Visitor:
Activists + > Celebrity Interviews
Name: Alexandra Paul
Born:
July 29, 1963
New York, New York, USA
Height: 5' 10"(1.52m)
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Occupation: Actress
Official Website:
http://www.alexandra-paul.com/

Alexandra Paul was generous enough to share some time with us. Below is a transcript of some of our talk.

Note: In 2010 Alexandra became vegan.

Alexandra Paul is probably best known for her roles on Baywatch and Melrose Place and has appeared in many films and television shows. For details of her extensive filmography, please visit http://us.imdb.com/Name?Paul,+Alexandra.

Alexandra helps various causes and has even done a poster for PCRM with husband Ian Murray: http://www.pcrm.org/news/psa_paul_murray.html

 

SoyStache interview with Alexandra Paul! 2/20/02

Hi Alexandra!

Hi

How are you doing?

I'm pretty well, I'm lying on my dad's guestroom bed with his cat. Petting his cat

Sound's pretty comfortable

Yeah (laughs)

OK, well what part of the world do you live in?

I live in LA. I've been in LA for 20 years. I live in southern Malibu, with my husband.

Ok and that's Ian Murray

Yes

 

How long have you been vegetarian? I understand you've been vegetarian since you were 15?

Since I was 14

14, OK.

So... 24 years. When I was 21 I did a TV movie where I played a body builder and my trainer wanted me to eat fish, so I ate fish. And I didn't feel good about it and I stopped after the TV movie.

So, you definitely noticed the difference when you were on the fish?

I don't know if I remember how I feel, but I just remember it was mostly from an animal rights point of view.

Right, right. Now... Are you vegetarian now, or are you vegan?

I'm an almost vegan. I think I'm a vegan except for that I eat egg whites. So, I don't wear leather, wool, or silk. I don't eat dairy or fish. And use no products that are tested on animals.

Do you have any problem finding those non-animal products?

You know... no. I mean I'm not a cook. I think that's my biggest drawback is that I don't cook, so I don't spend time. You know, everyone is healthier if they cook for themselves, no matter what your basic diet is. But no, there's always salads in restaurants. That's always fine and pasta, you know, with marinara, no butter. That kind of thing or tomato, so it's really fine.

Right! How about other products? I was just shopping for sneakers a couple days ago and I had to hit quite a few shoe stores to find some vegan shoes that I could use for volleyball.

Oh, golly, I don't know about volleyball, but I know that running shoes are generally all man-made materials, because they're lighter.

Well, actually, I ended up getting some running shoes.

Oh, yeah, yeah. Running shoes are pretty good. And then, as for shoes, regular shoes, I go to Payless or Shoes for Less. I mean my shoes are... I'm pretty much a cheap date (laughs), you know... no alcohol, no meat at dinner, and then, you know, when I buy, go to Payless for shoes. When you don't buy leather or silk or cashmere everything is much cheaper (laughs).

Right! And I did notice that Payless has more of the man-made materials.

They do. They have a lot. Unfortunately, their shoes aren't as comfortable as... what's it called... Shoe Pavillion in Los Angeles is pretty good. And, you know, the truth is, I'm also trying to practice owning less stuff. I really find I only wear a pair of clogs that I bought, probably eight years ago, and then I wear a pair of loafers I bought three years ago that are vegan, both are vegan. And then I wear sneakers. That's about it.

Oh, excellent! ... And I've found some vegan shoes online, some hemp. They're not real dress shoes, but they're very nice casual shoes.

Oh, that's good. You can wear them with slacks 'n... yeah...

Yeah, so I can wear those to work. That's not a problem. And I even found some for... I went to the PETA Gala last year and I found a nice pair of black hemp shoes.

Oh, that's nice...What website did you go to for the hemp shoes?

I'll have to look it up. [http://www.rawganique.com/footwear.htm(trailblazers and oxfords]

You know, it's OK because my brother and his girlfriend are vegans - and she knows a bunch of websites for shoes and stuff. But I haven't gotten around to it, because so far I'm doing fine with my loafers and my clogs and my sneakers (laughs).

That sounds good!

I find that I'm not that fashionable. I mean I know that as an actor, you know it's hard to find clothes that aren't wool or silk and...

Yeah, that's true.

