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Photo: Talking

Talking

Jenna is talking on a cell phone. People have all sorts of interesting conversations on these every day.

I told her to look real serious and pretend she was receiving an important phone call, but she laughed instead. That’s how you get a girl to smile. Tell her to be serious. I think the reverse might work for seriousness. :cool:

It was cloudy and raining out, so the light was diffused. The transition from light (on the left) to shadow (on the right) works well.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/50, F2.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-10-08T12:39:36-04, 20081008-163936rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

You can use the model's likeness for anything not defamatory. You are one of my "licencees."

Prove Me Wrong

One simple way to get motivated is to have someone else tell you you’ll fail.

Then, you’ll work really hard to do prove that person wrong.

This can be quite effective. Some people build their whole life around it, because it’s such a powerful source of motivation.

One common story you hear among hospital patients is this: “The doctor said I’d never walk again. Look at me now! I sure proved him wrong.”

I think there’s a doctor doing this as his full-time job. He drives between hospitals, goes to each patient’s room, and tells the patient he’ll never walk again. Even if the ailment is just a toe infection or a broken finger. It doesn’t matter who the patient is, the diagnosis is always the same. “You’ll never walk again!”

What better incentive do you have to resume walking, than to be told your situation is hopeless?

If I become terribly injured, but everyone tells me I can walk again with lots of hard work and effort, I might just lose interest and give up. I’ve already been told it’s possible. But if I’m told I’m hopeless and I should just give up on walking, I’d work ten times harder. It’s much more fun to do the impossible, than to do the expected.

There’s a lot of drama in being told you’ll fail. It should be dramatic to be told you’ll succeed, but it just isn’t. Everyone says you’ll succeed. Every day, people tell me how I’m going to “go far” and “do great things.” I’m not even sure what they mean anymore.

Most of my friends and family are going to fail. They’re failing right now.

I talked to one lady last week, and she said she’s going to be a pharmacist. I asked her why. “Because it’s easy.” It’s not that easy; there are lots of technical concerns to being a pharmacist. You have to read illegible handwriting. I’m not even sure what pharmacists do, but I’m sure there’s a good deal of complexity.

I asked her what she’d do if she had a big house and ten million dollars. If the answer was “be a pharmacist,” I could tell her she’d have success. But it wasn’t. She wants to find the cure for cancer.

I already know the cure for cancer. It’s fruit seeds. Millions of people know it. Most people don’t, but the cure is there and it’s been proven through extensive anecdotal evidence. All that’s left is to implement it.

2009-12-20 Update: This whole section is wrong and I shouldn’t have been mean to this lady. However, the cure for cancer is still apricot kernels which makes working as a pharmacist difficult because it requires you to support ineffective and dangerous cancer treatments.

I told her that she’s going to fail, miserably so, and she’s going to waste years of her life with something she doesn’t even want to do. She wants a stable job to support her mother and receive a regular income.

I’d prefer to support my mother with an exciting job.

To do something you love and make money from it requires extraordinary effort. It takes far more effort than doing something you don’t love. Finding a stable job is easy. Creating an exciting job which also pays the bills is hard.

I have an exciting job right now (my photography and writing on this website). It doesn’t pay the bills very well, but I don’t have bills. So once I have bills, I’ll have to take a dull job or put in an extraordinary amount of effort into this exciting job. Who am I trying to prove wrong? Society, for telling me I should take the easy way out. But what is society? It doesn’t exist. There is no hive mind, and normal people don’t care if you fill prescriptions or write poetry for a living. As long as you’re not hurting others and people are willing to pay you for what you do (no thievery or coercion), you’re golden.

You can’t work for free if you’re going to make money. Remember that when you give your time away, you’re saying that other people will use it more effectively than you. When you give money to a bum on the street, you’re saying that he deserves it more than you. To deserve something, you must make good use of it.

Is that true?

I’m writing this for free, meaning that you can use my time better than I can. The difference is that this isn’t just for one person; it’s for hundreds of people. So the answer is a definite “yes.” Other people will use the time it took me to write this far better than I could use it on projects for only myself.

There’s a problem with living to prove others wrong. Most of the time in most of your life, no one is against you. Only when you defy the hardened ideals and limiting beliefs of others, do they rise from apathy. Then, you’ll hear lots of people crying for your failure. But if you can’t get motivated unless others are predicting your failure, then you’ll pass up lots of great things you want to do.

Instead of proving me wrong, why not prove yourself right? I think that’s a far more empowering belief. Eventually, you rise past having to prove anything to anyone at all… I’m not at that level yet. So for now I prove to myself that I can do things. I prove to myself that I can write stuff that makes no sense.

