Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.
A hundred years ago, the founder of anthroposophy, Dr. Rudolph Steiner, once raised the importance of nutrition to a young student who had his mind set only on spiritual practice. His student was curious why his teacher placed so much emphasis on nutrition.
Dr. Steiner explained that the reason why human spirituality has been unable to make progress all this while is attributable to the issue of nutrition or diet. The Western diet is relatively more meat-based, and Dr. Steiner, using his special abilities, could tell that animals’ emotional toxins such as fear, hatred, and their animalistic nature will enter a person’s body and mind when their bodies are eaten. A person’s physical and astral (emotional) bodies need to digest these pollutants, and this can cause long-term physical and mental harm. The astral body needs to be rejuvenated at night but if it is unable to leave the physical body to recharge itself in the spiritual world, the consciousness cannot be nourished or obtain guidance. This will cause daytime activities to be disconnected from spirituality, and is a source of harm both to the earth and, needless to say, to the person’s spiritual growth as well.
Ancient Indian wisdom also recognizes that the subtle energies and colours of food constitute the ingredients for our consciousness. They have a direct impact on our aura. Only plants have radiance that can nourish our consciousness and fill our hearts with radiance, bliss and joy.
For instance, consider suicide, the tenth most popular cause of deaths in the U.S. Suicide is related to depression. A vegetarian diet can prevent and cure depression. Research has found that a person’s mood can improve after two weeks with a vegetarian diet. Plants contain serotonin, a hormone that can stimulate happiness in humans. Ordinary fruits that contain serotonin include pineapples, kiwifruits, bananas, plums, tomatoes, and green vegetables. Not ingesting the fear and anger of animals can also improve one’s mood. A person who switches from a meat-based diet to a vegetarian diet will feel relaxed and joyful and have fewer afflictions. This is more effective than taking sedatives, with no side effects.
There are new research findings indicating that a vegetarian diet ensures good health and longevity. This research indicates that a vegetarian diet can prevent the 14 major causes of death in the U.S., including heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, accidents, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, renal disorder, respiratory tract infection, suicide, inflammation, liver failure, hypertension, and Parkinson’s disease. The Harvard University’s Nurses Health Study, involving panel data that spanned 35 years, found that a vegetarian diet has protective properties that exceeded the researchers’ expectations.
Take the case of heart disease as an example. The health risk of a person who eats an egg daily is equivalent to that of a person who smokes 5 cigarettes every day for 15 years. The protective properties of a cup of oats daily or two servings of walnuts are equivalent to that of jogging four hours a week.
Having a normal cholesterol level does not mean that there is no risk of having heart disease. The so-called “normal” reading is actually too high-50% of heart attack victims have cholesterol levels within the ideal range. Only by lowering one’s cholesterol levels to that of vegetarians would one be safe from heart diseases. Finland originally had a high incidence of heart disease among its population. The Finnish government actively promoted vegetarianism and discouraged the consumption of animal-fat based products and dairy products, as well as chicken and pork, etc. The government also subsidized the conversion of dairy farms to orchard farms that produce fruit jams. The result was a 80% decrease in heart disease mortality, and an increase in female and male life expectancy by six and seven years, respectively.
Why is meat consumption so harmful? There are, of course, many reasons. One of them relates to a recent finding that the toxins produced by the bacteria in the decomposing flesh of dead chicken, duck and fish are not destroyed by high heat. Neither are they broken down by digestive juices after they enter the human body. Hence, they enter the blood stream through the digestive system. High fat content in the body accelerates the assimilation of these bacterial toxins into the blood stream, causing vascular inflammation paralysis. This inflammation reaction arising from a meat-based meal takes about 5 hours to subside, and if a second meat-based meal is taken then, the inflammation reaction repeats itself. Hence, the blood stream is continually infected. Once the consumption of these toxins stops, the body has an immediate improvement and the person’s life span is increased. The second cause of death in the U.S. is cancer, and its incidence is lowest among vegetarians. The use of a vegetarian diet to prevent and treat cancer has long been researched. Currently, there is more detailed research in this area.
