As I exercised on my stationary bike today I decided to rewatch the documentary on Netflix called "Forks Over Knives." I was once again reminded of the many reasons why I have entered the Vegan path. Some of you may have read "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell. He features prominently in this film. He shares the journey he took from being a dairy farm boy, and focusing his career on the health benefits of protein, to turning towards eating plants. It was great to "meet" him in this film, and hear him speak live about his "passion" for nutritional excellence. Also, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn is a hero of mine for his clinical work with people dying of cancer.
The documentary deals with the most recent scientific advances in understanding human nutrition. As a society, we have come to depend too much on animal products and processed foods for our diet. At the same time we have slowly cut fruits and vegetables away. Eating plants is simply good for your body. But it's also good for our planet. I personally became a vegan first as an ideology (I no longer wanted to be complicit in the way animals are treated for our use). After that I began to find out the extraordinary health benefits of being vegan. There are people in this film who also make changes toward a more plant based diet and find they lose weight and lower their cholesterol and medications.
People are confused why government agencies like the USDA don't change their dietary guidelines to fit the most recent science that this documentary illuminates. But changes take a long time to occur, and status quos don't fall away very easily. The fact is, the truth hurts! People's livelihoods are on the line, and big businesses have big bank accounts. Lobbyists work congress. Changes now must occur on a grass roots level. We must become educated and vote with our wallets.
Most of us were directly taught in our families and in our schools that animals products are good for us, and a part of a healthy lifestyle. The schools serve dairy and animal products that are shown to be unhealthy for kids. It's no wonder that so many of our children are overweight and even developing diabetes at younger and younger ages. But changes are occurring. New doctors are beginning to treat their patients with heart disease and diabetes with diet. Many restaurants are responding by putting vegetarian and vegan foods on their menus. Parents are getting involved with school lunch programs. A little bit here and little bit there and we may see big changes.
Many of us have lost touch with how to plan, shop and prepare nutritions food. Some of these doctors in this film go so far as to teach people these life saving skills. Have we turned our dietary health over to fast food and restaurants? Is convenience more important to us than our health? The bulk of our food should be prepared from the freshest whole plant foods we can find, in our own homes when ever possible. Then we have control over the amount of healthy whole plant foods we eat. If we are wise, we will eat mostly whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. If everyone got on board with this idea, we would soon be experiencing a new age....Peas would rule the planets, and love would clear the bars. It could be the dawning of the Age of Asparagus....