Diet of our ancestors
There are many roads to health. In the face of serious illness, people often are willing to try things they previously discounted or even found repulsive. When Aajonus Vonderplanitz became discouraged with the options offered by modern medicine, he veered from his training in computer science and the arts and began his own experimentation and research. He found a health tutor and enrolled in several nutritional classes at major universities, but quickly withdrew feeling the information offered was "non-utilizable and produced sporadic results."
Aajonus says his best healing-education came from observing wild animals, living outdoors. Ultimately, he sought the restoration of his health through the primitive diet of our earliest ancestors.
In Latin, Aajonus means stranger or alien. His surname comes from his ancestors who founded the town Planitz near Zwickau, but given the way he relates to our Earth, one could just as easily interpret it as "from the planet."
Q: What were your health challenges in your early life?
A: I was born into an abusive household that caused tremendous daily stress. I had allergies to many foods, cold weather, chemicals, medications, poison ivy and sumac, and insect stings. When I caught poison ivy or was stung by an insect, my face swelled until my eyes and throat closed. Although some form of antibiotic usually stopped the reaction, my digestive system deteriorated and colds and flus lasted up to five months. I was borderline autistic and rarely communicated with others unless threatened with physical violence. From early childhood, I was severely dyslexic. At age 10 I developed peritonitis that was misdiagnosed as appendicitis, and the medical procedures nearly killed me. By age 13, I was diagnosed with diabetes, and at 15 I developed angina pectoris-muscle spasms in or around the heart. Doctors couldn't find a consistent irregularity so nothing was done, which I now know was a blessing.
When I was 19, I developed a tumorous stomach ulcer. During surgery to remove it, my vagus nerve was severed to prevent acids from irritating the area. The incision scarred through to my stomach and became tumorous. I was administered radiation therapy which gave me multiple myeloma (blood and bone cancers).
I tried chemotherapy, which doctors told me would increase my one-year life expectancy, but discontinued it after several months when I developed psoriasis and bursitis. Since then I've learned of studies by medical researcher Hardin B. Jones, Ph.D, a professor of medical physics and physiology at U.C. Berkley, in which people diagnosed with cancer who received no surgery, radiation or chemotherapy lived an average of 12 1/2 years. Those who received those therapies lived an average of three years. The doctors lied when they told me they would extend my life.
Q: What led you to a raw diet to cure your ills?
A: At age 27 I left civilization because I thought that animals and more primitive peoples had innate wisdom about health. I heard that the Eskimos lived free of degenerative diseases as long as they ate a natural diet which was 90% animal products, mainly eaten raw. For nearly three years I lived outdoors studying animals and primitive people, and began to include raw animal products in my raw vegetarian/fruitarian diet. The resultant increase in my health was astounding.
Q: Do you perceive a relationship between metaphysics and personal health?
That is a very broad question, depending upon how creation is viewed. Metaphysics to me means living holistically, in harmony, balance and health on the physical plane to depending upon how creation is viewed. I will discuss it from my nutritional view. Metaphysics to me on what should be killed and eaten-a hierarchy of killing. I believed that killing animals and utilizing their flesh and dairy byproducts was gross and antispiritual, and that killing plants and fruit was loving and blessed.
Although I felt noble, my health suffered. I religiously adhered to a vegetarian diet for six years, attempting to overthrow what I now perceive as the food-chain laws. The human body is not separate from the food-chain laws. Initially the raw vegetarian/fruitarian diet improved my health, but after five years I deteriorated even though I followed all of the complete protein rules.
I learned the hard way that God intended for my body to live healthfully and diseasefree. I opened my mind and discovered that the human digestive system is most appropriate for digesting animal products. Vegetarian animals, herbivores, have more than twice the length of digestive tract as that of humans. Herbivores have two to four stomachs; humans have only one.
Humans have very few grinding teeth, most are for cutting. Although cooked meat moves slowly through the digestive system, raw meat digests in 10 to 16 hours. Raw food passes through an herbivore in 48 hours.
Raw and raw-sprouted grains and plants are too complex for the human digestive tract and are rarely completely digested before excretion. Herbivores have many times the digestive enzymes to disassemble cellulose to utilize the protein and fat from vegetation. Cooked grains and cooked plants compound the problem because they take nearly 48 hours in digestion, depending upon a person's digestive system.
Eating vegetation causes alkalinity in the human digestive tract, which should be acid. Between 40% and 80% of the friendly bacteria and flora are paralyzed or destroyed in an alkaline environment. Cooking destroys nutrients, creates toxins that accumulate as carcinogens, causes the digestive tract to be over-acidic, and damages health. Eating raw vegetables is good when on a cooked diet because vegetables neutralize some of the acidity. However, if a person eats raw foods, including red meat, fowl and seafood, her/his digestive tract would be impaired by the consumption of whole raw vegetables because they would destroy the bacteria that makes digestion of meat and fat proper. If you combine raw meat with raw vegetables it often impairs digestibility of both foods, unless someone suffers from over-acidic digestive tract. I recommend that people drink their vegetables with the pulp completely removed. That way the juice is usually absorbed near the duodenum without alkalinizing the intestines. Also, eating more than a little fruit each day deteriorates the tissues and bones, imbalances the sugar level and causes poor mental function.
