Originally posted by Vegworld Magazine
Ten years ago, the word vegan might have evoked for you an image of a scrawny, pale-faced youth who most likely smoked pot and ate nothing but pasta and lettuce. Today however, this image has been transformed into that of someone with golden glowing skin and a chiseled body gleaming with health, youth, and vitality. Eating a vegan diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is associated with low incidences of nearly every type of disease. Cancer patients and people with heart disease are healing themselves with plant-based diets. Even chronic diseases like diabetes and Crohn’s disease are being stopped in their tracks with this switch to veganism.
Fortunately the medical community and our society at large are beginning to recognize the very real results people have when they make these diet changes. It simply can’t be ignored, especially when we have so many celebrities in the mainstream media helping veganism gain popularity and credence. Olympic gold medal winner Carl Lewis, famous boxer Mike Tyson, former president Bill Clinton, and countless stars like Samuel L. Jackson, Liv Tyler, Ellen Degeneres, Brad Pitt, Ben Stiller, Scarlett Johanson, Ozzy Osbourne, and Alyssa Milano all know the benefits a vegan diet has on their health and their public support of veganism is helping to change many lives. There are even several celebrities who have embraced a raw vegan diet! Robin Williams, Nathalie Portman, Uma Thurman, Jason Mraz and Woody Harrelson have all been heard talking about their raw diets and the amazing health they’ve since come to know as normal.
The thing is—it is normal. There’s a good reason that most of us know someone who is vegan or who’s at least dabbled with vegetarianism. While the media has a lot to do with this sudden acceptance of veganism, the real-life results speak for themselves. Despite the debate over whether humans thrive on a diet without meat, the facts are overwhelmingly in support of a well-planned vegan diet filled with fresh fruits, greens, and vegetables. These are the foods that are provided to us by the earth to meet our nutritional needs. What could be simpler or more intuitive than that?
Dozens of films have been produced over the past few years to help usher in a growing awareness of the problems with the standard American diet, as well as the healing power of vegan and raw vegan diets. The most well known is “Supersize Me”, in which Morgan Spurlock decides to make himself the guinea pig in an experiment that clearly demonstrates the damage done by eating fast food. While being followed around by a team of doctors, Morgan commits to eating nothing but McDonalds food for an entire month. During this time he gains about 24 pounds, experiences dangerously elevated cholesterol levels, and watches his health go down the drain. His doctors urge him to stop, but he finishes out the whole month-long commitment. It took him another 14 months on a strict vegan diet to undo the damage done in that month.
Then there’s “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead”, which follows Joe Cross through his journey from obesity and depression to radiant health with the help of juice fasting and a raw vegan diet. We watch Joe lose weight and transform his health along with that of everyone around him.
“Forks Over Knives” explores the perplexing dichotomy between our advances in medicine and the fact that more people than ever are suffering from chronic and degenerative diseases and terminal illnesses. It all points to a logical conclusion. Let’s see if you can guess what that conclusion is.
“Get Vegucated” (see story on pg. 25) begs us to consider the fact that “We are digging more graves with our forks than with anything else and it’s not just our graves, it’s the graves of the future.” It’s a heavy statement. But when three random people are challenged to go vegan for six weeks, their journey through fisheries, slaughterhouses, and the discovery of the toll meat eating takes on our environment and health takes these individuals passed the point of no return. After all, how can we go back after we’ve been shown the truth.
Now I challenge you to ask yourself: Does my refrigerator look like a garden or a morgue? You are what you eat. Are you eating for life?