When I first read the books Yuval Noah Harari and his quote “the spiritual journey is always tragic, because it is a lonely path….”, I was not impressed. Write a series of books as I have, and this quote will become the most prescient statement in your life. You will also experience the pain of truth. Jesus said “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled…” (Book of Thomas).
This all started as my quest for enlightenment led to examination of our world of nutrition. I was shocked at what society is feeding itself. I became inspired to compile and print some of my findings. I began to discover the inseparable relationships with many other aspects that, in toto, make us who we are. Nutrition is only one of many facets. As important as it is, it does not stand alone. (Man does not live by bread alone, as the old saying goes.)
Noted author Ian McEwan commented that “one of the great pleasures in writing is that you never know where the story is taking you”. He also noted that writing a book changes who you are, that you adopt or adapt to new realities.
I became enamored with my personal growth and evolution as I entered a new relationship with food and drink. There was a corresponding awareness that combining seemingly unrelated new and old facts opened familiar doors to fresh insights.
Most exciting were the paths leading to doors I had never contemplated. Doors with glimmers of Spirituality, to deeper connections with Nature. This is a unique facet of our beings that remains undiscovered, unexplored in today’s world of Hedonism. We believe and teach our children that success, joy and happiness are defined by physical, tangible appointments and epicurean views of food and drink. Nature, the essence of Spirituality, has lost its place.
Spirituality is also denied to us and our children by poverty, by oppression, by religions, and through rigid paradigms where behaviors are rote. We deny them a lifetime of health through our current Meat, Dairy, Pasta, Ramen, Sugar, Salt, Bread nutrition paradigm. This nonsense is as outdated as smoking cigarettes. Statistically, both are equally unhealthy. Even with all we know today…information not available ever before…we perpetuate our hoax that kids need this kind of junk. We tell them they need animal protein, a false paradigm that is starving millions and killing our planet.
Finally, as I finished these books, I became embittered. Our 1942 paradigm condoned smoking, drinking and eating whatever. I realized am not the man I could have been. I will never know who I could have been. I have many physical and mental issues statistically related to poor maternal care and inadequate nutrition as a kid. My older sister was stillborn, statistically related to smoking.…we will never see what she could have been.
Yet we continue to feed ourselves and our kids junk…calorie dense, chemically laden stuff. Dead, embalmed animals. No nutrients…like giving them a tape worm who gets the good stuff first. Every portion of junk we feed a kid is an opportunity missed to feed them nutrient dense foods. If I can sway only one person to feed a kid better, now or years down the road, my mission is complete.
Nothing has Changed Except my Attitude, Therefore Everything has Changed. – Anthony de Mello
Read this as if you were 50 years removed from the author.
This is what I think in this moment. It’s incomplete information and unsubstantiated opinion for my future generations to either build upon, avoid or dismiss as irrelevant.
This is the type of chronicle that I dearly miss from my ancestors and mentors. Scott Browning, Robert Edward Barrett, Thomas Randolph Barrett, Cecil Powers, Abraham Lincoln, Wilbur Wright, Harry Truman, Tom Beavers, Quentin Barrett, William Helton…. Neil Armstrong. I don’t care about their diaries, that they taught grandkids how to catch crawdads or that Concord beat Salem.
No matter what Scott Browning or Robert E. Barrett would have written, I would take no personal exception. They were them. I am me. What I want to know, to feel, is their world view at a moment in time. While our philosophies refine through experience and maturity, there are core values which remain with us for a lifetime.
When I feel ambivalence with ‘right and wrong’ about religion, for example, it’s easy enough to ask Aristotle or Martin Luther through their extensive writings and through interpretations from thousands of post-mortem analysts. But this does not tell me anything about the state of arts and practices in the specific lives of my recent ancestors. Nor from the people who shaped my world most recently. What did they think about the world around them?
I know Scott, on the evening before they removed the remaining part of his leg, had two pieces of apple pie containing lard, butter, eggs, refined flour, sugar and salt. That his Type 2 diabetes was also responsible for his diminishing eyesight. I know he would have written “it runs in the family,” but how he would have stated this with his pen would have been enlightening.
Understanding Scott’s views on nutrition and pre-destination could assist in how to move forward to higher knowledge and practices in lifestyle and nutrition today. How to better educate and intercede. I wish R. E. Barrett had written something about life in 1920, particularly as his son, Tom, was drinking himself to death, soon to leave five of his six kids without a father, in destitution. Tom’s youngest suffered malnutrition and intellectual compromise for a lifetime. R. E’s commentary on or around addiction, on opinions and intercessions at the time, would go beyond just interesting. In finding the flaws in contemporary logic and practices of his day, we can gain insights into our undoubtedly incomplete knowledge and practices in our day. Perhaps we can do better… or understand why we can’t!
It is in this spirit that I write “Sending Messages Ahead.” I do this as an ancestor, knowing how much I would value philosophical, heart-felt essays from the movers and shakers, whose contributions to family and mankind brought me to this exact moment in time. What did they actually think about…anything?
I thought about who was most responsible for this privilege at this moment in time to put my thoughts onto paper and into this book. I thought about my wonderful parents and family. I thought about my early career with Don Long who patiently led my early training in geotechnics, Dick Prosence who supported the major part of my professional career, even when I did not deserve his faith in me (I would have fired me), or Al Ruckman who passionately guided so many of our adventures in science, technology and ethics.
Then I thought about the phrase “knife edge of chance”. Each of us provides our contributions in life as we deem appropriate during moments of opportunity. It is a matter of chance when these arise. Just as it is a matter of chance when others appear and find it appropriate to support us to higher levels of success. Even what we call success is a hugely random series of chances. What one professor said in passing about going into petroleum geology or mineral exploration. These are moments which put us on radically different courses, radically different contacts for support and radically different opportunities to serve mankind and our Creator.
What came to me as I looked for people to acknowledge was, I have to trace this back to the beginning of Time. Everything that has ever happened in all of Time has brought us to this moment, an infinite number of chance events and circumstance. Mind Boggling to consider how we got to this moment in time. We can only thank our Creator.
There are books and reports that can profoundly galvanize or even change our thinking. Barack Obama recently mused, “I change my mind all the time based on facts”.
My “A List” for thought-guiding information in recent times is:
The three books by Yuval Noah Harari, Professor of History at Hebrew National University.
“Why Religion”: Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion, Princeton University
“Before You Know It”: John Bargh, Professor of Psychology, Yale University
“How to Change Your Mind”: Dr. Michael Pollan, Cal/Berkeley and more
Yale Food Addiction Chart (Research): Dr. Ashley Gearhardt, University of Michigan
“The Pleasure Trap”: Dr. Doug Lisle
“Braiding Sweetgrass”: Robin Wall Kimmerer
I want to thank my editor, Amanda Mancini, for assisting in corralling my speeding mind and drawing a line to end my compulsive edits. She was able to say, Enough is Enough! Thank you. GB
This book challenges everything you think you know about people…and who you think you really are. We present a solid case for an alternate universe. Ours is not what you think.
There are lots of challenges ahead to your intellect, your knowledge, your paradigms…I am counting on your heart’s knowledge, your intuition, to “feel” what has happened as of 2020 and to guide you to a higher state of being…the one we left behind.
But even when, or if, you get an inkling, we then have to decide what to do. Can we exorcise the Body Snatchers (watch the movie) from within us? Or more compelling: Should we exorcise? Are these not The Best of Times? Leave well enough alone? Let history takes its course?
But then what prompted the Great Flood? The Bible notes several civilizations not worth keeping, even to the extent of killing practically everything on earth and rebooting. (Rebooting is a 2020 term…Google it). Thus, we should avoid arrogance.
I have made progress on my own, but I am not prepared to be an activist beyond this point. I mainly want to pass down this new knowledge to my grandkids and beyond so they may have greater understanding to resolve these issues from within….and so that they know a little about who I was up until now… 2020.
I only know one thing for sure: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations are immoral and a shame on me and everyone in 2020. The rest is speculation.
Ultimate truth is unknowable. Perfection is unreachable. We have knowledge today beyond our understanding. But that does not matter…we must continue to pursue truth and strive for perfection. Our understanding may never catch up…but it does keep expanding.
I encourage you to build on these concepts and revelations, to use newer proofs to add to or subtract from what I think I know this day. I encourage you to write a sequel to this book! Let your grandkids know what you know…or what you think you know. Exonerate or Condemn what I say…. either is acceptable to me. Just do something besides watching TV, texting and playing video games. And try to do something to thwart CAFOs.
For My GrandKids and Beyond
Whatever you or your parents want to achieve for you in the realm of spirituality, you can reach the highest levels with good nutrition. Just as a great piano player practices faithfully and with purpose, achieving spiritual and religious goals requires a sound mind and dedicated pursuit. This, in turn, requires a sound body. Today we know so much more than my parents did on how to create that sound mind and body. And we know that food is not entertainment…is it a sacrament to your God…a communion with Nature. Feed yourself as if He were at your table.
My parents and your parents could not have anticipated what we know today while guiding our upbringing. They simply did not have the information.
As you read this at different stages in your life, you will appreciate the evolution in interpretations your intuition will deliver…the maturing intelligence of your heart. A wonderful experience as life goes forward.
Today I have a sort of Animist or Oneness philosophy where everyone and everything is important…all our sentient animal friends…our Mother Earth. This is our intuitive and very first religious philosophy, dating back to the Paleolithic. There will be major advances in many aspects of health and longevity for sure, but my bet is that Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) will remain the spine of those advances…there will be no magic formulas, supplements, or protocols that will surpass our Creator’s design. While Science is working on genetic manipulations that will allow us to live longer and longer, this will only happen in fact for those who properly maintain their physical selves…science can’t stop the downward spiral for an addicted society who dines at Burger King.
What constitutes Proper Maintenance is the essence of this book. I have learned what my parents could not have known. Some of which you have yet to be taught.
I am speaking from a different paradigm, the “most fatal of errors.” My words will have a different meaning to you than to me! My hope…my prayer…the reason I take time to write in this different language….is that you will awake one morning sometime in your future and see this book from my perspective…that Aha Moment!!…no matter how many generations you are from me.
To consider this new understanding today, this more evolutionary correct understanding, you must first humor me by suspending your realities of this day. Pretend I am right. Imagine you are looking over a very high fence into a world apart from yours today…no cell phones, Kindles, iPads…just a green meadow with a crystal-clear stream…sunlight, flowers, songbirds, grazing elk, peace, calm, safe. Invite stillness to your mind.
It begins with understanding that even before your conception, my parents, my society, were just plain wrong in what I was taught and what I perpetuated until recently about physical and spiritual life. For example, our best medical doctors were featured in cigarette advertisements for decades, ending only in the 1960’s.
Dr. Edward Ellinwood, Linda’s obstetrician and Andrew’s baby doctor in 1970 assured us that the medical profession was in agreement that artificial formula was equal to or better than natural breast milk…and more convenient. He injected Linda with a drug to end her lactation. He was much opposed to fathers in his delivery room, but I did force my way in for that. I had to stand way in the back, but I did get to see them put the burning liquid in his eyes (just in case Linda had syphilis).
Our paradigm had improved by 1978 when Colby was born. We had prenatal classes and I was trained as a “coach”. Then as today, maternal food and then baby foods are not recognized as an integral part of medical practice to create the best new human possible. Only 15% of our doctors today include food choice in prevention and treatment. Most of them still opt for drugs to treat hypertension, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome and so many more food/drink related diseases.
These kinds of malpractice and mis-practice paradigms have plagued our medical and scientific communities since Day One. There are thousands of examples in our rule bases that govern most of us this day. One of more egregious misunderstandings is that today’s nutrition paradigm is an unnatural, artificial construct, a result of the Agricultural Revolution.
