Let me just let it out straight : Yes I am poor. I make less than $1000 a month. I realize some have it way worse than me. But this is still poor.
Recent surveys show than on in two american lives paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford a $400 emergency in the richest country on Earth with the ability of printing as much money as it wishes. But this article is not about how much crumbs our dear leaders accept to give us.
Besides, I don’t live in the United States anymore. I chose to move back to my country of origin in 2014 : France. Guess what, the situation is not much better for the officially 11 million poor (soon 12) we currently have in a country of 67 million. Even our once superb healhcare system is crumbling from years of neoliberal politics. President Macron is the worst president we’ve ever had having channeled Reagan, Bush, Thatcher and everyone that followed.
The Covid crisis took us from 9 to 10 million poor in just one year. Meanwhile, they profit by passing more laws criminalizing poor people, repressive laws like the infamous Global Security Law (a sort of Patriot Act french style) and now openly attacking environmental and animal rights activists and threatening them with jail.
I am one of the people who has avoided, so far, the legal guillotine of being punished for defending animals. And on top of that, finding organic plant based food is more and more expensive. You know, like going to Whole Foods for just an organic salad.
How do I manage ? The same way I managed for years in Los Angeles with little income : by buying the most basic foods like beans, legumes, grains in local tiny stores like the mexican owned ones I know in East Hollywood ; getting my non organic greens from Ralph or equivalent and never ever starting to eat fast food (aka animal foods) just because it’s cheaper. That would be giving up on my principles.
Is it perfect ? Hell no. Is it better than consciously go against my principles or non harming as much as possible ? Yes. I do the same over here (although I am lucky to have a fantastic local little bulk store next to my place).
From a purely health perspective, and I include diseases like Covid here, Dr Neal Barnard and PCRM have demonstrated the protective effects of fruits and vegetables and cutting (even eliminating totally) meat helps protects against COVID.
Beans, legumes, grains are rich in tons of vitamins and minerals which boost your immune system and help you fight diseases including Covid which is showed to be virulent with underlying health issues. The healthier your diet, the better your chance of fighting the most common diseases. Like greens, they are also rich in fiber which act like natural vacuum cleaners for your body’s toxins. Healthy foods like oats, potatoes, and lentils are all nutrient-dense choices that won’t bottom-out your budget.
Another way to save money and still have some healthy food is to buy frozen foods if you can’t afford fresh (and organic). It’s often low priced, and the nutriments are not lost as the food (and its benefits) are frozen right away. They can arrive on your plate without the problem of losing their vitality in food mileage.
If you can afford berries, buy a good quantity and freeze some of it immediately so you can have some for when it’s out of season. Stores also sell them already frozen. It’s a cheap way of getting tons of nutrients.
Some foods can be stored for a while like nuts and seeds. They are packed with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats. Brown rice is a must have and it’s also inexpensive. I insist on brown not white because white rice has zero nutritional value. It can also be stored for month in a cool area. Gluten-free, full of soluble fiber and downright cheap, whole oats are an item you should have around the house all the time. I mix them with soy or almond milk, a banana and a little agave nectar. You can have a fantastic breakfast with just oats.
Some suggestions for what to stock up on: dried beans, legumes, brown rice, pasta (brown if possible), bread (and freeze it) or you can also find easy recipes to make it yourself, oats (for oatmeal, baked goods, and more), baking ingredients, bananas, frozen fruit and veggies. If you have those on hand at home, you already have the basics.
Make a grocery list also helps and definitely don’t visit the grocery store if you are hungry ! It will push you to buy things you would otherwise avoid. Stick to your list.
If you don’t know what to prepare, PCRM has a fantastic list of menus and recipes on their website and it’s free to join.
With a few tips and a super simple meal plan (with a few repeat meals) you can make it through the tough times and not have to give up eating healthy, or give in to eating non-vegan foods (that contribute to animal cruelty and the destruction of the planet).
All if these have saved me a anywhere from 100 to 200 Euros a month. In these troubled times when everything seems tough, remember that you don’t have to sacrifice your health and you can protect it with easy tools. If you don’t have your health anymore, you have nothing.
Boost Fruits and Vegetables, Cut Meat for COVID-19 PCRM
Je viens de passer trois jours au CHU de Nîmes. Cette hôpital est une sorte de monstre géant et tentaculaire dans lequel vous avez la garantie de vous perdre (sérieux!). J’y suis allée pour faire enlever ma vésicule biliaire (voir plus loin à ce sujet). Etant très inquiète de l’état de l’hôpital public et de la souffrance au travail des soignants, j’ai pensé que cette intervention était l’occasion de prendre des notes sur mes observations et lors de conversations possibles avec les soignants.
Ma première pensée en arrivant en salle d’enregistrement du séjour était « comment un endroit comme celui-ci garde-t-il une dimension humaine? » La réponse se trouve en chacun des soignants que je vais rencontrer sur les trois jours de mon séjour à commencer par la jeune femme qui enregistre mon arrivée. En salle d’attente, ma curiosité me pousse à demander à une dame qui vient de s’enregistrer combien de gens sont devant elle. La réponse: Vingt-Trois. Je n’en ai que deux mais il est vrai que mon séjour était programmé à l’avance. De plus, tout le monde ne se présente pas pour une hospitalisation. La salle d’attente est bondée de monde. Je dois y rester au minimum trente minutes avant que la jeune femme, que j’avais vu s’empresser d’un endroit à l’autre pour accueillir les gens, ne m’appelle à mon tour. Elle est stressée. Je compatis immédiatement car j’ai vu un bureau d’acceuil ouvert sur deux. J’en compte environ vingt. Sous effectif… déjà.
Je lui demande si ça va. Elle me répond, abruptement, qu’elle n’a pas le temps de discuter avec moi. Combien de temps a-t-elle pour chaque personne qui se présente? Trois minutes, pas une de plus. Elle termine et m’indique où aller ensuite. Ignorant son comportement, je lui souhaite bon courage et je reçois un sourire de gratitude en réponse. (A suivre).
Je continue dans le dédale du CHU et j’arrive aux ascenceurs. Un seul marche sur les deux disponibles. Une dame, régulière du CHU, me dit que ça fait des mois qu’il est en panne. Il y a les escalier mais veut mieux être valide… ou très patient.
Arrivée au bon niveau, je rencontre Corinne (1), une aide soignante très sympa qui m’installe dans la chambre et me montre tout ce que je dois savoir. Le personnel de ce service me semble moins stressé que celui de l’accueil car le contexte est différent.