The other problem with proving others wrong, is that the other people lose interest. You succeed in doing what your teacher said you could never do, but then he says it was just a joke or he knew you could do it all along and was just testing you. Your mission isn’t to hold your friends’ interest—it’s to define your life in your own terms rather than by the terms of others.

That means: stop proving things to others. When you want to prove something, you’re looking for approval. If you need friends to approve of you, then that means you don’t approve of yourself. Don’t ask permission to live.

Photo: Flowery Sky

Flowery Sky

I returned to the spot of Gridiron Sky for this shot. These flowers had fallen to the ground, so I picked them up and held them against the reflective building. It makes a nice background.

For editing, I darkened the sky and corners a lot, while adding color and contrast. I use an RGB working color space, so after adding contrast, the colors become over-saturated. I reduced the saturation overall then, and then used the gamut warning tool for toning down parts of the flower. It’s important that the colors look good on screen and in print.

This is a wide-angle shot, incidentally. 18mm on the Canon Rebel XTi kit lens.

Canon Rebel XTi, EFS 18-55mm, 1/500, F6.3, 18mm, ISO100, 2008-09-22T11:53:02-04, 20080922-155302rxt

Location: Daytona State College, Building 410, Schildecker Science Hall (outside), 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism

Sarah (another Sarah) pretending to eat a blue light bulb. No animals were involved in the creation of that light bulb. The light bulb is a perfect vegetarian snack.

You can’t see that the light bulb is blue, because I converted this to black and white. It makes more sense that way.

Sarah has some nice teeth. Eating a light bulb is probably a bad idea, at least as far as her teeth are concerned.

If you want to be more like Sarah, read Becoming a Vegetarian.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/160, F3.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-10-01T15:55:18-04, 20081001-195518rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Curing Parkinson’s Disease

I left this reply after seeing Sergey Brin’s blog entry on his genes’ predisposition toward Parkinson’s disease:

My Great Aunt contracted Parkinson’s disease in her fifties; she passed on a couple years ago in her seventies. After twenty years, it got progressively worse to the point that she couldn’t move.

I remember my Grandma often having to call her back over the phone, because she’d inadvertently hit the “talk” button from the shaking.

I think Parkinson’s disease has a connection to arthritis and cancer, because all three involve the body turning against itself; destruction from the inside out rather than from external causes. I found out this year that cancer is a vitamin deficiency; you should eat apple seeds and similar seeds every day, so your body can use vitamin B17 to kill the rogue cells that want to form cancerous growths. I blogged about it here: The Cancer Myth. Cancer is a big problem, so it’s nice to know I’ll never suffer from it, despite all my friends and family that have died in vain…

Might Parkinson’s disease be a vitamin deficiency too, and all this stuff about genes just be a coincidence? There could be a vitamin we don’t get, because we eat all processed foods rather than natural foods. Our modern treatments don’t cure the disease; they just patch the symptoms, buying you some time.

If there is a natural cure, it’s probably something you have to get in your diet every day, just like how you eat iodine every day (in salt) to avoid goiters. It’s likely that you can’t “cure” Parkinson’s disease, just like you can’t “cure” thirst.

Finding that natural cure and prevention is harder, because it requires long-scale testing to be effective. But it should be easy to get started. Research dogs and cats in captivity (i.e. apartments) vs. in the wild; it could be that the ones in the wild don’t get the disease but the ones in captivity do, just like only domesticated dogs get cancer (because they can’t eat grass and weeds which have B17 in them).

The next step is to research people who live close to the Earth and eat straight from nature; perhaps in the jungles of Africa. Do they get Parkinson’s disease? If they don’t, find out what it is they’re eating that prevents it.

Good luck Mr. Sergey, and let me know if you get to the bottom of this.

The cure

Keep in mind that if you find the prevention and cure for Parkinson’s disease, it does nothing on it’s own. A few hundred thousand in this country know that vitamin B17 cures cancer, but the cancer industry is vehemently against the cure because it will put them out of business.

Even the FDA is in on this. The government is behind keeping you in the dark about cancer. I’m actually breaking the law by touting B17 as the cure for cancer right here. If I dared to sell apricot seeds on this blog, I could earn myself five years in federal prison.

B17 isn’t even recognized as a vitamin, and it can’t go through FDA testing because it’s an organic substance. They only want inorganic cancer cures.

