Jul 17, 2009

The Meaning of Life

pic credit: Jeff Miller/University of Wisconsin-Madison

Canto, 27 (left)- on a restricted diet, Owen, 29 (right), eats whatever he wants

Roger Cohen written this article about "The Meaning of Life" on NYTimes based on the two monkeys (pic) Canto, and Owen, which is part of a study of the links between diet and aging. This study is being held at the University of Wisconsin, where Canto, the monkey gets a restricted diet with 30 percent fewer calories compared to his fat "I-can-eat-whatever-I-like" friend, Owen.

Preliminary conclusions published in the Science, two decades after the experiment began, "demonstrates that calorie restriction slows aging process in primate species." While 13 percent of the dieting group has died in ways judged due to old age, 37 percent of the feasting monkeyts are already dead.

Cohen's case in point is not to defy the study- but more on the monkeys' feelings. Low Cal- Canto seems to be depressed, while High Cal- Owen seemed more radiant and happy being fat.

Wait a minute.

In a funny way, I think Canto is thinking, "Oh great, I have been dieting my WHOLE life and this picture comes along and spoil everything by putting 10 pounds on me. In other hand, Owen looks like one the Balinese Temple Monkeys (still in better shape than them), 29 years old looking like a hollywood plastic surgery gone wrong. Note that Canto is actually better groomed than shabby looking Owen.

Based on the study, I still don't think we can use the study above to compare with people. We, unlike, Owen (although some of us doesn't look to far apart from that), have choices to eat, and you're saying he eats whatever he likes (it doesn't make any sense) .Owen is afterall, still in a cage, and if he hasn't been exposed to Burger King or McD's commercials, would he choose to have that? And I supposed shabby looking does not equal happy looking. I reckon that Canto is so much better looking (being biased this way).

And the whole thing about gain without pain, by looking for an alternative way to "help" (spoil) people to gain (life expectancy) without pain(of dieting). Utter Crap (with a capital C).

Cohen seems to take Owen's side. To him, "Living up to 120 years old holds zero appeal to him", which looks like he's saying that people who live up to 120 years old must be boring and always in misery.

I beg to differ.

There was a particular comment for this post that I'll like to highlight:

Comment #13 by StThomas1957, in which he said, and I quote, "Roger Cohen seems to have missed one thing in his analysis: free will. I suspect that the caged Canto's real misery lies not so much in the abstimeous lifestyle he is forced to endure, but in the fact that it is not his choice to make in the first place." Unquote.

I agree with him; if say, a person who chose to go on a healthy diet and lives up to 120 years old, I reckon he or she would be more happy and contented, rather than those who are forced to go on a diet when their doctor decided they need to do something like lose weight for instance. And I don't want go there.

Well, you are what you eat; you are what you choose. Life is defined by choices; there's no "Jai Ho" moments when it comes to what you'll become.

Cohen conveniently quoted "Life must be lived forward, but only can be understood backwards". Well, the truth is, when you're 65 and hopefully no pain-yet the last thing you want to look back is the counting of how much of McD double cheese burgers you had.

Take a chance, but not on your life, at least not on the expense of your life (health) and the things you want to realize.

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