In 2014 football player David Carter put an end to silently accepting his daily pain as normal and incurable. After watching the documentary Forks Over Knives Carter was inspired to start his vegan lifestyle. Within a month Carter’s shoulder no longer hurt, his battle with tendonitis was over and his three fingers were no longer numb, and he was off his high blood pressure medication. Another unexpected result was he went from lifting 315lbs to 465lbs.

The documentary Forks Over Knives covers T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell B. Esselstyn’s medical and economic discoveries that changed their perspectives on farming and diet.

Esselstyn now treats his patients with coronary artery disease with a plant-based diet and only surgery when necessary. He introduced his patients to vegetarian recipes. The vegetarian meals reversed the cardiovascular disease in his patients who stuck to the vegetarian diet.

Once he heard about Campbell’s China study he went from recommending a vegetarian diet to a vegan diet. The China Study shows the United States why we spend so much on health care, but we are still sick and obese. Here are some things the China Study taught us, as well as further reasons to adopt a plant-based diet.

  • Osteoporosis. In a country that eats a lot of dairy products, you would think we would have little osteoporosis. After all, we all know milk is great for your bones or advertising claims. It turns out the opposite is true. Harvard Research discovered higher rates of hip fractures in the United States. Metabolic acidosis occurs in the body leading to calcium being pulled from our bones due to the inflammation dairy creates in our bodies.
  • Research shows by raising and lowering the amount of casein fed to animals we can turn on and off the growth of cancer cells.
  • Hormones in our food. The hormones in chicken produce an adult chicken with large breasts in 48 days rather than 70 days. The chicken’s internal organs and bones can’t take the growth and they end up just plopped on the floor. The factories that take the chickens from the farmers don’t care if the chickens are sick, they’ll still use them.
  • Antibiotics in food. We don’t feed cows or chickens grass anymore. It’s far cheaper to feed farm animals corn and it also makes them fat faster. We’ve even begun to farm our own fish and feed them corn. None of these animals are able to digest the corn and become sick. This is the reason they are fed antibiotics.
  • Coli. Chickens and cows aren’t being raised on farms, but this factory system with little room to move and their feces everywhere. Rather than clean them off, companies are using antibiotics. This is the reason for the E. Coli outbreaks. The factories are running out of places to dump the animal waste leading to it running over into our water supply and into our farm crops. Lest we forget, the FDA no longer shuts down companies who have repeated E. Coli outbreaks.
  • History shows a plant-based diet works. During WWII German occupation of Norway, Norway experienced an improvement in health when Germany took all their livestock and they were forced to adopt a plant-based diet.
  • Support the farmers. Companies like Tyson and Purdue don’t give farmers a say in their business. If the company says they need to update equipment then they have to keep their contract. The company doesn’t provide cash to update, the farmer has to take out a loan. Farmer’s take out a loan of about $500,000 to make a profit of $18,000 per year.
  • Foreigners moving to the United States experience health issues once they start adapting our diet. Studies have found the younger generations who come to America, from these countries, are sicker than the older generations who continue their homeland’s diet. The older generation is more mobile into their 70s and 80s while the younger generation is suffering from coronary issues. One of the men in Esselstyn’s program commented how the diet fixed his erectile dysfunction. Not many people know this, but that’s an early sign of heart disease. Yet, we just take a pill for it.
  • Fills up your stomach with fewer calories. 500 calories of vegetables can fill a stomach more than processed foods and fats and oils can. People overeat to be satisfied, but it takes a lot more calories of animal products and processed foods to be full.
  • Vegetables are healthy carbs.
  • False advertising- The FDA allows leeway for labels to read false information. Everything in the United States, down to our food is an industry to make a profit in. It’s important we understand how to read labels by only reading the ingredients.
  • We are destroying our oceans’ ecosystem. The fishing industry is running into far more dead zones due to by-catch, reef and habitat destruction. Our oceans contain less oxygen.

going vegetarian

There are many other reasons to go vegan, but this was enough for me to start changing my diet. Check back for recipe recommendations in our upcoming blog entry. Have any vegan or vegetarian recipes you love?

For more information:

Check out vegan recipes on the app Food Monsters from One Green Planet. The app gives you 500 free recipes. You can pay monthly for 8,000 recipes and new recipes daily. Another great app is Forks Over Knives.

Vegan documentaries to check out to learn more about the impact of eating animal protein on your health and the environment:

  1. Forks Over Knives
  2. Cowspiracy
  3. Vegucated
  4. Earthlings
  5. Live and Let Live
  6. What the Health
  7. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
  8. Food Inc.

China Study on Amazon

Forks Over Knives website