Last Sunday, the wife and I were hanging around the house not doing much. I was tying some white woolybuggers and having a beer, she was seated on the couch, knitting a blanket for her mother’s Christmas present. “Hey, do you want to watch a movie?” I asked. “Sure,” she shrugged. I got up from my seat, sauntered over to the laptop and logged into Amazon Prime.
“What do you feel like watching?” I asked. “Whatever.” This is a cue for me to start throwing out titles to see which one piques her interest. I came across a few new Science Fiction movies, which she shrugged off. I couldn’t possibly blame her after recently forcing her to sit through Ridley Scott’s latest train wreck Prometheus.
“How about Forks Over Knives? I heard the guy who made this being interviewed on NPR. It sounded kind of interesting.” With that, I had her hooked, as we’re both big NPR listeners, although Terry Gross both gets on our nerves. I hooked the laptop into the television set, hit play, and closed the lid. Modern technology is great isn’t it?
What we were subjected to for the next hour and a half was eye opening. Forks Over Knives looks to examine the claim that many of our Western afflictions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even some cancers, can be prevented or even reversed by changing our dependence on animal based and processed foods. The evidence they set forth is very compelling, and I’m having trouble refuting it.
As a self proclaimed avid foodie, amateur chef, and meat eater galore, I took the information it presented to task. After watching the documentary, we went over to the fridge and opened the door. We were rather taken aback by the sheer amount of animal based foods we have in the fridge. Butter, heavy whipping cream, bacon, sausage, mayonnaise, eggs, chicken, lunch meat, cheese, sat there staring back at our faces. An image of a doctor removing a section of fat from a clogged artery during open heart surgery has been seared into my brain. Were we, a couple in our early thirties, heading down the same path of those others who were hospitalized, or even worse, died prematurely?
We have never been big processed food eaters as we don’t care for sodium and prefer to cook anyway. In general, we adhere to the “must rot for us to eat it rule,” which goes to say if you set something edible out for a few days and it doesn’t start rotting, then it was never edible in the first place. We were pretty happy with this rule, favoring eating at home through the week and splurging for a nice sit down every Saturday night. But I’m afraid, did what we watch put that in jeopardy?
The truth is, nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes according to the CDC, and according to a study reported on by ABC news the number of Americans living with diabetes will double in the next 25 years. Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the
United States for both men and
women according to the Heart Foundation. Perhaps it’s time for us to address
these sad facts and admit they are preventable, and its time for us to take action.
How This Effects Sportsmen
As sportsmen, we tend to be large protein and animal product consumers, which puts us at a significant risk for disease. Luckily, much of our game is significantly lower in fat than beef provides, and those of us who fish have the added benefit of this health food as well. But, what happens when we lard our meat with bacon grease, or fry our fish, or eat beef jerky while in the field or snack on bad health foods on our drive there? You hear the stories about men having heart attacks while climbing their deer stand, and things start making more sense. What can we do about it?
Perhaps it's time that sportsmen take a look at their health and make changes if need be. Maybe we could be the leading voice that wakes people up when it comes to their health. We are already advocates for a vanishing lifestyle, an ethos of conservation, preservation, and protection. What happened if we started promoting our sport as a healthier alternative, something outside of the mainstream, more authentic, and more sustainable? Can we turn the tide of the anti-hunters washing down upon us, and encourage the disconnected members of the Generation Y community to become more Y-not when it comes to hunting? Our future more than likely depends upon it.