Received this in an email today:
Thanks so much Jon for getting back to me so quickly about eating vegan. All your info really cleared some stuff up for me. ...
I made your smoothie recipe today - it's so good. I also made a new salad tonight for supper.... it's called "Fiber Rich Pasta Salad".... it doesn't really have very much pasta in it though.... mostly apples, celery, dates, walnuts. It called for a tablespoon of sour cream and yogurt, but I just left that out. It has juice of a lemon and orange, and called for a bit of olive oil, but I used avocado oil instead. It was very good, your Dad liked it too.
I'm not following in your footsteps.... although you have definitely been an inspiration for me.... without your lead and sharing things like "Forks over Knives", etc. with me, I might not be where I am today..... so I thank you. You are raw vegan, I will be going vegan.... I will have some cooked vegan meals. Seeing you so healthy and energetic is how I know this way of living is the right one - for all the other living beings in this world too.... it makes me feel more at one with all life.
As you may have gathered, the email was from my mother. :D
I sent her a copy of Forks over Knives last winter and bought her The China Study a little while later. She then went on to watch (a portion of) Earthlings, and now she's on the vegan train! This email followed my replies to a handful of questions from her about her health and veganism.
She's also stopped buying animal products, which means that my dad is de-facto vegan now too (at home, at least), and so far he seems content with it (he's been 80% vegetarian for a couple of years now anyway). They've been on their own journey of health and diet over the last several years and to see them approaching veganism step by step is a true joy!
Some background: I started my journey towards veganism in 2001. I come from a family of hunters, who always had a freezer full of deer and elk and fish, and my going vegetarian in 2001 was at first received with little understanding. 11 years later and here we are: I'm vegan, my mother is now vegan, my father rarely eats animal products and says he's fine without them (and he no longer hunts!). In 2000 we were all still actively killing for meat and completely out of touch with why that wasn't ok.
Lesson: progress is slow, but steady if we put in the effort - we may be surprised where we (and those close to us) are in 10+ years time.
Hope this can help inspire you to reach out to your families, share veganism with them and shine forth as an example for all to see.
She gave you life, and you have returned the favor, my brother.
A salute to you for your loving care for your parents and to them for accepting your gift.
Wow, absolutely beautiful! :)
An update, I thought I'd share. I'm loving seeing my parents walk their path. From my mother:
I'm sure feeling a lot better eating vegan Jon..... tonight it's a BIG salad for supper. I am going to do up some noodles for your Dad and I asked him if he wanted meat in it and he said no - he doesn't need it. He's still eating some meat but really not very much. I think over the winter I will get him eating vegan - I will look up some recipes. I can get rid of a lot of my recipe books - even my vegetarian one.... it has a lot of dishes in there that include cheese and eggs. Neither of us misses dairy at all. One thing I have noticed by not eating dairy is my sinus trouble - always seemed to bother me, but not anymore. It's great!
My mother has had chronic sinus problems since her teens (when she almost died from a serious flu). So, to put it in context... when she says it isn't bothering her, it is a profound statement!
I want to simply offer glimpses into their journey for all those who have friends and family who they think would never go vegan. Never say never :)