., zoomass) was wild animals; today, humans and the animals that we raise as food make up 98% of the zoomass.
Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, more than any other contributor, and more more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.
Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame. Methane has a global warming power 86 times that of CO2. Cows alone produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day globally. Just reducing methane only we would see results almost immediately.
Livestock is also responsible for 65% of all emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas 296 times more destructive than carbon dioxide and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.
Livestock related emissions is projected to increase 80% by 2050, whereas energy related emissions is expected to increase only 20% by 2040. Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes limit by 2030, all from raising livestock.
Livestock water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually, which is 80-90% of US water consumption. Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.
2,500 gallons of water is required to produce 1 pound of beef; 477 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of eggs; almost 900 gallons of water for 1 pound of cheese; and 1,000 gallons/liters of water to produce 1 gallon/liter of milk.
Worldwide 50% or more of grain is fed to livestock. 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries. Feed everyone today by stop feeding animals our grain. We can produce 5 times more protein on any given area of land with plants, rather than animals. 1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food, but only 375 pounds of meat.
Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year: Vegan (1/6th acre), Vegetarian (3 times as much as a vegan), Meat Eater (18 times as much as a vegan). A person who eats a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th the oil, 1/13th the water, and 1/18th the land compared to a person who eats meat in their diet. Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forested land, 20 pounds of CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life.
References and more information can be found at Cowspiracy.com.
The Hidden Agenda of Alan Savory’s Grazing Approach
Allan Savory’s standing ovation TED talk in February 2013 propagated many myths about cattle grazing and desertification. His claim was that intensified rotational cattle pasturing is the answer to our global population explosion, climate change, and desertification (forests now turned into deserts). The following is a list of inconsistencies, unsupported claims, and suppressed key information in his TED talk (Oppenlander, 2013; McWilliams, 2013; Wuerthner, 2013):
False idea that desertification is an isolated problem with no known cause. The truth is that most desertification is actually caused by the raising of cattle (which comes from our food choices) because forests have to be cut down to create grasslands or crop lands to feed the cattle and then the land eventually becomes a desert due to a lack of or an insufficient number of trees to prevent top soil erosion and water evaporation. Desertification then leads to climate change as trees are needed to capture moisture and create rain clouds.
Almost all research done on Savory’s intensified rotational pasturing technique or similar techniques actually prove that these techniques do not work or has the opposite effect of progressive deterioration in pastures and animal performance.
False claim that many desertified areas of the world can only be used to grow animals, not plants, to feed people such as the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA), which comprises eight countries and covers six million square kilometers, one of the most highly desertified regions in the world, having lost more than two-thirds of its topsoil. Livestock already occupy 44% of the total land surface of the eight GHA countries and are directly responsible for use of the sparse natural resources that should be used for their human population. The country of Eritrea, for instance, has a human population of 5 million people yet is using their very few resources to support 6 million cattle, sheep, and goats. Ethiopia is cutting down 25,000 acres of their forests each year in order to make more room for their growing herd of livestock, now the largest in Africa, while their human population suffers from lack of food. The use of sparse and dwindling natural resources for livestock in the GHA is choking the struggling human population, yet Savory’s plan would add more livestock to the region.
Savory does not addressed how he plans to restore loss of ecosystems, plants, animals, and insects that were originally present before livestock ruined the landscape. Intensified rotational pasturing is hardly the “mimicking of nature” that he proclaims it to be. However, reintroducing the 10 million acres of forests lost each year in Africa, the 140,000 lions, leopards, and other predators back into the equation and all other wildlife and biodiversity that has been destroyed over the years by livestock would be mimicking nature.
From 1955 through 1969, when he served as game ranger/officer in Northern and Luapula provinces of Rhodesia (now Zambia), Savory supervised the killing of game animals and advocated the mass culling (depopulation through selective slaughter) of 40,000 elephants and hippos, convinced that they were destroying or desertifying the habitat. The truth was that the repeated burning or human-induced fires in the dry season (from slash-and-burn/swidden agricultural methods) was the most likely cause for desertification.
His Savory Institute operation and advocacy for increasing cattle and livestock production are in full support of increasing the meat and dairy industries. This is not surprising as his leading team members (Director of Research and all co-founders of the Savory Institute) are derived entirely from the meat and dairy industry. Most of them own and continue to operate very large cattle and other livestock ranches for the purpose of slaughtering, selling, and eating meat.