Mon végétalisme est bien accepté à ma grande surprise (je pensais que manger serait compliqué). Il semble que le repas très « light », vu qu’il s’agit de chirurgie digestive, ne devrait pas poser problème.
Deuxième jour: l’opération
J’ai interdiction de boire quoi que ce soit après six heures du matin et de manger depuis minuit. J’ai extrêmement soif mais je dois prendre mon mal en patience. On m’a dit que j’irai au bloc opératoire en fin de matinée. Chaque personne qui passe me voir est toujours très gentille. Je suis dans une chambre sans voisine (coup de bol).
11h30: Il y a 3 opérations avant moi. On me permet d’avoir un doliprane sous la langue pour quelques douleurs vers 13 heures.
14 h 30: Un brancardier, jeune homme dynamique et plein d’humour, m’emmène au bloc pour la chirurgie. C’est comme une usine. Les brancards sont alignés. On vous installe les perfusions. Une étudiante en médecine et plusieurs internes s’affèrent autour de moi. Je me sentais dans un film de guerre, l’intérieur me faisant penser à un sous-marin (et l’abscence de mes lunettes n’arrangeait pas cette impression). La sortie se fit environ deux heures plus tard. Le personnel a été remarquable.
La nuit qui suit l’opération, je rencontre une interne et lui dit que je vais écrire sur les conditions de travail à l’hôpital. Elle est très contente et prend cinq minutes pour me parler. Elle m’explique qu’il y a deux infirmières pour vingt-trois patients. « Ca pourrait être pire », me semble-t-elle dire. Mais ça pourrait être mieux.
De retour dans ma chambre, j’entends un patient excédé de sa situation insulter les infirmières. J’admire leur patience et leur fermeté nécessaires. J’avoue à une infirmière que je ne pourrais pas garder mon calme (d’ailleurs pourquoi je ne me vois pas dans un métier comme celui-ci).
Je décide de me promener un peu le matin avec « Max ».
J’en profite pour discuter rapidement avec une autre interne qui me décrit le manque de moyens dont elles et ils souffrent tous. Elle me dit qu’ils tiennent uniquement parce qu’ils aiment leur métier et prendre soin des gens. D’ailleurs, elle « n’attend absolument rien de la ministre de la santé actuelle ».
Pour les repas, ils ont été supers et ont fait en sorte de me fournir des plats végétaux.
Troisième jour: La sortie
Je retrouve la personne qui m’avait accueillie deux jours auparavant. Ma bienveillance à son égard a fait qu’elle se souvenait très bien de moi et elle m’a gratifié d’un grand sourire. Je lui ai conseillé de prendre soin d’elle-même.
Autre sourire de gratitude.
Les noms ont été changé pour protéger l’anonymat des soignants.
Ces calculs qui m’ont pris en traître.
De tous les problèmes de santé que je pensais avoir, les calculs biliaires étaient les derniers auxquels je m’attendais. Cela faisait presque deux ans que j’essayais de trouver la source de mes douleurs dorsales. Elles m’auront bien empoisonné la vie. J’ai donc consulté médecins après médecins. Ayant des problèmes de dos depuis l’enfance (scoliose, disques esquintés), j’avais les premiers mois mis ces douleurs sur le compte du handicap moteur (et le fait que je vais avoir cinquante ans). Ensuite, cette cause éloignée, ma rhumatologue a penché pour une maladie immunitaire, vite écartée. Enfin, en faisant un jeun de deux jours, j’ai fait le lien entre manger et les douleurs. Direction le gastro-enthérologue et bonjour chirurgie.
Mais la question qui me turlupinait était celle-ci: Comment la vésicule biliaire peut-elle se remplir de calculs et j’ai donc fouillé dans les articles scientiques de mes profs, notamment le Dr John McDougall, le Dr Neal Barnard (grâce à son enseignement, j’ai éliminé mon diabète il y a des années) etc.
Les calculs biliaires, à 90%, sont liés au cholestérol. Ne mangeant aucun produit d’origine animale depuis 2006, il était mathétiquement impossible que mon problème soit récent. Les aliments 100% d’origine végétale ne contiennent aucun cholestérol et seul le corps produit donc le cholestérol nécessaire. C’est notamment une des raisons, parmi tant d’autres, pour lesquelles il ne sert à rien de manger des produits d’origine animale.
Les calculs biliaires sont une maladie des pays affluents, autrement dit riches. Ce n’est pas une maladie de pays pauvre (tout comme le diabète, la plupart des cancers, les maladies cardiaques, etc).
Comment cela se passe-t-il: lorsque la bile dans la vésicule est saturée de cholestérol, elle crée des calculs. Le Dr McDougall en décrit les causes ainsi: « Un régime très riche en aliments containant du cholestérol comme les viandes rouges, la volaille, le poisson et les produits laitiers est la cause principale du développement de niveaux très saturés de cholestérol dans la bile. Les huiles Polyinsaturatées (huiles végétales), aussi, pousseront le foie à excréter de plus larges quantités de cholestérol qui passent dans les fluides de la vésicule biliaire, et donc favorisent la formation de calculs. »
Je ne mange plus d’aliments contenant du cholestérol depuis 2006 (année où je suis passée à un régime végétalien) mais j’ai continué à utiliser (trop) d’huiles végétales.
Il y a deux situations possibles avec les calculs biliaires: soit ils sont indolores et donc vous les ignorez. Soit ils provoquent des douleurs énormes (ce qui était mon cas) et donc il faut enlever la vésicule. Fort heureusement, ce n’est pas un organe vital (comme l’appendice) et mon foie, mes reins, et mon pancréas sont en excellente santé.
Selon McDougall, un régime très peu gras et végétal permet dans beaucoup de cas d’éliminer les calculs sans passer par la chirurgie. Cependant, il précise bien que ce n’est pas une garantie. Dans mon cas, j’ai toujours eu tendance à trop aimer le gras et le problème était en évidence sous-jacent depuis des lustres.
John McDougall explique: « Une fois les calculs diagnostiqués, dans les cinq premières années, seulement 10% des patients développent des symptomes, sur vingt ans, 20% ont des symptomes. Cela veut dire que quelqu’un avec des calculs a 80% de chance de vivre sans symptomes, c’est à dire qu’il restent asymptomatiques. » Manque de bol pour moi, je me suis retrouvée dans les 10% à 20% avec symptomes. Mais cela veut aussi dire qu’il a fallu entre cinq et vingt ans pour qu’ils se développent. Je suis végane depuis 2006 et je mange majoritairement des aliments non transformés (et le plus possible bios) depuis au moins 2008. C’est bon j’ai compris. je devais trainer cela depuis longtemps mais c’étant sans douleur jusqu’à l’année 2017. Mon seul regret est de ne pas avoir réappris à manger dix ans plus tôt que prévu. J’aurais peut-être complètement évité le problème. La plupart de nos maladies modernes sont dues à nos régimes alimentaires, que l’on parle de diabètes (j’en sais quelque chose et j’en parle d’ailleurs dans mon livre « C’est Quoi le Véganisme? »), certains cancers, les maladies cardiaques, etc.
