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The Flu Vaccine: Why It’s Completely Useless & Potentially Dangerous

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A recent New York Times article urging readers to follow the CDC’s flu shot recommendation provides a useful case study of how the mainstream media manufacture consent for public vaccine policy by systematically deceiving the public about what the science says.

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By Jeremy R. Hammond, Guest Contributor, World Mercury Project 

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone aged six months and up, including pregnant women, get an annual flu shot to protect against the influenza virus. The mainstream media characterize this recommendation as being firmly grounded in science. The demonstrable truth of the matter, however, is that what the government and media say science says and what science actually tells us are two completely different things.

By deceiving the public about what the science says, the media serve to manufacture consent for public vaccine policy. A useful illustration of how the media serve this function is a New York Times article published in January and written by Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine and regular Timesblogger. The article is titled “Why It’s Still Worth Getting a Flu Shot”, and Carroll’s purpose in writing was to persuade his readers that, even though this season’s influenza vaccine was “particularly ineffective”, everyone should still get it.

Details and Deceptions

The argument Carroll presents is that, even in flu seasons like this past one when the vaccine is not well-matched to the predominant circulating strain of the influenza virus, since the vaccine is so extraordinarily safe, it still confers a great benefit to society.

To support his argument, Carroll cites two studies from the prestigious Cochrane collaboration, a global independent organization specializing in meta-analysis that does not accept any industry funding. (A meta-analysis is a kind of study in which researchers search the literature for relevant studies and review the body of evidence available by combining the results of studies that meet the inclusion criteria.)

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According to Carroll, a 2010 Cochrane review of influenza vaccination in healthy adults found that 37 people need to be vaccinated in order for one person to see the benefit, which represents “a big payoff in public health.” Mistakenly describing it as having been published in 2016, Carroll also cites a subsequent 2012 Cochrane review of vaccine effectiveness in healthy children that found “an astonishing payoff in medical terms”: just six children aged six or younger had to be vaccinated in order to prevent one case of influenza. Carroll further claims that the science shows us that harms from the flu vaccine are “almost nonexistent”.

Carroll could have made his case stronger by citing the actual number from the 2010 Cochrane review, which is 33, not 37. This was an error Carroll evidently carried over from a secondary source, which is perhaps an indication that he never read the actual Cochrane review, which might also help explain how he could so grossly mischaracterize that review’s actual findings, as you’re about to see.

For starters, it is curious why Carroll would cite the estimated effectiveness of the vaccine “under ideal conditions”—which is to say when the vaccine completely matches the circulating virus—in order to support his argument that it’s worth getting even in poorly matched years. Why didn’t he instead cite the study’s more relevant estimate of vaccine effectiveness under “average conditions”, when the vaccine only partially matches the circulating strains?

The most obvious answer is that relaying the review’s finding that “100 people need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms” would be counterproductive to his purpose.

And yet their review turned up ‘no evidence that vaccines prevent viral transmission or complications’

But that’s just the start of Carroll’s deception. Whereas he characterizes the 2010 review as though the science fully vindicates public policy, in fact the Cochrane researchers were highly critical of the CDC’s recommendation and challenged the fundamental assumptions underlying it. They observed that the primary rationales the CDC has offered are that mass vaccination will (1) reduce transmission of the virus and (2) reduce the risk of potentially deadly complications from influenza. And yet their review turned up “no evidence that vaccines prevent viral transmission or complications” (emphasis added).

In fact, none of the studies they looked at even presented any results “evaluating the ability of this vaccination to interrupt the spread of the disease”. Likewise, none bothered to report “any evidence of effect on complications.” In other words, none of the studies the Cochrane researchers looked at in their comprehensive review of the literature even seemed to consider the question of whether the central assumptions underlying the CDC’s recommendation were actually true.

This is a remarkable illustration of the institutional myopia that exists when it comes to the politically sensitive issue of vaccines.

