Now That’s Just Weird

Paraphrasing something I heard Cherie say recently:

In our culture, having someone saw your breast bone in two, then sew to your heart a piece of an artery taken from your leg, isn’t weird.  There are over 1 million heart surgery procedures in the U.S. every year, including almost 400,00 coronary artery bypass grafts.

In our culture, having the knees you were born with replaced with a artificial knee-like device because your skeleton just can’t carry the amount of weight it’s been caused to bear, isn’t weird. There are about 719,000 total knee replacement surgeries in the U.S. each year.

In our culture, having deadly radiation beamed into your body and consuming poisonous chemicals while suffering from cancer, isn’t weird.  Over a million Americans will receive radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment this year.

But eating a plant-based diet of nutritious chemical-free unprocessed foods? Now that’s just weird.

7 comments on “Now That’s Just Weird

  1. Jeff says:

    That’s an interesting observation. I don’t doubt that, given the opportunity, humans without access to these kinds of interventions would elect to have them done, too. But then the question comes up: in a more holistic society, would the need for heart bypass operations even exist? I can’t help but see a link of some sort between the Cartesian view of the world and heart bypass operations. Once we remove ourselves from nature, the body becomes an object to be manipulated, just like nature is, in return. Both are equally objects, not expressions of the life force. I’m reading a very interesting book about the entire Modernist project, viewed from an African perspective. From that angle, Modernism, which started at the same time that capitalism did, is one sick puppy that has done enormous damage to the web of life, at multiple levels. I can’t argue with that.

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    • Bill says:

      I think that postmodern thinking offers the potential to start reversing some of the negative consequences of modernism. I hope so at least.

      My wife’s point is that some things that would have seemed ghastly and bizarre not long ago, are now routine enough to be considered “normal.” Meanwhile here (though increasingly not so elsewhere) holistic natural approaches to health care (even something as simple and basic as a good diet) are considered weird and “abnormal.”

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  2. shoreacres says:

    I have a friend who had a knee replacement about two years ago. She isn’t even approaching obese, but she’s a little heavy, and she’s still having some problems with it.

    Last week, I noticed that my own right knee was twinging a bit as I walked up the stairs. Sometimes, it was more than a bit. Then, the revelation hit. I’d been carrying duffle bags, groceries, boxes of canned peaches up the stairs. Just for grins, I went back downstairs and climbed up again without groceries or trip remainders. No problem.

    I told the story to my friend, along with my conclusion: added weight makes knees twinge. Of course I phrased it in the context of my own intent to take off a bit more weight, but she clearly thought I was weird. (She also knew I was right, but wasn’t about to say so. I hope she thinks about it.)

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    • Bill says:

      Of course not everyone who benefits from open heart surgery or joint replacement came to need those procedures because of poor food choices. I personally know fit people who have had both, for various reasons. But far too often we so ruin our bodies with bad food and inadequate exercise that we end up needing fake knees, stints in our heart, etc. Then there’s liposuction, gastric by-pass surgery, etc. Here it’s becoming common for people to go on total disability payments because they’ve grown so large that they can no longer ambulate properly (and their knees often give out, causing them to have to ride around in motorized wheelchair/scooters despite being middle-aged). It’s like an epidemic here and in most parts of the country, threatening to overwhelm the medical system.

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      • bobraxton says:

        When my paternal great-grandmother died in 1912 her age was fifty and she had given birth to more than a dozen children. My imagination tells me that her life bears no comparison to mine in the “ease” department. I have also been to Kenya close to a dozen time, one month each time. Having clean water and any choice as to the KIND of food is an interesting perspective when I realize how many have none (water) and the health issue is whether there is food at all. Someone said (wrote) that the definition of (fill in the blank) “survivor” is that someone died of something different. When age forty was “ripe old,” even in the absence of 21st Century medical technology, none of these were real issues because most people (many, at least) did not live all that long. My maternal great-grandfather died 1935 or so – heart attack – in the Burlington, NC, tobacco market (harvest).

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      • Bill says:

        Yes, and I could tell similar stories from my own family and from my experience in Haiti. In light of all the good that medical knowledge and food production technology has done, it is shame to now use it to produce mountains of deadly junk food and devices to keep us alive after we’ve destroyed our health eating it. Many are saying this will be the first generation that will not live as long as their parents.

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  3. Bob Braxton says:

    ec- / -cent- / -ric

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