Whenever We Eat Animal Foods, We Are Being Exploited

The most obvious and non-controversial characteristic of animal agriculture is that it is a system in which humans exploit animals for food. The vast majority of us go along with the internalized cultural narratives that justify this exploitation. We don’t realize that we are also being abused and exploited by the same system that is exploiting the cows, chickens, fishes, and pigs.

There’s basically one primary reason any of us eats animal-sourced foods: we do this because we’re following orders that were injected into us from infancy by well-intentioned people we trusted completely. This indoctrination is literally eaten in the most potent and pervasive of all social rituals, our daily meals. It’s important to understand that when we go to shops and restaurants and purchase animal foods, we are not only sustaining a system of exploitation of animals, we are also unwittingly fueling our own exploitation on many levels, and in feeding these foods to our children, we’re fueling their exploitation as well.

Let’s take cows as a profoundly relevant example. Cows are clearly designed to thrive on grass, but they are fed richer and more complex grains such as soy, corn, oats, wheat, and alfalfa in order to boost milk production in dairies and increase weight gain in beef operations. This causes cows digestive distress and leads ironically to the proliferation of the E. coli bacterial strains that are deadly to human consumers of undercooked hamburgers. However cow exploiters don’t stop with grains. Agricultural scientists discovered long ago that if cow feed is “enriched” with fish meal as well as the rendered flesh and offal of chickens, pigs, cows, dogs, cats, and other animals, this is even better than grain at promoting milk production and weight gain, and thus increased profits for the industries involved.

In sum, cows are fed foods that are not in their interest, but that are to the advantage of their exploiters. With us, if we are eating animal foods, it is precisely the same situation. Like cows, we are created and have evolved to thrive on the food for which we are designed, which in our case is whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Like cows, we can certainly eat other foods, such as animal flesh and mammary secretions designed for other species, and as in the case of cows, this harms our health on many levels, but the significant point is that it increases the profits of our exploiters, and so it continues. The animal exploiters have stolen the sovereignty of cows, and so the cows are powerless to eat anything but what the exploiters provide them. With both cows and humans it is remarkably similar. Exploiters provide the foods that they want the exploitees to consume to maximize their profits and power, and the exploitees dutifully comply. They encourage each other by their shared example, and additionally in our case, we ironically police each other to ensure compliance.

Farm Animals by artist Madeleine Tuttle The benefits to the exploiters in these situations are vast. The disempowerment and harm to the exploitees are equally vast. Let’s have a brief look at the consequences of this exploitation on five levels of our health.

First, our physical health. Being compelled from infancy to eat animal-based foods, we are more likely to develop cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, auto-immune diseases, dementia, and the other chronic diseases which fuel hundreds of billions of dollars of profits annually for the pharmaceutical-medical complex, and the banks and financial institutions in the background. This system, and the governmental, academic, media, and corporate complex that is tied in with it, requires a steady flood of reliably sick people. Feeding the population a diet based on animal foods that concentrate toxins accomplishes this. Most of the wealth generated concentrates in the hands of a powerful elite, while most of us endure economic injustices such as exorbitant medical costs that ravage our economy and well-being. Eating animal foods, we become unwitting cash cows for an aggressive medical-pharmaceutical complex.

Second, our environmental health. Animal agriculture is well recognized to be the single most environmentally devastating human activity, destroying forests, oceans, aquifers, soil quality, climate stability, and propelling the mass extinction of species through rampant habitat destruction. Here again, we are being exploited when we purchase and eat animal-based foods. Because animal-based foods require much more petroleum, land, fertilizer, pesticides, and water, we are paying powerful and polluting petroleum, chemical, and agribusiness corporations and financial institutions to not only devastate the precious air, water, soil, and life quality for ourselves and our children, but we are also funding their legendary political power to infiltrate and dominate our governmental, educational, legal, and media institutions. As a result, these corporations are even subsidized with billions of our tax dollars annually to damage the health of our ecosystems, which further erodes our physical health, increasing our disease rates and the profits to the medical complex and the bankers lurking in the background.

Third, our cultural health. Because animal agriculture is profoundly wasteful of oil, water, land, and food, we have chronic food shortages in our world, even though we grow more than enough food to feed everyone, if we ate plant-based food directly rather than feeding it to livestock. Food shortages are well recognized to be the primary driving force behind much of the conflict in our world, and together with this inevitable conflict, is the direct cause of refugees, social breakdown, and many forms of human trafficking. The very first word for war going back ten thousand years is the ancient word “gavyaa” meaning literally “the desire for more cows.” Economic injustice, war, hunger, domination of women, and the arising of a privileged ruling elite are all linked to the ancient invention of animal herding around which we still organize our society. Thus, instead of using our economic surplus to revitalize our ecosystems, rebuild our infrastructure, and assure adequate housing, food, education, healthcare, and opportunity for all, we use it primarily for subsidizing the wealthy military and medical complexes. We sacrifice our children in wars that benefit a ruling class that uses the media and other institutions to propagate narratives that justify and promote an agenda of violence. Eating animal foods, we are fueling continued harm to our cultural health as well as the ongoing exploitation of our children and of ourselves.

Fourth, our psychological health. When, as children, we are compelled to sit at the table and eat animal foods that are harmful to our physical health, we are also being compelled to eat attitudes and beliefs that injure our psychological health. With every meal, we are being colonized psychologically in order to be malleable to the military-industrial-meat-medical-media complex. There are many dimensions to this, but to keep it brief, we’ll just look at a few, for example, the attitude of disconnectedness and desensitization that is imposed on us by being required as children to relentlessly eat animal foods. It’s well understood in systems theory that intelligence is the capacity for any system to make relevant connections and respond to feedback. Eating animal foods reduces this capacity and numbs our feelings both individually and collectively. We learn to stay shallow and avoid looking, listening, and feeling deeply. We avoid making the dreaded connection between what we are eating and what it took to get it on our plate. We are indoctrinated in daily meal rituals to repress our natural empathy and caring for others and this reduction of our cognitive and affective intelligence makes it comparatively easy for us to become gullible and uncritical consumers of narratives and products that reduce, harm, and enslave others and us. Our minds and bodies are also colonized by the poisonous attitude that beings are not beings but are rather mere commodities: material objects that we buy and sell by the pound. Upon reflection, this is shockingly debasing to others and to ourselves, but we both propel and consume this highly exploitive attitude with every meal, sowing seeds of our own exploitation. Finally, we are compelled to eat dairy, eggs, and meat products that require rampant abuse of animal mothers, their forced insemination and stealing of their babies and the destruction of their sacred mother-child bonds. We become easily exploited psychologically by causing and eating this trauma, repressing our feminine capacity, and feeding this to our trusting children. We eat products that are the embodiment of misery, fear, despair, insomnia, frustration, and chronic pain. The pharmaceutical industry’s most immense profits come from people buying drugs for precisely these conditions: despair, trauma, insomnia, depression, and chronic pain.

