By Published On: 29 April 2013484 words2.4 min read

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Abuse on Your Plate: Preventing Cruelty Through Education and Change

By Amanda Crow, Guest Contributor

Earlier this month, I wrote ASPCA Founder Henry Bergh: Ahead of His Time. Bergh, who founded the ASPCA and a short time later the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC), knew that abuse to children and abuse to animals is connected. Since April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I would like to focus on how we as a country are abusing our children every day.  The trauma is not bruises and broken bones, but exploding health problems.  The foods we are feeding our children are creating an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, obesity and asthma, and I am positive there are many more health issues to come.

The drastic increase of people affected by these diseases cannot be attributed to genes.  Evolution doesn’t work that way.  It takes generations for change to occur.  So if it is not genetic, then it must be environmental.  People don’t inherit bad genes as we love to believe; they inherit bad eating habits and lifestyle.

The only way to stop the cycle is by starting with the children. School meal programs are created following the Food and Nutrition Board’s RDAs (or Recommended Daily Allowances) with the objective to “minimize risk for chronic disease.”  Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study has shown that average unhealthy meals technically fall within the RDAs, which, again, are supposed to help decrease chances of chronic diseases.  Think about the fact that the majority of children eat school lunches, and many of those kids will eat other government-provided meals/snacks on a regular basis.  Basically, the low quality food kids are fed for most of their youth set them up for life long health problems and poor eating habits. According to the CDC, rates of diabetes are projected to triple in the next few decades.

I want to make it clear that I put this blame on society.  Of course, parents need to educate themselves and be concerned with the eating habits they are passing on, but the situation is complicated by privilege and access to healthy options.  We are stuck in a cycle of abuse by animal industry making us believe that we need to eat their garbage.  They get richer, and in turn we get sicker.  To end this abuse, we as a society need to stand up for the health of our children.  Education is the answer.

Note: Two great organizations are working on healthier school lunches. PCRM sponsors The Healthy School Lunch Campaign and the NY Coalition for Health School Food has tips on how to make changes locally.

Photo credit: Ben+Sam

By Published On: 29 April 2013484 words2.4 min read

Share This Story!

Abuse on Your Plate: Preventing Cruelty Through Education and Change

By Amanda Crow, Guest Contributor

Earlier this month, I wrote ASPCA Founder Henry Bergh: Ahead of His Time. Bergh, who founded the ASPCA and a short time later the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC), knew that abuse to children and abuse to animals is connected. Since April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I would like to focus on how we as a country are abusing our children every day.  The trauma is not bruises and broken bones, but exploding health problems.  The foods we are feeding our children are creating an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, obesity and asthma, and I am positive there are many more health issues to come.

The drastic increase of people affected by these diseases cannot be attributed to genes.  Evolution doesn’t work that way.  It takes generations for change to occur.  So if it is not genetic, then it must be environmental.  People don’t inherit bad genes as we love to believe; they inherit bad eating habits and lifestyle.

The only way to stop the cycle is by starting with the children. School meal programs are created following the Food and Nutrition Board’s RDAs (or Recommended Daily Allowances) with the objective to “minimize risk for chronic disease.”  Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study has shown that average unhealthy meals technically fall within the RDAs, which, again, are supposed to help decrease chances of chronic diseases.  Think about the fact that the majority of children eat school lunches, and many of those kids will eat other government-provided meals/snacks on a regular basis.  Basically, the low quality food kids are fed for most of their youth set them up for life long health problems and poor eating habits. According to the CDC, rates of diabetes are projected to triple in the next few decades.

I want to make it clear that I put this blame on society.  Of course, parents need to educate themselves and be concerned with the eating habits they are passing on, but the situation is complicated by privilege and access to healthy options.  We are stuck in a cycle of abuse by animal industry making us believe that we need to eat their garbage.  They get richer, and in turn we get sicker.  To end this abuse, we as a society need to stand up for the health of our children.  Education is the answer.

Note: Two great organizations are working on healthier school lunches. PCRM sponsors The Healthy School Lunch Campaign and the NY Coalition for Health School Food has tips on how to make changes locally.

Photo credit: Ben+Sam

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  1. Aurora April 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    As the mother of 6 children….one who is the author of this piece….I read all the “Parents” magazines and cooked home-cooked meals most nights. I thought I was doing the right thing, and yet almost every meal was loaded with animal products because that is what we were made to believe was necessary to have healthy children. I think back of all the milk I served them and regret that I was not better informed. Luckily, 3 of my girls, including Amanda, made the connection before I did and by the time they were 12 or 13 they had stopped eating meat. Although I supported their decision, it was years before I finally opened my eyes to what they already knew in their hearts. We need to inform young parents early so that children today can avert the health problems of tomorrow. Great piece, Amanda. I am very proud of you.