The health benefits include improved weight loss, helping the environment and reduced risk for chronic diseases. Yet interestingly enough, just over 50% of Americans rank taste as their primary reason for switching to plant-based proteins, signifying that eating a plant-based diet can be just as tasty as being a meat-eater, and doesn’t only have to be made in the interest of health and eco-consciousness.
Do you ever worry about the health of the people you love — and wish they ate healthier food? If you’ve tried to help others move in a positive direction, has it ever felt as if you were banging your head against a brick wall?
If you know my story, you might think I can’t relate. After all, I grew up eating a whole foods, plant-powered diet in the home of one of the world’s best-known proponents of healthy, plant-based eating (my dad is Food Revolution Network co-founder and president John Robbins, author of many books on health, nutrition, and social and environmental justice, including the 1987 bestseller Diet for a New America.) How could I possibly have any idea what family conflict around food is like?
Hear me out.
When I was a kid, we had our fair share of food conflicts in our extended family. My grandpa Irv, the co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, wanted nothing to do with our “hippie” eating style. He ate the standard American diet with gusto — including, of course, lots and lots of his favorite ice cream.
When my mom, dad, and I would visit my dad’s parents, we sometimes stayed in a rented condo because sharing meals could become such a point of friction. At one point, my grandma Irma famously declared, “You will NOT cook tofu in my kitchen!” She was clear who was in charge in her domain, adding: “When you’re in my house, you will eat what I serve.”
Since my grandma wasn’t exactly a black belt in flexibility, we did not try to convince her to let us cook our simple, plant-based meals in her kitchen. Instead, we prepared most of our meals separately in our condo kitchen.
We didn’t want differences over food to keep us from being a family. But because those differences were based in very different realities and values systems, we struggled with the conflicts and separations they caused.
For most of human history it’s been “normal” to eat non-human animals. This is now changing. We are awakening to the massive suffering of the billions of animals killed each day for food, the horrors of the animal-food industry, and the impact it has on climate change (second only to fossil fuels.) In this short talk Tara shares her personal story of transitioning to a vegan diet, and invites listeners to investigate, without judgment, their own choices in this domain.
NOTE: this short talk was given at a special class on “Loving Life with a Plant-Based Diet.” Tara was joined by guest speakers, Mark Tercek (The Nature Conservatory) and Brenda Sanders (Afro-Vegan Society), and hosted by Jonathan Foust. Full video available at Tara’s Facebook page and soon at IMCW.org. Evening concluded with a wonderful vegan food-tasting donated by Yes! Organic Market.
When the animals come to us,
asking for our help,
will we know what they are saying?
When the plants speak to us
in their delicate, beautiful language,
will we be able to answer them?
When the planet herself
sings to us in our dreams,
will we be able to wake ourselves,
By Ocean Robbins • Adapted from Ocean Robbins’ soon-to-be-released book, 31-Day Food Revolution (February 5th, 2019). Get your copy here now.
We have access, today, to more information about diet and disease than any population that’s ever lived. We can review the findings of tens of thousands of studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, from any laptop or smartphone.
Thousands of nutrition and diet books are published every year, while billions of websites tell you what to eat and what to avoid.
Unfortunately, many of them are wrong.
No matter how healthy your diet is, many modern eaters are lacking in essential nutrients. If you want to thrive on a plant-based diet, consider these supplements for vegetarians and supplements for vegans.
Whether for health, ethical, or environmental reasons, hundreds of millions of people are basing their diets around plant foods.
A whole food, plant-centered diet offers tremendous advantages, including reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, dementia, and many other ailments, according to research.
But due to the realities of our modern times, a large number of plant-based eaters aren’t getting specific nutrients from plant foods. And failure to get these nutrients can cause serious consequences.
Many people think a healthy diet should supply all the nutrients you need for optimal health. And that is basically true.