Fifth, and finally, our spiritual health. This may be the most severe exploitation of all. Every meal corrodes our basic connection with our true nature as eternal expressions of consciousness. By being required to repeatedly and ritually reduce other magnificent expressions of life to mere physical matter devoid of subjectivity and purpose, we sever our connection with the beauty, abundance, and enchantment of the living, interconnected web of life that is celebrating on this Earth. We have unwittingly become, in significant ways, an abusive scourge on this Earth that destroys and consumes as our life-purpose, both individually and collectively.

6a00d83451ccd169e201676357f90e970b-320wiOur innate spiritual wisdom and our purpose have been paved over and repressed, and as we become sick and addicted, our exploitation increases dramatically. A false purpose and set of narratives has been forced on us by the herding culture into which we are born: that we are here to exploit the garden and consume it. Other animals and ecosystems pay a steep price for our inability to free ourselves from being exploited, as do our children and we ourselves, ultimately.

The animal agriculture roots of our multi-dimensional exploitation have been invisible and unrecognized for too long. Now we can finally see and fully understand the dynamics involved. Being compelled from infancy to eat animal foods has created us to be a severely wounded population with drastically reduced capacities intellectually, emotionally, morally, and spiritually to fulfill our potential and create contexts that nurture justice, cooperation, creativity, freedom, joy, radiant health, and sustainability. Fortunately, this is beginning to change, and the momentum of our healing and awakening is increasing.

We can see two raging infernos on this planet. One is burning and destroying ecosystems, animals, societies, sanity, health, and our children’s future. The other is benevolent and is illuminating and incinerating the obsolete delusions perpetuated by our unquestioned exploitation of animals, and is revealing a new path to a doorway that leads to a positive future.

We will be free when we free others, and there is nothing physically holding us back from the evolution of respect, freedom, and harmony that is beckoning us. Whenever we eat animals foods of any kind—free-range, grass-fed, wild-caught, factory-farmed—it is all the same and cut from the same cloth: exploitation. Our exploitation ends when we awaken from the cultural program of exploiting other living beings and co-create a more aware plant-based way of eating and living, and understand the reasons behind this. Exploiting animals, we exploit and delude ourselves; freeing animals, we free ourselves.

 

A Change of Heart Changes Everything

A slightly dated, but still excellent, introduction and overview by Jurriaan Kamp of the research being done by the Heartmath Institute. For more up to date information and free, downloadable resources, follow the link.

A California institute demonstrates how people can actually make their heart beat in a healthier way. Through its research, the Institute of HeartMath proves that health starts with love, and that love can reduce stress. It is a method that is used by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and more than 100 organizations – from global corporations to hospitals to government agencies and schools. This simple method is changing the world. A report from Boulder Creek, California.

All you need is love, sang John Lennon. 
True, according to most people. 
The only challenge: how do you create love?

A quite startlingly simple answer was found to that question in the redwood forests of Boulder Creek, California, south of San Francisco. Since 1991, the Institute of HeartMath has generated a large body of convincing scientific evidence that it is indeed possible to create love.

HeartMath’s research shows that emotions work much faster, and are more powerful, than thoughts. And that – when it comes to the human body – the heart is much more important than the brain to overall health and well-being – even cognitive function – than anyone but poets believed. Its dominance inside the body is now clearly demonstrated. Thinking clearly with your brain is useful. But feeling positively from your heart provides an amazing boost to health and creativity.

Briefly re-experiencing a cherished memory creates synchronization in your heart rhythm in mere seconds. This increases the release of healthy, energizing hormones, while at the same time decreasing levels of damaging stress hormones, at the same time your immune system is strengthened, blood pressure decreases … and health and focus increase. Using a simple prescription that consists of a number of exercises that anyone can do anywhere in a few minutes – the details are coming shortly – HeartMath is successfully battling the greatest threat to health, happiness and peace in this world: stress.

Stress is the plague of our time, an epidemic that is spreading rapidly. The World Health Organization (WHO) raised the alarm 20 years ago, but things have only gotten worse. Every day some one million Americans fail to come to work due to stress. The European Union estimated in 2000 that the annual price tag of stress, in the form of healthcare costs and lost productivity, amounts to some three to four percent of the EU’s gross domestic product.

Stress is one of the most important causes of high blood pressure, which afflicts one in three adults in Europe and North America and is the cause of many serious illnesses such as heart disease and stroke. Stress also lies at the basis of depression and burnout.

“The good news is that the negative effects of stress can be effectively countered more easily than people might imagine. This leads to better performance in every aspect of life. It is therefore a smart strategy for every organization to tackle this source of excessive costs and human strain,” according to HeartMath’s president and CEO Bruce Cryer.

That insight has now permeated many companies and institutions. Managers are sent to stress seminars. Yoga lessons are offered at company headquarters. And there are even companies that encourage their employees to take vacations. But these measures aren’t very effective as long as stress continues to permeate the corporate culture.

The sense of relief from a yoga lesson or a weekend at the beach is often lost during the first chat with a frustrated colleague at the coffee machine. A successful anti-stress strategy provides results precisely at the moment the stress is experienced. This is what HeartMath does, which is why its client list now includes such leading companies as Hewlett Packard, Shell, Unilever, Cisco Systems, and Boeing.

HeartMath was established in 1991 by Doc Lew Childre. Childre had made a name for himself as a researcher and advisor to companies and scientific institutions. With the founding of HeartMath, he embarked on his mission to demonstrate that the heart was central to human health, success and fulfillment.

While HeartMath’s techniques emphasize the importance of emotional self-management, HeartMath is no new age phenomenon. It is a research institute that has published a large body of scientific research in established and respected publications such as the Harvard Business Review and the American Journal of Cardiology.

Those publications support HeartMath’s central aim of presenting revolutionary scientific discoveries in a solid, “bullet proof” way. It has demonstrated significant cost savings for healthcare organizations struggling with staff turnover, and has shown significant health benefits in an array of studies covering congestive heart failure, diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. As Cryer says, “HeartMath is not based simply on belief. There are proven physiological reactions in how emotion, heart and brain interact.” In other words: HeartMath’s work is kept scrupulously free of the obvious potential for opportunism.

Which is admirable given that financing and survival issues have presented tricky challenges for the organization through the years. HeartMath’s location reflects this cautious strategy. The institute is located in a group of buildings on a lovely retreat-like setting in Boulder Creek, a town that is nearly impossible to find among the tall trees of the ancient Californian forests. Stress and Boulder Creek have little to do with one another, I realize, following a drive through the pouring rain. And yet the decision to locate HeartMath here was not so odd. Forty-five minutes down the road is a well-known hotbed of this “modern plague:” Silicon Valley.

Research director Rollin McCraty is in his office – a simple study with a huge window looking out over a wooded slope – working on one of HeartMath’s latest initiatives: a computer-driven experiment that shows how the heart reacts more quickly to external stimuli than the brain. HeartMath programs utilize an innovative biofeedback system – developed by founder Doc Childre – whereby your finger or ear is hooked up to a sensor that shows the heart’s activity on a computer screen. The feedback is not a precondition for the result of the HeartMath exercises, but seeing your heart rhythms live on a computer screen makes it easier to convince critics of the favourable effect of positive feelings.

Measuring internal feelings using modern instruments is not new in itself. For example, with the help of the electroencephalogram (EEG), it has been proven that meditating yogis produce completely different brain waves than – say – stock traders on Wall Street. But HeartMath’s heart-driven method extends much further than relaxation through meditation. McCraty notes, “Meditation is mainly geared towards consciously separating yourself from the reality around you. That has totally different physical consequences than our approach, which is geared towards actively adding positive energy to a particular situation.”

To measure the heart’s reaction to particular events, HeartMath uses a relatively new concept – one that is currently a hot item in mainstream medicine – as an indicator of a healthily functioning body: heart rate variability (HRV). Research conducted 10 years ago by Dr Andrew Armour of Dalhouse University in Halifax, Canada showed that the heart has its own neural network—in essence, a little brain. HRV – the rhythm of the time period between two heartbeats – plays a key role in that network. It has now been demonstrated that the heart sends signals to the brain and the hormonal system via nerves which carry the heart rhythm patterns. It doesn’t matter so much how many times a heart beats per minute; it’s the rhythm of the heartbeat that counts.

Childre, McCraty and HeartMath’s research team have discovered that certain patterns in the heart rhythm correspond to a particular emotional state. McCraty explains, “With every heartbeat, information is supplied that affects our emotions, our physical health and the quality of our lives.” This means that feelings of compassion, love, care and appreciation produce a smoothly rolling – HeartMath calls it “coherent” – heart rhythm, while feelings of anger, frustration, fear and danger emit a jagged and capricious – “incoherent” – image. But this is more than a statistical difference. HeartMath’s research shows that a different heart rhythm leads to other chemical and electrical—even neurological—reactions in the body.

Simply put: when people experience love, they not only feel happy and joyful, but they also produce, for example, more DHEA, the hormone that prevents aging, and gives us feelings of youthful vitality. Not surprisingly, a synthetic form of the hormone is currently sold in pill form at drugstores and health food stores. At the same time, the production of damaging stress hormones like cortisol is reduced. High levels of cortisol have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression and fatigue.

By contrast, a “loving body” absorbs less cholesterol, thereby preventing arteries from clogging while boosting production of immunoglobulin A, an important biochemical that boosts immune function. In addition, blood pressure stabilizes. McCraty links this effect to problems many organizations face: “There is a clear connection between healthcare costs and blood pressure levels. When your blood pressure falls, so do visits to the doctor…” And so HeartMath concludes that love is both an emotional and a physical state: positive feelings – like love – generate health. The reverse is also true. Someone who is angry produces less DHEA and more cortisol. And so on. HeartMath’s slogan – a change of heart changes everything – pretty much sums it up.

But how do you “change your heart?” According to HeartMath research, it is much simpler than it looks. McCraty says, “If you consciously shift your attention to a positive emotion, like appreciation or care, or if you allow your thoughts to return to the feeling of a cherished memory, your heart rhythm changes immediately.”

This phenomenon continues to astonish the some 25,000 people who attend HeartMath courses each year. Initially, HeartMath utilized expensive medical equipment to measure and display the heart rhythm. But since 2000 HeartMath has offered a “do-it-yourself” equivalent: the Freeze-Framer, an award-winning computer program with an innovative sensor that anyone can install in their computer at home or at work. So far, HeartMath has sold more than 30,000 of these systems.

The first time I start up the Freeze-Framer at home and attach the sensor to my finger, a freakish pattern appears on my computer screen. My heart rhythm is all wild peaks and valleys or – in HeartMath jargon – an “incoherent pattern.” I then perform my prescribed exercise. I shift my thoughts to the area around my heart, I visualize that I’m breathing in through my heart and out through my solar plexus (the energy point under the breastbone, above the belly button). I remember a sweet memory with my daughter. I feel the warmth of our contact at that moment … and I see the graph on the computer screen change.

The exercise, which I’ve only been doing for a couple of minutes, is quick and effective. The volatile peaks change into rolling hills on my screen. My incoherent heart rhythm has synchronized into a coherent rhythm. And what I can’t see on the line of the graph, but know – from HeartMath research – is that my body is now functioning in a more healthy and wholesome way.

