“As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be wars …”

Tolstoi

A nutritional study was done in a maximum security prison in America. This was a prison, like many others, where violence was a part of daily life for the inmates; violence in the form of rape, assault, and even murder. Half of the prison was given a change of diet. Instead of the standard fare of meat, potatoes, and vegetables, the experimental half of the prisoners was given a vegetarian diet. They were fed no meat or fish. The other half of the prison acted as a control group, and continued to be fed as they always had been. The two groups were in separate facilities and had no contact with each other.

There is Plenty of Colour in a Fruit and Vegetable Diet

For the vegetarian group subtle changes occurred almost immediately. Then, over the course of several months this experimental group of vegetarians became much less aggressive and violent. They stopped harming each other and appeared far more content. For the control group life remained unaltered, with violence as the norm.

Would You Eat Chicken If You Had To Buy From Here?

Back in 1994 we lived in a house in the country in Golden Bay, at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. At the time our daughters were aged one and three. One evening meal was interrupted by the persistent bawling of cattle. Lucia and I took the girls with us outside to investigate. Two farmers were selecting members of a herd for slaughter. Each steer chosen to be killed was marked with paint. We observed was the rough and insensitive way in which the animals were being treated. It was obvious these men didn’t consider it an issue that these cattle might have feelings. The insistent wailing should have been a giveaway. We returned to our meal, disturbed by what we had seen.

Later I took the girls to visit the incarcerated cattle. The men had left, presumably to enjoy a beef-based meal, and the bawling had abated. The cattle shuffled around forlornly, resigned to their fate. At that moment, nothing could convince us that these animals were unfeeling and stupid creatures. We stood at the fence and I spoke for the three of us, “Not all people are as insensitive as these men who mistreated you today. We care. We’re sorry. We love you.”

A subtle shift could be seen in the herd. They calmed visibly. The experience was one of many that helped our daughters to develop into the caring, compassionate young women they are today.

 
 

Pigs in Gestation Crate

 

Everything created is interdependent; so it follows that what affects one form of life must affect all other forms as well. If we deliberately cause suffering and disease in other lives, we increase our own suffering and disease.  It would seem self evident that killing animals for food only adds to the level of suffering on this planet. I’ve lived without meat and fish and other animal products (with the exception of the very occasional egg or piece of organic cheese) for close to thirty years. I am healthier today than I was in my early twenties. The hay fever and eczema I suffered from as a boy have completely disappeared. I can stick my nose into any flower and thoroughly enjoy the exquisite fragrance without sneezing. Clearly, I have demonstrated that one needn’t rely on animals for sustenance. Many others have done the same. It seems it is just a matter of changing our conditioned habits of eating. Are you prepared to make such a shift? You will improve your health on many levels and you’ll contribute to a more compassionate world in which to live in.

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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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Dr. Michael Klaper has been a physician for 37 years and a vegan since he was 34 years of age. He was my recent guest on Voices from the North in another interview I recorded at Shangri La, an amazing place here in New Zealand’s Far North. Here’s the show:

 

Dr. Klaper has had great success treating various maladies using a nutritional approach. In our talk he speaks of the amazingly quick response certain ailments have when patients switch to a plant-based diet. Lasting relief of symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis and asthma begins, in some cases, after only a few days on a new diet. Back in the 1980s, Dr. Klaper recorded a series of instructional tapes outlining how a vegan diet could help those suffering from obesity, cancer, diabetes and more.cookbook-dr-klaper

 

Michael sees the expression ‘arrogant physician’ as an oxymoron. He says the moment a physician stops listening and becomes arrogant is the moment he/she stops being a physician. From his perspective it is a great privilege to be a doctor and it is important to listen deeply to patients and to admit that the doctor doesn’t always get it right.

 

Part of Dr. Klaper’s training included tutelage under esteemed Chicago paediatrician, Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn, author of How to Raise a Healthy Child…In Spite of Your Doctor and more inspiring books. Robert Mendelsohn was a courageous modern pioneer who advocated home births and discouraged the overuse of vaccinations and medicines.

 

vegan-nutrition-dr-klaperDr. Klaper is unable to separate his being a vegan from being a doctor. As he says, “Being vegan is doing actions where no one gets hurt.” That seems to tie in nicely with Hippocrates’ edict: Physician Do No Harm. Dr. Klaper goes so far as to say that all physicians should be vegans.

 

In our hour long interview we cover a broad spectrum of issues including Dr. Klaper’s take on some possible benefits that can arise out of the ashes of our current global financial woes. This eloquent man has worked tirelessly for decades in support of the creation of a gentler, more compassionate world. He compares the resistance people have to adopting a plant-based diet today to the resistance our forefathers had to slavery one-and-half centuries ago. He paraphrases the words of a friend of his Keith Akers (author of A Vegetarian Sourcebook: The Nutrition, Ecology and Ethics of a Natural Foods Diet and The Lost Religion of Jesus: Simple Living and Nonviolence in Early Christianity), ‘The world will become vegetarian, one way or another.” 

 Here’s a link to some of Dr. Klaper’s books, The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals, Vegan Nutrition: Pure and Simple and Pregnancy, Children and the Vegan Diet:

http://www.amazon.com/Cookbook-People-Who-Love-Animals/dp/0929274180/ref=sr_1_2/180-7580018-1856412?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241038009&sr=1-2  

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.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

 

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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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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

Yesterday, beginning at the unusual time of 4.15 am I was interviewed by Mike Meier of the syndicated radio show, Morning X. It was a more civilized time for Mike in Michigan—11.15 am the day before! We spoke for more than half an hour about my journey in search of simplicity. When I mentioned that the simple villagers I spent significant portions of time with in the 1980s—the  Hunzas of Northern Pakistan and the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea—would  be unaffected by the current economic crisis, Mike countered with the comment that the Amish in his area of Michigan were the same. When approached about their feelings about the money situation in the world they would typically respond, “Financial crisis? What financial crisis?” I then corroborated his views with my experiences each time I visit southern Ontario. The Mennonites living there would also be virtually immune to the situation we presently find ourselves in. I love taking a drive through the areas in which they live without cars and electricity. Some bring produce to the farmers markets in their horse drawn buggies. Their fruits and vegetables are always of the finest organic quality.

 

fruits_and_vegetables25b15d

 

Why do I write this? Because I think we can all learn from these examples. We don’t need to return strictly to the ways of our pasts, but any of us can grow some food in a little garden. Even apartment dwellers can plant garlic, onions, lentils and buckwheat in pots for living greens to enhance their salads. I learned years ago that I don’t need to grow all of our food, but there is tremendous satisfaction (and very real health benefits) in growing some of one’s food organically. Get planting! For more on this check out what Gaia member Lee O’Hara has to say at http://www.organichomegardener.com/.

 

Happy gardening.

 

Here’s the link to the interview I had on Morning X, Friday, March 20, 2009 beginning at 11.15 am: http://www.stickam.com/viewMedia.do?mId=183242782. Please note that Mike and I begin our discussion about five minutes into this recording.

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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