...this isn't a discussion on people's choices. It is a discussion on how to function optimally healthwise, which is very different from one's, more often then not, subjective and highly biased choices. Choices can easily be made out of ignorance for lack of data and experimentation, since we are discussing and trying to find out what actually works, and what not, they can't really be part of the equation.
That's pretty much the bottom line. A lot of our learning/experimenting has included going against our "natural choices" - most of which are driven by unconscious motivations - and just trying to deal with the facts as we find them.
I was always inclined to think that vegetarianism was a better way. I tried it to one extent or another at various times. I even had the idea that it would be good to just eat fruit, nothing else. You know, like the "garden of Eden." I do NOT like the fact that other beings - creatures and vegetables - must give their lives to support mine. At times I have even thought that I just would not eat at all because it was too cruel - I'd rather die. I, and several others I know, have hit the wall on this more than once. I've run myself into the ground to the point of almost dying more than once for lack of care of my machine. the most recent being 2008. It was then that I realized that if I don't sort this out, find out what really works and works most efficiently, I will not be around much longer and I have a LOT of work to do and many people who depend on me to do it.
I had learned a lot over the years already from dealing with health issues, but I had never really gone into it deeply enough. I'd find something that was a quick fix - like fasting or mono-food diets that can't be sustained - and go up and down like a yo-yo. But the general progression was down, overall with the result being that, in 2008, I knew it was time to solve this once and for all, find what I could be doing on an ongoing, daily basis, to maintain energy and clarity so I could work efficiently.
I did not want food to be a focus but rather a means to an end. I also had additional motivation which was that all of my children and many of my closest associates seemed to have similar health issues and I recognized them from my own past experiences and knew where they ultimately led. The issue of being able to do our work in the face of an increasingly hostile environment, to maintain health and optimum functioning, was the objective.
I began mostly on my own, but as I had results, and others tried things and had results, it became apparent that this deserved some significant attention. Again, this is not because food is supposed to be a focus, but because we need to know what is optimum and efficient SO WE CAN WORK IN A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT and SURVIVE long enough to do what needs to be done.
In other words, it is sort of like learning about pathology in terms of group dynamics - Ponerology. How can a person or a group of persons survive and do a positive work if they are infiltrated and co-opted and their purpose turned backwards and all their good intentions turned to dust and naught? That's basically what was happening to our bodies/machines.
As we proceeded with experimenting, it became pretty clear that food affects body chemistry, including brain chemistry, and the link between brain chemistry and pathology became evident. So, again, the goal was to optimize functioning of the machine so that it became a useful vehicle and not an old clunker that does not get you to your destination because it keeps breaking down and spends most of its time in the shop.
Vegetarianism WAS tried, believe me. It's not effective nor efficient. Not only that, it is clear from history that only those who are adapted to certain diets survive the kinds of times we are passing into and through.
But those were just the beginnings. Like I said, we experimented and have a pretty good range of conditions - canaries in the mine, so to say - to work on. Regarding that metaphor, if the gases kill the canary, you can bet that they will ultimately kill you, too, it will just take more and longer. So, if one of the canaries in the mine who has great sensitivity to things learns something, perhaps it would be useful for the miners to pay attention? That IS, after all, why they had canaries in mines!
We like to emphasize that, yes, everyone is different and individual just as some people can survive a bit longer in the mine where the canary has died than others. But the gases ARE deadly and all WILL die eventually if the canary dies. So, what is bad for the canary is bad for everyone, generally speaking, and what is good for the canary is good for everyone, generally speaking. A smart man learns from his mistakes, a genius learns from the mistakes of others. Some mistakes are deadly, too, and it behooves us to learn from the mistakes of others - the canaries in our society.
And there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution, but there ARE general principles. Some people can go longer without a break-down than others and because they have no overt symptoms, they think their health is fine. Then, one day, they have a stroke or a sudden heart attack "out of the blue". But it is NOT "out of the blue". It's a silent, symptomless process going on inside the body that is not getting what it needs. Psyche, as a cardiac surgeon, has often said that she hated working on vegetarians because they usually had the most calcified hearts and needed bone saws to remove the valves for replacement. And their survival rate was abysmal. Those are cold, hard, facts.
So, again I say, it is learning about our machine, giving it the right fuel, so that we can work most effectively and efficiently.