It's just, you know, the word Prada... I mean I said to one of my close friends "I've never seen a Prada bag" (laughs). She said "here, I have one" and she showed me.

Is that a... I'm not even familiar with that.

Well, because... you're a guy.

OK

But the girls, women, who like read In Style magazine, or whatever, would know Prada. Or, like, if you watch Sex in the City with Sarah Jessica Parker, they have this obsession with shoes, and I forgot the name of the shoe... but anyway, I've never even gone into that shoe store. I can't even remember the name. But anyway, so I'm very out of style... or I should say I have my own style.

Right.

Payless, Miller's outpost

And they can look great too!

Exactly!

It just doesn't have the name.

Yeah, exactly!

Now, have you noticed benefits, like to your health, since being vegetarian?

You know, because I've been a vegetarian for so long, I haven't noticed a change, because when you're 14 you're not really that aware of stuff, but for me it was really an ethical and environmental decision. I mean I know it's better for the environment, so I feel better with that and I'm sure that I'm doing the right thing by the animals. People worry about your energy level and all that, but I seem to have a good energy level.

And you are athletic so you have no problem with that?

No, no, no, never! And as you may have read on my website I've trained for the Ironman Triathalon and did it on a vegetarian diet. Ate a lot of egg whites. But I'm on a vegetarian diet and have never been the worst for it.

Excellent! I lived in Hawaii for almost 14 years. I never actually did the Ironman, but I know that it takes a lot of work.

Well, do you have other things you would say to encourage others to become vegetarian or vegan?

Yeah, I'd encourage them to do it slowly. You have to do it at your own pace. And to read about people, like I think reading John Robbins' book Diet for a New America is very helpful, because it really gives you... it really helps you remember why you are doing it, if you're doing it for ethical reasons.

Right. As well as environmental. He has a lot of information in there.

Yes, exactly. His more recent book, which I read...

Yeah, The Food Revolution.

Yeah! He has a lot of environmental things in terms of water use per pound of chicken vs. per pound of wheat, etc. So, those two are very, very good books. It's not like you can't hang around meat eaters, my husband eats meat! Actually, he doesn't eat red meat anymore, but he still eats chicken. I'm not exactly sure why he doesn't eat red meat. After The Food Revolution I was going on about how the water use and everything and I think that may be why he cut out red meat, but I'm not exactly sure. (laughs)

OK

But it's not about not hanging out with people who are meat eaters, but it is about, you know, learning more and more, opening up your life to more people who might be vegetarians or vegans.

Right.

And going to the health food store is very helpful.

Yeah. I know going to potlucks is a nice way of learning new dishes and things and how foods work together.

Yeah, that's true.

In terms of your career, do you have any favorite projects or roles that you were in?

Let's see... I loved doing Baywatch. It was so fun! It was so much fun! You know, I'm lucky every project that I've really, I'd say 95%, I've really had a wonderful time and I haven't regretted any of them. I did a small film called Twelve Bucks that's on video shelves right now. I had a small part that I played of a character that was different from who I am. She was a trashy, cocaine snorting, being hit by her husband, neglecting her kid trailer trash. Basically, she was just trailer trash.

Quite a contrast!

Yeah, I wasn't raised like that at all (laughs). So, that was fun to do!

Excellent! Well, regarding roles, do you feel there should be more vegetarian or vegan characters in television and film?

I think it would be great! I do notice that people, when I first started being a vegetarian, worried that I wasn't getting enough protein and was I [energetic]. People, certainly, at least in California, don't question that anymore if you're a vegetarian. Now vegan is one step more and they always ask you how you get your protein. And then I'm sure for you, for raw food people are just totally, but to me raw food totally makes sense to be healthier than anything. It just totally makes sense.

Yeah, and I even had it in the back of my mind for, maybe, ten years, before I knew I needed to move in that direction.

And did you do it all of a sudden?

Well, I think I was already eating, not a majority of raw, but, you know, a big salad every day, some raw foods, maybe 1/3 or less of my food and then I started hanging out with the raw foods community two New Year's Eves ago. And that was kind of my introduction to the [raw foods] community here, which is fairly large. I did a week raw initially, then I went to about 80% raw. There was a process at the clinic I work at where we use "medical food" for doing this detox. It's vegan, but it is processed. I was determined to do that process first and then go to a hundred percent raw. So, I was actually looking forward to when I finished that process so I could just do 100%!