What we eat and what we feed our kids today are foods and drinks unanticipated in the previous millions of years of Natural Selection (or during the increments of Divine Creation, your call). I hope to gain your understanding that we are, just in this generation, able to see a more clearly what it takes to give a kid the best chance possible to be all they can be. We are far off the mark as I write this.
Unfortunately, our trusted professionals continue to let us down. My cardiologist Jami Dulaney says there are two kinds of cardiologists; those who are plant-based and those who have not read the literature. She thinks most have yet to read the literature.
In their defense, some medical professionals I have spoken with say they understand the importance of plant-based menus, however, gaining compliance in the majority of their patients is just not going to happen. Food addiction is stronger than life itself.
I think the statistics will speak for themselves and support my case that we have amazing opportunities to make a better world for us and our kids! It always remains your challenge to read the literature and decide accordingly.
“A seeker of Truth shall never know the comfort of conclusions. Only Intensity and Seeking.” – Sadhguru
Nutrition…what we choose to eat and drink…has a major bearing on our entire lives, on who we are and who we become. Food is the basis of your physical health, your mental health and, what you need to know that you may not, good nutrition is the foundation of Spirituality.
Society…the whole world of 2020…has accepted the religion of Hedonism. Immediate gratification, seeking only pleasure in all things in life. Those disciples have no compunction with imprisonment, abuse, crippling, bleeding, dismembering, embalming, and ingesting billions of sentient creatures in supplicance. No shame as our environment degrades. Unbounded missionary zeal in recruiting everyone, especially kids, into eating and drinking tasty concocted stuff that looks like food, but dulls, injures, sickens and kills.
Our lifespans are getting shorter, even as medical miracles make news every week. We beg money for cures for diseases we get through food and drink choice. We will do anything to avoid the personal responsibility of choosing the right foods. This and a thousand other irrationalities are all part of the syndrome known as addictive denial. Where Hedonism has been allowed to corrupt the proper role of food in our lives.
THE CONUNDRUM OF EVOLUTION
Part 1: Do you Believe in Evolution?
See, that means there is no answer. Think about it. A choice? For heaven’s sake, a point in science, an indisputable fact, does not have a qualifier like “do you believe?” If this remains a question, then who is qualified to answer?
Evolution is an absolute. I am a geologist and have seen the ever-greater complexity and diversity in plant and animal life forms represented in the fossil records over incomprehensibly distant time scales.
Evolution is highly doubtful. It does not explain my eye. I look into the mirror and can see my eyes. A matched pair. Look at the depiction. Follow the process of taking reflected light from the sun and creating a picture in our brain. And with depth perception!
A three-dimensional picture in our brain. Yet we don’t even know…we cannot know… how the picture is developed in our consciousness. Or even what our consciousness is. When did this capability develop? How? Why? What good is a cornea without the rest? I ponder about the first drop of vitreous humor.
Picture a squirrel jumping from one tree to another. Messing with that squirrel’s programming would almost always screw him up…what are the odds where changing DNA instruction in his kids would cause them to jump faster and farther…or be smarter in finding nuts or eluding hawks and owls. Put this in a personal context. Do you want to randomly alter the DNA of your next child, just to see what happens?
My doubts are strengthened when I contemplate issues like, when was there ever a competitive advantage in half an eye? Our eyes, our sex organs…most of our vital parts are irreducibly complex. Biosonar in mammals that emerged from the sea and then returned….mammals that learned to fly…bombardier beetles, electric eels…
Irreducibly Complex. I can imagine a light sensitive cell and cells collectively offering some sensitivity to heat and cold and cells becoming sensitive to sound vibrations. Yet all those cells joining into a mutually beneficial commune would have to have begun from one cell…a single life form.
That was supposedly 3.5 billion years ago. Wow. And only one event ever in all of time. Imagine what one cell looks like…it is impossibly complex. A helix that can forever self-replicate. This was just a random happenchance? Why has our “simple” one cell creation never been repeated and still impossible for our brilliant scientists of today? Let alone, create all the components of an eye or ear.
I can’t agree with Intelligent Design either. You would think an Infinite Intelligence with an unlimited budget could do better than a 99.9% failure rate in Sapiens. Having to throw almost everybody in Satan’s trash can, sometimes even requiring genocide of entire populations.
Or, as Mark Twain speculates, He or She was more or less bored and set all this in motion as a diversion and would allow failure as easily as success. In any case, the experiment is finite and according to today’s astronomers and preachers, the world is coming to an end.
Well, maybe not. As you will see in another part of this, I propose that can live forever if we can figure out how to transfer our consciousness into a computer. By that time, we should have learned to create or clone a human body from a cell or two, perhaps with a 3-D printer. Then we could send spaceships to every solar system that has planets and hope we can land and then start the cloning process and then shift our consciousness into that clone. And, shazam, we start ourselves anew!
That will work until the solar system somehow runs out of energy, or elastically reverses back into a single ball or whatever would end everything we know or sense this day. But, by that time, we can probably work around those future issues as well.
Do I believe in evolution or creation?
Yes. Curiously that is the answer of about 80% of the human races. (This includes Intelligent Design, Theist Evolution and Progressive Evolution.) Most everyone senses the presence of a Creator and yet believes in evolutionary processes. And most believe that we have soul which gives us the unique privilege (or curse) of living forever. Every other life form ceases to exist except us. (And, ironically, almost all of us will burn in hell for eternity, but this is for another part of this book.)
All well and good, except the concepts of evolution and a uniquely everlasting soul are mutually exclusive. At what point was this soul installed during the continuum of incremental improvements? There would have to be one special day when an infant had a soul its parents did not. The only way that would happen is if our Creator actually set that date. Which, then, makes Creationism or Intelligent Design, or something like that the only choice. And that explains our eyes. No need for half an eye, or a third of an eye. Do I believe in evolution or creation…? Yes…for sure.
Do I have a wish for which one was right…well, given the likelihood that one of those two choices means I am going to be damned for eternity, yes, I have a bias. And, who knows, there may be a third option yet to be discovered…the real truth.
THE EVOLUTION CONUNDRUM – PART 2
Anyone can know, the trick is to understand – Albert Einstein
As predicted, when you begin to write your story, to put your thoughts, your experiences, your interpretations into a text to pass down through future generations, there is an emergence of connections that results in newer knowledge you had not considered. I restructured my draft after writing Part 1. I moved things around and added Part 2. And then created Part 3 when our current president, Trump, fed the Clemson football champs fast food. Same thing happened as I researched Hedonism. Very rewarding, but almost unwelcome in the sense I would like to finish this!
Back to Shallow Thinking. We now know casomorphins in pizza (cheese) could be a significant gateway to our Opioid Epidemic which killed over 70,000 of us in 2018, mostly young people. You would think this would put a damper on pizza parties.
We will still have pizza parties. It turns out pizza is, in itself, addictive. The rush of fats, opioids, salt, white flour and oil becomes impossible to resist. Even when we know this intellectually, we deny negative consequences could actually happen to us. This is changing our trajectory into the future, but we are powerless to intervene.
The Only Permanence is Change
If we believe in evolution, then the only permanence is change. Look at your fingers. They are improvements over a former model…. beginning even before fins. This means that living beings in the future with some of your genetic code will look different, if they exist at all. Neanderthals left us only a trace, but they were smarter and better looking than their progenitors beneath them on their evolutionary ladder… continual trial and successes for competitive advantage. If you think photos of your great grandparents are funny, stilted, dated, archaic…wait till your family album is viewed 10,000 or 100,000 years from now!
We all have a common black box (the same operating system) on our shoulders today, the same brain that runs interchangeable parts…hearts, livers, skin. Let’s put tags on 200 infants from the poorest peasant community in China and transport 100 to a Western country and immerse them in that culture. Wait 40 years and measure the average outcomes. We have done this in generalities already and the transplants are very much like ourselves and very different than those left at home. Great analogy for understanding how much our black boxes are alike and how much societal constructs and amenities shape individuals.
Society, the coming together for mutual success, creates societal paradigms to add boundaries, values, and behaviors that separate us from our most recent life forms. These rule-bases allow us to create world-wide cooperation for mutual benefits in moving ever upward. Upward in material aspects…advancements in technology, labor saving devices, increased knowledge.
This would seem to be evolutionary. But only partly. Evolution is within the organism. A nuclear bomb is just another incremental advancement from the same basic black box that created a spear and a bow.
There were brilliant men and women who sincerely believed the Third Reich would last 1000 years. There were people with our same brains who thought Egyptian pyramids were absolutely necessary, that the Great Wall of China was the answer for preserving that culture forever. We all want to live forever…a common thread for 100,000 years. We use wishful, magical, shallow and non-thinking to avoid even discussing what Nature teaches.
None of those millions of historical examples of misplaced beliefs and loyalties have to do with evolution…they are products within a stage of evolution. Somehow, we have this advanced consciousness that allows us to look inward. An elk can look outward and find food, find water, a mate, a threat. We can do this as well, and we can look inward and contemplate on many, many intangibles. As in, who are we and where did we come from….
Most of us don’t take full advantage of this unique (evolutionary?) intellectual capability. This becomes most apparent when we fall into societal trends of the moment…fads which have never been and never will be sustained in perpetuity…the Roman Empire, the British Colonial Era, ancient Egypt, Meso-America accomplishments…yet the dwellers in those societies sacrificed even their lives seeking preservation. Willing to die for King, for Country, for various Gods…Willing to kill even family to support causes. The Hindus, according to Harari, teach this as a virtue.
It is the same black box above your shoulders, had you been a Knight of the Round Table, which would have caused you to most sincerely fall for the illusion the Holy Land needed freed. With the same passion and willingness to die as the Caliph’s son who did not want to give it up. Each expected their paradigms would last in perpetuity.
Fads…Paleo diets, Keto diets…Nature does not teach us these things. We have always eaten what was available. While we lived or died from what we ate as we evolved, we did not have clear instruction…all trial and error. Luckily, we are more adaptable than most mammals, but the lessons are clear…elk eat elk food; Scarlett’s champion sheep eat sheep’s food. We are best suited to eat a WFPB regimen…and just now we have statistical support for this revelation. It is what I know that you don’t, at least at this moment. I hope this will go without saying in our near future.
Spirituality is another element common to our black boxes…but it is more or less optional. It first must be discovered and then nurtured and grown into life changing fullness. This is very lonely journey and not readily available to most humans after the Agricultural Revolution. Earthlings were individually close to Nature and could engage with Nature in ways the archetypical serf in the Middle Ages, or the galley slave, or the pyramid builder could not. After the Ag Rev, almost every one of us was born, worn to death and disposed of by a ruling class. I suppose there may have been a little surge of awe when their first-born arrived…hard not to feel a spiritual connection at this moment, but for the most part, the Ag Rev created an elite class who focused on maintaining superiority, and relegating the rest of us into noncompetitive roles, just barely getting by until a time of death…lives lived well below potential.
Even the “religious” were mostly power brokers. So, whatever the religion of the day caught the imagination of the masses, there were controllers to take the helm and, beginning about 6000 years ago, create written rules that were purportedly by the hand of the current deity or deities. All the way from the Pope selling tickets to heaven (indulgences) to human sacrifice…tearing out beating hearts…to running sheep down and throwing them in a fire, expecting gods and goddesses to be pleased with the smoke and smell of burning wool.
And the rule bases can change, so cleverly that they still pass as the work or direction of a deity. In my society in my lifetime, we have gone from accepting the word of God directing us to kill homosexuals to celebrating their marriages (in His church!) The exception may remain with Muslims who want to overlay Sharia Law within western societies.
We Changed our Course
We did not just veer. We changed direction. The Agricultural Revolution ushered in a Food paradigm consisting of processed, manufactured, industrial food stuffs and without complete nutrition. We may have naturally selected a genetic population who can best tolerate this…but we may also be misfits and ne’er-do-wells that would have been eliminated as inferior in the good old days on the Serengeti. The Pelosis who cannot become altruistic leaders. The Trumps who shame our sense of decency.
Or we could be the strongest…perhaps we will triumph with sorry foods and drinks and develop clean atomic bombs. Clean bombs. Love the cognitive dissonance with that concept. I continue to believe our newly adopted, addictive, calorie dense food paradigm fosters the fuzzy thinking that celebrates violence and war. And CAFOs.
Is the world where environmentalists and animal rights advocates are ridiculed the best we can create? Where our animal protein myth thrives? I really don’t know this answer.
Genetic Aberration with Alcohol
When we add alcohol to the equation, when we see what mass quantities of alcohol does to societies or demographics which have never seen alcohol, we also witness a significant weeding process that favors the lucky ones who can tolerate alcohol. This caused the Natural Selection process to bias toward alcohol tolerance and ignores many other survival improvements that would or should be a part of Nature’s continual-improvement process.
The Black Death of the Middle Ages was the same. Trump’s lineage survived (obviously), but were they the best of the Sapiens at that time? Natural Selection is not survival of the fittest in the grand scheme that fittest is better. This works when the playing field is unchanged. But the rule book is thrown out when we add pizza and pop. The people who survive the junk food era with the most kids are not necessarily our best specimen of this day. Natural Selection is not as pure as you may have thought. Processed food and drink are diverting our course even more.
See how complicated it is when we try to jump off the floating sheet of plywood and explore the depths of our existence in terms of what Nature shows. Shallow thinking borders on and often includes magical thinking. So much information and evidence hiding in plain sight, yet going unseen.
THE EVOLUTION CONUNDRUM – TRUMP – PART 3
“Eat what YOU want!” – from an antacid commercial
We are very shallow thinkers…the easy way out…a product of our black box programming for Efficiency which employs the concept of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. This is perfectly described in “The Pleasure Trap” by Dr. Doug Lisle. Shallow thinking allows us laugh or just wince as Trump feeds our stellar athletes (Clemson football champions) junk food. His food choice was a desecration to the perfection of our human forms. It was a crime, a sin against Nature. Those men and women were diminished. The doorway Trump opened leads downhill for all. The Clemson winners became Losers. They will need an antacid to fix the upsets!
When We Eat Like Trump – We Think Like Trump
We do the same as Trump every day. We export our latest versions of junk and fast foods around the world, measurably sickening and killing those innocent consumers. Trump says it’s American Food and we don’t need to care about them, which makes it acceptable. It is just another manifestation of Addictive Denial, lying to ourselves and believing the lie. And now we have the greatest liar of all backing what we know intuitively are questionable food choices.
Even worse, we have lost Nature’s protection we call “bait-shy”. When rats see another eat or drink something that harms or kills, none of the survivors will ever touch it again. Yet, we and our buddy Trump watch others die from junk foods, animal foods, processed foods…and line up for more. Export it over the earth.
This maligned sense of values is how we create irrational justifications to feed chicken nuggets to our kids. Knowingly diminish their entire life’s potential! Chicken nuggets: the epitome of Hedonistic allegiance. By not impeaching Trump for poisoning the world’s best college football players, we have made him the de facto High Priest of Hedonism. Now we can use his example to wink as we feed our kids Happy Meals. We have someone who sins even worse than us….and of all people, he should know better…he is our leader.
Trump Wants to Save our Sick Children
Trump has profound insight into our collective shallow psyche. He is offering to provide some astronomical sum for medical research to end childhood cancer. This is what he conjured up for his 2019 State of Our Union Message. Everyone in Congress stood and clapped and cheered… What is one of the causes of childhood cancer…Trump’s American Food. Who wants to jump in to save the kids? Ronald McDonald’s hospitals.
Nature’s Natural Selection process may be failing us…More about this in Book Five, Mass Shooting.
My Major Concern
Here’s the problem: The Agricultural Revolution exposed our soft underbellies for a multitude of addictions. Our black box, the Reptilian Brain, was programmed before Junk Food. This programing is now outdated; however, there was no way to prepare for this alternative future. What would you do to your genes today to create a more successful grandkid 500 years from now?
Alcohol, refined grains, narcotics, oils, dairy, embalmed animals…the list goes on and on…including sedentary work and life styles….all these unanticipated adjuncts in the timelessness of evolution (or at the Finger Snap, if you believe we have a soul that will go up or down at death) have been exploited by our fellow man for profit. Phillip Morris, General Foods, Coors, McDonalds, Pepsi…all killers of our children…have hacked our survival programming to the extent we may be seeing the end of the world.
All this gives pause to how to live as an individual…My approach is to protect and enhance myself, my health, my intellect and the health and intellects of all of mankind that I can reach. Nature teaches survival of the fittest. I think about this. She has my respect.
How Will this Evolutionary Conundrum End?
Justly. This is the way of Nature…Justice for all. And that justice is not what most of us realize. We are all just a stage in Evolution. Look to Nature…every life form that has ever been or ever will be has a birth and death cycle. Individuals and species. What we do today sets the stage for the next rulers of our earth….and it may not be a sapiens unless we evolve with more abilities to defend our physical and mental selves.
Myles King says we are the ultimate invasive species, encroaching on and diminishing every place on earth. Perhaps this puts us in our proper place.
You and your kind will be replaced in time. How, when and by whom is a lottery. Look to Nature. It is about adaptation to climates…ice ages, hot spells…. unanticipated randomness of meteor impacts. Epidemics. War. Mass Extinctions. We have evolved to having the capability of destroying the world the Earthlings knew. We can contaminate it with nuclear waste, with body waste, with spiritually dead copies of Trump…all of which will shape those newer life forms. And we can eliminate ourselves by continuing our tumble into Hedonism.
The Best News of the Day
When we look at all the outcomes…now that we can measure and confirm causality, we know that a lot of bad things are happening to the basic model of sapiens. We can safely assume it will just get worse. Get worse in tandem with our failure as world stewards. Your distant grandkids will not know the paradise we know today.
However, you do know, you can “feel” the enormity of our privilege to be right here right now. And, for the first time ever, you know how to continually improve your lot and the immediate futures for your charges. Take care of yourself and set an example for those around you. Learn to know and love yourself. Cultivate spirituality. Give back in humble gratitude. Give in any way you can.
However, you do know, you can “feel” the enormity of our privilege to be right here right now. And, for the first time ever, you know how to continually improve your lot and the immediate futures for your charges. Take care of yourself and set an example for those around you. Learn to know and love yourself. Cultivate spirituality. Give back in humble gratitude. Give in any way you can.
ADDICTION: THE WAY IN AND THE WAY OUT
The New Age of Addiction: Food Cravings
The most addictive substances on earth are processed and fried foods (check the Yale Food Addiction Charts to see which of your favorites are the highest ranked).
While we are programmed to sense or feel hunger, our programming evolved in the absence of today’s artificial food additives and chemistries. Thus, our programming is out of date and those amoral food scientists are taking full advantage. They are creating an ever-expanding suite of Industrial Foods – hyperpalatables – stuff purposely designed for “cravability”. Stuff that looks like food and sneaks between the cracks of our natural proclivities and protections.
Frankensteinian genetic modifications! Our national health profiles are plummeting. Our life spans are getting shorter…our addictions are becoming more intractable.
Why We Do What We Do
We are deeply programmed. We love looking at the uneven heat from fires, fireplaces, stoves and the smell of wood smoke. We can discern between wood species with one whiff. We use mesmerizing and flickering flames of fires, candles and lanterns in all sorts of ceremonies to create ambience. We will even watch the image of a “Yule log burning” on a TV channel.
Is that logical? Does it make sense? It is actually embedded in our genes. And until just recently, inextinguishable.
We visually appreciate higher ground. We are programmed to seek gravitational advantage, and according to Dr. Doug Lisle in The Pleasure Trap, this is why we climb mountains. We find golf courses extremely visually satisfying (reminiscent of the African plains) and we enjoy looking at the highest undulations, not the troughs. We have been this way for a long time. This is who we still are.
We can quench thirst by drinking an unmeasured quantity of water…our black box tells us when we have had enough and rewards us with a feeling of fullness and relief long before the water has actually rehydrated us. What a miraculous system! Think about how difficult it would be to design from scratch! Think how beer defeats this safeguard.
If you accept the theories of Evolution and Natural Selection, then you know these include certainties, such as genes changing within an individual between birth and death, and a few random tweaks which occur in the ontology of every progeny. These tweaks are apparently happenchance, some good, some not so good, but necessary to create a newer version to compete in Natural Selection. A wonderfully heartless process. Some genetic variations get passed on, some not. Some help, others detract. The main thing to reckon with is that there are no periods of stasis in the linear process. Over the Pre-Agricultural millennia, those tweaks and trends favored a lifestyle of living from and with Nature.
We lived lightly on the land during those millions of years, made minimal impacts, leaving only the sparsest of records of granny and grandpa. We talk about the Stone Age only because the stones were all we left behind. We used more wood and fiber and skin and gut than stone.
We became ever better, more creative, and more resourceful. We began to collect in larger communities and cooperate in tasks; this brought about a 90-degree turn in our upward course towards future versions of Foragers. Think about how our basic programming developed over hundreds of thousands of years, exclusively for assuring survival as hunter gatherers, as “Earthlings.”
You can begin to see a looming conflict. We were the fleetest, the smartest, and the most resourceful living beings on earth. We had adapted to near perfection to many topographies and climates. But these adaptations were fine-tuned to dodge a rattle snake, to endure two weeks of starvation, to learn to find shelter.
Changing our Chips
On the first day of the Agricultural Revolution, the day when we laid down our spears and began looking at the backsides of oxen pulling a plow, we began a new paradigm for sourcing and preparing food and drink (fuel). Our physical bodies were not tuned to this new food regime. We do best with high fiber and a lot of nutrients. We began eating calorie dense, low fiber stuff. Akin to putting a new fuel grade in a high-performance engine without changing the chip
The Ag Rev permanently altered the trajectory of Natural Selection. Even more extreme, today we are giving preference in our gene pool to couch potatoes and corn-dog-eating-champions. To serfdom and mindless subservience. We no longer need distance runners and real-time life or death problem solvers.
The Rule of Law
We talk of societal paradigms and the order they bring. These arbitrary rule bases merge myth and reality to guide our behavior as individuals and as contributing members to our family, clan, city, state, nation, our world and our universe. We can be satisfied knowing thunder and lightning are the voices of angry gods, and we can feel just as satisfied today with explanations from higher levels of science and knowledge. We don’t actually understand either, but, regardless, we feel empowered.
We can seek ways to placate those gods who are so obviously upset. This provides a challenge and a mission. This was a common belief from the beginning of Consciousness. We still innately fear the flashes and cracks and there are many people who can believe in the ‘angry god’ myth. Even when science says you are perfectly safe in your car, many of us become agitated. It all comes down to our programming. The parts of the black box responsible for creating the “fight or flight” response when startled does not de-program based on new information.
The point I am building is that the innate programming which protects us paradoxically limits us beyond what we probably understand. We operate under an illusion of personal freedom and personal choice. We have chips encoded in our Reptilian Brain written and improved over a time span of millions of years (or at creation).
