Tradition – Peer Pressure from our Ancestors?

by Rob English

I’m all in favor of tradition, but sometimes we’re better off moving on from the old ways. For example, my great-grandfather bathed himself in a creek once a week and bathed not at all in winter, and I’m not going to live that way. Running water in my home allows me to be clean every day, and although it breaks my ancestor’s creek-bathing tradition I believe he would approve.

As a child, my friend – I’ll call her Amanda – was often seriously beaten and was psychologically abused by her parents for committing the minor infractions that children can’t avoid committing. Her parents had suffered the same mistreatment, and so did their parents, and so on for generations. Now a mother herself, Amanda told me “Maybe I didn’t get the love I deserved when I was little, but in my own parenting I’m breaking the chain of abuse. I’m strong with my kids, but I understand that their brains are still developing, so I discipline and guide my babies more gently and with love.”

Amanda’s ancestors in Heaven would understand. They know that Jesus Christ said, “I have come to bring you a NEW testament,” one focused primarily on love. I believe that Amanda’s ancestors would joyfully applaud her decision.

In our industrial world, illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are surging.  Pharmaceutical companies and some doctors offer expensive drugs and invasive medical procedures to treat these disorders, and such chemicals and treatments often have side effects that are dangerous, painful, or even deadly. Alternatively, doctors educated in the latest nutritional research such as Dr. Michael Greger recommend adopting a plant-based diet to avoid, treat, or even cure these diseases. Modern research shows that assuming a healthy, delicious, and satisfying plant-based diet is much less expensive than pills and hospital stays, and unwanted side effects are generally non-existent on a plant-based diet.

I might also mention that a plant-based diet helps to break the chain of abuse of God’s creatures who suffer in industrial animal farming.

Yes, our ancestors ate meat and eggs and cheese and drank milk meant for baby cows. But also their bathtub was the creek! Today, all those foods are available in plant form. If our grandparents are watching us from above, I believe they would gladly see us live longer, more active lives by eating healthier than they did.

My great-grandfathers rode to town in horse drawn wagons. Did they feel dishonored when my father broke tradition and bought a car? I don’t think so.

I think they felt proud.

To your health in the New Year!

Rob is a member of people for Animal Rights

See Dr. Gregor’s many well-researched videos at

For mouthwatering Latino vegan recipes:

or search in google: “cocinar vegano”

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