Why A 100 Year Old Vegan Heart Surgeon Lived For 50 Years As A Vegan

Honestly, reading that a 100 year old vegan heart surgeon, who has been living a vegan lifestyle for 50 years, retired only 5 years ago at the age of 95 raised my attention. I kept thinking: “How in the world could he manage to perform such a stressful profession until that age while so many people have to give up their profession long before their retirement age due to sicknesses and diseases.” Definitely, he must have done something right in his life and after reading his story and listening to the interview below of being vegan for 50 years the reason for his physical and mental activity up to that biblical age became obvious to me. Unfortunately, so many Americans suffer from serious health issues as a shocking number of them hardly eat vegetables but rather seem to compensate them with high amounts of meat. Against this background, they are inexorably heading for their personal health catastrophe. Dr. Ellsworth Wareham makes it crystal clear that the change of diet is going to change the health direction of one’s life. Unfortunately, many people seem to react very sensitive when they are challenged to revise their diet habits. However, once they do so they are rewarded extraordinarily as the vegan lifestyle has the power to reduce any susceptibility to depression significantly, energize your body and optimise your overall well-being just to name a few benefits.

“Veganism is a very fine form of nutrition. It’s a little extreme to tell a person who is using flesh foods that you’re going to take everything entirely away from them. When I was in practice in medicine, I would tell the patients that the vegetable based diet was the healthy way to go, and to keep away from the animal products as much as possible. People are very sensitive about what they eat. You can talk to people about exercising  relaxation, good mental attitude and they will accept that. But you talk to them about what they are eating and people are very sensitive about that. If an individual is willing to listen, I will try to explain to them on a scientific basis of how I think it’s better for them.” – Dr. Ellsworth Wareham

Below is a video clip of  Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, a 100 year old recently retired heart surgeon who has been a vegan for half of his life (5o years).

Why Vegetarian And Vegan Diets Are Becoming More Popular

This 100 year old heart surgeon isn’t the only one, Kim A. Williams, M.D., incoming president of the American College of Cardiology has also adopted a vegan diet.

World renowned figures throughout history, from Plato and Nietzsche all the way to pop icons like Paul Mcartney and Bob Marley, to political leaders like Gandhi and and Benjamin Franklin, have all advocated a vegetarian diet. There is no doubt that the influence of these kinds of “celebrity” figures, along with outspoken animal rights advocates, have played a role in the rise of vegetarianism in recent years, but the main reason for its recent popularity really has to do with the way it makes people feel and the science behind it. There is no shortage of studies demonstrating the clear health benefits of  vegetarian and vegan diets, and many of them outline how these benefits increase the more an individual decreases the amount of animal products they consume.

That being said, even if you are not an advocate of a vegetarian or vegan diet, it’s important to note that a very high and alarming percentage of Americans eat hardly any vegetables whatsoever. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2011, approximately 80% of Americans who ate meat rarely consumed vegetables at all. (source)

“Studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.” – Harvard Medical School (source)

For example, the American Dietetic Association weighed in with a position paper, concluding that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” (Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2009) (source)

These diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.

Again, there are literally a multitude of studies showing the benefits of vegetarian and/or vegan diets. If you are still skeptical, a quick little research session will make the matter abundantly clear.

It’s good to see research into vegetarianism and veganism confirm these benefits, whereas in previous years they focused solely on the problems that can arise from potential nutritional deficiencies. That being said, if you are going to make this transition, it is very important to be aware of your body’s requirements and what nutrients you may be giving up. You will have to learn the plant-based sources of these nutrients.

If this is something you are interested in, we encourage you to further your research. If you try it out, you should not feel tired, lacking energy or strength, or feel depressed. In fact, it should be the exact opposite. If something like this happens to you, you are most likely deficient in nutrients, so make sure to adjust your meals accordingly.”

Dr. Wareham also advocates for a vegan lifestyle to be the best remedy for avoiding and even removing coronary artery diseases. So, if you have ever wanted to see the difference between a vegan and a non-vegan artery visually, then make sure to click here!

Source: Collective Evolution


  1. Tony Spadafora Reply

    By Emily Brandon Jan. 7, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. + More.
    A growing number of Americans are living to age 100. Nationwide, the centenarian population has grown 65.8 percent over the past three decades, from 32,194 people who were age 100 or older in 1980 to 53,364 centenarians in 2010, according to new Census Bureau data.Jan 7, 2013…doesn’t seem so amazing now, does it?

  2. Brooke Nunn Reply

    Most people that live to be over 100 are not vegan. And some can walk and are healthy. Being a vegan won’t help joint problems.