Besides, no one will pay the tens of millions of dollars for the colluded, bureaucratic testing process. You can’t recoup the cost selling apricot seeds, unlike the phony cancer treatments we have now, which, incidentally, cost upward of $8000 a month. That’s how much the hospital was paying for my cousin when he died of brain cancer in 2006. And it was all B.S. and he could’ve easily avoided cancer if he’d been eating apples with seeds all along. Heck, he probably could’ve got out of it when he found out about the cancer if he would’ve started on laetrile pills right away.

The people in the American Cancer Society will tell you not to eat seeds, because they’ll poison you. It’s all for shock value, to scare you away from pursuing the truth. Seeds poison you no more than water.

When we find the cure for Parkinson’s disease, there will be a lot of resistance. Not as much as with cancer, because cancer has legendary status and is poised to kill tens of millions over the next 100 years. But still a lot of resistance.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic affliction. Victims do not get better, unlike with strep throat or any normal ailment, which we can eliminate with antibodies or surgery. You get Parkinson’s disease, you start with pills, progressing to invasive and mechanical treatments. The whole time, you get progressively worse, on the march toward death. At best, the mechanical treatments prolong your death. My neighbor has terrible arthritis dating back twenty years. He’s had two shoulder blades and a hip replaced, and the next hip is scheduled for the spring. And he’s still in terrible pain and his fingers don’t work and his face is contorted. Doesn’t that tell you we’re doing something wrong?

We’re not getting to the source of the problem by applying band-aid patches. That’s what modern treatment for cancer, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease is. A collection of kludges. If we treated tooth decay like we do cancer, the solution would be this:

1. Don’t brush your teeth. Do you know how much those bristles hurt your gums?
2. Keep eating the same foods. Diet change is linked to death, because many people who die recently changed their diets.
3. As your teeth decay, we’ll drill them out and replace the innards with concrete.
4. Your gums will shrivel and rot, but we’ll apply salves to counteract that.
5. Eventually, all your teeth will rot from the roots and fall out. We’ll go ahead and pull them out. Then you can wear dentures.
6. Eventually, the dentures won’t stay put because your gums will become fully eroded. If you haven’t died yet. Time to start drilling into your jaw bone. We can put in fake teeth with screws.
7. We put in the fake teeth. It’s a very dangerous operation, but it proves successful. Unfortunately, you get a minor infection and die, because your immune system is in shambles from the continued abuse to your mouth.

This is absurd. But it’s what we do right now with Parkinson’s disease. We have pills that stave off Parkinson’s disease temporarily. Once those fail, we bust open your skull and stick an electrode in your brain. “Deep brain stimulation.”

This is witchcraft.

Witchcraft does not work.

Pellagra is caused by a deficiency of niacin (B3). Pellagra is a terrible disease. Your skin starts peeling, you suffer from dysentery, you become light-sensitive, you go insane, and then you die.

Pellagra raged through Europe for hundreds of years. It even hit America hard 100 years ago, because people weren’t eating the foods with niacin or tryptophan, which the body can convert to niacin. Milk, eggs, soybeans, yeast, and meat stop pellagra.

The people with pellagra spent most of their time eating corn, because that was their dominant crop. For two hundred years doctors believed that corn was toxic. Obviously it causes pellagra.

Another hypothesis was that the people who got pellagra were evil and God was punishing them.

These are all valid guesses, but they pale in contrast to the truth. It’s a simple nutritional deficiency.

You could spend millions of dollars now on research for a mechanical cure for pellagra. Perhaps we can use surgery? Perhaps there’s a pill that can cure it? Even better, a pill that you have to take for the rest of your life, so we can keep charging you.

Of course there is. A multi-vitamin. Even better, you can eat the foods that have niacin in them.

What are the theories behind Parkinson’s disease? It’s either your parents (genes) or your food (toxins). But really, it isn’t the foods you’re eating. It’s the foods you’re not eating. That’s the only logical answer.

What are the theories behind cancer? Everything causes cancer. Sunshine, motor oil, radiation, dish soap, cell phones, computers, processed food, lead, lawn mowers, air conditioning, genes… the list goes on.

It doesn’t matter if you have a consensus that pellagra is God’s wrath. It’s still false.

It doesn’t matter if everyone agrees that sunshine causes cancer. Science is neither a popularity contest nor an emotional debate. This may seem cold, but it’s actually the most loving thing I’ve ever said. When you become trapped by dogma, you never get to the truth. People continue to die en masse. Phony solutions persist under the guise of scientific theory. This is happening with cancer, and I bet it’s happening with Parkinson’s disease.

There’s got to be something better than witchcraft. In the future, students of nutrition will have to answer the question: “__________ is to Parkinson’s disease as Vitamin C is to scurvy.” If only we can find out what that blank is.

