Howard F. Lyman with Glen Merzer
Howard Lyman was a cattle rancher who ran a feedlot in Montana for 20 years. He is a 4th generation farmer. He was invited to appear on Oprah Winfrey Show in April 1996. He and Oprah were sued by the several Texas cattlemen under the Texas Food Disparagement Act. During the time that the case was being tried, the Food and Drug Administration made it illegal to feed animal parts to cows (who are herbivores, after all, not carnivores).
This is the story of his life before and after ranching and how he decided to become a pure vegetarian (vegan). After nearly dying from a tumor, he realized that he had taken the wrong direction in filling his farmland with chemicals, raising cattle and expecting the US agricultural system to work. He also laments the decline of rainforest, topsoil, the family farm. He eventually became a lobbyist in Washington DC, worked to keep mad cow disease out of the US and was, at the time the book was published, the president of the International Vegetarian Union. At the time of the writing of the book he had lost 130 pounds, had a clean bill of health and felt more energetic than he had in years.
His writing style is forthright and to the point. He quotes many leading heart specialists, nutritionists and facts regarding a vegan diet.
One anecdotal story at the end brings him in contact with his rancher-days poker buddies. Of the nine, 4 were dead, 3 had heart disease, one had battled colon cancer, and another had survived prostate cancer. Several cornered him privately to ask about his vegetarianism – how to do it, how do you get enough protein, what do you eat? He was very hopeful for change after a visit to the local grocery store near Great Falls where soy milk, tofu and seitan was available to purchase.
There is still a long way to go in terms of converting meat eaters to vegans, but people like Howard Lyman are passionate about the path.
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Last Updated (Friday, 25 June 2010 13:07)