Let’s Talk About Health

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I go to rural school where life is all about growing crops, harvesting hay, and showing who killed the biggest deer or caught the longest bass. Before I go into how removing animal products from your diets is beneficial,  I would like to state that I do occasionally eat meat or fish that I have harvested myself. When students in my school find out I don’t regularly eat meat or dairy and live mostly plant based their first question always is “Where are you going to get your protein?” or “You are eating my animal’s food!”

70% of deaths in the US are largely related to lifestyle and can be prevented. By the age of 10 most children have fatty streaks in their arteries or are already obese.

When talking about going plant based many instantly state they couldn’t give up cheese. People believe that they could never go without drinking milk, eating nachos, grilled cheese, or any other products with dairy. We are the only animal species that consumes another animal’s milk. A goat doesn’t drink a cow’s milk, or a pig doesn’t drink a lion’s milk. Notice that most adults or even teenagers state they are “lactose intolerant” or have to consume less dairy. That’s because all animals are born with lactase, an enzyme that breaks down the sugar known to be lactose. As we mature and grow, we lose the enzyme making it common to have problems digesting dairy products. Have you ever noticed after consuming a dairy product to have stomach ache, bloating, returning ear infections, the list goes on and on. All mammals specifically produce milk for their babies not for other animals. The cheese addiction is caused by “casomorphins” which is protein fragments derived from the digestion of the milk protein, casein. All females produce this in their milk to make sure their babies stay close. The casomorphins are stored in the fat of milk, which is why higher fat dairy products such as ice cream are the hardest food for people to cut out. We Americans judge people all the time for their addictions to drugs and saying how they are a bad person, but aren’t we just a hypocrite since casomorphins cause opioid characteristics? I’m not saying eating ice cream is equivalent to doing drugs, but have you ever noticed how you can be doing something and get a craving for ice cream or if eating a dairy based dip you eat so much you are suddenly so full and in pain.

If you break a bone your parents will tell you to drink more milk because it will heal your bones faster. Countries that have highest rate of dairy connection have the highest rates of osteoporosis. There is also a strong link between consuming dairy and autoimmune diseases.

Now let’s talk about the meat part of going plant based. Have you noticed that when going to consume meat there are certain regulations you must follow to be able to consume the meat itself. You have to store it at certain temperature, cook for a set amount of time with a set internal temperature as well, and you can’t leave it out to long or it will begin to rot and feed the flies. What happens if you don’t follow through with these exact set cooking instructions for the flesh of animals? You get sick, your body tells you to stop eating it, because your body knows best! If someone handed you piece of meat from a dog, would you eat it? If someone made a meal with cat, would you eat it? Why should we stereotype which animals we can or cannot eat and then judge other countries for the food they eat. Taste, habit, tradition, and convenience are some reasons why people would justify eating animals. The truth is we are all mammals on this great big earth so why should we judge a cannibal for eating people but not judge an omnivore for eating a cow. In the end it is still a mammal eating a mammal. Mammals eating mammals, we are not wolves, or lions, or bears we do not need to eat other mammals. Now before you go on to say Native Americans ate buffalo, Native American tribes that ate mostly plant based on a diet of mainly sweet potatoes with little fish lived 8-10 years longer than those tribes who ate more flesh in their diets. One serving of meat a day can increase your chance for diabetes by 51%. There is more protein in broccoli per serving than steak, so why not increase the amount of vegetables and decrease the amount of flesh.

Mad cow disease is a serious problem but livestock farmers don’t typically have the cow’s brain examined and checked for mad cow disease, they grind up the cow and feed it back to the other cows. Dementia is a general term for “memory loss” but could it be possible that it is affected by the red meat the person is consuming and the diseases infected with it. Eating “organic” meat doesn’t save you either from consuming the contaminants. Testing shows 88% of pork chops, 90% of ground beef, and 95% of chicken were contaminated with fecal bacteria.

Americans consume twice the amount of protein needed to live daily. We are going to be the first species to run ourselves extinct with the amount of meat we are eating. North America doesn’t have enough land to sustain the growing agriculture business. The country would have to flattened, all major cities turned into farms, national parks would have to be converted to farmland and even your property would have to be farm land.

Eating a low fat plant based diet can reverse and even cure most of Americans serious problems. Hypertension, heart attacks, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, colon cancer, stomach cancer. People have reversed their type 2 diabetes, cured their breast cancer and have added years to life after a double, triple and even quadruple bypass.

Plants are the only thing in nature able to convert nitrogen in the air and turn it into plant protein. The little protein you are getting from animals is actually coming from the plants they are eating, because mammals cannot convert nitrogen into protein in their tissues. Raising animals for food is leading cause of freshwater consumption, ocean dead zones, species extinction, and rain forest destruction. Meat and dairy industries spend at least $138 million lobbying congress.

My motto is, “If I can kill it myself, I can eat it” the meat I eat is harvested in the wild so there are no antibiotics injected in them or no possible infections contracted by them standing next to their deceased friend. Become educated on this and make the change not only for yourself, for the animals, and for the planet.

 

Leah Craig
Leah Craig is a high school student in St. Joseph, MO. She is an active member of Youth Volunteer Corps.

Stats and facts referenced in this blog were taken from the following websites:

http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/facts/

https://ellenfisher.com/mooooo-milk-cows/

 

Photo by K15 Photos on Unsplash