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Young Vegetarians, share this with your kids, part 2 of 2

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Dec 08, 2011

I like this YouTube video about another vegetarian athlete, Jake Shields, whose parents never served animals but didn’t talk about why. Now Jake converts other athletes, who are amazed at how endurance increases when they eat only plants:

Have your children look at all these world-class, famous athletes, including rocked-up bodybuilders, who don’t eat other creatures.

In addition to so many athletes, how about these brilliant vegetarians? Socrates, Plato, Pythagorus, Da Vinci, Newton, and Einstein! You know that song Adam Sandler did about all the famous people who are Jewish? Who wants to do one about people who don’t eat our friends?

Looking at that list of genius vegetarians, I hypothesize that freeing energy from digestion allows the mind and spirit to soar and creativity to be untrammelled. Either that, or people who think outside the box are willing to buck social norms to do what’s right and what logic dictates. Probably both.

Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt, Carrie Underwood, Mark Twain, Ann Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Pink, all of the Beatles, Billy Idol, Rosa Parks—all vegetarians.

Dr. Thomas Lodi has been vegan for 46 years. He can’t even eat in the presence of those consuming, as he puts it, “carcasses and animal excretions.” He points out that the human digestive tract is 30 feet long, like all vegetarians, whereas the carnivore GI tract is very short. (I became convinced by the “we aren’t built to be carnivores” logic 20 years ago by John McDougall.)

Therefore meat takes sometimes days to digest, and in your gut it does the same thing it would do on your counter: it putrefies. (Many of the healers I am studying point to the strong evidence that undigested proteins in the blood and gut lead to all the modern diseases.)

This is my paraphrase, with some stuff from me added, of what Dr. Lodi teaches people in their first group session with him at Oasis of Healing:

If we were carnivores, and a chicken walked in the room, we’d salivate. We’d pounce on it and tear it apart, eat its heart and liver out of its warm abdomen. We’d maybe swallow the sinewy eyeballs whole, and crunch on some bones. Everything but the feathers we’d tear apart with our long incisor teeth.

But we’re not carnivores. We don’t have long teeth. Because of our biology, we can’t stand to eat raw flesh. And after an hour, dead flesh goes into rigor mortis, and then we REALLY can’t stand to eat it. So we hang it for several days to “age” it (translation: allow it to rot), we cut the maggots and really disgusting parts out. And we STILL can’t stand to eat it. So we cook it. We might put some tasty cancer-causing nitrates in it, if it’s bologna, bacon, sausage, etc.

f you signed on for this gross-out lesson towards a plant-based diet and you are still reading….you might be more ready to give up eating our animal friends than you think you are!

If you need a final pinkie push, order Mike Anderson’s film called Eating. I’ll be amazed if you can watch the avalanche of data, and images of how animals are raised for eating in America, and not vow to stop contributing to it. Every plant eater should own a copy of it.

Posted in: Food Industry, Nutrition, Raw Food, Standard American Diet, Uncategorized, Whole Food

10 thoughts on “Young Vegetarians, share this with your kids, part 2 of 2”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So Robyn, how do you deal with it when your kid comes home from seminary quoting scriptures from D&C about how God has ordained animals on the earth for the use of man, for food and for rainment etc.? I’m sure you’re familiar with the references I’m talking about. Telling you that you’re going against God’s purpose if you don’t eat meat. I’m sorry to get religious here but I’m curious how you handle such comments from people. I’m just not sure how to best help my son understand why I choose to live a more vegetarian lifestyle and that I’m still following God and his plan. Anyhow, just thought I’d ask you. BTW your daughter seems totally amazing, just like her mother!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      My oldest son doesn’t buy in, either, Sue. I think he enjoys some of the advantages of the whole-foods habits I’ve taught him, but, tell him the scriptures don’t clearly state one must be a vegetarian, but it also says we should be stewards of the animals (which I do not think means penning them in cages their whole lives for slaughter), and it also says only in times of WINTER (figurative meaning would be times of great need), COLD or FAMINE. Good luck!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I thought this was a thought provoking post on this very subject. I saved it because I thought it was a good explanation.


    My mis-reading of this scripture seems pretty universal. So sit down and hold onto your hats!!

    You know how double negatives work:

    I’m going to the store.

    I’m not going to the store.

    I’m not not going to the store. –> Now we’re sort of back to going to the store.

    Or like in math: 4 = 4; -4 = -4; -(-4) = 4

    So turn to D&C 49: 18 and look at what it really says.

    So turn to D&C 49: 18 and look at what it really says. I’ve been missing the double negative all these years:

    “And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;”

    Notice — who is not ordained of God? The person who forbids. Forbids what? Forbids abstaining! Not forbids eating meat, but rather forbids abstaining. Wow! Get it? I’ve been reading this scripture all these years as though it was saying that the person is not ordained of God who forbids eating meat. That is not what it says. One more time, it says:

    The person is not ordained of God who forbids abstaining from eating meat, i.e. the person is not ordained of God who forbids vegetarianism! Neat, no?

    Now this whole set of passages makes sense, which it formerly didn’t.

    D&C 49: 18-21

    18 And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God; 19 For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance. 20 But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.

    21 And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.

    In other words, it’s wonderful in God’s eyes to abstain from eating meat, except when we need it in times of winter, cold, famine, excess hunger, and to save our lives. Life is precious. But the animals give themselves to us willingly if we need them to save our lives. (See the JS translation of Gen. 9: 10-11 on pg 797 of your quadruple combination, and also D&C 89: 12-15).

    I believe Heavenly Father is always careful about how He says things, and I believe that He knew exactly that saying this in the way He said it would be easily misinterpreted, thus protecting us from further condemning ourselves.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If we encourage our youth toward a vegetarian diet, we need to educated them about which foods then become important. Too often they then load up on refined carbs and destroy their health.

