On April 10th, 2018, Changsha Integrated Hospital of Chinese and Western Medicine officially became China’s first “vegetarian hospital.” The Chinese medical revolution has begun!
Through spreading the concept of “one vegetarian meal per week,” the hospital provides medical personnel with a free vegetarian meal. At the same time, the hospital promotes healthy eating to its medical workers and patients with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and diabetes. In doing so, the hospital aims to help them return to a traditional, plant-based diet and healthy lifestyle.
In December 2013, Dr. Changjiang Xiao, the promoter of the Vegetarian Hospital, visited Tzu Chi General Hospital in Hualien, Taiwan. This hospital was ranked first in Asia’s overall service capacity last year, and it actually offered exclusively vegetarian meals for its inpatients. Because Dr. Changjiang Xiao has been promoting vegetarianism in hospitals, there has arisen a desire to promote vegetarianism in mainland hospitals. In the past two decades, the number of incidences of various chronic diseases in China has been continuously rising, and the age of the onset of these diseases has become increasingly younger, which is closely related to medical professionals’ backward beliefs about nutrition.
The medical education received by most medical personnel lacks a systematic overview of nutrition. Thus, most medical staff always believe that only animal products—such as fish, meat, eggs, and milk—can be nutritious. They disagree with the idea that a vegetarian diet is more nutritious. Therefore, medical professionals are the biggest opponents of vegetarianism.
Dr. Xiao’s medical staff were the only ones to abandon their backward dietary concepts after filling the gaps in their nutritional education. As a result, they were able to help their patients reshape their health more effectively. Promoting “vegetarian wards” can awaken sleeping doctors and nurses to pay attention to nutrition and recognize that a vegetarian diet is more salutary for patients’ health. Advocating for a healthy and vegetarian diet and lifestyle can fundamentally achieve disease prevention by targeting the root causes of chronic diseases.
“Vegetarian wards” and “vegetarian hospitals” are within the “experiential health education” model promoted by Dr. Changjiang Xiao. So far, thousands of patients, family members, and medical personnel have tried out vegetarianism. After tasting delicious vegetarian foods, everyone approved of the tastefulness and healthfulness of a vegetarian diet. Patients, family members, and medical personnel often donated vegetarian food. Many patients told Dr. Changjiang Xiao before leaving the hospital that they must eat less meat and more vegetarian meals in the future! Dr. Xiao hopes that medical personnel from all over China can participate in the promotion of a healthy vegetarian diet.
Info and photos obtained from VegPlanet’s WeChat platform: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/k4OXFQaP4XycfaI2hs5w5w.
The original article was written by Birdy from VegPlanet.
Translated by Sherry Yao, edited by Riley Peng