The Humanely-Raised Organic Farm Deception
Unfortunately, most large organic farms are almost as bad as conventional factory farms and are no where near being humanely raised (HumaneMyth.org, 8/21/2015; LiberationBC.org, 8/21/2015; Good, 2014). The truth about animal products that are labelled humane, free-range, grass-fed, sustainable, etc. is that they can make a lot more money using many factory-farm practices while charging a much higher price by using dishonest labels. The only differences that qualify them to use the “humane” label on their products are a little smaller operation, a little more space for the animals, and avoidance of pharmaceuticals. The rest are pretty much the same as factory farms practices as you can see in the following practices these “organic” farms typically engage in (Bohanec, 2014):
Eggs labeled “cage-free” or “free-range” still live in overcrowded, windowless warehouses where the stench of ammonia is overwhelming. They are still painfully debeaked, brutally handled, and they still go to a terrifying slaughter at a young age. It is not cost effective for these farms to hatch their own chicks, so the babies still come from the industrial hatcheries where all male chicks are cruelly killed by the millions soon after hatching, as they are considered a waste product of the egg industry.
Dairy products with an “organic” or “humane” label come from cows that were perhaps able to go outside for some of their life, but they were still artificially inseminated, kept pregnant their entire short lives, and were milked well beyond what was ever intended for their bodies naturally. Their calves were still taken away soon after birth, never to nuzzle or suckle their own mother’s milk, or to frolic in a field. If the calves born to dairy cows are male, they are worthless to the dairy industry, and are sold as veal or or for their cheese-making rennet stomach enzymes. Sick and diseased cows are left to suffer untreated so the milk will not be tainted with antibiotics.
Animals raised solely for meat with a “feel-good” label are frequently subjected to overcrowding and painful bodily mutilations such as debeaking, tail cutting, ear notching, tooth filing or clipping, castration, and de-horning, all without pain medications. They are also sent to the same horrific slaughterhouses that factory-farmed animals go to. They just get a different label on the package even though they were slaughtered very painfully, cruelly and inhumanely.
What Humanely Raised Would Look Like
The truth is that true humane treatment of animals is simply not to kill them for meat or eggs, or shorten their lifespan to obtain enough milk for human consumption. If we need to raise animals for meat, milk, or eggs, the closest we could come to “humanely” raised would probably look like the following:
|Factory Farm||Almost Humanely Raised|
|Cows normally have a lifespan of 20-25 years. However, in factory farms, they are typically only given 15 months of life before they are slaughtered for meat.||Cows raised humanely would be allowed to live up to at least 20 years before they are slaughtered. To reduce the wait time to meet current demand for meat, you would need to have 20 times more cows than usual on the farm.|
|Dairy cows are artificially and forcibly inseminated (a person inserts his arm far into the cow’s rectum in order to position the uterus, and then forces an instrument into her vagina. The restraining apparatus used is commonly called a “rape rack”) at 15 months of age and allowed to live until their bodies are exhausted of milk which is just 4-6 years of life after which they are then slaughtered for meat. Semen for the artificial insemination is typically collected with the use of castrated males (steers) as “stand ins” for females because the musco-skeletal structure of females cannot handle the stress of being mounted over and over again by the bull for the collection procedure in which an artificial vagina is used.||Dairy cows are allowed to mate with bulls at 15 months of age and milking the cow is stopped as soon as the calf is weaned. They are then allowed to mate again to repeat the cycle. Since there will be lapses in milk production, you will need to have a lot more cows to meet the current demand. Avoid impregnating the cow every year so the cow can live to at least half of its lifespan. It may only live half of its lifespan because obtaining extra milk from the cow while its calf is obtaining milk is like having to nurse two or more calves at the same time depending on how often you are extracting milk. This is unnatural for a cow in nature. Cows instinctively wean their calf shortly before the arrival of the next calf because they know their bodies and milk will be more depleted nutritionally nursing two calves at the same time.|
|As soon as the dairy cow’s calf is born, the calf is taken away from the mother so the milk will not be wasted on the calf and sold for human consumption instead. The calf is given some inferior reconstituted powdered “formula” milk as a substitute. If it is male it will live the rest of its short life in a very tight cage to prevent any movement or muscle development so they can be slaughtered for veal in as little as a few days old if they are successfully auctioned off. If they are sold to a veal operation, they will be crudely castrated and killed after spending 4 months in the small crate. Rennet enzyme (only found in calves) is taken from its stomach to make all kinds of cheeses including aged cheeses. If it is female, it will be raised as a dairy cow.||The calf (whether female or male) is allowed to be with its mother and drink its mother’s milk until naturally weaned at usually around 10 or 11 months. During this feeding time, additional milk will be taken from the cow for human consumption. This unfortunately, will shorten the lifespan of the cow as the cow has to produce milk for a calf and for a certain number of humans. Veal can no longer be sold or consumed and the variety of cheeses available will be limited and can only be aged under 6 months using a vegetable enzyme derived from a special type of mold (Mucur Miehei), or using lime juice or vinegar.|
Hens Were Not Originally Designed to Lay So Many Eggs
It is a common misconception that chickens are always just naturally “giving” their eggs away, because modern hens have been intensively bred to lay between 250 to 300 eggs a year using techniques such as taking away eggs from the hen when they go into brooding mode so their hormones can change back to producing more eggs instead of nesting on them and starving the hen to near death because it significantly increases the number of eggs a hen can lay (What’s Wrong With Eggs? The Truth About the Egg Industry). But in the wild, chickens, like all birds, lay only during breeding season, primarily in the spring, and only enough eggs to assure the survival of their genes which is about 10 to 15 eggs a year. The unnaturally high rates of labor intensive, energy depleting egg production that modern hens are forced to sustain means that even on small farms and backyard chicken operations, hens are virtual prisoners inside their own bodies.
