Tag Archives: vegetarian

A case of Crohn’s disease

Stomach painMeet John (not his real name). He had a severe case of Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease affecting almost a million Americans. Starting in his late teens and continuing till his early 60’s, John suffered from his intestines swelling and causing pain, along with the unpleasant symptoms one would expect from major disruptions in the intestines. Every day was hard. Even his eyes and throat were affected. Over time he took a long list of suggested medications, and endured the powerful side effects that usually accompany these meds, but none of these is fully able to treat the disease. He also had surgeries, as most Crohn’s patients do, but continued to suffer. Read more

Y’all crazy with this vegan thing!

Kendall Wright of Tennessee TitansAs Coach Amos Stagg walked out onto the University of Chicago’s Marshall Field for the first day of fall football training in 1907, he had no shortage of strategies to carry his Maroons to the championship. Fans across the nation, having watched in awe as the Maroons clinched a perfect record Western Conference victory in 1905, expected nothing less of the renowned coach. But one of Stagg’s strategies took everyone by surprise: For the 1907 season, he was putting his team on an a vegetarian diet, the same one he himself had been following for nearly two years. Read more

Prostate Cancer – you can do something to help yourself!

Man eating salad 2OK, you guys, and the gals who care about them, we need to talk about a disease that’s all too common – prostate cancer! The good news is that there’s something you can do to prevent it, and even help treat it if it’s a mild case in its early stages. Let’s start with prevention first.

The risk of prostate cancer in vegetarians is less than half that of non-vegetarians. While plant-based foods have been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer, animal-derived foods increase the risk. Intake of saturated fat and cholesterol found in animal-derived foods are independent risk factors for prostate cancer, contributing further to the higher risk that non-vegetarians have. Read more

Your neighborhood Vegetarian!

Mr RogersWith the new movie “Won’t you be my neighbor” in theaters, people are reminded just how caring a person Fred Rogers was.  While it doesn’t feature in the movie, Mr Rogers caring attitude was exemplified by his refusal to eat meat.  “I don’t want to eat anything that has a mother,” he often said.

Rogers stopped eating meat in the early 1970s, not long after Frances Moore Lappé published Diet for a Small Planet, a major critique of meat production and a compelling argument for a plant-based diet that can help alleviate world hunger.

Rogers, a Christian minister, who believes that treating animals nonviolently and embracing a vegetarian lifestyle are deeply spiritual practices that bear witness to God’s love for animals. “I want to be a vehicle for God, to spread his message of love and peace,” Rogers stated when explaining his vegetarianism in 1983.

It’s no surprise that his vegetarianism had to do with his love for children too. In the 1983 interview, he stated that when children “discover the connection between meal and animals, many children get very concerned about it.”

With this concern in mind, Rogers steadfastly refused to show images of people eating animals on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Although a 1982 episode includes footage from a full-service restaurant, there’s not one image of meat, fowl, or fish. And an entire 1984 series on food avoids any mention of eating animals.

In the Neighborhood, animals are for enjoying, nurturing, and loving—not for chewing, swallowing, and digesting.  We wish that more TV personalities would adopt this attitude today.

Erectile Dysfunction – diet matters!

ED - disappointed coupleErectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for intercourse. Erectile dysfunction (ED) has considerable impact on the quality of life of middle-aged and senior men, and is a significant global health problem  affecting millions of men throughout the world.

It’s very important to note that men with ED are at significantly increased risk of a heart attack. There is consistent epidemiological evidence which links ED with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cholesterol levels. We know that a plant-based diet greatly reduces the risk of those diseases and so it follows that it also greatly reduces the risk of ED. Other evidence shows that the lower BMI (Body Mass Index) that vegetarians are more likely to have also helps reduce the risk of ED, as does the reduction of saturated fat intake and increased fiber intake.

One study found a 10% reduced risk of ED with each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables consumed. Another study showed that phytonutrients, nutrients besides vitamins and minerals which are found only in plant foods, were a major reason for the reduced risk. A long term study of a diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and olive oil was associated with an improvement in erectile function.

They’ve even done a small experiment on erectile function.  Three athletes were tested overnight after different meals.  The experiment showed that erectile function was improved after a plant-based meal. Smoking cessation and exercise increased the effectiveness of the dietary intervention in several studies.

While diet and diet-related diseases are major causes of ED, there are other factors such as psychological problems and medication side effects which can also have an impact. However, switching to a plant-based diet is a safe way to reduce your risk of ED and it forms a vital role in its treatment.

Being Veg’n in Hollywood

It’s all the rage to be vegan in Hollywood these days, so much so that it’s hard to keep up with who’s vegan or vegetarian and who’s not, as various actors and actresses go veg. Many of them have made public statements over the years on why a veg’n diet is important to them, so we thought we’d collect a few:

Casey AfleckCasey Afleck:

“When people ask me why I don’t eat meat or any other animal products, I say, ‘Because they are unhealthy and they are the product of a violent and inhumane industry.”

Alec Baldwin:

“Every time we sit down to eat, we make a choice: Please choose vegetarianism. Do it for animals. Do it for the environment and do it for your health.”

Jessica ChastainJessica Chastain:

“I don’t want to torture anything. … it’s about trying to live a life where I’m not contributing to the cruelty in the world. … While I am on this planet, I want everyone I meet to know that I am grateful they are here.”

Peter Dinklage:

“I love animals. All animals. I wouldn’t hurt a cat or a dog — or a chicken, or a cow. And I wouldn’t ask someone else to hurt them for me. That’s why I’m a vegetarian.”

Woody HarrelsonWoody Harrelson:

“Initially, it was an energetic pursuit, but eventually I did develop a deep compassion for animals. I’d eat a burger, and want to go to sleep. I started for energy. And it has served me well. ”

Ellen Page:

‘Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit?’

Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman:

“Everyone has to find what is right for them, and it is different for everyone. Eating for me is how you proclaim your beliefs three times a day. That is why all religions have rules about eating. Three times a day, I remind myself that I value life and do not want to cause pain to or kill other living beings. That is why I eat the way I do.”

Alicia Silverstone:

“Nothing’s changed my life more. I feel better about myself as a person, being conscious and responsible for my actions and I lost weight and my skin cleared up and I got bright eyes and I just became stronger and healthier and happier. Can’t think of anything better in the world to be but be vegan.”

Heart Disease – No. 1 cause of death

Artery scanning

Dr Chan Hwang scans the carotid artery of a Vegfest attendee.

Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for both men and women. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. A plant-based diet can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 40%. If you wish your doctor knew about this, we want you to know that we do too! That’s why we wrote a letter to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They recently published an Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on the role of non-statin therapies for lowering LDL Cholesterol, but they “forgot” to include the plant-based diet!  We told them about their omission, and we published it as an open letter, complete with references to all the latest research on the topic. Read more

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