By Allan Kornberg, M.D.
What started circulating as rumor was recently confirmed when former U.S. President Bill Clinton announced in a public interview that he had begun to experiment with a plant-based diet. Making reference to a medical study that began in the mid-1980s and followed subjects on a cholesterol-free diet, Clinton stated that he was intrigued by the high rate of success participants had in keeping heart disease at bay and wanted to see if adopting similar eating habits would have good results for him.
According to another source, Clinton’s decision to give veganism a try was also prompted by books like The China Study – a groundbreaking masterpiece co-authored by T. Colin Campbell, the renowned Cornell University professor and researcher who recently spoke at Farm Sanctuary’s New York Country Hoe Down. Examining the connection between animal-based foods and life-threatening disease, this body of work remains the most comprehensive health and nutrition study of its kind. Featured in an equally eye-opening documentary called Forks Over Knives, Campbell and his work continue to reach a wider audience, compelling more and more people to conduct healthy experiments of their own. The film, which includes an interview with Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur, is slated to hit theaters in March 2011 and I highly recommend that you see it!
When a public figure like Bill Clinton is willing to speak candidly about diet, and suggest alternative ways to eat for good health, it brings essential questions about what animal product consumption is doing to our bodies, our planet and our fellow creatures further into the mainstream, raising awareness and consciousness that will hopefully inspire some profound effects as time goes on. The more “veganism” becomes a household name, and the more people get intrigued and inspired to make decisions that create positive change, the more compassionate and healthy our world will eventually be.