Wendy Beckman (author of 8 Wonders of Cincinnati, Founders and Famous Families of Cincinnati and University of Cincinnati College of Nursing: 125 Years of Transforming Health Care) and also a high school friend sent me this article by Holly Thomas, ‘Why do vegans attract such hatred?’ (Saturday, January 5, 2019). And she just wrote…”Great article.”

I read the article, and a couple of things came to mind. But first, let’s examine all the commotion in the article. Gregg’s, a UK food chain, announces the addition of a vegan sausage roll to the delight of some and the dismay of others. The roll would quickly sell out by lunchtime, but others lamented it. Why do we need to change the classic sausage roll?” (including a very vocal, famous T.V. personality and columnist). 

1. You can’t preach from an Ivory Tower. 

If you decide to become a vegan or move to a plant-based diet, there is a good chance you are going to be different than most of your friends and family. Learn that what may be healthy for you may not be healthy for everybody. If you find, as I did, someone who has an interest in a plant-based diet, engage them. I lost 30 pounds by getting off dairy and animal protein within a few months.

My skyrocketing cholesterol and high blood pressure went down to normal, and my daily acid reflux disappeared. People I ran into who hadn’t seen me for a while looked at me like, are you OK? If you lost a lot of weight or are skinny, I would reply that I changed my diet and exercise significantly. This is where you need to be on alert. ‘I got on a plant-based diet’ would be my reply, and the questions would start.

Q. You don’t eat meat? A. No. Q. How about dairy? A. No. Q. Cheese? A. No. Q. Fish? A. No. I always answer in a non-provocative way, not condescending at all. Then the conversation may go to the person saying, Oh, I could never give up cheese (meat, fish, dairy).

The conversation ended with me saying it was a good choice for my health but might not be for you. If you decide to become a vegan, don’t be pretentious; do it for yourself and the planet. People will eventually come around, and many interested folks want to get healthier. Don’t waste your time with the naysayers. 

2. Being a vegan and hanging out with carnivores is not hypocritical or vice versa.

I own a restaurant, and we serve animal protein, dairy, cheese, and fish. Am I a hypocrite because I choose to be on a plant-based diet? No, I also added a dozen vegan recipes that tend to get the most positive reviews from my customers. I am an Integrated Nutrition Health Coach and thoroughly studied diets and nutrition. One critical theory is that one person’s food can be another person’s poison. Diet is based on bio-individuality.

We buy local Wagyu beef and cage-free, steroid, and hormone-free chicken at Allyn’s. This is a step in the right direction of sustainability. I am not running around the restaurant telling people what to eat, and I don’t do that in my IN practice. Our growing vegan crowds come in with their carnivore friends and chow down at one table. Restaurant chains are adding Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers to their menus.

I haven’t heard it yet: “Leave our White Castle burgers alone and keep that fake meat out of our fast food chains– we like our burgers the way they are! And maybe it’s because no big star has chosen to jump on that anti-plant protein bandwagon. The fact is all the people who are employed in the fast food industry are no different than you and me.

* It is wrong to put a label on them and their employment. They have families, bills, and dreams, like us. What is interesting is the thought that these companies have the distribution channels to make significant changes for the world in the future. The slight change of adding a plant-based burger on the menu has ginormous implications for our planet and food supply. (*Thoughts I got from a seminar by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. at IIN)

3. Love the one you’re with!

Don’t waste your time and energy hating anyone or anything. Learn to forgive people, even when they wrong you or don’t share the same opinion. Try to understand the underlying issues of someone with opposing viewpoints. Always be yourself and stand up for your values, but don’t preach them. Your overall health may benefit more from this than any diet. Controlling your stress levels is essential in health and wellbeing… (remember my breathing exercise suggestions).

 Integrated Nutrition is called Primary Food. It involves balancing your career, relationships, exercise, and spirituality and may be more important than what’s on your plate. (Secondary Food) Think positive thoughts, be thankful, grateful, complimentary, wise, creative, and spiritual, and don’t get caught up with ridiculous chatter about trivial issues like ‘leave our bloody sausage roll alone.’

Another approach this celebrity could have taken versus attacking Gregg’s food chain for finding a vegan substitute sausage roll might have been a tweet or blog, “Is it time for a vegan sausage roll, or should we leave the bloody thing alone?” That is a much better approach than attacking a population or company, but I’m sure it doesn’t stir up people as much, selling newspapers, magazines, or newscasts. 

What I heard from this T.V. personality in regards to a vegan sausage roll is, I’ve listened to this PC sh!t before; I don’t believe it, there’s no proof it’s healthier, I want what I want regardless of those that say it is a better way, don’t appease me or my listeners, don’t mess with tradition, keep your sh!!t ass diet theories to yourself, revolt, that’s who I am. But that’s just my opinion.