Yes I know….War is not the usual topic of a vegan website! But then again, this is not your usual plant-based diet and nutrition site.
Without a Doubt….War is Horrible!
The upheaval and destruction of lives, families and cities is devastating and leaves long term scars! But out of it new thinking, new perspectives, new political systems and new societies emerge.
Ironically, out of the war experience came incredible insights into the effect of diet on health. In fact the experiences of World War I and World War II were turning points in our understanding and perspective on diet!
World War I
During WWI a blockade by allied forces cut off Denmark from outside supplies, with great possibilities of massive food shortages. Under extreme pressure the Danish government employed a Danish Physician and Nutritionist to put together a food rationing program. The basis of the rationing program was to stop feeding its grain to livestock and start feeding the people with it. They basically instituted a vegetarian diet for the entire 3 million person population.
While the purpose of the changes was to avoid mass starvation, the results astounded scientists. When they calculated the death rates in the capital city between October 1917-1918 they found that death due to disease actually dropped to the lowest rate in history to that point. And it was not a slight drop! Death by disease dropped by 34% over the previous 2 decades and in the midst of a World War!
WWI literally started people thinking that maybe there was a connection between diet, health and death rate!
World War II
During WWII similar conditions were created in many countries.
Norway, occupied by Germans, had to limit, or in many cases, completely eliminate meat consumption.
Meat, cheese and milk (animal products) were also greatly reduced in both Britain and Switzerland.
What happened to the populations of these countries?
In Norway death from circulatory disease reduced drastically from the norm. As soon as the war ended and normal dietary habits returned, death from circulatory disease rose to normal levels.
In Britain and Switzerland there were also major improvements in health! In Britain, with limited dairy and meat consumption, anemia dropped substantially. What is really incredible is that children’s health showed dramatic improvement. There was less infant deaths and less post-natal deaths. There was also improved child growth rates and their dental health got….better.
In “Diet for a New America” John Robbins stated “For 99.999% of history, mankind has eaten whatever it could find, grow, kill or raise!”
“……after WWII scientists began, for the first time, to compile comprehensive statistics correlating the diet styles and health of all populations in the world.”
Out of the tragedy and devastation of war came a new perspective on diet that has saved many from the ravages of debilitating disease. Since the 1940’s the amount of information confirming the benefits of eating a plant-based diet is undeniable. Fresh, ripe, organic, local, in-season fruits and vegetables are without a doubt the best fuel for better health!
Are you still eating whatever you can find?
Are you still eating purely out of convenience?
Are your diet decisions based solely on taste?
Are you part of the statistic for rising health problems?
Are you in a constant war (battle) with health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, low energy and obesity?
The simplest, easiest most effective first step you can take to combat health problems is to limit or eliminate your consumption of animal products (meat, dairy and eggs), increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water!
It is time to make war on disease!