Forsaking the Unholy Trinity: Animal Flesh, Caffeine and Sugar

As an always-foraging Vegan, I was encouraged to read this in the New York Times about eating fake meat that still tastes like chicken:

Would I rather eat cruelly raised, polluting, unhealthful chicken, or a plant product that’s nutritionally similar or superior, good enough to fool me, and requires no antibiotics, cutting off of heads, or other nasty things? Isn’t it preferable, at least some of the time, to eat plant products mixed with water that have been put through a thingamajiggy that spews out meatlike stuff, instead of eating those same plant products put into a chicken that does its biomechanical thing for the six weeks of its miserable existence only to have its throat cut in the service of yielding barely distinguishable meat?

Why, in other words, use the poor chicken as a machine to produce meat when you can use a machine to produce “meat” that seems like chicken?

That brings us to a discussion of my successfully forsaking the Unholy Trinity of the processed mainstream American Diet: Animal Flesh, Caffeine and Sugar.

Not eating animals has always been simple for me. You cannot love and respect animals while still eating them. If you do, then you are a hypocrite. Having a cognizant disconnect between that pig your plate and that pig on you keep as a pet is a tremendous example of Freudian repression that will one day destroy you.

Caffeine ruled my life for many decades. I drank the darkest and heaviest black coffee I could find. I drank potfuls of the burnt beans every day. Then my stomach turned on me. The high acid content and constant caffeine buzz made my entire body ache. Sleeping became an experience in repressing GERD. I gladly gave up most caffeine — there are traces of it everywhere — and my body returned to normal. Caffeine from tea is better tolerated by my body than caffeine from coffee.

Finally, we come to Sugar — the most powerful and pernicious of the unholy three. Processed sugar is added to almost everything. Your body needs to convert a fair amount of sugar a day to keep powering you into the day, but too many of us make too much sugar available to our bodies and that unused sugar is transformed into fat. Making the decision to radically remove as much sugar from my diet as possible has resulted in a magnificent gift to myself: A certain clarity of calmness. When my body isn’t processing sugar, I feel better. I am more aware. I am able to sustain a neutral state of mind and being and I like that a lot. Sugar buzzes the body more than caffeine, and sugar does more damage to our psyches than the slaughterhouse, and being able to remove that sweet and silent killer brings me boundless happiness and even more energy.

6 comments

  • Good on you for keeping up with the proper diet. I do my best but alas, slip up sometimes — particularly in the sugar and coffee areas!

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    • It’s always a struggle, Gordon. Probably my best, “no sugar, thank you” moment comes when I give up alcohol. Never a big drinker — liquor and such always made me sleepy and tired and removing it from my diet gives me a sustained and predictable steady energy.

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  • Lillian Boyington

    Sugar? Check.
    Prefer vegetables to meat. Check.
    Caffeine? Work in progress. I’m finding myself in the same predicatment as David. It’s gonna end up being it or me. I’d prefer the latter.

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  • It’s all about choice. Choices we have to make every moment of every day. Having a routine that doesn’t tempt or tease or test, helps. SMILE!

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    • Lillian Boyington

      I agree. I always thought caffeine was one of the ‘harmless’ addictions. There’s always a fresh pot (smelling so good) at work, then I find myself awake at hours that aren’t conducive to alertness. Hence, must quit.

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      • Try moving to tea if you can because it will step you down from the coffee caffeine in a gentler way. Then, if you miss the taste of coffee, you can buy a grain drink like Pero or Caffix. They work great.

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