by Linda DeStefano
Translated into Spanish by Rob English
There were about 95 people who came to Onondaga Free Library on May 9 to hear Ted Barnett (“Dr. Veggie”) talk about Plant-Based Nutrition and Evolving Medical Paradigms.
Dr. Barnett is a partner in a radiology practice and somehow finds the time to also be the C.E.O. of Rochester Lifestyle Medicine, which he founded in 2015. This practice helps people to be healthy through plant-based nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction and other lifestyle improvements.
Dr. Banett used imaginative images to help him tell the story of how difficult it is to change medical paradigms, in one case taking a century. The first example was the importance of surgeons washing their hands after doing a dissection and before seeing a patient. The person who introduced this concept demonstrated that it worked by reducing the number of patients dying from infection. Nonetheless, this simple habit was ignored for many years while more people died needlessly.
The second example was the common practice of radical mastectomies to treat breast cancer. In addition to removing the breast, the surgeon would remove the muscle and lymphs. This extreme surgery stopped only after it was shown that a simple mastectomy was just as likely to stop the cancer as a radical mastectomy one.
The third example showed that surgery was not needed to treat ulcers; after proof that ulcers were caused by a bacteria, antibiotics were the proper treatment.
The point is that change happens slowly but physicians like Dr. Barnett are leading the way to a non-invasive approach to illness and health rather than undue reliance on surgery and prescription mediation. This is why another of his nicknames is “The high-tech doctor with the low-tech solutions”.
He also spoke at Upstate Medical University to about 30 medical students and one physical therapy student.
This popular event was co-sponsored by People for Animal Rights and the Syracuse Vegans Meetup Group. If you want to explore a plant-based diet, these groups can help you by inviting you to socials where all vegan food is served (but you don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to attend). They also invite the public to films and speakers on this and related topics.
The contact for the Syracuse Vegans group is Marybeth Fishman, firstname.lastname@example.org or (315)729-7338. You can find the group on Facebook, Instagram, and on the Meetup.com website.
Contact for People for Animal Rights is email@example.com or (315)488-PURR (7877) between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. or PAR, P.O. Box 15358, Syracuse, NY 13215-0358.
We can also provide you with contact information for national organizations which can offer lots of material and support, including free personal counseling if you are ready to try a plant-based diet. A plant-based diet means eating veggies, fruit, grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds and all the tasty food made from them while avoiding animal flesh and animal products (particularly dairy and eggs). YUM!