I am so irritated it is unreal! Allow me to explain!
It’s mid day and I’m tap tap tapping on my laptop trying to input participant information into the company database; the single worse part of my job, when one of my participants informs me that her life has been changed and she now knows the secret to her health; VEGANism.
You know what Veganism is right!?
Its the cruciferous fiber religion that deems all the decaying flesh eaters of the universe to death by unicorn horn spearing.
But Why!? Why would this habitual fast food patronizer all of sudden decide to take part of the single 100% most difficult food religion in America to convert to. It would be like converting from Dudeism to Scientology (learn about all the intricacies of Dudeism here). All because of the new Netflix Documentary; “What the Health“.
You mean to tell me that the last 8 session of you and me talking about balanced meals, increased activity, reduction of alcohol, positive thoughts, meal plans, workout programs, and don’t forget the extensive conversations about how to make your nightly trips to McDonald’s “healthier” (I wrote healthier in air quotes so don’t skimp on the added sarcasm you owe it to yourself ) and a Freaking 1 hour and 37 minute documentary baptized you to never sin again. ( last religion reference; promise).
But wait! I’m a professional, I can’t just blow a gasket and leak oil all over the place; right!? I need to at least watch it! So I did, twice actually!
If you are not familiar with this documentary, What the Health, follows intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases. Let’s stop right there.
As I said I watched it twice. The first viewing I was so furious by the 16th minute that I couldn’t receive the rest of it. I stewed and stewed over it until I finally convinced myself to watch it again from a different perspective (who has 2 thombs and professional AF; THIS GUY!).
Usually in food documentaries there is a center theme and a by any means necessary approach to entrap you in that particular theme and ultimately a call to action. This call to action could be anything from drinking only vegetable juices, calling your state official, believe all religions are silly, or in this case to quit eating meat. Honestly, I respect that and hope to one day create a documentary that will engulf you to a call of action of buying stuff from me that you truly need to be healthy! (Real Talk!)
After the second viewing in my underoos with a pen and a pad I came to a conclusion!
It wasn’t all demon vomit also the centralized message was not a bad one. It was actually one that I could totally get behind. I am just upset at how they forced me down this road through the use of misinterpreted over sensationalized science; something similar to the black on black crime statistics people seem to quote when some one uses the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.
Like the initial claim, Processed meat (hot dogs, bacon, lunch meat, ham, etc.) is a Class 1 carcinogen increasing your risk of cancer by 18% by the World Health Organization. In addition, red meat is a class 2 carcinogen; (class 2a to be exact). Although true, this claim is very misleading the use of the word carcinogen immediately spawns memories of the raspy voiced lady smoking a cigarette through a whole in her throat during Fresh Prince commercial breaks and that is exactly the hook line and sinker this film uses.
Eating Processed Meat is just like smoking cigarettes! (to be fair the documentary made the connection then slightly pivoted away from that stance)
This could not be further from reality. First lets talk about the classes of carcinogens. At first read, you would think that classes indicated strength, therefore a class 1 carcinogen is much worse for your health than a class 2 but that has nothing to do with this formula. Class 1 simply means that there is direct research proven to support the claims that processed meat is a contributor to cancer. Class 2 means research shows there is a correlation but the research is inconclusive as to causation. Click Here for Full Explanation from the World Health Organization #7,8,and 9
That should be enough right?! I just stated there is proof that processed meats are proven to give you cancer.
Hold the phone!
According to the WHO processed meats are directly linked to colorectal cancer and increases your chance of getting that form of cancer by 18%. That’s horrible right!? Well not quite considering your lifetime risk of obtaining colorectal cancer is only 4.7% according to the American Cancer Society and 4.5% according to the Colon Cancer Alliance; therefore, an 18% increase would not even increase your lifetime risk a full percentage point. That would be a hard line drawn in the sand and a very hard reason to demonize turkey breast. Click Here for full explanation from The World Health Organization #13
It would be the equivalent to divorcing your wife because she crunches her chips loudly in your ear. Yeah you clearly told her how much you don’t like it when she eats Doritos like a snapping turtle, and yes she deliberately disobeyed you like Simba straying away from everything the light touches. BUUUUUUT! It sounds silly when you tell your compadre you filed for divorce because of it.
Now don’t get me wrong after the spewing of countless cherry picked studies, Interviews with vegetarian advocacy doctors who agreed, the pissing off of organizations and hospitals. All financially backed by Vegetarian since 3, Animal rights activist, and PETA spokesperson Joaquin Phoenix. To pile-drive the point that animal products aren’t worth the social and civil responsibility of the people who have to endure the process.
There was a real eye opening message about animal cruelty and how the meat we eat is brought to our table. That was the scary part! To know the pain the families in North Carolina have to endure in order for me to have bacon with my eggs in the morning tugs on my heart strings and creates a real hard social dilemma for me. Watching that African American woman hold her what looked liked her grandchild and explain how all of her family members have died from cancer or the buckets of dead pigs who were infected, and even the visual of plant works poking abscesses and watching it ooze down the legs of a slaughtered pig as it rides the conveyor belt changed me on the inside.
So I encourage you and also caution you that if you are moved to becoming a vegetarian then do so because animal cruelty is a real thing in your moral compass not because its the fountain of youth. We will all respect you for it; I know I will! Hell; it’s definitely making me take a long hard look at the reasons behind why I eat what I eat and if its even necessary.
At a minimum eat more vegetables and less meat! Take Care and God Bless!