The Beginning of the End for Compulsory Vaccines and Drugging?
I just love it when the other side is so outrageous that any thinking person finds their actions and rationalizations totally unacceptable, don't you? If they were subtle, reasonable or clever, we would have a harder battle. But the vaccine makers and their supporters are so over-the-top that even the mills of science are beginning to grind their grain into dust! Breaking news just in tells us that the other side is so filled with their own sense of invincible power that they literally know no bounds. Having succeeded in making New Jersey the first state to create an ongoing market for flu shots by requiring every child to be vaccinated against a disease that poses little danger to kids, the marketeers have their sights set on bigger markets: every child in the US. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=551) to read what's in store if we let them get away with this atrocious profiteering in New Jersey. Then click here (http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/t/1128/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=21833) to tell your legislators that you will not accept any such medical fascism. Where to begin? So much is happening to strengthen our side that it is hard to know where to start. Although we are still facing the specter of increasing numbers of compulsory vaccination scenarios on both the State and Federal levels, we have great forward movement to counter them from international science and the law. The US Congress, in the persons of Congressmen Bart Stupak and John Dingle are calling for the resignation of the head of the FDA for his "lack of leadership". Not only that, but 18 states are suing manufactures of the so-called 'atypical' antipsychotic drugs-the most toxic harm-producing psychotropics-for off-label marketing. To make things even more interesting for our side, France has opened a manslaughter investigation into the manufactuers of the Hepatitis B Vaccine because they failed to disclose side effects and dangers! Click herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=536) to read more. Imagine that! Holding drug companies accountable for suppressing negative information. Of course, that is not possible under current policy and law in the US but if the profit goes out of the vaccine industry through law suits, the industry will fold. That's why the Natural Solutions Foundation's Citizens Petition (a legal action to compel the government to take action) to the Federal Trade Commission to prevent vaccine-related false and misleading advertising is so important. For example, the FDA says that vaccines are safe and safely made. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=522) to have a look at just what's in some of those vaccines. To find out more, and get involved in the No Forced Vaccine movement, join the 326 members of the No-Forced-Vaccination Forum, (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/no-forced-vaccination/join) and get the latest on compulsory vaccination and how to stop it. One of the clearest incidents of the malfeasance of the FDA is the case of rotovirus vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline's [GSK] rotavirus vaccine, called Rotarix, is associated with an increased risk of convulsions and pneumonia-related deaths in children taking it, according to a review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Rotovirus kills babies through viral diarrhea, at least in the developing world. Why it is being recommended for babies in the US where sanitation and virus free water are available is not quite clear to me, but it is. In fact, 3 doses of the Rotovirus vaccine are authorized (at 2, 4 and 6 months). FDA is in the process of approving the vaccine despite its serious, and sometimes-lethal impact on babies. I assume that the fact that GSK has no liability for damage or deaths from Rotarix, and the frequent financial interests of the reviewers on the FDA advisory boards in the products they are reviewing may be significant factors here. Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=525). In line with the lack of liability conferred on the vaccine manufacturers by the FDA and Congress, it is worth noting Robert Kennedy's report on the secret meeting at the Simpsonwood Conference Center at Norcross Georgia in which the real story on government cover-ups of the relationship between autism and mercury in vaccines is told. If you have not read this report, you may want to click herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=524) to read it now. And if you are familiar with this callous and shameful cover-up, please send this information to the parents of young children considering vaccination. Perhaps you are saying, "Wait a moment! Aren't vaccines helpful in producing a healthier public and eliminating the diseases we all fear?" If the mythology of the effective, safe and helpful vaccine still seems reasonable to you, take a moment to read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=534) and see if vaccines look so useful and safe once you've examined some vital, but rarely examined facts about immunization. You might want to click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=549) to check out the cold hard facts about vaccination: the reality might surprise you! Here in the US we had some astonishingly good news from the Court system about the link between vaccines and autism. The FDA actually conceded that autism could result from vaccination in a case involving a 4 year old child who collapsed into autism following vaccination with 9 different vaccines at the same time. The US Government agreed to settle the case by conceding that the child's autism was brought about by vaccination although it states that she had a biological problem which made her vulnerable to developing autism. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=540) to read more about this settlement and why it means that perhaps the other 4900 similar cases now in court may take the same turn of events. Remember, though, that drugs, vaccines and now, because of a recent Supreme Court decision, once approved by the FDA for any purpose whatsoever, are immune from consumer liability suits. As is typical, the much vaunted flu vaccine, so eagerly pressed upon our children and our elderly, and often containing mercury, is not only dangerous, but ineffective as well. Hard on the heels of the New Jersey decision to make annual flu vaccinations mandatory for children 6 months and older, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an acknowledgement that the very same flu vaccine was effective substantially less than half the time BECAUSE THE VIRUSES IT WAS MADE TO COMBAT WERE THE WRONG ONES! In fact, that's the general rule and, buried in the article is the admission that the whole thing is a dismal failure and next year the World Health Organization is going to completely change its method of making its vaccines up. You see, each year, the CDC and the WHO literally guess what the viruses causing next year's flu will be. And they usually get it wrong. That does not deter the US and other nations from touting, urging and, in New Jersey, forcing this dangerous, inaccurate and ineffective vaccine on children, the elderly and other vulnerable populations. Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=530). What about dangers to other groups beside the young? What about the elderly, for example? Vaccines are a significant hazard for them as well. Here is what Russell Blaylock, MD, CCN, has to say: "With the elderly already having increased inflammatory cytokine levels both systemically and in their brain, stimulating these primed microglia so that a chronic overstimulation of the brain's immune system is triggered, will not only increase their risk of developing one of the neurodegenerative diseases, but will also substantially increase their risk of developing major depression. Remember, this also increases their risk of suicide, and even homicide, dramatically." Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=545). And click herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=550) to read why distinguished researchers from the NIH and other major institutions conclude that flu vaccination of the elderly is NOT associated with the decline in their death rates due to flu. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), whose members are advised to jab and jab and jab (read their statement on what to do when parents refuse vaccination herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=547), are undergoing a slight, but very interesting change of heart. Four percent of their members do not vaccinate their own children! I do not have this information in hand, but it would not surprise me one bit if the vaccine-loving American Academy of Pediatrics was supported to a large extent by the makers of vaccines. Their institutional blindness is so massive that little else could account for it. (If you have that information, please write to me at email@example.com with "AAP Funding" in the subject line). Read, for example, an account of their latest [mis]statement about the LACK of a link between autism and mercury! Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=520). And think about this article and the others contained in this Health Freedom eAlert the next time you ask a pediatrician for advice about your child's health. He or she is probably a nice person, but where is his/her information coming from? And is he/she really examining data, or swallowing profit-driven propaganda hook, line and sinker that could harm (or kill) your child? Pediatricians know well, for example, that their own organization changed its recommendation in 1997 from Oral Polio Vaccine (a live virus vaccine) to the killed virus (injectable form) because the live virus vaccine causes polio. In making this change in their directions to their members, they were actually admitting, in an official sort of way, that vaccines can cause the disease they are supposedly protecting against. Of course, even after all this time, not everyone gets the idea. Parents in Belgium have been fined and jailed for 5 months because they refused polio vaccination for their child. Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=542). Vaccination is, in fact, a burning health issue and may, through the pressure to impose medical martial law and compulsory vaccinations, become the factor that sparks a freedom push back of immense power. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=535) to see if you agree that Health Freedom could precipitate a revolution in the US. ( ( ( (
Environment Leather and the Environment By Mar 8, 2008 - 12:43:23 PM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Leather is everywhere—from shoes and belts, to purses, wallets, jackets, furniture and car seats. Most probably assume that the leather that finds its way into our wardrobes and living spaces is a byproduct of the meat industry. But while cows are certainly the most popular animals to use for leather goods, in truth most of our leather is sourced from overseas, from countries like China and India, where a host of animals may be raw material for our bags and belts, including horses, deer, sheep and, in more exotic cases, alligators or snakes. All of which may make an animal-lover or vegetarian queasy.