How interesting. What foods do you miss? Any?

I really don't. I find nice odors when I pass by kitchens or restaurants. They are nice odors and I like them, but I have no interest in actually eating the foods! So, I don't miss the foods. Sometimes I think I miss the option of having some of those foods, but when I think about actually eating it, I just have no interest. There's times I go to our local co-op. They have some great vegan deserts and I used to love their vegan brownies...

Yeaahh! [Jeff laughs] I have such a sweet tooth! ...And now you don't?

Well, I've gone there... I've kind of tested myself. I've looked, stared at the brownies and the chocolate tofu cheesecake, and I just have no interest.

Good for you! That's awesome!

And recently - I'm very creative in the kitchen - like my vegan "ice cream"...

Yes, I remember your vegan "ice cream! Yum!"

Since being raw I've been making a lot of raw ones. I even - I'm not sure if you tried any raw ones last year. I had a few.

Wait wasn't the banana one?

I had a banana lemon.

You had some nut ones, I think.

OK, I don't recall. I had so many. [over 20] I may have had... like half raw. You may have had some. But, anyway, I've made even more raw ones. I even made one last night. I have one I call "Pina Co-RAW-da." This morning I made a "Strawberry Pina Co-RAW-da."

Wow! Now where are you selling these?

Well, I'm not actually selling them. I wanted to get the recipe book out. Are you familiar with Vegetarians in Paradise?

No.

OK, they have kind of an online vegan magazine centered around LA. I think it's [http://www.vegparadise.com/]

Oh, OK.

Zel and Reuben Allen are actually reviewing my recipe book. They're going to critique it, then I will make any revisions from there and then submit it to the publisher.

Oh, good.

So, it's coming up soon. But what I was going to mention was, recently I made some carob bon bons.

Those are raw?

Yeah! I use raw carob powder. Most health food stores have roasted carob powder and I use raw carob powder, and I actually found some organic coconuts. So, I take the "meat" and I shred the "meat," actually put it through my Champion juicer and I also put some dates through the juicer, with the plastic piece in [the "blank"], so it doesn't make juice...

It makes it like the peanut butter.

Right, right. So, I put it through and I add the carob powder. I may put it through a couple times to get it fairly smooth. I roll it up in balls with the carob powder, then I either roll the little balls in carob powder or [ground walnuts]...

So, it was coconut and carob?

Coconut carob and dates!

Wow!

You do it dark enough and it tastes wonderful. I keep a little container in the freezer. I'm going to keep making these things just to have a "stash."

That's great!

In the freezer they'll last a while and they're soft enough so I can take them right from the freezer and munch on some!

Wow, that's so interesting! Wow, they sound yummy! I definitely want to get your book when it's out.

OK! That's [the book] strictly kind of the "ice creams," but after that I'll put some of my raw recipes in a book.

That's great!

So, that's a nice alternative to chocolate! And I do have a sweet tooth, so I've done OK since being raw.

Oh that's good. Yeah cause I have a sweet tooth too! But, I imagine as one gets cleaner in one's eating the sweet tooth would probably disappear a little.

Yeah, you do have less cravings. I think once the body gets used to having better foods, you know, I think there's a lot of things in the foods that we just don't know about, at least the nutritionists and science don't know about, they don't look at the actual energy or enzymes that are in the foods. There's no telling what's in there that they just haven't discovered yet. So, once the body is on this, it just seems to lose a lot of cravings. I'm even off salt now.

Wow. Yeah, I'm not a salt person.

Oh, really?

No, not at all. It's all about sugar for me.

That's good, because even the salt can do a lot of damage.

Although salt is in a lot of things. I've never, ever in my entire life, added salt to my food when it's on the table. I've always preferred food be on the blander side.

Now, are any of your family members vegan or vegetarian? I know you mentioned your husband is not.

My husband is not and I've really learned it's OK with me. It's OK what he does. So I just let him do his thing and don't say anything about it. He sees what I do, etc. and it works fine. My brother is a vegan. My brother's been a vegan since he was a teenager, also. And he's sort of a big inspiration to me. He and his girlfriend are vegan. They live in Oregon. And he's an animal rights activist. He comes from an animal rights perspective on food... and environmental. My sister is a vegetarian, and my mom and my dad eat everything, although my mom doesn't eat red meat. But otherwise my mom and my dad eat, so it's just us kids.