Our chips encourage us to participate in the new paradigms of spiritually numbing, life-threatening lifestyles, and we are powerless to intercede. Even with today’s new information, we just stare out our window. The power of addiction.
The Good News: There is a Way Out
“Start living the life of the person you want to be.” – Cristofer Jeschke
You can circumvent any addiction and I can provide some guidelines, tricks and workarounds. Let’s discuss what addiction is, as best we know in 2020. In order to even begin to understand my revelations here, we have to agree on definitions. Most important of those is ADDICTION. What is unique in this book is I combine Addictions with Paradigms. Our paradigms expanded to support addictions.
PARADIGMS. We do what we do as a result of artificial constructs called paradigms. We go to school five days a week. Why not six? This is the way we have always done it. The way everyone does it. A paradigm.
Paradigms are a fact of life and critical to societal success. Get on your magic carpet and head up to the Space Station. Look down and see how little freedom we have in the overview. Schedules, obligations, cooperations – our daily lives are so predictable, so controlled. This is neither good nor bad. Paradigms are just how our lives are governed.
This is why we cannot use simple logic or statistical certainties to reason with addicts.
This is the reason Ronald McDonald freely roams in our kids’ worlds… schools, playgrounds, dining rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms.
How my Dad Died
Addiction measurably and permanently alters brain functions. When we are not a part of an addiction, we can better recognize it. Non-smokers easily avoid and condemn smoking. I smoked for 28 years. It was easy to tell my Mom and Dad after I had quit, they should quit also. I became frustrated with them. Neither Linda nor I would allow smoking in our house or in confined areas with Andrew and Colby. By that time, we knew there was increased health risks related to secondhand smoke. (We did not find out until much later how the risks with the junk food we were feeding them were much higher.)
Dad’s last four years were in torment. His lungs were seizing up. Feels like drowning or water boarding torture. During our last week together, he told me if he had known it was going to be like this, he could have quit. Not a day goes by this does not haunt me. Should I have done more?
Sapiens cannot see into the future, thus heeding health warnings is genetically limited. If it feels good, what could possibly be the harm? Dad’s end of life realization was too late. His message ahead to those addicted to smoking will go unheeded. Even as others around you succumb, you are invincible. Addicts cannot imagine that my Dad’s revelation at his death will become their reality. You cannot imagine those statistics for non-communicable junk food disease, suffering and death applies to you.
We can’t imagine, we don’t “feel” that every moment of our lives is lessened by inflammatory foods, that we are not all that we could be. This understanding comes after we break free.
What I Care About
“When have I not said enough…when have I said too much….” – GB
Practically all our causes of premature death in 2020 are food/drink related. You also know premature death begins with compromises earlier in life. It includes dullness, lower immunity, reduced sexual capacity, etc.
However, my mission is our lost spirituality. We throttle this part of us to some degree even before conception. Food Addiction, as per new research from Yale University, is as intractable as alcohol or drugs, and is as blinding and demanding. Our state of denial is intense to the point you will most likely be insulted by the allegation that you are a part of the problem. We can’t admit the harm done to kids and chickens by chicken nuggets. We would have to face our own addiction.
Servicing addiction becomes part of your paradigm for a complete life. If you smoke, then you include the necessities for periodic inhalation into all your planning. It becomes part of you. If you are going camping, you include a canteen with a planned amount of water and a pocket full of just enough cigarettes, each with the same critical thought process – they are equally important. If you are going to the job, you think nothing of driving 20 minutes on job time to pick up enough smokes to get you through the shift. You don’t think, you just automatically do it; it’s the nature of addiction.
If you don’t smoke, you can’t “feel” what the smoker does. The closest you can come to understand your commonality with him or her is when you are thirsty. All humans experience about the same sensations when it is time to rehydrate. The smoker or drinker or doper gets a benign “feeling” when it is time to restore and reinforce the chemistry balance of whatever they are hooked on. As with thirst, the urgency increases with time, reaching a crescendo of panic.
Alcohol and drug addiction outperform nicotine in short term modification of mental perceptions and physical limitations. Drug users and alcoholics are known to steal from close family, even prostitute themselves to fund their habits. Yet we often overlook health and lost time costs of nicotine. Ever see a professional athlete smoke?
Food choice is the least understood and appreciated of addictions. And, as with all addictions, it changes who you are.
The Battle in Your Brain
You cannot fully understand addiction until you read the new book, Before You Know It, by Yale Professor John Bargh. Additionally, Dr. David Streem of the Cleveland Clinic presents parallel findings in recent discussions about his work in devising cures for substance addiction.
As Dr. Bargh demonstrates, addiction cannot be defeated with logic directed from the Intellectual Brain. Just as you can’t talk yourself out of being thirsty. When shown illustrations of black, cancerous lungs, a smoker will smoke more in the next hours than if he or she had not seen the photos. The Primitive Brain does not have the capability to reason – it senses only stimuli, and anything to do with smoking triggers awareness and then need.
Same with all addictions. A complex process with commonalities (everything is actually impossibly complex – we can only observe outcomes and then empirically re-create and attempt to predict future outcomes). We have not realized until now that food addiction is as powerful in most people as alcohol, drugs and nicotine. Yale University research added to this understanding.
Yale Food Addiction Scale
Yale researchers, led by Dr. Ashley Gearhardt, developed a Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) to gauge whether a person shows addictive behaviors.
High concentrations of sugar, refined carbohydrates (bread, white rice, pasta made with white flour), fats (butter, lard, margarine, vegan butter), salt, and caffeine are addictive substances and the foods containing these ingredients may be consumed in a manner consistent with addictive behavior. Just like drugs of abuse, these food substances may not be addictive until they are processed, extracted, highly refined and concentrated by modern industrial processes.
This text box helps explain how foods fit with Dr. Bargh’s findings. All addictions have a common source in the brain. This is why junk food commercials are so effective, especially on our addicted kids. Especially effective because we have made addicts of all of today’s kids. This addiction is why Ronald McDonald is still a free clown. If we were to prosecute him for child abuse, we would have to admit that bacon cheeseburgers and Happy Meals are not as good as broccoli and beans. Addicts can’t demonize themselves. They have trouble with reality. Try to get a smoker to quit.
During a 2019 visit to Lima, Peru, Linda and I visited a Holiday Inn restaurant. The Kid’s Menu had the standard items: 1. Fried hot dog with fries; 2. Chicken nuggets and fries; 3. Mac and cheese with fries. In Puerto Madryn, Patagonia, Argentina, the nicest restaurant in town featured a kid’s menu: Chicken nuggets with cheesy mashed potatoes or fries or gooey pasta with cheese and fries. Sound familiar? It makes me sick to my stomach. Only addicts would even think of allowing children to ingest this stuff. Only addicts would know in their heads this is bad for kids and still feed it to them…same with teasing them with beer and wine and dip and cigarettes.
Our friends who have ties in the Philippines report they see tremendous increases in obesity with each annual visit…and an increase in U. S. branded Fast Food outlets. Just as we saw in Trinidad.
“Unhealthy food marketing aimed at youth under age 18 is a significant contributor to poor diets and diet-related diseases. Purposeful greater marketing to Hispanic and Black children and teens, both in the media and in their communities, likely contributes to diet-related health disparities affecting communities of color, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.” ~ Jennifer L. Harris, PhD, MBA, Director of Marketing Initiatives and Associate Professor, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, University of Connecticut, Jan, 2019
Another Underappreciated Yale Contribution
When I look at a herd of elk or zebras that live by Natural Law and contrast those specimens with the Walmart crowd, I better understand the devastating effect the 2020 overly-processed food (pizza, burgers, pasta, chips, soda, energy drink) paradigm has on us and our future generations.
This is not news to some. Another Yale researcher, Russell Chittenden, professor of physiological chemistry, switched a group of outstanding Yale athletes from a flesh-eating diet to a plant-based one and after 5 months, measured an average 35% increase in performance. Although he was highly regarded in his Department and in his professional associations, he was ridiculed for suggesting plant-sourced protein was superior to animal. Dr. Chittenden lived 100 years ago. The dichotomy he exposed in otherwise smart people continues without reprieve.
The Arrogance of Addiction
Arrogance comes to mind when I read anything about Dominance over the Earth. Earthlings felt as a part of the universe, including the tangible earth and the unseen spiritual domain. Tengrists planted trees as a sacrament. Native Americans thanked the game they harvested. Body Snatchers are without shame – we are unaware that we cannot see the truth. The earth is only a playground.
Burger King sold millions of Halloween Nightmare Burgers. They enlisted a reputable sleep clinic to verify disruptive sleep patterns in those who ate them. We are not smart enough to see how dumb this is…are you getting an idea of how our minds have been corrupted? Only an addict would allow their children to participate.
The Agricultural Revolution and attendant changes in food sourcing and processing resulted in a new way of life, including new addictions which changed our behaviors, even our forms of religion. When you feel superior, you can plow our Creator’s level playing field, believe you are responsible for a seed germinating, for giving life as a calf is born.
Instead of planting trees, we cut the most handsome young tree in the forest, adorn it with frivolous, adolescent trinkets and, when it fails to amuse us, throw it in the dump, aka the “Christmas Tree” arrogance. By contrast, Earthlings used boughs as a form of respect.
Earthlings had an Animist respect for life and returned it through humility and sustainable practices. Body Snatchers contend we are born in sin, we are no damn good…perhaps compensation for the guilt for feeling superior in Nature? Some, as per my Grandfather Browning, say almost all of us will reside forever in Hell. Why not break the arrogance cycle, and begin to respect Nature and its creatures again? Become one again with our universe.
Truman, Roosevelt and Lincoln got it Wrong
“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves…self-discipline with all of them came first.” — Harry S. Truman
“With self-discipline, almost anything is possible.” — Theodore Roosevelt
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” — Abraham Lincoln
What has been missed in our past is the knowledge and appreciation of the extent that addiction reprograms our survival brains. Thus, these quotes resonate well with folks not addicted to a particular drug, food or habit; however, for those addicted, the concept of error and subsequent harm resulting from their choices is foreign. There is no motivation to change behaviors…no “feeling” they are doing harm to themselves and the people they love. They may know intellectually, but not in the reptilian brain, where it counts most.
This amounts to the concept that addicts don’t know they don’t know. They cannot internalize their habit is a problem…the survival brain says they need to persist, even when the intellectual brain can see this is not good, that their body shape is wrong, they are losing jobs, losing families, Thus there is a disconnect between reality and illusion that Dr. Bargh of Yale explains to us today, and that Lincoln, Roosevelt and Truman could not have known back then. Things we know our parents could not.
These kinds of quotes simply frustrate an addict. They can’t see the problem with eating a chicken nugget or feeding a garbage pizza to a kid. I know we love and cherish our children. We can’t do otherwise… It’s encoded in our genes.
But this food addiction syndrome coupled with the emergence of our Agricultural Revolution has us blinded to the fact that feeding our kids stuff like ramen and chicken nuggets limits every potential in their lives. Worse than smoking. We are making them walk the plank of failure.
“A bad diet is worse than drugs, alcohol and tobacco combined.” ~ Sophie Morlin-Yron, CNN, September 29, 2016
Putting Kids through Airport X-ray Tunnels
A friend says he gets great behavioral compliance when traveling with his kids by putting them in a tray and running them on the belt through the X-ray tunnel. He also feeds them chicken nuggets. Which do you think is worse?
We can be super careful buckling our kids in our cars, even create laws demanding this practice, and yet drive them to a fast food restaurant for chicken nuggets, fries and caffeine/sugar cola. We can rationalize spending an enormous amount of time and energy on an act which provides only the slightest margin of safety, yet, in the same series of motions, guarantee them a life-long unhealthy relationship with themselves and their food choices. We cause our kids to get sick and die before their Creator’s appointed time.