Je n’aurai jamais vraiment la réponse. Cela me conforte cependant encore plus dans l’idée d’éliminer au maximum les huiles végétales (mieux vaut manger des noix – qui ont des fibres – que de cuisiner à l’huile de noix, par exemple) et de rester végétalienne (2) pour ma santé.
2. Je me réfère au « végétalisme » quand je parle uniquement alimentation. Le « véganisme » est une philosophie de vie qui inclue le « végétalisme ».
When I moved back to France two years ago this month, I did feel depressed for a while. I came from Los Angeles where you can find over 80 vegan/vegetarian restaurants and a vegan store, and moved to Nimes, bullfighting city on top of it with… well… nothing!
But about a year ago, something started happening in France. My first taste of French veganism was going to Paris and see several vegan restaurants as well as a vegan store, « Un Monde Vegan », which then had that one location in Paris. But Veganism has been growing exponentially in France. They have opened a second physical location in the other major city of Lyon in the center of the country and another is planned in the south; they also have had an online store for a long time.
In fact, activism in France is actually old. Americans and others are just not that aware of it. Since the 1990s, an antispiecist group has been publishing the « Cahiers Antispécistes » (Anti speciesist files) which has numerous articles on animal rights, veganism and of course antispeciesim but also translate articles from famed foreign figures. Activist associations like the Fondation Bardot (Brigitte Bardot is of course famous as an actress and for campaigning with Captain Paul Watson), L214, 269Life France, FUDA, and many others have been working on behalf of animals for either a long time or since more recently. One of my best friend is a French vegan of almost 40 years and I actually met her at the 2011 Animal Rights Conference in Los Angeles, of all places.
About a year ago, we all noticed something changing. Television programs started looking into vegetarianism and veganism from a nutritional point of view. These early programs repeated the old myths: veganism good for everyone, but not good for kids, combine foods, and other non-sense. Then it started progressing with more programs addressing vegans directly and their lifestyle, at first as weird. Then, thanks to the French association L214 and their under cover footage of several slaughterhouses (the last one just a few days ago!), newspapers and televisions started talking about it and millions of people were exposed to the cruelty of French slaughterhouses. A lot had thought until then that it was done « humanely » for the animals (of course we know there is no such thing).
The first catalyst was the declaration by the World Health Organization about the link between processed meat and cancers which really got the media going.
I organized a vegan dinner in a French Lebanese restaurant (which had only a few vegetarian options) in Nimes. The owner was very opened to the idea and we had our first all vegan dinner in a restaurant with 22 people (counting the dog). She borrowed my cookbook from French vegan chef Marie Laforet and devoured it. She has since modified her menu to include more vegan, vegetarian and even gluten-free options, clearly marked. L214 and the French Vegetarian Association (I’m a delegate and member of the dietary committee) has been doing it for a long time with the « Vegorestos » and their « Vegan places » notably and delegates of the Association Végétarienne de France organizing things in their area. But the revelations in the slaughterhouses have been a catalyst for change in a major way. Only last Thursday, I joined a national campaign of awareness in front of the notorious Alès slaughterhouse to hold vigil for the animals (who we could hear) and facing angry animal farmers. This was done in front of 33 slaugherhouses accross the country and organized by the abolitionist association 269Life France.
I have in fact never been more busy since I moved back to France with almost an event every week, sometimes several on the same days, from anti bullfighting, anti vivisection, days for the abolition of meat, vegan days, marches to close slaughterhouses, marches against speciesism like the one in Geneva with people from France, Switzerland and Belgium (and beyond), a table at Organic chain « BioCoop » (which unlike Whole Foods is really 100% organic and with tons of vegan products) to Anti Speciesist days (as I did yesterday), there is never any time to be bored.
At the same time, more and more restaurants and places offer vegan options. Just in my little (pro-bullfighting) city of Nimes, besides the restaurant « L’harbousier » where I did the vegan evening, I recently discovered a little restaurant in the heart of the city which has started including a « vegan burger menu with fries and a drink » on their regular menu. I almost fell on my butt! I discussed with the owner who was present when I saw it and expressed how happy I was to see this for all vegans in the city. Her answer was « we have to serve everyone ». And lastly, vegan restaurants are opening all over the country. We have one coming in September here in Nimes!
Big chains are now offering vegan prepared food (vegan nuggets, vegan falafel, etc.), they know where this is evolving and they are usually a good thermometer of changes in people’s purchases. I just learned that another big chain should be offering vegan cheese but haven’t seen it yet. But I’m sure it will be soon. It is to be noted that they often use the term « vegetarian » as it is more understood in France. But it’s technically vegan. The terms vegetarian and vegan tend to be still interchangeable as the word vegan is an Anglo term.
Finally, on top of all the good things above, a very popular journalist, Aymeric Caron, went from vegetarian to vegan and published a book called « Antispéciste » (antispeciesist) which sold 40,000 copies according to BFM TV which is a news station similar to MSNBC. His book was part of a debate in which he defended his position extremely well in a very watched TV show for over an hour. His book is a serious game changer and gives credibility to veganism and antispecism even more. And L214 keeps on uncovering what’s going in slaughterhouses and finally a vegetarian-vegan/culinary magazine is at last available in all bookstores! it’s called « slowly veggie » and tries to push people towards vegan food in a convivial and delicious way, which is smart as we are a big food nation. The pictures of recipes are absolutely beautiful and mouth-watering and even the few vegetarian recipes are mostly easy to veganize. They clearly try to move people from vegetarian to 100% plant-based and they prove to the general population, which tends to still think « but what do you eat? » that we don’t just eat salads.
