The First Thanksgiving and Diabetes For All

     Readers of All Faiths,

     Today is the day that americans celebrate the first Thanksgiving, where we shared our food with the Native Americans, they shared their food with us, then we gave them blankets which were infested with disease, robbed them off all their land and made them a minority in their own country.  We call this The American Dream, Chapter One.

     Karma can be a bitch and it could be some old Spirit in the Sky that has wrought vengeance upon our country for the treacherous way the British in our blood caused us to decimate the native race of North America, the same way it will smite us in 20 years when the last of the wild tigers have vanished from the earth. Tiger population in the wild is calculated to be about 3,200 tigers, or tygers, compared with 100,000 a century ago. I am sure the big cats had nothing to do with it. Thanks, Mankind.

     We will still see them lolling in stinking cages in our local zoos but even they may disappear after so many years. Mankind, as Tom Waits noted, is anything but kind to the Earth and the creatures that dwell upon it. Mankind is better suited to war than to the love of animals and preservation of his it’s own habitat.

     This is a consumer’s holiday in all respects ~ we consume all we possibly can, we follow this by the biggest moneyspending day of the year, Black Friday. This leads into a frenzy of consumption that lasts six weeks and empties wallets and bank accounts, leads to mountains of unpaid credit and results in an average of 20 pounds gained by eating crap we don’t bother with the rest of the year.

     I bet that, if not for the holiday season, americans would not be overweight to the extent that they are. An open refrigerator-door policy during these weeks leaves most carrying pounds which will never come off and which lay the foundation for a few more pounds the year after that…and the year after that. Ever notice how much older someone else your own age looks when they are carrying an extra 50 pounds. A lot older.

     Then you have to deal with the issue of weight related brain damage. The brain of an obese person, when subjected to imaging, shows a startling resemblance to that of an active crack addict. Both suffer from serious lapses in judgement. When you look in the mirror, at what point do you finally say ‘these scars all over my face and the missing teeth…maybe it’s the crack’ or ‘gee. I seem to have gained a bit of weight. I appear to be 200 pounds bigger than I was in school’.  Didn’t the mirror work at 175 pounds? What is the magic formulae of realization?

     In India these days, realization comes in the form of diabetes, which is spreading quicker than it is in the USA, even. The Indian people, from centuries of poor diet or lack of diet, have genes which are used to ‘starving’. When the Western diet was introduced, the whole country became a nation of porkers. They cannot handle all the sugar and other crapola which is processed into seemingly good foods. It is called the ‘disease of affluence’ due to its source in ample food supplies and the high percentage of processed foods. India, with 15 diabetics per 100 people is the world leader in diabetes 2. I guess they were emulating what they saw on TV. Forty million diabetics reside in India.

     In the US, 23.6 million people have diabetes, close to eight per cent of the population. While 17.9 million of these cases are diagnosed, there are 5.7 per cent which remain undiagnosed and (hold on to your hats) 57 million americans with ‘pre-diabetes’. We are about to double, nay, almost triple our rate of this illness at the pace of 1,600,000 new cases a year.  These figures come from the American Diabetes Association.

     To look at it another way, on average, 32,ooo people in your home state will be diagnosed with the disease in 2011 and the numbers will slowly rise.  If you reside in Pennsylvania, that is 477 new cases in your county alone, slightly over seven new cases a month, or more simply –  a new neighbour with diabetes about once week…for now – these figures are expected to increase. Wait until those 57 million get symptomatic.

     HIV/AIDS? piff-paff, Diabetes kills scores more people and has replaced the immuno-deficiency diseases as the world’s most dangerous killer. No sex, no needles required; all  we need is a Big Mac.

     There is hope, though slim…you could exercise or eat properly but it is so much work.

     You could start today and just eat some lean turkey and say ‘no’ to all that other stuff on the table. You also do not need to eat unless you are hungry, a fact that escapes many.

     How nice! The snowflakes are falling on suburbia and inside the warm houses in my neighborhood, kids are sucking down hot chocolate and eating Count Chocula and waiting for the big meal. Future patients.

     The smart people are the ones marching in the parades.

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