Ignoring the Warnings

Once recent study, however, did bother to look at the question of whether the vaccine prevents transmission. Published on January 18, 2018, in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of AmericaPNAS, the study’s authors screened volunteers with confirmed cases of influenza and took breath samples. And among their findings was “an association between repeated vaccination and increasedviral aerosol generation” (emphasis added).

In fact, subjects who had received the influenza vaccine in both the current and the previous season were found to shed over six times more aerosolized virus than those who did not get a flu shot during either season.

The Cochrane researchers found not only that ‘reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin’, but also that ‘there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies.

Another thing Aaron Carroll failed to disclose to Times readers is the rather important caveat that the Cochrane researchers attached to their findings about the vaccine’s effectiveness. And it’s not as though this caveat was easy for him to miss; it’s presented as an explicit “WARNING” right at the top of the review just below the abstract.

The authors’ warning notes that their review included numerous studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry, which independent studies have unsurprisingly shown to be biased in favor of their own products. The Cochrane researchers found not only that “reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin”, but also that “there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.” (Emphasis added.)

In other words, even the estimate of 100 people needing to be vaccinated for one person to receive a benefit may be overly optimistic.

Whereas the Times would have us believe that the Cochrane review found that the flu vaccine confers “a big payoff in public health”, in fact, the conclusion the review authors actually arrived at was that their findings “seem to discourage the utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure” (emphasis added).

The Cochrane Collaboration in a 2014 update of their review even more bluntly concluded, “The results of this review provide no evidence for the utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure.” (Emphasis added.)

And whereas the Times would have us believe that the science has been settled that harms from the vaccine are “almost nonexistent”, in fact, the 2010 meta-analysis expressed concern about the lack of safety data. “The harms dataset from randomized studies is small”, they observed, and the studies’ authors “appear to regard harms as less important than effectiveness assessment.” Even among the studies that weren’t funded by the industry, “the quality of the majority of influenza vaccines studies is low”.

Where’s the Payoff?

Turning to the second Cochrane study Carroll cites, the 2012 review did find that evidence from randomized controlled trials “shows that six children under the age of six need to be vaccinated with live attenuated vaccine to prevent one case of influenza”. However, they once again cautioned that this finding needs to be interpreted in light of the “evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies” tending to show favorable results.

While Carroll describes the finding of the vaccine’s effectiveness in children under six as “an astonishing payoff in medical terms”, he does not relay the review’s finding with respect to children aged two or younger, which was that the perceived benefit of the vaccine was “not significantly more efficacious than placebo.” In other words, there was no good evidence that the vaccine is effective at preventing influenza in children younger than three. One would think that information, too, would be worth relaying to the public; but, then, that disclosure would not align with his whole purpose for writing, so it is understandable why Carroll would choose not to mention it.

Perhaps the reason Carroll did not cite this number is that it wouldn’t have actually helped his case at all, since that result was “not significantly more efficacious than placebo.” In other words, there was no good evidence that the vaccine is effective at preventing influenza in children older than six. One would think that information, too, would be worth relaying to the public; but, then, that disclosure would not align with his whole purpose for writing, so it is understandable why Carroll would choose not to mention it.

While the Cochrane researchers had intended to examine the question of safety as well as effectiveness, the absence of good quality data meant that they could not even carry out safety comparisons. Furthermore, specific influenza vaccines were known to be “associated with serious harms such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions.

Yet another fact the Times chose not to disclose to readers is that, far from science having established that harms from the vaccine are “almost nonexistent”, the 2012 review found that there was “no usable data” on the safety of the vaccine for children under two.

In other words, according to Carroll’s own source, the flu vaccine has not been properly studied for safety in children aged six months to two years, despite the CDC recommending routine vaccination of children in this age group.

In fact, while the Cochrane researchers had intended to examine the question of safety as well as effectiveness, the absence of good quality data meant that they could not even carry out safety comparisons. Furthermore, specific influenza vaccines were known to be “associated with serious harms such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions.”

Especially in light of such known risks, the review authors remarked that “It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months of age…. If immunization in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes, and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.” (Emphasis added.)