That's interesting that you and your siblings are quite a contrast [to your parents]. ...I'm the different one in the family, but you had your siblings as well that moved in that direction.

Yeah, we really influence each other. My sister is my twin and my brother is two and a half years younger, but we've always had influences. We all circle around environmental and animal rights issues. My dad is a huge animal lover. We grew up in the country. We had a lot of animals.

 

Do you have any pets?

You know what, we had a cat named Henry and we think he got eaten by a cayote.

Oh, no...

Yeah, it was a month this Saturday. So, we've gone to several pounds to look at animals, cause we don't believe in getting animals anywhere but from a pound or shelter. And we'll sort of pick one out in the next few days. My husband's going to go tomorrow morning because we signed up for one cat, but we couldn't pick the cat up. They wouldn't let us until she was available.

Do you feel you pick the cat or the cat picks you?

(laughs) It's probably mutual! Definitely, this cat was really friendly. My husband is going to pick her up, then call me on his cell and I said "honey, if you feel, you know, that it's right then take her. And if not, we'll continue looking."

That's wonderful! I'm sure you've heard of the vegan pet foods.

You know what, I haven't actually! My brother actually doesn't feed his cat... I think he started feeding his animals vegan, and then he stopped. I'm not sure why, but I don't think he had vegan pet food.

What do you think about that idea [vegan pet food]?

Personally, I think it's fine. I mean, I don't really know enough about the...

Like the anatomy and digestion and all the nutrients.

It seems to me, I know about humans, we have long intestines which work better for vegetarian anyway, and etc. etc. But, I don't know, what do you think?

I like the idea of having that option. For people who don't want to support any animal slaughters. And it's interesting... they say it's nutritionally acceptable for cats, because they put the taurine, I believe is one of the main things they need that is found in animals, so they put the taurine in. And when people... People say "well it's not a natural diet" but also cats should actually be in nature anyway. So, we're taking them inside and making them eat out of bowls, they're not as active.

So, we're just picking and choosing what we think is not natural.

Right, and also there are so many pet foods that contain ground up other pets, euthanized pets. I've read an article recently that they found the chemical they use for euthanization in many cat foods!

I've read that too. I read that too and it's terrifying... We started feeding our cats straight tuna after we read that, which somebody told me was bad. It has a lot of salt. That's why our cat liked it so much!

Oh... Or even use fresh organic chicken meat or whatever.

He wouldn't eat chicken (laughs).

Oh, really?

Isn't that funny? I'm like "Henry, you're not a real cat! You won't eat chicken." Unless it has some kind of saltiness, like a gravy on it. It was very interesting. But yeah, so how would I actually get the vegan pet food. I actually know someone... well, Marr Nealon she organized Worldfest, she has a dog. I wouldn't be surprised if her dog was on a vegan diet.

Do you have favorite snacks, foods, or meals? You mentioned you don't cook a lot.

Yeah, I don't. I don't. You know, when I was training I ate a lot of Cliff Bars, because they're vegan... and Luna bars. But I just started meeting with a nutritionist, because I think I have candida. I know I have a lot of yeast in my blood, so he's gonna take me off all bars and everything.

OK... cut down some of the sugars?

Yeah... which is my craving, which is usually what you crave, it's what you're allergic too and a lot of times not the best for you.

Yeah, I'd be curious... see, I'm not sure what they say about natural sugars, like fruits and things. Fruits have a lot of sugars, but they're natural.

So, do you eat much raw food? Do you try to incorporate a lot of it into your diet?

You know, I eat salads and nuts, but other than that, I think... salads and nuts would be it. Sort of your basic... your... pedestrian raw foods.

Right, right. Breakfast fruits maybe?

Yeah, I don't eat a lot of fruit. I don't know why, I don't really like it.

Just not drawn to it? OK.

I'm just not drawn to it for some reason. Unless it's already cut for me (laughs), then I'll eat it!

Now, do you encourage people to use organic foods?

