In 1973 I read Health Secrets from Europe by Paavo Aitrola – and after finishing it gave up meat, fish and chicken. This book convinced me that I would live a longer, healthier life without these foods. Many in my family told me that I was doing something that would harm my health, but within seven years I was in top condition and never looked better. I had a bathing suit shot taken at 46 which made me look like someone in her twenties. In addition, I went from being a couch potato in 1973 to a marathoner in 1980. Dr. N.W. Walker was right about becoming younger on a vegetarian diet.
There are many negatives with eating meat. I covered what Dr. Owen S. Parrett wrote about the Diseases of Food Animals in my last blog. I didn’t cover what he had to say about fish. Many seem to think that ocean-sourced fish are almost a perfect food, but this is not true. They can be loaded with toxic chemicals and worms. The larger the fish, the more toxins it contains. We are being warned not to eat certain fish such as, swordfish, because of their high mercury content. There are many other mercury-laden fish that should be avoided such as, king mackeral, marlin, orange roughy, shark, tilefish, and tuna (Bigeye and Ahi). My Note: They should be avoided for another reason, over-fishing has almost wiped them out.
Dr. Parrett wrote that in 1908 in a New York fish hatchery 700 fish with thyroid cancer were found. It was later determined that the cattle livers that they were being fed caused this. Today we have learned the food that salmon are being fed in hatcheries has made them dangerous to eat. We are also warned to avoid other farm-raised fish, because they are being fed very unhealthy diets. Man doesn’t know how to feed himself; let alone other species. Trying to cut costs has destroyed the nutritional value of food.
In the matter of bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases, fish come but little, if any, behind other animal life. A leading authority in fish research bears out this same observation: “Until recently the incidence of neoplasm (tumors) in fishes was apparently so low that they were only of scientific interest.” (This statement was made back in the early seventies)
The same authority warned against feeding viscera (entrails of animals) to fish: “Observations of western investigators have shown that the feeding of fresh viscera often resulted in the transmission of virus disease.”
The wormy halibut of the Pacific Coast and the jellied swordfish of the Atlantic Coast is caused by a protozoa called Myxosporida. In Minnesota which had an annual catch of ciscos, 2.5 to 3 million pounds’ found 1.5 million pounds of it condemned by the government, as it contained fish tapeworm cysts.
“In many places fish become so contaminated by the filth on which they feed as to be a cause of disease. This is especially the case where the fish come in contact with the sewage of large cities. The fish that feed on the contents of the drains may pass into distant waters and may be caught where the water is pure and fresh.
(My Note: Waters world-wide not pure or fresh; they are contaminated). Thus when used for food they bring disease and death on those who do not suspect the danger.” – The Ministry of Healing, pp. 314, 315.
Dr. Parrett continued with the example of this right here in Southern California. Newport Beach in Orange County is famous as a great fishing center. Just a few miles to the north is the outfall sewer drain at the mouth of the Santa Ana River. TheDaily Pilot, Newport newspaper dated Thursday, April 30, 1970, reports an emergency meeting of the House Sub-committee on Fisheries and Oceanography on the evidence of cancer and other abnormalities in fish caught off the Orange Coast near the mouth of the Santa Ana River. Rep. Richard T. Hanna (D-Westminster) said, “There are those who say that since no clear and convincing link between fish illness and human illness has been proven, it is folly to pursue the issue. I disagree. Human health is at stake.”
Dr. Bruce Halstead, an eminent authority on poisonous fish, was called as a witness. He said, “Admittedly, no one can say that diseases from eating fish are a direct cause of human cancer… but researchers believe it is possible. It is a valid question that demands an answer.” He referred to the health laws given by our Maker to Moses, regarding fish: “These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters; all that have fins or scales shall ye eat; and whatsoever that hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean to you. (Deut: 14:9 -10) Commenting on this text, Dr. Halstead said, “The simple removal of finless and scale-less fishes from the diet eliminates the danger of encountering the two most violent forms of fish poisoning. Puffer poisoning involves more than ninety species of fishes widely distributed throughout the world. Moray eel poisoning has incriminated at least six species of tropical eels. All of these fishes are scale-less, and moray eels would also be considered finless by most laymen.”
About fifteen varieties of parasites are listed for fresh water fish, while another fifteen varieties and many sub-varieties are listed for salt-water fish. This information has been known for over fifty years, but how many in the American public or other countries are aware of the dangers in eating fish?
Dr. Parrett also said that the most severe case of food poisoning he had ever treated was that of a Greek woman. He tried to learn what she had eaten to cause such a violent gastrointestinal upset. He despaired of saving her life, as she spoke no English. Her husband showed up one day with a sea urchin and through signs indicated that this is what she had eaten.
Shellfish are among the forbidden foods proscribed through Moses – and Dr. Parrett wrote to the Fish and
Game Commission of the State of California to enquire about mussels and all shellfish. He quoted a reply (May 3, 1972) from Leslie F. Edgerton, executive secretary: “Annually the State Department of Health imposes a mussel quarantine along the entire California coastline, the closure ordinarily being from May 1 to September 1. During that period the dinoflagellates constituting the bulk of the mussels’ diet, create a toxic condition in the flesh of this bivalve.” The doctor learned that the red tide and phosphorescence of the water offshore is caused by this microscopic flagellate, which can render the mussels so dangerous as even to be fatal when eaten at this season. Oysters are another species of shellfish which can cause a health concern called infectious hepatitis.
