When we were first asked to “shelter at home” it seemed like a reasonable solution to a scary problem; the invisible enemy dubbed COVID-19.
COVID-19 appeared to come out of nowhere. But did it really? Some experts, like Dr. Michael Greger, had been warning of the very pandemic we are in the middle of, for years. Not only was he giving clear evidence of what was to come, he warned that if we didn’t change the way we eat, specifically to a plant-based diet, it would only get worse.
Dr. Greger talked of the horrors of factory farming being a breeding ground for viruses that were integrating into our food supply. The very foods that were making people fat and sick.
Taking people by complete surprise, primarily because most were more interested in watching the latest YouTube and Instagram sensation than to heed the warnings that kept cropping up about an increase in obesity, self-induced diseases such as Type II diabetes and high blood pressure that are now common occurrences even among children, climate change, increased spending habits to satisfy the shot of dopamine people get from buying the latest gadget they really don’t need, but it feels good in the moment, most people were willing to make the sacrifice they were being asked to make.
Being led to believe shelter at home was a viable, but short-term situation, we were good little soldiers, gladly sacrificing a few days at home for the “good of all.”
Nearly two months into the crises, with millions contracting the disease worldwide, people are growing weary, restless and angry. Feeling a complete loss of control, we want (and need) answers.
In hindsight, it’s likely 99.9% of people had no idea what was in store. With better information, most people would have done things completely different. What is it we often say about hindsight?
Within days of COVID-19 being classified as a pandemic, thousands, tens of thousands, hundred of thousands and then millions of men and women were losing their jobs.
Many people lost as much as 40 – 50% of their stock investments, businesses were being forced to shut their doors… indefinitely… with no end in sight.
Mom and pop shops that had been in families for years, could not see their way clear of laying off most of their staff, fearing the immediate future. Never mind about the long-term, the short-term promised to bankrupt them.
Independent business owners, who were known to work long hours, prior to the pandemic, to live the “American Dream” were struggling to find the resources to keep their doors open. Over the past few weeks many have since then shut their doors… for good.
Domestic violence cases were on the rise, suicides were seeing an increase and confusion set in.
Initially, we were told the shelter in place and closure of businesses would be for a “short period of time.”
Promises of relief funding for small businesses gave even the most skeptical among us hope. Yet, when all was said and done, funding meant for small and micro businesses was scooped up by corporations who jumped through the necessary hoops, called in favors from bankers, implemented strong lobbying campaigns only to deplete the budgets in record time leaving not even crumbs for the salon owners, independent restaurateurs, gardeners, consultants, and health coaches who quickly discovered what a house of cards their businesses were actually built on.
Any hope of relief diminished faster than the newest ghosting scam on Tinder.
Here’s something to ponder, in a couple of weeks, we will be at the two-month mark of shelter at home, nonessential businesses being closed (and many going bankrupt), and other life-altering changes.
Life as we knew it is gone forever. Countless individuals wonder what it will take to get out of the financial ruin they are in the middle of. Many wake up each morning convinced this is just a bad dream.
It has been said, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” In this case, it’s true.
Upside Down Economy
The rash decisions of our politicians, who claim they are not using the current situation as a political debate, yet, they continue to talk red and blue, have turned our economy upside down.
With a record number of people filing for unemployment, the U.S. going trillions of dollars in debt faster than we thought possible, and the political games continuing at the cost of people’s livelihood, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
As of April 16th, in a four-week period, 22 million Americans filed for unemployment. Food banks are running dry, rent is overdue for millions, mortgage companies are receiving daily calls to postpone payments from homeowners unable to pay their mortgage, and it continues on with no end in sight.
According to some studies, before the pandemic hit, about 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with $400 for an unexpected expense.
In fast order, we saw how true this is. Even those with so-called “high-paying” jobs found themselves strapped when their paychecks came to a screeching halt.
The domino effect is full blown.
Even though there are mixed reviews as to how effective stay at home orders are, as well as shutting down businesses big and small have been (other than to cripple the economy), on the surface this all seemed to make sense, but in light of so many conflicting reports, one is left to wonder how effective the changes actually are.
The Epidemic is Real
Let me start by saying, the epidemic is real. People around the globe are contracting COVID-19. As of April 29, 2020, there have been 3,121,118 Coronavirus Cases with 216,508 deaths and 947,209 recovered patients.
In the United States, there have been 1,029,179 cases with 58,568 deaths, 140,138 recovered and 830,473 active cases.
One is left to wonder why there are still so many active cases in the United States compared to elsewhere in the world, but that’s a discussion for another time.
Factory Farms in the Mix
Add to this the fact that factory farms are shutting down due to the number of cases and deaths occurring in the very locations where “food” is processed, and the fear factor increases for a great many people.
In the case of factory farms, rather than admit that these locations are breeding grounds for disease, contamination, viruses and countless injuries, the “powers that be” are doing all they can to get public support and sympathy for what they deem as a major food shortage and a break in the food supply chain.
They are doing all they can to mislead the public by convincing people they will experience protein deficiency if they don’t eat animal based products.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is this; factory farms are unhealthy to humans and animals. Plain and simple.
According to a recent article in Plant Based News, Humans Are the Only Species Responsible For Coronavirus, Say Leading Scientists.
The authors say recent pandemics are ‘a direct consequence of human activity – particularly our global financial and economic systems, based on a limited paradigm that prizes economic growth at any cost’.
Risk Factors for Complications of COVID-19
What many people are conveniently ignoring are documented reports stating a majority of COVID-19 deaths are a result of pre-existing conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease near the top.
When people hear this, they often come to the rescue of strangers with a statement like, “That’s not fair to make people think they had a hand in their illness.”