In addition to recommending the vaccine for infants as young as six, the CDC also advises pregnant women to get the flu shot, even during their first trimester. The aforementioned 2014 Cochrane review looked at the science specifically with this recommendation in mind. And what they found in their systematic review of the literature was that the number of randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of vaccinating pregnant women was zero.

The absence of proper safety studies is also noted right on the package inserts that the manufacturers include in the box with their products. For example, the insert for GlaxoSmithKline’s inactivated influenza vaccine, Fluarix, discloses that “Safety and effectiveness of FLUARIX have not been established in pregnant women or nursing mothers.” While limited studies have been done on reproductive and developmental toxicity in rats, there are “no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.” Furthermore, “caution should be exercised” when vaccinating breastfeeding mothers since “It is not known whether FLUARIX is excreted in human milk.” Medical practitioners are advised to inform patients “that safety and efficacy have not been established in pregnant women.”

Mercury Menace

The CDC’s recommendation that pregnant women get the flu shot is all the more disturbing given the fact that multi-dose vials of the flu vaccine contain the preservative Thimerosal, which is half ethylmercury by weight. Ethylmercury is a known neurotoxinthat can cross the blood-brain barrier and accumulate in the brain. It can also cross the placental barrier and enter the brain of the developing fetus.

While Thimerosal-free single-dose versions of the vaccine are available, the CDC does notspecify in its recommendation to pregnant women that they should opt for this version in order to avoid unnecessarily exposing their fetus to the toxic effects of mercury.

As a review published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in December 2017 noted, “there are no safe blood-level values for any of the heavy metals during pregnancy”, particularly since “the placenta is incapable of protecting a human fetus with regards to neurotoxicants or most other heavy metals.” The review stated that the practice of including known neurotoxins among vaccine ingredients “has to be considered dangerous, irresponsible, and certainly should be ended.”

The authors further commented that the use of mercury as a vaccine ingredient could explain the finding of a CDC-funded study published last September in the journal Vaccine that found an association between the influenza vaccine and spontaneous abortion. The CDC researchers looked at the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 flu seasons and found that women who received a flu shot had twice the risk of having a miscarriage within 28 days of receipt than women who did not get the vaccine. Looking just at the 2010-2011 season, vaccinated women had a 3.7 times greater risk of having a spontaneous abortion. Moreover, since the 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, seasonal influenza vaccines have included a varying pandemic H1N1 (or pH1N1) antigen component; and most alarmingly, the CDC researchers found that vaccinated women who had also received a pH1N1-containing influenza vaccine in the prior season had a 7.7 times higher risk of spontaneous abortion.

…the Cochrane researchers actually went so far in their criticism of the agency as to accuse the CDC of deliberately misrepresenting the science in order to support their policy.

Toeing the CDC Line

In sum, whereas the New York Times would have us believe the science is settled that the influenza vaccine confers “a big payoff in public health” and carries “almost nonexistent” risk, even its own sources from the medical literature found no scientific evidence to support the CDC’s recommendation and highlighted the alarming lack of good quality safety studies despite the known serious harms associated with the vaccine.

In fact, whereas the New York Times characterizes the 2010 meta-analysis as though it vindicated public policy, the Cochrane researchers actually went so far in their criticism of the agency as to accuse the CDC of deliberately misrepresenting the science in order to support their policy.

Previous versions of their review, they noted, “have been extensively misquoted especially in public policy documents.” The specific example they presented of how their findings were being deceptively manipulated by public health officials was a 2009 CDC policy document outlining its rationale for universal influenza vaccination. As the Cochrane researchers stated, “The CDC authors clearly do not weight interpretation by quality of the evidence, but quote anything that supports their theory.”

It is perhaps not too surprising, therefore, that the New York Times would so deceptively mischaracterize the science regarding the effectiveness and safety of the influenza vaccine, given the fact that, by doing so, it was simply following the CDC’s example.