But environmentalists have reason to forgo leather, too. Processing leather requires copious amounts of energy and a toxic stew of chemicals including formaldehyde, coal tar, and some cyanide containing finishes. The tanning process is just as pollutant-laced, and can leave chemicals in the water supply (as described in the best-selling book and popular movie, A Civil Action) and on the hands (and in the lungs) of developing world workers.
Tanneries are top polluters on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Superfund” list, which identifies the most critical industrial sites in need of environmental cleanup. Due to their toxicity, reports organicleather.com, “many old tannery sites can’t be used for agriculture, or built on, or even sold.” That website is the home of Mill Valley, California, retailer Organic Leather, which offers a return to the tanning practices of old—using animals that are organically fed and humanely raised and a tanning process that uses plant tannins, vegetable tannins or smoke to cure the leather with zero toxicity in the process.
But with the wealth of fashionable faux leather alternatives, there’s no need to ever wear animal skins. So-called “cruelty-free” fashions have advanced in leaps and bounds, with variations on every style of handbag, wallet, belt and boot. Online “vegan boutique”Alternative Outfitters even has a version of the ubiquitous Ugg boot made with microsuede “shearling” on the outside and synthetic wool inside, while Iowa-based Heartland Products sells western-style non-leather boots and non-leather Birkenstock sandals. Science has come up with plenty of comfortable, durable alternatives to materials made with animal products. These include vegan microfiber, which claims to match leather in strength and durability, and Pleather, Durabuck and NuSuede.
Products made with these synthetic materials tend to be less expensive than their leather counterparts and are being produced by major manufacturers like Nike, whose Durabuck athletic and hiking shoes “will stretch around the foot with the same ‘give’ as leather... and are machine washable,” according to company sources. And you won’t need to adjust your style, either. Vegetarianshoesandbags.com offers everything from purple faux snakeskin peep-toe pumps for hitting the clubs to hemp sneakers with recycled outsoles that look skate park-ready, to distinctive Pleather bags and versatile woven belts.
But medication and insulin can actually increase your risk getting a heart attack or dying.
What you are not hearing about is another way to deal with this epidemic.
Today, I want to review in detail a new way to think about diabetes and next week I want to tell you exactly how to prevent, treat, and reverse it.
Let’s get started.
The diabetes epidemic is accelerating along with the obesity epidemic.
Type 2 diabetes, or what was once called adult onset diabetes, is an increasing worldwide epidemic affecting nearly 100 million people -- and over 20 million Americans.
We are seeing increasing rates of Type 2 diabetes, especially in children, which has increased over 1,000 percent in the last decade and was unknown before this generation. One in three children born today will have diabetes in their lifetime.
Yet this is an entirely preventable lifestyle disease.
In a report in “The New England Journal of Medicine,” Walter Willett, MD, PhD, and his colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated that 91 percent of all Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented through improvements lifestyle and diet.
==> The Road to Diabetes Starts Early
Diabetes is often undiagnosed until its later stages. Insulin resistance, when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, is primarily what causes diabetes.
When your diet is full of empty calories, an abundance of quickly absorbed sugars and carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.), the body slowly becomes resistant to the effects of insulin and needs more to do the same job of keeping your blood sugar even.
High insulin levels are the first sign of a problem. The high insulin leads to an appetite that is out of control, and increasing weight gain around the belly.
High levels of insulin are warning signs -- they precede Type 2 diabetes by decades.
Insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome associated with it is often accompanied by increasing central obesity, fatigue after meals, sugar cravings, high triglycerides, low HDL, high blood pressure, problems with blood clotting, as well as increased inflammation.
These clues can often be picked up decades before anyone ever gets diabetes -- and may help you prevent diabetes entirely.
If you have a family history of obesity (especially around the belly), diabetes, early heart disease, or even dementia you are even more prone to this problem.
Most people know about the common complications of diabetes such as heart attacks, strokes, amputations, blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage. Some may even know that it increases your risk of dementia and cancers and can cause impotence.
But most people don’t realize that insulin resistance or pre-diabetes can be just as bad causing heart attacks, strokes, dementia, cancer, and impotence -- decades before you get diabetes.
In fact many people with pre-diabetes never get diabetes, but they are at severe risk just the same.
==> Living in Harmony with Our Genes
We were highly adapted to a nutrient-dense, low-sugar, high-fiber diet rich in omega 3 fats. But when we eat out of harmony with our genes, we turn on genes that promote diabetes.
Take Arizona’s Pima Indians, for example.
They were thin and fit 100 years ago, living on a diet of over 70 percent carbohydrates. They ate high-fiber, unprocessed plant foods and they had no diabetes or obesity.
Now, in just one generation, they are nearly all obese and 80 percent have diabetes by the time they are 30 years old!
It is important to diagnose Type 2 diabetes early, but it is often not diagnosed until very late.
