02/03/2010

 

Meat eating causes diseases

 

Maneka Gandhi

 

(Bihar Times) On January 26th 2009, the Guardian newspaper announced that  British hospitals would take meat off their menus. Meat-free menus are to be promoted in hospitals as part of a strategy to cut global warming emissions across the National Health Service. Dr David Pencheon, director of the NHS sustainable development unit, said the changes would save money, which could be spent on better services for patients. "Saving Carbon, Improving Health” is the motto. A number of hospitals in America have also announced that they are cutting their meat by 20% to begin with.The United Nations report Livestock's Long Shadow, shows that animals raised for food are contributing more to global warming than all of human transport. The UN's climate chief suggests that going vegetarian, even for one day a week, is the biggest single contribution people could make in their daily lives to fight climate change. Germany's federal environment agency has issued a "strong advisory" that its citizens should  eat meat "only on special occasions" as a way to reduce the nation's carbon footprint.

When you add in the various disease triggers associated with animal protein, it's surprising meat is in hospital menus. India should be cutting meat out entirely in its hospital menus. I can give you a few more reasons for not serving meat in hospitals – specially the dearly beloved chicken soup. Dr Andrew Weil  is world famous for establishing the field of integrative medicine. His Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine  started in 1994. Weil appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1997 and 2005 as one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997 and one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005.  Weil's view is that patients do best utilizing both mainstream and alternative medicine with mainstream medicine suited to crisis intervention, and alternative medicine for prevention and health maintenance. His initiative has led to academic instruction in integrative medicine growing rapidly with 42 academic medical centers offering integrative medicine programs, including the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, Georgetown, Duke and Columbia Universities. He is a vegetarian.  According to him there is something called arachidonic acid, or AA, in animal flesh that causes inflammation. AA is a pro-inflammatory fatty acid. He explains that "heart disease and Alzheimer's -- among many other diseases -- begin as inflammatory processes. The same hormonal imbalance that increases inflammation increases cell proliferation and the risk of malignant transformation. Inflammation is key in many diseases that plague us. So when you eat meat, you ingest AA, which causes inflammation, which fires up the disease process. It doesn't matter if the chicken is free range or the mutton is grass-fed because the fatty acid is natural and inherent in the meat.

If you are in hospital to heal, the last thing you need is more inflammation in your body.

Food in hospital is as important as medicine. Where does the meat come from- specially the minced meat ? How old is it ? When I took my mother to hospital for cancer , I found that meat soups were cooked early in the morning and stayed in the fridges the whole day. Everyone knows that laboratories use chicken soup/gel to grow bacteria cultures quickly so that they can experiment on them. It is the fastest medium for growing germs. It would not behave any differently in hospitals fridges or the patient’s stomach. Owen S. Parrette, M.D., in Why I Don't Eat Meat,  says that when he was a medical student, the class was given glass test tubes to be used for growing disease bacteria such as typhoid, staphylocci, and bubonic plague. "The professor had us make up some beef tea, pour a little into each test tube, and place a cotton cork on top. We sterilized the tubes and later inoculated them with these dangerous bacteria. The germs all thrived on the beef tea. It was a perfect medium for them." In his pediatrics textbook, Dr. Emmet L. Holt says that if one person were fed water and the other beef tea, the one getting the water would live longer, because beef tea does not contain any nourishment but does contain urinary wastes, which poison the body. Beef tea is another name for animal soup, whether chicken , mutton or beef.

Another thing that I discovered were the hospital unions. The food orderers are locked in with the food suppliers and kickbacks are common. The doctors cannot interfere with the catering department. Nor did I find a single doctor interested in the way food was made, kept or served. Since dietetics is not taught in medical hospitals, food is not regarded as important. The dietician who comes to the private rooms is not a doctor nor does he/she have any knowledge of your ailment. They cheerily prescribe whatever the kitchen has made for the day and it is not uncommon for inappropriate ,badly cooked, heavily spiced, fried food and lots of meat to appear to further stress your body. A lightly cooked vegetarian meal would be a weapon of self defence as it  has to be prepared fresh daily and contains more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Patients recovering from surgery do not need meat to add to their already traumatised gut. In any case meat just has protein and iron – and so does every vegetarian food.

Most meat is made from animals that have been given a lot of antibiotics , specially chicken. For anyone in hospital , already on high dosages of antibiotic , animal flesh would interfere with the medical regimen and cause total confusion if not overload, on the body.

It is important that a patient be able to eliminate the toxins in his body – which means go to the bathroom properly. Meat in hospitals almost always causes constipation , allowing all the toxins to multiply in the gut.

Man's anatomy and physiology are poorly adapted to the processing of meat, and it cannot be done without some putrefaction (in addition to the putrefaction already present in the meat at the time it is consumed). The result is toxemia. Flesh undergoes a process of decay in the stomach, causing a poisoning of the blood as the accumulation of toxic substances in the body causes the deterioration of the intestinal flora. If the body fluid that bathes our cell's is overloaded with waste, causing an excessive secretion of bile—fatigue, weakening are the inevitable results. These wastes have a profound influence on the patient’s body which is already straining to get rid of the problem that has landed him in hospital .

Meat not only harbors the bacteria infecting the living animal, but it also carries molds, spores, yeasts and bacilli picked up during postmortem handling.

Effective regulation of flesh food is impossible – you have to go to a slaughterhouse to see why.
The American Dietetic and the American Cancer Association says meat causes heart disease, diabetes 2, kidney disorders and cancer. Someone who is in hospitals for any of these will only be refueling the diseases by eating more meat. It is the direct cause of diseases such as tapeworm, the trichina parasite (Trichinosis closely resembles cerebro-spinal meningitis). Tuberculosis has been communicated from cattle, typhoid fever from oysters. Epilepsy has been traced to meat-eating. Twenty-six diseases, including salmonellosis, staphylococcus and psittacosis, are common to both man and poultry. 

In addition to directly causing certain diseases, meat-eating also predisposes the body to disease. Wounds heal far more rapidly in vegetarians. Carnivores are far more subject to blood poisoning than are vegetarians. Vegetarians survive major operations more frequently than meat-eaters.
Hospitals are meant to deal with disease not add to it. Why don’t you talk to your hospital today ?

 

To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in


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