At least there is one doctor and possibly other doctors (the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) who are willing to "come out" espousing the vegan way of life to save people's lives. Thank you, Peter Brandt, for interviewing Dr. Neal Barnard to let us know the medical community is not completely without the guts to say "Just say no" to animal products in your diet.
As a member of the House of Representatives in Mississippi, I have come under some scrutiny for living differently. I am known to pull out my green juice before legislative lunches, and also known to turn down the most "delectable" meat/fish meals in favor of my favorite salad meals. I am also -- horrors! -- a raw vegan, and have eaten very few cooked products in the past three years. My energy level is very high and my health is on top scale. I firmly believe it is hard to get sick when you have no animal products going into your body, and harder still when you don't zap good veggies with heat. I, like Dr. Barnard, was raised on a farm, with our family dairy, poultry houses and beef cattle offering us a hardworking way of life, and teaching us that the way to good health is through eating these products. (I call them products, because I now know them not to be real foods.) After seeing so many of my good friends get cancer and other diseases, I am convinced that all of us, Dick Cheney included, should know the truth about the high level of proteins we think are so good for us; cancer cells need undigested (unused) protein to survive and spread. What about that, America?
-- Rep. Rita Martinson
Thank you for the article on Dr. Barnard. I am a registered nurse and 20 years ago I worked on the heart disease/stroke floor of the hospital. It amazed me that even though the information that Barnard speaks of was available then, the patients were still given beef, bacon, sausage, dairy and other known cholesterol-elevating items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was required, as one of my nursing duties, to serve them the very foods that in many cases had made them sick. I became very vocal about this to others on the medical staff and was not well received. I quit working as a hospital nurse because I could not in good conscience serve them these foods and then wheel them off for one invasive, painful and expensive procedure after another. These patients were really victims of the medico-pharmaceutical factory farm industry. These foods are still being served in hospitals; so I have to ask myself, who is benefiting from this?
-- Sandra Boss, R.N.
The trouble with "distinguished elder statesmen" is that they are almost invariably unfunny. I'd like to see both Steve Martin and Woody Allen strapped into a movie theater seat (like Alex in "Clockwork Orange") and compelled to watch Preston Sturges' "Sullivan's Travels" for about 48 consecutive hours.
Incidentally, while I'd agree that "Pennies From Heaven" is Martin's best film, it doesn't hold a candle to the British television version starring Bob Hoskins.
-- Terence Patten
Thanks for publishing the Steve Martin profile. That introduction about geeky boys of the '70s imitating his every gesture equally applies to geeky girls of that period (like myself) who owned his albums and tried to re-create his moves. "King Tut" and "Saturday Night Live" helped ease the trauma of adolescence. And as you point out, the parents could handle his antics as well. That helped. Thanks for honoring Martin. I'll keep up with his prolific career as long as he keeps working. Bravo! What a GREAT guy.
-- Michelle L. Brown
Brilliant article voicing the sheer ignorance of those mindless, shortsighted human thinkers who you wonder how they ever managed to achieve breathing. I think it was the Cambodians who came up with the concept that one should eliminate the scientific process for the good of all. Chris Colin has succeeded in getting the square block in the round hole.
Chris Colin's fourth reason, hot chocolate, just won't hold water! Bush has already stated that he's going to get the Colombian government to cut back on the production of cocoa [sic] and there just won't be enough of the stuff to go around.
-- Derick Ovenall