We help you understand how what you eat affects your long-term health, your life, all life and the world. With that foundation of awareness, we help you make the switch to a wholefoods, plant-based diet and lifestyle.
About Eat Plants
Eating a plant-based diet is the future. It has to be, if we are to survive. There is no other single action we can take either individually or collectively as the human race, that will have a greater, more positive global impact.
Tasty recipes are great. Being lean, strong and fit is great. Preventing or reversing chronic disease is great. But while these benefits are all available to us in great abundance when we transition to eating a plant-based diet, they are not the main point. Ultimately, this is about something vastly more important. However, paradoxically, it is by truly understanding the far-reaching implications of the simple act of our daily meals that we have the greatest chance of making lasting changes to our health.
When our motivation becomes something more than our own health goals, when it is about a truly noble, altruistic, compassionate vision for the future of the world, there is no longer any need for will power. We have why power – undeniable, powerful, compelling, inspiring reasons to change, which, when we see them, become impossible not to act on. The natural by-product of the resulting action is, among many other things, the almost unbelievable health benefits of switching to a wholefoods, plant-based diet. You can’t lose. There is no downside, only fantastic benefits.
All that’s required is a moderately open mind and the ability to make connections. With the “why” in place, the “how” becomes simple.
Eat Plants exists then, to help you do just that; make connections and transform your life and your long term health as a result, by switching to a wholefoods, plant-based diet.
The solution to so many of the worlds’ greatest problems is locked, invisibly, in our daily meals. As Will Tuttle points out in The World Peace Diet;
“The animals and other voiceless beings, the starving humans and future generations, are pleading with us to see: it’s on our plate.”
So Eat Plants, Transform Your Life and Change the World...
When I was very young I sensed that there was something wrong with the fact that the piece of meat on my plate for dinner every day had recently been part of a living, breathing, feeling Being. Even then, as a child, I felt the fundamental disconnection between our meals and their hidden origins. “Why eat animals, when there’s so much other great stuff to eat?”, I thought. So I asked my mother could I become vegetarian. The response wasn’t very enthusiastic. I’d made an important connection, as children often do where adults can’t, but it was missed, and I reluctantly accepted that I must eat what I was given and forget about it. But I never did forget about it and although the deep inner knowing was silenced and buried by our culture of eating animals, it lay there dormant.
Many years later, I embarked on a year-long back-packing trip around the world. First stop; Nepal. I trekked for 3 weeks in the Himalaya. It was a Godly place, and the experience would be a turning point in my life. The food was almost all vegetarian and I loved it. I remember eating Dahl Bhat, Vegetarian Sherpa Stew and Vegetable “Momos” and being amazed at how delicious and satisfying it all was, even after long days of high altitude, strenuous trekking. I never felt hungry after a meal and I noticed that the Nepalese Sherpa people who were surviving on this simple veggie fare seemed far healthier, stronger and fitter than the western trekkers, including myself.
Months later, inspired by one of my trekking buddies’ explorations in eastern spiritual traditions, I set out on a 10-day Buddhist meditation retreat known as Vipassana. This was the beginning of my own inner journey of growing awareness and making connections – and again, the food was all vegetarian (no coincidence!) and all amazing.
These two experiences made me realize just how practical, delicious, and healthy a vegetarian diet could be. They also reminded me of the vegetarian aspirations I had as a child.
When I arrived home in Ireland, I started learning more about diet and health. I read some books and attended some lectures. I stopped eating red meat and drinking milk. But all the information seemed to be in disconnected bits and pieces and with no larger context. I still had no real understanding of the big picture.
(By “big picture”, I mean the relationship between our diet and long-term health, animals, the earth, human starvation, GM crops, our cultures’ attitudes, the medical, oil, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, agribusiness, psychologically and physically wounded slaughterhouse and factory farm workers, science, spirituality, religion, governments, wars…).
The turning point finally came 3 years later. I was doing a Master’s degree in Florida. I ate the healthiest options I could find at the University cafeteria (insofar as chicken curry and white rice are healthier than burgers and fries), while at home I struggled to come up with anything other than bland, dissatisfying meals. I felt immensely frustrated – how could something as fundamental to life as food preparation feel so difficult? I’d got first class honours in my M.Sc. exams, but I couldn’t feed myself.
