Book Overview: Forks Over Knives by Gene Stone

Things I learned from this book:

Why Cow Milk is Not For Humans

  • Cow milk –> calves; human milk –> babies. We adults do not fall under either of those categories, so we biologically do NOT need milk! If we did, we’d still be at our mother’s breast. Humans have no nutritional need for cow milk – it’s designed to get a baby calf from 70lbs to about 1000 pounds in one year. Then they start eating grass. End of milk once weaning is over.
  • Casein is the primary protein in cow milk, and it is one of the most potent chemical carcinogens ever identified. Yes, carcinogen. Definition: a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.
  • Studies were performed on rats that show casein = cancer cells. One group was given a 20% casein diet, the other group 5% casein diet. After 12 weeks, the 20 percenters had high levels of cancer tumor growth but the 5 percenters had no evidence of cancer at all. Here is the cool part: they then switched the groups — the previous 20 percenters, now at 5 percent, had a reduction in the tumor growth. The previous 5 percenters, now at 20 percent, had an explosion in tumor growth. That means you can “turn off” and “turn on” cancer growth by decreasing or increasing (respectively) your intake of dairy!
  • Milk also contains addictive compounds called casomorphines similar to morphine to ensure the calf will stay near its mother. Casomorphines are also addictive to humans, which explains to me why you non-vegans all seem to be unable to let go of your milk and cheese! You’re on morphine, duh! But I kicked that dairy drug, so you can too!
  • Cows today produce ten times more milk than they would naturally. But in dairy farms, they can barely walk by the time they are 4 years old because they’ve been pumped so full of growth hormones that their legs won’t support their weight. Farm workers use pitchforks, electric prods, or forklifts to get them to move. It’s one cruel act after another on those factory farms. LET GO of your addiction and stop supporting the suffering of these gentle beasts.

Why no one will tell us about or protect us from what we choose to consume

  • “The link between diet and health is still not well understood by many doctors, who are not required to take courses on nutrition in school, and who therefore rely on pills and procedures to treat patients” –Gene Stone
  • “US Dept of Agriculture is the voice of our food industry” and it creates nutrition guidelines that “will guarantee ill health for millions”
  • Food & agriculture industries spend millions annually to discourage public from linking in our minds bad health with bad food
  • American Dietetic Association is controlled by food corporations so if they come out with a study that confirms meat and dairy as being good, then those corporations have bribed the scientists to rearrange results to come to that conclusion
  • The insurance industry profits by selling insurance to the sick; why would they have an interest in decreasing their bottom line by promoting health?
  • The pharmaceutical industry profits from our illnesses–it spends over $241 million on 1,585 lobbyists so that we can be convinced that pills will solve our problem as opposed to  good food that will prevent and solve the problems.
  • Hospitals depend on our diseases to keep themselves running. No sick people = no hospital, no doctors, no nurses, etc.
  • In the medical profession, doctors and nurses are barely trained in nutrition, and they benefit from administering drugs. Drug companies provide doctors with golf trips, gold pens, etc. to push them to sell their drug to the doctors’ patients. As an aside, check out Kevin Trudeau’s book about Natural Cures, he explains all the shady deals going on and the harm that these drugs do to us even though they get passed as being safe and effective. Then he talks about who is doing the ‘passing’ of these drugs and how they are benefiting financially (tremendously) as well.

Violence occurring in the meat industry that you should be ashamed to support:

  • In 2008, 8.56 BILLION animals were killed for America’s plates.
  • The Animal Welfare Act doesn’t apply to animals raised for food, so basically all of the meat industry is not included in animal welfare. Animals get treated however badly their cruel handlers want, and it is seemingly not considered a crime for the factory farm workers to perform torture.
  • “The number of farm animals used worldwide for food is growing dramatically, and the treatment of those animals has become increasingly inhumane” –Gene Stone
  • Your eggs come from hens who are packed in cages so tight that they can’t move or flap their wings and they are inside, in the dark their whole life. Chicks are de-beaked to keep them from later pecking and fighting – this involves “severing bone, cartilage, and tissue to remove part of the beak” (without anesthesia)
  • Calves are taken away from their mothers right after birth and put into 2-ft wide crates and tied up with neck chains. Male calves are castrated without painkillers.
  • Birds feel pain. Poultry is excluded from the rules of the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act. They are fully conscious shackled by their feet and put through an automated throat cutter that sometimes doesn’t work; if that happens and they are still alive and in pain, they will later be scalded to death with the others when they go to remove their feathers.
  • Gene Baur from Farm Sancutary says “it is impossible for me to believe that food that is the product of violence and misery can be good for us”
  • Factory farm workers are exposed to death and torture so frequently that not only does it numb them to violence but it often turns them into monsters and they further torture animals just for fun
  • Fish feel pain. Science studies show that fish have a sensory system including brain structure and functionality, which means they feel pain and distress. They “are fully conscious when their gills are slit and their bodies disemboweled” and they are “starved for a week before slaughter in order to clear their intestines”; fishing destroys endangered coral (the kind that drags along the ocean floor)
  • Currently legislators in three states are “working not to ban farm abuse but to ban revealing farm abuse”

Why eating meat is terrible for the earth, much more so than you are led to believe (and more than car emissions!)

  • The UN found that “raising livestock for food purposes generates more climate-heating gases than do all carbon-dioxide-emitting vehicles combined” so basically “cows are worse than cars”
    • livestock sector accounts for 10% of human-induced carbon dioxide emissions
    • livestock sector accounts for 37% of methane emissions [methane = 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas]
    • livestock sector produces 65% of nitrous oxide emissions [nitrous oxide = 296 times more powerful than carbon dioxide]
    • livestock sector accounts for 64% of human-induced ammonia emissions (leads to acid rain)
    • driving a hybrid could save one ton of CO2 emissions per year but eating a plant based diet saves one and a half tons of it per year. Not only are most Americans not yet driving hybrids, they are also meat & dairy consumers. So each person doing this is contributing 2.5 tons of CO2 per year.
  • Each hamburger produced from animals raised on cleared rainforest land destroys 55 square feet of forest
  • If the entire US population were to not eat meat or dairy for just one day, the nation would conserve all of these resources (Noam Mohr, NYU Polytechnic Institute):
    • 100 billion gallons of drinking water
    • 1.5 billion pounds of crops
    • 70 million gallons of gasoline
    • 33 tons of antibiotics
  • …this damage would be prevented from a no-meat, no-dairy day:
    • 1.2 million tons of c02 greenhouse emissions
    • 3 million tons of soil erosion
    • 4.5 million tons of animal waste
    • 7 tons of ammonia emissions

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