Photo: Isolation, Contemplation

Isolation, Contemplation

The last shot from my adventure with Sarah, and the most artsy. We went to the college theater, where they have a meshed window that makes patterns of light like this on the wall. I had her sit on the carpet so the light was right on her cheek, and told her to look down like she was thinking, and that’s how we got this.

I’m proud of her; she was quite shy and this was her first time modeling, but she let go of her shyness and let her spirit shine through. I think there’s a bit of shyness in this photo, but it works.

At first she thought she wasn’t “photogenic.” That’s a limiting belief. It’s like saying you’re not lingual or musical or logical. You are photogenic; you just have to start thinking of the camera as your friend rather than a deadly weapon.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/60, F2.5, 50mm, ISO400, 2008-10-01T13:31:17-04, 20081001-173117rxt

Location: Daytona State College, Building 210, Theater Center, Floor 1, stairwell, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Introduction

Introduction

This is from the photo-shoot with Sarah; we bumped into Brice from Reunion. I told them to pretend to be meeting, and Sarah hammed it up for the camera. There was no reason to pretend, because they were in fact meeting for the first time. :xx:

I wanted to make Sarah look angelic, so I brightened around her, reddened her hair, and added contrast to her eyes; it adds a lot to her personality. The last step was to add color and contrast to the brick wall. The college’s buildings make good backgrounds for photos.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/640, F2.8, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-10-01T13:23:58-04, 20081001-172358rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

You can use the models' likenesses for anything not defamatory. You are one of my "licencees."

Photo: Soulful Music

Soulful Music

I took some photos of Sarah this week; we walked around campus and found Mr. Patrick playing guitar. He was really putting his heart in it; the song he’s singing here is Goodnight, Irene. Sarah is enjoying listening, while shyly eying the camera.

Editing on this: I added a glow effect and darkened the brick wall, especially at the corners, which keeps your eyes from darting out of the frame.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/640, F2.8, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-10-01T13:17:34-04, 20081001-171734rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Dumb People, Smart People, and Smarter People

2009-12-20 Update: I revoke this article because it is negative and condescending. Read it anyway if you want.

Dumb people ignore the rules.
Smart people follow the rules.
Smarter people make the rules.

Dumb people live below their potential.
Smart people live up to their potential.
Smarter people live beyond their potential.

Dumb people can’t focus.
Smart people multi-task.
Smarter people obsess.

Dumb people eat meat.
Smart people never eat meat.
Smarter people eat meat when they’re starving to death.

Dumb people don’t go to college.
Smart people go to college.
Smarter people think college is a joke.

Dumb people become lazy and fat.
Smart people stay fit by going to the gym.
Smarter people don’t pay others to lift weights.

Dumb people can’t keep to a budget.
Smart people set a budget and stick to it.
Smarter people don’t need budgets.

Dumb people don’t know.
Smart people know.
Smarter people don’t care.

Dumb people follow trends.
Smart people set trends.
Smarter people transcend trends.

Dumb people fail IQ tests.
Smart people ace IQ tests.
Smarter people don’t take IQ tests.

Dumb people are angry.
Smart people are tolerant.
Smarter people take action.

Dumb people buy cheap stuff.
Smart people buy good stuff.
Smarter people buy stuff for free.

Dumb people are emotional.
Smart people are analytical.
Smarter people are intelligent.

Dumb people read magazines.
Smart people read books.
Smarter people read books, magazines, blogs, and more.

Dumb people rent.
Smart people buy.
Smarter people sell.

Dumb people don’t read.
Smart people read.
Smarter people write.

Dumb people go with the flow.
Smart people go against the flow.
Smarter people get out of the water.

Dumb people text message.
Smart people telephone.
Smarter people shout.

Dumb people are afraid.
Smart people are courageous.
Smarter people are contagious.

Dumb people disappoint.
Smart people impress.
Smarter people confuse.

Dumb people have jobs.
Smart people have careers.
Smarter people do what they want.

Dumb people take video.
Smart people take photos.
Smarter people draw sketches.

Dumb people hate.
Smart people love.
Smarter people care.

Dumb people waste.
Smart people save.
Smarter people create.

Dumb people make enemies.
Smart people make friends.
Smarter people are friends.

Dumb people run.
Smart people jump.
Smarter people laugh.

Dumb people want the money.
Smart people have the money.
Smarter people print the money.

Dumb people live for no one.
Smart people live for others.
Smarter people live for themselves.

Dumb people don’t think.
Smart people think.
Smarter people act.