Think about it: chicken nugget addiction is infinitely more detrimental to physical and mental health than a trip through the X-ray machine. Our new chicken nugget paradigm is more harmful than vaping. It is equal to smoking in lifelong compromises.
Now for the Good News!
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” – N. Mandela
So far, this is really negative, but I needed your attention. Bad news is more engrossing! The first step is recognition. We know there is a problem. Worth repeating, my cardiologist, Dr. Jami Delaney, says there are two kinds of cardiologists, those who are Plant-Based and those who haven’t read the literature!
Let’s read the literature and see how much more we know in 2020 about nutrition and its profound consequences on every aspect of our beings. Then simply design a daily regimen around new information. Treat your human body as you would a temple. Treat yourself with the respect you deserve. You will be amazed by the domino effect! Soon, very soon, the cravings for junk food and drinks (fried, fatty, processed, caffeinated and sugary) will fade away.
I know this to be true. It becomes deeply satisfying to see food as a sacrament, as a communion with higher powers and not hedonistic diversion. Selecting, preparing, and eating wholesome foods and drinks become ever more rewarding. A day free of alcohol cravings and fog…a day free of poisonous smoke, foul looking swollen lip. Precious.
As you journey toward higher self-respect, the way gets easier. Your body, mind and microbiome will reward you with a renewed sense of peace, clarity, purpose and compassion. The result: a new spiritual awareness! The Zone, the Goal.
Meditation is also powerful for some of us. It calms the mind and can treat stress-related psychoses. Emerging research is also showing amazing results with therapeutic treatment with psychedelics in defeating addiction and achieving higher levels of spirituality. Watch what happens in the next five years.
“I don’t care much about cigarettes and the 10 minutes of life each one costs”
Even if you smoke, you will be able to procreate and continue our genome. Even if society allows you to smoke up your nursery at home, your kids who are not stillborn will likely hit the magic number of 2.2 more kids before they get too sick from poison gas to participate in life. There will always be someone around to take care of grandkids.
What I want to accomplish is for you to be able to stack chairs high enough to look over my fence and into the green meadow and watch the elk. Look with me and understand that Nature is reality. Feel the freedom from Addiction….smoking, junk food… Feel Spirituality.
Our Holy Trinity
The bottom line for you: this book begins with the premise that the healthiest, longest-lasting physical body requires evolutionarily balanced nutrition (mostly plants). This also facilitates our healthiest mental status and therefore, the deepest spirituality. This is a holy trinity: body; mind; soul. Impoverishment in any area and we operate in a reduced state of being.
Our bodies can handle an orange or apple. Our systems and our microbiota are tuned to deal with every molecule. It is the newly introduced chemical-laden imitations of food that tax our bodies and our minds. All those chemicals accumulate in a multitude of expressions, and with increasingly negative consequences as we age.
Impure foods diminish us and our children. As with an aborted child, we will never see what could have been.
Today’s Practices – Tomorrow’s Malpractice
“Animal Agriculture Costs More In Health Damage Than It Contributes To The Economy…the chief culprit is meat and dairy. But when it comes to particulate pollution, the worst offender is poultry.” – Forbes Magazine, December 2019
I saw this headline in Forbes Magazine after I had completed Book One and just before I pressed SEND to my publisher. Adding these extra pages may cause some turbulence in the rhythm…. but this book is not very good anyway….
I promised myself to be true to my mission to Send Messages Ahead, no matter the consequence. What I discovered in the process of writing these books was how much my paradigms changed in 4 short years of Pragmatic Veganism. The watershed revelations contained in this Forbes article validate my reasons for moving up to this healthier, non-inflammatory world for my physical body.
And this investigative report adds credence to what I present in these books.
Some of our most compelling reasons to adopt a Pragmatic Vegan lifestyle have to do with morals and ethics…. the keystones to a healthy, productive life, the guideposts for leaving the world better than we found it. This Forbes report represents an open invitation to becoming all we can be…. and to teach our kids how they can be all they can be!
As Scarlett and Hunter began their introductions into gardening and animal husbandry, everyone, including me, agreed this was a positive, character building adventure. Particularly with so many kids losing their direct connections with the realities of food sourcing. The desire to seek and provide natural food is embedded in our genes. This is described magnificently in “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer. What an enlightening adventure to read her book!
But now, this day, all of a sudden, we are teaching our children the wrong paradigm. Permit me to explain.
The Foxfire Books
There is a series of books describing life in the Appalachians post-Civil War. If you are in my lineage, your genes were there with mine. Many of the people in my early childhood were continuing the Foxfire practices and including the Hatfield/Browning side of our family.
GrandMan (Dad) was a well-respected school principal and followed the old ways. We had 5 acres of inherited land and raised a large garden along with a few pigs, a beef (Hereford) cow or two and the ubiquitous yard full of chickens. He had an entrepreneur streak and tried to capitalize on these resources. When I was about 11, he expanded the pig population to 9 females and one male. We had 63 piglets at one point. We sold them for about $10 each. You will never forget what it is like to carry a piglet in a burlap sack.
This industry was supported by his school lunch program. I rode to school and back in his car every day. My designated school was where Mother Anne taught. She rode the bus each day, but we decided Dad’s school was better for me and my behavior issues. Uncle Lawson was principal at the other school and was not very tolerant. Every day after school Dad would carry the large stainless pots of leftover food to his car and then empty them in the pig troughs at home. When the State mandated cooking all leftovers before they could leave the school, the era of the pigs ended.
We had one or two registered (purebred) Hereford cows and we would raise the calves for food. We gathered hay in summer and stacked it in the long-forgotten techniques for making haystacks. And then we purchased a hay baler and would bale for hire as well. Another business adventure.
The era of the haystack was no more. I recall the time when I was the stomper at the top and a guy below ran the tine of his hayfork deep into my knee as he tossed hay up to me.
The process of getting our farm animals pregnant was a learning experience for my sister and me. We named all our animals and treated them with great respect.
The chickens were always around. Brownie and I were egg gatherers for years. They were just a part of the landscape. Dad’s Uncle Luther had an old historic store and took chickens, mostly fighting chickens, in as payment at times. He would sometimes shoot them with a shotgun and give them to us. In the first years I would run down selected chickens and then help my mom chop off their heads. You may still use the phrase, “like a chicken with its head cut off”. Or maybe not.
After the chicken finally came to rest, Mother Anne would dip it in hot water and we would pluck. It’s an odor I remember well. Like the smell of a scalded pig. I shot a pig with a .22 when I was 8. When I was about 13, older cousin Ralph Humphrey and I killed and scalded a pig by ourselves. Dad was at a meeting that weekend. As per the Foxfire series, kids were expected to learn the old ways at an early age.
The End of Our Foxfire World
We did not realize this at the time, but we were at the end of the paradigm where subsistence killing was required to sustain life. It was a more ethical, moral paradigm where, as described in Braiding Sweetgrass, we had great respect for those animals. We recognized and appreciated this gifting world where their lives gave us our lives.
However, subsistence killing is no longer required to sustain life in today’s world of wealth. We no longer have the family farms nor mandates to raise our own food supplies. This new era in our paradigms has freed us to accomplish so much more each day. No more early morning trips to the pig sties! It’s a Yoga class or the gym instead!
When we call the animal by name, it is transformed from a beast to a friend.
It turns out meat is addictive. So we keep consuming animal products just as we did before. And, without understanding or premeditation, we began the shameless torture and murder of animals in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). This, as per Forbes, is now killing us and our planet. In just a few short years, we inadvertently adopted a paradigm that diminishes all aspects of our lives and the health of our Planet Earth.
It is one thing to be inflamed, sickly, overweight, a burden on society’s medical system, less productive, less safe, less alert, less lovable; however, the more tragic loss is our Spirituality. We are unable to discover the potential for true happiness within ourselves or our kids. We keep them in a diminished state for a lifetime and teach them to do this to their kids. We are all so much more vulnerable to false teachings, to Hedonism.
What we know today, what my parents could not have known, what none of us could have known even 20 years ago, is CAFOs create a complicated morass of muddled ethics. We defeat the moral character of our kids due to our addictions to inflammatory animal flesh. We create illusions to shield the truth from ourselves and our kids for what goes on behind the closed door at the other end of the auction house pen.
Agricultural programs for our youth were once admirable programs for teaching Foxfire values. Now they are convoluted, crippling hoaxes that damage the psyches of our kids. We don’t need this food. No one does. We teach our youth to adopt baby animals into the family, give each a name it comes to recognize, pamper and praise, build a bond, and then in an act of treachery and deceit, sell the animal for pieces of gold, knowing for certain it will be cruelly treated, horribly murdered, dismembered and actually eaten. In this process we damage their moral compass, the foundation of their Spirituality.
My paradigm has changed and I trust yours will as well. I no longer celebrate reducing a beloved, trusting animal into an inflammatory cafeteria commodity for profit. I keep having fleeting thoughts that the diseases these hapless victims create within the bodies of the people who eat them are somehow a revenge.
Revenge. A form of Natural Justice. But I am still too removed from Nature to complete this circle of logical cause and effect. I know children innately love animals. Our kids have to be taught, praised and rewarded to have them turn away from their natural inclinations that include Mercy for our pet animals we love and respect. Without Mercy, Justice becomes unbalanced in their lives ahead.
“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.” – Virginia Satir
Before the Agricultural Revolution, we held a universal respect for life. Now we condone torturing pigs, imprisoning cows, genetically mutilating chickens… Our spiritual connections with Nature are all but faded. Our respect for Sustainability is lost.
My commentaries on Spirituality can be understood only after you understand and adopt the proper role of food as a communion of respect to our Creator. We gift back by showing respect for this body and this wonderous time on earth.
On the other hand, perhaps our current course is necessary, that the next version of Sapiens will be even better. Hardship and physical challenge though a Hedonistic life full of inflammatory food and drink will bring out the best? What do you think? Perhaps the answer is a moving target…. perhaps everything is just a lottery.
“While perfection is not possible, its pursuit is a lifelong obligation.” ~ GB (and others)
Nutrition is inseparable from the other facets of our lives. We are a sum of the parts of all we do. While the quality of Nutrition will define our lives more than any other factor, it alone is not the end game. It is, however, the foundation.
Nutrition is dictated by paradigms. What I want to tell you is that our current paradigms have been corrupted and to your detriment. We are not as good as we could be. Most of us are in a state of food addiction, a state so deep that we can’t see the constraints…we eat Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) junk in an Addictive Trance.
I keep thinking about how our deprivation of proper nutrition for our kids is somehow like infecting them with a tapeworm. Either way, we deny them the cornucopia of nutrients for their developing minds and bodies that our Creator intended.
Worse is Still Better
Worse than Perfect is still Better. Better than Worst is still Bad. Here is your challenge: don’t just try to do better. Aim for perfection, and your life will begin to change! It will take you to new heights in health, immunity, well-being and Spirituality. Here is a picture of this way of thinking:
“One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not.”
– Alexandre Dumas
Beginning in the late 1800’s and up to World War II, there was a movement to use selective breeding to direct human evolution. In 1906, the American Breeding Association was formed to “investigate and report on heredity in the human race, and to emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood.” This movement was funded in America by Carnegie, Rockefeller, Kellogg and many more prestigious people and organizations. Their primary conclusion was those who were most unfit came from economically and socially poor backgrounds.
