13 June 2007

Diet for a New America - John Robbins

Date: June 12, 2007
Recommendation: Everyone who places any kind of importance on their health should read this book!


As Mr. Robbins says in his book - I have too much respect for [you] to take it upon myself to decide for you what you should or shouldn't eat, and where you should draw the line.

I went in to this book with an open mind - if you take it upon yourself to read it, I would strongly encourage an open mind. I have to admit that I have known vegetarians for a few years now - one of my best friends is one (ya Josh!). I have to admit that I have been prey to much of the misleading information that is propagated by the food industry. Growing up, I never thought twice about the impact my diet would have on both the planet and my own long term health. To be honest, I mostly considered how much chocolate I could put on my dessert! Meeting many vegetarians while at college, I often wondered how such a diet could fulfill the nutritious needs of the human body.

After reading Mr. Robbins book, I am flabbergasted at the truth of the situation. Since this is a book review, I want to focus on the certain aspects of the book rather than the content. To discuss further on the advantages of a vegetarian or vegan diet, I want to do more research, but this is certainly an excellent starting point.

For those who will read the book, I have to say that there is not much to the start and end of the book. The first few chapters discuss the deplorable condition in which animals are raised for our own consumption. However, as has been demonstrated time and again, we have become so accustomed to eating meat that it is near impossible to equate the living animal before us with the butchered animal on our plates.

You may be considering a diet change like me, but have many questions over the changes that may be required. Robbins answered questions on

  • the sufficiency of vegetable protein = "there is little evidence that activity increases the need for protein" from the National Academy of Science;
  • the need for dairy based calcium = "the calcium-losing effect of protein on the human body is not an area of controversy in scientific circles, from Dr. John McDougall;
  • the link between cancer and meat/fatty diets;
  • the high demand that a meat based diet places on the ecosystem.
Recently I have come to develop my own personal outlook for my health. As I see it, I have been given my physical body as a gift from the Creator. Not matter your belief system, you have all been given one physical body. Most of us, including me up until recently, have spent all sorts of effort of developing my mind and the outside characteristics of my body with little regard for what I put in it. Walt Disney kryogenics aside, it is the only body I have - and I intend to treat it a little better in the next 30 years than I have in the first 30 years!

Editor's note - I will probably continue to put chocolate syrup on dessert for the time being :)

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