What’s More Important–The Diet or the Belief about the Diet?

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You don’t have to go far on the internet to find debates about which diet is healthier than another. Authors or motivational speakers position themselves as Paleo or Vegan experts. But these are just labels that too many people have treated like religious beliefs. Different dietary camps even seem cult-like at times.

Warning: Trigger Alert

Our ancestors didn’t have the luxury of debating which diet is superior. They ate what was close at hand or what was made available given their economic status and occupation, as well as, their race and nationality. They lived through feasts and famines. They also didn’t have to deal with big agriculture and the gas lighting that happens with each of the food industries whether that’s the dairy, the fishing, or the cattle (as in red meat) or the sugar industry.

I believe it’s not so much the diet a person eats as long as the diet contains whole foods and not processes foods laden with chemicals, sodium, and sugars. It’s what each person believes about their diet and the knowledge they have gleaned about the human body and how the body assimilates nutrition.

If a person believes that eating animal products is unethical but they eat animal products because a food guru wrote a book telling them they would die if they didn’t eat animal products, this creates a conflict in the body. And how is that conflict or cognitive dissonance going to resolve if a person’s ethical or religious beliefs tell them not to eat animal products? They will become sick no matter what they consume because guilt and shame will eat away at them.

I know I’ve grown tired of the anti-vegan diet propaganda that shows a vegan wasting away from a disease and then conclude that the plant-based diet is a bad choice for everyone. Many people have thrived and lived longer lives on a vegan diet. Others might not thrive on the diet given preexisting health conditions or they might feel conflict about becoming a vegan because the people around them live a different lifestyle and put pressure on them to change. I know I’m tired of interventions by people who say they have my health in mind.

(If vegans are eating heavily processed foods and not eating an array of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and legumes, they run the risk of bad health. And don’t forget to supplement B-vitamins, zinc, and iodine which you won’t get in a plant-based diet).

There are still the questions of animal advocacy and ethics. Is it right to raise and kill animals for human consumption? And who gave humans that right? Some people point to religious text and say that God told humans to eat animals. Even if that’s the case, that was thousands of years ago when humans have fewer choices for their caloric intake and they worked harder physically than most humans in the modern age. Some humans sit on their butts all day whether they are at work or at home so how much protein and calories do they require?

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Other people seem to think that if we give the animals name and raise them in an ethical way, it’s alright to cut the animals’ lives short and to butcher them for human pleasure or consumption. And while it’s one practice to eat mostly vegetables and have a small piece of fish or a mammal on the plate, it’s another to eat meat three meals a day and then head out for fast food or a grill for more. And what’s so wrong with meat-eaters eating meat once or twice a week and eating other proteins on the other days of the week? Some people have had success with this routine.

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As an animal communicator, I can tell you that animals do not wish to be killed nor do they want their offspring to be hauled off to a shed and starved to become veal on a rich man or woman’s plate. Animals have more wisdom than most people realize. And it seems weird that depending on the culture some animals are deemed as food while other animals are deemed as pets? Why is that?

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Some people in the past possessed the logic that cows and pigs are dumb animals so it’s okay to eat them. But it turns out that both pigs and cows are actually intelligent. So where does that leave us humans? What if we are consuming mammals who are more intelligent than us? Some people would say that we are what we eat and therefore if we eat a smart cow we become more intelligent. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.

Whether or not a person eats a Paleo, Keto, vegan or some other diet, I don’t think it’s the type of food that causes illness (even though I’m not a medical researcher). Coming from the New Thought Movement, I agree it’s what we believe about our diet and the foods we eat that causes illness, especially if we buy into the fear and dualism surrounding food. And then there is the cognitive dissonance and ethics to consider.

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I’m certainly not promoting the idea that we should shame or guilt ourselves about our food choices. However, for the most optimum health, cut way back on sugar, eat more vegetables, cut out the dairy, and if you must eat meat, eat very little of it. I would also see more people eat organic vegetables and help the small vegetable farms out. They struggle which is ironic because the most vitamins and micronutrients are bodies need are contained in vegetables. And you can even grow your own vegetables with some effort and save money on your food bill. That’s worth repeating.

Eat your veggies.

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Published by pnwauthor

I'm a former Washingtonian from Washington State, not Washington DC. I currently reside in Pennsylvania, even though my dream was to live and work in Vermont.

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