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.