Book Overview: The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

Here are things I want to share with you that I learned from Alicia.

Animals on Factory Farms 

  • Animals at the slaughterhouse are in constant terror. Being scared produces body chemicals that affect the muscles and other parts of the body, namely cortisol and adrenaline. Humans can become stressed from eating this meat. You eat fear, despair, and anger when you eat the meat of a dead animal.
  • Slaughterhouse wastes are used in livestock feed (that you end up eating second hand) like blood, bone, remains of cats and dogs
  • Animals on factory farms are pumped with hormones to increase their mass. Hormones are not good — we have our own and don’t need more — because they lead to cancers like breast and prostate
  • Mercury damages your brain, kidneys, and lungs: swordfish, mackerel, and tuna have the highest levels of mercury out of all fish
  • “The meat industry has created entities like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Meat Institute, and the National Pork Producers Council, which spend millions and millions of dollars on print and television ads to cast their products in a positive light, despite evidence to the contrary”
  • 70% of all antibiotics sold in the US go to farm factory animals to keep them from getting sick. These antibiotics are not the good kind; they wipe out your own healthy intestinal bacteria which lowers your immune system. Also, the bacteria the drugs are supposed to kill change into smarter and stronger bacteria so that we don’t have any antibiotics to use against them
  • USDA microbiologist Gerald Kuester says “the final product [of meat packaged from a slaughterhouse] is no different than if you stuck it in the toilet and ate it”
  • We aren’t designed to consume animal flesh. Aside from our lack of claws, fangs, and speed, our intestines are also very different. A carnivore’s is 6ft long because meat is not designed to sit in the gut for a long time. Our intestines are 20 feet! It takes three days to pass food all the way through. For three days that meat is rotting and putrefying in your guts (remember the body is 98.6 degrees – same as if you let it sit outside for three days in the heat). You don’t feel that process because your body works very hard to counteract all that crap, but it comes at a high cost over time. Later on in life you will see those negative results unless you change your diet to one that does not consume animal flesh.
  • Do we even want to be meat-eaters? — “the carnivores of the natural world have quick, precise energy, but then they’re tuckered out and sleep for days. They are aggressive hunters with very little endurance. The herbivores, like horses or giraffes, not only have long-lasting energy and strength, but are generally a peaceful lot. “
  • Dairy cows are kept pregnant constantly so that they can produce milk all their lives. Their calves are taken away from them right after birth and males are kept unable to move (so their muscles get ‘tender’) in their crates then they are killed and cut up into veal and females become milkers themselves.
  • Dairy cows are milked by a machine that is  “so rough it causes blood and pus to go into the milk” and then they are sent to slaughter after they are no longer useful. So you can see that consuming dairy (for all you vegetarians for “ethical” reasons) is still promoting cruelty and death.
How meat & dairy negatively affects the body
  • Saturated fat in meat is the main contributor to clogged arteries, which lead to high blood pressure which in turn can lead to a stroke or heart attack
  • Eggs also contain a lot of cholesterol, and 64% of an egg’s calories come from fat!
  • Chicken has just as much cholesterol as beef
  • The Framingham Heart Study found that you can lower your risk of a heart attack by 85% if you stop eating meat and adopt a plant-based diet that is also low fat
  • Meat is the top cause of osteoporosis (followed by sodium, caffeine, tobacco, and inactivity)
  • Meat has no fiber whatsoever so it is very hard to digest and gets stuck, eventually leading to colitis, diverticulitis, and colon cancer
  • Meat makes gout and rheumatoid arthritis worse and it is the major factor in forming kidney stones
  • casein turns into casomporphins (as in morphine) which is why people are so addicted to milk and dairy, it is made to be addictive to keep the baby cow attached to his mom
  • The human immune system views milk from another species as an attacker (aka allergen) and causes the body to react to it, which you will see in chronic runny, stuffy noses, asthma, allergies, etc. (all of which people think are normal) – but it’s the body defending itself and giving you the message that it wants to get rid of a foreign invader
  • These groups all agree that a plant-based diet will help prevent disease and illness: American Heart Association, World Health Organization, American Institute for Cancer Research
What meat consumption does to the earth
  • “With 20 billion heads of livestock walking the earth–that’s more than triple the number of humans–we are spending precious natural resources on them instead of us. They, in turn, wreak havoc on the environment”
  • Methane emitted by livestock accounts for 19% of the total global methane emissions
  • If everyone in America were to adopt a plant-based diet, we would reduce US greenhouse gas production by 6% virtually overnight
  • 1.5 million wild animals are killed yearly to protect cattle – “we kill one animal to protect another animal only to turn around and kill that animal to feed an appetite that is killing us and the planet
  • There are strict laws for what we do with our own human waste but there are none for animal waste, and they produce 130 times more waste than we do. That waste goes into the soil and the river; plants then get the blame for e coli and whatever other stupid animal-originated diseases
  • It takes 441 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef according to cattleman, but researchers without an interest in the meat industry found it to be closer to 2500 gallons per pound of beef (not per cow) – but it takes only 33 gallons of water to grow a pound of carrots.
  • 60 million acres of our country is devoted to growing hay for livestock but only 13 million is used for growing fruits and veggies
  • 1.2 billion people don’t have enough to eat every day but we make sure that 20 billion animals get as fat as possible by the minute
  • Cattle grazing is the #1 reason for rain forest destruction; we lose 2.4 acres per second or 144 acres per minute or 75 million acres per year
  • Average american car produces 3 kilograms of carbon per day. Clearing rain forests to produce one burger creates 75 kilograms of carbon

Crap that is really unfair

  • Our denial of the injustices done at slaughterhouses “would have us equate slaughter with having a pet “put down” at the vet, but that is just a comfortable delusion. The greatest crime being committed against these animals is not the eating of their meat, but our willful ignorance of their experience. As long as we keep our eyes closed, we can feel comfortable, and as long as we’re comfortable, they will continue to suffer and die. By not only condoning cruelty but literally consuming it, have we become desensitized to violence – against not only animals but ourselves and one another?”
  • National Dairy Council has been hypnotizing us since 1915 – it’s a big rich group lobbying Congress to subsidize them and fund their own research to support their claims, and launches expensive advertising campaigns (like Got Milk?)
  • There are so many loopholes and exceptions in the Federal Humane Slaughter Act that 90% of US animals are exempt from these laws, meaning they are not treated humanely because it would cost money to do so and if they aren’t even getting a slap on the wrist they think, why bother?
  • Meat industries are subsidized by the US government and they regularly lobby Congress to keep those subsidies alive
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