Q: How do raw foods help cure chronic, degenerative disease?
A: Fats strengthen, cleanse and protect all body systems. Combined with whole raw fruits, raw vegetable juices, and raw meats, fats make solvents to cleanse and remove toxicity from the body. A healthy immune system is predominately dependent on fats. Raw proteins provide nutrients for regeneration of cells, promoting healing, youth and longevity. It has been my experience in thousands of cases that regeneration of cells occurs prolifically and easily when raw meats are eaten. Vegetable and fruit proteins like nuts, beans and grains rarely have promoted regeneration of cells in most cases. These same principals apply to prevention of degenerative diseases.
Q: Didn't you have a near-fatal incident with a mushroom?
A: I misidentified and ate a death cap amanita mushroom in 1981, enough to kill 15 people my size. It destroyed 90% of my liver and caused multiple myeloma to resurge. I experienced recurring cramps and paralysis combined with chronic fatigue.
I ate one stick of unsalted raw butter with one banana four to eight times a day-that is, one to two pounds of unsalted raw butter per day. I ate raw eggs by themselves, Rockystyle, raw fish and raw chicken. The fats in the unsalted raw butter, raw eggs and raw meats provided the nutrients necessary to cleanse and eliminate toxicity resultant from the mass destruction of cells, and to strengthen my body. The meats provided the proteins necessary to regenerate cells and restore my health. It took me more than six years to recover to satisfactory health, and 11 years to completely regain my health. But my health continues to improve and at age 51, I feel better and do more than ever.
Q: What sort of response do your ideas get from the vegetarian community?
A: Before vegetarians hear my experience, they might not relate to my ideas. In January I spoke to a vegetarian raw food group in San Francisco. At the end of my talk only four of the 52 attendees remained staunch vegetarians. I explaned to them that o f the 1,800 people eating a vegetarian diet that I met since 1969, only about four percent did well on the vegetarian diet. Only about .01% did very well. Those who did well were all very athletic with most of their glands overactive, especially thyroid, adrenals and gonads, with tremendous amounts of innate energy.
Q: What about the environmental impact of eating animals?
A: The direct environmental issue that argues against meat-eating contends that it takes vast amounts of agricultural products, land and labor to raise animals. Unfortunately, the human body was not designed to live healthfully on agricultural products. The real root of this issue is overpopulation.
There is also the argument that the toxicity resulting from animals fed hormones and antibiotics can harm people who eat animal products. The opposing view argues that the pesticides and chemical fertilizers used in agriculture show up more in vegetarians than in meat-eaters.
At a nutritional panel last November, a study was presented showing that vegetarians had higher levels of pesticides in their tissues. The theory was that people who eat animal products get fewer pesticides because the body systems of the animals have already either eliminated the pesticides or stored them in glands and bones.
The real issue is the use of chemicals. Pesticides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics and toxic feed are all deleterious to health whether we eat vegetable, fruit or animal products.
Q: How does the medical establishment respond to your ideas?
A: I have received more support than criticism from alternative-minded doctors and nurses who know that medical approaches often fail and maim.
Q: What about parasites?
A: I have not seen a direct correlation between eating raw meat and having parasites. It is believed by every gastrologist and registered nurse with whom I have spoken that hydrochloric acid in the stomach kills parasites and harmful bacteria before they can enter the system. As I stated earlier, my vagus nerve was severed to eliminate hydrochloric acid from my stomach. Science and medicine put me in the category of people in danger of severe illness or death from parasitic and bacterial invasion.
Once I ate pinworm-infested salmon. I had my feces checked for 10 weeks afterward and did not prove positive for any kind of intestinal parasite. I have eaten raw meats since 1976 and have never suffered parasites.
But parasites are not the problem. Parasites live on decaying tissue. Blaming parasites is the same as blaming vultures, crows and worms for the dead and decaying carcass that they find and eat. They eat the dead and decaying creature to prevent the atmosphere from becoming a toxic cesspool.
Parasites and some forms of bacteria have the same sort of job in the human body. It is a detoxification process. If an individual eats healthy raw fats and proteins while parasites and bacteria do their cleansing jobs, his or her body will eliminate the toxins made less toxic by the parasites and/or bacteria and regenerate cells to heal properly.
Food and chemicals that cause destruction and decay in the body make us susceptible to parasitical and bacterial detoxification. It's better to eliminate the destructive food and chemicals that make parasitical and bacterial detoxification necessary.
Q: Are there health hazards in your diet?