This article is a condensed adaptation of part one of a multi-part exposé on the influenza vaccine. Click here to read the full original essay. Click here to sign up for the author’s newsletter to stay updated with his work on vaccines and receive his free downloadable report, “5 Horrifying Facts about the FDA Vaccine Approval Process”.

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Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

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 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

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Lebanese Hospital Becomes The World’s First To Go 100 Percent Vegan (Food)

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A hospital in Lebanon has become the first in the world to adopt a completely vegan menu.

  • Reflect On:

    Are people aware of the physical and emotional torture the majority animals we eat go through? Are people aware that a diet free of animal products can be very beneficial for human health. Are people aware that animal agriculture is destroying Earth?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

At the beginning of March, Hayek Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon became the first hospital in the world to serve 100 percent vegan only meals. Prior to this change, patients had a choice between animal based meals and vegan meals, and included with that was information about the health benefits of choosing plant-based foods versus the dangers of consuming animal products. The hospital made the announcement via their Instagram page, stating that “Our patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk, and eggs…the very food(s) that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.”

When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as a group 1A carcinogenic (causes cancer) same group as tobacco and red meat as group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in the hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital. When the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) declare that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious disease comes from animals. When adopting a plant based exclusive diet has been successfully proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them. We then, have the moral responsibility to act upon and align our beliefs with our actions. Taking the courage to look at the elephant in in the eye.

Their various statements also point to the role that animal agriculture plays in spawning infectious diseases, citing the Centers for Disease Control’s estimate that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals. “We believe it’s well about time to tackle the root cause of diseases and pandemics, not just treat symptoms,” they note.

This was a great statement. The modern day medical industry only seems to be focused on medications, and only medications that can turn a hefty profit, to treat and cure disease instead of addressing root causes. It’s good to see things changing, but a big problem remains. If a plant that grows in abundance, for example, has the potential to cure a disease, will we ever hear about it? Will the medical industry be interested in it? Probably not, but when a drug is made and patented from that plant in a specific way, that’s when we will. This is not to say that modern day medicine is useless, but today now more than ever a big problem exists, and this problem may be killing more people than it’s helping.

Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), a Harvard professor of medicine and also a former Editor-in-Chief of NEMJ, was frustrated that “the medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” (source)

According to Forks Over Knives,

While Hayek is the first hospital to completely purge animal products from its menu, a number of hospitals have begun offering more plant-based options in recent years. Both New York and California have enacted laws requiring hospitals to offer a plant-based option with every meal. In 2018 NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue launched the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program to help patients transition to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle.

The American Medical Association passed a resolution in 2017 calling on U.S. hospitals to provide healthful plant-based meals to promote better health in patients, staff, and visitors. The American College of Cardiology has issued similar recommendations.

In my opinion, “veganism is a very fine form of nutrition” (Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, heart surgeon), and as mentioned above, there is plenty of science to back up that statement.  I’ve written about it many times before from a health perspective.

Here’s an article that goes into more detail and science if you’re interested, it also addresses history, and how our teeth and guts are designed and more. Here’s another one regarding a study that found a strong association between eating animal protein and a premature death from all causes, including multiple cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The studies cited in that article note that meat eating is strongly associated with up to a 75 percent increased chance of early mortality, and that protein from animals may cause harm, while protein from plants may help reverse disease and have a protective effect.

There are hundreds of these studies, and the ones I cite are just a few examples.

This is obviously a very controversial topic in the eyes of many, and it’s not hard at all to find conflicting information on the subject. I am no doubt bias in my beliefs and opinions here.

One thing is for certain, the way we treat animals on this planet is extremely heartbreaking and unnecessary. Animals are separated from their families, raised for slaughter and are kept in torturous conditions on a daily basis. It’s truly unbelievable and horrific. It’s the biggest genocide and example of both physical and emotional torture the world has ever seen. I don’t think anybody can witness what really goes on in most slaughterhouses can come out not being impacted.

