Is good health and spirituality connected?
Put it this way, poor health affects our lifestyle. We are unable to work, be 100 percent productive or even enjoy a lifestyle that we take for granted when we are healthy.
More importantly then, is our ability to worship and serve God also 100 percent. Without good health, it is impossible to achieve the high standards God desires of each of His children.
God had never intended His created beings to eat flesh foods – based on the diet given in the Garden of Eden, we would do well to return to this simple diet to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Genesis 1:29 - And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
3 John 1:2 - Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
SCIENCE AND MEAT
How Eating Red Meat Can Spur Cancer Progression: New Mechanism Identified:
ScienceDaily (Nov. 14, 2008) — Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, led by Ajit Varki, M.D., have shown a new mechanism for how human consumption of red meat and milk products could contribute to the increased risk of cancerous tumors.
Their findings, which suggest that inflammation resulting from a molecule introduced through consumption of these foods could promote tumor growth, are published online this week in advance of print publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Varki, UC San Diego School of Medicine distinguished professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine, and co-director of the UCSD Glycobiology Research and Training Center, and colleagues studied a non-human cellular molecule called N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). Neu5Gc is a type of glycan, or sugar molecule, that humans don't naturally produce, but that can be incorporated into human tissues as a result of eating red meat. The body then develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies – an immune response that could potentially lead to chronic inflammation, as first suggested in a 2003 PNAS paper by Varki.
"We've shown that tumor tissues contain much more Neu5Gc than is usually found in normal human tissues," said Varki. "We therefore surmised that Neu5Gc must somehow benefit tumors."
It has been recognized by scientists for some time that chronic inflammation can actually stimulate cancer, Varki explained. So the researchers wondered if this was why tumors containing the non-human molecule grew even in the presence of Neu5Gc antibodies.
"The paradox of Neu5Gc accumulating in human tumors in the face of circulating antibodies suggested that a low-grade, chronic inflammation actually facilitated the tumor growth, so we set out to study that hypothesis," said co-author Nissi M.Varki, M.D., UCSD professor of pathology.
Using specially bred mouse models that lacked the Neu5Gc molecule – mimicking humans before the molecule is absorbed into the body through ingesting red meat – the researchers induced tumors containing Neu5Gc, and then administered anti-Neu5Gc antibodies to half of the mice. In mice that were given antibodies inflammation was induced, and the tumors grew faster. In the control mice that were not treated with antibodies, the tumors were less aggressive
Others have previously shown that humans who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (commonly known as NSAIDs) have a reduced risk of cancer. Therefore, the mice with cancerous tumors facilitated by anti-Neu5Gc antibodies were treated with an NSAID. In these animals, the anti-inflammatory treatment blocked the effect of the Neu5Gc antibodies and the tumors were reduced in size.
"Taken together, our data indicate that chronic inflammation results from interaction of Neu5Gc accumulated in our bodies from eating red meat with the antibodies that circulate as an immune response to this non-human molecule – and this may contribute to cancer risk," said Varki.
Additional contributors to the paper are Maria Hedlund and Vered Padler-Karavani, UCSD Departments of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. The study was funded in part by a grant from the National Cancer Institute, of the National Institutes of Health.
White meat linked to colon cancer risk:
Studies have long linked the consumption of red meat with an increased risk for colon cancer. Now, a new report suggests that white meats -- poultry or fish -- can also boost the risk of colon cancer.
"There is evidence of an excess risk of colon cancer for higher intakes of both red meat and white meat," conclude Drs. Pramil Singh and Gary Fraser of the Center for Health Research at Loma Linda University in California. Their report is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The authors examined data from the ongoing Adventist Health Study, which for the past 20 years has contrasted the diet and lifestyle of over 34,000 California Seventh Day Adventists with their unfolding medical histories. Each of the participants in the study has agreed to fill out periodic detailed questionnaires, including 55 questions on various food preferences.
Singh and Fraser compared the dietary patterns of each of the subjects to the group's 1977-1982 incidence of colon cancer (a total of 157 cases).
They report that "the strongest risk factor (for colon cancer) among the food variables... was found for total meat intake." This association held true regardless of whether the meat-lover preferred white or red meats. For example, individuals who ate red meat once per week had a 38% higher chance of colon cancer compared with those who abstained from red meat, while those who preferred white meat had a 55% higher risk, compared with those who did not eat poultry or fish.
These risks rose with the amount of meat consumed. The authors say that subjects who ate either red or white meat over 4 times per week had double or triple the colon cancer risk of those who did not.
One food group -- legumes -- can be linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer. The researchers say the consumption of foods such as beans, peas, and lentils seemed to counteract the carcinogenic effects of red meat consumption. But this beneficial effect was not observed in legume-eating individuals who also consumed large amounts of white meat, however.
Singh and Fraser believe their findings "suggest the presence of factors in all meats that contribute to colon carcinogenesis." Those carcinogenic factors remain largely undetermined, although the researchers suspect that the byproducts of cooking, or ingredients used in curing and salting, may play some role. The researchers also suggest that the consumption of high-fiber legumes may help dilute the concentration (and effect) of meat-derived carcinogens within the colon.
SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology 1998;148:761-774.
THE BIBLE AND MEAT
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.
And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Prove they servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
GOD’S COMMANDS ABOUT EATING BLOOD
But flesh with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
For [it is] the life of all flesh; the blood of it [is] for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh [is] the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood [is] the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.
SPIRIT OF PROPHECYFlesh As Food by Ellen G. White:
Note: this article clearly shows that Ellen White supported "ethical vegetarianism," rather than vegetarianism for health reasons alone. It is taken from The Ministry of Healing, by Ellen G. White. (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1974, pages 205-209; first published in 1905, now in the public domain).
