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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Your Health is Up to You

While I was in Scotland earlier this year, I made a friend who quite enjoys her bacon and sausage. At the dinner table one night, we got to talking about disease and genetics. “I already know how I’m going to go,” she announced. (She is younger than I am, by the way.) “My family has a history of heart disease.”

“People say that, but it’s not one’s family medical history, it’s the fact that you’re all eating the same food,” I argued. “You won’t die of heart disease if you change your diet.”

My friend gave me a helpless look as if to say, No, really, it’s out of my hands. Then she took another bite of her shepherd’s pie.

This attitude is tragically prevalent. Why do we expect people to take responsibility for their decisions in every aspect of life BUT their personal health?

Here’s how I see it. So-and-so has a heart attack, or is diagnosed with cancer, and we are expected to react with complete sympathy, as if the disease chose them at random. The patient’s poor diet feels like “the elephant in the room,” even as an orderly arrives with a lunch tray brimming with highly processed, chemical-laden animal products–down to the cherry jello jiggling in the little plastic cup.

Blaming bad genes while continuing to eat food that research has proven time and again to be extremely detrimental to our health: this is the very definition of insanity. It makes me wish people would just come out and say “You know what? I love steak and hamburgers so much that I really don’t care if I end up on an operating table twenty years from now.” That, at least, is honest.

I’m not saying every disease is diet related, of course that’s not the case; but we have way more control over our fates than we like to think we do. If you truly want to live a long and healthy life, then veganism is your road map. That way, when you’re still going salsa dancing well into your nineties and people ask how you do it, you can tell them it isn’t sheer dumb luck you’ve lived this long. You took good care of yourself, and now you’re awfully glad you did.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.