August 7, 2014 by Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD, MD(H), DD
Gabriel Cousens is an American physician M.D., homeopath, and spiritual writer who practices holistic medicine.
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“It is unusual for me, as a live-food vegan, to comment on the selection of which flesh foods to eat as one transitions to a plant-based cuisine. However, in my book Conscious Eating I make it clear that a transition process to a live-food, vegan diet may both happen immediately but often over a few months to a few years. I used to recommend in this transition that people first give up red meat. But since that time the environment (in particular, since the Fukushima catastrophe) has shifted the discussion. The radiation from Fukushima has contaminated many fish with toxic radioactive elements, and the oceans have become more plasticized and polluted. Unfortunately, the fish are eating the floating plastic waste in the ocean, and those who eat fish are slowly being plasticized. This can’t be healthy. In actuality, all flesh foods, because of the increased environmental radiation, contain approximately thirty times more radiation than plant food.
I am now recommending that fish be the first flesh food to be eliminated by anyone transitioning into a live-food, vegan diet. The second flesh food I’d recommend eliminating is pig flesh, followed by poultry. This takes us to a new consideration, which is that organically raised, grass-fed, finished beef may be the last flesh food to give up. Of course, it too has serious radiation, transmutable disease, high pollution, and chemtrail issues like all fish, chicken, poultry, and pig. Unfortunately eating higher on the food chain exposes one to more radiation contamination. For example, following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, the perinatal mortality rate in Boston jumped 900% because the radioactive I-131 from Chernobyl was falling on the grass in the Boston area and the free-range cows were eating it. Consequently, the cow milk was high in radioactive iodine, which was being consumed by pregnant and nursing mothers in the Boston area. Their embryos and infants began to die from I-131 poisoning. This concentration of I-131 from the grass through the cows yields a higher risk of radiation exposure, as the concentration of radiation in animal flesh is approximately thirty times greater than in vegetables (especially if they are greenhouse-grown vegetables). Chernobyl, Fukushima, and myriads of unpublicized radiation contaminations have dramatically and negatively impacted the safety of flesh foods.
In addition, the infectious protein (prion) called TDP-43 has been found in beef and seems to be associated with mad cow disease (i.e. Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease), chronic wasting disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and also Alzheimer’s (13% of people dying from Alzheimer’s are actually found to have mad cow disease), so don’t think mad cow disease does not exist in the American public. Mad cow disease may also actually exist concurrently with Alzheimer’s in an infected person. The only difference may be one of time-dependent physical change, as mad cow disease is more pathogenically active and acts more rapidly. The prion TDP-43, commonly found in Alzheimer’s disease, is also attributed with shrinkage of the hippocampus associated with memory loss.
It also appears, that mad cow disease may be linked with confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) in which animal parts are fed back to the same species thus amplifying the transmission of the TDP-43 prion disease. There seems to be a spreading of the TDP-43 prion via CAFO feeding of factory-farmed animals. There is a strong suggestion that Alzheimer’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s, and mad cow disease may be contracted from eating food from CAFO fed animals especially CAFO cows. The statistics suggest that beef-eaters have three times higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to vegetarians. As I follow this down the rabbit hole, research is also suggesting that connected with the Alzheimer’s/Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s/mad cow disease is an age-related reemergence of the food-born antibiotic resistant bovine tuberculosis, which incidentally is on the rise throughout the world. CAFO is associated with the spread of Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease and also Alzheimer’s disease. Although organic, grass-fed meat is the safest meat to eat for these reasons one may consider being cautious in jeopardizing brain function for a hamburger. The chronic wasting disease in deer and elk is also part of this, so wild game should also be reconsidered.
If one is still having trouble with flesh food addiction (often caused by meat’s dopamine spiking effect) their best choice at this point is grass fed beef, while avoiding fish, poultry, and highly tamasic foods such as pig flesh. It is best, of course, to just stop eating flesh foods altogether.