Tumors of the oviduct
Peritonitis, a common disorder and frequent cause of death in egg laying hens. Egg yolk peritonitis results from rupture or lodging of thin-shelled or otherwise malformed eggs in the oviduct. Thin-shelled eggs are common in layer hens because the birds do not have sufficient calcium stores to produce such a high rate of shells. When eggs break inside hens, this leads to a build-up of rotting egg material in the oviduct and abdomen, which causes painful swelling and frequently fatal bacterial infection.
Egg binding, in which large eggs getting stuck and being slow and painful to pass
Uterine prolapse, a condition in which the lower portion of the oviduct fails to retract back into the body after laying an egg
Osteoporosis and accompanying bone fractures; and, in some cases, total skeletal paralysis, sometimes referred to as “caged layer fatigue.”
Another result of the greed for eggs and profit, millions of newborn baby chicks are killed by the egg industry every single day; more than 260 million are killed every year in the U.S. alone. At the hatcheries that supply female chicks to factory egg farms, small farms, and backyard egg hen enthusiasts, male chicks are sorted and killed shortly after birth by being ground up alive in giant macerators, gassed, or left to suffocate in garbage bags and dumpsters. Because male chicks will never lay eggs and are not the breed sold for meat (meat chicken breeds have been genetically manipulated to grow much more breast muscle and flesh), they are considered worthless to the egg industry, and so are disposed of as trash. Destroying male chicks is standard egg industry practice worldwide (see this 5 second graphic video). Even the most rigorous humane labeling certification programs in the U.S., Certified Humane, American Humane Certified, and Animal Welfare Approved, permit the killing of male chicks at the hatcheries which supply their egg farms with laying hens (Capps, 2014).
Why Cow Milk Does NOT Do a Body Good
Big & Lower IQ: Of all the mammals, human milk has the lowest protein content and the lowest ratio of casein protein to whey because humans have the slowest muscular-skeletal growth rate (where protein is required) so that the human body can focus more on brain growth or development (where carbohydrates and fats are required). Cow milk, on the other hand, has three times the amount of casein than human milk because muscular-skeletal growth is more important than brain growth for cows. This is why humans who consume the most dairy, tend to have larger frames but lower IQs than those who don’t.
Intestinal Bleeding & Anemia: Casein is a special protein found in the breastmilk of mammals that require a special enzyme produced only by infants called renin to be able to break down and digest. Once weaned, the renin production stops since it no longer needed. Human babies produce only a very small amount of renin because the mother secretes a probiotic bacteria through her nipples when her breastmilk is expressed that helps digest the casein in her milk. Calves, on the the other hand, produce large amounts of renin in their stomach in order to handle the large amount of casein in cow’s milk. Human babies that are fed whole cow’s milk during the second six months of life may experience a 30% increase in intestinal blood loss and therefore a significant loss of iron in their stool because cow’s milk has three times the amount of casein which makes it very hard to digest.
Lactose & Galactose-Intolerant: Another problem with cow’s milk is the lactose sugar which requires the lactase enzyme to digest. Lactase enzyme production stops when weaned which is why many humans are lactose-intolerant. However, white or European populations that continue to regularly consume cow milk beyond weaning and for multiple generations, the lactase enzyme continues to be produced. Lactase splits the lactose molecule into two components: glucose and galactose. β-galactosidase enzyme is then needed to convert galactose into glucose. However, no one produces this enzyme after the weaning period so everyone (including whites or Europeans) is galactose-intolerant.
