Recently it was my son’s birthday. The traditional celebration in the culture that surrounds me is by means of eating a sugary wheat-based cake. To celebrate life by eating substances that fundamentally undermine human well-being (no matter how tasty) is in my view insane. This is just one of the more obvious cultural practices that must change and reflect rational thinking if humanity is to make any progress.
Culture of reason
I am committed to the idea of birthing a new culture of sanity by recognising rationality as our only guide to knowledge and action. I consider the proper place to start as within my personal sphere of influence and thus within my own family. I have been demonstrating the art of eating for ‘nourishment and taste’ to my wife and children for some years now. But it is inherently an uphill struggle. Foods are healthier if they contain no sugar, wheat, flavour enhancers, additives or any other toxicity. But this means they necessarily have an unfair disadvantage in competing for the sanction of our taste buds when pitched against other foods that do.
To some extent, I can forgive young people for being led by their sensory pleasures, for not seeing the bigger picture, for not appreciating cause and effect, and for not thinking long term. But parents and grandparents deserve no such forgiveness.
Pro-life Celebration of life
The essence of how to live right necessarily involves knowing how to support our health and wellbeing, meaning doing what supports our lives and their continuance in a state of optional functionality. The whole point of living right rests on the pro-life premise. It is to live in a way that supports our wellbeing as specifically opposed to unthinkingly undermining it. Any claim to living consciously must necessarily embrace the idea of revising our eating behaviour, which lies at the root of so much chronic disease.
Information about the harm sugar does to our bodies, to our blood and to our physiology, is widely available and not difficult to understand and fully grasp as a truth that MUST be recognised. The fundamentals are not contested by conflicting scientific evidence. These days we can know what to put in our mouths that nourishes us as opposed to poisoning us. Incorporating this knowledge into our lifestyle choices is not only self-evidently desirable if we wish to thrive, it is essential in the current context of misinformation and toxic food-like products that tempt us on every supermarket shelf. This imperative becomes even more important in the context of the many other health threats that exist in our environment such as toxicity and ubiquitous wi-fi and EMF’s from mobile phones.
It is for this reason that I seek to promote the idea that celebrating a birthday anniversary by consuming so-called ‘treats’ that harm us is crazy. It is indulgence in anti-life practices in the name of celebrating life. What could be more back to front?
The consumption of a sugary wheat-based ‘birthday cake’ as a specific symbol of the celebration is a grotesque inversion of truth at the heart of the ceremony. Wheat, with its glyphosate load to destroy the gut lining, and sugar with its addictive properties and multi-faceted capacity to destroy health are the perfect combination to wreck health. Their only merit is that they dance favourably on our taste buds.
Pleasure versus Happiness
This means that the sensory effect of immediate pleasure is implicitly held as the highest consideration while the longer-term impact on health and well-being is discounted or ignored altogether. We are teaching our children (in effect) to be short term orientated in our choices and actions and to disregard cause and effect in the pursuit of pleasure. This practice of consuming a ‘birthday cake’ to celebrate another year of life is demonstrating the evasion of truth so as to enjoy a pleasure hit. Compromising happiness in favour of pleasure.
Advocating against this practice is considered a kind of ‘kill-joy’ activity. Wrecking the party and spoiling the fun. To those seeking to evade the facts of reality with regards to diet and the dangers of wheat and sugar, any attempt to enlighten them is met with incomprehension and comments such as “But it’s his/her birthday”. It is only willful ignorance that permits this kind of response.
Grandparents beyond reach
The older generation of grandparents offering birthday ‘treats’ for their descendants seem to be largely incapable of grasping this issue, fundamentally unwilling to think about the consequences of their actions. Many times in my own family, I have made the case to the older generation who demonstrate with their body language and their actions that they are simply not prepared to entertain any remotely challenging new ideas. However, the lack of enthusiasm to grapple with this issue is more serious in the parent generation who must know better if they are to act in the best interests of their children.
In truth, of course, most grownups implicitly laying claim to adulthood as they steer and manage the lives of their offspring have no idea what is good for themselves, never mind their children. They don’t know how to feed themselves appropriately, how to nourish a human body. They act like mindless automatons repeating behaviour demonstrated to them by their parents and their surrounding culture and either applying no thought or judgment to their choices and actions or worse still, they evade the issue. And this is the heart of the problem. Welcome to the matrix.
Lead by Example
One day human beings will rationally consume delicious foods and snacks that support human health. Taste alone will not be the ultimate arbiter of what to eat. An increase in conscious conceptual awareness will mean consideration is given to factors beyond the immediate moment, beyond satisfying the whims and urges and impulses of the moment driven by food addiction and the messages sent to the brain by sugar-eating bacteria dominating the gut microbiome. One day reasoned thought and rational action will dominate human behaviour as a consequence of thinking and a rational hierarchy of non-contradictory values.
That is the day I am working towards. That is the message I choose to embody and to demonstrate to my children, the next generation and to whoever is willing to think. Unfortunately, even as I celebrate the 7th anniversary of the birth of my youngest son, I am thwarted in my efforts due to the cultural momentum around me. My wife and mother along with so many other family members relentlessly preserve this insane tradition of ‘treating’ my young children with poison in the form of wheat and sugar.
It is frustrating to acquire knowledge yet be impotent to effect the necessary changes in one’s surrounding culture. However, in order to remain an effective father I must subordinate my desire to see these necessary changes enjoyed by my children to the needs of good relationships around me and within my family. I am left with only one strategy available to me – that of demonstration.
All I can do is go it alone and behave differently. All I can do for my children is to lead from the front by example. Sometimes I share (or reveal) my own weakness and occasionally I have caved in to the temptation of the sugary treat. But I must always pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back on the wagon. My integrity and my self-esteem are at stake, as well as my health and that of my children. If I wish to see my children resist temptation I must demonstrate resisting temptation.
There is no need for chronic disease. It is easily avoidable at the price of a little self-education and a desire for understanding. There is no need for obesity. No one is genetically predisposed to weight gain with no recourse. There is no need for cancer, diabetes, dementia and suffering. It may sound harsh to say it but in the current context with the vast availability of information ignorance is a choice. And ignorance isn’t bliss, it leads to suffering.
Moving forward let’s determine not to evade the truth. Let’s commit to knowing, to understanding, to gaining conceptual awareness. In a word let’s commit to thinking. and then putting the inevitable results of the knowledge we gain into practice. This is the necessary basis for a new culture of sanity in which we can put suffering behind us. Perhaps starting with health issues and moving on from there towards peace freedom abundance and happiness.
Love your life
Nigel Howitt, Treehouse Farm