What Goes Around, Comes Around, So Nurture Your Love Of Learning!

FitOldDog's badge for the 2015 Acute Toxicity Workshop

Five years after leaving science (I thought for good), I was invited to this workshop, which demonstrated clearly that scientists do care about animals and they are working hard to reduce their use in animal testing. Scientists and Animal Rights Organizations working together. Photo by FitOldDog.

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”

John Donne.

We all have a love of learning, just sometimes we forget! In fact, organizations can also learn, but it takes time.

Photo of FitOldDog's vegan breakfast.

Yummy vegan breakfast – why so good? Everything is from my garden or home-made, except for the olive oil and salt. My rapid vegan conversion is a function of my love of gardening and cooking. Photo by FitOldDog PS Fall tomatoes don’t look much, but they are the sweetest and most delicious of all tomatoes.

For instance, at a recent meeting, I was so pleased to see scientists and animal rights organizations working together to reduce animal testing, instead of demonizing each other. They both have their hearts in the right place.

If you’ve lost your love of learning, be assured that it can be resurrected. There is no more powerful learning machine than a human infant, which you were once upon a time – he/she is still in there, your inner child!

I’m fortunate to have a strong love of learning, which I think I inherited from my mother – a stubborn, angry person, but deep down inside, underneath layers of hurt, a good one. My enjoyment of new challenges is fortunately (I think) combined with a moderate degree of obsessive compulsive behavior; it’s not a disorder, it’s a phenotype, just like that inappropriately named attention deficit disorder (ADD), for which a better acronym would be SHP. My obsessive interests passed sequentially through Biology, water-polo (I met another water-polo player at the meeting, last week), Biology again (that never went away), veterinary medicine, playing the flute, neuropathology, vegetable gardening, French (yes, I got to read Proust and Stendhal, and dream in another language), Jeet Kune Do, Applied Mathematics, bread making, Transcriptomics, Triathlons, Feldenkrais, Continuum, the Paleo Diet, plantar fasciitis, Aortic Disease, and now a plant-based or vegan diet, combined with attempts to become a businessman. For each I had help and guidance from others, and my personal heroes, such as Quantz and Gauss. No man (or woman) is an island!

I undertook each of these interests obsessively, and each has benefited my life later in unexpected ways.

Swim start at the Lake Placid Ironman, for which you had better be ready mentally and physically.

If you don’t love it, you probably won’t be doing this. The Lake Placid Ironman swim start, which I enjoyed 6 times.

A love of learning is a great gift, nothing that I take credit for or be proud of, but to be appreciated. Often people ask me, why did I do this or that, with respect to my latest obsession. My reply is always the same, “It’s so interesting!” this is true of my latest obsession with a plant-based diet, also known as vegan diet. I don’t like the name vegan, because it sounds like a religion (I don’t have much time for religion if it encourages the cessation of a love of learning, to be replaced by a set of mantras.

Keep learning my friends, it sure makes for lots of fun, though you will piss a few people off along the way.

If you haven’t pissed off some people in your life (especially sycophants), you haven’t lived, but they will be outnumbered by friends, that’s for sure.

PS I just received this message from India (the world is shrinking!): “Hello Friend, feeling great to know that you are vegan.” This contrasts with a recent response at a restaurant, where a fellow diner, in response to my requesting a vegan meal, said, “WELL! I’m sorry to hear that you are so rigid!” Just ask the cows, pigs and chickens whether I am rigid or finally enlightened.

Chick does not want to be a nugget


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.