I have been roaming bookstores every day in the past few months because I constantly find articles which address either veganism, ethical issues about animals, vegan trends, nutritional aspects of plant-based eating (in a more and more positive and supporting way) and I just found a psychology magazine talking about the work of slaughterhouse workers and how it affects them. The national daily and weekly newspapers and magazines « Libération« , « Marianne » and « Paris Match » as well as « Charlie Hebdo » (which has been doing it forever) have now pro-animals journalists on their staff and write things nearly every week, whether it is about the latest scandals in slaughterhouses or animal agriculture to the benefits of plant based eating. Even the southern newspaper « Midi Libre » which is pro-bullfighting had 2 full pages about the latest slaughterhouse scandal with an interview of the co-founder of L214!!! Once again, this would have been unthinkable only 2 years ago! It is simply astonishing.
I myself have been on radio 3 times to talk about veganism, anti speciesism and the scandals of slaughterhouses notably on France Bleu Gard Lozère and the journalist even called me Thursday night to warn me about the « angry » farmers coming to the Alès slaughterhouse to confront us.
Lastly, the general population’s reaction to just what we do as activists has also evolved. I see more and more people coming to say that they agree more and more with us, have changed their lifestyle, or are transitioning to a more ethical lifestyle. I don’t have yet statistics in the number of vegans and vegetarians in France, but L214 has seen its membership explode in the last few months and they get messages all the time from people who have changed, from former hunters to just non vegans making changes. The successes of the Veggie Pride (which was created in Paris and later picked up by the New Yorkers) and Veggie World this year, with tons of participants and thousands of people are clear signs of the changes happening.
At the French Vegetarian Association (which is in fact vegan), we get asked for help constantly in finding vegan doctors and dietitians for adults and kids alike! The AVF lists vegan and vegetarian as well as veg friendly restaurants all over the country. L214 even has a list of politicians who either support or are against animals so people can vote with their conscience.
I could go on and on but this is truly an exciting time to be in France. And if you want to visit, I think you will find the country a lot more open to veg opinions and offers of plant-based options in restaurants.
Is France finally set to embrace vegetarianism? The local
« Végéannuaire » (veg listing of restaurants and places) of the French Vegetarian Association.
Midi Libre about the latest scandal in the Pézenas and Mercantour slaughterhouses with interview of Sébastien Arsac, co-founder of L214 denoucing the cruelty and false idea of « happy meat » and asking for vegan menus everywhere.
Happy Cow page on vegan/vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants and stores in France.
Find a « BioCoop » if you visit France. BioCoop.fr
Note: This interview was translated in French and can be found here.
VP: You are very well known internationally in the vegetarian and vegan communities and you received numerous awards. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself as your work is not well known in France yet.
Will: My spouse Madeleine and I have been traveling now for over 20 years, presenting between 100-150 events annually, promoting vegan living throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, and Australia. I’ve been a thriving, joyful vegan for 35 years now, and I’m most well-known for the best-selling book I wrote, The World Peace Diet, which has been published now in 15 languages. Earlier in my life, I was a Zen monk in Korea, and then I was an academic, with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on educating intuition (and strongly influenced by Bergson), as well as being a professional pianist and composer.
Many others (like you Veronique!) are also contributing in beautiful ways to the benevolent vegan (r)evolution that is happening. The World Peace Diet is unique in that it gives the truly big picture of the ramifications of our routine mistreatment of animals for food, including the spiritual, emotional, cultural, historical, health, environmental, and other dimensions, so that people can grasp the enormity of both the problem and of the opportunity we have today. As more people go vegan, we will see an absolutely massive positive shift in health, happiness, sustainability, and cultural creativity. There’s nothing more important anyone can do than to make an effort to understand the ramifications of our food choices. That’s why, I believe, sales for The World Peace Diet have been so strong, and why it continues to be published around the world in other languages as well.
VP: Your book “The World Peace Diet” is a major international best-seller and is finally translated in French. What made you want to write it in the first place?
Will: In writing The World Peace Diet, one of my inspirations was to bring our culture’s routine mistreatment of animals for food and other products from the periphery of cultural concerns to the very center—to help people understand that the mentality of violence required by our most basic action—eating—is the spinning fury, hidden at the core of our culture, that generates the crises and problems we face both individually and collectively. Switching to a plant-based diet for ethical reasons is the ultimate spiritual statement in a culture such as ours that routinely and relentlessly kills over hundreds of millions animals daily for food. I feel it’s essential to bring the spiritual dimension to the vegan movement. This is the foundation of ethics, justice, and vegan living—awakening our inherent compassion and wisdom, questioning the indoctrinated disconnectedness that our culturally-imposed meal rituals impose on us, and changing our behavior to reflect our natural, deeply-held human values of respect, cooperation, and caring for others. We all know that we reap what we sow, and we all know that nonhuman animals are capable of suffering.
Going vegan is both a cause of and an effect of spiritual growth. As we nurture our bodies with organic, whole, plant-based foods, we cleanse internally, and our mind and emotions can relax, and we naturally begin to feel and understand directly the interconnectedness of all life. This essential awareness lives in all of us, waiting to be awakened. That is the spiritual journey we are on, whether we know it or not, and it is intimately connected to vegan living. As we travel and talk with folks all over the world, we hear this a lot: many have told us that upon going vegan, unexpected positive internal shifts happened, and they feel more confident, relaxed, at peace, and at the same time, a greater awareness of the underlying violence and deceit in our culture. There is a lot more on this of course in The World Peace Diet.
VP: Being your student, I have read your book several times and the chapter I still prefer is the one on Sophia. Would you explain a little what you’re talking about in this chapter.
Will: Yes, Chapter 7 is entitled “The Domination of the Feminine” and it cites two prime examples: the hen and the cow. “Dominating others requires us to disconnect from them.” Humans dominating animals and also men dominating women: this mentality of domination is probably the biggest mistake we humans make. It plays out in relationships between men and women, and also in many other ways as well. Domination requires disconnection and also reduction. Most women know how it is to be looked at as “meat” and as men, we are taught early on to look at women in that way, as we are taught to look at certain animals as well. I would not say, though, that it is easy for our species to disconnect. We have to be forced into it. I refer to a crucial aspect of our innate wisdom as Sophia, who was the Greek goddess of wisdom. This sacred feminine wisdom is brutally suppressed by forcing us as children to participate in mealtime rituals of eating blood and violence. We’ve got to remember the ferocity of the ritualized programming we have all endured. It’s tremendously powerful. From the time we lose our mother’s breast, we are forced to eat the flesh and secretions of abused animals in the most significant and relentless rituals in our culture: our daily meals. Veganism is essentially the resurrection of the feminine wisdom of Sophia within all of us, the wisdom that protects life and nurtures our children and cares for the health of our communities and our Earth.
VP: Would you tell us about one of the personal stories you mention in your book?