The research is convincing. A group of managers from Motorola attended a HeartMath workshop and were tested six months later on the results of their daily exercises. One-quarter of the managers had high blood pressure at the start of the project. After six months, they all had normal blood pressure levels. In another study with Hewlett-Packard managers, the average blood pressure fell from 138/86 to 128/80. This large an improvement is comparable to the effect of losing nearly 20 kilos (44 pounds).

A recent study of employees at the food and household products multinational Unilever shows that the production of the favourable hormone DHEA increased by an average of 50 percent after six months of HeartMath exercises and rose to 90 percent after nine months. The exercises also work for people with chronic diseases.

For example, diabetes patients who performed a total of one hour of HeartMath exercises every week for six months scored significantly better on a number of health aspects crucial to them. Another HeartMath study indicates that the savings on health care costs and absenteeism can run up to $700 U.S. (540 euros) per employee a year. For a company with 1,000 employees, that would mean a savings of $700,000 U.S. (540,000 euros) a year.

The fact the exercises are so easy may well be the most promising aspect of the HeartMath system. Bruce Cryer notes, “Time pressure is continually increasing. No matter how good a program might be for them, many people simply don’t take the time to invest in their emotional and physical health every day. People want exercises to take virtually no time, but to yield results. That’s the strength of our approach.

You can learn the techniques in five minutes and get positive results if you do them a few times a day for 30 seconds. When you’re on your way to your next meeting, for example. Or when you start up your computer. Or sitting at a stoplight. Or waiting to make a phone call. Or before starting to check your e-mails. By making the techniques simple and quick, you can integrate them into your daily schedule without having to drastically change your life.”

Regularly using the Freeze-Framer is particularly helpful in recognizing stress patterns. You gain insight into your own behaviour and the effect of that behaviour on your health. In that respect, the Freeze-Framer works like a thermometer: you get to the point where you don’t need to take your temperature any more to know you have a fever. As a result, it becomes ever easier to quickly correct the experience of stress.

Cryer says, “HeartMath’s aim is to eliminate stress. Of course we can’t eliminate stressful events from our lives, but we can change our physiological and emotional response to them. The goal is to teach you to recognize which circumstances create stress so you can change your reaction to those situations. For example, practising a HeartMath technique helps you not to curse if someone cuts you off on the highway, but to react differently. And the most important result is that no damaging stress hormones are released in your body and no damaging comments come out of your mouth that could make the situation much worse.”

Is HeartMath the only effective answer to stress? Clearly not. Every walk on the beach is beneficial. The same goes for an enjoyable concert. And for experiences of friendship and love. There are also other promising initiatives with a comparable focus. Ode previously reported on the work of the Italian Amedeo Maffei (see Ode, June 2002) as well as the computer game Wild Divine (see Ode, April 2004). And there are other projects geared towards synchronising the heart and brain rhythms to stimulate favourable biochemical and electrical processes in our bodies.

But the strength of HeartMath lies in the convincing evidence of the effectiveness of the exercises and their simplicity. And its approach takes into account the sense of time pressure continually experienced by the stressed target group.

Less stress and more health is, of course, enough of a recommendation for following HeartMath’s system. But there’s more: studies show that the electromagnetic field of the heart (which is created by the heart’s electrical system, or electrocardiogram) can be measured from between two and three metres from the body. HeartMath has discovered that if someone has a coherent heart rhythm, it has a demonstrably positive effect on other people in close proximity to him or her (and the reverse is also true). Just think about how you feel in the presence of someone who is appreciative or caring, compared to being close to someone angry or frustrated.

That is: if your own heart rhythm is coherent, there is a greater chance that your environment will also behave coherently.
That is: the health of your environment starts with your own health. 
That is: changing the world starts with you.

Cryer notes how, “A lot of people feel powerless. Climate change. Poverty. War. Terrorism. There are so many things we could fear in the world. So where do you start as an individual, when the size of the problems seem so daunting? It is important to know that you can have a demonstrably positive effect on the world. We can change the world, starting with ourselves.”

That enthusiasm is behind all the solid research done by HeartMath. This vision also explains why the Institute never opted for quick fixes, but instead preferred building steady proof of concept.

Cryer concludes, “It is our mission to help the world change, by helping people change. The root of most of our world’s problems is a lack of emotional management, a lack of understanding, care, respect and compassion. Most organizations and governments are fairly dysfunctional, because their leaders lack skills to manage themselves emotionally, let alone be an example for others to follow. That dysfunction damages the planet every day. We offer tools that are needed to eradicate major challenges and problems and to prevent wrongs.”

Those tools help the heart to make love.

All you need is love, John Lennon sang.

It’s as simple as that.

The Heartmath Institute

The Six Paramitas

by Dr Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet

As we deepen our inquiry into the nature of our culture, and how we can best help liberate animals, our Earth, and ourselves from the harmful actions and attitudes causing conflict and destruction, we may begin to realize that the problem is not just other people. We ourselves are part of the problem also. How many people can we actually and substantively change for the better? Quite honestly that number is one.

Cow by visionary artist Madeleine TuttleThis is not to say that we can’t help move our world and other people in a positive direction, but rather to emphasize that this capacity is, paradoxically, a result essentially of our authentic efforts to move ourselves in a positive direction. Most of us, when encountering someone who would like to “improve” us will wisely act to block that effort. Thus, in the end, the most effective way to change others and the world is to endeavor to embody and exemplify in ourselves whatever changes we’d like to see in others.

Substantive positive personal change requires inner effort to question the obsolete and harmful attitudes living within us, to understand them, and to heal them through the effort to cultivate a higher and more inclusive and realistic awareness. We have all been wounded from infancy be being born into a herding culture based on the exploitation and abuse of the weak by the strong. In order to build a movement capable of transforming our culture, we are called to undertake the most challenging of all efforts: the effort to transform ourselves.

