National Conference to End Factory Farming
Plant Based Panel Speech (Donna M Beaudoin): DIET AS A TOOL FOR CHANGE
My name is Donna Michelle Beaudoin, and I am a vegan and the author of Sister Vegetarian's 31 Days of Drama-Free Living. The book focuses on helping women and men transition to and lead a success vegetarian or vegan lifestyle by addressing societal myths and cons against this lifestyle; and, help people realize how a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can help prevent illnesses and diseases and heal the body.
I will speak on how a plant based diet as a vegetarian and now a vegan has healed my body, and others.
At age 45, for me, living a plant based lifestyle has not only a personal meaning for myself but for my family.
My family has a history of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer whereas my family size has dwindled in size through the years from aunts, uncles, grandmother, grandfather, and cousins passing away too young from heart disease, diabetes, stokes, stomach, and colon cancer that could have been prevented, reversed, treated, and in some cases cured from a plant based lifestyle. Two of my father’s brothers passed away young from colon and stomach cancer, respectively. My dad is battling pancreatic cancer. My mother had 3 siblings (3 sisters). All but one of the sisters are left. 2 of my mother’s sisters passed away from heart disease and diabetes. So did my mother’s mother, uncles, and cousins. My mother’s last surviving sister lives with heart disease and diabetes. I have a 46 year old cousin who already had 3 heart attacks by the age of 39. The only family member thus far that lived past their 80s in excellent health has been my great-grandmother who lived mostly a vegetarian lifestyle, and toward the last decade or more of her life, lived a total vegetarian lifestyle. My Great-grandmother, Otis Mae Robinson, lived to be 100 years ago and died of natural causes. At 100, she did not take medicine nor visited the doctor for problems. She ate beet roots and beet greens on a weekly basis and drank the liquids from greens (as in the south it's called pot likker but you know it as vegetable stock from greens). My great-grandmother implemented in my mother who in return implemented in me the importance of vegetables to heal the body and help prevent illnesses and diseases.
Unfortunately for me, as what happened in college and afterwards, I fell into the ways of eating meat, dairy, and junk food which formulated 90% or more of my meals with vegetables, grains, and beans comprising only 5 to 10% of my meals. I suffered with stomach and colon issues for over ten years whereas within a 10 year period, I was hospitalized 4 times for uncontrollable vomiting and sever stomach pains. I was misdiagnosed many times with numerous tests performed on me to watch out for the stomach, colon, and now pancreatic cancer that is prevalent in my family's genes.
Physicians could not find out what was causing my pain or my inability to have bowel movements but every 4 days. I was even told this was normal by two physicians...that as we know is not true. Toxicity built up in my body. I was having back pains, leg pains, chest pains, stomach pains, constipation every 4 days, gas pains, nausea, and more before the age of 40. I could not walk up the stairs at age 40 without being out of breath, and experiencing chest and leg pains. A visit to my physician said I did not have heart disease, so something else was the problem.
I went from a size 4 to a size 14 in 3 years although I exercised and hiked with my husband. I had a unnecessary partial hysterectomy 14 years ago at age 31. I am now 45 years old. I did not know it at the time but the fibroid tumors that I experienced were from the excessive meat and dairy products that I consumed, and that hysterectomy operation could have been prevented. I still had pains in my ovaries after the operation since they were left intact; but, the pain stopped after living a plant based diet. At the time of the operation I had no children, and of course cannot now conceive due to the hysterectomy. I consumed little vegetables, fruits, and fiber over a 10 year+ period. I began to develop ear infections which I never had in my life, and constantly became sick with flus, and bacterial and viral upper respiratory infections.
