Following on the heels of the AVMA’s condemnation of raw pet food came a similar position statement by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) that it “does not advocate or endorse feeding pets any raw or dehydrated nonsterilized foods, including treats that are of animal origin.”…What the AAHA neglects to mention is the GI tracts of dogs and cats evolved to handle heavy bacterial loads from food. Your pet’s body is well equipped to deal with heavy doses of familiar and strange bacteria because nature built him to catch, kill and immediately consume his prey.Your dog or cat’s stomach is highly acidic, with a pH range of 1-2.5. Nothing much can survive that acidic environment – it exists to keep your pet safe from potentially contaminated raw meat and other consumables. And in addition to the acid, dogs and cats also naturally produce a tremendous amount of bile. Bile is both anti-parasitic and anti-pathogenic. So if something potentially harmful isn’t entirely neutralized by stomach acid, the bile is a secondary defense. And your pet’s powerful pancreatic enzymes also help break down and digest food.© Copyright 1997-2013 Dr. Joseph Mercola. All Rights Reserved.
January 30, 2013
January 23, 2013
A frequent misunderstanding in the world of health is that having no symptoms equals health. This is not so. Symptoms are often the last thing to happen when the is suffering from malfunction. Being symptom free can be a curse, because there are no warning signs until something dramatic happens. [Editor's note. I whipped this up quickly so I'm sorry for grammar/spelling errors.]
After discussing, with technical exhibits/measurements, some systemic failures of an individual’s body functioning, Christian says:
He knows that the process will take time, probably years. Repairing tissue and re-growing bone takes time, but he is also certain of a couple of big picture ideas about health and aging:
- What people call “aging” is often not aging at all. It is the resulting degeneration that comes from chronic exposure to things like food sensitivity, infections, and toxicity which gradually erode the health of the body.
- Being free of symptoms, whether it is because of symptom suppressing medications or because of one’s body, for one reason or another, not producing noticeable symptoms (yet), is a dangerous proposition. (Who knows, if the H Pylori and digestive issues hadn’t been discovered, our guy might suffer a “sudden” fracture a couple of decades in the future, or his teeth might begin to fall out of his mouth, or he might develop cancer because of a lack of proper nutrition.) [Editor's note: On the last point, read up on Bruce Ames' triage theory of aging.]
Bottom line: Disease prevention and functional investigation of one’s body should ideally start long before one ever experiences symptoms.
This is the way health should be dealt with. Another win for Aristotle and Hippocrates over Plato.
January 15, 2013
Here is what we should be learning to do in school. As it is now, unfortunately, students are told pre-digested ideas; they are not informed how the ideas were developed; principles like Newton’s laws of motion are presented as commandments; abstract, complex ideas in biology are, to students learning them, empty words to memorize. Students should be taught how an idea derives from the evidence of the senses and what chain of reasoning was used to develop it. (Teachers should push back (as much as possible; they should not jeopardize their jobs or career or family) on the philosophic ideas and values requiring them to teach Platonically. If we had only private schools, their job would be much easier and their teaching much better.)
A good example of how to think is found in Dr. Becker’s “Study Results Can Sometimes Be Misleading” (December 12, 2012). She writes:
As soon as the University of Illinois study was published, online media outlets picked it up and ran articles with headlines like: “High-protein diet may be unhealthy for kittens,” and “High-protein diet not so good for kitty’s belly. Kittens fed a high protein diet have less beneficial gut bacteria than those who eat a more balanced diet.” 2
The biggest factor to consider is that the two diets used in the study were, unfortunately, dry food formulas, which means they were seriously deficient in a nutrient felines MUST get from their diet — moisture. We also know most dry pet foods are cooked twice: once when the protein is rendered (turned into meal), and a second time when the kibbled mixture is extruded to form small, crunchy nuggets. This extreme processing also changes the structure of proteins and destroys vitamin A, vitamin E and the B-group vitamins, at a minimum.
Next we have to wonder about the protein source used in the dry food diets. It was unnamed in the study abstract, so we don’t know whether the food contained animal protein, a less biologically appropriate protein (for example, from a plant), or a combination. Generally speaking, dry pet food made with animal protein contains rendered meat by-products, which are more difficult for pets to digest than human grade meat.