Dumb people use MySpace.
Smart people use Facebook.
Smarter people go outside.

Dumb people talk.
Smart people listen.
Smarter people connect.

Dumb people know what they want.
Smart people get what they want.
Smarter people have what they want.

Dumb people follow.
Smart people lead.
Smarter people convert.

Dumb people guess.
Smart people assume.
Smarter people ask.

Dumb people date.
Smart people get married.
Smarter people go canoeing.

Dumb people wait for true love.
Smart people look for true love.
Smarter people create true love.

Dumb people take.
Smart people give.
Smarter people share.

Dumb people join religion.
Smart people make religion.
Smarter people are religion.

Dumb people forget.
Smart people remember.
Smarter people make you remember.

Dumb people live beyond their means.
Smart people live within their means.
Smarter people live beneath their means.

Dumb people repeat their mistakes.
Smarter people learn from their mistakes.
Smarter people learn from the mistakes of others.

Dumb people value work.
Smart people value ideas.
Smarter people value implementations.

Dumb people have guns.
Smart people don’t have guns.
Smarter people have lots of guns.

Dumb people are dumb.
Smart people are smart.
Smarter people are both.

Becoming a Vegetarian

2009-12-20 Update: Take this article with a grain of salt as I’ve switched back to eating meat once and am now eating fish to help my brain. The Bible says that animals are here for us to eat. However, we must all recognize the cruelty in the factory farming system. Life is a balance of shades of gray. Animals are nowhere near as important as people.

I decided today that I’m becoming a vegetarian, today.

Actually, I decided yesterday, but I’m pegging the day as October 1 because that will be easier to remember when I’m 102. I won’t be able to remember September 30.

I’ve had a suspicion that I shouldn’t be eating meat for a while. Since the start of the year, at least. Occasionally I’d think of my ideal self, and I wouldn’t see him eating animals, but then I’d dismiss that as dumb. How can’t I refuse to eat meat when it’s so packed full of nutrition and cheap to buy?

Quite easily, of course.

I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to eat meat; it’s a last resort. There are so many plants and vegetables and fruits here, and we have these long arms to reach them, so they must be here for a reason. Also, we’re not designed to eat meat. Dogs and cats and vultures can eat animals raw, but we have to cook them and examine them thoroughly. The meat on a hamburger looks nothing like a cow. If it’s under-cooked, you get sick, because our stomach acids, small intestines, and other digestive processes are against us eating animals. Our acids aren’t acidic enough to digest animals, unless they’re thoroughly ground and cooked.

I don’t care for animals particularly. They’re lives aren’t sacred like human lives. But they are treated pretty badly when we harvest them; have you seen how chickens are stacked together and kept in the darkness while they’re raised? Any suffering like that can’t be good, and is not something I want to contribute to.

If I find myself stuck on an arctic island and my only hope to survive is to start eating seals or penguins, I’ll do that, but I’ll kill them in the most efficient and painless way possible. I can’t think of the last time I was starving to death, much less that I could get out of it by eating meat, so I don’t think this is a big concern.

I have a theory that eating animals makes you tired and unfocused. That’s why you get tired after eating a turkey dinner, or pretty much anything we eat for dinner now. Most people eat 21 meals a week with meat in them, which is quite different from two centuries ago when meat was hard to come by and would be reserved for a weekly feast.

A lot of people seem to stop eating meat by having a going-away party, where they eat several stakes, hamburgers, and other garbage because they’ll be “missing out” the rest of their lives. These are usually the people who quit vegetarianism in two weeks. You don’t quit eating animals reluctantly; you do it because you know how much it’s taking away from your strength and your health. Why would you want to take away even more? Does an alcoholic give up beer by becoming very drunk? Do you smoke 100 cigarettes on your last day of smoking? I don’t think those are any worse for you than this.

I’m not even convinced animals taste so good, so much as it is an acquired taste ingrained from childhood. If you’d grown up eating leafy plants and colorful fruits, wouldn’t a two-patty hamburger seem disgusting? I’m pretty sure that animals taste bad, but they make up for it by packing themselves with unhealthful protein and saturated fat. You can still get this as a vegetarian, by eating cookies or salad dressing or ice cream or white bread all the time. All of which are no better than eating meat.

I can’t say I care for tofu; it tastes like a wannabee meat product. Why do vegetarians start eating tofu burgers and imitation crabs and faux sausages? It’s like saying “I’d really prefer to eat animals, but this will have to do. I’m just sticking with vegetarianism because it’s cool and stylish.” Becoming vegetarian just to imitate a typical meat-eaters diet proves nothing.