THE diet appointed man in the beginning did not include animal food. Not till after the Flood, when every green thing on the earth had been destroyed, did man receive permission to eat flesh.
In choosing man's food in Eden, the Lord showed what was the best diet; in the choice made for Israel He taught the same lesson. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt and undertook their training, that they might be a people for His own possession. Through them He desired to bless and teach the world. He provided them with the food best adapted for this purpose, not flesh, but manna, "the bread of heaven." It was only because of their discontent and their murmuring for the fleshpots of Egypt that animal food was granted them, and this only for a short time. Its use brought disease and death to thousands. Yet the restriction to a nonflesh diet was never heartily accepted. It continued to be the cause of discontent and murmuring, open or secret, and it was not made permanent.
Upon their settlement in Canaan, the Israelites were permitted the use of animal food, but under careful restrictions which tended to lessen the evil results. The use of swine's flesh was prohibited, as also of other animals and of birds and fish whose flesh was pronounced unclean. Of the meats permitted, the eating of the fat and the blood was strictly forbidden.
Only such animals could be used for food as were in condition. No creature that was torn, that had died itself, or from which the blood had not been carefully drained, could be used as food.
By departing from the plan divinely appointed for their diet the Israelites suffered great loss. They desired a flesh diet, and they reaped its results. They did not reach God's ideal of character or fulfill His purpose. The Lord "gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." Psalm 106:15. They valued the earthly above the spiritual, and the sacred pre-eminence which was His purpose for them they did not attain.
Reasons for Discarding Flesh Foods:
Those who eat flesh are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that produces growth. The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the eater. We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal. How much better to get it direct, by eating the food that God provided for our use!
Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increasing. Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating. Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing. People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculous and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated.
The tissues of the swine swarm with parasites. Of the swine God said, "It is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass." Deuteronomy 14:8. This command was given because swine's flesh is unfit for food. Swine are scavengers, and this is the only use they were intended to serve. Never, under any circumstances, was their flesh to be eaten by human beings. It is impossible for the flesh of any living creature to be wholesome when filth is its natural element and when it feeds upon every detestable thing.
Often animals are taken to market and sold for food when they are so diseased that their owners fear to keep them longer. And some of the processes of fattening them for market produce disease. Shut away from the light and pure air, breathing the atmosphere of filthy stables, perhaps fattening on decaying food, the entire body soon becomes contaminated with foul matter.
Animals are often transported long distances and subjected to great suffering in reaching a market. Taken from the green pastures, and traveling for weary miles over the hot, dusty roads, or crowded into filthy cars, feverish and exhausted, often for many hours deprived of food and water, the poor creatures are driven to their death, that human beings may feast on the carcasses.
In many places fish become so contaminated by the filth on which they feed as to be a cause of disease. This is especially the case where the fish come in contact with the sewage of large cities. The fish that are fed on the contents of the drains may pass into distant waters and may be caught where the water is pure and fresh. Thus when used as food they bring disease and death on those who do not suspect the danger.
The effects of a flesh diet may not be immediately realized; but this is no evidence that it is not harmful. Few can be made to believe that it is the meat they have eaten which has poisoned their blood and caused their suffering. Many die of diseases wholly due to meat eating, while the real cause is not suspected by themselves or by others.
The moral evils of a flesh diet are not less marked than are the physical ills. Flesh food is injurious to health, and whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and the soul. Think of the cruelty to animals that meat eating involves, and its effect on those who inflict and those who behold it. How it destroys the tenderness with which we should regard these creatures of God.
The intelligence displayed by many dumb animals approaches so closely to human intelligence that it is a mystery. The animals see and hear and love and fear and suffer. They use their organs far more faithfully than many human beings use theirs. They manifest sympathy and tenderness toward their companions in suffering. Many animals show affection for those who have charge of them, far superior to the affection shown by some of the human race. They form attachments for man which are not broken without great suffering to them.
What man with a human heart, who has ever cared for domestic animals, could look into their eyes, so full of confidence and affection, and willingly give them over to the butcher's knife? How could he devour their flesh as a sweet morsel?
It is a mistake to suppose that muscular strength depends on the use of animal food. The needs of the system can be better supplied, and more vigorous health can be enjoyed, without its use. The grains, with fruits, nuts, and vegetables, contain all the nutritive properties necessary to make good blood. These elements are not so well or so fully supplied by a flesh diet. Had the use of flesh been essential to health and strength, animal food would have been included in the diet appointed man in the beginning.
When the use of flesh food is discontinued, there is often a sense of weakness, a lack of vigor. Many urge this as evidence that flesh food is essential; but it is because foods of this class are stimulating, because they fever the blood and excite the nerves, that they are so missed. Some will find it as difficult to leave off flesh eating as it is for the drunkard to give up his dram; but they will be the better for the change.
When flesh food is discarded, its place should be supplied with a variety of grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits that will be both nourishing and appetizing. This is especially necessary in the case of those who are weak or who are taxed with continuous labor. In some countries where poverty abounds, flesh is the cheapest food. Under these circumstances the change will be made with greater difficulty; but it can be effected. We should, however, consider the situation of the people and the power of lifelong habit, and should be careful not to urge even right ideas unduly. None should be urged to make the change abruptly.
The place of meat should be supplied with wholesome foods that are inexpensive. In this matter very much depends on the cook. With care and skill, dishes may be prepared that will be both nutritious and appetizing, and will, to a great degree, take the place of flesh food. In all cases educate the conscience, enlist the will, supply good, wholesome food, and the change will be readily made, and the demand for flesh will soon cease.