January 5, 2013
In the Q&A “Why Should Horses Be Barefoot,” Jaime Jackson said:
The biology of Equus Caballus, the result of 1.4 million years of natural selection, demands that we work with its nature — not against it. The equine species is genuinely adapted to go barefoot. It is only through human ignorance of the horse’s natural state that led us to the incorrect, and harmful, conclusion that shoes are necessary — or useful. They aren’t, and, moreover, contribute significantly to the lameness we see everywhere around the world.
(c) by AANHCP
To understand how horses should be taken care of, we must understand what a horse is, and to do that, we need to look at it in nature and in history. But to do this, we need to have a proper view of science, reasoning, and logic, all of which start, not with convention, but with the evidence of the senses.
January 4, 2013
In “Veterinary Nutritionists Promote Pet Food Containing Corn, Wheat and Soy” (1-2-13), Dr. Becker writes:
In the past few months, I’ve written about what seems to be a concerted effort by some board-certified veterinary nutritionists to talk up the so-called ‘benefits’ of grain-based dog and cat diets and the pet food companies that sell those products.
Seldom mentioned by the traditional veterinary community (and NEVER mentioned by big pet food companies) is that pet dogs and cats acquire diseases their counterparts in the wild do not. Clearly one of the biggest differences between house pets and wild canines and felines is the food they eat.
© Copyright 1997-2013 Dr. Joseph Mercola. All Rights Reserved.
Agreed. Same with people, and our children: diet is a major cause of the illnesses and dysfunctions we have today. The fundamental cause is a lack of reason and logic. Let’s love our dogs and cats — by loving ourselves and acting according to our nature: rational animals.
Wild dogs eat right. Picture from Wikipedia.
Proper science is integrated and inductive, and it, like thriving and practical success in life, depend on cause-effect, which depends on recognizing and following the law of identity.
In the Q&A “Why Should Horses Be Barefoot,” Louise Bach-Holler said:
The [horse]shoe was invented because poorly conceived boarding conditions made the horses sore-footed and the hooves deteriorate — becoming brittle and weak. It is important to understand that most hoof problems that we see stems from bad boarding conditions (too much confinement, unnatural feeding, too little movement etc.) and not from genetic failure. Anything you nail or glue to the hoof will impede the hoof mechanism and thereby weaken the hooves and the horse’s health in general.
(c) by AANHCP
Convention and bad philosophies of science — that of Kant, Plato, Dewey — are what have brought us poor, non-optimal treatment of horses. But convention and bad philosophies of science are, unfortunately, what are taught in most schools. We need to get back to an Aristotelian approach, the approach of Hippocrates, Galileo, Kepler (the “good Kepler”), Newton, Harvey, Lavoisier, and Darwin.
December 3, 2012
Someone recently asked what a zero exponent would mean in the real world. Here is my basic response.
The important method of research is to ask and answer questions, and the important questions to ask are “how did we get the concept?” and “what does it mean?” We should look for things in the world where we take exponents. Where did we start? As far as I know, people started in history with geometry, with squares and cubes. What did we do from there? Include natural numbers as exponents. What did we do from there? Include zero as an exponent. What did we do from there? Include negatives, fractions and irrational numbers as exponents.
But let’s consider squares and cubes. We would multiply a length by a length to get an area; this is why we “square,” and from where the name comes. We would multiply a length by a length by a length to get a volume; this is why we “cube,” and from where the name comes. So a cube is a volume, a square is an area, a first power is a line, and so we could define a zero power to be a what? A point. (Considering 5^0 meter to not be the same as (5 meter)^0, just as they are different for the square or cube.)
The person suggested thinking about the number of apples to the zero power. Apples are not a good example, as I’m thinking. Why would we square or cube or otherwise exponentiate the number of apples?