The Los Angeles Times of December 29, 1971, reported on a very significant discovery related to a deadly nerve poison that possibly few even know exists.Henry R. Rapoport and two other scientists revealed that they had found the formula for saxitoxin, the poison that infects crabs, clams, mussels and other shellfish around the world. It is a nerve poison which is fatal if ingested and many people are totally unaware that these shellfish which they are ingesting could possibly contain it. Eating shellfish could be a very risky proposition.
Why I don’t eat Meat? was the title of one of Dr. Parrett’s chapters. He said that as a medical student he had to study disease germs, of which there are about forty common ones. Among these are typhoid, streptococcus, et cetera. These were grown in little glass test tubes, each tube being labeled as to the particular germ being grown. We were told that beef tea was the best growing medium for most disease germs. Given a piece of beefsteak each student made his own cultures and sterilized them. Then the professor would place a starter in each tube, replace the cork, and put it in the warming oven, and we were in business. Fifty years later he inquired of a bacteriologist, at Loma Linda University as to what was being used at present. It was essentially the same. He also said that he had used chicken and it worked as well.
Dr. Parrett found in his practice that patients who were beginning to show signs of kidney breakdown by the appearance of albumen and casts in the urine, could be helped. All he told his patients to do was: stay on a diet of fruit, vegetables and salad without any meat or meat soups. Within a week to ten days their urine condition totally cleared up with a simple change in diet.
An editorial appeared in America’s foremost medical journal, The Journal of the American Medical Association, under the date of June 3, 1962, saying: “ A vegetarian diet will reduce thrombo-embolic diseases (blood-clotting, strokes, etc.) 90 percent and coronary occlusions (America’s Killer No. 1) 97 percent” Who said this? The editor of that leading medical journal.
The above information may have surfaced almost fifty years ago, but it still is true. Dr. Parrett’s Diseases of Food Animals is a very valid and significant publication. It validated that a vegetarian diet was not only a humanitarian diet, but it was a health and longevity-extending diet as well.
There isn’t much room left to cover PROBLEMS WITH MEATS by John A. Scharffenburg, M.D. However, his book was in great accord with Dr. Parrett’s Diseases of Food Animals. In his Introduction he stated that next to tobacco and alcohol, the use of meat is probably the greatest single cause of mortality in the U.S. (and in other “affluent” societies). He added that it is more difficult to have a good diet with meat than without it – and that you don’t have to worry about “protein supplementation” to have ample protein…in a simple vegetarian diet.
Dr. Scharffenberg was the Associate Professor of Applied Nutrition at Loma Linda University. He was the Director, Community Health Education, San Joaquin Community Hospital, Bakersfield, CA. This subject Problems with Meats was based on a presentation at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.
Listing Potential Health Hazards in the Use of Meat:
(1)Atherosclerosis (heart disease) (2) Cancer
(3) Meat Inspection (almost non-existent) (4) Kidney Disorders
(5) Limited Longevity (6) Salmonellosis
Studies showed meat was undesirable for at least six reasons:
1) Meat is a major contributor to the leading causes of death.
2) The cost of meat is excessively high in relation to nutritional value
3) The production of livestock for food wastes energy and other resources
4) Meat is deficient in two major components: Fiber and carbohydrates
5) Meat contains excessive protein and fat
6) The best alternative diet, not based on meat, has none of these problems
The dietary recommendations he gave were what was thought to be better alternatives in 1979: Beans, grains, peas, seeds, nuts and even dairy. There has been more research done since that time. Some of the foods he recommended have been found to cause other serious health problems. In actuality humans need less variety, but more unprocessed raw foods in abundance. If people ate enough healthy foods: – fruits, greens, limited amount of nuts or nut butters, hemp milk, certified organic eggs, sardines, salmon; they would be getting sufficient protein and other nutrients to raise them to a level of health that they are not experiencing now; as most people are eating foods that are overly heat-processed and value-less. The beans, grains, seeds and nuts all contain phytates, which bind nutrients. In addition, seeds and nuts have a great deal of fat in them, which contributes to obesity. Fat is fat is fat – and too much is unhealthy. Grains need to be heat-processed and have little value. In addition, they turn to sugar in the digestive process, which contributes to diabetes and obesity, etc.
Meat does not contain the carbohydrates humans need for energy. Meat eaters demonstrate a lack of endurance, compared to vegetarians. Meat is also high in protein, which causes calcium excretion; as it is acidic and leaches calcium from the bones. This contributes to osteoporosis and rickets by causing porous fragile bones. Meat simply isn’t a food that will contribute to longevity and good health for most people. It takes more energy for it to be digested than the energy that one will receive back. I learned from older people who told me that just trying to digest meat wore them out. Look at the lion in nature who can’t move for a couple days, after gorging on meat. Observe humans who have eaten too much. They are totally lacking in energy. So, why are people eating it?!