    From my own experience there are four food groups (actually five food groups) and to be healthy we need to eat from all of them — the first two being the most important (my opinion).

    1. GREENS

    2. Vegetables

    3. Fruits

    4. Whole grains (defined by the word WHOLESOME-which is another study in itself).

    5. Nuts and Seeds

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Mel, great points. Too many vegetarians eat mostly junk (Cheetos and Diet Coke qualify in the “vegetarian diet!) and are therefore unwell. That list of foods is exactly what I teach—except i put legumes in there, too, ahead of whole grains.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sorry…..but I do have one more response that I copied answering to the above question:

    The Word of Wisdom: the Forgotten Verses

    A discussion of Latter-day Saint (LDS or Mormon) beliefs and vegetarian


    This is posted on: Vegsource.com


    by Jim Catano

    Author’s note:

    I make no claim to represent the official position of the Church of Jesus Christ

    of Latter-day Saints. Any truths contained herein have been expressed previously

    by others. Any errors are my property and my responsibility.Does D&C Section 49 Cancel Section 89?

    If you choose to tread a similar path, be aware that you will encounter some

    Latter-day Saints who will ignorantly criticize you because they do not

    understand Section 49 of the Doctrine and Covenants and try to make it justify

    their own flesh-eating habits. They forget that this section was given two years

    before the Word of Wisdom (Section 89) and can’t see that 49:18 is actually a

    warning to those who would prohibit others from abstaining from eating flesh

    rather than a condemnation of those who do abstain.

    There is understandable reason for honest confusion on this point. First, there

    is an error in a footnote in the present edition of the LDS scriptures which

    suggests that “biddeth” means “forbiddeth.” However, just as “left” surely does

    not mean “right,” nor does “good” mean “bad,” to “bid” someone does not mean the

    same as to “forbid” someone. “I bid you to come to my house” is the exact

    opposite of “I forbid you to come to my house.” The inaccurate footnote prompts

    us to incorrectly believe that the person who asks another to abstain from meats

    is not ordained of God. However, the original scripture (which was published for

    148 years without that footnote) teaches that he who forbids others to abstain

    from meats is the one who is not ordained of God. Furthermore, if forbid really

    meant bid it would alter 49:15 to also condemn “whoso ‘biddeth’ to marry.”

    Another component of the confusion is that some readers believe the clause “that

    man should not eat the same” is some sort of quotation by an imagined and

    unidentified vegetarian heretic. I suggest that it is really a modifying clause

    that clarifies what it means to “abstain from meats.” In other words, the

    passage could be interpreted, “Whoever forbids others to abstain from meats,

    “others” being those who believe that humans should not eat animal flesh, is not

    ordained of God to forbid them.” This is consistent with the context of the rest

    of the section that instructed a non-LDS, Shaker community how it might modify

    its beliefs to be consistent with Mormon theology. On some points Shaker and LDS

    doctrine were poles apart, but on the this point Joseph Smith seems to have been

    telling the vegetarian Shakers that they would not be compelled by LDS leaders

    to eat meat if they were to convert to Mormonism.

    This interpretation is fully consistent with verse 19 which says that the

    beasts, the fowls, and “that which cometh of the earth” are all ordained to

    provide food and clothing. Logically, isn’t it much more productive to shear a

    sheep each year for wool than to kill it and have the use of its body only once?

    Doesn’t it make more sense to use your ox to pull your wagon and your plow and

    provide fertilizer for your crops year after year than to kill it and use its

    body only once? Don’t chickens and other fowl provide effective on-going pest

    control when allowed to live and patrol the farm? I can only speculate that

    “that which cometh OF the earth” may refer to earthworms, bacteria and other

    life forms within the soil that one would never eat directly but are vital to

    the successful growth of plants which, in turn, become a better direct source of

    food and fiber than the dead bodies animals.

    On such a self-sustaining farm people can “have in abundance,” as 49:20

    recommends, as there would be more production allowing for a greater and more

    even distribution of temporal resources. Remember the words of George Q. Cannon

    who explained that, “other articles of food could be raised more cheaply and in

    greater variety than the flesh of animals.” It takes from 5 to 12 pounds of

    grain when fed to livestock to produce one pound of meat. What better way for

    all to have abundantly than for humans to be eating the grain directly thus

    creating food for 5 to 12 times as many people. Wouldn’t that go a long way

    toward establishing a Zion society and eliminating the inequities of a worldly

    system in which one man “possess that which is above another?”

    Only by interpreting these verses in this way is verse 21 consistent with the

    rest. It reads, “Wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and

    hath no need.” Less than two years after, in Section 89, the Lord gave the

    guidelines as to when those situations of “need” occur which are “only in times

    of famine and excess of hunger.”

  5. Anonymous says:


    Thank you so much for your comments and insights. They really clarified a lot and help me a ton.


  6. Anonymous says:

    I would agree with beans before grains.

    So that would make 6 food groups.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mel for all of your time and insights to clear that up for me/us! I really appreciate it!

  8. Anonymous says:

    So… Here’s my question. I get all this & agree with it. But how do we know that the footnote (biddeth) in D&C 49:18 is an error, as vegsource states? And if it’s an error, WHY hasn’t it been removed or corrected?
    This is DEFINITELY one subject I’d like to be perfectly clear on, because if this is true, most members of the church have been reading this wrong all along. But how can we explain it, hopefully without argument, from those who *have* been reading it wrong?

    Is there some time or place when it’s been officially said that the footnote is incorrect? If so… PLEASE tell me where! 🙂

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