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How many eggs a week is safe?

By Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the body. It is produced by your body (75% by your liver). The rest comes from the food you eat. Cholesterol is present in every cell of the body and is important in digesting foods, generating vitamin D, building cell walls and producing some hormones.

While it is needed for good health, too much cholesterol can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease.

Cholesterol in the blood doesn't move through the body on its own. It combines with proteins to travel through the bloodstream. Cholesterol and protein traveling together are called lipoproteins. The main types of lipoproteins are high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL moves cholesterol out of your arteries and back to the liver for disposal. LDL cholesterol is known as 'bad' cholesterol because it brings and leaves cholesterol in your arteries.

The extra LDL-cholesterol builds up in the walls of the arteries, forming plaque. Plaque can block arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through and putting you at risk for heart disease, attacks and strokes. Having high cholesterol does not usually produce any symptoms, so you could be in danger even without knowing it. One sign is a gray-white line of fat deposits growing on the outside edge of your cornea. If you're under 40, it could be a sign of dangerously high cholesterol.

You can inherit a tendency towards high cholesterol. No one in my family has died of a heart attack so far. But I do have small yellowish white patches on my eyelids which I developed in my forties – and which are a symptom of extra cholesterol. They are more likely to develop during a person's middle years and are more common in women than men. My mother and grandmother had them too. My cholesterol levels have always been on the high side even though my lifestyle includes exercise and only non oily vegetarian food. The doctors say hypercholesterolaemia may be an inherited condition which occurs because of a mutated gene. This usually results in heart disease before 55 but I am past that now. Around 12% of females, who inherit the genetic mutation from a parent, will develop coronary artery disease before the age of 50 years, and 74 per cent by the age of 70 years. About 85 per cent of affected male children will have a heart attack before the age of 60 years. But this can be kept in check by diet and exercise.

In adults, total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered healthy. Between 200 and 239 mg/dL is borderline high. 240 mg/dL and above is high.

LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.100–129 mg/dL is acceptable for people with no health problems but may be a concern for anyone with heart disease or heart disease risk factors.130—159 mg/dL is borderline high.160–189 mg/dL is high.

HDL levels should be 60 mg/dL or higher. Less than 40 mg/dL can be a major risk factor for heart disease.

Cholesterol only comes from animal foods like egg, milk, butter, cheese meat, fish, poultry, hydrogenated oils like lard, margarine, palm and coconut.

People who eat animal products may have more cholesterol in their bodies, at any given time, than those who don't. It is not just from the food they eat - the liver will also increase cholesterol levels when a diet is high in fat and trans fats. Having an increased amount of LDL cholesterol, caused by trans and saturated fats, increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes.

A report from Harvard Health has identified foods that actively decrease cholesterol levels:

Oats, barley and whole grains, beans, eggplant and okra, nuts, vegetable oil (canola, sunflower), fruits (mainly apples, grapes, strawberries, and citrus), soy and soy-based foods, foods rich in fibre (no animal based foods have fibre.)

Reducing the intake of fat in the diet helps to manage cholesterol levels. Limit foods that contain:

Saturated fat: This occurs in meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, deep-fried, and processed foods.

Trans fats: This occurs in some fried and processed foods.

Excess weight can also lead to higher blood LDL levels.

Other conditions that can lead to high cholesterol levels, include: diabetes (another lifestyle disease), liver or kidney disease, polycystic ovary syndrome and steroids.

If your diet is high in fibre and you eat mainly fresh fruit and plants, plant sterols will lower your cholesterol. Physical activity will also make you maintain or lose weight. Exercising for an hour a day raises the heart rate, helps with keeping a healthy weight, and reduces LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL cholesterol levels.

Researchers of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago and published in Journal for the American Medical Association, JAMA, examined data from six study groups of more than 29,000 people followed for 17½ years. At the start, participants filled in questionnaires detailing the foods they ate. Over the follow-up period, a total of 5,400 cardiovascular events occurred, including 1,302 fatal and nonfatal strokes, 1,897 incidents of fatal and nonfatal heart failure and 113 other heart disease deaths. An additional 6,132 participants died of other causes.

When they analyzed the data, the researchers found an association between egg consumption as reported at the start of the study and participants’ risk of developing cardiovascular disease. As their egg consumption rose, so did their risk. An egg has 155 calories and 11gms total fat. Each egg has 186 milligrams of cholesterol, which is 124% of what you should be eating per day and sodium 124 mg - more cholesterol than a fast-food double cheeseburger.

