First they came for your morphine and cocaine. You don’t remember that because they banned those over a hundred years ago. Then they came for alcohol, but they were forced to give it back. They outlawed marijuana, “the killer weed” which produced “reefer madness” allegedly turning its smokers into violent maniacs just a bit before my generation came along. Then, they went after tobacco. Try lighting a cigarette today in public buildings anywhere in an American city.
Has anybody stopped to wonder what’s next on Puritanism’s hit list? Kelly Freston can tell you.
When I think about the effect of animal products on human health, I’m reminded of how quickly we’ve done a national about face on tobacco, and I look forward to the day when the Times magazine has a similar apology from someone who promoted animal products — because the evidence is in and it continues to grow: Animal products kill a lot more Americans than tobacco does.
The West’s three biggest killers — heart disease, cancer, and stroke — are linked to excessive animal product consumption, and vegetarians have much lower risks of all three. Vegetarians also have a fraction of the obesity and diabetes rates of the general population — of course, both diseases are at epidemic levels and are only getting worse.
But much more important than the vegetarian community’s general statistics are what can be done with the right vegetarian diet: For some years now, doctors have been not just preventing, but even reversing, heart disease using a low-fat vegetarian diet.
That’s right — the disease that kills almost as many Americans as everything else combined can be not just prevented, but reversed, with a low fat plant-based diet, as documented by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
They’ve evidently converted that confirmed sensualist Bill Clinton. His video impressed me actually. He has lost a lot of weight, and it isn’t difficult to believe that a vegan diet would return most of us to our weight levels in high school (if not in Auschwitz). Trying that diet to lose weight does make a certain amount of sense, and losing weight is undoubtedly good for reducing the progression of heart disease. I’m not sure that I believe that eating like a vegan idiot will actually reverse heart disease though. I did buy Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book and may give that diet a bit of a try.