Finally, in exasperation, I resolved that when I returned home from Florida, I would do whatever it took to go vegetarian and learn to cook. When the student is ready, the master appears, and so he did, in the form of John Robbins’s book “Diet For A New America - How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness, and the Future of Life on Earth”.
This, at last, was what I’d been searching for all those years – the real story of how the simple act of one of our most basic survival necessities – eating – relates to our fellow animals, our world, our health and our spirit, all in one book.
At the end of my time in Florida, I remember sitting on the plane waiting to take off from JFK in New York, reading the opening pages – and I couldn’t stop turning them. A while later when we were in the air, the air hostess broke my concentration; “Sir, would you like chicken or beef for dinner?" The question felt strange. I felt as if I had woken up from a long sleep, that I’d finally seen reality.
“Do you have anything vegetarian?” I asked. “Usually you need to order in advance, but we may have a spare one, let me check for you” she replied. She returned a few minutes later with a vegetarian meal. But had there not been a spare one, I knew that I could not eat the chicken or beef. I had made my decision weeks before that when I returned to Ireland, I would make the change, but the opening pages of Diet For A New America were all it took to bring my resolution forward to that very moment. It was my personal turning point to conscious eating.
In all my years of formal education, no other book made such an impact and such a lasting impression on me. The journey of awareness that it and Vipassana started me on have been my most valuable lessons. I feel incredibly fortunate that they crossed my path.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that I had drunk a lot, starting from the age of 14, when binge-drinking with friends became a favourite pastime. I knew there was a healthy, fit, strong, and conscious person buried inside me though and this journey I was on kept reminding me of that. On Saint Patrick’s Day 2008 after a few beers, I decided that enough was enough – and quit drinking after 13 years. I’d smoked too, but thankfully managed to beat that addiction several years before.
Back to the story…
Robbins’s book led me to many others, including The China Study - Startling Implications for Diet, Weight-loss and Long-term Health, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease - The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-based Cure, The Pleasure Trap - Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health and Happiness, Healthy at 100 - The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest Lived Peoples and more recently, to The World Peace Diet – Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony. I read countless articles and watched innumerable videos, talks and documentaries like Earthlings, Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives and The Future of Food.
I absorbed it all and my appetite to learn more led me in 2009 to TrueNorth Health Center in California, where I underwent a 3-week fast, surviving on nothing but water, rest, fresh air and a good dose of Californian sunshine!
During my fast, to the degree that my energy levels allowed, I listened to more educational materials and attended lectures every day. When the doctors supervising my fast decided it was time for me to start eating again, they slowly began weening me back on to food in incremental stages to give my body time to adjust (a pint of water mixed with watermelon and celery juice never tasted so good!). As I gained my strength back, I spent another month attending lectures from some of the worlds’ best experts in the field optimal health and chronic disease reversal, while hearing from other participants on the program stories of miraculous recoveries from everything from heart disease, to kidney disease to diabetes to cancer. To know that this was real and that most of the world knew nothing about it was an incredible thought.
Over many years, I applied my scientific training and analytical skills to this new field and finally, a great clarity emerged. The results of research were consistent and incontrovertible. I understood why the vast majority of people don’t know what a healthy diet is or why it matters. I understood that our food choices carry with them incredibly complex and far-reaching consequences. I understood that what each of us chooses to eat every day matters and matters greatly. Everything from our individual health and lifespan to “the future of life on earth” depends on it.
For over 9 years now, I’ve eaten a completely plant-based diet of mostly whole, unprocessed foods. Some of my family and friends and others I talked with found it difficult to understand. Some thought it was “too extreme”. Some thought “everything in moderation” was the best approach. Some thought I was crazy. But I can say with absolute conviction and unshakable certainty that it was the best decision I ever made.
Everyone on this planet needs to know about and act on these issues as a matter of utmost urgency.
We don’t have forever.
The clock is ticking.
Now is the time.