John Robbins is an internationally bestselling author, social activist and humanitarian, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He is a pioneer with the plant-based movement with his book “Diet For A New America.” This book opened people’s eyes on the connections between diet, physical health, animal cruelty, and environmentalism. He also went on to write six more books, “The Food Revolution,” “Healthy At 100,” “The Awakened Heart,” “Reclaiming Your Health,” “The New Good Life” and “No Happy Cows.” John’s life is dedicated to creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet. He is a true inspiration that helps raise people’s consciousness to a higher level.
John: My father and uncle founded, owned and ran what was at one time the world’s largest ice cream company — Baskin-Robbins (31 Flavors). Annual sales were measured in the billions of dollars. As my father’s only son, I was groomed to one day run the company. But I chose a different path. I said to him, “Look Dad, we live in a different world than when you grew up. We live under a nuclear shadow, where at any moment the unspeakable could happen. The environment is deteriorating rapidly under the impact of human activities. We have the highest rates of obesity and diabetes of any nation ever. Ice cream is essentially saturated fat and sugar which isn’t helping any. Under these circumstances, do you see that, for me, inventing a 32nd flavor would just not be an adequate response for my life?”
I made a choice for integrity and walked away from the family business and the immense wealth it represented. And to be true to my integrity, I told my father I did not want a trust fund or any other access to his fortune. I decided to take my own rocky road.
I wrote Diet For A New America, and 9 other best-sellers, exposing the harm that modern meat and dairy products, as well as excessive sugar intake, are doing to our health and our world.
Nourishment: How would you advise someone eating a meat-based diet to transition successfully into eating a plant-based diet?
John: There are many resources that are helpful today. There are documentaries like Forks Over Knives, and books by medical experts such as Dean Ornish, T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn. There are outstanding books by accomplished authors including Kathy Freston, Rory Freedman, Rip Esselstyn, and Jonathan Safron Foer. And by all means take advantage of the phenomenal resources available through the Food Revolution Network (www.foodrevolution.org)
Nourishment: What can everybody do right now no matter what his or her dietary habits are to make a positive impact on the planet?
John: Consume less and love more.
Nourishment: What positive changes have you seen in the last 20 years for the eradication of consuming animals?
John: There has been a tremendous increase in public awareness that the way animals are treated in modern meat production is a crime against our natures, and a violation of the human-animal bond. You don’t have to be a vegetarian or an animal rights activist to be appalled – if you see it, if you look behind the veil. And more and more people are opening their eyes and hearts to the animals whose flesh and milk we eat.
John: We will have to move toward agroecology and organic forms of agriculture, and away from the vast GMO monocultures that are dependent on vast quantities of toxic chemicals.
Nourishment: Anything you would like to share?
John: “It’s no mark of sanity to be well-adjusted to an insane society.”
More on John Robbins: www.johnrobbins.info and www.foodrevolution.org