Will: In Chapter 14 of The World Peace Diet I describe how I went fishing, caught a couple of fish, and then had to repeatedly slam them against the floor to kill them. Looking back on it now, 40 years later, I can see that it definitely was a seminal moment in my life. I was quite an avid fisher in my youth, and was always proud when I caught some fish. When I went fishing within the new context of the spiritual pilgrimage that I went on at the age of 22, I suddenly saw fishing in a whole new light, and saw the cold, cruel violence of trickery and deceit as the blinders fell away. I suddenly felt compassion for the fish I was killing! I never fished again and within a couple of months, never ate fish in my life again either.
VP: Do you consider that the foundation for a peaceful world starts with our food?
Will: Our meals of hidden violence are devastating our Earth, torturing millions of beautiful and sensitive animals daily, and laying waste the inner landscape of our thoughts and feelings. The wars, diseases, neuroses, and crimes we see around and within us have their genesis in the wars, diseases, neuroses, and violent crimes we inflict on billions of animals routinely and completely unnecessarily. The basic sense of disempowerment many of us feel to change “the system” derives directly from our daily meals, which are the rituals that keep us as domineering agents of slavery and commodification, enslaved ourselves!
I am seeing increasing numbers of us “get” the message of The World Peace Diet and begin to share it with others, and this is the foundation of the healing of our world and of our culture and ourselves. We will continue to be merely ironic in our quests for peace, justice, and sustainability until we make the connections between animals as beings deserving of respect and these animals as products on our plates. When we authentically come into alignment with our true nature of compassion and wisdom and share this uplifting and liberating understanding with others, we will then be worthy of celebrating our lives on this beautiful and abundant planet. I encourage everyone to make an effort to understand the consequences of our food choices, to teach a community course on The World Peace Diet, and to spread the message of kindness, not just for ourselves, but for all living beings and all future generations. As they say, “We are the ones we are waiting for!”
VP: What is the important core message of your book?
Will: The essential message of The World Peace Diet is that the hidden core of our culture is herding animals for food and other products. This requires that everyone born into our culture be injected with a set of behaviors and attitudes that are not in our best interest, and are devastating to animals and to the ecosystems of our Earth. Some aspects of this set of attitudes are the mentality of disconnectedness that every meal requires, as well as the mentality of domination, elitism, exclusivism, and commodification of other living beings, and of the entire living world. Veganism is the most powerful alternative paradigm to our culture’s internal and external disease, because it’s not just theoretical, it’s solidly practical. It touches every dimension of our life: our meals, our clothing, our entertainment, and ultimately, the way we think about all others in our life. Veganism is the polar and transcending opposite of our Western culture, and it is what will, ultimately, heal that violent, oppressive, and suicidal mentality and its endless woes, and usher in a new world of undreamt possibilities of freedom, equality, and fraternity for all. We don’t have to fight against the old paradigm, though! That gives it more strength! Instead, we are called to focus on the positive changes we yearn to see, and to embody them in our thinking and behavior, and share them creatively with everyone we can.
VP: L’Association Végétarienne de France (note: The French Vegetarian Association in fact promotes veganism) is involved with the Cop 21 climate conference in Paris, what message would you like to give to all the participants of this climate conference.
Will: Victor Hugo is credited with saying that nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. There is mounting evidence that global climate change may well bring an inconceivable catastrophe to humanity and to the Earth within the next century. It turns out that the main driving force behind global climate change is also behind human disease, environmental pollution, massive animal cruelty, and the whole range of dilemmas we are attempting to solve. The routine confinement and slaughter of millions of animals every day for food is catastrophic and must be explicitly addressed at COP21.
The most forcibly ignored cause of global warming is eating meat and dairy products; it’s the greatest source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 297 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, as well as methane gas, which is 30 times more powerful. The science on this is unequivocal, and in addition, eating animals requires massive amounts of fossil fuel inputs, directly pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We are transporting over seventy percent of our corn, soybeans, oats, and other grains to animals, pumping water to irrigate these fields, manufacturing millions of pounds of fossil fuel- based fertilizer and pesticides, and housing and slaughtering billions of animals yearly. The end result of all this is that while it takes only two calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie of protein from soybeans, and three calories for wheat and corn, it takes 54 calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie of protein from beef.
The primary driving force behind deforestation is cattle grazing and clearing land to grow soybeans and other grains to feed factory-farmed chickens, pigs, and fish. This is a further major contributor to global warming. In addition, sixty percent of our fish are now factory-farmed, causing severe water pollution and genetic damage to wild fish populations. Our limitless demand for fish that are used for feeding factory-farmed fish, birds, and mammals has brought our oceans to the brink of collapse. As the threat of global climate destabilization grows, we will hopefully begin to realize that the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (and environmental pollution) is to reduce meat and dairy consumption.
Research has also revealed that buying locally grown meat, eggs, and dairy is not significant in its impact on our carbon footprint. Additionally, as the recent documentary Cowspiracy demonstrates, eating “free-range” and “organic” meat, dairy, and eggs does not substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because free- range cattle, for example, are not fattened as quickly as feedlot cattle, so they cause a greater greenhouse gas footprint in many cases.
To their credit, more journalists are coming forth, encouraging people to reduce meat and dairy consumption to save the Earth from climate break- down. Let’s amplify their call! The situation is critical. As the Worldwatch Institute has bluntly concluded, “It has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future.”
VP: I know you travel a lot around the world giving lectures to packed rooms. What would be a message you would give to a French audience?
Will: The main message of The World Peace Diet is to make essential connections that haven’t been made before. We have all been taught to disconnect and to practice disconnecting by our culturally mandated food practices. My work is to address this nearly invisible mentality of exclusion and its effects from many perspectives—the historic, psychological, sociological, spiritual, and ecological. What I say is not new. Pythagoras, Buddha, Da Vinci, Tolstoy, Einstein, Schweitzer, Gandhi, and many others have all said the same things, but more as aphorisms. The World Peace Diet is the first book to go into the connections in depth and show the big picture of our culture.
I feel that French people have, in many ways, a natural affinity to the vegan message. The French people are known for their sense of respect for nature and for their love of fine cuisine and their sensitivity to the romantic and loving aspects of life. Vegan living embraces and nurtures all these dimensions of our life, and also contributes to more healthy familial and social relationships. The French Revolution exemplified the idealism that the French people are capable of, and again, veganism is a deep and heartfelt dedication to the ideals of liberty, equality, solidarity, and caring, all of which are dear to the hearts, historically, of the French people. There is also the spiritual yearning that has characterized many aspects of French culture. To grow spiritually, we are called to question the official narratives of violence, and understand our cultural programming. This has been taught by Voltaire, Rousseau, Pascal, Camus, Sartre, Hugo, de Beauvoir, Bergson, Comte, Teillhard de Chardin, Durkheim, Weil, and many other remarkable French philosophers and writers.
VP: Thank you Will for all your inspiring comments. Is there anything you would like to add?
Will: Until we become aware, it’s difficult to change, but with awareness, we can grow in wisdom and contribute to a healthier and more harmonious world. The World Peace Diet points out the roots of our dilemmas and suffering, hidden in plain sight. Its main message is that we have been deceived by our cultural conditioning into seeing ourselves as essentially predatory, and by relentlessly eating like predators, we have created predatory economic and social institutions that create enormous suffering. When we awaken to our true nature, we see clearly that our greatest joy and satisfaction come in blessing, cooperating, creating, giving, encouraging, loving, protecting, and caring. We see the interconnectedness of all living beings, and can awaken to the deep spiritual truths that bring authentic freedom.
Secretary Haley: « Now that you understand the situation more clearly, perhaps you’d like to discuss it with the President. »
Klaatu: « I will not speak with any one nation or group of nations. I don’t intend to add my contribution to your childish jealousies and suspicions. »
Secretary Haley: « Our problems are very complex Klaatu. You mustn’t judge us too harshly. »
Klaatu: « I can judge only by what I see. »
Secretary Haley: « Your impatience is quite understandable. »
Klaatu: « I’m impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it. »
Secretary Haley: « I’m afraid my people haven’t. »
This 1951 classic directed by the legendary director Robert Wise is one of my favorite movies of all times (forget the more recent version with Keanu Reeves which was horrible). This movie is not great because of its old special effects or just the wonderful actors, it’s because of its message: Evolve or die! and the numerous sub-messages in the movie which set it largely apart from others of its time.
Why this movie’s message matters to me.
In our world today, we are dominated by forces who dictate to us who we need to be without regards for any consideration of our true natures. These forces are hell bent on expanding their psychotic moral schizophrenia to as many of us as they can by keeping us docile with toxic and dead foods, drugs, brainwashing entertainment which serve to keep us numbed (and dumbed) down and with the help of puppet politicians who are really serving a hidden elite of wealthy individuals who are addicted to power and greed.
We are dominated by a tiny percentage of oligarchs all over the world who pass whatever laws they want about our food, our production systems, GMOs, repressive police, their war addictions, etc.
Each day, we wake up to information overload. We are monitored from the moment we are awake through our televisions, smart phones and now we might even have to worry about Amazon using drones to ship our book purchases (which would destroy competition for even more small businesses – are there any left?).
So what’s next? Pills to make us like whatever corporations want us to buy? They already own us as consumers just through advertising alone (turn off the damn TV!). They also are in fact trying to patent our DNA which I guess would give them total control over our bodies even though some people try to oppose it. They force our kids to get vaccinated and they brainwash them into getting addicted to animal flesh and secretions.
As the website Energy Grid said very well on their home page:
« Despite living in « the free world », there are very few free men and women walking around in our democracies. Very few indeed. This is because some men and women have a human failing that drives them to want to manipulate others for the sake of power. That manipulation has enslaved humanity throughout most of its history, and still presents the most ominous threat to democracy. »
So, what are we left with?
Here comes the Vegan revolution (which I could rename the Klaatu revolution just for the purpose of this article). This is the only revolution which can potentially free us. Do we need some external extra-terrestrial force to make humans evolve to avoid obliteration, as the movie clearly demonstrates? Or can, you ask, Veganism be a solution to all this maze of control over our freedom to think?
Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is – whether its victim is human or animal – we cannot expect things to be much better in this world… We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creatures. ~ Rachel Carson (1907-1964)
As Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! once said: « We need a media that covers grassroots movements, that seeks to understand and explain the complex forces that shape our society, a media that empowers people with information to make sound decisions on the most vital issues of the day: war and peace, life and death. Instead, the media system in the United States, increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer multinational corporations, spews a relentless stream of base « reality » shows (which depict anything but reality), hollow excuses for local news that highlight car accidents and convenience store robberies larded with ads, and the obsessive coverage of traffic, sports, and extreme weather (never linked to another two words: climate change). Perhaps most harmful of all, we get the same small circle of pundits who know so little about so much, explaining the world to us and getting it so wrong. »
Amy is right (too bad she doesn’t cover Vegans however) and indeed Veganism, as well as other social movements, has grown because of people-powered media who have been able to get around the mainstream corporate propaganda and its destructive agenda. That growing awareness is fueling a growing activism around food justice, animal rights, environmental issues and other social issues. Let’s not forget that, despite being crushed, the Occupy Movement was able to survive several months through independent grassroots activism and public powered media. Others, like the Black Lives Matter movement, are creating change. And the LGBT movement just won the right to marriage equality. These movements are all fueled by people armed with only cell phones, social media and determination. The vegan/animal rights movement has proven that it can do the same but not until we stop fighting with each other over ridiculous things. Our biggest enemies are not the animal abusers, it is us when we are divided.
Issues around food are being discussed all over the world by more and more people and choosing a plant-based diet or go full-fledged vegan is the biggest tool of power we have against those who seek to control us. And the reason is that we become AWARE and INFORMED about, not just animal rights, but every other social issues and stop relying on what is being taught or told to us. We connect all the dots and get out of the imposed veil of ignorance on our minds, or as Will Tuttle calls it, the « herding mentality ».
We will never have real democracies through just the tool of voting at the booth (and I’m not saying we shouldn’t vote, I’m not Russell Brand! and I love Bernie Sanders for many reasons, most notably his record of integrity, oh well I had to say it!) but voting for someone, even an honest man or woman, is just the tip of the iceberg and doesn’t create any real change unless people keep being active after the votes and push for change as a mass movement. It is too easy to think that « well, we voted, that’s all I need to do. » We saw the result of that thinking last time. The roots of change come from people changing themselves, not trying to change a failing system which is self-destructive anyway. The powers that be will then be forced to follow after they try to repress us to stay in power. They won’t let go easily (and without causing pain) unless we are a massive force for peace and real change. It starts with, as always, ourselves. The fact that people seem to be turning to Bernie is a symptom of a real possible inner change for the end of inequalities and new values (at least I hope so). And even if Bernie doesn’t get elected, the desire for social change might be under way with or without him. He is just a symbol of it.
Dr. Vandana Shiva would say that saving seeds insures freedom for small farmers from the monsters of Monsanto and she is right. Since we have no control over the powers who control our food systems and try to control our lives (with mass surveillance, now also passed in France after the drama of Charlie Hebdo, the NSA and so on), we need to connect with each other even more than before and build our own communities, our own food gardens, our own sustainable lives and educate others to do the same by teaching them the WHYs of Veganism in a holistic way. Even in France, we talk a lot about veganic agriculture as the solution and we have regular environmental weeks which include a large emphasis on Veganism.
Until most people learn why Veganism is such a powerful tool of inner and outer change, nothing will really change. They can’t win against the police state with weapons. As many before them demonstrated (King, Gandhi, Chavez and many others), violence has never been the answer. But we can be non-violent and still resist while promoting change and give tools to others to become more independent themselves. Imagine what is possible.
As my friend Butterflies Katz once said about the Gentle World community: « Since then, the experience of living with Gentle World has transformed me into someone who is much different from the person I would have been had we not joined paths. My personal transformation has taken me from being a suburban, consumerist, superficial person – to a country girl, a naturalist who tries to live at one with her environment, and a non-consumer, a recycler and conservationist. »
In today’s economy, this is nothing short than a huge challenge (and dream) for a lot of us. I know that I depend on my own government financially at the moment. I am awfully aware of it. But I’m also aware that I need to seek solutions to this corporate/government slavery which, on the one hand allows me not to be on the street but on the other hand gives me very few ways for being independent.
I had friends recently who suggested that we take over some old abandoned villages in France. I thought this was a brilliant idea. Let’s create vegan communities in these beautiful locations, left behind by people who needed work and abandoned them. I bet there are a lot of such small towns in the USA and other countries too which could serve to create vegan communities, independent (at least for the most part) of corporate control and relying on each other for services by using the creativity and the know-how of each of us. Is this an utopist idea? Maybe it seems like it now. But I do believe this is what we will have to do in order to survive the disastrous policies of our corporate owned governments (in wherever country you are).
It has never been more important than NOW for vegans to educate non-vegans, social activists and anyone not yet part of our movement to all the issues of respect for life, environmental, animal ethics, sustainability and how we can achieve it with communities.
We truly need to be the change we want to see in the world. Because no-one is going to do it for us. We are the Klaatus that we’ve been waiting for; the ones who will make the change inevitable.
– Village des Possibles (or literally village of what is possible) in Montpellier (France). This video is subtitled in English. The village reunited various associations for the environment, economic justice, « Do it Yourself » workshops and vegan food!
The fascinating 2013 documentary called « L’adieu à la viande » (Farewell to Meat) about the consumption of meat in Europe (from Franco/German channel Arte) not only approaches the issue of eating flesh from an environmental aspect but also from the idea of the masculine psychology behind it. Just like American men, European men are conditioned to think that meat makes them strong and more masculine. It is the same old patriarchal thinking that is behind capitalism (from the Latin capita = head) and animal agriculture as well documented by Dr. Will Tuttle in The World Peace Diet.
There is a huge debate within the Vegan community as to whether it is a good thing to support non-vegan businesses that offer vegan options or not. There are, I believe, two possible situations with this issue, which may appear contradictory. But read on.
As some of you know, I was born in France, then lived in Los Angeles, California for over 17 years and became vegan there. Being vegan in a big city is so easy. You have tons of vegan restaurants, you can easily find whole foods that you can prepare at home etc… What I noticed, however, is this tendency from some vegans to believe that by supporting non-vegan businesses that have one vegan option, they are encouraging them to promote veganism more. I would like to point out a few facts:
If you purchase from a non-vegan company, you will likely buy from a giant corporation who makes millions or billions of dollars which they use to continue to kill more animals. Do they also need money from vegans?
Several people have reported that companies, like Chipotle for instance, have given them « vegan options » which in fact had animal flesh in them. It happened to me as well a few years ago at another non-veg restaurant when I ordered a vegan burrito and got one with chicken in it. So much for your vegan option.
Why is it that the Animal Advocacy Museum in Los Angeles can obtain free food from Veggie Grill or good discounts for large happenings while a big (supposedly vegan) festival like WorldFest hires El Polo Loco, a large animal killing corporation, to feed its volunteers? Why not make a deal with vegan chains like Veggie Grill or Native Foods which truly support veganism and instead settle for an animal killing industry? This still baffles me and I find it very disappointing and a betrayal for the animals we pretend to defend.
If you think your vegan option at Chipotle (or other non-veg place with one « vegan dish ») is vegan, think again. Do you really believe that they cook your food on a separate grill than the one used to grill animal body parts? Your food is certainly contaminated and as I pointed above, the chances that it contains what you don’t want to eat are high.
Vegan businesses are usually owned by small entrepreneurs who want to do the right thing. When I was in Los Angeles, I tried to support the L.A. Vegan Crepe, whose owners are not only ethical vegans but do bunny rescues. In other words, they had no life. I created movie/dinner events there to encourage our community to support them instead of supporting their local Burger King (because it has a vegetarian burger). As vegans, isn’t it the right thing to support our own first when they are the ones struggling the most to do the right thing? Or is it just because some vegans, still conditioned by mainstream non-vegan thinking, choose convenience over doing the right thing?
Now, my opinion on this is finite when it comes to big cities like Los Angeles which have all the vegan convenience we can get. There is no excuse to do otherwise.
The problem is that not everyone lives in Los Angeles. Some of you live in small towns or villages where there is absolutely nothing. But should you support non-vegan businesses?
One approach in this case, is to encourage them to offer what big cities have: more vegan choice. I also wish there were more courageous entrepreneurs in these places who tried to bring the vegan message to their local places by creating 100% vegan businesses. But we have an economic crises all over the world and I understand that starting a vegan business is extremely hard. That is why the L.A. Vegan Crepe (and a few others) eventually closed down, not just for lack of support from vegans themselves but because it was a very hard and brave thing to do in the first place.
The second approach is to start your own whole foods vegan delivery system and stop relying on your local businesses to provide for you. You can also find a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in the US which supports local small farmers (which is better than a giant corporation). In Europe, we have tons of farmers’ markets with local produce.
Get your butt in the kitchen! Cooking is an art that is getting lost and a lot of vegans choose the junk food route (which is not healthy in the long term) instead of reconnecting with their food. You can find vegan cookbooks everywhere to help you. Even in small towns, there is always a veg section in bookstores and at least one vegan cookbook. If I can find them in a small pro-bullfighting French city like Nimes (France), you definitely can!