Don’t Eat the Fish
Fish consumption may be the most dangerous flesh-food choice today. The FDA has quietly increased its “allowed radiation doses” in flesh for human consumption to further obfuscate the radiation issue. Seafood is also the number one cause of food poisoning in the US. More than 80% of the farmed fish consumed in the US comes from Asia, where pig and chicken feces are commonly fed to the fish as their main food source.
Fish are commonly contaminated with toxins like mercury. Farmed fish are also fed high levels of antibiotics and GMO soy. The more people use factory-farmed fish, the more they support GMOs. Fish eat plastic and other manmade materials that poison them and the people who eat them. According to University of Illinois, fish-eaters with high levels of PCBs in their blood have difficulty recalling information they learned just 30 minutes earlier.
Unless the current situation improves, stocks of all species currently fished for food are predicted to collapse by 2048. The world’s oceans are in a state of silent collapse threatening our food supply, marine economics, recreation, and the natural legacy we leave our children. Many species still sold for human consumption are being overfished, thus leading to an ecological disaster. With the ever-increasing toxicity of the oceans, plus the ongoing Fukushima radiation disaster, all fish from every ocean will soon be contaminated with radiation.
From an additional practical point of view, eating fish is potentially dangerous because of the widespread, ever-increasing pollution of the waters of the world. The biggest water contaminants are the PCBs and mercury. PCBs, along with dioxin, DDT, and dieldrin, are among the most toxic of chemicals on the planet. According to J. Culhane, in his 1988 article “PCBs: The Poisons That Won’t Go Away,” only a few parts per billion of these substances can cause cancer and birth defects in lab animals. The Tenth Annual Report of the Council on Environmental Quality sponsored by the US government found PCBs in 100% of all sperm samples. According to a Washington Post article in 1979, the PCBs are considered one of the main reasons that the average sperm count of the American male is approximately 70% of what it was thirty years ago. This same article also points out that 25% of college students were sterile at the time as compared to one-half of 1% thirty-five years earlier. In other words, this sort of PCB toxicity is not new information. Most toxicity experts agree that the main source of human contamination comes from eating fish from waters in which the PCB levels are high, which today can be almost anywhere. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that fish can accumulate up to nine million times the level of PCBs in the water in which they live. PCBs have been found in fish from the deepest and most remote parts of the world’s oceans. Fish and shellfish are natural accumulators of toxins, because they live and are flushed by the water in which they dwell. Shellfish such as oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops filter ten gallons of water every hour. In a month, an oyster will accumulate toxins at concentrations that are 70,000 times greater than the water they are living in.
Mercury is also a major concerning contaminant in fish. Generally speaking, larger fish contain higher levels of toxins because they eat smaller fish and assimilate those toxins in their own tissues. Mercury toxicity from ingesting fish is another well-known source of illness. Two forms of mercury are the most dangerous. One is the quicksilver mercury and the other is methyl-mercury, which is about fifty times more toxic. Bluefish, grouper, mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, seabass, shark, swordfish, tilefish, and all tuna contain high levels of mercury and should be avoided. An article by the Canadian Medical Association in 1976 reported that Indians in Northern Canada, who ate over one pound of fish per day, often had symptoms of mercury poisoning. A 1985 study in West Germany of 136 people who regularly consumed fish from the Elbe River found a correlation between the blood levels of both mercury and pesticides and the amount of fish eaten.
Fish and shellfish may also carry their own toxins. The most common of these toxins is ciguatera poisoning. The cigua toxin is both a neurotoxin and gastrointestinal toxin, which may give symptoms of numbness and tingling to lips, nausea, abdominal cramps, paralysis, convulsions, and even death. A little less than one case in ten is fatal. Certain species of red snapper, pompano, jackfish, grouper, and eel may have the toxin. Certain shellfish such as clams, mussels, scallops, and crabs may take in a toxic substance from plankton at certain times of the year, which may also cause a poisoning effect similar in severity to ciguatera poisoning.
