The creature most health conscious omnivores insist upon consuming is fish. Their arguments range from “fish don’t feel pain” to “I need the protein and Omega-3 fatty acids”. Unfortunately for fish consumers, these arguments don’t hold water. First of all, pescetarians are entirely wrong to believe that fish do not feel pain. UK scientists at the Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh have conclusively proved that fish do feel pain. Researcher Rebecca Dunlop summed up her team’s findings by stating “This paper shows that pain avoidance in fish doesn’t seem to be a reflex response, rather one that is learned, remembered and is changed according to different circumstances. Therefore, if fish can perceive pain, then fishing cannot continue to be considered a non-cruel sport.” (http://www.fishinghurts.com/fishfeelpain.asp) Of course, it doesn’t take a scientist to realize that fish feel pain. Everyone can see that fish endure tremendous amounts of pain when they are hooked, including business magnate Donald Trump. “Whenever my sons go fishing they always tell me, ‘Dad it doesn’t hurt a fish to get hooked.’ Well I watch and I see and I believe it’s painful for the fish,” says Trump.
Don’t kid yourself. Fish feel pain.
Even if pescetarians are able to rationalize supporting the cruel fishing industry, they should revisit their argument that fish consumption is healthy. Although fish has been touted as a miracle food with huge advantages over chicken, beef, and pork, the truth is that eating fish can cause more harm than good for your health. More than 60% of calories in fish come from fat. Fish fat reduces the actions of insulin in the body and increases the risk for high blood sugar and diabetes. Although a common argument for eating fish is the “need” for Omega-3 fat, scientific evidence has shown that Omega-3 fish fat actually increases a person’s likelihood of developing cancer and heightens the risk of metastasis. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that, in addition to the aforementioned health risks associated with a pescetarian diet, many fish have such high amounts of mercury that eating them actually increases your risk of having a heart attack by as much as 50%. Fish are also high in cholesterol and contain acidic protein that increases the risk of osteoporosis. Eskimos consume more fish than most populations on our planet and, not surprisingly, have the highest rates of osteoporosis on Earth.
Eskimos have the highest rates of osteoporosis on Earth.
Oftentimes the reported health impacts of consuming fish do not even take into account biomagnification. Dr. John McDougall explains biomagnification as follows:
Fish eat other fish that eat plankton and algae, which are
contaminated with environmental pollutants. Because these
chemicals are attracted and concentrated in the fat of the fish, they
become even more concentrated as the chemicals move up the food
chain, by a process known as biomagnification. The fish most heavily
laden with chemicals are those such as the tuna, swordfish and shark,
which are predators of smaller sea life.
Unfortunately, those most affected by all this contamination are the
ones highest on the food chain – our unborn and breast-feeding children,
living off of their mother. Polychlorinated biphenyl exposure (PCB) of
children born to women who had eaten relatively large quantities of fish
resulted in poorer intellectual function of the children, compared to
other children, shown by lower scores on a preschool IQ test, and poorer
verbal IQ and reading comprehension at 11 years of age.
Whether your food selections are motivated by a desire to be cruelty-free or a dedication to healthy eating, fish is not the wonder food that many claim and should not be considered an ethical or nutritious dietary staple.
Stay hydrated to reduce your chance of getting a painful muscle cramp.
Outdoor activities like walking, jogging, and bike riding make staying physically fit an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, fun in the sun can quickly morph into pain if you don’t remain hydrated. In addition to potentially inducing a dangerous illness like heat stroke, dehydration is oftentimes the cause of sudden muscle cramps. Avoid muscle discomfort when you are outdoors by drinking lots of fluid two hours prior to exercising and by drinking regularly throughout your work-out.
Approximately 2,500 people die from heart disease every day. In the UK, heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths. Cardiovascular illness is the number one cause of death in the United States, claiming an average of 900,000 American lives each year. According to Dr. Robert Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research at Duke University Medical Center, there’s just no doubt about it. “It’s far and away the most likely reason that you or I will die,” says Califf. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing a potentially fatal cardiovascular illness. Although some people are genetically pre-disposed to heart disease, most of us can control our cardiovascular health with a healthy diet and regular exercise. So what is the best diet for optimal heart health? A vegan diet, of course!
Don’t become a statistic! Go vegan and exercise regularly to keep your heart healthy.
A vegan diet is ideal for preventing cardiovascular disease. Neal Barnard, M.D., who is President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and author of Turn off the Fat Genes, says “If you change to a vegan diet, and do it very vigorously, you have enormous power. You can reverse heart disease. You can prevent it.” The reason a plant based diet is so effective at preventing heart disease is because it is devoid of cholesterol and low in saturated fat. Whereas the average cholesterol level of omnivores in the United States is 210, American vegans have an average cholesterol level of 133. Most doctors consider having a cholesterol level of less than 150 to be the key to avoiding a heart attack. Therefore, even if you have already been diagnosed with atherosclerosis and are at high risk for a heart attack or other serious cardiovascular episode, you can drastically decrease the likelihood of becoming a heart disease fatality statistic by adopting a vegan diet immediately. In 1995, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reported that “Patients fed a vegan diet during an intensive 12-day live-in program experienced an average reduction of 11% in total cholesterol levels. Most patients also lost weight and had improved blood pressure levels.” This study proves that a vegan diet makes an enormous difference for heart health. If just twelve days of vegan eating can reduce a person’s cholesterol level by 11%, imagine what a lifetime commitment to a plant-based diet will do for your cardiovascular health and overall wellness.