Grassroots vegan advocacy starts with us as individuals in our communities, endeavoring to become more aware and proficient in our understanding, and in our ability to communicate and cooperate with others. This is the indispensible foundation of the movement to liberate animals, and all of us, from the status quo culture of domination that steals and destroys the sovereignty of both animals and people.

Large non-profit organizations, unlike grassroots efforts, tend to be reductionist and authoritarian in nature. Ironically, herderism, the living core of our cultural mindset and root of our problems, is similarly reductionist and authoritarian, but in the extreme. (If we were born as cows or chickens, we would have no doubt of this.) Thus the large animal protection organizations exist ironically as products of the herding culture and tend to mirror and support its underlying mentality and way of functioning. These organizations compete with one another for funding, and operate under centralized hierarchical structures of authority. The living transformation of vegan awakening tends in their hands to be reduced to a commodity to be marketed by compliant leafletters and spokespeople whose job is to deliver a message that has been crafted by public relations “experts.” Such an approach is ironically an expression of the same mind-set that is creating the problem of animal exploitation in the first place. It tends to muffle the authentic creative voices of individuals who have unique talents and gifts to share.

Bobcats by visionary artist Madeleine TuttleThus, to continually invent and renew a movement for the liberation of animals, we are each called, as individuals, to embody as best we can the change we are working for, and diligently monitor and refresh our organizations to ensure they reflect this same spirit. While going vegan is a liberating, healing, and empowering step for us as individuals, and naturally helps heal and improve our interconnected society, it is not the last step. In many ways, it is the first step of a life where we awaken from being a mere culturally-programmed bio-robot, and step out of the prison of the imposed food narrative of disease and destruction and its many manifestations. Our journey beckons us to continue ever on, so that our inner world, like our outer behavior, ever more fully reflects our core values of respect, kindness, freedom, and harmony.

This is the real challenge we all face. It’s much easier and more tempting to blame others (such as political figures, financial elites, and so on) for our problems than it is to work with our internalized attitudes and wounds. And yet, it is only to the degree that we transform ourselves—so that our lives are radiant expressions of the message we would like others to hear—that we will experience our full potential to bring healing and positive change to our world. As the vegan movement becomes increasingly a movement of people who are authentically doing the inner work necessary to explore and purify our individual consciousness, our movement, through this, is becoming increasingly unstoppable.

Satyagraha, the “truth power” that Gandhi described, is ultimately triumphant, and the best way to spread truth is through embodying it so that we plant seeds of change naturally and effectively, with means that reflect the ends we envision. While we don’t try to change others, we can definitely do our best to plant seeds of positive change in others by making these changes congruent in ourselves, so our actions, words, values, thoughts, feelings, and gestures are all aligned within us and people sense this congruency.

How do we make these positive internal changes? With practice. Like with anything else, we become what we practice. The ancient wisdom traditions have many practices that have helped people heal and renew their minds and lives. These practices can be especially helpful for us in contributing to a vegan world of respect and kindness for all.

Horse by visionary artist Madeleine TuttleOne example is the Six Paramitas from the Buddhist tradition, also called the Six Perfections. Paramita in Sanskrit means “crossing over,” so these six Paramitas are qualities that we can cultivate every day to help us cross over to the other shore of greater awareness and freedom. One way to practice them is to focus on a different paramita each day of the week. What follows is the Six Paramitas practice for all seven days, with a short explanation for each one, which is best recited every morning to set the intention for the day.

Monday, The Day of Giving: Dana Paramita. Let us have all-pervading love, not only for people but for all sentient beings, and give of ourselves and our possessions freely and without regret, with a heart of lovingkindness. Let our giving be rooted in transcendent awareness, knowing the three elements involved are of one essence. Finally, let us remember that the teachings contain no greater wisdom than the wisdom of letting go. This is also called Dana. (Note: the three elements mentioned here are giver, gift, and receiver)

Tuesday, The Day of Ethics: Sila Paramita. Let us maintain standards of discipline, etiquette, and decorum so that our actions are honorable in every situation, and thinking of others always, let us be careful not to harm them in any way. Let us cultivate the natural integrity, diligence, and straightforwardness that fundamental aspects of clear seeing and real virtue.

Bee by visionary artist Madeleine TuttleWednesday, The Day of Patience: Kshanti Paramita. Let us treat all beings as the Buddha, seeing through the spell of appearance to the essential reality in which there is no fundamentally separate self. Let us remember that patience is humility, a basic acceptance of this present moment as the perfect unfoldment of life and love, and that it is also an accurate mirror of our present state of mind, and thus continuously bears great opportunities to grow in wisdom and compassion.

Thursday, the Day of Zealous Effort: Virya Paramita. Whatever is appropriate, let us perform it diligently and persistently push forward. Let us be aware of the Source of all energy and activity, and live in harmony with it.

Friday, the Day of Stillness and Stability of Mind: Dhyana Paramita. Let us function in tranquil one-pointedness of mind, free from agitation arising through the senses, and dualistic conceptions of this and that, self and other. Let us let go of tension and separateness, and realize the equanimity that is born of awakening to the truth underlying phenomena.

Saturday, the Day of Wisdom: Prajna Paramita. Let us act so that the mind is always pure and bright, and behave so that we are never uncertain about the rightness of our actions. By the brightness of inherent wisdom, let us dispel the delusion of separateness, and greed and hatred, which spring from ignorance about the real nature of sense objects.

Sunday, the Day of Service: Simultaneous Practice of all the Paramitas. Let us put all forms of wholesome action into practice, by rendering service to others and practicing generosity, loving speech, beneficial action, and cooperativeness. May lovingkindness and compassion emanate from our every thought, word, and deed, and bless all sentient beings, and may they all realize the original brightness of their minds and be instantly reborn in the Pure Land of clear seeing.

In conclusion, with this Six Paramitas practice, the idea is daily to recite and feel into the essential nature of the quality of mind and heart that is being evoked by this day’s Paramita, and to hold it in consciousness throughout the day as best we can. Gradually, and with persistent practice, all six Paramitas will begin to suffuse their healing presenceElephants by visionary artist Madeleine Tuttle into our awareness in all seven days. We begin to realize that vegan living, nonviolence, respect for animals and other humans, and spiritual liberation are all profoundly interconnected. As we endeavor to embody the universal principles indicated by the six Paramitas, we are working at the roots to help build a more kind and harmonious world for all.