Diarrhea: One of the symptoms of lactose intolerance is diarrhea because the lactose passes right through the stomach and small intestines undigested to land in the colon where the bacteria can break it down into sugar which then attracts a lot of water into the colon and causes diarrhea. Infants fed formula or cow’s milk are 80% more likely to develop diarrhea when compared to breast fed infants.
Allergies & Constipation: Milk is one of the most common food allergies due to casomorphine, a protein fragment, derived from the digestion of casein which acts as an opiod which is why dairy (especially cheese which is the most concentrated in casomorphine since it takes 10 gallons of milk to produce 1lb of cheese) is the hardest to give up for most people trying to switch to a vegan diet. The opiod also acts as a histamine releaser which is why it is estimated that 70% of the world population is allergic to dairy (Crosby, 9/26/2015). Most allergy tests detect only secondary allergies but not the primary milk allergy. The opiod effects also cause constipation by paralyzing the colon muscles so that they do not push out effectively the waste matter (Fawcett, 9/26/2015).
Cataracts, Cancer, Infertility: Since the body can no longer use galactose it becomes a foreign substance and your body stores it everywhere. Cataracts that form on the cornea or lens of the eye, for example, are found to be made up largely of accumulated galactitol (a fermented version of galactose). Build up in the breasts, ovaries, prostrate, or rectum can lead to infection, cancer and infertility. Countries that consume the largest amount of dairy tend to have significantly more cases of cancer than those countries that consume little or no dairy. In white and European populations infertility now affects one in four.
Diabetes Type I: Since cow casein cannot be fully digested by the body, the impartially digested bits of casein in the body can end up in the blood circulation. The body makes antibodies in response to the abnormal casein protein. However, there is an amino acid sequence in the abnormal protein that happens to be the same as the beta cells of the pancreas so the antibodies attack the pancreas and destroys it thereby causing Type I or child-onset diabetes (not producing insulin). The abnormal proteins can also be passed on from the mother to the infant through the breastmilk and cause Type 1 diabetes in the child even if the child never ingested dairy products.
Satiety Without Absorption: Cheese is mostly highly concentrated casein, oxidized cholesterol, and indigestible galactose (since the fermentation process breaks down the lactose into glucose and galactose). The pepsin acid in the stomach can only cut the protein to a certain extent but is unable to unwind the already cut components so the casein remains as undigestible particles that are too large to pass through to the intestines so it sits in the stomach for an average of 10 hours (compared to only up to 4 hours for plant foods and 6 hours for meat). This is why cheese is so satiating. In Germany there is a saying that translates to: “cheese shuts off the stomach.” So beware of those things that are satiating as that means they are hard to digest and therefore cannot extract nutrients from. Eat foods that digest quickly and easily so that you can extract energy from them quickly and easily and then pass any wastes from them quickly and easily. Easy digestion equals easy nutrient absorption and elimination.
Osteoporosis: Hundreds of publications show that consumption of too much animal protein and too little vegetable protein (i.e., a high ratio of animal to vegetable protein) significantly increases the rate of bone loss and risk of fracture. The worst protein of them all is casein. Aged cheese is the most acidic food forcing your body to neutralize the acidity by pulling minerals from your bones and joints. Only 25% of the calcium from cow’s milk is absorbed by the body. Human milk, although containing less than half the calcium of cow’s milk, is a better source of calcium due to its high absorption. Also, anything dark green like kale, turnip greens, and sesame seeds are better sources of calcium due to high absorption.
Leukemia, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Lou Gerhig Disease: Cows infected with bovine leukemia virus (BLV) produce significantly more milk than non-infected cows so farmers naturally select and breed the BLV infected cows resulting in over 80% of the cows in the U.S. producing BLV tainted milk. Iowa (a dairy state) has higher rates than the national average for human leukemia. A 1980 study showed an increase in human leukemia in areas with high levels of bovine leukemia. MS patients exhibit an antibody activity against BLV and those with Lou Gerhig disease report drinking large quantities of milk.