In fact, all doctors should aggressively diagnose pre-diabetes decades before diabetes occurs, and before any damage is done to your body. Damage begins with even slight changes in insulin and blood sugar.
Unfortunately, there is a continuum of risk from slightly abnormal insulin and blood sugar to full blown diabetes. This should be addressed as early as possible on the continuum.
In a recent study, anyone with a fasting blood sugar of over 87 was at increased risk of diabetes. The lowest risk group had a blood sugar less than 81.
Most doctors are not concerned until the blood sugar is over 110 -- or worse, over 126, which is diabetes. Therefore, I recommend early testing with anyone who has a family history of Type 2 diabetes, central abdominal weight gain or abnormal cholesterol.
Don’t wait until your sugar is high.
==> Testing for Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
The tests I recommend include the following:
Insulin glucose challenge test with 2-hour glucose challenge, 75 grams measuring fasting, 1 and 2 hour blood sugar AND insulin. Your blood sugar should be less than 80 fasting and never rise above 110 or 120 after one to two hours. Your insulin should be less than 5 fasting and should never rise above 30 after one to two hours. I recommend this test for everyone over 50, and for anyone with any risk of insulin resistance, even children.
The hemoglobin A1C is an important measure of glycated hemoglobin, which can be an early indicator of sugar problems. It measures sugars and proteins combining into glycated proteins called AGEs (advanced glycation end products), like the crust on bread, or the crispy top on crème brule. These create inflammation, oxidative stress throughout the body, and promote heart disease and dementia and accelerating aging. The hemoglobin A1C should ideally be less than 5.5. Anything over 6 is considered diabetes.
Lipid profiles are important. An HDL or good cholesterol level under 60 and triglycerides over 100 should make you suspicious of insulin resistance. An HDL under 40 and a triglyceride level over 150 usually means diabetes.
An NMR lipid profile identifies the size of your cholesterol particles. With insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes, you develop small LDL and HDL cholesterol particles. They are much more dangerous than larger particles and lead to increased risk of atherosclerosis or heart disease.
High sensitivity C-reactive protein is a measure of inflammation, one of the classic conditions that is both the cause and result of insulin resistance and diabetes. It should be less than 1, and is often associated with diabetes. In fact, anyone with a high C-reactive protein has a 1,700 percent increased risk of getting diabetes.
Homocysteine is often abnormal in people with diabetes. It is a measure of folic acid deficiency. It should be between 6 and 8.
Fibrinogen measures your risk of clotting, which can cause heart attacks and strokes. It is also a sign of inflammation and is associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. It should be less than 300.
Ferritin levels are often elevated. It is a nonspecific marker of inflammation associated with diabetes. It also can mean an overload of iron in the body. It should be less than 150.
Uric acid should be less than 6. Higher levels indicate problems with insulin resistance. This can lead to gout, which is related to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.
Elevated liver function tests result from insulin resistance. This is the major cause of fatty liver and elevated liver function tests in this country. This is entirely due to sugar and carbohydrates in our diet that cause fatty liver, liver damage, and even cirrhosis.
These are tests any doctor can perform and are covered by insurance. I have included the interpretation with my written blog so you can know exactly where you should be.
That’s all for today.
In next week’s blog, I will tell you how to prevent, treat, and even reverse diabetes. I have seen this hundreds of times in my patients and there is no reason you can’t achieve the same thing if you apply these principles.
Till then, remember what Michael Pollan said: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Now I’d like to hear from you…
Have you been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes?
Have you been told that it is irreversible?
What steps have you taken to prevent diabetes?
Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, M.D.
Olshansky SJ, Passaro DJ, Hershow RC, et al.A potential decline in life expectancy in the United States in the 21st century. N Engl J Med. 2005;352(11):1138-1145.
Beckman JA, Creager MA, Libby P. Diabetes and atherosclerosis: epidemiology, pathophysiology, and management. JAMA. 2002;287(19):2570-2581. Review.
Wald NJ, Law MR. A strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease by more than 80%. BMJ. 2003;326(7404):1419.
Franco OH, Bonneux L, de Laet C, Peeters A, Steyerberg EW, Mackenbach JP.The Polymeal: a more natural, safer, and probably tastier (than the Polypill) strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease by more than 75%. BMJ. 2004;329(7480):1447-1450. Review.
Textbook of Functional Medicine, Gig Harbor, Wash: Institute for Functional Medicine; 2006. Chapter 7, page 60-61.
Reaven GM.The metabolic syndrome: is this diagnosis necessary? Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(6):1237-1247.
Grundy SM. Does a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome have value in clinical practice? Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(6):1248-1251.
Montonen J, Knekt P, Jarvinen R, Aromaa A, Reunanen A. Whole-grain and fiber intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77(3):622-629.
Garg A. High-monounsaturated-fat diets for patients with diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998;67(3):577S-582S.
Hu FB, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al. Diet, lifestyle, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in women. N Engl J Med. 2001;(11):790-797.
Pollan M. The Omnivore’s Dilemma. New York: Penguin Press; 2006.
Phillips C, Lopez-Miranda J, Perez-Jimenez F, McManus R, Roche HM. Genetic and nutrient determinants of the metabolic syndrome. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2006;21(3):185-193.
Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, et al. Type 2 diabetes and the vegetarian diet. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3):610S-616S. Review.
Salmeron J, Hu FB, Manson JE, et al. Dietary fat intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;73(6):1019-1026.
Gross LS, Li L, Ford ES, Liu S. Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States: an ecologic assessment. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;79(5):774-779.
Gannon MC, Nuttall FQ, Saeed A, Jordan K, Hoover H. An increase in dietary protein improves the blood glucose response in persons with type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(4):734-741.
de Mello VD, Zelmanovitz T, Perassolo MS, Azevedo MJ, Gross JL. Withdrawal of red meat from the usual diet reduces albuminuria and improves serum fatty acid profile in type 2 diabetes patients with macroalbuminuria. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(5):1032-1038.
Chandalia M, Garg A, Lutjohann D, von Bergmann K, Grundy SM, Brinkley LJ. Beneficial effects of high dietary fiber intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 2000;342(19):1392-1398.
Triggiani V, Resta F, Guastamacchia E, et al. Role of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, carnitine, vitamins, phytochemicals and trace elements in the treatment of diabetes mellitus and its chronic complications. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2006;6(1):77-93. Review.
Henriksen EJ. Exercise training and the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Free Radic Biol Med. 2006;40(1):3-12. Review.