You know, I don't encourage anybody to do anything else, because I just don't... I mean, if someone were to ask me, I would think organic foods are better, but I personally, I myself don't always buy organic food. So, it's not sort of my focus, although I agree from my reading, certainly from reading The Food Revolution, other books, you realize that organic is better for MANY reasons, not only health, but just for promoting the smaller business person and for sending a message for the large chemical companies.

Right, right. And one of my thoughts is when... like, a lot of people think well, it's no difference, in terms of nutrition and whatever else. If that was true, still, they're supporting the spraying of all the fields. And that gets into the air, it gets into the earth, the water. It goes down the streams. And that's one thing I don't like supporting.

Exactly! Even if the actual food was equal in nutrition, the added pesticides, I don't think anyone can argue that's not good for you.

Right! Right!

So, truthfully, when I can, if I have a choice, there's no doubt. We go to Vaughn's, too, cause it's 5 minutes away and I'll buy my fruit and vegetables there.

OK. Is that a coop, or a chain store?

A big chain. A regular old store. Then we mostly go to the health food store, but we definitely go to Vaughns. It's like a Safeway or Ralphs or whatever. I think it's great. I admire people who eat just organic, because I believe they're supporting on many levels.

It is more expensive usually, although prices have been coming down, which is nice.

Yeah, I think ultimately, it might be cheaper just because you're, maybe, not getting sick as often, you're healthier in the long run, etc.

So, do you have a favorite restaurant? Like a vegan/vegetarian restaurant.

Well, we really like Real Food Daily. And actually, actually, I prefer... I like Native Foods in Westwood

It's easier by email, but if you had a recipe you'd like to share, I'd be happy to put that up!

I have a recipe I love! It's vegan. Do you have "How it all Vegan?" You might not have it.

And it's a great desert (laughs)! As for the recipe, it is Chocolate Upside Down Pudding Cake [ on page 148 of How it All Vegan.  Go to www.govegan.net for more info on how to get the book.]

Oh, really? I should have guessed!

It's vegan, but not raw.

I find that when I have flavors I really want or an old desert I liked, I can often kind of make something up.

Oh, good for you! You probably can.

I'm going to adapt these little bon bons into making brownies (laughs).

That's great (laughs)! So, now you won't even CARE about, you won't even THINK about those vegan brownies at the health food store.

And then I can even top them off with some raw vegan "ice cream."

RIGHT! EXACTLY! That's great! That's great!

So, I just have a few more questions. Do you have any favorite organizations or charities that you work for or volunteer for?

Well, my volunteering is... I have three volunteering things I do right now. I tutor twice a week, a young man, he's now 15. I've been tutoring him since he was 11.

Wow!

And his name is Alex. And then I... every Thursday night in Westwood, which is the area that I... where native foods is, but we do it outside Stan's Doughnuts (laughs), I register voters. For two hours: between 6 and 8 on Thursday nights. And then, I'm in the Red Cross Training program for disaster action team.

WOW!

Which means that every five weeks I'm on call for one week, on off hours when the Red Cross office is closed. So that if there is a fire, people need shelter or food or clothing, then I and my team would be called.

Oh, wonderful!

So that's called Disaster Action Team and I'm a trainee for it.

And are there any vegetarian or environmental groups that you support?

You know, yes. I send money to... If someone asks me to spend time on something I would say I'm sorry. If it's not an environmental issue or animal rights, or voting also, I'll say "I'm so sorry, but I really try to concentrate on these areas."

Yeah, if you have a passion you should stick to those.

I kind of felt that in my 20's I would do lots of different things and then I started concentrating on the population issue, Zero Population Growth [http://www.zpg.org] I think is a wonderful, wonderful organization. They have wonderful organizational materials. I also give money once a year to the TV Turn-off Network [http://www.tv-turnoff.org], Which is where they encourage people to watch less television. I know I'm an actor, but...

Interesting!

I'm not at all a believer in people watching TV, a lot of TV. In fact my husband and I do not... I've never had television in my home. Except for about two months ago. We got cable to our computers and somehow crossed and in Malibu if you don't have cable you don't get anything and we had chosen to not get cable for television or anything and we just got static. And then when we got cable to our computers, some line must have crossed, cause we get very odd channels. We get like four... like the soap opera network and animal planet and channel 2. You know... very odd things.

