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Sugar? Agave? Stevia? Maple Syrup?
At least I’ve gotten it down to this list because, God know, there are a lot of sweeteners out there.
But which one do I use? I thought I knew. I’ve been using USDA Certified Organic Raw Agave Syrup, but recently I stumbled upon web articles stating that even agave syrup has high fructose levels – and most of us know by now how the addicting qualities of high fructose can lead to obesity and diabetes. Not to mention that the articles also state that most agave is manufactured in Mexico where lax standards have led to accusations of corn syrup additives. In addition, it is written that agave syrup possess other chemical properties that pose varying health risks.
And so, until agave syrup is vetted to my satisfaction I am switching to good ‘ol American (or Canadian if the price is right) organic pure Maple Syrup. I already added it to my morning cup of coffee and it was wonderful. I am also going to try using powdered organic whole leaf powder Stevia.
conserVegan seems a bit of an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Actually, it is my hope to show how conservatism and veganism share essential core principles and values. In fact, as a Christian conservative it was not until I embraced veganism that my life was fundamentally transformed both spiritually and outwardly.
Before anything I am Roman Catholic. Not a Newchurch Catholic, but a pre-Vatican II Traditional Catholic who attends Tridentine Latin Mass every Sunday. Well, nearly every Sunday. Nobody’s perfect. 😉 From my faith flows all that I hold sacred: Faith in God’s Presence and Love; the Word and the Will of God; His restoring grace and redeeming love; right and wrong; charity; free will; family; God’s living creations; and living in The Imitation of Christ. Bound by this system of interwoven beliefs and values, my faith, conservatism and veganism integrate seamlessly into my daily life.
As a Reagan conservative I believe in upholding all the laws of our Constitution, limited government, a free market economy, limiting taxes, a sovereign nation with a strong national defense, and freedom of religion and expression. I support the second amendment, and as a responsible gun owner I am prepared to protect my life, my loved ones, my home and country with my S&W 686+ .357 Magnum, for which I am NRA certified in Basic Pistol/Revolver Shooting, and Home Firearm Safety. I am against hunting for sport but I will defend your right to do so with the hope that you will someday see the light.
Basically, there are health vegans and ethical vegans. Many vegans are both, which would be me. Health-wise, I believe that a diet high in animal fat and casein from dairy products is a trigger for many of our Western diseases, specifically heart disease and cancer. And from an ethical standpoint, I believe that God’s instruction for mankind to behave as benevolent stewards of His kingdom on earth has been basically ignored through mankind’s selfish choices. Mankind must cease to be motivated by the desire for oppressive power, and instead work to eliminate the shameful, gruesome and inhumane practices of factory farming for food and fur, indiscriminate hunting, poaching and other animal cruelties that threaten the very definition of humanity.
Each of us is responsible for preserving this beautiful Earth that God created for us and all His creations. However, unless we protect our liberty and security our children will not have a healthy environment to enjoy. Therefore, we cannot preserve our environment at the risk of losing our security. To begin with, we must protect our borders while enforcing immigration laws, and must responsibly extract fossil fuels in our own country while we develop reasonable alternatives resources. As well, the man-made global warming hoax should be ended before there is any further consideration of instituting the financially disastrous Cap and Trade bill. These are just two of many politically charged issues propped up by the Progressive ideology of the Far Left that threaten to irrevocably harm the security of our country.
Most importantly, preserving our environment begins at home. If we all choose to live simply, eat healthfully, consume minimally, acquire in moderation, and treat others, animals and our surrounding environment with respect and kindness we would not be facing most of our impending financial, environmental and social calamities.
This also explains why I am Pro-Life, why I believe that human life is God-given and precious, that it begins at conception, that to willfully kill innocent life is murder. Conversely, I believe Capital Punishment is warranted in certain complicated cases. Even Christ believed in it.
I can assure you that I have not come by my views lightly. Youthful boneheaded decisions, misguided beliefs and abdicated values were followed by years of soul searching, Bible study, prayer and meditation, reading, examining relationships, thoughtful observation – and just plain ol’ thinking. From all of this I can attribute the present clarity of my humbled and resolute heart, mind and soul to the unbending strength of my faith in my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Eating a vegan diet does not mean that you are going to lose weight. It is fat and sugar that make us fat. It’s really that simple. A vegan eating too much oil and sugar is going to get just as fat as a meat eater eating too much meat, dairy and sugar. Meat eaters who maintain their weight do so only because their fat and caloric intake is equal to the energy that their body burns through exercise. Even as a vegan, I climb on the scale every morning to make sure I am not gaining weight. I also know that unless I get those few hours of exercise in every week, those pounds are going to creep back on.
However, it is because their diet is high in animal cholesterol that slender meat eaters face the same health issues (heart disease, cancer…) as overweight meat eaters. An overweight vegan who eats too many meals like the burger shown here, though they are not going to look as hot in a bikini as a slender meat eater, is a whole lot healthier on the inside. Their blood flows freely through their veins and their organs function as they should, negating the need for cholesterol, blood pressure and even Stage II diabetic medications. It is a proven medical fact, and is even stated in some of the product commercials for erectile enhancement pills, that the reason why men get erectile dysfunction is because those vessels down there are clogged with cholesterol, thereby causing performance issues for little johnny.
And so, besides the important ethical reasons related to factory farming, the next important reason for eating a vegan diet is to improve and extend the quality of your physical health. Most Americans consume meals that include animal protein amounts higher than 10%. Scientist call this the Western Diet, and attribute it to the steep increase in vascular and cancer diseases. One of the scariest things about eating meat and dairy is that many researchers and scientists have established a link between the ingestion of animal cholesterol and casein (known as cancer ‘triggers”) in our Western Diet and our ranking as number one for breast cancer in the world.
The literature that definitively lays out for laymen the reasons for us to rethink our Western diet is The China Study, written by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. From thechinastudy.com:
“Early in his career as a researcher with MIT and Virginia Tech, Dr. Campbell worked to promote better health by eating more meat, milk and eggs — “high-quality animal protein … It was an obvious sequel to my own life on the farm and I was happy to believe that the American diet was the best in the world.”
He later was a researcher on a project in the Philippines working with malnourished children. The project became an investigation for Dr. Campbell, as to why so many Filipino children were being diagnosed with liver cancer, predominately an adult disease. The primary goal of the project was to ensure that the children were getting as much protein as possible.
“In this project, however, I uncovered a dark secret. Children who ate the highest protein diets were the ones most likely to get liver cancer…” He began to review other reports from around the world that reflected the findings of his research in the Philippines.
Although it was “heretical to say that protein wasn’t healthy,” he started an in-depth study into the role of nutrition, especially protein, in the cause of cancer. The research project culminated in a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, a survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural
China and Taiwan. More commonly known as the China Study, “this project eventually produced more than 8000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease.”
The findings? “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” said Dr. Campbell.
In The China Study, Dr. Campbell details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also its ability to reduce or reverse the risk or effects of these deadly illnesses. The China Study also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful
lobbies, government entities, and irresponsible scientists.”
Dr. Campbell is a vegan, as is the head of the breast cancer clinic at the number one ranked cancer treatment hospital located in NYC (I know this because my dd worked their as a chemo nurse).
As long as the medical research, education, media exposure and legislation for humane practices continue to bear out the rationale for eating a vegan diet we can look forward to a time when humans will enjoy better health and live in a more humane environment. No longer will we buy into the hype that there is a magic pill to solve all of our problems. Most of all, there would be a dramatic shift in our self-centered and ingrained 1960s-based cultural focus of “I should have whatever I want”, to “I should have what is good for me so that I can be the best person that God wants me to be.”