Smiling is healthy!
Smiling doesn’t just make you more approachable and attractive. It actually makes you healthier! Studies have shown that smiling boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and releases endorphins that cause a general feeling of well being. Additionally, smiling combats aging, since a smile exercises facial muscles and prevents against skin drooping. Try smiling more to look younger, feel better, and be healthier!
There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not soy is healthy. Critics claim that soy interferes with thyroid function, increases the body’s need for B12, and contains high levels of aluminum which can be detrimental to the kidneys and nervous system. Soy advocates, on the other hand, say that soy lowers cholesterol, has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, and effectively strengthens the bones to prevent against osteoporosis. Which side is right? Should you consume or avoid soy products for optimal health?
Soy is a safe dietary staple...in moderation.
The truth is that, while soy is not a miracle food, it is a healthy addition to a diet if consumed in moderation. For vegans and vegetarians, soy is an invaluable source of high quality protein that is rich in iron, zinc, and calcium. When eaten two to five times per week, soy reduces the risk of heart disease, improves bone health, helps to control diabetic symptoms, and has been shown to guard against digestive system cancers such as colon, rectal, and prostate cancer. Soy critics do have some valid concerns, however. In Western countries, soybeans are heavily sprayed with pesticides, which have been shown to affect the nervous system by interfering with the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Further, soy foods can disrupt the function of the thyroid gland, so people who have or who are predisposed to developing thyroid conditions do need to take extra precautions when adding soy to their diets.
Ultimately, the verdict on soy is that it is like any other food. In moderation, soy is a delicious and nutritious part of a well balanced diet. In excess, soy may prove more harmful than beneficial. Be sure to exercise portion control when you consume soy to realize this food’s many health benefits without experiencing negative side effects.
Spice up your menu to improve your skin!
If you want to do something great for your skin, try spicing up your menu! According to Leslie Baumann, M.D., many spices contain powerful antioxidants that help guard against skin damage caused by sun exposure. Turmeric and ginger are two particularly noteworthy spices that have been found to decrease the production of cancerous skin cells. This week, instead of playing it safe with your Gobble Green order, try some of our spicy dishes like Aloo Matar, Spicy Chili, and Stuffed Red Peppers!
Did you know that Bernie Madoff, the man behind the largest investor fraud scheme in history, is still swindling from behind bars? This time, taxpayers are shelling out major bucks so that Bernie Madoff and other prisoners can receive kosher meals in federal jail upon request. Kosher meals for prisoners cost the law-abiding population big time; this service requires having kosher cooks and a separate kosher kitchen at facilities with inmates who are, purportedly, religious. Perhaps these miscreants should have contemplated their religious creeds, morals, and special dietary needs before committing federal crimes.
Bernie Madoff is costing you money now.
When Ira Black, the guitarist for the popular metal band Lizzy Borden, was sentenced to prison in Los Angeles for a misdemeanor, he went on a hunger strike because he has been a vegan for fifteen years. Most prisons do not offer special meals for vegans or vegetarians and Ira Black refused to eat the heavy meat and dairy diet that was provided during his incarceration. Whereas self-declared religious felons demand and receive more costly kosher meals that must be prepared separately in a publicly funded kitchen, vegans are expected to give up their principles and consume animal derived products while serving time.
The truth is that it is inefficient and discriminatory for dietary exceptions to be made for prisoners regardless of the reason. All inmates should be treated equally. We should be serving cost-efficient and eco-friendly meals to all prisoners. After all, why should society pay the extra costs of catering to specific felons? Prisoners should be offered nutritionally sound meals that do not cost taxpayers an arm and a leg. If you break the law, you should be aware that there is one set meal plan for all inmates regardless of religion, credo, or principle.
Idaho’s prison system currently offers the most vegetarian and vegan meal options.
A vegan menu should be the only option available in prison. What???! Didn’t this article just argue that all prisoners should be treated equally? Why should Ira Black’s vegan diet be served while Bernie Madoff’s kosher requests go ignored? The answer is simple. The decision to serve vegan meals in prison is one that is based on the best interests of society as a whole rather than the wishes of individual prisoners. The most fiscally and environmentally responsible diet to give prisoners is one devoid of animal products. Here are a few reasons why an exclusively vegan meal plan in prisons would positively impact society as a whole:
-Plant-based vegan ingredients like beans are more affordable than meat products, especially when purchased in bulk.
- Mandatory vegan meal plan in prisons will improve the environment by decreasing demand for products from the meat and dairy industries, which are responsible for 18% of the Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions.
-There was a trial program implemented at the Victor Valley Medium Correctional Facility in Adelanto, California which found that violence dropped significantly among inmates who were switched to a vegan diet.
- An increased demand for vegan meals reduces violence against animals by the meat and dairy industries.
-According to the American Dietetic Association, vegans and vegetarians are less prone to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity than meat-eaters. Switching prisoners to a plant-based meal plan will save the prison system a great deal of money on prisoners’ long term medical care costs. This is, of course, good news for taxpayers.
-Should we really be serving the body parts of once-living creature to inmates who are supposed to be contemplating the distinction between what is right and what is wrong? To serve the victims of mankind’s ongoing animal genocide to the likes of Christopher Lee McCuin and Timothy Wayne Shepard seems particularly twisted.
Although prisons are unlikely to adopt an exclusively vegan menu right now, this change is probable in the future. As the environment continues to deteriorate and as taxpayers become increasingly irate over excess spending in prison facilities, mandatory veganism for inmates may ultimately be enacted.