Eugenics was taught by almost all universities. The curricula included guidelines suggesting only the top 10% of Blacks should be allowed to breed, in hopes of improving the moral character of that race. The Nazis were complimented on their Eugenics program. By 1940, they had castrated, sterilized or just outright killed 400,000 people.
The Real Truth About Eugenics
Who would endorse this practice today? Do you know the real truth?
The answer is disappointing. Devastating. It is still going on. Look at the photo. One animal must be nurtured and protected under penalty of our laws. Another can be beaten, stabbed, kicked, genetically compromised, imprisoned, tormented for a lifetime and then maliciously killed, quartered, embalmed, and eaten. Many states have passed AgGag laws that include prison time for even photographing inside these houses of horror. The Egg Board cautions members (in writing) to disallow photography in their egg factories. They say visual images of how eggs are produced will reduce consumption! Duh.
We set a hierarchy in nature where there is none. Just as the el stupidos continued to penalize poor individual performance within our own species, it is the same thing when we sentence any animal to genetic manipulation and to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. It is only your addictive trance that keeps you from understanding this and that keeps you feeding chicken nuggets to children. This is an abomination. Shameful.
In fact, I see a connection between castrating an undernourished kid for being stupid and taking a child to McDonalds to eat, given the knowledge we have today. We seem to think our kids are not governed by the laws of nature, that we can feed them anything they want without consequence. We can judge… laugh at…those old Eugenics missionaries for missing such obvious connections… but not at ourselves. How dumb is it to feed kids food we know will diminish their futures.
“A picture is worth ten thousand words.” – F. R. Barnard
The Horrors of the Kids’ Menu
With parent, government and society blessings, we feed our kids, we bribe our kids, we control our kids with stuff made with hyperpalatable chemistries. If you want to make your own junk at home, here is a list for stocking your cupboards:
High fructose corn syrup, Agave nectar, Barbados sugar, Barley malt, Barley malt syrup, Beet sugar, Brown sugar, Buttered syrup, Cane Juice crystals, Cane sugar, Caramel, Carob syrup, Castor sugar, Coconut Palm sugar, Coconut sugar, Confectioners’ sugar, Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Date sugar, Dehydrated cane juice, Demerara sugar, Dextrin, Dextrose, Evaporated cane juice, Free-flowing brown sugars, Fructose, Fruit juice, Glucose, Glucose solids, Golden Sugar, Golden syrup, Grape sugar, Honey, Invert sugar, Lactose, Malt syrup, Maltodextrin, Maltose, Maple syrup, Palm sugar, Powdered sugar, Raw sugar, Saccharose, Refiner’s syrup, Sorghum syrup, Sucrose, Sugar (granulated), Sweet sorghum and Yellow sugar…
Our foods are made even more ‘appealing’ with Iodized salt, Celery salt, Garlic salt, Sodium caseinate, MSG, Autolyzed yeast, Autolyzed vegetable protein, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, Yeast extract, Degermed wheat…
We use Processed white flours, Processed rice flours, White breads, Aspartame, Cyclamate, Saccharin, Stevia, Sucralose, Acesulfame potassium, Lead acetate, Mogrosides…
We then add even more chemicals not found in nature….1400 Registered pesticides! Azodicarbonamide, Glyphosate, Butylated Hydroxyanisole, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Propylgallate, Polychlorinated biphenyls, Dioxins, Polybrominated diphenyl ethers…
Don’t forget about the Anti-foaming agents, Bulking agents, Food coloring, Color retention agents, Emulsifiers, Flavors, Flavor enhancers, Flour treatment agents, Formaldehyde, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Nitrate, Glazing agents, Humectants, Tracer gas, Preservatives, Stabilizers, Thickeners, Caffeine…
How about the antibiotics from the dead and preserved animals we torture and eat: Brambermycin, Lasalocid, Monensin, Salinomycin, Virginiamycin, Bacitracin, Carbadox, Laidlomycin, Lincomycin, Neomycin, Oxytetracyclinee, Penicillin, Roxarsone, Tylosin, even Arsenic. We are feeding this to our kids!
Horrors for Kids, Part 2
It is common knowledge drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and nicotine abuse can negatively affect a fetus. Giving a two-year-old opioids, alcohol or cigarettes will statistically compromise their future potential as adults as well…as I can personally attest. A reason for these books is to ask why nutritional deficiency is not lumped together with these commonly accepted no-noes? Kids living on sugar and bad fats…processed foods, animal byproducts and sugar supplemented stuff…. cannot and will not be as healthy as kids eating evolutionary WFPB food and drink. Science has proved this. We also know these compromises begin before birth.
Cigarette smoking was appropriately villainized when those big trucks dumped thousands research proofs in our driveways. We just did not know how bad it was until we had the statistical evidence, thus were guiltless in perpetuating our evil industry. We thought R. J. Reynolds was the good guy for sending Camels to soldiers.
In the cold world of science, Joe Camel and Ronald McDonald are the same people. Charlatans. Child Molesters. Pied Pipers leading our children out of reality, away from Nature. Unholy compromise of their futures.
I don’t care what you eat personally. My beef is we know it is unfair to flood a fetus with alcohol, dope, nicotine and junk food. It is a wrong life-message to elicit affection or behavioral conformance from children with addictive, zero-nutrient junk food and drink. We could do the right thing and support to their future health and happiness by introducing and supporting them in living in our beautiful, healthy Plant Based world!
Feeding Sheep and Children
Speaking of sheep, I asked Scarlett about feeding her prized sheep. She said she fed it special sheep food on a strict schedule. She says this is an important part of creating a champion (for someone to kill, dismember and eat). I asked about feeding her sheep from Hunter’s goat food bin. She said it would make her sheep sick.
Lachlan enlisted Uncle Jimmy to feed his Spiny Leaf Eater for a week. Both the routine and food choice were critical to survival of that unique creature.
Not sure why these examples cannot be expanded to humans. Nature is showing us the folly of choosing food only on the basis of entertainment at the moment. Walk into Walmart and understand this is the first stop on the way to the hospital…
I appreciate Einstein’s ability to reduce very complex issues into simple equations. The equation defining for declining world health simplifies to: Feeding Our Sheep Goat’s Food.
There is a second part to this parable with sheep. Sheep never get obese or skinny, no matter how much food they have…as long as it is sheep food. Nature is amazing… We are blessed with miraculous systems embedded in all our brains to regulate our bodies. When we feed humans with human food, we stay healthy, slim, and with great skin. We live longer. When we treat what we put into our bodies as a sacrament, allowing only those items that improve us, we thrive. Better physique, sex, attentiveness and achievement.
On the other hand, when we choose fatty, salty, sugary, industrialized concoctions not typically available in Nature, then the problems begin…very much like feeding ourselves goat’s food. Embalmed, preserved dead animals should be buried, not eaten!
Food as Medicine
“It is insanity that in this modern day that we have to talk about eating fruits and vegetables.” – Dr. Ken Cusi, University of Miami
“Give the body the right food, drink, and attention, and it will it will typically heal itself.” – Dr. Michael Greger
Providing good foods to our families is a way to join Dr. Kimmerer’s gifting world. A natural place in a sea of peace, happiness, gratitude, charity and love. We have already started down this road. Our GSI family/employees are now healthier and happier in many ways. We work safer, better and smarter. It is getting better each day.
My sister recovered from a horrific collision and walked better and sooner through my assistance in implementing the latest research findings in the world of nutrition…. simply avoid inflammatory food and drink. What is that “sacrifice” worth, compared to tradeoffs and compromises we have to make to retain our S.A.D. food paradigm? Going along with the crowd and eat “hospital food”. That really is SAD.
I rejected conformity and encourage you do the same. I chose “if you are walking on the right direction, then there is reward and fulfillment in the path itself” (Giovanni Dienstmann).
There is compelling evidence for a looming disaster in our reproductive capability. Our sperm counts are now half of what they were in 1970, and going down 1% each year. We have a new genetic trend where the distance between the anal opening and genitals (ANG) in males is getting less. Males with this syndrome have remarkably lower sperm quality, to the point of infertility.
Note: The Green Line represents “Retangularization,” the concept that disease is not normal in mammals, that the “perfect death” is to just wear out and keel over…or get caught and eaten! This concept also includes a premise that most all suffering and disease is wholly or partially related to food and drink choice. My parents could not know this. You can.
Food is for our Spiritual Self
Having you review your relationship with food is one of the major reasons I am sending this message ahead. Today’s first world societies are cascading into a black hole of Hedonism where everything we eat or drink has to stimulate our pleasure zones. I hope this has been rectified in your time…and if not, my message is for you to revisit and realign your priorities.
Of course we need food as fuel. That is a base line for survival. Up until recently, food was limited to what was locally available and affordable. We had developed a reverence for food through its scarcity and unreliability. It was easy then to appreciate food as a blessing, to not take it for granted. Providers were held in high esteem.
I remember the genuine gratitude from my mom when I brought home my first squirrel. It was at the end of an era, the paradigm of self-reliance for food sources. I wonder what reward a kid would receive today for presenting a dead squirrel to his parents?
This is a good question. It makes the point that our paradigms change and can change drastically in a short period of time. A dead squirrel would be out of place in today’s world, but we would not be here without these furry critters as food for our ancestors. The real change, my awakening, is to realize we don’t need animal protein. You, me, our kids, our planet are better off without it.
As we go forward with sophistication in our food supply systems, we gain more and more assurance that we will not want. We found that we could industrialize our food supply, creating an unlimited array of stuff that would more or less digest in our alimentary systems. This evolved (or devolved) into a suite of hyperpalatables that are addictive and deadly. Deadly in terms of physical health and spiritual awareness. It is an ever-degrading progression in shopping carts, our cabinets, our kitchens…our cars reek with unnatural smells. Stuff that cuts ten years off our lives…stuff that diminishes us every day until premature death.
Here is my message to you: Our highest state of grace is stillness of our minds. Physical health is paramount in generating our highest states of intelligence and cosmic awareness and connection. When we choose Hedonism, opting for dullness and early death, we also begin a mind-spirit compromise well before the final black hole.
Today, 2020, we do not give our kids the opportunity for evolutionary foods, therefore we deny them the opportunity for highest physical and mental achievement. As simple as it may be to you in my future, it is not at all understood nor appreciated in my time.
“Not all who wander are lost” – Tolkien
“The spiritual journey is always tragic, for it is a lonely path for individuals…” – Harari
“The Name that can be Named is not the Eternal Name.” – Dao De Jing
“The beginning and end are the same for everyone” – GrandBob
Spiritual Rediscovery: A Serendipitous Reward
This is an autobiographical retrospection…musings from the new freedoms within my mind, intuitions rekindled with the energy of clearer thinking. Whereas my Clinical Discussion on Food Choice has some basis in science, each of us has to determine for ourselves answers for those perpetual questions of who we are, why we are here and what happens to us in the end.
Henry Ford said, “Men easily live what they really believe – they can’t do anything else.” I want my future grandkids…all kids…to know this. We have the option to honor our passions, to develop our values and follow our beliefs.
The other path is to just accept what we are told. This is how we departed from a deeper truth and subdivided into Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Taoists, Jews…etc. Poor nutrition plays a part in our willingness to be controlled with stupefying cultural, racial, and religious dogmas.
It took a while for me to sort this out. As I write this, my visions become clearer, my soul is more fulfilled…I can transcend at least some of the societal impositions on my freedoms of thought and choice. I can see the commonalities in human thought and behavior across all societies in all of recorded history. These are guideposts for me to better understand myself.