Sun Gazing – A Scientific Explanation?

Sungazing is an ancient yogic practice that involves staring directly at the sun in order to receive nourishment, healing and spiritual enlightenment. Sun gazing was practiced by ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Greeks, Mayans, in Tibetan Yoga and some traditions of Qigong, Tai Chi, and by some Native American tribes.

Commonly held beliefs and professional advice in the West cautions against looking directly at the sun. Indeed, most advise to stay out of the sun and to wear sunscreen, use sunglasses, and warns of skin cancer, sun damage and sun blindness. Some hold that the reasons for these problems is not sunlight per se, but an interaction between toxins released through the skin (the body’s largest eliminatory organ) of those who have a modern diet and sunlight. Skin damage can also be caused by a lack of EPA in the diet (EPA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid).

Paradoxically it’s known that exposure to sunlight aids the healing of melanoma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Research indicates it could be an aid in other cancers also. Vitamin D, which our bodies synthesise directly from the sun, is known to be an excellent healing agent.

What should be obvious so far is that the subject need careful study. The aim of this article is to provide a detailed overview and links to additional sources of information.

hrm07smallMuch of the information in favour of the practice of sungazing comes from the practice and studies of Hira Ratan Manek, HRM, as he prefers to be known. In fact the phenomena is referred to in professional circles as the ‘HRM phenomena’. HRM has lived on the sun’s energy since June 18th, 1995, during which time he is reported to have not eaten any solid food, with only occasional tea, coffee and buttermilk for “hospitality and social purposes.” He has also undergone three strict long-term fasts under the control and observation of various scientific and medical teams.

The first fast lasted 211 days in 1995-96, in Calicut, India, and was directed by Dr. C.K. Ramachandran, a medical expert on allopathic and ayurvedic medicine. This was followed by a second fast lasting 411 days in Ahmedabad, India, directed by an international team of 21 doctors and scientists, led by Dr. Sudhir Shah and and Dr. K. K. Shah, the acting President of Indian Medical Association at that time. The third observed fast was in the US, where he was observed by a team at Thomas Jefferson University and, funded by NASA, the University of Philadelphia for 130 days. The specific focus of this observation was his retina, pineal gland and brain, so this observation team was led by Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, a leading authority on the brain who also featured in the recent movie “What the Bleep Do We Know”, and by Dr. George C. Brenard, the leading authority on the pineal gland. Initial results found that the gray cells in HRM’s brain are regenerating. 700 photographs have been taken where the neurons were reported to be active and not dying. Furthermore, the pineal gland was expanding and not shrinking which is typically what happens after mid fifties and its maximum average size is about 6 x 6 mm, however for HRM, it has been measured to be at 8 x 11 mm.  Other medical evidence suggests he is more healthy than a normal person of his age. This year he is 78.

solar_logosmallHRM has set up the Solar Healing Center in Orlando, and others have been set up around the world, along with several books and documentaries produced. He has also toured internationally. He and others have proven that a person can live just on solar energy for very long periods without eating any food. According to The Solar Healing Centre ‘the method is used for curing all kinds of psychosomatic, mental and physical illnesses as well as increasing memory power and mental strength by using sunlight.  One can get rid of any kind of psychological problems, and develop confidence to face any problem in life and can overcome any kind of fear including that of death within 3 months after starting to practice this method.  As a result, one will be free from mental disturbances and fear, which will result in a perfect balance of mind.  If one continues to apply the proper sun gazing practice for 6 months, they will be free from physical illnesses.  Furthermore, after 9 months, one can eventually win a victory over hunger, which disappears by itself thereafter.



This is a straight-forward yet effective method based on solar energy, which enables one to harmonize and recharge the body with life energy and also invoke the unlimited powers of the mind very easily. Additionally, it allows one to easily liberate from threefold sufferings of humanity such as mental illnesses, physical illnesses and spiritual ignorance.  

pineal-gland-and-eyeSo what is Sun Gazing?

Sun gazing (also known as sun-eating) is a strict practice of gradually introducing sunlight into your eyes at the lowest ultraviolet-index times of day – sunrise and sunset. Those who teach the practice say there are several rules to the practice. First, it must be done within the hour after sunrise or before sunset to avoid damaging the eyes. It is important to only look at the sun when it is orange or red according to the ancients. Looking at the sun when it is yellow or white, or uncomfortable in any way is not recommended.

Second, you must be barefoot, in contact with the actual earth and, finally, you must begin with only 10 seconds the first day, increasing by 10 second intervals each day you practice.

The above is a very basic description. Detailed instructions and guidance for the practice can be found here, and should be studied before trying it.

So far, so far out. Fortunately, the scientific studies that have been done have precluded the baaing of the cognitively dissonant naysayers, but although they showed the practice to be effective and the phenomenon genuine, explanations of processes involved haven’t been forthcoming, the consensus being that ‘more research is needed’.

A Scientific Explanation?

Recent R&D by Dr. Arturo Solís of Aguascalientes, Mexico into novel forms of energy may provide the missing piece to the puzzle of how sun gazing works. Dr Solis currently holds the patents in six countries for “A 
new photo electrochemical procedure to break the water molecule into hydrogen and oxygen using as the main substrate melanins, their precursors, analogues or derivatives.” The new procedure is alternative electricity generation using self-renewing photoelectrochemical cells which, using melanin, separate the hydrogen atom from water and then bring the atoms together again. Twelve years of research by Dr Solis and his team confirmed that melanin captures photonic energy and transforms it into chemical energy, hydrogen, which is then delivered to the cell.