Coyne T, Ibiebele TI, Baade PD, et al. Diabetes mellitus and serum carotenoids: findings of a population-based study in Queensland, Australia. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82(3):685-693.
Jiang R, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, Liu S, Willett WC, Hu FB. Nut and peanut butter consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. JAMA. 2002;288(20):2554-2560.
Bhathena SJ, Velasquez MT. Beneficial role of dietary phytoestrogens in obesity and diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Dec;76(6):1191-1201. Review.
Klein S, Sheard NF, Pi-Sunyer X, et al. Weight management through lifestyle modification for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: rationale and strategies. A statement of the American Diabetes Association, the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, and the American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(2):257-263. Review.
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This website provides a large number of free e-books available for immediate download. The books are mainly about holistic agriculture, holistic health and self-sufficient homestead living. There are secondary collections about social criticism and transformational psychology. No fees are collected for this service. http://www.soilandhealth.org/index.html
We tested the effects of an uncooked vegan diet, rich in lactobacilli, in rheumatoid patients randomized into diet and control groups. The intervention group experienced subjective relief of rheumatic symptoms during intervention. A return to an omnivorous diet aggravated symptoms. Half of the patients experienced adverse effects (nausea, diarrhoea) during the diet and stopped the experiment prematurely. Indicators of rheumatic disease activity did not differ statistically between groups. The positive subjective effect experienced by the patients was not discernible in the more objective measures of disease activity (Health Assessment Questionnaire, duration of morning stiffness, pain at rest and pain on movement). However, a composite index showed a higher number of patients with 3-5 improved disease activity measures in the intervention group. Stepwise regression analysis associated a decrease in the disease activity (measured as change in the Disease Activity Score, DA with lactobacilli-rich and chlorophyll-rich drinks, increase in fibre intake, and no need for gold, methotrexate or steroid medication (R2=0.48, P=0.02). The results showed that an uncooked vegan diet, rich in lactobacilli, decreased subjective symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Large amounts of living lactobacilli consumed daily may also have positive effects on objective measures of rheumatoid arthritis.
During the past few decades there has been much research done in the area of nutrition. Some of this research casts light on some important insights regarding the foods which Mother Nature offers to us in its whole, raw state, and what happens when we tamper with it. What exactly happens to food when it is cooked? What happens to the body if we eat cooked food? Some key points are covered in this article. Due to space limitation, we can only but touch on the topic here; however, a brief overview is given below.
Key Points Regarding the Effects of Cooking on Food and Health
The food's life force is greatly depleted or destroyed. The bioelectrical (energy) field is altered and greatly depleted (as is graphically demonstrated with kirlian photography). Live and bioactive (raw) food is rendered dead and inert.
The biochemical structure and nutrient makeup of the food is altered from its original state. Molecules in the food are deranged, degraded, and broken down. The food is degenerated in many ways. Fiber in plant foods is broken down into a soft, passive substance which loses its broom-like and magnetic cleansing quality in the intestines.
Nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.) are depleted, destroyed, and altered. The degree of depletion, destruction, and alteration is simply a matter of temperature, cooking method, and time.
Up to 50% of the protein is coagulated. Much of this is rendered unusable. High temperatures also create cross-links in protein. Cross-linked proteins are implicated in many problems in the body, as well as being a factor in the accelleration of the aging process.
The interrelationship of nutrients is altered from its natural synergistic makeup. For example, with meat, relatively more vitamin B-6 than methionine is destroyed, which fosters atherogenic free radical-initiating homocysteine accumulation (which is a factor in heart problems).
The water content of the food is decreased. The natural structure of the water is also changed.
Toxic substances and cooked "byproducts" are created. The higher the cooking temperature, the more toxins that are created. Frying and grilling are especially toxin-generating. Various carcinogenic and mutagenic substances and hordes of free radicals are generated in cooked fats and proteins in particular.
Heat causes the molecules involved to collide, and repeated collision causes divalent bonding in order for new molecules, and hence a new substance, to form. In an ordinary baked potato, there are 450 by-products of every description. They have even been named "new chemical composites".
Unusable (waste) material is created, which has a cumulative congesting/clogging effect on the body and is a burden to the natural eliminative processes of the body.
All of the enzymes present in raw foods are destroyed at temperatures as low as 118 degrees fahrenheit. These enzymes, named "food enzymes" are important for optimum digestion. They naturally aid in digestion and become active as soon as eating commences. Cooking destroys 100% of these enzymes. Eating enzyme-dead food places a burden on the pancreas and other organs and overworks them, which eventually exhausts these organs. The digestion of cooked food usurps valuable metabolic enzymes in order to help digest the food. Digestion of cooked food is much more energetically demanding than the digestion of raw food. In general, raw food is so much more easily digested that it passes through the digestive tract in a half to a third of the time it takes for cooked food.
After eating a cooked meal, there is a rush of white blood cells towards the digestive tract, leaving the rest of the body less protected by the immune system. From the point of view of the immune system the body is being invaded by a foreign (toxic) substance when cooked food is eaten.
A general augmentation of white corpuscles in the blood and a change in the relative proportions of different blood cells occurs. This phenomenon is called "digestive leukocytosis".
The natural population of beneficial intestinal flora becomes dominated by putrefactive bacteria (particularly from cooked meat), resulting in colonic dysfunction, allowing the absorption of toxins from the bowel. This phenomenon is variously called dysbacteria, dysbiosis, or intestinal toxemia (toxicosis).
A buildup of mucoid plaque is created in the intestines. Mucoid plaque is a thick tar-like substance which is the long-term result of undigested, uneliminated cooked food putrefying in the intestines. Cooked starches and fats in particular are a major culprit in constipation and clogging of the intestines.
A build-up of toxins and waste material in many parts of the body, including within individual cells. Some of these toxins and wastes are called lipofuscin, which accumulates in the skin and nervous system, including the brain. It can be observed as "liver spots" or "age spots."
Malnutrition at the cellular level. Because cooked foods are lower in nutrients, in addition to containing wastes and toxins, individual cells don't receive enough of the nutrients they need.
Tendency towards obesity through overeating. Because the cells don't get enough nutrients they are so to speak "always hungry" and hence "demand" more food. Cooked food is also less likely to be properly metabolized, which is another factor in excess weight gain.
From time to time the body experiences detoxification crises (also called purification or healing crises). This happens when toxins are released through the skin or dumped in the bloodstream for elimination by the liver, kidneys, and other organs. The symptoms may include headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, etc.