How interesting.

And I don't think I miss anything by not watching television

Yeah, well we can be so much more productive if we don't spend that time in front of the boob tube.

It's amazing! And I still see stuff, cause when I come to my dad's I watch TV or when I'm in a hotel or when you're in the gym. It's just everywhere.

Right, right.

And people say "how can you do that? You're an actress and you should watch." And I'm like "You know, my husband and I have decided our lives are better when we don't have television. But now we do have like four channels. So, it's true... I don't know. We called the cable company and said could you please turn it off to our TV and they said they couldn't. (laughs) So, we're like "OK, we're stuck!" So, now we can't say we don't have TV, which is what we used to say. So, I give money to that network. It encourages kids to not watch TV and every year for one week they ask school children around the country not to watch any TV.

Oh, wow! I haven't heard that!

It's a good organization. And to do other things like read or play with their friends, etc., talk with their parents. And then I'm on the board for Seeds of Simplicity [http://www.seedsofsimplicity.org/default.asp], which is a voluntary simplicity movement, which probably coincides very well with your lifestyle. You know, just leading a simpler life and not buying as much stuff and that kind of thing.

Yeah, well I do have a lot of stuff! (laughs)

Do you? (laughs)

Yeah, they're a lot of tools. I mean, to me they are tools for learning. They make life easier.

Right, right. Well, you know, it's not about not having anything, it's just about not being part of the American thoughtless consumerism that we have. Like "I feel badly. Let me go buy something, because I'll feel better and I'll be more fulfilled" kind of thing.

In the supermarkets my life is quite different, because I'm buying produce and some bulk items, but the whole rest of the store really doesn't much matter.

Yes, right. Exactly. Now, I think probably you have a more simple lifestyle just because of the way you eat and probably what you believe.

Yeah, that's true. And most of it is composting and some trash, but a lot less trash than cooked lifestyles.

Yeah, much, I would imagine. Definitely. Yeah, we compost also. We have a worm bin actually. So, that's how we deal with our scraps.

Oh, excellent! The new owner of the house, who is also vegetarian... It's interesting, I'm on my second owner of this house, both of which are primarily vegetarian.

Well, I guess you bring those kind of people in, huh?

But He brought with him a worm bin. Before that, there was an existing compost and I put in two more and now we have the worm bin, so we're set.

So the composting, I've seen them in Real Goods and when I grew up we had a big pile in the back yard that we would throw stuff in and the horse manure would go there and everything. Do you have one of those bins that Real Goods sends that you kind of twirl it? Or how do you do it?

The one they had there was shaped like a trash can, just a cylinder shape and it was kind of a mesh fabric that was fairly stiff and put around and they had one main stake in the ground, so it was open air.

And you just threw your foods, whatever, raw food and all that, in there?

Yeah, and when I became raw I started having a lot more composting.

Right, because that's the thing, sometimes our worms can't handle our food. So I think, maybe, we should add a composting.

Well, actually, that first one, because it's open air... we looked in there. We dug it up and there were a lot of worms. So, a lot of that is just the worms breaking it down. And, because it's open air it stays cool a lot of the year, so I... After that I ended up buying a large plastic trash can and I drilled like a hundred holes around it and buried it maybe 8 inches deep in the dirt with some holes in the bottom, so there are still some worms in there, but that gets warmer because there's not as much exposure to the air.

So, there's 8 inches that it's in the ground and then what, a couple feet where it's not?

Yeah, it's just like standing upright, but the bottom of it is buried in the ground.

Oh, I see. And you just throw your food in there?

Yeah.

And what happens to it, you don't get flies?

Well, actually we do get a lot of fruit flies. I think, because I compost so many fruit skins and things like that, there's a lot of moisture in them, so the moisture encourages the fruit flies. But, they say that if you put a lot more yard waste in there, dryer things, leaves and grasses that that helps. ...so, once in a while we'll get in there and turn it. And even if you add a little dirt here and there that helps, because you get some of the microbes from the dirt in there and it kind of starts it.

I think we might have to do that. We have two bins. We don't clean them out quickly enough either. Also, at times, if we make a big fruit salad or something we have to hold the compost for a little while before we give it to the worms. So, it's not as efficient. I've seen in Real Goods catalog something where you put it in and turn it every so often.

