Humans Drink Alcohol. Alcohol sales in the United States have been rising for decades. 2021 US sales were just under $250 billion, and were close to the record sales of 2019.
The global alcoholic beverage market size was valued at $1.6 trillion in 2021. It’s not exactly in the top tier occupied by banking, health, telecom, food, and oil industries but it’s not too far off. The top 20 global industries start at $1.9 trillion.
Industry of Lies
With money like that on the line, it’s no wonder our general psyche is half convinced that alcohol has some sort of health benefit. Thanks, Industry, for helping us arrive at that fuzzy conclusion. But this is an unfair representation.
The statement could be made (as is done in a scientific paper from 2004) that “smoking and most especially nicotine, are, sometimes beneficial in certain diseases, including Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s… and nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.” It’s actually true, but hardly relevant to almost any health conversation.
The net cardiovascular, neurologic, psychological, and gastrointestinal toxicities from alcohol are massive and costly.
From world health policy:
“Alcohol use is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide and has been identified as one of the ten leading risk factors for the burden of disease. Alcohol use is associated with numerous harmful health and social consequences, including an increased risk of a range of cancers, stroke and liver cirrhosis. Alcohol also contributes to death and disability through accidents and injuries, assault, violence, homicide and suicide.
Alcohol is a modifiable risk factor and reductions in alcohol consumption would lead to an associated reduction in the burden of disease.”
Modern civilization makes us ill and alcohol plays a large role in that fact.
My personal observation: alcohol has a negative effect on a person’s personal and spiritual growth, just as anything from outside that is used to control one’s experience. The more intense the usage, the more intense the obstruction to our own evolution as a person.
The central takeaway for me is as follows. Industry leads us down a path that’s not in our best interest. It is not looking out for anythingother than its bottom line. They lied to us with refined sugar and tobacco. They do it with drugs, chemical agents, plastic products, food production practices, and on and on.
It’s more than a little sociopathic because they spend powerful dollars to make us wonder if their toxins are actually bad for us. It depends on the definition of “bad”, I can hear them say. It’s hard for us to tell because the science is fuzzy, they want us to believe. The jury is out, they say. They even go so far as to muddy the waters, by creating fuzzy science.
Two things can save us:
- Our own knowledge that Industry is by definition sociopathic is helpful. Realize no one is coming to bail you out. You make your choices and take that job seriously.
- Public policy — We need to be careful here. Too much power from the outside will weaken our own inner fire. The outcome is not the only measure. The path to success is actually the most important part. I am not a prohibitionist, for example, but some help is needed.
The Emerald Isle
Ireland’s parliament is in the international news this spring because it has put into place new rules requiring “comprehensive health labeling of alcohol products” giving warnings concerning varied topics from calorie content to alcohol dependence to cancer and liver disease risks.
Industry has expressed concern. The United States and other countries have claimed that labels could be possible barriers to trade. It’s a predictable sociopathic response.
Experts are saying they expect in the not-too-distant future alcohol will be recognized as being as bad for your health as cigarettes are now. Labels will be ubiquitous.
Industry is feeling victimized, I suspect. Ireland of all places! The Irish have been known for their drinking. Recent stats describe 70% of men in Ireland are considered hazardous drinkers. That’s precisely why the policymakers are stepping in. Betrayal. St Paddy’s Day has always been a good day for the alcohol industry. Not anymore.
And this move is not new for Ireland. Other government policies over the last two decades, like changing the way alcohol is sold, for example, has seen the country’s rate of consumption of alcohol drop by almost 1/3 compared to the turn of the century.
On one hand, it looks like the government is battling industry to save the helpless citizen. Don’t be fooled. The government is not good inherently. Good people representing people’s health can make a difference in government, just as Industry can infiltrate government and open doors for policy that supports industry at the cost of our health.
We, the citizens, are the path.
The sociopath and the narcissist want our patronage and nothing more. They have no power. We have the power of our own patronage. Our seeming powerlessness is a great mirage. And it’s nothing but a manipulation, albeit a masterful one.
Start today with the realization that the way you carry yourself today is meaningful.
Stay alert. Be self-reliant.
And if it feels too overwhelming, plan B is to just be kind.
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