The body can become so toxic that all kinds of particles, such as pollen, can cause detoxification crises, called "allergies". An estimated 80 million Americans suffer from such "allergies".
The immune system, having to handle the massive daily invasions of toxins and toxic by-products, eventually becomes overwhelmed and weakened. A key factor in the aging process.
Some of the waste material builds up in the arteries and clogs them, leading to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, strokes, etc. - killing an estimated 50% of Americans.
The wastes, toxins, mutagens, and carcinogens that build up within cells, as well as the daily onslaught of excess free radicals eventually cause some cells to become cancerous - killing an estimated 30% of Americans.
In general, the natural aging process is accelerated by cooked food. People who switch to raw food often become biologically and visibly younger.
From cancerologist Bruce Ames (regarding "mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, and the degenerative diseases of aging")
Cooking food is plausible as a contributor to cancer. A wide variety of chemicals are formed during cooking. Four groups of chemicals that cause tumors in rodents have attracted attention because of mutagenicity, potency, and concentration:
Nitrosamines are formed from nitrogen oxides present in gas flames or from other burning. Surprisingly little work has been done on the levels of nitrosamines in fish or meat cooked in gas ovens or barbecued, considering their mutagenic and carcinogenic potency.
Heterocyclic amines are formed from heating amino acids or proteins.
Polycyclic hydrocarbons are formed from charring meat.
Furfural and similar furans are formed from heating sugars. Heating fat generates mutagenic epoxides, hydroperoxides, and unsaturated aldehydes, and may also be of importance.
References: International Agency for Research on Cancer (1993) Some naturally occurring substances: Food items and constituents, heterocyclic aromatic amines and mycotoxins (International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France). Gold, L. S., Slone, T. H., Stern, B. R., Manley, N. B. & Ames, B. N. (1992) Science 258, 261-265. Gold, L. S., Slone, T. H., Manley, N. B. & Ames, B. N. (1994) Cancer Lett. 83, 21-29. [Dr. Ames is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was on their Commission on Life Sciences. He was formerly on the board of directors of the National Cancer Institute (National Cancer Advisory Board). He was the recipient of the most prestigious award for cancer research, the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Prize (1983), the highest award in environmental achievement, the Tyler Prize (1985), the Gold Medal Award of the American Institute of Chemists (1991), and the Glenn Foundation Award of the Gerontological Society of America (1992). He has been elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Japan Cancer Association, and the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. His 300 scientific publications have resulted in his being the 23rd most-cited scientist (in all fields) (1973-1984).]
Leukocytosis and Cooked Food In 1930, research was conducted at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Lausanne, Switzerland, under the direction of Dr. Paul Kouchakoff. The effect of food (cooked/processed vs. raw/natural) on the immune system was tested and documented. Dr. Kouchakoff's discovery concerned the leukocytes, the white blood cells. Apparently, a well-known phenomena occurred immediately after a person ate. It was found that after a person eats cooked food, his/her blood responds immediately by increasing the number of white blood cells. This is a well-known phenomena called "digestive leukocytosis", which means that there is a rise in the number of leukocytes, or white blood cells, after eating. Since digestive leukocytosis was always observed after eating, it was considered to be a normal physiological response to eating. No one knew why the number of white cells would rise after eating, since this appeared to be a stress response, as if the body was reacting to something harmful, such as infection, trauma, or exposure to toxic chemicals. Back in 1930, Swiss researchers of the institute of Chemical Chemistry studied the influence of food on human blood and made a remarkable discovery. They found that eating unaltered, raw food or food heated at low temperatures did not cause a reaction in the blood. In addition, if a food had been heated beyond a certain temperature (unique to each food), or if the food was processed (refined, added chemicals, etc.), this always caused a rise in the number of white cells in the blood. The researchers renamed this reaction "pathological leukocytosis", since the body was reacting to highly altered food. They tested many different kinds of foods and found that if the foods were not overheated or refined, they caused no reaction. The body saw them as "friendly foods". However, these same foods, if heated at too high a temperature, caused a negative reaction in the blood, a reaction that is found only when the body is invaded by a dangerous pathogen or trauma. The worst offenders of all, whether heated or not, were processed foods that had been refined (such as white flour or white rice), or homogenized (a process in which the fat in milk is subjected to artificial suspension), or pasteurized (also seen in milk, flash-heated to high temperatures to kill bacteria), or preserved (chemicals added to food to retard spoilage or to enhance taste or texture). In other words, foods that were changed from their original God-given state. Good examples of these harmful foods are: pasteurized milk, chocolate, margarine, sugar, candy, white flour, and regular salt. The researchers found that if these altered, chemical foods were chewed very thoroughly, the harm to the blood could be lessened. In addition, another amazing finding was that if some of the same food in its raw state was eaten with the cooked counterpart, the pathological reaction in the blood was minimized. However, avoid these unnatural, processed foods; replace them with delicious whole foods for optimal health. Reference: Kouchakoff, Paul, M.D.; "The Influence of Cooking Food on the Blood Formula of Man"; First International Congress of Microbiology; Paris, 1930.
-In 1987, the Montreal Protocal, an international treaty to ban ozone depleting chemicals, mandated the phase out of the fumigant methyl bromide, which is used widely in the U.S. on crops like strawberries. The full phase out was to take place over the course of 18 years.
-In 2004, the Bush Administration began pushing for exemptions to the treaty to allow the U.S. to continue using chemicals like methyl bromide for economic reasons.
-In 2005, the Administration began considering converting methyl bormide use to a new chemical marketed by Arysta Life Sciences known as methyl iodide, which does not deplete the ozone layer.
-But unlike many other pesticides, methyl iodide vaporizes quickly, causing it to drift far distances. Although the state of California has categorized it as cancer causing, and the EPA admits it causes thyroid tumors, the agency has been pushing to approve the chemical since 2006.
-In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson on September 25, 2007, the nation's leading chemists asked EPA not to approve methyl iodide without further scientific review. The chemical has been used to induce cancer in laboratory experiments and causes neurological and thyroid problems, as well as miscarriages in studies with laboratory animals.
-On October 5, 2007, the EPA approved methyl iodide for widespread use in the U.S., putting farmworkers, families and rural communities at risk.
Please send a letter to the EPA requesting they heed the advice of the nation's leading chemists.
People should avoid using Wi-Fi wherever possible because of the risks it may pose to health, the German government has said.
Its surprise ruling - the most damning made by any government on the fast-growing technology - will shake the industry and British ministers, and vindicates the questions that The Independent on Sunday has been raising over the past four months.