As well as hybrid generator battery, Solis also set up The Center for The Study of Human Photosynthesis through which a dietary supplement has been produced that works to enhance human photosynthesis, which in turn address a wide range of health issues. The website states (in less than accurately translated English, slightly retranslated here):

Melanin (the human chlorophyll) absorbs strongly all wavelengths of the electro magnetic spectrum, that means visible and invisible, and this photonic energy is then turned into chemical energy by dissociation of water molecule. Medical modulation of human photosynthesis allows the improvement of diseases in a extraordinary manner. Basically because perhaps the majority of common illness begin with a reduction in the process of water dissociation, and when the hydrogen levels are low, then the cell goes into a malfunction. Because every organism is different, this can have different manifestations, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, hepatic cirrhosis, renal failure and so on. When our patients begin to take QIAPI 1, two drops sublingually, every three hours, the therapeutic results are amazing even for ourselves.

Until recently, chlorophyll was accepted to be the only substance widely disseminated in nature that was capable of delivering hydrogen to a plant cell. Results obtained using melanin confirmed that not only plants carry out photosynthesis, but that mammals can also do so. Indeed, so can any living being that has melanin in its genetic code. Melanin is to the animal kingdom what chlorophyll is to the plant kingdom. Not only that, but according to research melanin is a 1000 times more effective than chlorophyll.

The connection between the above research and the practice of sun gazing is that the human eye contains melanin. Could it be that sunlight absorbed through the eyes at particular concentrations can be synthesized directly into bioenergy, hydrogen, that is taken up by the cells?

Again, from The Center for The Study of Human Photosynthesis:

The Center for the Study of Human Photosynthesis, was founded as a result of our discovery of the amazing ability of the human body to transform the visible and invisible light energy into chemical free energy through dissociation and re-formed from the water molecule, which forms a chemical cycle that first part is almost identical to the first reaction that occurs in the leaves of plants, where the chlorophyll in the presence of the ends of the visible light (purple and red) dissociates the molecule water generating hydrogen and oxygen diatomic…

We are a serious organization that since 1990 until now has been systematically studying the three main causes of blindness/age-related macular disease, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma with the main aim to develop new therapeutic approaches.

On the basis of these studies, we found out that the human retina, as well as every cell of our body (eukaryotic cell), has the amazing capability of taking energy directly from water like vegetables do. This energy comprises 99% of the whole amount that our body needs everyday. The other 1% comes from food.

The abstract of the study by Geoffrey Goodman, Dani Bercovich “Melanin directly converts light for vertebrate metabolic use: heuristic thoughts on birds, Icarus and dark human skin” sheds more light on the hypothesis:

Pigments serve many visually obvious animal functions (e.g. hair, skin, eyes, feathers, scales). One is ‘melanin’, unusual in an absorption across the UV-visual spectrum which is controversial. Any polymer or macro-structure of melanin monomers is ‘melanin’. Its roles derive from complex structural and physical-chemical properties e.g. semiconductor, stable radical, conductor, free radical scavenger, charge-transfer. Clinicians and researchers are well acquainted with melanin in skin and ocular pathologies and now increasingly are with internal, melanized, pathology-associated sites not obviously subject to light radiation (e.g. brain, cochlea). At both types of sites some findings puzzle: positive and negative neuromelanin effects in Parkinsons; unexpected melanocyte action in the cochlea, in deafness; melanin reduces DNA damage, but can promote melanoma; in melanotic cells, mitochondrial number was 83% less, respiration down 30%, but development similar to normal amelanotic cells. A little known, avian anatomical conundrum may help resolve melanin paradoxes. One of many unique adaptations to flight, the pecten, strange intra-ocular organ with unresolved function(s), is much enlarged and heavily melanized in birds fighting gravity, hypoxia, thirst and hunger during long-distance, frequently sub-zero, non-stop migration. The pecten may help cope with energy and nutrient needs under extreme conditions, by a marginal but critical, melanin-initiated conversion of light to metabolic energy, coupled to local metabolite recycling. Similarly in Central Africa, reduction in body hair and melanin increase may also have lead to ‘photomelanometabolism’ which, though small scale/unit body area, in total may have enabled a sharply increased development of the energy-hungry cortex and enhanced human survival generally. Animal inability to utilize light energy directly has been traditionally assumed. Melanin and the pecten may have unexpected lessons also for human physiology and medicine.

That sunlight can be converted into energy directly instead of the indirect method of processing it from plants that have converted it using chlorophyll, or plant-eating animals, could explain why HRM and other sun gazers/sun eaters reduced need for plant and animal-based foods.

Other research also reflects the above and supports the advantages of sun gazing. According to Dr. Edward F. Group III of the Global Healing Center, a few perks of the practice include:

Enhanced production of melatonin and serotonin – When direct sunlight enters the eyes, it moves through the retinal hypothalamic tract and continues into the brain. The pineal gland is then stimulated to secrete both melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that regulate sleep/wake cycles and positive states of mind, respectively. Melatonin is also a potent antioxidant which slows the ill effects of aging.

Increased pineal gland size – Bombarded by fluoride, toxins and electromagnetic pollution, the pineal gland shrinks and calcifies as we age – compromising melatonin and serotonin production. Sungazing has been shown to enlarge the gland. (Brain scans showed HRM’s pineal gland tto be three times the size of an average person of his age).

More energy – Sun gazers report heightened vitality. Dr. Group believes this is due to the release of melatonin and serotonin.

Sungazing also curbs the appetite and aids in weight reduction. When we don’t receive enough sunlight, vitamin D levels drop which leads to weight gain. Cravings for carbohydrates and sugar also increase due to low serotonin, triggering false hunger signals.

As already said, this information does go against commonly held beliefs and perceptions, but it isn’t the only new information regarding sunlight that does. For example, five studies show that

1) Sunlight Has Pain-Killing (Analgesic) Properties

2) Sunlight Burns Fat

3) Sunlight via Solar Cycles May Directly Regulate Human Lifespan

4) Daytime Sunlight Exposure Improves Evening Alertness

5) Sunlight May Convert To Metabolic Energy

Research from 100+ countries also proves that sunlight prevents cancer and that you can prevent Alzheimer’s by sunning and not using sunscreens. In fact, there is researched evidence to show that sunlight exposure can reduce the risk of over 30 diseases, and that its primary metabolite in our skin, vitamin D, may reduce the risk of over 200, (see the Green Med Info links below).

May the sun light up your life in more ways than one.