Three or more eggs a week was associated with a 3.2% higher risk of heart disease and a 4.4% higher risk of early death. Each additional half an egg consumed per day was associated with a 6-8% higher risk of cardiovascular disease and higher risk of early death due to any cause.

The researchers factored in every other unhealthy behaviour, such as low physical activity, smoking and an unhealthy diet full of processed food and saturated fats.

Dr. Robert H. Eckel, of University of Colorado School of Medicine, wrote that the new report "is far more comprehensive, with enough data to make a strong statement that eggs and overall dietary cholesterol intake remain important in affecting the risk of cardiovascular disease, and more so the risk of all-cause mortality."

"Considering the negative consequences of egg consumption and dietary cholesterol in the setting of heart-healthy dietary patterns, the importance of limiting intake of cholesterol-rich foods should not be dismissed," he concluded. According to industry data, the world will eat more eggs in 2019 than any time for the past 20 years.

Are eggs eaten alone? The food they are eaten with is as terrible for the body - white bread, butter, salt, and/or processed meats like bacon or sausages.

How many eggs a week is safe?  None.

The more eggs a person eats, the more those risks increase. People in the study, who averaged an egg every day, saw their risk of a heart-related event, such as a heart attack or stroke, increase by 12% compared to someone who didn’t eat eggs. Those who averaged two eggs every day had a 24% increased risk of heart-related events.

Researchers saw similarly increased risks for people who ate processed and unprocessed red meat.

Those associations held even when researchers looked at the overall quality of a person’s diet. Those who included eggs as part of a healthy diet didn’t have lower risks compared to those who ate eggs along with less nutritious foods.

It follows a 2018 study that looked at the evidence collected from 28 studies that had people eat eggs as an experiment and then looked at changes to their blood lipids. The study found eating eggs boosted total cholesterol by about 5 points compared to people who were on diets that didn’t include eggs.  Most of that increase came from an increase in LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. 

To join the animal welfare movement contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.peopleforanimalsindia.org

  • Written by Denis Giles
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Strangest Jobs that Involve Wild Animals

By Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

"Mama, what does Papa do in office?"

"He scares monkeys, darling."

What are the strangest jobs that involve wild animals?

*  Every morning when I get to ShastriBhavan, my office, I hear the sound of a man hooting. He hoots off and on the entire day. His job is to scare away monkeys. The monkeys run when they see him, but whether it's because of his voice, or the large stick he carries, is a moot point. As soon as he moves away they come back and sit on the ledges of the upper stories of the building – and outside my window, where I feed them.

Illegal langur kidnappers go from building to building (less so now because I have them arrested) and tie up their langurs on the gate to keep rhesus monkeys at bay. Some humans are paid by temples to dress up as monkeys to scare the others away.

*  SnakeMilkers are people who extract venom from snakes and other reptiles for medical applications, for the treatment of minor heart attacks and preventing blood clots, and for anti venom serums that can be used if a person is bitten by a snake. A lot of venom is needed every year, and the milker has to spend all day catching and squeezing a snake’s mouth open so that he can push snake fangs into a plastic container in order to milk them. Being bitten is not unusual. In India, the Irulas in Tamil Nadu, who were snake hunters for snake skin, were taught by Romulus Whittaker and Harry Miller, to collect venom and sell it to the snake institutes. In 1978, an Irula Snake-catchers Co-op, owned and operated by the Irulatribals, was formed with Romulus as the Technical Advisor and permissions were given to catch snakes and bring them to the Snake Park  inGuindy where they are milked .

*  Brazil mosquito researchers, fighting malaria, must study the biting habits of the mosquito that spreads this deadly disease. In order to study these insects, Brazilian scientists offer themselves as bait. In the early evening, when mosquito activity is the most, a mosquito researcher sets himself up inside a mosquito-netting tent with a gap at the bottom. Mosquitoes fly in and get trapped inside, where the researcher sits. As they bite the legs, he or she draws them into a mouth tube and then into a container, catching upto 500 in 3 hours (which means at least 3000 bites). Many researchers get malaria.

*  An  Avian Vomitologist is employed by  entomology laboratories to collect vomit samples from sick birds, to analyse the avian flu pattern. This means moving through fields and forests in search of vomit.

*  In 2014, the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center, in China's Sichuan, announced its worldwide search for panda cub caretakers. Contenders faced several elimination rounds before getting the job. The ad stated “Your work has only one mission: spending 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows.”

*  Better that, than working in China’s bear bile centres. Bears have a permanent tube fastened to their gall bladders, and the bile gatherers have to make sure the bile comes out and the bear, though in extreme pain, does not die. The bile is collected in jars and sold for the Chinese quack medicine industry.

