Study | Learn | Prosper

Robert Purcell

Not average
and proud of it!

In Defense of Animals (IDA) has declared this week to be “World Go Vegan Days”.

Whether or not you want to “become” vegan, check out that page and the 30 second video with bodybuilder Kenneth G. Williams. If you’re reading this, you surely have thirty seconds to spare.

From the IDA site:

We urge people to recognize the effects their actions have on the world, and our ability to actually avert some impending disasters such as global warming.

For the health of people, the environment, and farmed animals, veganism is the best choice. World GO VEGAN Days embodies this idea.

Best Way to Go Veg

October 24th, 2008

Yesterday I gave you an easy way to try some vegetarian food. Today I want to tell you about the best way.

Wouldn’t it be great if all of your meals were prepared for you? If you could just sit down and have the best meal brought right to you, that would be ideal.

Well, here’s the next best thing. A 30 day menu of the healthiest foods around - every meal, every day.

There’s a program starting up tomorrow (sorry, I only found out today it was starting up) called the Body Enlightenment System. I was fortunate to have participated in the very first version of this program a few years ago. I tell you, it was the best I’d ever felt. (cool! I’m on the page - follow that link and look for Robert Purcell under the men’s testimonials)

If you’re looking to take yourself to a new place, improve your life, or just try out something great but you want some guidance, you need to check this out.

Starts tomorrow so do it now!

Where else will you find the level of support provided there? I don’t think you will unless you get a personal coach. The buddy system is key for success. That plus the prepared menus are why I say this is the best way to go veg. It wasn’t really created as a “go vegetarian” program but more of a total health and wellness approach which, in my opinion, is a smart way to do it.

Here’s that link again. Check it out, and go look for my testimonial on that page! (gaa.. I need better photos of myself)

Three Easy Ways to Try Veg Food

October 23rd, 2008

Sure, you’d like to try some vegetarian food but what do you make? Where do you find the ingredients? What if you mess it up? Etc., etc.

Here’s one great and easy way for you to try out some vegetarian food that guaranteed other vegetarians like. Go to a potluck!

  1. Search for vegetarian organizations in your area. They will likely have regular potlucks or at least know when and where they are
  2. Look on For those who don’t know, Meetup is a site that hosts groups and gatherings all over the world on just about any topic and interest. Search there for vegan or vegetarian with your location and see what comes up.
  3. If you have a food co-op or farmer’s market near you, ask there about any nearby gatherings.

But what do you bring to a potluck?

If you’re really afraid of the kitchen, just a simple fruit salad will do, or a greens salad. Here’s a simple recipe that was a bigger hit than I expected when I brought it to a potluck.

Cube a bunch of apples.
Mash up some bananas.
Mix it up in a big bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon.
(don’t prepare too early or everything will brown)

Anyone can make that, and it’s really good too.

It’s very important, though, to follow the rules. Make sure any dish you bring contains no animal ingredients. If it’s not stated whether butter, eggs, dairy, or honey is allowed and you plan to use those, ask first. If you show up with a dish containing some “forbidden” ingredients, just apologize and keep it out of the way (back in your car).

For the really easy way out, look for the meetups that go to restaurants. All you need to bring for this one is some money.

There you go, no more excuses to try some vegetarian food. Go out and explore!

Veg Magazines

October 22nd, 2008

The arrival of VegNews in my mailbox the other day had me realize that there are a few publications that you may want to know about.

Perhaps you’re already familiar with Vegetarian Times. It’s probably the most well known vegetarian magazine in part because it started in the late 1970s and is still going. The recipes seem to be rather dairy heavy so I don’t recommend it anymore but if you’re looking for something aimed at the general public, pick one up and have a look.

As mentioned above, I get VegNews myself. It’s a bimonthly publication (every two months) and is really a quick read. The articles aren’t so long that you have to really block out time to read it, but it’s so nice you may just want to.

The Vegan Society (the first ever vegan organization) has their own magazine called simply The Vegan. This is a UK based organization and the magazine can be found in stores there. Members get a free subscription.

The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) produces The Vegetarian Journal. All nutrition articles are reviewed by a registered dietitian or medical doctor before being published. I’ve only read some of the issues they have online (they have many, many of the back issues online) and it looks like a really nice magazine.

Intro to Vegan - Audio Series

October 21st, 2008

The purpose of my Vegetarian Awareness Month posts have been in part to bring up issues the non-veg readers may not have considered, and to provide resources to learn more about vegetarians and vegans.