I ate a big plate of lettuce and some other dark-green leafy vegetables today. I couldn’t tell what they were. Some of them tasted sweet, others tasted green, some tart. But it was an exciting experience, I can tell you that. I almost wanted to grab my camera and start photographing the folds and patterns on the lettuce. I didn’t, because I was enjoying the taste of lettuce too much. I refuse to continue settling for anything less than exciting food.

Dealing with others

If you switch to vegetarianism, you can be pretty sure that a lot of people will support you, some will come up with limiting or fear-based reasons for you to continue eating meat, and a few won’t care at all and will just label you a nut. Even your friends will fall into the third category. But they’re the ones who will often come around to embracing the green-based diet. If not, stop holding yourself back and find some other friends.

The people who response the most negatively are actually the ones who are jealous of you. They want to stop eating animals too, but they don’t because they think they can’t or shouldn’t for dietary or social reasons (all false). They’re entrenched in limiting beliefs, and it hurts to see someone sail passed the limits.

Arguments against vegetarianism

These are a few arguments against vegetarianism, off the top of my head.

People won’t like you.

I haven’t heard this one directly, but a lot of attitudes about vegetarianism imply this. The idea is: people won’t like you because if you’re going out to dinner or at a party special accommodations (food) will have to be made for you, you won’t be able to connect with people by sharing in eating hot dogs and hamburgers, and people may suspect you have a superiority complex for not eating meat like everyone else.

For the thirty friends and strangers about my diet change so far, I’ve gotten just the opposite. The “worst” responses have been a shocked “why?”, and “if you want to do that, it’s your choice.” But most of the responses have been congratulatory, with a lot of people saying they want to do it too. I don’t know if they’re serious or not–if they want to do it, why don’t the just do it? It may be that most people don’t exercise this sort of willpower.

The people who discourage you from change are often your family, because they may not like to see others around them improving. They want you to stay just the same. But when people say they don’t want you to do something, that often means you should do it. Bounding outside of the social norms is extraordinary stuff. That’s why they’re social norms; because ordinary people follow them. Ordinary people eat garbage.

Becoming a vegetarian isn’t anything extraordinary; it’s hardly even worthy of notice. Millions of Hindus live it every day. Don’t let implicit norms sway you.

You won’t get enough protein.

This is actually false, because we get way to much already. I read that we get twice as much protein as we should, mainly because we eat so much protein-rich meat. That much protein is actually bad, because it stresses your bladder and the urinary system (that’s where the excess protein goes).

There is plenty of protein in dark green vegetables, legumes, eggs, and such. With a good vegetarian diet you’ll get just the right proteins instead of twice as many, and the ones in vegetables are better for you anyway.

You can’t make friends as easily.

This must be because you don’t share common food. Where’s the common ground?

I, for one, think that any friendship built on food is no friendship at all. You’ll make much closer friends by actively breaking rapport and defying expectations, than by settling for superficial commonalities.

If you think you’ll lose friends over food, then your problem isn’t vegetarianism. Your problem is that your entire model of humanity is broken. Fix it, please.

People will beat and bully you.

This is a serious concern if you’re in public school (not college), because public schools are like prisons and there’s a mob mentality. You could also expect to be beaten for carrying a camera on you or wearing mismatched socks… depending on how bad the school you’re in is, of course.

Just hide your vegetarianism. Tell people you know won’t beat you, and do it individually rather than as an announcement in the lunch room. Before you know it, you’ll be done with the nightmare that is public schooling.

You’ll stop growing.

My father brought this up, because I’m 5’10” now and he wants me to grow another inch or two. I was 16 just two months ago, so I could have some more growing to do. My Dad grew an inch at 19.

The bones mainly grow from calcium, but I’m going to continue drinking milk and eating cheese (I’m an octo-ovo vegetarian, meaning I’ll eat animal products but not animals themselves). The only other concern is protein, but I was getting too much of that already, eating hamburgers and fish and such.

I’ll probably grow even faster now.

You won’t be able to eat all the meat in the freezer.

It doesn’t matter. Throw it out. I know it’s not right to waste food, but it’s worse to let your circumstances (the food in your freezer) hold you back.

If you put off vegetarianism because you have to eat what’s in your freezer first, it’ll never happen. Even if you eat up the meat and then become a vegetarian, you’re still stuck. You’ve given up your ideals to worldly concerns. Soon, your grandmother will be convincing you to eat the meat in her fridge because it’s “about to spoil.” People will be forcing meatball-spaghetti on you at the dinner table because it will “go in the garbage” otherwise.