Because there do not seem to be any fish available that are not potentially filled with toxins, one should consider carefully whether it’s worth the risk to eat fish. In a study published in the Diet and Nutrition Letter of Tufts University, it was reported that the more fish pregnant mothers ate from Lake Michigan, the more their babies showed abnormal reflexes, general weakness, slower responses to external stimuli, and various signs of depression. They found that mothers eating fish only two or three times a month produced babies weighing seven to nine ounces less at birth and with smaller heads. Jacobsen, in a follow-up study that was reported in Child Development, found that there was a definite correlation between the amount of fish the mothers ate and the child’s brain development, even if fish were eaten only one time per month. He found that the more fish the pregnant mothers ate, the lower was the verbal I.Q. of the children. Children are usually the most sensitive to toxins, and they are prime indicators of what may be happening to adults on a more subtle level. A Swedish study in 1983 found that the milk of nursing mothers who regularly ate fatty fish from the Baltic Sea had higher levels of PCBs and pesticide residues than even meat-eaters.
Not only do the bodies of fish become the repositories of chemical toxins, but they have the propensity to concentrate microorganisms as well, especially salmonella and hepatitis. In Basic Food Microbiology, it shows that 7 to 20% of shellfish and 40% of the mussels gathered from five separate collecting stations were contaminated with salmonella. Some, but not all, of this bacterial and viral contamination can be avoided if the shellfish are cooked. For example, in Transition to Vegetarianism, Dr. Ballentine reports that a bacterial count of over a million per gram was found in crabs that were boiled for thirty minutes.
With the disaster of Fukushima, a new danger of eating fish has arisen – radioactivity. Presently the danger is more in Pacific fish, but is predicted to spread to all fish throughout the world. Approximately 60% of fish have shown to have detectable levels of radionuclides. The majority of exported fish to Canada are caught much farther from the coast of Japan. One set Japanese testing has shown that these fish have not been contaminated with high levels of radionuclides. This I question on common sense. On the other hand, another set of Japanese data from November of 2011 shows that 18% of cod (along with 21% of eel, 22% of sole and 33% of seaweed) exceeded the new food radiation ceiling implemented in Japan earlier that year. Overall, one in five of the 1,100 catches tested in November exceeded the new ceiling of 100 becquerels per kilogram. (Canada’s ceiling for radiation in food is much higher: 1,000 becquerels per kilogram.) Scientists have detected radioactive cesium from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in plankton collected from all 10 points in the Pacific, with the highest levels at around 25 degrees north latitude and 150 degrees west longitude. They detected cesium-134 in plankton at all 10 points. The density of radioactive cesium was the highest at 8.2 to 10.5 becquerels per kilogram in samples collected from waters around 25 degrees north latitude and 150 degrees east longitude. In July of 2013, a sea bass caught in Japan had 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium—10 times Japan’s ceiling of 100 becquerels per kilo in food. It was the second-highest amount found in a sea bass since the disaster occurred. And in February, 2013, a greenling in the harbour of the Fukushima plant had a record 740,000 becquerels per kilo of cesium—7,400 times Japan’s ceiling. Two in five fish tested in July, 2013 had detectable levels of cesium 134 or cesium 137, radioactive isotopes released from Fukushima.
Radioactive cesium has been found in 73% of mackerel, 91% of halibut, 92% of sardines, 93% of tuna and eel, 94% of cod and anchovies, and 100% of carp, seaweed, shark, and monkfish tested.
Fish from the waters around the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan could be too radioactive to eat for a decade to come, as samples show that radioactivity levels remain elevated and show little sign of coming down, a marine scientist has warned.
According to a paper published in the journal Science, large and bottom-dwelling species carry most risk, which means cod, flounder, halibut, pollock, skate and sole from the waters in question could be off limits for years. “These fish could have to be banned for a long time. The most surprising thing for me was that the levels [of radioactivity] in the fish were not going down. There should have been much lower numbers,” said Ken Buesseler, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the US, who wrote the paper titled Fishing For Answers Off Fukushima. Scientists tagged a bluefin tuna and found that it crossed between Japan and the West Coast three times in 600 days. The Wall Street Journal quotes the studies’ authors: “The tuna packaged it up and brought it across the world’s largest ocean,” said marine ecologist Daniel Madigan at Stanford University, who led the study team. “We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured. We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium-134 and cesium-137,” said marine biologist Nicholas Fisher at Stony Brook University in New York state, who was part of the study group.