*  Or even the rabbit hair puller-outers. The Chinese and French grow rabbits in tiny cages. Every six weeks the hair pullers get them out, spread eagle them on a table with straps and then pull out bunches of hair while the rabbits scream. Amusement comes from hitting the rabbit to make it shut up. What does your illiterate Papa do? He tortures rabbits the whole day for a very small amount of money.

*  Movies, that need insects, employ an insect wrangler. These individuals grow ants, cockroaches and flies for films and exhibitions, and get more exotic insects depending on the movie order. The wrangler directs the insects during filming, by motivating them with food or pushing them away with air etc. He has trained them to respond.

*  In Thailand there is a whole industry of jewellery made of butterfly wings (you can see them on sale at the airport). There are people who actually tear the wings of live butterflies and quickly push them between plastic covers edged with a gold lining. Add a hook and voila – earrings!

*  That is in the same league as snakeskin catchers who pin a live snake to the board and then strip its skin off. This is made into shoes/wallets/handbacks for the very rich and stupid.

Crocodile skinners do the same . Their job is catch the mouth of a baby crocodile and bind it. Hammer a nail into the neck which paralyses it and then strip the skin off.

For every guy who eats a live grasshopper, on reality shows as disgusting as Fear Factor and Survivor, there are people who are paid to do the same thing in real life. These masochists are called Gross Stunt Testers and their highly paid job includes doing everything that's gross, like eating worms or  cockroaches. The film and television industry employs them to test disgusting items, such as bugs and fluids, to make sure it is safe for others to consume on camera, in order to avoid lawsuits.

*  Professional elephant painters and dressers are hired to paint and decorate elephants during the festivities in Kerala. Sri Lanka has official outfitters for the elephants taking part in festivals. Each elephant has to be measured, and custom made outfits are made for the body, trunk, ears, and tail of the animal. The drapery has to fit snugly to the elephant’s hide, instead of being tied on with rope. The elaborate creations take around two months to make. The outfits are bought by wealthy families and donated to the temple. Captive elephants are transported across the country to take part in these festivals . Every year at least ten elephants revolt under the heat of these dresses, the noise and the beating of the mahouts, and run amok. They are either killed immediately, or punished for months with beating.

*  Till a few decades ago leech were collected to draw blood from patients for therapeutic reasons. Leech-gatherers waded through dense leech-filled areas and allowed them to latch onto their legs and suck, losing tremendous amounts of blood. When they were covered with leeches they waded back and took them off.

One short life and look how we waste it. One very enlightened Guru told me thirty years ago that Earth was the designated Hell for all the sinners of the Universe. One look at these jobs that we create and I can believe it. 

To join the animal welfare movement contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.peopleforanimalsindia.org

  • Written by Denis Giles
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The Slaughterhouses

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

In every survey taken across the world, the worst jobs that emerge are sewage cleaners, and people that work in the factory farm and slaughterhouse industry which includes fish, poultry, piggeries, cattle and, of course, all the other species you can think of – from rabbits and dogs to goats and camels.

Millions of people work in slaughterhouses, dragging animals out, stringing them up, bleeding them, breaking their bones, slitting their throats, skinning live beings. These are the direct killers. But equally horrible work is, growing them in tight miserable conditions, giving them injections every day, cleaning out their food and faeces, loading them into overcrowded trucks and then pulling them out half dead already. A poultry worker kills roughly 35,000 chickens a year. These people work in dirty, smelly, blood filled, unsanitary conditions. Workers are usually trained for one specific part of the process. For example, some workers kill and bleed the animals, while others make a series of cuts to separate fat, muscle and bone, some skin them while still conscious, others boil them alive. Hour after hour, day after day, the workers interact with countless animals in various states of fear and pain. They work with the constant noise of dying animals protesting till the end. They return home full of the germs of dried blood. What could they dream about at night and what aims propel them? How many women would marry a slaughterhouse worker? What do their children say when they are asked "what does your daddy do?" Could this be the reason that all slaughter involved workers live together in tight, slovenly ghettos all over the world (with the highest crime percentages) – so that they meet only their own kind?

Slaughterhouse workers, which include fishermen who go out into the ocean and spend the day hunting and killing the animals of the ocean, have so many kinds of jobs – one more terrible than the last.

