Dr. Lad Santiago knows that plant-based diets have helped Stephen Gill to remain disease free without prescribed medicines. He asks if Stephen Gill would recommend such diets for poets and writers. Dr. Lad Santiago from USA (MFA, DC, PMD, ND, DM, NMD, DCCN, DCBCN, DABFM, FAAFM, FACFM, FAAIM, MDiv(c), MPhil, PhD) specializes in preventive medicine and clinical nutrition. His question will be included in Stephen Gill’s forthcoming book My Conversations.
ANSWER: Most health problems relate to sedentary lifestyle, stress, and the wrong choice of food. I have discovered special food plans suitable for writers, poets and artists because of their sedentary life. Most deaths in old age are also due to cholesterol that causes diseases related to kidney, liver, and heart. Cholesterol is mostly in dairy products, and elevation in blood pressure is largely due to the high level of cholesterol. High blood pressure is the mother of several complications.
Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cultures support vegetarianism. The Bible also advises vegetarian food for humans. One of the Ten Commandments which were given to Moses by God and kept by Jesus forbids killing. In the beginning in the Garden of Eden, God said to Adam and Eve: “I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food” (Genesis 1:29, 30).
The Seventh-day Adventists, one of the strong denominations of Christianity, live normally 10 years longer than other citizens of the United States. One reason for their longevity and health is their plant-based diets, and management of stress. They glorify the Almighty using their bodies as His temple. They believe and practice what God advised Adam and Eve to eat grains, nuts and herbs.
Some cultures believe in murdering animals in the cruelest possible way to please the God who is peace and love. I find it difficult to understand why the God of these cultures needs the blood of animals to be happy. I also find it difficult to understand why and how they associate the cruelest way of killing animals, including cows, sheep and goats, with purity and cleanliness, and how their killing will help them to receive visa to enter the abode of bliss after death.
I feel sick when I read about the animals who are crowded in trucks when it is extremely hot in summer. These animals are kept without food for days while transporting them to slaughterhouse. Some have their legs tied with ropes. Uncooperative animals are beaten. Some of them faint. Many of them are still alive for a few minutes even when their throats are severed. It has been pointed out that dying animals and those who wait to be killed suffer immensely. Their fear, stress and suffering release deadly hormones. Transport, hunger, unknown situation and other factors are responsible for releasing these hormones. The Journal of Animal Science and researchers at Milan University’s Faculty of Veterinary Science confirm in October 17, 2008 that fear and stress release adrenaline and cortisol hormones which affect the heart, respiratory and immune systems of the eaters of the flesh of these animals.
It is clear that the children of today enter puberty earlier than they did a hundred years ago. It is also clear that the level of breast and other cancers is going higher these days than the level was before. Several groups find fault with the products and the meat of the animals which are fed on growth hormones to produce more milk and grow fatter. It is time to explore the possible reasons for early puberty and breast cancers in the light of the legal and illegal use of antibiotics and other substances for animals in their food.
I have been largely a vegetarian for decades. I admit there have been situations when I break the principles of my vegetarianism, particularly in gatherings outside home. In those situations reluctantly I take some curry or soup and mix it with rice or salad, if available. Normally, I look for lentils. A dish of lentils (dal) is almost impossible to find these days. At home I cook lentils in the boiling water with mushrooms, green peas, sweet potatoes, garlic, chillies and ginger, or just lentils with garlic, chillies and ginger. This simple preparation is tastier and also nourishing than meat dishes. The best way to abstain from meat is to cook vegetables at home. Researchers have been suggesting that a plant-based diet is ideal for a healthy heart, cardiovascular system, and to minimize the risk of cardiovascular deaths. Also incidents of cancer are much lower among vegetarians.
Members of my tribe of writers will be happy to know that several prominent writers and outstanding personalities have been vegetarians, including Franz Kafka; Nobel Laureate George B. Shaw; Leo Tolstoy who authored War and Peace; Leonard da Vinci who painted Mona Lisa and the Last Supper; Nobel Prize recipient Albert Einstein; Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Upton Sinclair who authored The Jungle; and great soul of our times Mahatma Gandhi.
I am a vegetarian because my philosophy of live and let live includes nature and animal kingdoms. As a follower of Christ, I believe that Divinity exists in all elements, including plants and animals. I believe that Christ came to save not only humans, but also the entire planet, and nature as well as livestock are part of the planet. It is clear also from the Epistle to the Romans, chapter 8, verses 19 to 22. I am a vegetarian also because vegetarianism is good for health and longevity, and is the best way to be disease free.
FEATURE 91 IS A QUESTION BY DR. LAD SANTIAGO FROM THE STATES ABOUT HEALTH ISSUES
About Stephen Gill:
Stephen Gill, a multiple award-winning Indo/Canadian self-exiled poet, fiction-writer and essayist, has authored more than thirty books. He is the subject of doctoral dissertations, and research papers. Thirteen books of critical studies have been released by book publishers on his works and more are on the way. His poetry and prose have appeared in nearly one thousand publications. The focus of his writing is love and peace.
StephenGill, a multiple award-winning Indo/Canadian self-exiled poet, fiction writer, and essayist, has authored more than thirty books. He is the subject of doctoral dissertations and thirteen books of critical studies have been released. The focus of his writing is live and let live. Available For: writer or poet in residence.
WEBSITES: www.stephengill.ca & stephengillcriticism.info (firstname.lastname@example.org)