I have presented many reasons why one would want to give up fish. There are no nutrients found exclusively in fish that cannot be found in safer, healthier, vegetarian sources. Although once considered safer to eat than mammals, as environmental toxicity has shifted, fish is now the most dangerous flesh food to eat. The bad news is that it is only going to get worse.
Don’t Pig Out
Pork is one of the most consumed meats in the world. China is the largest producer of pigs that were first domesticated way back around 7500 B.C. Today it is estimated that 38% of the world’s meat production is pork. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than 100 viruses come to the United States each year from China through pigs. The infamous virus, H1N1, better known as ‘the swine flu’ is a virus that has made the leap from pig to human. It’s been theorized that trichinellosis is the exact cause of Mozart’s rather sudden death at age 35. An American researcher theorized this after studying all the documents recording the days before, during, and after Mozart’s death. He found that Mozart suffered many of the above listed symptoms and he, himself, had recorded in his journal the consumption of pork just forty-four days before his own death.
Pigs are primary carriers of taenia solium tapeworm, Hepatitis E virus (HEV), PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome), Nipah virus, and Menangle virus. Each of these parasites and viruses can lead to serious health problems that can last for years to come.
The flesh of swine is said by many authorities to be the prime cause of much of our American ill health, causing blood disease, weakness of the stomach, liver troubles, eczema, consumption, tumors, cancer, and trichinosis. Many times cattle are infected from an incurable disease of the hog called the “mad itch.” It is transmitted by the hogs’ saliva left on the corn, which cattle then eat. The itching in the cattle becomes so intense they will run from stump to stump until they rub the skin from their mouths and soon die. When saliva from hogs’ mouths will poison cattle in this way, how can hogs be fit for man to eat?”
The very famous Professor Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg’s article titled, “The Adverse Influence of Pork Consumption on Health” gives some powerful insight on why there was a prohibition against eating pig flesh, which we noted at least 3,300 years ago in the Torah. His points of concern were:
1) Consumption of all forms of pork, including fresh, smoked, and cured preparations, cause many acute inflammatory responses such as: inflammations of the appendix and gall bladder, biliary colics, acute intestinal catarrh, gastroenteritis with typhoid and paratyphoid symptoms, as well as acute eczema, carbuncles, sudoriparous abscesses, and others. (Use of salts to pickle pork has also been shown to kill cysts of Taenia solium after 12 hours.)
2) We are what we eat, and pigs eat anything including urine, excrement, dirt, decaying animal flesh, maggots, or decaying vegetables. They will even eat the cancerous growths off other pigs or animals. These toxic energies are carried in the pig flesh. This is amplified because pig meat/fat absorbs toxins like a sponge. This is part of the reason pig flesh can be 30 times more toxic than beef or venison.
This is exacerbated by the fact that pigs don’t sweat, so more toxins are retained in their flesh.
3) It takes 8-9 hours to digest beef or venison, so the toxins filter through the liver and into the body at a slower rate. Pork takes only 4 hours to digest. This means more toxins absorbed into the system in a shorter time and therefore more likely for higher toxin storage.
4) Pigs and swine are literally so toxically contaminated that they are practically immune to strychnine or other poisons. If a pig is bitten by a rattlesnake it won’t be harmed by the venom because its flesh is already so toxic.