  3. Going Vegan Reply

    Obviously, his mental and physical condition must have been outstanding up to that age so nobody minded to let him work so long 🙂

  4. Jessica Brown Reply

    the most recent study, published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine in 2015, 600 participants followed a vegan diet for three weeks which significantly reduced C-reactive protein, a key marker for acute and chronic inflammation. I

  5. Jessica Brown Reply

    . However, in the larger study (53 participants), the patients followed a vegan diet for three and a half months and experienced significant improvement in tender and swollen joints, pain, duration of morning stiffness and grip strength than the people in a control group who consumed an ordinary diet. The vegan group transitioned to a lacto-vegetarian diet for nine months. At the one year follow-up, they continued to have improved symptoms compared with the control group. In another study published in Arthritis Research and Care in 2008, 30 patients with active RA who followed a gluten-free vegan diet for three months experienced reduced inflammation.

  6. Brooke Nunn Reply

    Why do you keep posting about arthritis?
    I’m not talking about that. If you’re under 5’8″ then your input does not mean anything.

  7. Julie Kinsella Gavin Reply

    Brooke Nunn What? People who say that other people’s input doesn’t mean anything are not trying to engage in {meaningful} conversation, they are trolling. I suggest you open your mind and heart and research a little. and, for good measure: #govegan

  8. Brooke Nunn Reply

    I don’t need research. I know what I’m talking about. We own a farm.
    You all just go by media with is incorrect a lot of the time.
    Everything on the Internet is true, ya know haha
    These pages make me laugh

  9. Brooke Nunn Reply

    Maybe one day you poor people will go out into the real world instead of “researching” everything. Make sure it’s not windy though because you all will fly away lmao

  10. Brooke Nunn Reply

    Btw, Julie. No, I’m not trying to engage in “meaningful” conversation. The comments are irrelevant to what I said, so yes, they do not mean anything. As I said, if you’re under 5’8″ then your input does not matter.

  11. Brooke Nunn Reply

    Maybe I should say 5’10”
    You’re still short enough to not have joint problems
    30 doesn’t make sense. Irrelevant. You’re dismissed lol

  12. Diane Day Reply

    i bet there are! BUT how is their quality of life? and hopefully with change we can help the numbers change and also help the life expectancy& quality of life for the Animals

  13. Karen Hilmar Reply

    The majority of Centurions eat very little to no meat. The rest are damn lucky or live 30 extra years sick and life extended through big Pharma.

  14. Carol Conley Reply

    Well I’m 5′ 4″ and have rhumitoid arthritis so u don’t know what this size thing doesn’t count means and yes a vegan diet helps a lot.

  15. Ed Sorrels Reply

    My father in law was a minister, who after a stroke that forced his retirement at 51, continued until his death at 85 following his calling as a minister. Also my step father in law who practiced heart surgery until he retired at 95—-Not the same man as this post—When you find a calling, retirement is not an option

  16. Tom Scialla Reply

    There are so so sooo many other things to do in life besides work. I retired at 36 to raise children and live off the land…and hopefully raise grandchildren and love life. If you do what you love, then don’t retire, but most of us…99.999% of us hate what we do and would change it in a heart beat if we could. I did.

  17. Tom Scialla Reply

    An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

    The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

    The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

    The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

    To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

    “But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

    The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

    “Millions – then what?”

    The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

    • Brandi Reply

      I’ve always loved this story and I am so happy to have seen it here again for the first time in a long time 🙂

  18. Angelique Jennings Reply

    What awesome person! I can totally see your point with zero empirical evidence to back it up. I can even respect the lack of care to even look into other’s evidence. You really have it all figured out, how inspiring. #continuetokillanimals

  19. Brooke Nunn Reply

    I will lmao
    I do not care to look up their “evidence”.
    Lmfao you guys are hilarious

    • Sheryl Reply

      Like the article says….people are very sensitive when it come to their food….therefore mock and ridicule others who choose to eat differently. ..no one is forcing you to eat vegan. ..but it just might be what someone else chooses. No need to ridicule

  20. Brooke Nunn Reply

    Lolol you poor vegans
    You don’t even realize the money that you spend on vegetables is also going to the meat industry.
    90% of those farmers that grow those vegetables also have a part in the meat industry. They don’t just grow vegetables hahaha

  21. Gale Romolino Reply

    Alana Brown Im pretty sure there are more arrogant Vegan Grammar Nazis too….lol
    What makes you doubt it?
    What is the Percentage of each and who lives longer and healthier Ms. Alana?
    Im pretty sure some vegans think Meat eaters end up at McDonalds for dinner everyday. Just like some meat eaters think all vegans are starving to death.
    You can eat healthy with both diets. Free range grass feed meats are proven to be very healthy.
    Im just saying, 1vegan heart surgeon doesn’t mean this is a fact for all….
    But I would love to see your statistics?

