The Writings of
Vasu Murti

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THE NEXT DISTRACTION
Politics and Passions - Winter 1995-96

Part 4
If Animal Products Were No Longer Attractive

Joanna Macy, author of Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age, depicts the advantages of America moving towards a vegetarian diet in her foreword to John Robbins’ Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America:

"The effects on our physical health are immediate. The incidence of cancer and heart attack, the nation's biggest killers, drops precipitously. So do many other diseases now demonstrably and causally linked to consumption of animal proteins and fats, such as osteoporosis, a major affliction among older women...

"The hormonal imbalances causing miscarriages and increasing aberrations of sexual development similarly drop away, as we cease ingesting with our meat, poultry and milk the drugs pumped into our livestock. So do the neurological disorders and birth defects due to pesticides and other chemicals, as we begin to eat lower on the food chain where these poisons are far less concentrated.

"Mother's milk, where they concentrate in greatest intensity, becomes safe again; we can nurse our babies without fear. Since these toxins attack the gene pool itself, causing irreversible damage, the change in diet improves the health of my children’s children and generations to come.

"The social, ecological, and economic consequences, as we Americans turn away from animal food products, are equally remarkable. We find that the grain we previously fed to fatten livestock can now feed five times the U.S. population; so we have become able to alleviate malnutrition and hunger on a worldwide scale...

"The great forests of the world, that we had been decimating for grazing purposes (that was, we discover, the major cause of deforestation), begin to grow again. Oxygen-producing trees are no longer sacrificed for cholesterol-producing steaks.

"The water crisis eases. As we stop raising and grinding up cattle for hamburgers, we discover that ranching and farm factories had been the major drain on our water resources. The amount now available for irrigation and hydroelectric power doubles. Meanwhile, the change in diet frees over 90% of the fossil fuel previously used to produce food. With this liberation of water energy and fossil fuel energy, our reliance on oil imports declines, as does the rationale for building nuclear power plants.

"As expenditures for food and medical care drop, personal savings rise -- and with them the supply of lendable funds. This lowers the interest rates, as does also the drop in oil imports which eases the pressure on the national debt..."

Go on to: Part 5: Cartoon
Return to: The Next Distraction

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