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At first glance it seems like a great idea: try to mimic the diet that our ancestors used to eat.
If our bodies have biologically evolved to be hunter-gatherers, why not attempt to more or less copy what cavemen and women ate in an effort to live the wild, long and healthy lives that they lived right?
Yeah, so about that…
Ever wondered how long people actually lived in the caveman/Paleolithic era from which the Paleo diet fad gets its name?
According to our best estimates based on our ancestors’ surviving bones, try the ripe young age of 30.
But hold on, that’s not fair! They didn’t die so young because they were eating lots of animals’ dead bodies you say, it’s because they lacked modern medicine, and were busy getting eaten by lions, tigers and bears, and dying from obscure diseases we’ve never heard of thanks to the invention of vaccines.
And In any case, the leading reasons that eating animals will kill you is due to cancer (especially prostate, colorectal and breast cancer) heart disease and diabetes, which tend to affect people later in life.
So cavemen who died because of a little infection they got on a cut, or because their teeth decayed and fell out due to lack of dental hygiene wouldn’t have lived long enough to get cancer or a heart attack anyways, right?
Actually that’s a very good point.
But seeing as you do live in the 21st century, and if you’re an internet user there’s a good chance you have access to modern medicine that will cure that minor infection before it kills you, shouldn’t you be more focused on the actual reasons you might die an early death in the 21st century?
Pro tip: the #1 reason (heart disease), and #2 reason (cancer) are directly correlated with people who have a corpse-heavy diet.
But wait a second, if we can’t look to our primitive Stone Age ancestors for guidance on how we should live now in the Space Age, then where can we look to figure out the healthiest way to eat?
I know this might sound crazy, but I’m just going to throw this out there… how about nutritional and medical science perhaps?
Oh yeah, that exists! We’ve been talking about cavemen so much you may have forgot that science is a thing now, and has left us with zero doubt about several facts:
1) Eating animals doesn’t just lead to suffering and death for 56 billion innocent creatures every year, it is also a leading cause of death for those who consume their bodies.
2) *Shockingly,* eating your veggies is good for you - and those who live on a plant-based diet live six-nine years longer on average that omnivores.
And one can not only live longer, but thrive and dominate athletically, and even benefit from increased performance in the bedroom thanks to the improved blood flow down there from not having your arteries clogged with cholesterol that does not even exist in plants.
Who would’ve thought?
As it turns out - tens of millions of people around the world. Increasing knowledge of these issues is driving such enormous changes in people’s feeding behaviour that Americans actually ate 400 million fewer animals in 2014 as compared to 2007.
If that’s not a dead giveaway that a massive change is underway in people’s eating habits that will have enormous benefits not just for animals and human health, but for our chances of surviving global overheating, new evidence shows that since 2014, the number of Americans who are leaving dead animals and their bodily secretions off of their plates has skyrocketed a whopping 600 per cent!
But what is all of this talk of eating animals? Don’t you mean eating meat?
No, no I don’t, the dictionary definition of meat already included plant-based foods - even before the brilliant chefs of the booming vegan meat market devised cruelty-free burgers, ground beef and chicken so identical in flavour and texture to their cruelty-soaked counterparts that people given blind taste tests of the two couldn’t tell the difference.
Their bodies most certainly could tell the difference though, as vegan meats often have more protein, are loaded with antioxidants that help prevent cancer and slow down the aging process, and come without the carcinogens that are so prevalent in the dead bodies of animals.
That’s why it’s so important in my opinion not just to spread the actual information and ideas about why a plant-based diet is essential for you, your planet, and all your adorable farm animal friends that you haven’t met yet, but to be intelligent and intentional about how we speak about these issues.
People have been yelling and screaming 'meat is murder' for a long time now, and lately, a form of activism that involves going into restaurants and yelling and people directly as they’re eating has become popular.
But forgive me for thinking that may not be the best way to get through to people, and open up their minds up to (what they think is) a very major lifestyle change.
If on the other hand, we remind people that, as far as the English language is concerned, Vegans Eat Meat, and that furthermore, from ice-cream to bacon to cheesecake to buffalo chicken pizza, you can literally find a scrumptious vegan version of anything these days, I personally think the transition to a cruelty-free culture could start accelerating even faster.
And remember: this isn’t about scoring points or patting ourselves on the back about our record-breaking numbers, this is about saving the lives of very real animals who are being tormented, abused and brutally killed every second.
How efficiently and how effectively we spread this message absolutely matters, so please share your insights here as well if you have ideas and information about how to do so!
Keep eating meat, stop eating animals.
This piece was first published on The Huffington Post here.
Gaia’s Eye (aka Gaiaisi) is a rapper, singer, actor, comedian, director, environmental and animal rights activist. You can watch his music videos, vlogs, and comedy videos - which have reached a global audience over more than 4 million people - on YouTube. His official website is www.gaiaisi.org.
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