Has Johnny Depp Gone Vegan?
Depp has eliminated meat and dairy from his diet for his new girlfriend Amber Heard. He’s also taken up a vegan diet after she told him about the benefits and now he’s raving about losing his paunch.
I love it when a mega celebrity becomes vegan because, like it or not, they have a huge influence over people.
But we yoga teachers also have a huge influence over our fans – our students!
You may not realise it, but most of your students look up to you and subconsciously put you on a bit of a pedestal. They are your “fans”. Instead of having millions of fans, you have a few dozen. But fans they are.
So, my fellow yoga teacher, you have TREMENDOUS POWER to influence your fans. Use that power wisely to help your students uncover the inconvenient truth about “eating meat”.
A fellow yoga teacher recently said this to me:
”I have no time for people who claim to be animal lovers and then tell you they had lamb for dinner”.
I admit. I used to think that way too!
But now I have all the time in the world for meat eaters who love animals because I sincerely believe most of them love animals. The problem is they don’t associate eating cows, chickens, pigs, and fish as eating an animal (a fellow sentient being that is able to perceive and feel things). The cows, chickens, pigs and fish are merely products on super market shelves.
Take my quick 3 step scientific test to see if an animal has “sentience”….
Step 1: Pick up a stick
Step 2: Prod the next animal you come across
Step 3: Observe the animal’s response
If you follow those 3 steps, I’m 100% certain the animal will feel pain, and avoid you in the future.
Did you know that in 2015 animals were legally recognised as sentient beings in New Zealand?
Yep. Amazing heh?
Not bad from a country that has about 30 million sheep and a ratio of seven sheep to one human. Here’s an article about it in the Independent Newspaper.
We have a truly horrifying word for animals we eat to de-sentientalise them. That word makes us all feel much, much better for eating them because when the word is uttered they become stock. A mere product. A unit on a shelf. It is arguably one of the worst words ever coined.
The word I’m referring to is…
Look up the definition of the word livestock and you’ll see: “Farm animals regarded as an asset”.
LIVESTOCK are not regarded as sentient beings, able to perceive or feel things, and that’s why over 108 billion animals are killed and eaten every year by humans in North America alone.
Scientists have ample, detailed, empirical facts (2,500 scientific studies) to declare that nonhuman animals are sentient beings, and with each study, there are fewer and fewer skeptics.
Livestock are just products (assets) in our collective minds to be purchased from supermarkets.
A poll of the number of vegetarians in the United States (by the Vegetarian Resource Group) shows that 5% are either vegetarian or vegan. That means 95% of them eat meat. Those numbers are about the same no matter where you go in so called “civilised countries”. All 95% of them have been brainwashed into thinking livestock aren’t able to perceive or feel things. Do we really think millions of years of evolution has evolved these animals not to perceive or feel things?
Here’s an eye-opener…
A recent food survey revealed ONE OUT OF 5 CHILDREN IN THE UK ARE NOT AWARE THAT BACON COMES FROM PIGS.
To children (and adults), a pig isn’t a pig, it’s a bacon sandwich…a cow isn’t a cow, it’s a burger you get from McDonalds.
We have become detached from the truth that billions of animals are murdered every year for our eating pleasure. Unfortunately that “pleasure” is short lived because the long-term effects of eating meat is obesity.
Here’s some jaw-dropping data from the USA National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2009–2010:
- More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight.
- More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.
- More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.
- 1 in 3 children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 are overweight.
- 1 in 6 children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.
The stats are pretty much the same no matter which “western country” you look at.
Animal products contain much more fat than plant-based foods. And because vegetarian diets are the only diets that work for long-term weight loss, it’s no surprise that population studies show that meat-eaters have 3 times the obesity rate of vegetarians and 9 times the obesity rate of vegans. It’s possible to be an overweight or obese vegan, of course, just as it’s possible to be a thin meat-eater, but adult vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than adult meat-eaters.
I believe my role as an Animal Activist is to creak open the awareness of “Animal Lovers” so they eventually act in alignment with their words and beliefs.
For example, a few weeks ago my dad (an avid meat eater) told me he loves animals and can’t even bring himself to kill a fly. There was a fly buzzing around and I was opening a window to let it fly away.
My reply was…
“I know you’re a kind, warm-hearted man. And I love you. And I say this without any judgement: “Do you consider eating the flesh of a pig as loving animals?”
I said it in a relaxed, humourous way to make sure he didn’t feel under attack.
By the end of the conversation his self awareness had been creaked open just enough for him to realise that each time he eats meat he causes the death of that animal.
The important point is that it was his statement that he “loved animals and wouldn’t hurt a fly” that allowed me to ask him the question: “Do you consider eating the flesh of a pig as loving animals?”
Questions are extremely powerful for sparking off critical thinking. I didn’t say to him, “Eating meat is bad and here’s why….”. That would have just got him on the defensive, no matter how eloquent my reasoning.