On top of this, animal agriculture is one of, if not the greatest contributer to environmental degradation and pollution on our planet. Animal agriculture is actually the leading cause of deforestation. Every single day, close to 100 plant/animal/insect species are lost because of this practice.

Final Thoughts: At the end of the day it seems that, from a health perspective, processed meats, and other meats are no doubt harmful to human health. People can make the argument that other animal products may not be and that we are meant to consume them. People can also make the complete opposite argument. One thing that can’t be argued is, again, the torture, physical and emotional abuse that comprise the source of where animal products come from for the majority of people who eat them.

There is a big split, as with many other topics, amongst people on this issue. There are even vegan influencers who are creating splits within the ‘vegan community’ itself, which is unfortunate. I personally believe that, from a health perspective, animal products are not at all required for anybody and are again, overall, harmful to human health.

The more pressing issue, again, is the treatment of our animal brothers and sisters, and how we are constantly using and abusing them. It’s indicative of world that lacks empathy, compassion, understanding and love, as well as our inability to see ourselves in another. This can be seen in many aspects of the current human experience, be it war, human trafficking and more. That being said, it’s great to see human consciousness shifting towards a more compassionate, empathetic type of awareness. This is evident by the “vegan” movement alone, as it’s become quite large over the past few years and will continue to grow. Some of the biggest animal food producers have already gone out of business, and it’s great to see more people in the health community as well recognize that it’s a win for health, a win for environment, and most importantly, a win for the very emotional, intelligent, animals, who are similar to us in so many ways. We have so much to learn from them.

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Awareness

Caloric Restriction vs. Fasting: Why One Can Result In Weight Gain While The Other Helps Burn Fat

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CE Staff Writer 3 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the video below, Dr. Jason Fung explains the difference between caloric restriction and sending the body into "starvation" mode compared to fasting.

  • Reflect On:

    Fasting has been used as a health intervention for thousands of years, and is being used today by doctors who are educated on the topic. Why is it completely ignored by mainstream medicine? Is it because "big pharma" can't make any money off of it?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Some would say that the best solution to weight gain is eating right and exercising. I couldn’t agree more. Obesity is one of the deadliest problems humanity faces today, and just as important as diet and exercise is for addressing this issue, even more important are the emotional and personal reasons as to why so many people damage themselves and make themselves more prone to serious disease.

Apart from diet and exercise, initiating a proper fasting regimen can have tremendous health outcomes, especially for overweight people. It wasn’t but a decade ago when fasting to lose weight was considered unhealthy and dangerous. Today, we have a tremendous amount of science that’s been published clearly showing that fasting can be an effective health intervention for people of all body types, especially for people who are overweight and suffer from certain diseases. It’s an excellent way to help your body burn fat. Fasting has been used and is currently being used as an intervention for type two diabetes, cancer and more. Fasting has been shown to trigger stem cell regeneration, autophagy, which in turn can help clear out toxins and damaged cells, repair DNA, improve metabolism, lower blood sugar, boost brain function, reduce the risk of age related disease, lessen inflammation which improves a wide range of health issues from arthritic pain to asthma and more. It’s no wonder why so many ancient cultures from different parts of the world used fasting as medicine and as a health intervention.

As shown in the science, fasting is generally safe for everybody. This many not be true if you already have underlying health conditions or are taking certain medications. This is why it’s important to consult a health professional about it, but the issue is, the majority of health professionals are not well educated in fasting interventions. Those who have educated themselves have been treating their patients with fasting and are drawn to it due to its ability to provide so many benefits.

One of these doctors is Dr. Jason Fung, who on his blog and his YouTube channel, as well as the books he’s written provides a wealth of information and science regarding fasting. I often refer people to the work of Fung, or others like Dr. Valter Longo if they want to begin their own research about fasting. Again, there is a wealth of science and “scholarly” articles available on the subject for anybody who wants to search for it as well. It’s not heard to find.

In the video below, Fung explains why fasting is much different from caloric restriction or having your body go into “starvation mode.”  You can also check out his article, “The difference between calorie restriction and fasting” for some great information as well.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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