 

Sources and Additional Data

Sun Gazing Data

http://solarhealing.com/home

http://sungazing.vpinf.com/

http://sungazing.vpinf.com/sg-surv-1.htm

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_sol67.htm

https://charbelmaklouf.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/nasa-confirms-super-human-abilities-gained-through-sungazing/

The following list is taken from The Solar Healing Center’s Solar Links, an excellent resource of links to websites, support groups, articles and newsletters, videos, book and other related information:

 

Melanin Data

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0000457

http://energiaadebate.com/wpcontent/uploads/2012/01/drarturosolisespanol-ingles.pdf (Spanish article, English translation from Page 9)

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/does-skin-pigment-act-natural-solar-panel

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/race-skin-converting-sunlight-metabolic-energy

Information on Effective Alternative Treatments for Cancer

I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of hearing the phrase, ‘died from cancer’ or ‘lost the battle against cancer’. The incidence of cancer is so high now that there aren’t many people who don’t personally know, or know of, someone who has, or who has died from cancer.

Due to the way statistics are collected and processed, cancer incidence and mortality data lag three to four years behind the current year. Based on that data though The American Cancer Society, Inc Facts & Figures publications, which present the most current trends in cancer occurrence, estimated that in 2014 there would be 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed in the US, within which an estimated 10,450 new cases were expected to occur among children. Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. In the UK, the Macmillan Cancer Support organisation estimated that in the same year 42% of Britons would get cancer, that’s 4 out of 10 people. A statement by Macmillian chief executive Clare Devane in the UK media informed that in 2011 there were 2 million people in the UK that had cancer and that figure was expected to double over the next few years.

Official causative factors remain smoking and lifestyle (bad diet, lack of exercise) with no mention whatsoever of the massive list of known carcinogens, cancer-causing substances, that are allowed to be released into the environment and the human food supply, (such as those discussed in previous articles on this site).

Each year billions are raised by charities around the world and spent on cancer research, which goes to developing early detection methods and new treatments.

What most people don’t know is that there are non-toxic, holistic methods for treating cancer that have a proven record of success, several of them in clinical settings. Without fail, all these methods are suppressed and demonised and any health practitioners that use them hounded, prosecuted and/or struck off the medical register. Two classic examples of this are Rene Caisse and Dr Tullio Simoncini.

Rene Caisse was a Canadian nurse who ran a clinic in Bracebridge, Ontario from 1934-1942. During that time she helped hundreds of people using a simple herbal mixture. The initial use of Essiac was so encouraging that a group of doctors assisted her in setting up a test lab and clinic, even going so far as to petition to the Department of National Health and Welfare in Ottawa, asking that she be given facilities to do independent research on the treatment. (For more information http://www.essiacinfo.org)

Italian Dr Simoncini, an oncologist, successfully treated cancers and tumours using Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3), and for that was struck off the medical register (http://www.curenaturalicancro.com)

Both of the above therapies are labeled, as are all non-pharmaceutical therapies, ‘pseudomedicine’ or quackery by the mainstream medical profession and the mainstream press, despite the mountain of evidence that shows them to be effective. The same agencies however, continue to promote mammograms, despite the fact that mammograms cause cancer, and other cancer-causing pharmaceutical treatments for cancer.

This post could go on and run into pages and pages of data on real causes of cancer and the dangers of conventional cancer treatments. I leave that for reader’s own research. The purpose of this post is to provide, in one package, a significant amount of data on effective non-toxic treatments for cancer. Included in the data are information sources to aid that research.

The following is from the Read Me First notice within the package:

This data has been collected over a period of years and used successfully by others and myself. Unless you’ve looked into this sort of thing already, what you’ll read will potentially challenge your views. The fact is, cancer is not a “terminal disease” and doctor doesn’t necessarily know best. The human body is an amazing thing and can do amazing things if given what it needs. In most cases what it needs is found in nature.

For a start I would suggest that you get informed about the cancer industry. You will discover that things are not as they, the industry generally, oncologists, consultants, etc, would have you believe. The articles in the Professional Advice and Info file will get you started. There are videos online (YouTube, for instance) that deal with proven cancer cures that have been suppressed by the cancer industry, The Rene Caisse Story is one such, and is about Essiac, a herbal treatment developed by Caisse and used to successfully treat numerous people until she was effectively shut down, which as you’ll see is the reaction to medical professionals who successfully treat cancer with natural non-pharmaceutical means.

Obviously there are well-meaning medical practitioners out there, but in situations such as these even they can be handicapped by the allopathic approach to the body that sees it as a collection of bits rather than a whole. Few have gained a perspective outside of the box of medical school training, and most have succumbed to the prevailing bias and dogma.

I’ve included information on substances that have a proven track record and are easy to obtain. Again, when you look into it, you’ll likely be amazed at how many fairly household items can be used against cancer. I say ‘used against cancer’, but I don’t want to give the impression that these alternative approaches are some kind of ‘just take this three times a day’, magic silver bullet kind of treatment. Although these treatments all have a proven record of effectiveness, most within clinical settings and/or resulting from rigorous scientific research, what is usually needed here is a complete reassessment of personal health management, medicine in general, and the medical industry. The information in this file is provided with that in mind, as well as with providing data on specific treatments.

Lots more information can be found online about the substances mentioned and other natural, non-toxic, holistic ways of regaining health. The links in the headers of many of these articles are good starting points for your own research.

I’ll say it again, cancer is not a terminal disease. It is serious, chronic even, but it’s not unbeatable. Information is your best tool, and fortunately there’s a load out there. Look into it for yourself. Don’t expect doctors to give you all the information you need, especially when it comes to the statistical dangers of their treatments (see the booklet Natural Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You To Know About).

The package, a PDF folder entitled Information on Alternative Treatments for Cancer, can be freely downloaded from Dropbox using the following link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/44j5rlgqirb13xw/AAAgrai9f1z86ma_7lhD-uE0a

Please download and share, the file and/or the link, 
as widely as possible.

With well wishes.

Dropbox (http://dropbox.com) is a free cloud storage facility. Sign up and usage is quick and easy.