My goal was to get my dad critically thinking a bit. Not much. Just a bit.
Critical thinking requires activation of tissues in many regions of the brain. Once those tissues are activated, new chemical connections can be morphed into existence. And those connections can suddenly cause a person to make a change (e.g stop eating meat). But without a small, seemingly insignificant “think”, no change is possible.
A “teeny tiny think” going on inside my dad’s head is all I could hope for.
You see, I’m a realist and an ardent admirer of the Socratic Method. I fully understand that no one is going to say: “By gosh George, you’re absolutely right. I’m going to become a vegan right now.” They need time to process the new thought. Once you’ve planted a few questions in the meat eater’s head, “something else” may come along to cause them to give veganism a test drive.
That “something else” could be:
* Seeing Cowspiracy (produced by Leonardo DiCaprio) and discovering that consuming meat is the absolute worst thing you can do for the Earth. Eating meat causes enormous amounts of pollution and is the no.1 cause of climate change. Digest this stunning fact…eating meat is more damaging to the climate than the oil and gas industry combined.
* Seeing a lamb limping around in a field for weeks on end with no assistance from a farmer because it’s just a sheep.
* Seeing a lorry full of lambs on their way to being slaughtered and having to endure intense heat while stuck in traffic.
* Watching a youtube video called: 101 reasons to go vegan.
* Listening to a BBC interview of a meat eating, obese MP (Member Of Parliament) telling a Peta representative (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that it’s nice to see little sheep bouncing around in the field (yes, this interview actually did take place…I was flabbergasted).
* Discovering that pigs are just as intelligent (if not more so) than dogs.
* Discovering that meats contain a large amount of saturated fats, which is the number one cause of heart disease (which is the number one cause of death).
* Discovering that vegans are, on average, up to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters are.
* Stumbling across an online report from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, that vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are.
* Discovering that vegans get all the nutrients that they need to be healthy, such as plant protein, fiber, and minerals, without all the saturated animal fat, cholesterol, and toxic stuff in meat that slows you down and makes you sick.
* Discovering a major study showing men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progress of the cancer or may have even reversed the illness. My meat eating uncle had prostate cancer and died with months of his prognosis. During the last month of his life he gave up meat, but it too little, too late.
* Discovering that saturated fats from eating meat are solid at room temperature (hmmm, that’s why the no.1 cause of death is heart disease).
* Discovering that meat is utterly disgusting because it is frequently contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids – all of which make eating meat the no.1 source of food poisoning in the United States (you are quite literally eating poison).
* Getting osteoporosis and discovering from the doctor that bone health depends on a balance of neither too much or too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium. Guess what. That’s exactly what you get with a vegan lifestyle.
* Discovering that animal protein tends to leach calcium from the bones, leading to its excretion in the urine, and the onset of osteoporosis.
* Discovering the lies behind The Protein Myth. All meat eaters are under the impression that vegans don’t get enough protein. It’s a myth. Vegans easily get adequate protein from grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. Shockingly, most meat eaters have twice as much protein in their diet then is necessary for a healthy body; and that is why obesity is sky rocketing around the world. Even in in India obesity has reached epidemic proportions.
* Discovering that most of the fish in our polluted seas have mercury in it. It is impossible not to be putting mercury in your body when you eat fish.
* Discovering the Antibiotics Ticking Time Bomb. Antibiotics are frequently given to feed animals, which is leading to bacterial resistance. Many of the antibiotics used to treat human infections are also used in feed animals. If we don’t stop eating so much meat, any one of us could go into hospital in a few years time for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics.
* Discovering that your favourite star, Lea Michele, from the series “Glee” is vegan.
* Discovering that your second favourite star, Michelle Pfeiffer, in describing the late switch to the vegan diet (in her 50s), the actress told CNN she was motivated to become vegan by a desire to live a long and disease-free life.
Out of the blue my Dad told me of his kind-hearted nature to all animals, including the fly that usually gets squatted to smithereens by a newspaper.
This left the door wide open for me to ask him a question that got him “critically thinking” about the absurdity of thinking he loved animals and yet was eating hundreds of them every year.
My dad, like so many millions of intelligent, kind, warm-hearted people is blissfully unaware that his actions (eating meat) is causing the deaths of over 20,000 animal deaths during his lifetime.
Most meat eaters are kind, warm-hearted and consider themselves “Animal Lovers”. It is their love of animals that paths the way for many meat eaters convert to a vegan lifestyle.
Once animal lovers are aware of the incongruence between their words (“I love animals“) and actions (eating meet), it triggers off a subtle, subconscious, uncomfortable feeling of being out of alignment. This being out of alignment is the magic ingredient that causes animal lovers to “awaken” and start to live by their words – and become vegan.
I will leave you with a great vegan quote from Jonny Depp…
“If you don’t like seeing pictures of violence towards animals being posted, you need to help stop the violence, not the pictures.”
– Jonny Depp