Once you start to eat meat because it’s “going in the garbage,” what have you become? A garbage disposal. Do you want your body to be a garbage can?

You can also think of yourself as a vulture, because you’re eating what other people refuse to eat. What no one else wants. Vultures eat rotten guts and putrid entrails.

Don’t be a vulture, be a man.

Meat-eating is a necessary evil.

This goes along with the protein and dietary arguments. It can’t be true, though. It’s a bastardization of the meaning of evil.

Evil is never necessary, and necessities are never evil. They’re polar opposites. How could something “necessary,” meaning required, be evil? At worst it could be neutral, but it’s probably good, or else it wouldn’t be needed.

How could something bad be required? If something is evil, it can’t be necessary, wanted, required, or good.

Eating animals is neither necessary nor evil. The way it’s done now is evil. We’re not shown how poorly our cattle are raised, because so many people would switch to vegetarianism if they knew.

It disappoints me that vegans spend all their time supporting the “rights” of animals, when we’re supporting the murder of unborn children by the millions (abortion). It’s alright to pick your niche, but campaigning for animals is like worrying about personal development while you’re suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke. Despite what the personal development gurus may tell you, please don’t worry about personal development when you’re bleeding profusely. Try to solve the bigger problem first. You can apply this to all areas of your life. Always go for the big enchilada before the small potatoes. Otherwise, you might never have time for the big stuff.

Vegetarians don’t get cancer

It’s true. You expect me to say that it’s because we have healthier diets overall, but it’s not that at all. You can eat meat all day and still never get cancer.

When you are injured, your body sends trophoblast cells to heal the wound. But sometimes it sends too many, and your body doesn’t have any way to deal with these cells. The healing cells can split very quickly… and they do, crowding out all the others to form a cancerous growth.

But nature has a remedy for this: amygdalin (a.k.a. vitamin B17) is found in the seeds of almost all foods, and it allows the body to break down the protective walls around the cancerous cells, gobbling them up before they become a problem. It also appears in dark green leafy vegetables, grass, and everywhere else. Most people get none of it because they only eat processed foods which have it removed, and that’s why they get cancer.

Vegetarians tend not to get cancer because they tend to eat more Earthly foods, BUT, you can easily avoid cancer by eating foods with vitamin B17 every day. That means you should eat apple, apricot, pumpkin, and watermelon seeds. Citrus seeds don’t do much. In Central Florida we get yellow, plum-shaped loquat fruits a month out of the year, which have big seeds with lots of the cancer-fighting vitamin. My Dad had frozen quite a few of these and I’d been eating them daily, but we’ve run out so I’m back with apple seeds now.

Cancer is a vitamin deficiency like scurvy, meaning that you have to change your diet permanently to avoid it. There is no “cure” so much as there is prevention. People will tell you not to eat seeds because they have cyanide in them, but in fact, the form it’s in does no harm. I ate two apples, complete with seeds, yesterday, and seeds the day before, and the day before that, and more, without ever feeling so much as a stomach ache.

And I will never get cancer, which is quite nice. If you don’t eat seeds, everything is in fact a carcinogen, because anything that causes the body to dispatch healing cells could create cancer. If you get stabbed or shot, cancer might form there. If you bump your head, you’re open for brain cancer. If you smoke, the irritation in your lungs causes too many healing cells to be assigned, which fester as lung cancer. If you stay out in the sun, you get sunburns which result in skin cancer. But when you’re getting the cancer-fighting vitamin, none of these are a concern. Not even radiation. Of course, it’s still bad for you because it damages your cells, just as smoking will merit you emphysema.

There is only one form of cancer with one prevention and cure. The Rise and Fall of Laetrile (laetrile is a purified form of B17) may say otherwise, but the fact is their testing was on people who had already been ravaged by cancer treatment. Their immune systems were spent, and cancer was festering inside them. That’s like saying your brakes don’t work because you can’t go from 60 miles per hour to 0 over a span of 5 feet. It just doesn’t work that way.

If you’ve ever took a dog for a walk, you’ve noticed he eats grass. It’s instinctive. The grass has vitamin B17, and your dog won’t get cancer. But dogs do get cancer, when you lock them up in an apartment all the time and feed them dog food. That’s because they’re being deprived of a weapon against cancer. Animals in the zoo get cancer too, while animals in the wild don’t, all because of this.

I wrote more about this in The Cancer Myth. It’s really nice to know the answer to this, because cancer is a big problem getting even bigger, because people are eating fewer and fewer amygdalin-rich foods.

Are animals equal to humans?

Apparently, if I stop eating eggs and dairy products and the occasional honeycomb, I can’t call myself “vegan” because that means you support equal rights for animals.

