Friday, February 4, 2011

The Great FREE ONLINE Health Debate Starts Feb. 6th!

The Great Health Debate!

Wow. I haven't been this excited about anything in the nutrition or health world in a while. And that is saying a lot. Well, I guess that's just the way it is with the area of your work/profession. 

The Great Health Debate however is truly an opportunity to get down to the nitty gritty on some of the most important topics that exist in nutrition, and normally you would never hear these people discuss nutrition together because they have such opposing point of views, but since its on the internet, they can't kill each other! Instead, we just get to benefit from all the fire and wisdom!

Well, anyway, I am very excited to listen to these "top dogs" in the nutrition world "go at it." I am most interested in hearing them go back and forth about the vegetarian versus omnivore issue, because I know it is going to really reveal the most important things to think about when choosing which way is right for you.

Personally I'm already on the side of David Wolfe, Gabriel Cousens, Colin Cambell, Joel Fuhrman, and Donna Gates. These guys go up against Daniel Vitalis, Jonny Bowden, Sally Fallon, and Dr. Mercola.

I know most of these educators and pioneers quite well, and have read most of their books, and listened to their teachings over the years, so that is why I can already take a side. Although I have to say, I can't truly take sides, for all of them have contributed significantly to the health and nutrition world, and I deeply respect and appreciate everyone on both sides of the debating!

I am deeply grateful for the work they are all doing, even if I don't personally agree with all of their perspectives 100%.

If it were not for these messengers, then the health movement would not be what it is today. Thanks guys for improving upon the mainstream knowledge flow, always willing to go against the grain and reveal great misconceptions about health and nutrition. You rock and I can't wait to hear the debates!


More on the vegetarian issue in preparation for the debate...

Personally, I think we have to ultimately talk about vegetarianism as a spiritual issue more than a physical one, and maybe Dr. Gabriel Cousens will get into that a bit in his debate with Dr. Mercola. How fun to see two doctors go at it! 

Daniel Vitalis has talked about how the only groups of people who have been found to be vegetarian in our known history, are mainly religious and spiritual people who are trying to control the sexual energy. Well, ahummmm, that is no moot point. But besides the fact that they use it to control their sexual drive, they do it for many other important reasons as well, and this is not even the most important reason that he strangely focuses on entirely. How about in order to practice compassion and deep meditation? I think it is important to ask ourselves why many people in India would die before they would kill an animal. 

Many of these so-called experts expouse the philosophy that no civilization on this planet has been vegetarian. Don't be so sure! There is evidence of ancient Vedic civilizations who were likely vegetarian as well as other ancient civilizations whom, if we knew anything about them, could very well have been vegetarian. Read the work of Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods), Stephen Knapp, and Michael Cremo to dive into this history!

I just think, to quote Shakespeare, that “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your philosophy," or in other words, that we are more than physical bodies and there are more possibilities for health and vibrancy than we are aware of in our limited modern, disconnected experience. We also also live within a distorted and masked view of history.

We need to keep our minds open to both possibility and reality. Many of the self-proclaimed omnivores, like Vitalis, base many of their arguments on the supposed fact that natives (like the Native Americans or tribes in South America) ate meat and still do. This is actually not the full truth. Yes, most jungle tribes today eat meat, but Jared Diamond, a Ph.D and popular researcher proved that they just don't hunt that much or eat much meat because animals are so hard to kill. The men like to tell stories that they do, but in reality, they hardly ever kill an animal. Read more about this here. And, if you really want to read some excellent Ph.D work on what Native Americans actually ate, read Native Americans and Vegetarianism by Rita Laws, Ph.D. What will be revealed to you is that Native Americans were primarily vegetarian until the white man arrived. Only one tribe, the Apache, were warrior-like and focused on hunting. Only ONE tribe out of hundreds! 

And yes I own Weston Prices book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, and love it as solid, excellent science, and yes I know that whole foods, even with animal foods, are healthier than the modern sad diet of processed, refined foods. However, this evidence does not convince me at all that one, it is not possible to live as a vibrant vegetarian, and two, that it wouldn't be advantageous to do so if you have access to high quality fats and DHA (EFA) (so that it isn't necessary to get them from an animal source). Today we are so blessed with high quality DHA from seaweed sources, as well as high quality fats and nutrition from things like coconut butter, chia seed, hemp seeds, that it is possible to thrive as a vegan. It becomes necessary however to rid ones diet of unhealthy starches and anti-nutrients in order to thrive as a vegan, and this is the lifefood philosophy, most promoted by Annie and David Jubb. It is a raw, vegan philosophy, very similar to Gabriel Cousens science and philosophy of raw foods.

I appreciate the whole-foods philosophy of Dr. Mercola, Sally Fallon, and Daniel Vitalis over the S.A.D diet, and I also respect their choice to eat the way they find best for them, and I love the nutritional myths that they work to dispel. You will see lots of information from Fallon and Mercola on my website. I don't however fall for propaganda that is coming from Vitalis and others who have tried raw vegan for often no longer than 2-3 years and then claimed it didn't work for them, and that therefore 'meat eating must be normal and healthy because natives do it, and because plants have feelings too' (and that it is contradictory to be compassionate to animals but not to plants). I am happy however that such people have found a way that works for them, but lets remember that what is normal and healthy for one, may not be for another, and definitely don't use half truths and poor reasoning to put down vegetarian living, this is just really poor judgment. The most important thing is to never stop asking questions.

I look forward to Gabriel Cousens' debate, because many of us who are vegan do it primarily for spiritual reasons. Health is somewhat relative, while consciousness, karma, and compassion is not. An animal can not be killed compassionately unless it is already dying and in pain and you are simply ending its suffering. Otherwise, it is impossible to both take a life and be compassionate. Those two things are mutually exclusive except in the case I already mentioned where the animal has already been hurt or sick and you are simply saving it from further suffering. 

Just because plants react to us doesn't mean they actually have feelings. Yes, plants can react to energy, as all things in the universe are energetic and react to energy, however, this is totally different than saying that plants have emotions. They are affected by energy, certainly, but they don't have the consciousness of an animal. This is such a silly argument to me though that I'm not going to even get into it further. 

On a second point, there is life energy in plants. By eating them you are bringing that life force in to your being into a continuum of life. There is no longer any life force in a dead animal. There is no continuum there. When I eat a plant, not only is it still alive after I pick it and while I eat it, but I am actually furthering the life of that plant species by continuing to eat it and propagate it. Read Michael Pollans "The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World" to see how plants and humans have such an interconnectedness that we actually partner in each others existence in profound ways.

When you kill an animal you are not furthering any kind of life except maybe your own if you would otherwise starve. But if you are not starving, why would you take the life of another animal who has just as much right to life as you? We just don't need that much energy/nutrition, it just isn't necessary, even if it is a complete paradigm shift to do things differently.

None of this is to say that anyone is wrong or bad for eating meat, or a judgment of any kind on anybody. I have been there and done that and simply made different choices and have been primarily raw vegan for 12 years now. I believe everyone is where they need to be and generally doing what is right for them, and as a nutritionist I help everyone where they are at. I just want to help spread the positive message that it is possible for anyone to be vegetarian, and even raw vegan, and thrive if they want to and have the resources.  We shouldn't just go believing what some "gurus" are saying before looking for the evidence behind their claims. And that is why I am excited about this debate because I hope it will dispel some of the mis-information that is out there about some of these important topics!

Read more... Why A Vegan Vegetarian Diet?

1 comment:

Jeff Golfman said...

Great Site ! keep up the great work.


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