This is where I have to speak out. Granted, there are some conditions that are genetic, but as one well known doctor in the plant based lifestyle world says, “We often don’t inherit genes, but we do inherit recipes.”
What this simply means is we are taught unhealthy behaviors from childhood.
With the underlying causes on the rise, doesn’t it make sense to sound the alarm?
For example, The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that, for 2015-2016 in the U.S., 39.8% of adults aged 20 and over were obese (including 7.6% with severe obesity) and that another 31.8% were overweight. Obesity rates have increased for all population groups in the United States over the last several decades.
To pretend there isn’t more to our health situation than the surface statistics, is literally killing us. Not only are people cutting their lives short by what they consume, they are also contributing to skyrocketing healthcare costs.
The Gators are Coming
Again, we can pretend this is not part of the mix, but that’s like having a child play near a swamp filled with alligators and acting as if the child is 100% safe and at some point, the gators won’t come to get the child. The gators are coming! Fast and furious.
According to many experts and medical reports, most of the population will contract the virus. However, the majority won’t even know they’ve had it. They will be asymptomatic.
This is where things get sketchy. Although a relatively healthy person may not get severally sick, be hospitalized and die from the virus, they can infect others who are at high risk, like elderly people.
That’s where the life saving guidelines come in. These are guidelines not only intended to keep us as safe as possible, but also family and friends who are at high risk. You would have to live under a rock to not have heard the guidelines.
It started with common sense strategies that many people were already doing while others need to remind themselves constantly to take these steps.
Imagine if we would have been asked to do all of them at once. It would have had an even more detrimental result than what we are experiencing.
Although the guidelines are well intended, with the current quarantine fatigue, many people are throwing their hands up and giving into unsafe activities. Over the last weekend, there was no shortage of media reports of people gathering at beaches and parks, completely ignoring social distancing and refusing to cover their mouth and nose.
On my most recent visit to the grocery store, the strict behaviors of as recently as two weeks ago were not “top of the mind” for many people. Only a handful of people had masks on, social distancing was not enforced and the fear I saw previously in people’s eyes were now replaced with frustration and downright anger and rudeness.
One thing was evident, toilet paper is still at a premium.
Hoarding Meat Products
With the recent shutdowns of factory farms, people are giving way to hoarding meat products. This behavior is only going to intensify the danger.
“When we overcrowd animals by the thousands, in cramped football-field-size sheds, to lie beak to beak or snout to snout, and there’s stress crippling their immune systems, and there’s ammonia from the decomposing waste burning their lungs, and there’s a lack of fresh air and sunlight — put all these factors together and you have a perfect-storm environment for the emergence and spread of disease,“ said Michael Greger, the author of Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching.
Think about it. There have been high numbers of COVID cases in several factory farms. The very places meat is processed.
Rather than hoard the meat, people would be significantly better off eliminating meat altogether from their plate.
By doing so they would take control of their health in ways they may never have imagined.
The spokespeople for places like Tyson are playing on people’s sympathy when they say, “We are going to have to kill all those animals.”
What the hell do people think they do with the animals in the first place? They kill them.
These are the very animals bred in captivity against their will, kept in very inhumane conditions, where disease is rampant, and their only purpose is to satisfy human’s desire for animal products.
Folks, this is where the education needs to happen. The images we have of animals roaming joyfully on big green pastures is a thing of the past. The meat and dairy people are consuming are raised in horrendous environments.
Yet, consumers claim it’s their right to eat animal products.
Worse yet, at the time of writing this post, word has it that Trump is going to mandate the meat plants to open. One has to wonder why, in light of enough evidence that factory farming is a major contributor to health problems, Trump would insist these death traps open up.
As of today, Trump signed the executive order to open the very factory farms that are breeding grounds for the virus. Really?!?!
Could it again be that it’s profit over people? Yes! Absolutely.
This is outrageous. But coming from our current administration, it’s not surprising that one more time, a decision is being made that is NOT in the best interest of people at large, but rather to benefit the financial gains of a small percentage of people.
We are NOT going to starve by shutting down factory farms. If anything, this is the ideal time to develop sustainable, and much healthier, food supply chains.
They Rather Turn Upside Down Than Give Up Meat
What’s amazing is the people willing to have their world turned upside down to avoid contracting a disease that has a mortality rate that is far less than many diseases we have come to deem as normal, but ask them to give up their bacon, cheeseburgers, steaks and pork chops and you would think you asked them to burn their house down.
When you look at how broken our infrastructure with healthcare, finances, health and disease is, doesn’t it make sense that now is the perfect time to change the very habits that are contributing to all this in the first place?
For some, it does. For others, well, for others, they will hear this information and run out to grab that bag of fries, cheeseburger and shake that’s the comfort food that got them to where they are at in the first place.
You Do Have Control
The fact is, we do have more control over our health than many people care to admit. To assure you are giving yourself the greatest advantage, it is recommended to give up all animal and dairy products.
Check out other episodes of The Plant Based Eating for Health podcast show to hear from men and women who have literally turned their lives around by going plant based.
Brian Rodgers, founder of Fool’s Gold BBQ, admits that had he not changed his eating habits, given up the very foods that contributed to his obesity and self-induced diseases, he likely would not have made it through the pandemic. In a recent appearances on the Plant Based Eating for Health Podcast show, Brian pulls back the covers and shares exactly how he lost trimmed down from nearly 300 pounds to where he is today… healthy, vibrant and living a quality of life he once only dreamed of.
In addition, check out books like Eat to Live and Fast Food Genocide by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Another great choice is How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. And let’s definitely have you read, The China Study by Dr. Colin T. Campbell.
The documentary, Forks Over Knives is a must watch to fully understand the power of a plant based lifestyle.