Today I bring you something a little different. It’s a series of short audio shows (most are 10-15 minutes) which followed Oprah’s 21 day vegan diet back in May 2008. These are from Erik Marcus of

Erik’s first book was a big catalyst for me in learning more about the dairy industry. It’s amazing the series of events necessary for me to have met him that day in Chicago, 1999.

I met him again in 2006 when I was able to tell him about where his book had led me. I know that many times we are never aware of the impact we have on people so I was glad to be able to share that with him. And I was surprised that he remembered me from that day in Chicago (turns out it was a memorable day for him - not in the best way).

He’s a man of great insight. Take this opportunity to listen a few minutes a day to this series of 21 audio shows. You can find them here.

Muscle Without Meat

October 20th, 2008

Focusing on the awareness in Vegetarian Awareness Month (day 20 now), here’s something that may surprise you. Not only can humans survive on a plant based diet, but we can grow muscle to near obscene size too.

Check out Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. See with your own eyes there the award winning Robert Cheeke, the 2005 World Bodybuilding Champion Alexander Dargatz and others.

It takes meat to grow muscle? Not at all.

Oprah Too?

October 19th, 2008

We’ll round up the talk of vegetarian for the animals with some recent news.

Oprah’s back in the animal activist’s eyesight with her recent show on “factory farms”. I have it recorded but not having much TV time lately, haven’t watched it yet. Here’s a good reflection on the episode at the Huffington Post.

I learned a lot about how animals are treated and mistreated before they get to our tables. It is appalling and beneath our humanity to allow the torture of animals for the sake of our gluttony. We’ve neglected basic human decency on such a large scale, and it really does bleed over into every other aspect of life.

That’s Opera from the October 2008 O, the Oprah Magazine. Back in May of this year she changed her entire diet to a vegan diet. She didn’t decide to continue with it after the 21 days she set out for, but came out of the three weeks with a new view.

…I am, for sure, more mindful of my choices. I’m eating a far more plant-based diet. Less processed food. Thinking about sugar and fat consumption not in terms of calories but in terms of what happens to my well-being.

What could 21 days show you?

Just some links today for more reading on what’s involved in getting meat and eggs to you.

Spare 13 minutes right now to look at some of this material. Choose to live your life as you wish, but do so with information. An uninformed choice is worthless.

Why Veg: Part Three

October 16th, 2008

From all the vegetarians and vegans I’ve met over the years, I’ve found something interesting. Many start out exploring this way of life looking to improve their health. I’ve even met a few (very few) whose primary reason for going veg was for our environment. That was actually a big point for me at one time. Some do it to impress a girl, because it’s “cool”, or they don’t even know why originally.

The main reasons of these individuals change over time but based on the people I know, the majority who go long term are doing it for another reason.

For the Animals

As humans - at this time, on this planet - we have great power. Our technologies allow us to touch every spot of the earth. We leave our mark in some way almost everywhere we’ve been and places we may never be.

Factories in Canada create acid rain for Germany. Discarded computers poison the waters in Taiwan. Our packaging kills the sea life worldwide.

This is the power I speak of - the power to affect everything - and it comes with responsibility.

We have the power - the ability - to control land, to obtain money, to raise animals. We have the responsibility to do these things humanely. Not with nuclear weapons, not with robbery and theft, and not with concentrated feedlots.

Perhaps the reason most long term vegetarians site animal welfare and animal rights as their number one reason for their choices is that they learn more and more as they go.

Much has been written on this subject. It will be very easy for you to find.

Why Veg: Part Two

October 15th, 2008

This is day 15 of the Vegetarian Awareness Month Blog-a-Thon. Yesterday we looked at one reason people choose vegetarian - personal health. Now let’s look at another.

Our Environment

Everyone knows that cars are the leading producers of greenhouse gasses, but what does…. Wait a minute. This just in - the United Nations reports that livestock now surpasses transportation in the generating of greenhouse gasses. Actually, this was reported in 2006 but you may not have heard of it.

Deforestation, land erosion, water contamination - these are just a few of the major issues we have to deal with when raising animals for meat, milk, and eggs.

Do some research on this. Look up “animal waste lagoons” and their impact on our water systems. Consider the impact of overgrazing on our soil. What’s the real cost of that burger?

It may at first seem to be a stretch to connect meat and environmental issues, but the studies are out there. A vegetarian way of life is not such an inconvenient truth and could in fact be a very simple way to improve our world today.