Tuberculosis, Brucellosis, Diphtheria, Scarlet Fever, Q-Fever, Gastroenteritis, Listeria, etc.: Milk is an excellent vehicle of infection because its fat content protects pathogens from gastric acid, and, being fluid, it has a relatively short gastric transit time. Listeria is an infection that causes blindness, still births, and deformities. The pathogen is resistant to pasteurization and even grows well at refrigeration temperatures. In fact, pasteurized milk has significantly more pathogens than raw milk because the probiotic good bacteria in raw milk helps eliminate or make negligible the pathogens whereas pasteurized milk has zero good bacteria but a lot of pathogens. This is why raw milk only turns into sour yogurt or cheese and never gets rotten whereas pasteurized milk can become rotten (does not turn sour) and develops a rotten smell.
Other Conditions Associated with Dairy: Chronic fatigue, tension headaches, musculosceletal pain, hyperactivity, bedwetting, ear infections, congestion, asthma, respiratory difficulties, acne, rheumatoid arthritis, early atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease. Cholesterol by itself is not bad. It becomes a problem only when it gets oxidized or hardened. Milk is the largest source of oxidized cholesterol because it is a liquid that is more easily and more frequently exposed to air through homogenization, shaking and blending. The cholesterol can also get easily calcified (hardened) due to all the calcium pulled from the bones to help neutralize the acidity of casein. Infants fed formula or cow’s milk are 70% more likely to develop ear infections than human breast fed infants.
References for all of the above can be found in the Dairy Milk & Health dangers – Udderly Amazing by Professor Walter Veith video.
Evolution to “Lighter” Diets
The reason why we rarely find multi-generational vegans (I personally have only met one person who claims to be a fourth generation vegan) is simply because eating habits of families tend to passed on to children and are very hard to break. Because our ancestors had to eat some meat to survive climate changes, their eating habits were simply passed on to the next generation. As the truth about our real natural diet continues to be revealed along with all the health problems, animal suffering and exploitation, and environmental destruction animal agriculture causes, more and more people will change their diets, usually first to vegetarian and then later vegan and from cooked foods to more raw foods with each change in diet getting “lighter” (raw foods have significantly more biophotons, which are particles of light in the cell structure) and easier to digest, assimilate and eliminate. The transition to a lighter diet will also help reverse environmental destruction and pollution which will then make it even easier for more people to transition to lighter diets since they will have less damage to their bodies.
In the vision of the future I received over eight years ago, I saw us not needing to eat or drink and that we lived just on sunlight, oxygen, and prana, otherwise known as the “breath of Life” (see Pranayama: The Power of Breath to learn more). At that time, I did not understand the vision or even thought it was possible, but as I started to do some research on the topic, I learned that this phenomenon is called breatharianism and people who live this lifestyle are called breatharians. Since I am not a breatharian, I will not write authoritatively on this subject. However, I highly recommend learning more about it from the following breatharians, the first two have actually submitted themselves to scientific verification and testing to prove their ability to live without eating or drinking:
Plants Are Sentient Beings
Non-vegans frequently point out that plants feel pain, too. The reasons for doing this (in my own experience as a former non-vegan) is: to justify that it is okay to eat animals, too, since both feel pain anyways, and to make vegans feel bad that they are inflicting pain on plants since vegans claim to care for all sentient life. Since vegans have to eat something or they will most likely die (i.e., until they can become a breatharian), eating plants seems to be far less damaging to a human fruigivore body and the environment than eating animals as we have learned in this article. Plus, we have learned that animal agriculture causes massive, undue and unnecessary pain and suffering to the plant kingdom due to all the deforestation and desertification of the land in order to grow plants to be eaten by these animals so that non-vegans can eat the animals. If you wanted to compare the total amount of pain and suffering to sentient life caused by a non-vegan diet versus a vegan diet, eating just plants seems to be a lot more humane than eating both animals and plants.
I personally have had one experience of telepathic communication with a tree and my daughter Allegra is a plant communicator. In the vision of the future I had over eight years ago, I also saw all humans telepathically communicating with each other, with animals, and with plants. What I have learned is that plants have more of a group consciousness compared to the more individualized consciousness of animals and humans. Because of plants’ group consciousness, they have less of an ego identity and therefore feel more their Oneness with all sentient life including humans. A friend of mine told me of a plant communicator he met who had asked plants if they mind being eaten by humans. The answer the plant communicator received did not surprise me at all. The plants responded that since they are aware of the Oneness of all Life, they did not mind at all to be eaten by humans to help humans nourish and heal their bodies as they saw humans as just another part of themselves.