For instance, these are jobs that are so strange that one wonders how poor (or mentally disturbed) you have to be to do them :

Animal Masturbator: The sperm of animals is always in great demand, whether by researchers or famers, who want artificial insemination. The only way to obtain the sperm is to masturbate the animal and catch the semen in a pot. Whether it is a pig, ram, horse or bull, people have to physically excite the animals. When dealing with a bull, there have been cases were people have been seriously injured during this procedure. There are other options: They can ram an electric probe up an animal's rectum, shove an artificial vagina onto the animal's penis, or simply do it the old-fashioned way - manual stimulation using the hand. Electroejaculation generally requires anesthetizing the animal and is typically used on zoo dwellers. The AV - a large latex tube coated with warm lubricant - is used primarily to get sperm from dairy bulls. The bull gets randy with a cow; when he mounts the animal with his forelegs, a brave technician, AV in hand, insinuates himself between the two animals and redirects the bull's penis into the mock genitalia, which he must then hold tight while the bull orgasms. Three additional technicians anchor themselves to restraining ropes attached to a ring in the bull's nose. The same thing applies to pigs and goats.

An artificial insemination technician, also known as Diary Cow Midwife, inserts semen deeply into female bovine vaginas to get them pregnant.

Chicken Sexer: This gentleman stands at an assembly line and picks up fluffy, hour old, chicks, turns them upside down and squeezes their faeces out from their anuses so that he can put a finger inside in order to determine their sex. Tiny bumps indicate a male, while a flat surface is female. The males are killed. This job requires a gentle hand (so as to not damage the female chicks), a good eye (to recognize whether they have a penis or not) and the ability to forget that your whole working life is going to be spent looking at baby chicken’s sex organs.

Animal Shearers : These worthies pin the rabbit down flat on a surface and then shear the hair off, often breaking the bones and making a million body cuts in the process, while listening to it scream. The same applies to sheep shearers – considered the worst  job in Australia, next to Sheep Daggers, whose entire workshop consists of bending over sheep and removing soiled wool from their backsides – a process extremely painful for the animal and backbreaking for the human.

Goose/Duck Stuffers : To make pate foie gras, the diseased duck liver so beloved of rich people, the bird has to have an aluminium or plastic tube put into its food pipe. Workers stuff corn mesh down the tubes the entire day and make sure that the retching birds keep it down. If the mesh gets stuck they have to put their fingers into the tube to make sure it is pushed down into the stomach. This goes on until the liver is as large as the bird and it can be killed.

Pig Hair Remover : The hair is pulled out from hogs while alive. Three people hold the squealing animal down and the fourth pulls out bunches of hair, which are sent to be made into brushes – after the blood is washed off.

Pig Stabber : There is a belief that pigs should be stabbed many times before being killed so that the pork is more edible. People are hired in piggeries to take short knives and stab pigs repeatedly before killing them. A former kill floor manager gave the following account: "The worst thing, worse than the physical danger, is the emotional toll. . . . Pigs down on the kill floor have come up and nuzzled me like a puppy. Two minutes later I had to kill them - beat them to death with a pipe. I can’t care."

Animal Renderer :  Workers who bring the entrails, bones and blood from butchers and slaughterhouses, clean and strip them, boil and sort them, so that these animals can be turned into soap, fertilizer, candles, pharmaceuticals and toiletries (previously, tooth brush handles and teething rings as well.) De-animalising that leads to de-humanising.

You just have one short life. Are you sure you want to spend it killing other species? The pursuit of money cannot justify this, because these are the lowest paid with the poorest working conditions in the world. In India it has become a family profession and often parents start their children off at the age of four so that they know nothing else.  Each slaughterhouse worker suffers from diseases ranging from tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis, eye, nose and throat irritation, traumatic injuries, noise-induced hearing loss. Most facilities operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – killing and processing hundreds or thousands of animals each hour. As one worker stated: The line is so fast there is no time to sharpen the knife. The knife gets dull and you have to cut harder. That’s when it really starts to hurt, and that’s when you cut yourself. Workers suffer chronic pains in their hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and back. The industry has consistently operated with one of the highest injury rates in the country.

Fishermen experience one of the highest rates of fatalities among all classes of workers. They must stay at sea for extended periods, and withstand adverse weather and sea conditions, catch, extract and store fish, load and unload. Depleted supplies of fish in many waters add an element of uncertainty regarding the success of expeditions.

How sad that humans should want to do jobs like this. These jobs are killing not just animals but destroying the rest of the world through polluting the land and water and bringing about climate change so that all of us are unsafe. Instead of trying to increase our meat exports, the government should be looking at retraining slaughter workers and letting them get jobs that keep their self respect and bring more money.

And you can help them by becoming vegetarian. 

To join the animal welfare movement contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.peopleforanimalsindia.org

  • Written by Denis Giles
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