VOICES: For your grandchildren, try eating a plant-based diet for three weeks

I would like to ask you to do yourself a huge favor.

If you do me this favor, it will allow you to have a happy, healthy retirement.

You will be able to avoid all the chronic illnesses from clogged up arteries: No strokes, no wheelchairs, no medicines, no doctors, no kidney machines or blindness, no erectile dysfunction, no Alzheimer’s disease or diabetes. It will even get rid of your pot belly!

I do have an ulterior motive for sure, but trust me (I’m a doctor), if you do this favor for yourself, you will be eternally grateful. I would like to suggest that you stop eating all animal products for the next three weeks in a row.

You will feel better, you will lose weight and you will be on your way to good health. Why do I ask this? Simple: for the planet and for our grandchildren.

Why three weeks? Psychologists tell us that if we do the same thing every day for three weeks in a row, it builds a new pathway in our brain and the new behavior becomes a habit.

If you develop the habit of a vegan diet (no animal flesh, no animal milk products), you will set an example for others to do the same.

If healthy, plant-based eating becomes the norm, the highly subsidized animal-flesh industry will go out of business. The dairy business is already going down the tubes even with government subsidies.

If you can’t avoid the unhealthy, standard, American, artery-clogging diet for three weeks, then try again, this time, by not eating beef for three weeks, and see how you do.

Cows are, by far, the most-destructive animals (besides humans) on the planet. If enough people stop eating cows and we pressure our government to stop subsidizing factory farming, it will go by the wayside.

What’s wrong with cows, you ask? Cows create water pollution, air pollution, habitat destruction, forest destruction and greatly contribute to the main causes of human disease. The harm that cattle do would fill a small book, but for this essay’s purpose, it is that cows belch methane.

That’s where your grandchildren come in.

Cows belch methane, a greenhouse gas that is 85 times more destructive than carbon dioxide. Methane causes far more damage to the climate than burning things like coal and petroleum.

The good news is that it doesn’t stay in the environment as long. The better news is that an easy way to get rid of it is to stop government subsidies to the meat and dairy (and oil) industry.

Who do you think eats all that corn on the Westside? It is not for corn-on-the cob or corn flakes.

It is seed for corn and soy grown in Iowa for cows. About 80% of the corn and soy grown in the U.S. is fed to cattle, pigs, chickens and lambs. The rest is for ethanol. It is not their natural food, that’s why they belch so much.

One day, your grandchildren will ask you why our generation didn’t do enough to protect the climate.

Your answer could be, “sorry kid.” Or your answer could be, “I encouraged everyone I knew to get our federal representatives to oppose the Farm Bill, I encouraged all my friends to switch to a plant-based diet, I drove an electric car, I urged my Hawai‘i state representatives to stop giving cheap rent to agribusiness companies in West Kaua‘i and I took a bike whenever I could.” Let’s hope our grandkids won’t be mad at us.


Dr. Gordon LaBedz is a retired Kaiser Permanente family physician and retired medical school professor living in Kekaha. He is a longtime environmental activist.

  1. Iowa Farm Boy October 29, 2021 2:43 am Reply

    Dr. Gordon LaBedz,

    I just dropped a big load of methane on your diatribe–but it wasn’t a belch. My advice, live your own life, let others live theirs, and (as my parents taught me) mind your own business. You’ll have a lot less stress.

  2. Charles October 29, 2021 5:55 am Reply

    Aloha Dr. Gordon, Isn’t it true that when cows of any kind, beef or dairy, pass gas from either end, mouth or butt, that their body’s excretion is methane gas that pollutes the air with bad green house gases?

    In addition to all the toxic medical drugs the cows are given repeatedly in their food and by injections, these drugs are passed onto the humans who eat those animals, which are s
    erred at Fasr Food restaurants.

    Especially true are the not-for-humans hormones given Dairy Cows that forces them to produce unnatural amounts of milk.

    But, perhaps, worst of all, is the fact that all dairy products, Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt, Cottage Cheese, and any other Dairy products; the #1 amount of protein in the Dairy products, as much as 80%, is called Casein protein.

    The horrific side of Casein, is that Casein turns human cells into CANCER cells which accumulate into cancer tumors.

    Lab animals used in Cancer Research, were repeatedly fed Casein Protein, and right away developed cancerous tumors.

    However, when the Casein protein was removed from the diet, the cancerous tumors went away.

    These cancer experiments were repeated numerous times and the cancers came and went, as the Casein was given and removed from the food.

    The cancer researchers commented that adding and subtracting the casein from the diet was like turning a light switch ON / OFF as to producing / removing cancer from the lab animals’ bodies.

    Now you can understand why so many types of Non-Dairy milks are on the grocery shelves. Oat Milk, Cashew, Almond, Soy, etc., they are often labeled VEGAN.

    People are Vegans Who don’t eat animal meat products, but also don’t eat Dairy Products.

    Cow milk is a major cause of constipation, and having a bloated belly.

    If you think about improving your Health, you might read all the labels of every food you consider eating; and eliminate all the types of added sugars, and those chemicals hard to spell and pronounce.

  3. RSW October 29, 2021 8:19 am Reply

    Talk about pathetically biased misinformation…Gordon takes the cake.

    1. RevW October 29, 2021 2:12 pm Reply

      Charles & Gordon -both of you are offering opinions, ‘selected’ scientific survey information. It is inexcusable for a doctor to claim that a vegan diet will prevent “all he chronic illnesses from clogged up arteries: No strokes, no wheelchairs, no medicines, no doctors, no kidney machines or blindness, no erectile dysfunction, no Alzheimer’s disease or diabetes. ” This is not true. These things are NOT caused by “clogged up arteries” in the first place and can not be cured or avoided simply by adopting veganism.

      Gordon has a better excuse for misinformation; he’s not even a doctor. But his information is not factual. For example casein … if that is so deadly, why are there so many humans in India? IF there are so many “toxic medical drugs” routinely given to cows (and hormones,which have been banned for decades) that are passed along to humans, you should be able to post a list along with what is known as the *clearance time* for them & the frequency of use. I have yet to see such a list offered by anyone claiming that a ‘plant based diet’ will provide the health benefits claimed for veganism.

  4. KauaiFarmMan October 29, 2021 12:12 pm Reply

    Pure globalist propaganda!
    I would agree a diet more focused on plants is healthy. Eliminate processed foods and refined sugars. Most people need meat and fish to maintain proper health. This article is a clear misinformation campaign written by a biased author with intentions to destroy an entire industry and way of life. It is in fact healthy to consume animals. Please don’t buy into this globalist propaganda that aims to destroy human civilization as we know it.

  5. HIERONYMUS October 30, 2021 2:54 pm Reply

    When you milk a cow you get milk. How much processing does it take to turn a nut (almond) into milk? How much processing does it take to turn oats into milk? With water getting more and more scarce due to all the almond and oat milk production, I think it is better to just drink milk from a cow.
    We are omnivores by nature. Why fight nature? Eat meat if you wish. It plants if you wish. Or not. I don’t care what you do. You shouldn’t care what I do.

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