Our diet influences our health tremendously: “You are what you eat”. A well-planned diet means that we have a wonderful chance to live a long, fit and healthy life. So if our diet is so important, shouldn’t we learn more about how to eat right from the standpoint of nutrition, working with reputable studies from all around the world?
We are all familiar with articles that urge us to eat more fruit and vegetables and less meat. Even so, meat is still considered a completely normal part of a healthy diet, despite the fact that numerous scientific studies have proved that consuming meat damages our health. The disastrous impact that milk, cheese and other dairy products have on our health is less well known. The public is shocked whenever natural disasters or terrorist attacks kill hundreds or thousands of people. But will people react in the same way when millions of people suffer from and die of cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, obesity and other diseases that are related to diet and malnutrition? While the public is being misinformed and misled about a healthy diet, certain industries will profit from this situation.
Doctors, clinics, producers of medical instruments and pharmaceutical companies can only profit if people suffer from and are treated for chronic diseases. The animal industry only profits if people consume damaging foods such as meat, milk, dairy products, eggs and fish. What’s tricky is that the health consequences that result from consuming products derived from animals don’t become apparent immediately but only years later. Medical progress has been enormous, but we’re paying a high price for this situation in two ways. First, health costs rise and, with them, fees for health insurance. Second, people who have become sick because of ingesting unhealthy animal products now live longer because of our medical progress. But with chemotherapy, pills, state-of-the-art medical equipment, surgeries and other expensive invasive procedures, we don’t treat the cause but only the symptoms of chronic diseases, and we lengthen people’s lives and, in many cases, prolong their suffering. In contrast, the goal of responsible medicine that is truly in the interests of all people should be to help people lead a long life in good physical and mental health.
This goal can be achieved only through prevention, which means through a healthy diet and lifestyle. But doctors, clinics, the pharmaceutical industry and producers of medical equipment don’t profit from healthy people. So who is really interested in keeping people healthy, anyway? In my experience, it’s not medical insurance companies, either – no matter how much health costs rise, the insured patient will pay for it by paying higher insurance premiums. Politics, too, is so closely linked to the profits of the health and animal industries that politicians won’t help, either.
But it gets even worse. Seemingly independent nutritionist organizations publishing official dietary recommendations to the public are partially financed by the meat, milk and egg industries around the globe. A lot of scientists in seemingly independent nutritionist organizations are, for example, offered well-paid consultant contracts or other profitable opportunities by the meat, milk and egg industries. Will these organizations and their scientists under these circumstances speak out against the products of companies that pay them or that they profit from in any other way? In politics, too, the animal industries’ interest groups are very active. And this is why huge amounts of money worldwide are paid to animal industries as subsidies. The EU alone every year spends more than 50 billion euros on subsidies for the agricultural industries. Most of this money goes to the animal industry. Additional export subsidies are even paid so that cheap animal products from the EU can flood the world market and destroy the livelihood of farmers in poor countries.