Animals on the other hand, have more of an ego consciousness and therefore are equipped with a sophisticated nervous system, pain receptors and a brain to experience themselves as separate entities. As separate entities, feeling pain and expressing pain in a way that is very clear to others is very important in order to protect the separate identity. Plants on the other hand, though are equipped with chemicals and subtle mechanisms to help them survive, do not respond in such a drastic and clear manner when cut or being eaten because their consciousness is not egotistic. There are some plants that do mind being cut or eaten (e.g., trees seem to have a higher-level consciousness than most other plants), but for the majority of plants, it is not as big of a deal as non-vegans want it to be. In fact, my daughter actually had a plant tell her to pick them for her brother Renzi one time when he was suffering from a headache. I would highly recommend reading the Anastasia Ringing Cedars books to learn more about humans’ special relationship with the plant kingdom. It’s as if plants were specifically designed to respond to a particular human being’s exact nutritional needs if the person interacts with and grows the plant himself.
Fruits are a great example of plants that actually want to be eaten and receive benefits from it as humans and other animals help spread its seed and propagation of its species. This explains why humans have a fruigivore anatomy. A frutarian diet is the most humane diet if a person has to eat something to heal and protect themselves in this currently polluted environment. In the future though, as we clean up the pollution and restore Mother Earth’s once pristine environment, humanity’s transition to breatharianism will be a lot easier (since we won’t need plants for healing or protecting our bodies anymore) and will make this whole section irrelevant.
My Own Personal Experience
It was much easier to transition to a vegan diet after 8 years of detoxifying my body and mind using a variety of methods (e.g., fasting, colon hydrotherapy, chlorella, spirulina, zeolite, parasite cleanses, oxygen-based colon cleansers, liver and gallbladder cleanses, green smoothies, etc.). The vegan diet itself is detoxifying, but these other methods help make the transition to a vegan diet a lot easier, especially when it comes to eliminating cravings. Though I have only been on the diet for seven months now, it seems that the longer I am on the diet, the more health benefits are realized such as:
Energy levels continue to increase
Need for sleep continues to decrease
Skin continues to get less oily
Nails, hair, and teeth are getting stronger
Body odor or sweat is getting less stinky so I feel I can go longer now without needing to shower (15 days without showering is now my record to date)
Morning phlegm in throat (that I had for at least a decade) is gone
Mental clarity continues to sharpen
Emotional stability continues to deepen
Food and libido continue to lose their control over me (I feel I am in more control of them instead of visa versa, i.e., my higher brain is gaining control over my reptilian or lower brain)
Bowel movements continue to get easier and quicker to pass with good consistency, amount, frequency, and less smelly. Farting is becoming a lot more rare and less stinky if at all.
Menstruation continues to get lighter and shorter (its now down to 2-3 days with zero PMS symptoms). Menstruation is actually a sign of toxicity in the body. Humans (and other mammals) can ovulate without the need for menstruation. Menstruation is just a mechanism for a body to detoxify itself. This could be one of the reasons why women live longer than men and why menopausal women decline so quickly when their menses ceases and they have not sufficiently detoxified their body by then.
After seeing these changes in me, my oldest son Max decided to switch to to a vegan diet on 8/30/2015. Since Max has been on the diet for a little over a month now, his body odor and acne has almost disappeared, his energy levels have increased, his need for sleep has decreased, his constipation is gone, his dreams are becoming more vivid and psychic, and writing his second fiction novel has been so easy he finished it within two weeks because the ideas for the story just kept coming easily and effortlessly. He also enjoys the fact that he no longer feels his hormones raging and hijacking his intelligence. He feels calmer, more stable, and with more mental clarity. After seeing these changes in Max, his younger siblings Renzi and Allegra decided to switch to a vegan diet on 9/24/2015.
After eating meat, dairy and eggs almost all my life, successfully transitioning to a vegan diet has finally put my “CONSCIENCE” (from the Latin prefix CON: “together” and the Latin verb SCIERE: “to know; to understand,” in other words “to know together” or “COMMON SENSE”) in peace. As a human being with the inherent ability for empathy and higher level consciousness, I knew deep down inside that eating meat conflicted with the idea of “loving” animals as killing an animal (no matter how quickly or painlessly) is still taking the life of an animal. Even eating the by-products of animals causes undue suffering for the animals. To design an omnivore or carnivore with both the ability for empathy and higher consciousness would be considered torture and a very bad design so it made more sense to me that humans are actually frugivores.
Meeting healthy vegans as well as watching the following documentaries or videos really catapulted me into veganism and I never looked back since:
If you have successfully transitioned to veganism or breatharianism, I encourage you to speak up and speak out and share your own personal story with the world. Your story matters as you are the walking, living proof that humans can thrive on these “lighter” diets.