Better examples would be things we can square or cube, or situations where we do so. One good example is compound interest (and continuous interest). We find that we can multiply a dollar amount by a factor, e.g., (1 + 0.08/12), which would be 8% interest compounded monthly, to get a dollar amount for next year. We can multiply that by the same factor to get a dollar amount for two years out. When we look, we find we could’ve multiplied the original amount by the factor squared, (1 + 0.08/12)^2, to get a dollar amount two years out. And so on for three or four years: (1 + 0.08/12)^3 and (1 + 0.08/12)^4, respectively.
November 25, 2012
On WYNC.org, they say “starting March 10, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer will be moderating First Principles, a series of three debates on the moral underpinnings of today’s politics. The event co-sponsored by Demos, The Ayn Rand Institute and It’s A Free Country.”
Describing the event in more detail at First Principles, they say:
First Principles: The Moral Debates that Drive Today’s Politics
After the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath a great political divide emerged among many Americans reexamining the direction of our country. One side says that unleashed free-market policies led to the worst downturn since the Great Depression, and calls for effective government to foster more equitable prosperity. The other side says that government has grown too big and too intrusive, and calls for the country to rediscover the virtues of limited government and free-market capitalism.
The first debate was on the proper role of government. This is a debate worth watching if you want to address some fundamental principles of the issue — principles we fail to hear today from our politicians and journalists. You could get some good information for writing essays in school, some good supplementary information to government or history class, or some good information for debates — or some good information so that you understand issues essential to forming the culture in which you act, think, and live, a culture which could frustrate, injure or destroy your life, or which could encourage, aid, and allow for you to make your own life.
October 29, 2012
Recently, I tutored someone in algebra. In his math class, he was covering arithmetic sequences as an example of functions. In his textbook, there were some applications, but not many and not very good. The presentation was not the worst, but it certainly was not the best.
The book did not give many good examples, it did not contrast arithmetic sequences with anything, it did not relate arithmetic sequences to anything (except, of course, to functions) and it did not motivate the topic by identifying where in reality and human life the concept (and related concepts) come up. There was bad epistemology (see also the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), bad thinking and teaching methods, all around. Please avoid these mistakes and rectify them when teaching your child or your students!!
To teach properly, to train the rational faculty of a child for adult life or student for professional life, we need to put what we do in context of rational, objective principles of epistemology and in context of practical life and human survival.
So I discussed arithmetic sequences vs. geometric and Fibonacci sequences, and said there were other types. We looked at examples of each type of sequence, to clearly differentiate the three. We saw they were all similar, and so should be classified together, but we saw what differentiated one from another. We looked at some examples of the sequences in real life — finance, bacterial growth, nuclear half-lives, plant and animal growth — so we knew why they were important and something we should study. We had examples that should be relevant to the student’s adult life (and, depending on the student, we provided enough information so that the math-intelligent student should be able to see how they could use some sequences now) and that showed how sequences were important in human life in general.
Then, and only then, we did some work specifically on arithmetic sequences, and did his book work. When we finished, I reviewed some points from the beginning.
We should show students how we develop a concept or method from real, practical experience in the real world, how classification — using similarities, differences, narrower groups/classifications, wider groups/classifications — comes into play and is important, and why the idea is important. It just takes a little time, but has profounds results on a person’s confidence, motivation, ability to reason correctly and logically, and success in life.
Update: To be able to do this, you need to immerse yourself in the material. You need to be a specialist — which is why you should hire a teacher or tutor, just as you would seek out a specialist in medicine, mechanics, HVAC, electricity, dance, martial arts. Homeschoolers who want to work with their own children should do so, but should seek out a teacher/tutor for guidance. The teacher/tutor could give a lesson or two every week with you there, and you could handle the teaching the rest of the week. Or you could work with the teacher/tutor on your own, then take back what you learned to your children.
May 23, 2012
Absolutely amazing. Love it. This is the way it should be. All those people who must rely on abuse to ride horses and get something done, are incompetent “horsemen.” They should not be around horses. They deny identity and causality; they are to students what modern Pragmatist, Platonic theory is to education; they are to horses what dictators are to a country. The guy in the video is to students what Montessori is to education; he is to horses what President Thomas Jefferson was to the US population.