One day, I said enough was enough! I was just "sick and tired of being sick and tired." I remember how little I was sick when I was young and ate more of a vegetarian lifestyle. The last time I was sick with a bacterial virus and stomach pains, I decided to heal myself through a plant based lifestyle as a strict vegetarian eating 90 to 95% vegan and raw vegan meals. I did not take medicine, because the antibiotics prescribed in the past never helped. The over the counter medications for cold and flu symptoms never worked. I research more about healing oneself as a vegan or vegetarian. I was home sick from work on a Friday. I researched the information on a Monday because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I ate vegan Monday and Tuesday. By Tuesday evening, my stomach pains disappeared and my cold symptoms were about 90% gone. By Wednesday evening, I was 100% better by elevating meat and dairy. I became a strict vegetarian and only ate 5% dairy if at all in a month. 95% of my foods or more were vegan and raw vegan. I eventually transitioned to a vegan lifestyle when I realized that the small amount of cheese and eggs that I did consumed brought upon bloatedness, although my stomach pains and colon issues that plagued me for over 10 years never reappeared. Oh yes, I never took a flu shot in my entire life, and have not developed any flu or cold virus or symptoms since switching to a strict vegetarian and now a vegan lifestyle.
At almost 3 years on a plant based lifestyle, going from strict vegetarian to vegan, I have not had any stomach or colon issues, heart problems, being out of breath from climbing stairs, no cold or flu viruses, no back or leg pains, no ear infections....basically, I am healthy with no problems surfacing for almost 3 years by living a plant based diet,
I have taken a step toward better health through a plant based diet. I created my Sister Vegetarian Blog and wrote Sister Vegetarian's 31 Days of Drama-Free Vegetarian and Vegan Living to prove that a plant based diet can help prevent, heal, treat, and cure some illnesses and diseases.
I reflect on health insurance and people’s use of health insurance as I healed myself through a plant based diet. Everyone on Capitol Hill talk about a revised healthcare system.
As we are aware, health insurance has been a hot topic for a couple of years. I am not a politician, physician, or nutritionist; but, I know that health insurance starts here (point to my mouth).
1 90% of horrible diseases are caused by meat consumption.
2 In our healthcare system $250 billion a year goes toward heart disease illnesses
3 The leading cause of bankruptcy is medical expenses
In my opinion, A revised health insurance system starts with us. It does not start with the actual health insurance policy and revising health insurance so everyone can receive it. Health Insurance starts with me, you, us FIRST! We need to take care of ourselves through a plant based diet that gives us the chance to fight those diseases that we thought were within our DNA….that mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandma, or grandpa currently has or died from.
5 people that I know who were helped by a vegan lifestyle:
My neighbor's father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 6 years ago and was told that he had 6 months to live. He decided to live as a vegan without chemo treatment. He is now living for 6+ years, cancer free of pancreatic cancer.
My neighbor’s sister had breast cancer. And, another neighbor sister also had breast cancer around the same time. One sister did chemo and continued to eat meat and dairy products. She passed away within 2 years. The other sister, did not do chemo nor radiation treatment. She decided to switch to a vegan lifestyle to cure herself. She has been cancer free for 2+ years and works on her family farm and sells her farm produce in North Carolina.
My dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April this year. He went from 150lbs+ to now 120lbs in 5 months. He tried chemo, but chemo raised his cancer mark to a over 500. He gave up chemo and is now a strict vegetarian. His cancer mark dropped from 500 to 194. He is trying to get stronger.
My cousin reversed her diabetes by going raw vegan.
My mother is 72 and is healthy. She does not take any medications nor have any illnesses. She has eaten a mostly plant based diet all of her life although she is not a full vegetarian.
Dr. David S. Ludwig, Director of the Obesity Program at Harvard Affiliated Children's Hospital Boston, said in a health report published in The New England Journal of Medicine that “this generation of children could be the first basically in the history of the United States to live less healthful and shorter lives than their parents."
Health insurance - insurance against diseases and illnesses starts with what I, you, us, we eat. I came to a plant based lifestyle because of health reasons. I have been healed of stomach and colon issues with no cancer developments as my diseased uncles and dad currently who is battling pancreatic, stomach, and colon cancer. I do not have the heart diseases of my mother and father's siblings and parents.
If the world went vegetarian or vegan, there would not be a health or a global issue!
Are you ready to claim a victory? Are you ready to be victorious? Are you ready to be healthy? Are you ready to contribute to preserving and healing the environment? Are you ready to stop your family's DNA loaded gun from being fired? Live a plant based lifestyle today!
People ask me how I feel to be a vegan since I have healed myself. I like to quote the author Zora Neale Hurston because I have been down here (pointing to the floor) and now I feel like I'm up here (pointing above my head), "I have been in sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountaintops wrapped in rainbows and a sword in my hand."