5) Pigs have over a dozen parasites within them – tapeworms, flukes, worms, and trichinae. There is no safe cooking temperature to ensure all these are killed. Swine carry about 30 diseases that may be passed to humans. Trichinae worm, one of the most serious parasites, is microscopically small, and once ingested can lodge itself in our intestines, muscles, spinal cord or the brain. In the pork, which Americans eat, there too often lurk myriads (countless numbers) of baffling and sinister parasites. They are minute spiral worms which scientists call Trichinella spirals. A single serving of infected pork—even a single mouthful—can kill or cripple, or condemn the victim to a lifetime of aches and pains. The trichina is just one worm found in the swine. There is also a large round worm, the gullet worm, three kinds of stomach worms, a tiny hairworm, a hookworm, and the thornheaded worm, in the small intestine. There are several species of nodular worms and one species of whipworm in the large intestine, and the kidney worm. The large round worm can be as long as eighteen inches. A special report given to medical personnel in 1962 at a Doctors and Nurses Conference on Communicable Disease at the Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, Kansas, said that one out of every three people is infected with trichinosis.”
6) Cows have four stomachs and will digest their food in 24 hours. Pigs take only 4 hours to digest their food turning their foul diet into flesh. The rapidity of the digestion further enhances the toxicity of their flesh.
7) On a more subtle level people are influenced by the astral bodies of the mammals they eat and thus one who eats pig flesh will take on more pig qualities. Pigs, although intelligent, are not considered a spiritually evolving food in most religious traditions. People have twisted God’s Word to convince us to eat forbidden foods. God did not change His mind about food nor change the biological structure of animals. Jesus never ate unclean food nor declared all food clean. The verse “(Jesus made all foods clean)” was added later and is not in any of the original manuscripts. That is why it is in parentheses. Neither Paul nor the disciples ate forbidden foods (even after Jesus was resurrected). Peter’s vision was not about food but about Gentiles and Jews.
If any animal should die in the field and lie in the sun until it is broken open and the maggots and putrefaction have set in, swine or other scavengers will come and eat the filth and putrid matter. The flesh of scavengers was never meant for human consumption.
“…the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.” (Leviticus 11:7–8)
Many people switch to poultry when they stop red meat. Unfortunately, poultry, which has a similar profile of dangers as red meat, such as 30 times higher pesticides, herbicides, and radioactivity, has some outstanding problems of its own: high incidences of salmonella and campylobacter infections. According to Advances in Meat Research, by Pearson and Dutson, over 80% of chickens and 90% of turkeys are infected with campylobacter. These bacteria cause an intestinal infection similar to salmonella. These organisms have become antibiotic-resistant because of the high use of antibiotics in poultry. This means that when they cause an infection, antibiotics will not work effectively to kill the pathogenic bacteria.
According to the Project Censored ratings, a news report in the June 8, 1990 Pacific Sun, the “fowl” play in the chicken industry was voted one of the ten most underreported stories of 1989. In their article it is pointed out that the incidence of bacterial salmonella infection is now two and one-half million cases per year, including an estimated one-half million hospitalizations and nine thousand deaths. Apparently the epidemic is caused by a huge leap in consumer demand for “healthier food”, which people mistakenly consider chicken to be. The dangers are made worse by a massive failure of the US Department of Agriculture to inspect the chicken. A decrease in USDA staff led to an increase in contaminated chicken slipping through en masse. The article states: “The USDA has placed gag orders on inspectors and destroyed documents disclosing that the agency has approved massive amounts of contaminated food.”
In the Pacific Sun article, Dr. Carl Telleen, a retired USDA veterinarian, revealed how “. . . chicken carcasses contaminated with feces, once routinely condemned or trimmed, are now simply rinsed with chlorinated water to remove stains.”
According to Telleen, “Thousands of dirty chickens are bathed together in a chill tank, creating a mixture known as “fecal soup” that spreads contamination from bird to bird.”
This creates what Telleen calls “instant sewage.” Articles like this make it easier for many readers to make the transition away from poultry a little faster.