And Germany's official radiation protection body also advises its citizens to use landlines instead of mobile phones, and warns of "electrosmog" from a wide range of other everyday products, from baby monitors to electric blankets.
The German government's ruling - which contrasts sharply with the unquestioning promotion of the technology by British officials - was made in response to a series of questions by Green members of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament.
The Environment Ministry recommended that people should keep their exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi "as low as possible" by choosing "conventional wired connections". It added that it is "actively informing people about possibilities for reducing personal exposure".
Its actions will provide vital support for Sir William Stewart, Britain's official health protection watchdog, who has produced two reports calling for caution in using mobile phones and who has also called for a review of the use of Wi-Fi in schools. His warnings have so far been ignored by ministers and even played down by the Health Protection Agency, which he chairs.
By contrast the agency's German equivalent - the Federal Office for Radiation Protection - is leading the calls for caution.
Florian Emrich, for the office, says Wi-Fi should be avoided "because people receive exposures from many sources and because it is a new technology and all the research into its health effects has not yet been carried out".
Are Your Cell Phone and Laptop Bad for Your Health? By Stan Cox AlterNet
Tuesday 31 July 2007
In the wee hours of July 14, a 45-year-old Australian named John Patterson climbed into a tank and drove it through the streets of Sydney, knocking down six cell-phone towers and an electrical substation along the way. Patterson, a former telecommunications worker, reportedly had mapped out the locations of the towers, which he claimed were harming his health.
In recent years, protesters in England and Northern Ireland have brought down cell towers by sawing, removing bolts, and pulling with tow trucks and ropes. In one such case, locals bought the structure and sold off pieces of it as souvenirs to help with funding of future protests. In attempts to fend off objections to towers in Germany, some churches have taken to disguising them as giant crucifixes.
Opposition to towers usually finds more socially acceptable outlets, and protests are being heard more often than ever in meetings of city councils, planning commissions, and other government bodies. This summer alone, citizen efforts to block cell towers have sprouted in, among a host of other places, including California, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, North Dakota and north of the border in Ontario and British Columbia. Transmitters are already banned from the roofs of schools in many districts.
For years, towers have been even less welcome in the United Kingdom, where this summer has seen disputes across the country.
Most opponents cite not only aesthetics but also concerns over potential health effects of electromagnetic (EM) fields generated by the towers. Once ridiculed as crackpots and Luddites, they're starting to get backup from the scientific community.
It's not just cell phones they're worried about. The Tottenham area of London is considering the suspension of all wireless technology in its schools. Last year, Fred Gilbert, a respected scientist and president of Lakehead University in Ontario, banned wireless internet on his campus. And resident groups in San Francisco are currently battling Earthlink and Google over a proposed city-wide Wi-Fi system.
Picking Up Some Interference?
For decades, concerns have been raised about the health effects of "extremely low frequency" fields that are produced by electrical equipment or power lines. People living close to large power lines or working next to heavy electrical equipment are spending a lot of time in electromagnetic fields generated by those sources. Others of us can be exposed briefly to very strong fields each day.
But in the past decade, suspicion has spread to cell phones and other wireless technologies, which operate at frequencies that are millions to tens of millions higher but at low power and "pulsed."
Then there's your cell phone, laptop, or other wireless device, which not only receives but also sends pulsed signals at high frequencies. Because it's usually very close to your head (or lap) when in use, the fields experienced by your body are stronger than those from a cell tower down the street.
A growing number of scientists, along with a diverse collection of technology critics, are pointing out that our bodies constantly generate electrical pulses as part of their normal functioning. They maintain that incoming radiation from modern technology may be fouling those signals.
But with hundreds of billions in sales at stake, the communications industry (and more than a few scientists) insist that radio-frequency radiation can't have biological effects unless it's intense enough to heat your flesh or organs, in the way a microwave oven cooks meat.
It's also turning out that when scientific studies are funded by industry, the results a lot less likely to show that EM fields are a health hazard.
Low Frequency, More Frequent Disease?
Before the digital revolution, a long line of epidemiological studies compared people who were exposed to strong low-frequency fields - people living in the shadow of power lines, for example, or long-time military radar operators - to similar but unexposed groups.
One solid outcome of that research was to show that rates of childhood leukemia are associated with low-frequency EM exposure; as a result, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has labeled that type of energy as a possible carcinogen, just as they might label a chemical compound.
Other studies have found increased incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly called ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), higher rates of breast cancer among both men and women, and immune-system dysfunction in occupations with high exposure.
Five years ago, the California Public Utilities Commission asked three epidemiologists in the state Department of Health Services to review and evaluate the scientific literature on health effects of low-frequency EM fields.
The epidemiologists, who had expertise in physics, medicine, and genetics, agreed in their report that they were "inclined to believe that EMFs can cause some degree of increased risk of childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease, and miscarriage" and were open to the possibility that they raise the risks of adult leukemia and suicide. They did not see associations with other cancer types, heart disease, or Alzheimer's disease.
Epidemiological and animal studies have not been unanimous in finding negative health effects from low-frequency EM fields, so the electric-utility industry continues to emphasize that no cause-and-effect link has been proven.
Now the most intense debate is focused on radio-frequency fields. As soon as cell phones came into common usage, there was widespread concern that holding an electronic device against the side of your head many hours a month for the rest of your life might be harmful, and researchers went to work looking for links to health problems, often zeroing in on the possibility of brain tumors.
Until recently, cell phones had not been widely used over enough years to evaluate effects on cancers that take a long time to develop. A number of researchers failed to find an effect during those years, but now that the phones have been widely available for more than a decade, some studies are relating brain-tumor rates to long-term phone use.
Some lab studies have found short-term harm as well. Treatment with cell-phone frequencies has disrupted thyroid-gland functioning in lab rats, for example. And at Lund University in Sweden, rats were exposed to cell-phone EM fields of varying strengths for two hours; 50 days later, exposed rats showed significant brain damage relative to non-exposed controls.
The authors were blunt in their assessment: "We chose 12-26-week-old rats because they are comparable with human teenagers - notably frequent users of mobile phones - with respect to age. The situation of the growing brain might deserve special concern from society because biologic and maturational processes are particularly vulnerable during the growth process."
Even more recently, health concerns have been raised about the antenna masts that serve cell phones and other wireless devices. EM fields at, say, a couple of blocks from a tower are not as strong as those from a wireless device held close to the body; nevertheless many city-dwellers are now continuously bathed in emissions that will only grow in their coverage and intensity.
