Julieanna Hever, MS, RD

Julieanna Hever, MS, RD

Posted January 7, 2010

Published in Animals, Food, Health

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Why Plant-Based?

Read More: animal rights, environment, health, plant-based dietitian, vegan, vegetarian

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I read John Robbins' book, Diet for a New America, when I was a young adult.  It branded me for life.  I tried profusely to become a vegetarian immediately after the conclusion of this book and experiencing the truth behind our food.  Unfortunately, this was an uphill war at a pinnacle of battle I had not yet fought.  I did not realize I would be fighting my parents, my friends, myself as I waged this war to save the environment; stop the painful mutilation, torture and murder of innocent animals; and protect my body from the brutal damage a Standard American Diet defends.  It has been a long journey as I struggled to research, read, and absorb as much information as possible; to be able to confirm and then defend the facts.  But I have finally come to this sacred place...the point at which I have no further doubt.  I have successfully completed a Dietetic Internship after spending weeks and months in hospitals, schools, offices and classrooms.  I have finished a graduate degree in nutrition despite the vast support from the super-powerful and economically endowed food and drug industries.  And, here I am...alone with what I have gathered from decades of homework, reading and gathering.  I am a plant-based dietitian confident in my steadfast decision to avoid animal products, to not allow my children to be sucked in by the vacuum of money-driven propaganda.  Although I am constantly faced with dissidence, I have taken a stance, for good or for bad, in sickness and in health, until death do I depart my viewpoint.


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Since going vegan, I've become a stranger in a strange land. Nothing looks the same anymore. Things that once appeared sweet and nurturing like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold morning now seem sinister and menacing.

My dad used to make up hot chocolate in the morning. First he'd build a fire in the fireplace and then get out the Nestle's Quick and the half-gallon of milk. If my brothers and I were lucky and there happened to be marsh mellows in the house, he'd plop one of those in out steaming cup.

It's so many years later now. My mother passed from cancer this past September and my dad at 83 has diabetes, bladder problems and osteoarthritis. My younger brother's had colon cancer. I worry about my grown son's appetite for eat.

And nobody wants to hear about a plant-based diet from me, something I forget.

I email the old man who's been wracked with arthritis pain ever since he got out of the hospital for the bladder thing -- "Do you want me to send you some information I've found about food and arthritis?" I write.

"No, thank you. I don't need two cooks in my kitchen. I don't want you to treat my arthritis with your plant based food. I prefer to get my medical care from my doctor."

It's cold day today. A day to drink hot chocolate, I suppose.

No, thank you.

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