In addition to these two potent bacteria, there may be a type of virus-like organism found in chicken tumors that seems to be transmittable to humans. This organism is thought to be identical to the microbe found by Dr. Peyton Rous in chicken tumors, which he showed to be transmittable. For this pioneering work he received a Nobel Prize in 1966. The extent to which the Rous virus might be associated with human cancer is still debatable. The work by Virginia Livingston Wheeler, M.D., strongly suggests that most chickens are at least microscopically infected with cancer. This chicken cancer, like the Rous virus, may be transmittable to humans.
To eat animals and fish in today’s world is to take on the psychology of victim consciousness, as these living beings are made into victims by the way they are treated. Once informed of the dangers, it is hard to separate the eating of flesh food from a passive form of death wish.
Several recent studies have shown that chickens are bright animals, able to solve complex problems, demonstrate self-control, and worry about the future.
Dr. John Webster of Bristol University found that chickens are capable of understanding cause and effect and that when chickens learn something new, they pass on that knowledge (i.e., they have what scientists call “culture”). They are also known to be worriers and are most likely where the term “henpecked” comes from.
Chickens are the most abused animals on the planet. Chickens raised for their flesh are packed by the thousands into massive sheds. They are fed large amounts of antibiotics and drugs to keep them alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them. There are more than 55 times as many chickens slaughtered each year as pigs and cows combined.
A USDA study found that more than 99% of broiler chicken carcasses sold in stores had detectable levels of E. coli, indicating fecal contamination. In other words, if you’re eating chicken flesh, you’re almost certainly eating chicken poop. Consumer Reports states there are “1.1 million or more Americans sickened each year by undercooked, tainted chicken.” Chicken flesh is also loaded with dangerous levels of arsenic, which can cause cancer, dementia, neurological problems, and other ailments in humans. Men’s Health magazine recently ranked supermarket chicken number one in their list of the “10 Dirtiest Foods” because of the high rate of bacterial contamination.
Both the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization say that if the avian flu virus spreads to the United States, it could be caught simply by eating undercooked chicken flesh or eggs, eating food prepared on the same cutting board as infected meat or eggs, or even touching eggshells contaminated with the disease. Raising 9 billion chickens in factory farms each year produces enormous amounts of excrement. Fecal pollution from chicken farms is especially disastrous for the environment. In West Virginia and Maryland, for example, scientists have recently discovered that male fish are growing ovaries, and they suspect that this freakish deformity is the result of factory-farm runoff from estrogen and drug-laden chicken feces.
Grilled chicken—a popular alternative to fried—commonly contains PhIP (2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine), which may contribute to the development of certain types of cancers including breast and prostate.
A common industry practice involves feeding chickens arsenic in order to make them grow faster. It’s highly toxic to humans and can cause cancer, dementia, neurological problems, and other ailments. HCAs (heterocyclic amines) are found in meats cooked at high temperature, including chicken, and have also been linked to an increased risk of cancer. A Consumer Reports analysis found that 83 percent of fresh, whole broiler chickens purchased across the US had high levels of campylobacter or salmonella. Campylobacter is the leading cause of food poisoning in the U.S. Avian flu may have dropped out of the mainstream media’s attention, but it’s still a very serious illness that is transmitted through poultry.
Given the level of toxicity that is concentrated in animals as we go up the food chain, and that there is nothing in flesh-food we cannot get with supplementation, there is no redeeming biological need to eat all levels of flesh food. For those who are concerned about whether they are getting enough protein it is important to understand that meat, fish, and chicken yield 16%, 17%, and 18% assimilation of protein respectively. Eggs, the so-called “perfect protein”, which all blood types react negatively to, is 44% assimilable. Chlorella, spirulina, and Blue-Green algae are 95% assimilable aside from being great raw protein sources. (At Tree of Life, because of Fukushima pollution, we’ve made deliberate effort to carry chlorella and spirulina sourced away from these contaminated waters.) Additionally there are many vegan-source protein concentrates in powder form.
It should be noted that there is a danger of excess protein. According to the research optimal protein is between 35-70 grams of protein daily, which optimizes the M-TOR genetic pathway that promotes anti-cancer and anti-aging.” Gabriel Cousens
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