Last year, the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia closed off the top two floors of its 17-story business school for a time because five employees working on its upper floors had been diagnosed with brain tumors in a single month, and seven since 1999. Cell phone towers had been placed on the building's roof a decade earlier and, although there was no proven link between them and the tumors, university officials were taking no chances.
Data on the health effects of cell or W-Fi towers are still sparse and inconsistent. Their opponents point to statistically rigorous studies like one in Austria finding that headaches and difficulty with concentration were more common among people exposed to stronger fields from cell towers. All sides seem to agree on the need for more research with solid data and robust statistical design.
San Francisco, one of the world's most technology-happy cities, is home to more than 2400 cell-phone antennas, and many of those transmitters are due to be replaced with more powerful models that can better handle text messaging and photographs, and possibly a new generation of even higher-frequency phones.
Now there's hot-and-heavy debate over plans to add 2200 more towers for a city-wide Earthlink/Google Wi-Fi network. On July 31, the city's Board of Supervisors considered an appeal by the San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna-Free Union (SNAFU) that the network proposal be put through an environmental review - a step that up to now has not been required for such telecommunications projects.
In support of the appeal, Magda Havas, professor of environmental and resource studies at Trent University in Ontario submitted an analysis of radio-frequency effects found in more than 50 human, animal, and cellular-level studies published in scientific journals.
Havas has specialized in investigating the effects of both low- and high-frequency EM radiation. She says most of the research in the field is properly done, but that alone won't guarantee that all studies will give similar results. "Natural variability in biological populations is the norm," she said.
And, she says, informative research takes time and focus: "For example, studies that consider all kinds of brain tumors in people who've only used cell phones for, say, five years don't show an association. But those studies that consider only tumors on the same side of the head where the phone is held and include only people who've used a phone for ten years or more give the same answer very consistently: there's an increased risk of tumors." In other research, wireless frequencies have been associated with higher rates of miscarriage, testicular cancer, and low sperm counts.
Direct current from a battery can be used to encourage healing of broken bones. EM fields of various frequencies have also been shown to reduce tissue damage from heart attacks, help heal wounds, reduce pain, improve sleep, and relieve depression and anxiety. If they are biologically active enough to promote health, are they also active enough to degrade it?
At the 2006 meeting of the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety in Benevento, Italy, 42 scientists from 16 countries signed a resolution arguing for much stricter regulation of EM fields from wireless communication.
Four years earlier, in Freiburger, Germany, a group of physicians had signed a statement also calling for tighter regulation of wireless communication and a prohibition on use of wireless devices by children. In the years since, more than 3000 doctors have signed the so-called "Freiburger Appeal" and documents modeled on it.
But in this country, industry has pushed for and gotten exemption from strict regulation, most notably through the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Libby Kelley, director of the Council on Wireless Technology Impacts in Novato, California says, "The technology always comes first, the scientific and environmental questions later. EM trails chemicals by about 10 years, but I hope we'll catch up."
Kelley says a major problem is that the Telecommunications Act does not permit state or local governments to block the siting of towers based on health concerns: "We'll go to hearings and try to bring up health issues, and officials will tell us, 'We can't talk about that. We could get sued in federal court!'"
Industry officials are correct when they say the scientific literature contains many studies that did not find power lines or telecommunication devices to have significant health effects. But when, as often happens, a range of studies give some positive and some negative results, industry people usually make statements like, "Technology A has not been proven to cause disease B."
Michael Kundi, professor at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria and an EM researcher, has issued a warning about distortions of the concept of cause-and-effect, particularly when a scientific study concludes that "there is no evidence for a causal relationship" between environmental factors and human health. Noting that science is rarely able to prove that A did or did not "cause" B, he wrote that such statements can be "readily misused by interested parties to claim that exposure is not associated with adverse health effects."
Scientists and groups concerned about current standards for EM fields have criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) and other for downplaying the risks. And some emphasize the risk of financial influence when such intense interest is being shown by huge utilities and a global communications industry that's expected to sell $250 billion worth of wireless handsets per year by 2011 (that's just for the instruments, not counting monthly bills). Microwave News cited Belgian reports in late 2006 that two industry groups - the GSM Association and Mobile Manufacturers Forum - accounted for more than 40 percent of the budget for WHO's EM fields project in 2005-06.
When a US National Academy of Sciences committee was formed earlier this year to look into health effects of wireless communication devices, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Sage Associates wrote a letter to the Academy charging that the appointment of two of the committee's six members was improper under federal conflict-of-interest laws.
One of the committee members, Leeka Kheifets, a professor of epidemiology in UCLA's School of Public Health, has, says the letter, "spent the majority of the past 20 years working in various capacities with the Electric Power Research Institute, the research arm of the electric power industry."
The other, Bernard Veyret, senior scientist at the University of Bordeaux in France, "is on the consulting board of Bouygues Telecom (one of 3 French mobile phone providers), has contracts with Alcatel and other providers, and has received research funding from Electricite de France, the operator of the French electricity grid." The NAS committee will be holding a workshop this month and will issue a report sometime after that.
A paper published in January in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that when studies of cell phone use and health problems were funded by industry, they were much less likely to find a statistically significant relationship than were publicly funded studies.
The authors categorized the titles of the papers they surveyed as either negative (as in "Cellular phones have no effect on sleep patterns"), or neutral (e.g., "Sleep patterns of adolescents using cellular phones"), or positive, (e.g., "Cellular phones disrupt sleep"). Fully 42 percent of the privately funded studies had negative titles and none had positive ones. In public or nonprofit studies, titles were 18 percent negative and 46 percent positive.
Alluding to previous studies in the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries, the authors concluded, "Our findings add to the existing evidence that single-source sponsorship is associated with outcomes that favor the sponsors' products."
By email, I asked Dr. John Moulder, a senior editor of the journal Radiation Research, for his reaction to the study. Moulder, who is Professor and Director of Radiation Biology in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Wisconsin, did not think the analysis was adequate to conclusively demonstrate industry influence and told me that in his capacity as an editor, "I have not noted such an effect, but I have not systematically looked for one either. I am certainly aware that an industry bias exists in other areas of medicine, such as reporting of clinical trails."
