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WARNING: Most people will find item #1 of this blog entry offensive.  I find it offensive.

I would love to be a vegan, or at least a vegetarian.  I’m going to try to explain why that lifestyle appeals to me, and then I’m going to try to explain why I walk a different path.

Why I’d like to be a vegetarian.

ITEM #1.  As a very young child, I saw my relatives put hooks through the back “ankles” of a large pig, hoist him upside down, then lower him into a vat of boiling water.  On a different occasion, I walked past a small butcher shop where the man shot the pigs, and then the blood would run out of his shop and down the street into the sewer. The smell was horrible and unforgettable even 65 years later.  As a teenager, a classmate took me to his after-school job – shooting cows.  The cow would be lined up in a stall, and my classmate would shoot it though the head with a .22 rifle.  Sometimes something would go wrong, and he would have to shoot it a second time.

FitforlifecoverITEM #2.  I am a devoted disciple of Harvey and Marilyn Diamond.  They have created a lifestyle based on their first book FIT FOR LIFE.  As Wikipedia explains, “The Fit for Life book series recommends dietary principles including eating only fruit in the morning, eating predominantly “live” and “high-water-content” food, and if eating animal protein to avoid combining it with complex carbohydrates. . .  . Diamond claimed that if one eats the foods in the wrong combination they “cause fermentation” in the stomach. This in turns gives rise to the destruction of valuable enzymes & nutrients. Diamond categorized foods into two groups : “dead foods” that “clog” the body, and “living foods” that “cleanse” it. According to Fit for Life principles, dead foods are those that have highly refined or highly processed origins; while living foods are raw fruits and vegetables.”

My favorite sentence from their first book is “All the nutritional requirements of the body are to be found in fruits and vegetables.”

About the time I read FIT FOR LIFE, I also stumbled over the phrase “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead.”  🙂

So why do I not eat a diet of only fruits and vegetables?

Why I am not a vegetarian.

ITEM #3. At various times since March of 1991, I have had 27 kidney stones pass out or be forcibly removed.  They hurt like hell. Different urologists have given me several different diets to help cut down the formation of these spiny critters. The following is not a complete list, just a summary.

AVOID: Berry juices, Ovaltine,  Tea, Cocoa – Peanut butter, Soybean, Tofu – Beets, Swiss chard, Green peppers, Rutabagas, Summer squash, Celery, Eggplant, Parsley, Spinach, Sweet potatoes, Watercress, Dried green beans. Berries, Red currants, Lime peel, Concord grapes, Fruit cocktail, Lemon peel, Rhubarb, Tangerine – Grits, White corn, Wheat germ, Fruit cake – Nuts – Chocolate/Cocoa, pepper, Vegetable soup, Tomato sauce/soup, SALT, spinach, rhubarb, rice bran, almonds, baked potato with skin, corn grits, beets, Navy beans, cocoa powder, hot chocolate, bran flakes with raisins, Teriyaki, canned meat/fish, cheese pizza, canned soup, soy sauce, link sausage, all pickles, creamed cottage cheese, canned vegetable juices, ham, frankfurters,  processed cheese, chips/snacks, salami, bologna, natural cheeses.

MODERATE: Cranberry/Grape/Orange/Tomato juice – Sardines – Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, Cucumber, iceberg Lettuce, Lima beans, one small Tomato, Turnips – Apples, Oranges, Pineapple, Italian prunes, Black Currants, Red sour apricots, Peaches, Pears – Cornbread, Sponge cake.

OK: Apple/Grapefruit/Pineapple juice, Lemonade, Coke – Low fat/Skim milk, Fat free yogurt – Eggs, Beef, Pork, Cheese, Poultry, Seafood – Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Chives, Avocado, Grapefruit, Mangoes, Melons, Nectarines, Cherries, Bananas, Grapes, Peaches, Casaba, Plums – Cornflakes, Noodles, Rice, White bread, Macaroni, Oatmeal, Spaghetti – Bacon, Mayo, Salad.

Please note the large number of fruits and vegetables I am supposed to avoid.  Also note meats are recommended.

I carry this list in my wallet, wherever I go.  I think about the list when I go out to eat.

Unfortunately, I never pull the list out when I am shopping or eating out.  Call me crazy, but the list scares me. It gives me a creepy feeling that NOTHING I eat is safe.  I don’t WANT to see a list of all the stuff that can poison my kidneys.

You might say I have developed a VEGEPHOBIA, or a FRUITOPHOBIA.

Like I said, crazy.  But true.

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