I do not. I’ve said it before: I’d kill 1000 cats if it would save my sister’s life. But I wouldn’t kill 1000 cats for food, because other food is readily available and I could barely even get through one cat.

People do kill cats for food. My step-mom is from Vietnam, and she recalls the cats and dogs she lost to hungry thieves. There was no food to go around during the war, so unwatched animals became a family’s meal. Every part was used. It was very efficient, due to the lack of food. But when you get attached to a dog, and then he becomes eaten, efficiency is not much consolation.

Torturing animals isn’t right. It’s not as bad as killing them, but suffering, even that inflicted upon animals, brings us down as people. I suppose that’s a good reason to stop eating animal products too, but I’m happy merely with dropping meat, for now.

Animals just aren’t special like humans. When was the last time you saw a dog dedicate his life to personal development? Never. Dogs are smart and all, but they’ll never hold a candle to us, nor will any other animal.

Animals don’t lack rights because of their dumbness. If that was the case, then we could kill any children under five and any decrepit seniors, because they’re “dumb” next to us. The reason animals lack rights is because they don’t have souls. That sounds religious, but I can feel a connection when I’m around people that I just can’t feel around the squirrels at the park. I don’t need a dogmatic religion to tell me this (organized religions are designed to hold you back). I can do it all with the Richard X. Thripp religion, which isn’t really a religion at all because I don’t even have to think about it. It’s just there. You have your own religion too.

You don’t have to be a Christian to know that people are different from monkeys. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to know that eating animals is wrong. Take a five year old to the slaughterhouse, show him the whole process from cattle to plate, and he’ll tell you right away that it’s wrong. Meaning: eating animals goes against our intrinsic moral code, and we’ve only overcome that through social conditioning and by removing ourselves from the killing process. I don’t think mass subversion of our God-given moral values is something to be proud of.

Being different

I’ve never seen a vegetarianism article like this. Most of them tell us how wonderful animals are and why we’re killing the planet by eating animals rather than grains. I don’t believe in either. My motives for vegetarianism are entirely selfish.

Ironically, selfishness is the most selfless path, because by eating better, I’ll be healthier and live longer, which will give me the strength to reach more people with my photography and insights on life. The profit police try to bleed you dry. Don’t let them. Do good for yourself by eating more healthful, colorful, and interesting foods. It’s the only way you can do more good for others.

Vegetarian bias

The truth is, you can eat just as well with meat as you can without it. But people who have chosen vegetarianism have far more healthful diets. Why is this?

The reason is that the people who choose vegetarianism are the same people who are dedicated to personal growth and improvement in general. While most of the world bathes in fear and stagnation, we choose to bath in the nectar of life.

In less flowery terms, most people who are vegetarians are strong, responsible people. Vegans even more so. These people enjoy websites like mine, because they’re committed to growth throughout life. Personal development can do more good for fearful, irresponsible people, but unfortunately, they’re not likely to accept it at all. More vegetarians will read this article than non-vegetarians, because they’re already interested in this sort of thing. So I focus on raising them and other personally developed people even higher, rather than appealing to the lowest common denominator. This usually involves improving myself, and then writing about it. Real, in-depth stuff that takes thousands of words to cover. My website is no place for shallowness. This is the DEEP zone. Maybe some of the fearfuls will tag along.

Vegetarianism does not make you smart. The reason vegetarians are mostly smart is the reason most people who have high IQ scores are intelligent, most people that drive cars aren’t reckless, most people who are photographers are open-minded and creative, and most musicians enjoy music. You can be a “vegetarian” while eating chocolate and ice cream all day, but then you’re worse off than a normal person.

If someone slips meat into my salad in an attempt to poison me, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll just stop eating it and scold the attacker harshly.

Interestingly, at first I wanted to wait till the first of next year to stop eating meat. “2009-01-01 is more dramatic than 2008-10-01,” I thought. But after some high level thinking, I realized I was being stupid. If becoming a vegetarian is something I should do (and it most certainly is), then I should do it as soon as possible. Waiting helps no one, and only reinforces negative beliefs and practices. What was helpful to me, was to ask myself: would I suggest my action (waiting) to the readers of my website? The answer is most certainly no, so the answer for myself is also no. You can do this yourself. The actions you suggest to your friends are the same actions you should follow yourself. Leading by example is the only way to live.

Don’t think of vegetarianism as a panacea. Don’t become dogmatic. Most of all, keep growing throughout life. If you’re on the wrong path, don’t wait months or years to correct yourself. Do it now.

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