Moulder was lead author on a 2005 paper concluding that the scientific literature to that point showed "a lack of convincing evidence for a causal association between cancer and exposure to the RF [radio-frequency] energy used for mobile telecommunications."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has questioned Moulder's objectivity because he has served as a consultant to electric-power and telecommunications firms and groups. Moulder told me, "I have not done any consulting for the electric power and telecommunications industry in years, and when I was doing consulting for these industries, the journals for which I served as an editor or reviewer were made aware of it."
A year ago, Microwave News also reported that approximately one-half of all studies looking into possible damage to DNA by communication-frequency EM fields found no effect. But three-fourths of those negative studies were industry- or military-funded; indeed, only 3 of 35 industry or military papers found an effect, whereas 32 of 37 publicly funded studies found effects.
Magda Havas sees a shortage of public money in the US for research on EM health effects as one of the chief factors leading to lack of a rigorous public policy, telling me, "Much of the research here ends up being funded directly or indirectly by industry. That affects both the design and the interpretation of studies." As for research done directly by company scientists, "It's the same as in any industry. They can decide what information to make public. They are free to downplay harmful effects and release information that's beneficial to their product."
Meanwhile, at Trent University where Havas works, students using laptops are exposed to radio-frequency levels that exceed international guidelines. Of that, she says, "For people who've been fully informed and decide to take the risk, that's their choice. But what about those who have no choice, who have a cell-phone tower outside their bedroom window?
"It's the equivalent of secondhand smoke. We took a long time to get the political will to establish smoke-free environments, and we now know we should have done it sooner. How long will it take to react to secondhand radiation?"
If you attended the Princeton Animal Welfare Society's (PAW screening of the film "Earthlings" last week, you are now aware that 28 billion animals are tortured, exploited, abused and eventually slaughtered for human consumption in the United States each year. But if you're like most Princeton students, you didn't go to the screening, and probably aren't aware of that fact, much less forced to think about it.
As of this week, though, every Princeton student passing by the Frist Campus Center's North Lawn will be forced to consider these issues, thanks to a series of panels set up by PAWS juxtaposing historical abuses of human beings with ongoing abuses of animals and comparing the justifications for each. That the average student has not been to one of PAWS's more sobering events, yet will be forced to think about animal welfare thanks to the Animal Liberation Project display, in and of itself shows why the eye-catching, controversial tactics employed by the demonstration are an unfortunate necessity to draw attention to an otherwise ignored issue.
With that said, PAWS respects the position of individuals concerned about comparing the suffering of animals to the suffering of human beings, particularly those panels that show animal slavery alongside human slavery. That's why PAWS reached out to a variety of campus groups before the demonstration arrived, giving them an opportunity to engage in dialogue with us about this exhibit. One of the most common fears expressed to us was that PAWS is suggesting that some groups are "no better than animals." This concern is, of course, particularly acute for the African-American community, who have experienced a legacy of discrimination that included the claim that they are more similar to animals than other human beings.
These concerned students are right about one thing — we are comparing humans to animals — but wrong to say that in doing so we are being racist or degrading. Sure, African-Americans appear in the demonstration — as do Asians and whites, men and women, children and adults. The point of this demonstration is not to make any one race or group of human beings seem more "animal-like" than the others, but instead to say that we are all animals, insofar as we all want to live lives of dignity, free from suffering. We are not trying to degrade anyone — humans or animals — but instead trying to raise all beings up to the level where their rights and interests are respected.
I know as well as you do that child laborers, slaves, political prisoners and other groups depicted in the exhibit are not the same as chickens and pigs. We know, too, that all human beings differ from one another. In the end, however, it should not be our differences that matter, but our commonalities. What all human beings share is a desire to avoid suffering and live a life of our own choosing. Whether or not you accept it, the truth is that we share this desire with nonhuman animals as well.
Slave owners — just like animal-exploiting meat-eaters today — justified their actions by seizing upon irrelevant differences like skin color or gender to draw lines between the exploited and the exploiter, the powerful and the powerless. Today, few people accept that the lines that divide us into categories of race, gender or sexual orientation have anything to do with our right to live unfettered lives and our obligation to treat others with respect and dignity.
This demonstration is about tearing down one more barrier that has been used to justify discrimination — species. When we challenge the justifications for speciesism, we simultaneously combat racism, sexism, heterosexism and other noxious forms of discrimination by attacking the ideology that underlies them all. This ought to be a cause that all of us, especially students from disadvantaged or minority groups, should be able to get behind.
It is easy to understand why so many people — even those genuinely committed to living an unprejudiced lifestyle — have such a hard time with this exhibit. The demonstration demands that we do so by pointing out that meat eaters can justify their behavior only with the same delusional thinking that led to centuries of human abuse. Such a strong demand for change is bound to be a little disconcerting.
Individual change, however, is the only way that prejudice can truly be overcome. Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." If you want to see change, if you want to see an end to prejudice, then don't non-discriminate in your life. You can take a step to reject the ideology behind speciesism, racism and sexism, all at once: stop consuming animals. Becoming a vegetarian is a change for the better for both humans and animals, embodied in three meals a day.
Alex Barnard is the vice president of the Princeton Animal Welfare Society. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations! You're now nearly halfway through 30 Days to a Greener You. You should also have several more items that you can add to the Greener Life Plan you created in lesson 7:
Recycling: You should have your system in place. Now, update your plan to show activities you'll need to take on a regular basis. You'll probably need to sort daily, and deliver the sorted recyclables weekly, either to a convenient drop-off point, or to your curbside.
Eating and Drinking: You've committed a portion of your grocery budget to greener food, and will probably want to make shopping for it a weekly event. If you can make it part of your regular grocery shopping, great - add that to your plan. If not, identify a point during the week you can do your green shopping, and try to combine it with other trips you would normally make.
Energy, Transportation and Consumption: While light bulbs only need to be changed occasionally (especially now that you're using longer-lasting, more efficient bulbs), you may want to make a habit of checking other energy uses in your home: thermostat and hot water heater settings (especially if someone in your home has a tendency to adjust these!). You'll want to start replacing your furnace/AC filter monthly, as that will help those systems run more efficiently.
Have you scheduled regular trips by mass transit, bicycle or "foot power?" Have you taken note of car trips you can combine? If not, get those into your plan!
You may also want to have a standing weekly appointment with your new favorite swapping site - you never know what might show up!
Your Action for Today: Update and Revise Your Greener Living Plan
Of course, once you've done this, you'll want to engage in another activity that should be on the plan: using your Green Journal! Put your updated plan in your journal today. Take a look at the plans others have revised. Finally, enjoy your success - you're already living a greener life!
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