Archive for November, 2012

Now that is a tough question, especially right before Thanksgiving. “Humane” meat of any kind eventually means the death to an animal. Several animal support groups such as PETA do not believe in humane meat since they can’t seem to find a “humane ” factory. So the question becomes is it possible for an animal to live a “happy” pain-free life then become our dinner? As time goes on I have struggled with this answer. I firmly believe several meals should be taken OFF the menus immediately such as any pork products, foie gras and veal. But what about hamburgers, steak, chicken or fish? In the wild these animals suffer as well; lack of water and food, other predators, etc.. So if we as humans can breed and keep animals safe, fed with good foods, such as grass for cows and provide clean water and then use these animals later for products and food is that really so bad? I think the biggest problem I have with our current situation is these animals are abused physically and they live in confined filthy places and feed dirty water and foods not meant for their bodies; cows and fish we not mean’t to eat corn! Then when it comes time to kill these fish, chickens and cows they suffer. I would like to believe the farm of the future will have pastures rich in soil and grass; flowing source of clean water; animals roaming or swimming freely and an ample food supply where the bottom line is not all about the bottom line. Yes, our farmers need to make a profit and the ones who help create this harmonious environment are the farmers we would encourage and support. In my perfect world; people would turn vegan and there would be no need for huge factory farms only the small harmonious farms would exsist. Be well and Happy Thanksgiving!

One of my greatest challenges and personal disappointments treating patients for 30 years is when I have failed to communicate the responsibility for the safety of a patient, which I believe is paramount. Manytime , there are choices for surgery that run from minor to major risks to a patient. Caring physicians look at the totality of risk factors prior to offering surgical choices. I have patients that are unaware of the association of smoking, obesity, hypertension, cardiac, pulmonary and a variety of other comorbitities that can lead to tragic consequences. I have seen examples of death and infections as well. In select cases, I try to stage solutions offering less invasive surgery to lower the risk of complications in high risk patients. Unfortunately results may be less then perfect, in higher risk patients, but most cases would allow a choice of additional procedures at a future time. I try to manage patients expectations so they never cross into the abyss and feel that they have no possibility of further recovery. I take complications and the results of surgeries extremely personal since I realize my patients have a choice in surgeons and they have put their trust in me.

A vegan (pronounced vee-gun) is a person that follows the strictest form of vegetarianism. They are people who do not consume animal or dairy products; even honey is off limits. Why honey? Honey is an animal by-product. Vegan living goes far beyond the foods you eat it is more of a lifestyle. Strict vegans abstain from wearing animal products of any kind such as furs, leather clothing; shoes or even car seats. Even though I have said I am a vegan I’m really not in the strict sense of the word. I do consume honey and wear animal products; my car also has leather seats. Even my little dog eats animal products. Food companies do make vegan pet food I just prefer not to use it. I still feel organic, hormone free, free range pet food is healthier for my little dog. There are many radical views of vegans but to put it simply I believe an average vegan is just someone who desides not to consume animal or dairy products. I decided to try veganism for the many health benefits and I do have a soft spot for most animals with the exception of perhaps cockroaches and mosquitos. Whatever your view of vegans may be the health benefits are unquestioned; they are healthier. If you decide to give veganism a try I would suggest to start off slow and see how you feel. To help you start your journey I would recommend reading my book EAU, The China Study by: T. Colin Campbell or to visit www.PETA.org.