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Russell Simmons, A Happy Vegan and Others

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Message Suzana Megles
Since I am not into hip hop, I hadn't the foggiest notion of who Russell Simmons was. But thanks to Mercy for Animals, I read about him in their Compassionate Living Magazine. In fact, his smiling face was on their cover page.
I found out that he also wrote a book called "The Happy Vegan: A Guide to Living a Long, Healthy and Successful Life." MFA, which he supports, got a chance to interview him about his book and his hope for the future.
Asked what inspired him to write The Happy Vegan, he said that people generally don't realize what factory farming is doing to them -and not only to them but to our planet as well which is becoming uninhabitable. He also feels that with an unhealthy diet we are poisoning ourselves without realizing it.
About what happened to him after transitioning to a vegan diet -he said he lost 20 pounds and felt better about himself. Because he became vegan for karmic reasons, he felt the freedom and happiness of not contributing to what he considers a karmic disaster. And for him the "manufacturing" of life- up to 10 billion factory farm animals in the US and 100 billion worldwide is a certain karmic disaster.
Noting that Simmons considers veganism an essential element of happiness, he elaborated: "As you wake up to the suffering you're causing, you don't want to contribute, cause you get what you give. We can't be happy and be selfish."
Those are some of the questions he candidly answered so well. I then moved on to another place in the magazine which profiled people who were greatly impacted by the highly acclaimed documentary- Forks Over Knives. I had not seen the documentary but knew that it was well received. I also enjoyed reading the cover page which appeared here --WARNING: This Movie Could Save Your Life.
MILAN ROSS -- morbidly obese and struggling with depression -he was lucky to participate in a weight loss program offered by his employer. Here he was introduced to a plant-based diet, and in a short time lost 33 pounds. Emboldened with the good results thus far, he stuck with the program and ultimately lost 225 pounds. He also got rid of his meds
and started enjoying life with his six- year-old son.
NATALIA CONSTANTINE. Natalia too was obese. At 450 pounds and an out-of-control diabetic, she suffered from high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Tired of carrying around so much weight and having to take a slew of pills each day, she was more than ready for a change. Embracing a vegan diet, she would shed 200 pounds and 15 medications. She also no longer suffers from neuropathy in her legs and feet.
KEN STONE, SOMER MCCOWAN, AND BOBBY ANDERSON were also profiled here and each had a story of a wonderful transformation in their lives as a result of adopting a vegan lifestyle. So, whether you are impelled by karmic reasons as Russell Simmons to adopt a vegan lifestyle, or have weight problems and health issues caused by an unhealthy diet, you may just want to give veganism a try. And lastly, but not least -- a vegan lifestyle is good for the planet. A vegan's carbon footprint is wonderfully small compared to that of those of carnivores. And of course, we can't forget a compelling reason for many people and that is compassion for the animals stuck in airless factory barns day in and day out and who have no life of their own. Maybe even Charlie Brown will one day announce -- Happiness is a vegan hamburger!

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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