Right. That looks pretty handy and they say it's fairly quick.

Yeah, I think maybe I should look into that. Thank you for reminding me.

OK, my pleasure! Well, it's good to hear you're composting.

Yeah, yeah, definitely!

You mentioned the organizations you help with. Do they have some web sites you'd like us to put up?

Seeds of Simplicity is http://www.seedsofsimplicity.org. I'm assuming ZPG [Zero Population Growth] is http://www.zpg.org, but I'm not positive and I can try and get that information, but I'm pretty sure it's zpg.org.

OK, and do you have any favorite vegetarian websites? I mean ASIDE from SOYSTACHE, of COURSE!

Exactly! No, THAT'S IT! I actually don't go on the web that much.

OK, well that's probably in line with not watching TV either. I know I can spend a lot of time doing research and answering emails and things. It does get time consuming.

Yeah, yeah. And the more you answer them, the more you have. You know what I mean? It's so interesting.

Right. That's true!

What do you think it would take to get more people to move towards a plant-based diet?

I think that more people, you know, coming out and saying "Oh, I'm a vegetarian." Not preaching or anything, but just sort of dispensing the information that it's possible and it's not that hard, that it's "normal."

And lead by example?

Yeah, I'm very much a lead by example person, because the influences in my life have been influenced because what they did, not what they told me to do. And also, I think that's probably the best way is people just talking about it and there being more health food stores. In Los Angeles health food stores are becoming, there's like health food store chains, which would be an oxymoron. And maybe that's good because it does bring more the average people into the mix. But it's a whole different world in the midwest and the south in terms of diet. They do still kind of think that vegetarianism is just wacky. I was just in Florida a couple weeks ago and it was really difficult to get. I mean I was able to get salads, but they weren't that great.

You have to go back to steamed veggies, baked potatoes at restaurants.

Yeah, exactly! But I think it will become... and you know mad cow kind of helped a little bit and the ecoli kind of helps.

And the hoof and mouth too!

I hated to see all those cows dying and being killed.

OH, and they didn't have to be! That was the sad part.

Yeah, that's how I understand it.

There are some countries that were not... they were using other methods and they weren't killing off their cattle. Some countries have had it for decades, maybe even longer, but have never slaughtered the animals because they had it.

They had it under control. Well, I do know that whole mad cow mad NPR have an article on, have a whole story on how Sweden has been not feeding their animals antibiotics or animal parts for a long time. For several years. And it's all been fine! And they also don't have mad cow problems. And they have a strong organics movement. Apparently, some journalist found out that his cat, like you said earlier, the cat food was parts of animals and he was very upset and he wrote an article and that sort of got a movement going, do not feed animals animals. And it sort of spread to antibiotics, that kind of thing.

Excellent! I do know that in Canada one pet food company came out, they had a press release that they were no longer going to use pets in their pet food, so at least the Canadians are admitting this! And then, I think it was down near New Orleans or something... actually, I think it was somewhere else, they actually had an article in a paper and it was on TV about a local rendering plant that was taking the animal carcasses from the pound shipping them off to the pet food companies [via the rendering plant], so it was exposed in the United States, too. Then people were in an uproar because they didn't like the fact that, for one thing, their pets were eating that kind of food, but also that their pets, their "family members" were being put into pet food.

What effect do you think worldwide veganism would have on this planet?

If the whole world went vegan, there would be less war (how you eat determines your mood and your outlook on life), more food (meat is so inefficient a way to eat - an acre of land can yield 20,000 pounds of potatoes, but that same acre would only greaze enough cows to get 165 pounds of meat) and more open space.   The world would be a better place.

Do you have any other comments you'd like to share with our viewers, our visitors?

Well, I love your "ice cream" [vegan "ice cream"] and I hope I can buy it in a store sometime.

Oh, well thank you!

(Laughs) No, I think that's it. If you have any questions feel free to call me

If you're ever in Seattle, let me know, I'll treat you do some Vice Cream.

GREAT! And those carob...chewies (laughs).

Oh, yes! I'm definitely planning to bring some of them to WorldFest.

Oh, excellent! Then I'll see you next year, or this year!

See you there!

 

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin, annxtberlin@gmail.com