When I moved to France in August, I discovered there were nearly no vegan products on the market unless I lived in Paris (or another big city), which has several vegan restaurants. (I am not counting the abundance of fruits, vegetables, and so on) but I also realized that I needed to encourage local businesses (not big corporations) to see the bigger picture and see what their advantages were at increasing or changing their businesses to more veg-friendly outlooks.
They are very aware of the millions of tourists visiting France each year. Paris is the most visited city in the world for instance. Nimes is famous for its Roman buildings and therefore attracts a lot of tourists from England and Germany (which we know have more vegetarians and vegans).
In France, a lot of local small businesses still flourish and I am not talking about giving money to giant corporations (aka giant killing machines). I therefore connected with Happy Cow and started visiting my local businesses to show them that there is worldwide demand for veganism/vegetarianism and I found out that they were in fact excited to be included and offer a choice to vegan customers. The more we encourage them, the more some of them and new ones may in fact turn to a 100% vegan way of living.
That is the situation for small places where there are no vegan restaurants or businesses easy to find.
How about voting at the booth for the people who really matter. Dennis Kucinich (who is known as the only – now former – vegan congressman) had a bid for being chosen as the candidate for the democratic party in the 2004 election. But what did vegans (and others) do? Instead of voting with their conscience (and it doesn’t have to be Kucinich, it can be anyone you really feel strongly about), they voted for the lesser of two evils as usual (or as Michael Moore, who is becoming more vegan each day according to Victoria Moran, once said « the evil of two lessers »).
According to this article on the Raw Food World website (16 Millions Vegans and Vegetarians in the USA), we have 16 millions vegans and vegetarians in the USA. If these 16 millions voted with their conscience now instead for settling down for the status quo, we could have sent a strong message to the fascists who control us all.
Think about it and stop settling down for that lesser of two evils and actually join together to make your statement. The worse scenario that can happen is that the majority will still vote for the idiots but that more people who vote for the alternative will be heard.
In France, when we are not happy with something, we strike. Our government is scared of us. In America, people are scared of the government (to quote what an American woman living in Paris said in the movie Sicko by Michael Moore).
Isn’t it time that we really vote the right way? Let’s vote with our wallets first. That is our biggest power. There are places where I can find vegan products and I found them and that is my vote. When I was in Los Angeles, I voted by supporting vegan only businesses because they need our help to stay, non only in business, but to inspire others to do the same. In small places, it is about creating more awareness so the options increase and it eventually inspires some people to go all the way.
Please check out my new essay published on The Flaming Vegan website.
….I look back in time and see a world I seldom imagine. I was raised to believe in goodness and kindness but what my history teacher taught me really distraught me. I opened my electronic history book and contemplated how lucky I was to be born now and not a hundred years ago. I look at how the Earth is now thriving again with awe and love and try to remember that it wasn’t always so….
The Animal Advocacy Museum presents a talk by Veronique N. Perrot, World Peace Diet Facilitator, Holistic Vegan Coach and Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition, on the power of our society to condition us and how we can break free and help others get free by recognizing the signs of our own conditioning.
In our highly processed society, we process not just our lives with stress and difficult jobs, but we also add to this toll with our food choices. Oils, for instance, are in everything. The chances are that if you eat processed foods, you are loading your body with oils. But is that a problem?
It helps to first understand that oils are nothing but processed foods. We took a whole food, say olives, stripped it of all its fat-binding fiber, and added it directly to our body fat stores within minutes. One tablespoon of olive oil (or any oil) is a whopping 120 empty calories.
Whole foods such as walnuts, pecans and seeds contain beneficial compounds like flavonoids, fibers, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, lignans, bioflavonoids, minerals and other antioxidants which are stripped and destroyed in the processing of oils. Plant sterols naturally lower cholesterol and help prevent cancer. However, oils raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and are linked to heart disease and even breast cancer. In fact, olive oil consumption can reduce blood flow in your body by up to 31%! Excessive consumption of oil can generally lead to not only excess weight but also diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and various forms of cancer.
According to Dr. Neal Barnard: « Avoid partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These oils do exactly the opposite of what you would like: They raise LDL cholesterol and reduce HDL. Be sure to read the fine print on labels, especially on pastries and snack foods. » Better yet, stay away from processed foods in the first place. Nothing good comes from them. Instead, eat unprocessed whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.
When you eat fat from whole foods like walnuts, the fat is bound by the plant fibers and only a small portion remains in your body. It in fact helps bind fat from other sources in the digestive track and the bad fat gets flushed in the stool. Even though nuts and seeds are high in calories, their consumption suppress appetite and help people get rid of diabetes and lose weight. Oils have the exact opposite effect. Nature doesn’t make mistakes when it « packages » its food, humans do.
The reason why some people are healthier in some parts of the world like the Mediterranean is not because they consume oils but because they eat a lot more plant foods than most people in the United States.
However, this does not mean eating a full bag of walnuts each day, particularly if you are overweight. Keep it to an ounce a day if you are very overweight. If you are thin and active, you can get by with 2 to 4 ounces a day. And that is enough to give you all the nutritional benefits including helping the absorption of phytochemicals from other foods.
It is easy to learn to cook without using oils. I learned to use water instead of oils and I found that my food is a lot less greasy and more delicious and I avoided at least 120 calories of artery clogging grease. If you are using oils in some recipes, keep them to the minimum or if possible, eliminate them completely. Avoid processed foods like salad dressings and packaged foods like crackers, cookies, etc where most of the oils are hidden. Eat a whole foods (that is unprocessed) diet and make salad dressings without oils.
Eat your nuts and seeds raw. Roasted nuts and seeds form carcinogenic acrylamides and contain less protein, amino acids, calcium, iron, selenium and other minerals. It is easy to add them to your salads or other greens and it is delicious and filling.
As Vegans, let’s not neglect our health. Being a healthy vegan is also a way we can help animals by showing how good our food is and how healthy it makes us.
Here’s a simple oil-free dressing I love to use:
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
– Italian herbs to taste
– Pinch Pepper
– Dijon mustard to taste
– 1 teaspoon of Agave nectar or maple syrup (or to taste) to lower the bitterness (optional).
Dr. Joel Furhman: « Super Immunity, The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free »
Neal D. Barnard M.D.: Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs
« Je ne plierai pas, je ne m’en irai pas en silence. Je ne me soumettrai pas. Je ne me retournerai pas. Je ne me conformerai pas. Je ne me coucherai pas. Je ne me tairai pas. Le courage, c’est de chercher la vérité et de la dire ; ce n’est pas subir la loi du mensonge triomphant » (Jean Jaurès).