Brahmins are one of nature’s most fascinating, most bizarre, most diabolical creatures.
Obsessed with weird rituals, an abiding fondness for in-breeding, an unquenchable thirst for Cow-ca-Cola, a sneering contempt for eating meat and a diet limited to plant products, the scheming Brahmins are a tiny group geographically restricted to the barbarous land mass designated in atlases as India, the mountain nation of Nepal and parts of the New World a.k.a. United States (rumors of Brahmin sightings in New Zealand are increasing lately).
A Brahmin Diet – All Vegetables and No Meat
In lexicographic terms, a Shudra may be considered the antonym of Brahmin.
A numerically large group confined mostly to India, Shudras find it impossible to resist eating anything that moves, swims, crawls or flies.
All is grist to a Shudra stomach, badly starved as it often is of nutrients.
The endearing quality of Shudras is their enormous delight in life’s little blessings and how they live for the day.
Shudra Diet – Meat & More Meat
It would be no exaggeration to say that a sight of any non-human creature induces a Pavlovian fit of drooling in a Shudra.
The Kshatriya diet is similar to the Shudra meal except that the better-off Kshatriyas prefer meat not crawling with maggots. Alas, the economically distressed Shudra has not the luxury of choice!
For those not familiar with India, Kshatriyas are the equivalent of Bollywood’s Chulbul Pandey.
While the devilish Brahmins tend to think with their Chanakyan (vulpine) minds and the starving Shudras with their bellowing stomachs, the Kshatriya is mindful only of his iron hands and elephant-trunk sized legs. In the Kshatriya weltanschauung, all creatures, be they human, animal, amphibious or avian, exist only as prey for the exercise of his meat-fed six-pack muscles.
Now that you have an idea of India’s various communities and their dietary practices, let’s get to the meat of our subject.
Oh, wait! There’s one more group in India known as Vaishyas, a community where males are so obsessed with counting coins and notes they have no time for eating, drinking, screwing and sleeping, leaving their women folk prey to the repeated depredations of Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Shudras.
Longevity – Brahmin vs Shudra
Given my advanced perception skills, it has not escaped my attention that the fiendish Brahmins tend to live longer than Shudras and Kshatriyas.
I always suspected the key reason behind longevity of Brahmins vis-a-vis other Indian communities a.k.a. castes was their abhorrence of meat.
Now a new American study has confirmed my suspicion of why Brahmins outlive their Shudra, Kshatriya and Vaishya peers.
A study by Valter Longo and his associates finds that animal-derived proteins are associated with higher mortality rates.
People in the age group 50-65 consuming a high animal source protein diet were 74% likely to die sooner and at four-times higher risk of dying from cancer than those who abstain from such a diet.
Longo is Director of the Longevity Institute, a Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences and the Edna Jones Chair of Biogerontology at the University of Southern California and so his findings cannot be easily dismissed.
The findings of Longo and his team were based on a study of 6,381 U.S. men and women aged 50 and above.
Here’s an extract from their study:
Notably, our results showed that the amount of proteins derived from animal sources accounted for a significant proportion of the association between overall protein intake and all-cause and cancer mortality. These results are in agreement with recent findings on the association between red meat consumption and death from all-cause and cancer (Fung et al., 2010,Pan et al., 2012). Previous studies in the U.S. have found that a low carbohydrate diet is associated with an increase in overall mortality and showed that when such a diet is from animal-based products, the risk of overall as well as cancer mortality is increased even further (Fung et al., 2010,Lagiou et al., 2007). Our study indicates that high levels of animal proteins, promoting increases in IGF-1 and possibly insulin, is one of the major promoters of mortality for people age 50–65 in the 18 years following the survey assessing protein intake.
Cow – Pray or Chop?
Now I understand why Brahmins fall before the cow, pray to it and gulp down Cow-ca-Cola unlike the Shudras who fall upon the cow, chop it to pieces and feast on its meat.
In other words, my hypothesis on human longevity and meat consumption was correct after all.
The important takeaway from the Longo et al study is that while proteins matter, the source of proteins matters more if you want to live longer.
Other scientists concur with Longo’s findings.
According to Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center:
Having enough high-quality protein in your diet from whatever source is important….The evidence is overwhelming and incredibly consistent that people who eat plant-based products have a reduced risk of death…..If you shift to a diet more about plant-based foods, you are likelier to live healthier and experience less chronic disease.
Now keep in mind that research studies like the one done by Longo et al are complicated.
We know animal-derived proteins reduce life spans and heighten the risk of dying from cancer but do plant derived proteins increase the chances of living longer?
Here’s what the Longo study says:
When we controlled for the effect of plant-based protein, there was no change in the association between protein intake and mortality, indicating that high levels of animal proteins promote mortality and not that plant-based proteins have a protective effect.
Makes my head spin! Such “If, But” conclusions.
Idli, Vada, Sambar, Salad (Proteins from Plant Sources) – Live Longer
Chicken Dum Biryani (Proteins from Animal Sources) – Live Shorter
Starting today, I shall never look in the direction of Chicken Dum Biryani, Whopper Sandwich or McDonald’s Bacon Clubhouse Burger with anything but distaste.
You may count on me to confine my eating to Indian vegetarian delights like Navratan Korma, Idli-Vada with three Chutneys and Sambar, Bagara Baingan and Dum Aloo.
Henceforth, your favorite blogger will Eat Like a Brahmin and Live Like a Shudra! 😉