Why Are We So Sick? Find Out.

Why do humans get sick so often?

Humans get colds and flu’s more often than non-human animals do.

Numerous individuals contract a minor sickness a handful of times throughout the year. A cold every few months. The flu once or twice.

Nobody thinks anything of it.

On the other hand are non-human animals. Most pet owners rarely take their cats or dogs to the doctor for a flu shot or cold medicine. The majority of animals only visit the doctor for renewal of vaccinations, neutering, and their yearly checkups. Wild animals never visit the vet.

Humans develop chronic diseases and sickness at a wildly higher rate than other animals. It’d be odd to see a wild animal such as a bear, raccoon or deer sneezing all the time due to allergies. Turtles that aren’t brought down by the dangers of surviving in the wild live past 100 years of age without visiting a doctor once in their lives.

So, why are humans so sick?

There’s one aspect drastically different between humans and wild non-human animals: diet.

Humans are the only species that refine foods. Other animals either eat whole plant foods, whole animal foods or a combination of the two. You’ll never see a wild tiger eating bacon or an undomesticated rabbit eating a doughnut. It’s just not going to happen without human intervention.

Wait, now. Are you saying we shouldn’t process our foods at all? No cooking? No grinding? Nothing?

No. Absolutely not.

I’m not saying that humans should eat exactly like non-human animals do. Humans have developed technology that gives us wider variety of healthy choices.

Due to cooking, humans can eat a variety of grains, tubers and beans. These foods can be highly nutritious and may have given us evolutionary advantages over other animals. Grains and legumes are easy foods to grow that provide most or all of the nutrients humans need to survive and thrive.

Turning wheat into whole wheat flour is perfectly acceptable. Turning wheat into Oreos is not.

Also, humans aren’t the only animals that process foods in some way. Monkeys have been observed drying fruits in a season of abundance, saving them for times with less fruit.

What I am saying is that us humans should refine our foods a little less. Turning wheat into whole wheat flour is perfectly acceptable. Turning wheat into Oreos is not.

Other animals get sick, too

Unfortunately, I can’t say that humans are the only species that develop diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Because humans cause other species to contract these diseases, too.

Studies have been conducted on rabbits where they’ve been fed high-cholesterol diets. The results are similar to that of humans: development of plaque in the arteries and the beginning of atherosclerosis.

Other animals that develop “human” diseases include (but aren’t limited to): dogs, cats and rats. Dogs and cats are prone to developing diabetes and heart disease because they’re too often fed refined, processed foods and/or too much food that’s intended for humans. Rats develop a variety of chronic diseases at high rates because humans use them for testing the safety of all sorts of pharmaceuticals, foods, household products and anything else humans want to gauge the safety of.

When were you last sick?

The last time I was sick was when I arrived in  Australia in August 2014. The symptoms were mild and lasted less than a week. I tend to succumb to illness after I’ve traveled far distances and exposed to brand new environments.

Count the times you get sick this year. If you find yourself feeling under the weather often and indulging in medication and sick days more than a handful of times per year, you have a problem.

There’s not a doubt in my mind that if you, anybody or everybody ate less processed foods and foods that were less processed, then there’d be a dramatic decrease in the need for allergy medications, pain relief medications, flu shots and doctor’s visits.

Try it and see for yourself.

  • Updated a couple of years ago
Sara Binde

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.