Shangri La Gardens with Neighbouring Forest

Prepare to be inspired. John goes in depth on Voices from the North with Sun and Light, a couple who have been together for 41 years and who are the co-founders of Gentle World, the non-profit vegan community based in Hawaii and New Zealand. They speak with reverence for their early days and the reasons they became vegans. They speak with sincerity for a life dedicated not only to seeking the Truth, but to living it. They haven’t wanted to protest the things they haven’t wanted; they’ve spent their lives living the changes they want to see in the world. They describe how they’ve overcome chronic health problems through their choices, choices founded on the premise that they don’t want to support violence in the world; and their excellent health is only a by-product of their vegan lifestyle.

If you’re not already a vegan, you’ll want to be after listening to this passionate interview. Sun and Light explain how they came to New Zealand and found their incredible rural property called Shangri La. If there is one question that has predicated their choices in life it is, “Is it better?” As I said before, prepare to be inspired:

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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In this, my second Voices From the North interview with Butterflies, we explore further her now more than 30 year adventure with veganism. She reads selected poems from her new book, Metamorphosis: Poems to Inspire Transformation.metamorphosis-book-cover The inspiring, thought-provoking rhyming poems reflect Butterflies’ deep reverence for nature, respect for animals and her perspective as a passionate vegan woman. There’s a beautiful photograph with every poem, many taken by Butterflies herself. There’s something here for everyone. For samples of poems and book ordering information visit her website at www.veganpoet.com.

 

She also speaks on a recent 25 question online vegan survey she conducted. After receiving 750 enthusiastic responses she shut the door, seeing she already had a daunting task to collate, interpret and report on the findings—by hand. Why by hand, you ask? Butterflies’ home in New Zealand is a refurbished and funky old caravan she calls Tranquillity. The trailer is just big enough to hold her bed, a small desk and a bit of storage space. There is no power or toilet, so she’s printed the survey results out. That way she can work at her desk or from her bed-sized rainbow-painted deck—when she’s not writing poetry.

 

Tranquillity is part of a several hundred acre property owned by Gentle World, the vegan community to which Butterflies belongs. The property, tucked in a river-bisected meadow surrounded by national forest, is aptly named Shangri La. Where else in the world can one still drink pure water straight from the stream?

 

A few preliminary findings from the survey indicate there are thriving groups of vegans nestled in pockets around the world. Some of these pockets are predictable—no one would be surprised to hear that California is home to many vegans, or London, the home of Donald Wilson, who first coined the term ‘vegan’ in 1944 (for more on the history of vegetarianism click here). But it seems Portland, Oregon, may come out on top today and there’s a strong group led by Dr. Gabriel Cousins in Arizona. New Zealand has significant clusters in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

 

Becoming a vegan is a personal and ethical decision. Survey results indicate a vast range of diets, from junk food vegans to raw foodies. Almost all respondents indicated they were healthier than ever on their vegan diets; and it was virtually unanimous amongst raw food vegans that they had vibrant health and bundles of energy.

 

For the complete one hour interview with plenty of poems read by Butterflies click below:

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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Links:

Our earlier interview and blog:

https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2009/03/05/butterflies-and-the-vegan-lifestyle/

 

Recent interview with Gentle World co-founders Sun and Light:

https://insearchofsimplicity.com/2009/04/10/the-future-is-vegan/

In this Voices from the North interview recorded at Shangri La in New Zealand’s far north, John engages Gentle World co-founders Light and Sun in a wide-ranging philosophical discussion on the ethics of a vegan non-violent lifestyle.

Sun and Light are celebrating forty years from the day they decided to do everything in their power to stop being part of the violence in this world. On that day they stopped eating meat. Becoming a vegan is an ethical decision. For some this decision is lasting. This couple have not strayed from the course they set in motion all those years ago.

Despite making the choice for ethical reasons, they have found their health has also improved. But as Light points out in the interview, “Even if becoming a vegan made me limp, I’d do it.” Obviously, that depth of commitment comes from someone who feels deeply and compassionately about all beings, not just human beings. Light has been known to give an interesting twist to the Golden Rule. “Do unto animals as you would have them do unto you.”

Light tells the story of veteran broadcaster Paul Harvey having the chimpanzee Washoe on his show. In 1965 Washoe was taken from her home in the wilds of West Africa by the U.S. Air Force for space research. This is the chimp that had learned to sign over 250 words in American Sign Language and taught them to other chimpanzees. The three words she signed to Paul Harvey were, “Let me out!

Washoe

Washoe

These three words changed Paul Harvey’s life. Washoe had spent her life in captivity so that humans could do research on her. All she wanted was to be free.

Sun wraps up our interview by way of a heartfelt appeal for humanity to deeply consider the possibility of evolving individually and collectively to ‘non-violence’ as a way of life. She says, “The next evolutionary step for humankind is to move from human to kind.” And she asks each of us to expand our compassion beyond the bounds of our families, or our race or our religion or even humanity to embrace all beings with love.

 

The move to let go of our old patterns of eating may seem difficult for many. Listen to these two deep thinking and acting people to receive the inspiration required to make another step towards stopping being a part of the violence in this world. They have demonstrated by their living examples that change is possible at any time. They’d be quick to point out that we are each a ‘work in progress’. Each individual simply needs to be the changes they want to see in the world, one small step at a time. Then the day will come when the lion sleeps with the lamb.

 

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Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Links:

http://www.gentleworld.com/

http://worldpeacediet.org

My special guest on this featured Voices from the North program, Butterflies, has been a vegan for nigh on 30 years. She stopped eating meat at the age of 12 when her brother pointed out to her that the thing on the plate in the middle of the table was an animal’s tongue. metamorphosis-book-coverThus began a lifetime of speaking up for the rights of all of God’s creatures and living the vegan lifestyle out of a heartfelt respect for all life. Butterflies has recently published a book of her poetry titled, Metamorphosis: Poems to Inspire Transformation, that is a natural extension of her wish to extend her words into the wider community. It’s a beautiful book with beautiful poetry and photos, many from the author herself.

But our talk during this interview recorded in 2007 focused on another book of Butterflies’, incredibly-delicious-book-coverthis one called Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm. This stunning creation is the result of something like 8 years of research and preparation. It is more than a vegan recipe book; it is jam packed with quotes from respected and renowned characters and authors like Count Leo Tolstoy, Albert Einstein, John Robbins (author of Diet For a New America), Leonardo Da Vinci, the Buddha and George Bernard Shaw—a veritable Who’s Who of the vegan/vegetarian movement.

 

The book, colourfully illustrated, has over five hundred incredibly delicious recipes, many inspired by the years that Butterflies spent as the head chef at the Gentle World vegan restaurant in Maui.

When Butterflies became a vegan, there were very few resources available and little support to make such a paradigm shift in living. Today, there are vegan replacement products available for just about anything you are used to eating that is made up of animal or dairy products.

Butterflies speaks of the wonderful health improvements that came for her and her family and friends when they shifted their eating away from animal products to fruits, grains and vegetables. She even elaborates on the potential benefits of a vegan diet for your dog. How about that?

 

 

 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews