A great article popped up on my radar this morning in the form of an editorial by Marc Victor of The Daily Bell. In the article, Marc discusses his youth, his time in the Marine Corps, and the diet and lifestyle he maintained for most of his life that ultimately led him to having health problems.
Marc was an avid fan of the Atkins diet and he was also an exercise junkie. Marc concluded that because he was lean and in shape that this insides were just as healthy as his outsides. That turned out to be a mistake, as Marc was eventually diagnosed as being hypertensive and having high cholesterol, to the point where the doctor was considering prescribing medication.
Rather than going on meds, Marc radically changed his diet, becoming a whole food vegan. Marc goes on to discuss the impact this change had on his health, as well as his ethics. It’s a great read.
However, at age 44, my doctor informed me that both my cholesterol level and my blood pressure were a bit high. After the issues persisted, prescription drugs were suggested. At this point, I grudgingly decided to reexamine my diet. After reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, I resolved to radically change my diet and adopt a “whole food plant based” diet instead. I made this change solely for health reasons without the slightest thought to any ethical or environmental concerns. It wasn’t long after I had adopted a whole food plant based diet my overall health dramatically and objectively improved.
Quite unexpectedly, I soon realized my thinking about animal rights had been entirely corrupted and thoroughly biased by my previously insatiable desire to eat dead animal flesh. Prior to my dietary change, I would never have envisioned giving up eating dead animals nor would I ever have entertained the possibility that eating dead animals necessitated an unjustified initiation of force. Although not by any conscious or dishonest intention, I realized I had previously been too dismissive of most animal rights arguments.
For the first time in my life, I confronted the animal rights issue free from my own personal need to justify my seemingly insatiable desire to continue to consume dead animal flesh. With full awareness of my new health related biases against consuming dead animal flesh, I endeavored to consider the issue anew.
I can relate to the changes Marc experienced, as I went though those exact same changes in health and beliefs as well after switching to a whole food plant based diet. I’ve been eating this way for a while now and I’ve never felt better. My last blood test was an amazing improvement from where I was.
If reading isn’t your thing, I highly recommend taking the time to watch the documentaries, “Forks Over Knives” and “Cowspiracy.” Dr. Michael Greger separates fact from fiction when it comes to nutrition advice in the lecture below.