The Pritikin Research Foundation investigates the relation between human blood and the growth of cancer cells. The researchers found that the efficacy of human blood in killing cancer cells was eight times higher among vegetarians compared to the average American who took a normal diet. After switching to a vegetarian diet, this efficacy doubled. With respect to exercise, those who took an ordinary American diet and also exercised for 30 to 60 minutes daily over 14 years had blood efficacies that were only half that of vegetarians who did not exercise. The amount of IGF1, the cancer-producing hormone in the blood stream that promotes cancer, is proportionate to the amount of meat consumed. After taking a vegetarian diet for 11 days, the liver will discharge IGF1 binding proteins such that the quality of IGF1 will significantly decrease. If IGF1 is injected into the blood stream of vegetarians and sportsmen, the protective qualities of a vegetarian diet and sports completely disappear. This proves that diet has an important relation to the occurrence of cancer.
Other than preventing these two major causes of death, a vegetarian diet can also prevent the following 11 causes of death.
The third cause of death is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The lungs can be inflamed as a reaction to the intake of meat, and thus can be immediately prevented by taking a vegetarian diet.
The fourth cause of death is stroke. This can be prevented by taking food with high potassium. Tomatoes, dates, green beans, and all vegetables and fruits contain the highest potassium content.
The sixth cause of death is dementia. The study found that the number of people with dementia who had been eating red or white meat was two to five times that of those who took vegetarian diets. The longer a person had been a vegetarian, the lower the chances of getting dementia. A vegetarian diet not only has preventive effects but has healing effects as well.
The seventh cause of death is diabetes, and this is also preventable and treatable by a vegetarian diet. The incidence of diabetes is very significantly lower than that for meat eaters. Further, a vegetarian diet has slimming effects. Among meat products, chicken meat intake leads to weight gain most easily.
The eighth cause of death is degeneration of the kidney function, which can be prevented using a vegetarian diet. The kidney is filled with blood vessels which can be easily harmed by animal protein, fat, and cholesterol. The kidney function can be improved within a week with a vegetarian diet. Hence, vegetarians tend to have better kidney functions.
The ninth cause of death is respiratory infection. Vegetables such as kale have immune system enhancing properties. Taking more fruits and vegetables can significantly improve one’s immune system.
The tenth cause of death is suicide. The role of fruits and vegetables in improving one’s mood has been previously discussed.
The eleventh cause of death is infection of the various body systems. Meat is generally the source of infection. Some research using DNA evidence has found that infection of women’s urinary tract comes from the faeces of chicken.
The twelfth cause of death is liver function degeneration. A vegetarian diet can protect one’s liver function.
The thirteenth cause of death is hypertension. Dr. McDougall’s research showed that hypertension declined after 11 days of a vegetarian diet.
The fourteenth cause of death is Parkinson’s disease, which is related to the consumption of pesticides, particularly those contained in dairy products. Those suffering from Parkinson’s disease tend to have higher concentration of the T1Q pesticide within their brains.
I have benefited physically and mentally since starting on a vegetarian diet when I was nineteen years old. Many friends, family members, and readers have also benefited. I also like to collect recipes, and had this idea of publishing a cooking book. Eventually, Lapis Lazuli Light in Malaysia published a cooking book containing Southeast Asian recipes, along with some of the recipes that I had written over the years. Hopefully, this cooking book will be a helpful reference to friends who have just embarked on a vegetarian diet, and also provide more sumptuous options to those who have been vegetarians for a long while. I hope to continue to collect special recipes from various countries, with the theme being grandma’s kitchen. This is to preserve some culinary methods that may become extinct. Busy people rarely cook-they either eat out or buy pre-cooked food. They have handed over their health (from eating) to the fast food operators, whose major concern is to make profits.
Nowadays, it is important to remember a Chinese phrase: “Better to nourish with food than with medicine”. The real hospital is the farm that grows plants/vegetables that have both complete full spectrum of colours and essential minerals. The real dispensary is the kitchen. The chef controls life and death, and can either be a doctor who saves lives or a killer who kills without mercy.
I hope that grandma’s kitchen will enable everyone to taste nature’s varied offerings, and experience nature’s warmth and love. May a blissful vegetarian diet lead everyone to a blissful new earth.
The original Chinese article is published in Lapis magazine and is accessible online at: