Back in the 1980s, I was still very much an omnivore and had not really begun questioning life. Meat was just something that everyone ate, and cooking was something I’d been taught to believe was a necessity, so rarely did I miss out on at least one cooked omnivorous meal a day.
That all began changing for me early one autumn evening, when I happened to visit the local cinema and watch Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Back then, movies were a big thing in my life, and I loved the whole cinema experience. This one was no exception. I got sucked in from the get-go, and, totally letting go of my own reality, I immersed myself in the story.
After the curtains were closed and I sat alone in the cinema hall—the last one to leave—I began thinking. There was one particular scene in the film where Indi was offered a bowl of something to eat. Turned out, the bowl was a monkey’s skull, and the contents of it, nothing less than the brain of the monkey. For some unknown reason, this really seemed to shake my awareness. I couldn’t get over the thought of how appalled I was by the notion of eating monkey brain, especially as I realised how I was eating equally similar items from different species.
By the time I got home, I had made the decision that I no longer wanted to eat animal cadavers, regardless of species. It was, I knew, a lifetime decision that led to my becoming increasingly more aware of the plight of animals destined to be murdered and bloodily butchered to satisfy humans’ insatiable appetite for flesh.
Despite opposition, criticism and a good deal of what was supposed to be humorous leg-pulling from pretty much everyone I knew at the time, the following months saw me increasingly more convinced that I had made the right decision, and within six to eight months, I had also seen the inherent hypocrisy of vegetarianism and fully embraced the ethics of veganism, deciding that I would never again consciously support any deliberate animal exploitation.
From the onset, my choices and insight had little really to do with food but were more about the immorality of ending another’s life prematurely and the ever-increasing understanding of the misery animals must suffer during their meaningless, shortened incarcerated lives as part of the animal holocaust.
A few short years later, and although I had, alas, still not met any other vegans in my hometown, I had nevertheless reached out and made several ethical vegan friends around the world. Back then, the Internet was nonexistent, so mostly contact was made the old-fashioned way, via writing letters and joining up with various vegan groups, many of them producing periodical vegan newsletters.
In the early 1990s, I attended an international vegan gathering in Biggleswade, England—a truly remarkable experience that gave me many new friends. One particular fellow, named Francisco Martin, gave a lecture early one morning on the benefits of eating raw food. I must have been totally ripe for the idea, as everything he said made so much sense. Immediately following his talk, I went to the caterers of the event and asked them if they could please allow for one fewer cooked vegan and instead provide raw meals for me throughout the rest of the event.
It made so much sense to me that nature provides food in its ideal form and that cooking it should deplete it of any vital enzymes, changing simultaneously the chemical structure of the food. I knew from that moment on that raw veganism was another life decision that I would never regret.
Unlike the vegan shift, however, which basically was an overnight decision with no looking back, giving up raw proved to be somewhat more of a challenge. Three decades of being hooked on cooked was not something I could just shake off, and I often found cravings diabolically irresistible.
I struggled with this throughout much of the 1990s and intend to write more on this in my autobiography, which I am working on.
Meanwhile, as my consumption of raw food gradually increased, I realised more and more how, of all the vegan raw foods, the most appealing always seemed to be fruit, and, through much reflection, also reached the realisation that, unlike other foods, fruit was also exceptional in that it was given freely by the plant.
With this new insight, it became also clear that fruit is without doubt the most spiritual of all foods and the only food that is truly symbiotically shared and, thus, has the potential to be void of any negative karma. I have complete faith that fruit can provide everything human physiology requires without supplements of any kind, including greens and nuts.
Unlike most other raw vegans, myself and my partner, Kveta, have made it a life choice to stick with eating purely fruit. We don’t consider ourselves 80/10/10 or low-fat raw vegan as, to the best of our understanding, a calorie is just hot air that should have no part in anyone’s diet. We don’t obsess over carbohydrates, fats and sugars but instead enjoy eating our fruit, eating when hungry and stopping when full. The real challenge in transitioning to such a diet lies in understanding addiction. The more we ignore it, the less it will chatter.
We believe that this world can and will eventually re-embrace the concept of Eden, a place where no harm is done, where symbiosis has replaced all forms of exploitation and suffering is no more. This may seem like it is too far from the reality of today and thus be dismissed as an irrelevant dream of a romantic idealist, but I believe that, in reality, it is just a few small shifts in consciousness away. My recently written and published book, Destination Eden–Fruitarianism Explained attempts to explain the steps needed to get there and involves us all ultimately embracing the uniqueness of fruit.