I was brought up in a family with my vegetarian father, Sol, and my mother, Naomi, who ate the animal foods so popular in the 1950s and 1960s. My paternal grandmother, Celia, who often lived with us, was a vegetarian who believed in and practiced Natural Hygiene and the raw food diet. In the 1920s, while in her early 30s, she was extremely ill, suffering from severe asthma and emphysema. She was hospitalized, and the doctors gave her six months to live.
There were no medical “cures” for asthma and emphysema at that time. A brother of hers advised her to become a vegetarian and gradually to move toward a diet of fruits and vegetables. She was able to get Professor Arnold Ehret’s The Mucusless Diet Healing System and one of Dr. Herbert Shelton’s early health and nutrition books and began her journey to a healthier life. Grandma Celia shocked her doctors and lived another 45 years.
My grandmother would talk with me, telling me how important it is to eat fruits and vegetables and how we as humans are not meant to eat animals or anything that came from them. My grandmother and father seemed fanatical and eccentric to me when I was 8 or 9 because they ate differently, never went to doctors or used medications, and had unique thoughts and opinions about how the body worked. And they had a respect for animals and nature no one else seemed to have! They felt strongly about our relationships with the other creatures sharing this world, and this love has always remained strong in my heart.
I give gratitude to my grandmother and father, who taught me how to question and inspired me toward a passion for a healthy, raw vegan lifestyle and a religious connection I feel toward Mother Nature.
My grandmother wrote the following little poem for me on my third birthday:
Greetings, greetings, Karen dear,
On your birthday of your third year.
May happiness be your guiding light,
Making your life gay and bright.
Should you chance to walk on Nature’s road,
Health and strength will be your reward.
All in all, have a joyful day,
And continue to bloom like a flower in May.
Your loving grandma,
The following poem was written by my grandmother Celia early in the 20th century:
Will the world ever efface the stain
Caused by the blood of animals slain?
World progress is apt to reach a stage
When a slaughterhouse will be an outrage.
Oh ‘man’ whenever the blood of animals you spill
Remember the commandment of “Do Not Kill.”
Unthinking man discard that horrid knife
With which you take for food a creature’s life.
Juvenile delinquency would be easier to erase
If parents would learn how their children to raise.
Vegetables and fruits are the food for man
Carcasses of animals shorten the life span.
The nutritional value of natural food
Will keep one healthy, and it tastes so good.
If humanity would only adapt a code
Of “Do Not Kill, and Shed No Blood,”
Then, fear of war would entirely cease
And the world would enjoy everlasting peace.
Kindness and friendliness should be ordinary
Gestures of human behavior.
If nutritional ways you earnestly seek,
Just read the following lines with care—
Grandmother Celia wrote a book of quotes and poems, many of them pertaining to health. Here are several of her quotes:
- Health-mindedness; a person who practices health-mindedness nourishes his body and mind with proper nutrients. He selects natural foods, fruits and vegetables (excluding animal foods) for his diet. He is always interested in health-knowledge and also in any knowledge that leads to progress.
- The process of cooking destroys many a natural nutrient, so essential for health and wellbeing.
- People nowadays do not die natural deaths; they kill themselves by refusing to abide by the laws of nature and health.