Former beef cattle farmer and mechanic Harold Brown decided to become
a vegetarian after learning the word from a bumper sticker on the back
of a car that he repaired. The slogan read, "I don't eat my friends,"
and after asking the vehicle's owner what the sticker meant, Brown
further investigated and gained an appreciation for the concept of
"I had gone four years to Michigan State University. I don't think I
was that stupid, but I had never heard that word. I hooked up with
some people in Cleveland, found out what these funny v-words meant,
and started making changes in my diet. My health improved," Brown
Brown, who now works for Farm Sanctuary, a shelter for farm animals in
upstate New York, spoke about his personal experience with animals and
the benefits of vegetarianism to Dartmouth students on Monday evening
in the Rockefeller Center. The lecture, titled "Animal Killer to
Animal Advocate" was sponsored by the Dartmouth Animal Welfare Group
and the Council on Student Organizations. The animal welfare club also
invited a speaker from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to
speak on vegeterianism earlier this term.
He attributed the high rates of heart disease, diabetes and cancer in
the United States to excessive consumption of pathogen- and
"Of all the cancers, the ones that have grown the fastest in the last
30 years besides the ones from smoking are hormone cancers," Brown
said. "We're eating stuff that has a lot of hormones in it already.
They just don't tell you."
A vegan diet has proven to be both beneficial and cost-effective for
Brown. His discovery of plant-based ethnic cuisine from countries such
as Ethiopia and India and his exploration of different varieties of
vegetables has expanded both his spice rack and palette.
Brown also discovered that money can be saved by buying fruits and
vegetables instead of meat, reputing the myth that a vegan spends more
money on food than a meat-eater.
"On average, steaks start at $2.99 per pound and up, whereas a five
pound bag of apples will cost you about four bucks," Brown explained.
Prior to his speech, Brown showed his audience an excerpt from the
documentary Peaceable Kingdom, a film that chronicles the stories of
farmers who left the agricultural industry to pursue the ethical
treatment of animals. The film features numerous interviews with
Brown, and the third edition is slated for release this summer.