Merging Myth with Reality
“Religion is a deal with God… Spirituality is a communion” – Harari
“The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.” – Delos McKown
Myth has a place in how our minds understand and deal with reality. Myths that seem disparate and isolated actually have common threads, commonalities proving all of mankind is one, from Genghis Khan to Mother Theresa. Just as we have universal needs for food and drink for our physical bodies, we have universal mental processes that control our behavior…. commonality in our basic instincts for Survival, Procreation and Efficiency. (paraphrasing Dr. Doug Lisle, “The Pleasure Trap”)
This journey began when I read about Tityus and his eternal punishment for messing around with Zeus’ consort. He was strapped down on a mountain top with buzzards eating his liver every day for eternity…a liver that regenerates every night. I guess he is still there. Made me think again of my grandfather, K. Z. Browning. More about him later.
I submit that Religion is Reality and Imagination at once. Reality is what we experience and interpret with our 5 senses in present tense. Reality is everything around us. It is our consciousness of the moment and everything that we see or construe as tangible. But we only have 5 senses…there are countless more realities we can’t even imagine. UV and IR light for example…sounds outside our range, an infinite number of smells…so much more…dark matter, black holes…
In our Imaginations, nothing is unreal. Imagination is a magical zone setting us apart from our fellow mammals. It’s a much broader landscape of fact and fantasy, independent of time and place. Intuition, the wisdom of our hearts and the cornerstone of our Spirituality, is honed by journeys into those imaginary worlds…. The boundless worlds of what if…
Logic and Reason are stumbling blocks to the core principles of Religion. Religion requires unquestionable Faith…a component of Imagination. Logic requires reproducible fact.
I relate well with Elaine Pagels. She is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton. Professor Pagels contends rituals bind and bond societies. These are critical to human happiness and health, and the more emotional, the more engrossing, the better. She participates in services for all religions. She meditates with the Trappist Monks in Aspen, close to where her husband died in a climbing accident and attends Synagogues in New York. She believes and teaches the mind of man has intrinsic commonalties, thus all the great religions have close commonalities as well.
The Power of Ritual
All societies across history have versions of formal weddings, funerals, graduations, awards, ribbon cuttings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, holidays…the list is enormous, seemingly different at first in various cultures, but then the same in abstraction. The most pervasive are solstice celebrations.
I was captivated by the Native American who dressed in full costume and face paint and addressed the committee evaluating an Alberta pipeline to Kitimat. He was opposed to it crossing their sacred grounds and to the shores of their sacred sea. He used a solemn ancient chant, translated in English, said he and his spirit were one, in deep love with the Ocean, connected to all life there, especially the Killer Whale. He then expressed fears for the inevitable tanker spill and brought in his many grandchildren to stand with him. He ended his chant with “thi qwum”. Have Pity. One of the panelists cried openly.
Ritual formats evolve over many generations….and some are surprisingly effective in changing and/or reinforcing viewpoints. Most finally have a goal of happiness.
Our Quest for Happiness
True happiness…a part of religion… is feeling good, feeling pleasure at the moment…avoiding pain…It is not the quantity of our deeds, our encounters, our gifts, but the quality we assign to them. We, therefore, can make ourselves happy… simply enjoy the moment. Look around and smile. Be grateful, appreciative, reach out, and participate. Watching a butterfly land on a flower can be as happy, as rewarding, as a new boat. Sing a song in church with feeling. Make a point to feel the energy, the union of those souls singing with you. That will make you happy.
Happiness is a state of pleasure achieved at higher and deeper states through spirituality than through Hedonistic materialism. Spirituality is fragile and our first sacrifice to Hedonism.
Food and Drink are our Greatest Sacraments
Emerson and Romanticists and Transcendentalists and Aristotelians and Deists (more or less) contend that virtue and morality are our greatest tributes we can return to our Creator. Therefore, it follows that “Doing the Right Thing” is the hallmark of virtue. That love, compassion, charity and inclusiveness would be taught to our youth, not great fears of indescribable, unimaginable and infinite burning of flesh and spirit. That eternal damnation awaits practically every human soul ever created or ever will be created…becomes incredible.
It also follows that honoring our Creator would include honoring this marvelously complex machinery we use to transport our minds…our spirits…our souls…with foods and drinks given us during all of our evolution (or at our Creation). Our development as a distinct division of mammals revolved around high fiber plant foods (100-150 grams each day) and simple water drinks. And this natural menu fostered the co-evolutionary emergence of our microbiota.
Natural foods and plain drinks provide the highest levels of health and the longest healthspan. This has been demonstrated through rigorous scientific research. The understated part of this is research shows both lifelong sexual capacity and end of life mental acuity and stability are associated with food choice as well. This will be particularly important when science offers you opportunities to reach 130 years old!
Spirituality is at its highest when our bodies are at our healthiest. When we are at our healthiest, we are much more capable of resisting the constant onslaught of temptations to eat and drink addictive contaminants. Just as a former smoker becomes offended by the smell of tobacco smoke, the gases from scorched meat become equally offensive to those who come to love God’s provisions. Respect for His animals becomes intuitive. CAFOs would no longer exist were man’s mind where it could be…where it should be.
Dr. Steve Foster of University College London created a new term to measure one’s ability to recognize when we are wrong… “metacognition.” Politics and food fall into categories where we cannot differentiate fact from feelings. We tend to overestimate our certainty…and we often have no basis in fact. We simply cannot see the error in our logic. If we have been conditioned to think (feel) we have to kill a pig for protein, we kill the pig (or have a surrogate do it for us). Some of us still cannot internalize plant protein is better, even when science shows this with absolute certainty.
Why? The problem or answer is we fail to utilize our Intellectual Brain to challenge our belief system. What we “feel” is part of our Reptilian Brain, a storehouse incapable of reason. Thus, the property of metacognition is amazingly limiting. This is why I don’t expect broad based understanding of this book, much less compliance!
(Writing a tome such as this is also somehow necessary in Sapiens programming. It represents a lasting purpose for our lives. Our society, our kind, will not persist into perpetuity; however, if I can improve even one life beyond me, this is at least something, even if something is finally nothing.)
Religion vs. Spirituality
The founder of McDonald’s is an international hero. He is, in fact, lower than a child molester. He made his fortune through government supported CAFOs. Think how wrong this is… think about what this says about the reasoning ability of the human mind. Dr. Foster makes his point…there are areas of judgment where we cannot see our errors. We buckle up our kids to prevent a very unlikely injury and drive them to a fast food joint, guaranteeing them bodily and mental harm. We are dying prematurely for this version of “food.” Early death begins the moment we stray.
We export McDonald’s food and maim and kill unsuspecting, trusting kids throughout rest of the world. We are defiling our environment. Planet earth is their birthright as well. Now I can tell you we are also compromising our Spirituality.
My parents could not know this. Recent discoveries in nutrition…realities that have been in our faces since the beginning of time…show that food/drink choices influence fetal development, childhood intelligence and performance, and, ultimately, our achievement in all aspects of our lives. Yet we eat bacon cheeseburgers at Hardys and Nightmare Burgers at Burger King. We stock pantries with ramen, sugar, processed foods, and salt. We celebrate dairy. How is this different than flying a plane into the World Trade Center….it paradoxically emanates from the same intractable survival mechanisms…thus different only in degree. We kill ourselves and our kids either way.
There is no objective introspection with either religious or food fanaticism. We see an Elk, but we don’t see Nature…our overarching guide to life. We see an Elk do Elk things in their share of our world, but we continually defile our share. We pander for love from our kids by feeding them known carcinogens. We use cheap tricks with junk foods to elicit behavioral compliance. Even with this new information on the relationships between diet and health, we set them on a course for heart disease and diabetes, even reduced fertility.
So many factors conspire to diminish our abilities to recognize the presence of omnipotent God. Too much bad food and we enter an Addictive Trance. Too little nutritious food and we can only think of food. Look at this nutritionally deprived child. The last thing on his mind is the Second Coming.
Lack of Nutrition is the major defining factor in what we call the “Third World”. The polar opposite, The Kid’s Menu of processed food and drink, immerses us in our addictive First World filled with dullness, obesity and disease. Perhaps on a par with this kid…equally unable to reach our inner soul…unable to communicate with Nature.
“Every diminution in our physical selves is a subtraction in our ability to sense, to feel, and to embrace our Spirituality…to serve the underserved…to serve our Creator”. – GB
We are the first generation to know this.
The Paradox of Altruistic Achievement
“If you want to be a Saint, forget about being an Angel.” – Jim Holt
I think it could be a dead end for spirituality. Our abject states of addiction will not allow us to even recognize what we lost. And just as Body Snatchers shriek and point when they see a normal person, I am sometime treated in this fashion when I offer our new research findings in hopes of bringing awareness and reprioritization. It is the Saint vs. Angel conundrum.
“Health is the Greatest Wealth” said Virgil a long time ago….and our healthspans are getting shorter. A point to ponder: when migrants from other food paradigms arrive in the U. S. and Canada, their health profiles often dramatically deteriorate. Same thing happens as we export our addictive food paradigm around the world. Unused to such sorry, inflammatory foods and without our miracle drugs, they get even sicker than they have ever been. It’s even worse for their kids.
Yet we shoot the messenger. Saint Vegan is despised in mainstream society this day.
I have been shot before. Many times. I began geotech practice before we had soil nails, self-drilling nails, micropiles, fabrics, grids, SRWs, hollow stem augers, wireline coring barrels…. each traveled rocky roads to their acceptance, and I had to defend and champion most of these to some degree. Now these are the bread and butter tools and techniques in the world of GSI, the leading geohazard mitigation company in the world.
However, today the dumbest thing I could say today is “bread and butter”. That is from a recent paradigm where every proper meal included highly processed (white) flour that set the wealthy above the plebeians who had to eat coarse brown bread. And then butter was a premium. As a kid, I remember some families who rationed the butter. It was expensive, but necessary.
Butter became in short supply in World War II and margarine was created to take its place. There was even a time when medical professionals suggested margarine was healthier than butter. Now we know neither is “better”.
What we know today, what the Canadian government recognizes, is that dairy in general is an unnecessary food for the human body and most of us think it is harmful. The U. S. sort of agrees by limiting white bread…but we call pizza a vegetable and serve it proudly in our school lunch program. Our Surgeon General, the guy who is supposed to know, is not even consulted, and if he were, I am not sure his input would be based on current science. Corruption and incompetence are rampant from Trump on down in our USDA food pyramid paradigm in 2020.
Standing against convention and our government is the only choice…if you are a Saint.
Proper weight and appearance. Look at the animal world…there are no misshapen creatures in natural environments eating programmed foods…our internal regulatory systems keep us fit and trim…until we override with addictive, calorie-dense, inflammatory food and drink. Stacy Abrams blamed her loss to be governor of Georgia in 2018 on “the Republican System”. She is morbidly obese…first impressions are critical in how we evaluate people. Employers will tell you that they are off put by morbidly obese applicants. People do not see it as a disability….it is viewed as a choice. She had a shoo-in against the image of Trump and fumbled…she fumbled; those devious Republicans did not strip the ball.
And she gave it up for the worst of reasons…addictive animal and processed foods. She is, statistically, giving up health and life expectancy as well.
I have reached a level where good food tastes best. Our bodies and our minds eventually reward us in many ways for feeding them properly…rewards for responsible management of His/Her Image.
“One of the most important messages that Quakers have to offer is that religion, or belief, is experiential. It is not just a matter of accepting words or practices but of experiencing God for oneself. The fact that God is always present means that the whole of a person’s life is sacramental.” – Ted Hoare, Australian Religious Society of Friends
Work like you don’t need the money.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Dance like nobody’s watching.
Sing like nobody’s listening.