A: Hazards are created by eating cooked, processed and chemically altered foods that form toxins, creating disease. My raw food diet cleanses those toxins over time. The detoxification process is sometimes extreme. I have occasionally seen people with one to 10 days of diarrhea, high fever, brief fatigue and blood in the stool that is associated with bacterial food poisoning. The typical period is one to three days. If the detoxification is stopped by antibiotics, supplements or herbs, the decay on which bacteria feed will remain and disease will inevitably progress. I suggest that a person brave the experience and endure the detoxification while eating 2 to 3 raw eggs blended with fruit or fresh raw vegetable juice and one tablespoon unheated honey three to six times a day until symptoms cease.
Every activity in life involves some risk. For those who have braved it, the health benefits have been tremendous. In my experience, not one case of sustained injury resulted. For those who panicked and took antibiotics, their digestion was impaired for years or permanently. Decay remained in their bodies, impairing function and advancing into disease.
Q: What made you write your book, We Want to Live?
A: Initially I compiled the information for potential clients. It was published by a friend whose brother had suffered insomnia for 16 years. The brother slept no more than 20 minutes at a time, was antisocial and suicidal with ADD. Doctors failed to help. He followed my raw-food remedy and within four days slept very well. In fact, fearing he had finally committed suicide, his family broke open his bedroom door because he had been quiet for seven hours.
In approximately 95% of all cases, including cancer, heart, chronic fatigue and arthritis, diseases reversed and health improved at least 85%. Any of my remedies had to be effective 80% of the time to be included in my book.
Q: What are the basic components of your raw food diet?
A: The healthiest results came when 50 to 70% of the caloric intake was raw fat-raw unsalted butter, raw eggs, raw cream, raw unsalted cheeses, avocados, oils pressed below 96xF-eaten with all of the following daily: 8 ounces to one pound of a variety of raw meats-beef, lamb, sea food, and organic chicken and turkey-and 28 to 38 ounces of fresh raw vegetable juices (carrot and other roots being not more than 40%, celery, parsley and other leaves being 60% or more), one cup fresh fruit, and little or no water.
Q: Is there an un-cookbook of raw food recipes?
A: I'm working on a book that will contain raw food recipes for almost every taste, including raw cheesecake, steak tartare, and raw sauces that enhance the taste of raw meats, like raw garlic butter. It is scheduled for publication next December.
Q: What are the credentials of Harden Jones?
A: Hardin B. Jones, Ph.D, was professor of medical physics and physiology at U.C. Berkley. He also testified in a San Diego hearing that a woman with breast cancer who had no treatment lived up to four times longer than one who was treated by conventional methods.
Q: What was the specific study about pesticides in vegetarians as opposed to carnivores as mentioned on panel?
A: I don't remember. Dr. Joel Wallach presented it at the Whole Life Expo last November on the panel Nutrition For The 21st Century hosted by Dr. Earl Mindell. You will have to ask him.
Q: What is your training/education? Background other than health?
A: The major portion of my nutritional education was self-taught through experimentation and research, however, in the beginning I had a tutor for 3 1/2 years in Los Angeles. I enrolled in several nutritional classes at major universities but withdrew after a month because they offered extrapolation, that is, it was a lot of information that was nonutilizable and when put into practice produced sporadic results. My best healing education came from observing wild animals for 3-years, living outdoors. My nonnutritional education includes a technical degree in computer science, equivalent of a bachelors in theater, including British-American Drama Academy at Stanford. Also, I was tutored for 4 years in visual arts.
Q: What is the meaning of your name?
A: I recently discovered from a professor of languages who specialized in Latin that Aajonus means stranger or alien. Vonderplanitz comes from Scandinavia. Von der simply means that one's family founded the town that carries their name. My ancestors founded the town Planitz near Zwickau.
Q: Re human digestive system... Don't grains and plants move more quickly through the digestive tract than animal protein?
A: If the meat is cooked, yes. However, raw meat digests within 10-16 hours without overacidity. Food should be digested by the time it reaches the bowel. Raw and raw sprouted grains and plants are too complex for the human digestive tract and are rarely completely digested before excretion. Cooked grains and cooked plants compound the problem because they take nearly 48 hours in digestion, depending upon a person's digestive system..
Q: The digestive tract should be acid? Vegetables make it alkaline, yet cooked meat and fat makes it over-acidic?
A: Yes, the human digestive tract should be acid. Between 40% and 80% of the friendly bacteria and flora are paralyzed or destroyed in an alkaline environment. Cooked meat and fat makes the intestinal environment over-acidic. Eating raw vegetables is good when on a cooked diet because vegetables neutralize some of the acidity. However, if a person eats raw foods, including red meat, fowl and seafood, her/his digestive tract would be impaired by the consumption of whole raw vegetables because they would destroy the bacteria that makes digestion of meat and fat proper. If you combine raw meat with raw vegetables it often impairs digestibility of both foods, unless someone suffers from overacidic digestive tract. I recommend that people drink their vegetables with the pulp completely removed. That way the juice is usually absorbed near the duodenum without alkalinizing the intestines.
Q: "It is believed (by whom?) that hydrochloric acid in the stomach kills parasites and harmful bacteria before they can enter the system."
A: By every gastrologist and registered nurse with whom I had spoken.
Whole Life Times magazine feature article for March 1998