Let’s do time travel- back millions of years to the dawn of intelligent life on this beautiful planet. See how pristine and unspoiled the world is. Notice the untouched environment and the bountiful earth. Take a deep breath of wonderful pure, clean air as you look around you. Can you believe the beauty?
Nothing is artificial or unnatural, and the environment has the ability to sustain itself. People drink clean water from natural sources and diets consist mainly of uncultivated fruits, vegetables and lean meats.
There are no plastic, food additives or chemical sprays and no cars or factories to pollute the air. Asthma, heart disease, diabetes and cancer are unheard of because they simply don’t exist. These modern-day chronic illnesses are the high price we pay for the conveniences of modern life.
Okay, now let’s return to the present and look at our world as though we were travelers from ancient times. Suddenly, its difficult to breathe. Smog filled cities choke us and our water bodies are too polluted to swim in. drinking untreated water is unthinkable. We don’t recognize the ‘foods’ which are highly refined with added colors and preservatives that many people are eating. The diet seems to consist mostly of saturated fats, salt and/or sugar with a shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables.
We see people eating a large meal of fatty foods and then spending the evening in front of the television set as their children play video games on computer. The next day, the kids are driven to school as the parents go to the work which means sitting in front of the computer once again. Although people are not exercising much, they seem chronically tired.
Shocking, isn’t it? It leaves you wondering about the intelligence of the species that damages its own environment. There’s no doubt that our ancient ancestors would be really confused by our behavior.
Although the first environmental damage likely came from hunters who burned down forests in order to scare animals out, we can trace the beginning of irreversible and sustained ecological damage directly back to the industrial revolution some 250 years ago, and all the trappings that came along with it.
Since then, there’s been a race to ‘succeed’ with little thought to the damage we’re doing along the way. For centuries we got away with this short-sighted view. As long as there was still plenty of forest and farmland and the water was more or less clean, we didn’t worry.
It’s time we did. Think about it. For roughly two million years, human beings lived essentially the same way with the same basic requirements to sustain life. In the very small space of only 250 years, we have undergone massive lifestyle changes in terms of what we eat, drink and do in our spare time. Yet somehow we expect that our bodies will magically adapt to all these changes.
Not without protesting! And the protest can take the form of asthma, heart disease, cancer, etc. All of these diseases are on the rise; even diseases we thought were conquered are making a chilling comeback. Think of illness as your body’s way of protesting the artificial modern lifestyle.
Culturally, you’re very different from ancestors, the hunter-gatherers. Yet genetically and physically, you haven’t changed. Your genetic structure, which controls every function of your body, is essentially the same as those who lived eons before you. Nourish these genes well and they’ll keep you healthy. Give these genes artificial foods or expose them to environmental toxins and they go awry. That could mean aging faster or developing a chronic illness.
Since we eat, breathe and live in this modern environment, ingesting these toxins is inevitable. Many of these pollutants end up being stored in our bodies. I think of this building of contaminants as “body pollution”. Our bodies were simply never designed to metabolize and digest these modern adulterated foods and our systems struggle to detoxify such overwhelming amounts of pollution.
Here’s how body pollution works. Once a foreign substance enters the body, it has to be detoxified and made water organs responsible for detoxification while the lungs, skin and intestines also play an important role. But even with all these powerful allies on our side, our bodies simply can’t detoxify and eliminated all the chemicals we ingest. It does its best but we’re still left with a damaging residue.
When the main organs have more toxins than they can handle, the still active or partially deactivated chemicals are stored in the fatty tissues – possibly even in the brain and central nervous system. Slowly, these reactive and toxic compounds can be released into the bloodstream, disrupting the systems of the body and causing premature aging and disease.
So this is what we call progress! Overloading our bodies with unnatural and harmful substances. It’s a step forward all right – a step forward into premature aging and chronic illness.
While we’re well aware of the damage that pollutants can cause to the environment in terms of global warming or chemical spills, somehow we don’t make the leap in logic when it comes to our own buildup of body pollution. Most of us know that carbon monoxide emissions damage the trees and stunt their growth but rarely do we realize that all this pollution is also doing internal damage to us.
It shows in how much energy we have , in our outlook on life, in our capacity for enjoyment. It shows in terms of how well we feel and how well we actually are. We’ve come to think it’s normal to feel exhausted after a full work day since we don’t know any other way of living.