Live like it’s Heaven on Earth. (Mark Twain [paraphrase])
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes.” ― Walt Whitman
Don’t get me started. I have so many ambivalences and misconceptions that I bore myself. I am a fashionable cynic of no import. Walt Whitman stole my line.
The source of my cynicism is a basic mistrust for those in authority. I have great respect for our Constitution and the Heroes who framed it; however, I find most people attracted to politics in these easy times either end or start in ethical compromise.
I am a fiscal conservative and value a political structure where self-reliance and individual initiative are rewarded.
I am becoming a fierce environmentalist more each day and believe we are here as stewards of planet earth. All of Nature’s organic and mineral matter deserves Respect.
This philosophy has been co-opted by liberals, thus a source of my ambivalence. Their disingenuous support for the poor and oppressed is sickening. Gandhi can wear that crown. Our liberal leaders are mostly phony limousine riders and private jet setters. They use feigned empathy to control our oppressed masses.
Defining Respect is a frustratingly moving target, ruled by the Laws of Unintended Consequence. Nevertheless, we do the best we can, which is not very much and typically half-hearted. But we do pay lip service. This is at least something.
I am a Pragmatic Vegan, more recently termed Plant Based. My single greatest source of psychological grief and pain are Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. While I am tending to refrain from eating any animal product, I can still tolerate personal subsistence killing. On the other hand, our surrogates running our CAFO world represent the penultimate of corrupted ethics and morality.
To my great mental anguish, this CAFO paradigm has our world in a death grip. It controls every aspect of our lives from birth to end of life. It is the number one driver of world economy and our number one cause of pollution, disease and death.
I can’t get either major party’s attention to end this travesty. I formed a non-profit foundation and offer to pay people to not eat meat. Pathetically ineffective, but I am actually doing something. I hope by the time you read this the world has come to its senses. Or perhaps society has collapsed. Either way, CAFOs would be gone. I would support a meteor strike as a last resort. Take us all out.
“The Treadmill of Self Gratification.” – GB
“Eat, Drink and be Merry, For Tomorrow We Die.” – Aristippus of Cyrene
Large pizza billboard in Trinidad, “Don’t Eat Boring. Eat Fun!” That is pure recruitment. We have people (I was one of them) who become disciples and celebrate food taste and quantity…supersize me… Missionaries for Hedonism.
Our wealth has doubled every 50 years since 1750. And industry has capitalized. We are unimaginably wealthy today in terms of my parent’s world…Grandman and Mother Anne were never courted and enticed as we are today. It is worse for our kids. There is no mercy in the 24/7 onslaughts from Big Industry (Ag, Pharm, Med, Govt) to lure us into Hedonism. Get it now…get a lot…where is our protective Government…it is all about the Economy, Stupid! We have no ombudsmen.
I recently attended a conference where an elite contingent of road builders had convened to celebrate another great year of contributions to our world of Transportation. We could have talked about how far our evolving technologies have taken us, new developments on the horizon, how to better employ sustainable concepts to extend our depleting resources. But Guess what…the whole event was set up around a night of unlimited alcohol and “gourmet” (actually inflammatory) foods. It lasted until daylight.
This photo shows how I was greeted on entry.
Trinidad for Example
The average age for men in Trinidad/Tobago is 66 years. In Japan it is 80. The TT Health Department has a poster that says Trinidad is the third fattest country in the world. In dining with many professional people there in 2018, I was shocked… appalled…at how little they understood nutrition. It was never discussed. They consume more sugar in drinks, pastries, sauces and candies in one day than most of us eat in a month. Thousands of roadside stands sell flavored sugar lumps (warm weather snow cones!). KFC has huge outlets with signs visible for half a mile…even rice is soaked in butter (so is their naan), all the bread is white. Rolls are full of shortening. Totally Hedonistic addiction and created and sustained by amoral marketing and manufacturing interests. What they are feeding their kids has degraded to U.S. levels.
The point here, future grandkids, is that you really do need to look out for yourselves. Food Choice controls your very soul, your spirituality. Food Choice should include selections that celebrate communion with your Creator. Hedonism is successful first in that its converts can easily have 2.2 offspring. Second, hyperpalatable food choices without immediate visible consequence are an easy sell. Easy to manipulate kids into joining our addictions with Happy Meals, pizza parties, candy, ice cream, hot chocolate etc.
Today’s Young Girls
Almost 80% of our adolescent girls are unhappy with their bodies. That brings me to tears. The most beautiful of ages, the age of innocence and promise. And we feed them foods which make them unbalanced, make them feel bad and fat and ruin their skin and hair. So lovely and we feed them ramen and chicken nuggets.
Kids. It is indeed hard to set them onto a Path Most Right. Responsible parenting has always been a challenge…but we have to consider that by feeding them a Happy Meal, we are setting them up for disease and an agonizing early death. Imagine what you would serve Jesus, were he visiting tomorrow evening. Would you feed him chicken nuggets? I could not look Him in His Eye and explain what I did to His chickens in order to serve those disgusting globs covered in red sugar. I would be ashamed of what I am doing to the futures of His precious children.
Once you accept you are addicted and then accept your responsibility and the discipline to enter into this higher paradigm, you will gain a new respect for yourself. You will be happier and prettier/more handsome, and I will make more sense. Hedonism is a deep, dark hole.
Conclusion: Hedonism Defeated Animism
Animism is perhaps a construct of Man, however, it emerged everywhere man traveled.
Animism as the prevalent religious dogma ended with the Agricultural Revolution. We changed our diets; we switched from WFPB to hyperpalatables, intoxicants, and calorie dense commodities. And we began to abuse animals for our tongues’ pleasure.
This cataclysmic departure in direction of our evolution also changed our perception of religion. We became Hedonists. I was mesmerized by the cogent presentations in the books by Harari. He explained what I felt but could not verbalize. I knew evolution basically precludes a soul. I saw how our recent constructs for religion forsook the world of animism and converted to polytheism.
Harari says when we domesticated animals (I say “took them hostage”) and controlled plants; we also lost our respect for Nature. I think he is right…we have become gods. The rest of Nature is subservient, inferior. Our rivers are conduits for waste, our oceans are dumps. We see ourselves as deserving of the right to kill, to pollute, to revel in Hedonism, to maintain CAFOs. This is why I could shoot songbirds with a BB gun. Why we could even think about building a doomsday weapon. Who cares about anything but us and safeguarding our personal reverie of the moment?
Somehow, we have a deep sense of guilt. We celebrated our new pleasures of the flesh and our elusive gods and goddesses became angry, jealous, demanding, vicious and cruel. Flooding the earth and burning its cities. Religious constructs unrecognizable to an Earthling.
Yes, Hedonism is our new religion…and our missionaries are spreading it all over the world…with The Most Reverend Ronald McDonald and The Colonel leading the charge…leading us away from our mission on earth to help our fellow man, to give back for our Miracle of Life.
“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” – G. B. Shaw
WE ARE STILL ANIMISTS
“Research on the notion of being one with Nature, a divine principle, life, the world, other persons (Oneness)…reveals a significantly positive effect on life satisfaction, even rendering the effect of religious affiliations insignificant or negative”. – Laura Marie Edinger-Schons, American Psychological Association, 2018
Somewhere deep inside, we are still Animists, folks who believe in Oneness, in awe of our universe and grateful to our creator. As with Darth Vader, there remains a vestige of our old selves. The Bible agrees: “For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since creation of the world.” (Romans 1:20) (Yes, I am guilty of selective use of the Bible to serve my ends.)
We can feel this relationship through sensory (and even paranormal) avenues. There is an unshakable guilt that invades our psyche that we have strayed from Nature. We somehow know that we are not masters of the universe. We know we live and die as does a zebra or a mongoose.
A child will purposefully challenge higher authority and finally welcome even corporal punishment for firm guidance. We use all sorts of techniques to instill our paradigms on our young…rewards, flattery, bribes, spanking, scolding, demeaning, and denying privileges…
It is similar with adults. Where we have assumed a higher stature in our universe, we have left the obvious bounds of that natural world. We are not, in fact, better or worse than anything in Nature…we are one with whatever that is. Thus, as we depart from our proper, evolutionary role, our non-verbal intuition (our heart’s intelligence) tries to tell us we are losing our connection…our spirituality. Before our intellects caught up with this, we had joined the addictive treadmill of Hedonism. And we cannot stop the descent.
We, therefore, created or allowed a penance…Purgatory and Hell. As with any addiction, we immerse in Hedonism and say we can “quit anytime we want.” We pretend we can quit later without penalty to our soul…beg forgiveness on our deathbed.
Our minds are not really going to change later. This is a reality of Addiction.
Now we know that going back to the Pre-Ag lifestyle of family, community, service, food reverence…the real world for all of us for so long….is what will deliver us from sin…and save us from having to burn ourselves forever in retribution.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Empty Our Prisons
The very worst thing we can do to a fellow human is to confiscate his or her freedom, either by death or confinement. There are 2.3 million men and women in our jails, detention centers, psychiatric wards and major prisons today. The consequences of this waste of lives are incalculable. Unimaginable what imprisonment is like to us and our Family. Many are good men and women languishing in hell holes that will scar them forever. Aristotle says these people want to do the right thing, but are not properly educated. That may be a stretch, but it is difficult for me to understand how people willfully risk so much of their freedom for so little gain.
Average remaining sentences for these 2.3 million human beings ranges from 4 to 10 years….lots of variables. Let’s use 6 years…. If we opened our prison gates, we would have created 13,800,000 years of freedom for them to experience a life of freedom in these United States.
We have 74,000,000 million kids in the United States. Let’s say 60 million of them participate in our evolving (devolving) Kids’ Menus. Ultra-processed, hyperpalatable…. pizza, chicken nuggets, fries, mac and cheese, ramen, burgers, noodles, sugar pastries, cookies, crackers, corn chips, white bread, overheated oils, sugar sodas, All calorie dense, nothing nutrient dense. We have recently discovered this Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) subtracts up to 10 years of life span, of freedom, to enjoy life on earth. Do the math….600,000,000 million years of death instead of life. Understand this when you host a pizza party. Pretty stiff sentence for an innocent 5-year-old.
However, as explained in the sections on addiction, there may be no recourse. We have addicts creating more addicts without a gap in the progression. It is reported that obesity is so prevalent in Great Britain that obesity is the new norm, thus the stigma and urgency for remedy and prevention are fading every day. Twiggy is no more.
Same with the people we see feeding kids Happy Meals. Too many Happy Meals ourselves have cost us the ability to look abstractly at today’s epidemiological data and comprehend what it means in terms of our kids’ futures. With non-inflammatory foods, we can erase our kids’ sentences for every-day compromises in health and intelligence, and we can tack 10 years onto their life sentence here on earth for our good behavior.
However, looking from my newly discovered freedom from cravings for dead animals and greasy cooked foods, I see our lack of will to avoid inflammatory foods as the greatest crisis, the greatest threat to our nation of all time. We become morally and physically weaker with every bacon cheeseburger, with every pizza. With every lost opportunity to honor our bodies with nutrients. With every scream from the victims in our CAFOs.
What I Have Learned…That My Parents Could Not Have Known
“I intend to live forever. So far, so good.” – Steven Wright
There are seven take-aways from my research that began to find who I am…who we are…in 2020. I am still searching for the answer to my original question.
Your faithful servant,
Long-time director of the longest-running epidemiological study in the world, the famous Framingham Heart Study, Dr. William Castelli, was asked what he would do to reverse the CAD [coronary artery disease] epidemic if he were omnipotent. His answer: “Have the public eat the diet of the rural Chinese as described by Dr. T. Colin Campbell…If Americans adopted a plant based diet, the whole thing would disappear”.