> Are there any other animals other than ourselves that can have a wide
> of diets? We are the only species to eat food other than is readily
> available in nature - true or false?
You have a point - we're probably the only animal that does this (I
certainly don't know - I'm not a zoologist).
But we are the only animal with a flexible intelligence - no other
creature even approaches our degree of sophistication when it comes
to our ability to create new responses. We are omnivorous. These two
special human attributes compliment each other.
There IS no other animal that is like us.
> I'm looking around me and I see people stuffing crap down themselves. They
> think they feel good, most cope well with life, work, go out for a drink
> with friends etc etc but most will have their lives cut short by disease -
> most commonly heart disease or cancer. In the meantime many put up with
> lowered energy levels, allergies, arthritis, headaches, the list goes on.
You are right - we have many health problems. But, as you know, they
are not only a result of poor diets!
Even if you reach some conclusions about what you'd like to eat (and
it sounds like you would like to be a fruitarian), you may still
find yourself sick with cancer, allergies, autoimmune diseases, or
dying a painful, diseased death.
Just today a frightening report - so frightening that it astonished
even the scientific community - was released reporting the extremely
high levels of dioxin found to be present in ALL the foods that we
eat, and in poisonous levels in the tissue and blood stream of every
culture in every corner of the planet (this fact was emphasized in
the report - that no group of people anywhere on the planet has been
sheltered from dioxin contamination), that dioxin is in our water,
in our pastures and forests, in our fish and animals, and in our
plant foods. The report even went as far as blaming 1 in every
cancers - and in particular lymphoma (a particularly hideous form) -
on dioxin poisoning.
And environmental hazards are not the only thing that can make you
sick. You may become ill simply from responsibly meeting the
challenges of the incredibly stressful life that you and I and every
fruitarian and Atkinsian is forced to lead in today's world.
Or you may not be able to get the minimum of 10 hours of sleep every
night - that's EVERY night! - that is required to allow your immune
system to regenerate, to be strong enough to combat all that dioxin.
And those heavy metals you're breathing in with every breath. And
the poisonous fumes from 3M fabric-guard that has been emanating
from your couch, your carpet, your car upholstery, your office
furniture, the stores and restaurants and movie theaters you visit,
your doctor's office, and your clothes.
And all that second-hand cigarette smoke.
And you may be sedentary. Or you may kid yourself into thinking
you're not sedentary, because you take a walk every now and then.
But as far as your body's ability to ward off disease you are simply
not getting the hard, muscle-building physical work you need to be
able to metabolize the "perfect" diet you've designed for yourself.
So the health problems you mention above may have nothing to do with
diet at all. Diet can HELP your immune system. But don't be seduced
into thinking that diet is any kind of a GUARANTEE of good health -
or a cure-all - or that it is any more important than 1.Sleep,
2.Excercise, or 3.Mental Well-Being.
> Western medicine has little to offer the
> chronic health sufferer,
Wow! That's CERTAINLY not true, Mike! Let's see what you'll do -
where you'll run to - if you are ever unfortunate enough to find
you've got cancer. (And I sure hope this doesn't ever, ever happen
to you. I hope you stay healthy forever, live long, and die never).
But that's a wildly inaccurate statement you've made there. Western
medicine is the reason you don't have polio, smallpox, TB. That you
can have a hip replaced. That you can take drugs that will allow you
to die in relative comfort instead of screaming pain. And my God! so
I am always shocked when I see statements like this. They strike me
as astonishingly unknowledgeable.
> some seek to cure themselves through diet and other
Diets don't cure. At their best they provide fuel, delight us, and
don't make us sick.
> As an 'expert', you should be willing to say what you feel is the
> best guess human diet. If you think that one diet won't suit all then
> the options / reasons can be included.
Mike, Tom doesn't claim to be an expert. You keep trying to MAKE him
one, but Tom has repeatedly said that he is NOT an expert.
He's told you what his intent it - which is to provide as much
accurate information as he can, so that each person can make his or
her OWN decisions about what to eat. That's the intent of beyondveg
as well (in addition to providing plenty of information on the
realities of fruitarian and vegan diets so that folks can hear what
they DON'T hear from the zealots).
Why are you intent on getting some sort of statement about THE diet
Is it because you yourself are trying to figure out what to eat? If
so, you'll unfortunately have to do your own reading.
Is it because you want someone ELSE to decide for you what you
should eat? You'll have to make that decision for yourself, as
difficult as it is.
Is it because you're convinced that Tom does in fact have an agenda,
and you'd like him to declare it publically? If that is what you
think, you are simply mistaken about Tom. He doesn't care what
people eat or don't eat. He'd like to see people healthy, of course.
But if you decide to be fruitarian, that's fine with Tom. He IS
interested in providing you with the best information that he knows
of, so that you can make the most informed decision.
> If I seek advice in any other field in life, I expect the experts to give
> advice, not refer me to all the scientific literature in their field.
Mike, again, Tom is not "the experts" and has never claimed to be.
He doesn't WANT to give you advice! Tom had no IDEA what you should
eat! That's your decision! YOU, not Tom, should be the expert on
Furthermore, beyondveg is not really "scientific literature," as I'm
sure you agree. It's not like you've been sent to Medline or
scientific journals. Beyondveg pieces have been written for the lay
reader - that's you. And the articles have been organized, and
thoughtfully presented in a manner that will make it easy for you to
make sense of - nothing like doing a search through the medical
literature to do your own research.
> who have health problems may not have the energy or the brain power to
> critically evaluate all the information on your site, they need
> recommendations along perhaps with a brief summary of the reasoning behind
> those recommendations.
There are no recommendations - no pat answers. It sounds to me like
you're looking for simple black-and-white answers to complex
nutrition questions. You're not alone. The public is very confused
about nutrition questions, with very good reason.
However, there are no simple answers.
The people you refer to above - who have limited "energy or brain
power" - have very unique health problems that require wholly unique
dietary solutions. Do you really think that the juvenile diabetic
who goes to beyondveg, and the marathon runner, both must embark
upon the same diet? You see? Every person's needs are utterly
Yours evidently seem to be that of a strict fruitarian.