  22. Sheryl Busse Reply

    Yeah.. like the article said…people are sensitive about their foods..so go ahead and mock and ridicule just because you don’t choose to eat a vegan diet. No one is forcing you to Brooke, no need to ridicule someone else’s choice.

  23. Erik Benscoter Reply

    I’m not sure if it’s from a clip in a doc called In Defense of Food. But I swear in the doc he said he lived on a vegetarian based diet.

  24. Lana Tasker Reply

    My grandparents lived almost till 100. My grandad did eat a lot of veggies and fruits out of his garden, but he also ate meat and everything else in moderation. He was active and didn’t get overweight. He also smoked most of his life.

  25. Sandy Vickery Hill Reply

    My goal is to help 5-10 new people achieve their goals! Will you be one of them?
    ✅ Organic
    ✅ Vegan
    ✅ Kosher
    ✅ Diabetic friendly
    ✅ Soy free
    ✅ Gluten free

  26. Mitzi Mansolino Reply

    The statistics are that the most people on the planet to live over 100 years old are people who live in what is called Blue Zones. There are 5 of these zones. Loma Linda, California is one of them and the town is predominantly plant based, non meat. They do not even serve meat at the hospital there.

  27. Peta Kaplan Reply

    ““Studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.” – Harvard Medical School “

  28. Rashmi Mathur Reply

    Go green love vegetarian n live healthy life as well as be kind to innocent creatures of this Earth which can,t speak or express their pain .thanx a lot .happy new year 2016 .

  29. Mark Nasia Reply

    let me know how you feel about working when you are at age 70, and healthy and love your job, seriously let me know, have you every been around many that are in their 70s? My great grandfather was around when i was a teen and i used to help him, because many things he wanted to do he couldn’t but still had the desire, he was 96 when he passed, the fact is, he just wasn’t capable, but if you want to pay taxes in income until you are 95 awesome, just don’t expect to allow you to drive to work 🙂 they will block you at the eye exam around 80+

  30. Going Vegan Reply

    Thank you very much for the hint! For what reason ever the video wasn’t showing up on the website for a few hours. However, this has been fixed now. You can watch the video now. Enjoy 🙂

  31. Jennifer Stoll Barnard Reply

    My hero and role model. It’s sad that so many people fail to even consider that they could live to 100. Much less that they could do it and be healthy and active! So inspiring.

  32. Derek Martin Reply

    Genetics play a huge role in a person’s health and longevity. Being vegan is correlation and correlation does not equal causation.

  33. Elon St.James Reply

    Not true at all. Genetics plays a very small role in disease, around 2-3% in most cases. There have been numerous studies where some one from a country with low cancer and heart disease rates, like Japan (where they eat mostly plant foods) moves to a Western country like the US, adopts a Western diet of high animal products, and their levels of diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, goes way up to match typical western disease rates. Disease mainly comes from our diets.

  34. Tom Polson Reply

    Nope. Her sister lived to be over 100. Several sibling advanced age. My mother is a very active 92 and most likely will live to be a healthy 100. My father’s siblings well into their 90s. It’s genetic more than anything.

  35. Tom Polson Reply

    She volunteered regularly at the local community center almost until she died. Two medications. One for glaucoma and one for blood pressure. She had a walker to help with balance. Dementia became a problem late (she was old), but she always had her sense of humor. Sorry. Or family trends to live to be old with few serious health problems. Genetics is the best explanation. We certainly aren’t vegans.

  36. Tracey Hobson Reply

    my mother will be 88 on her birthday … gets around better than many 88 year olds. She eats what she likes in moderation. The medications she’s on is because no Doctor has ever weened her off. She has surpassed her mother and her sister. She loves to play cards and does cross word puzzles to keep her mind sharp. God has the final say not us …

  37. Tom Polson Reply

    I think attitude has a lot. My mom is 92 and fun to go out with. She’s up for most anything. Minor medication and a recent pacemaker turned her into the energizer bunny. At 88 she took a trip to Antarctica. No problem crawling in and out of zodiacs.

  38. M Jessie Ball Reply

    That’s great about your grandmother and mum, it actually made me smile reading about them. But that still doesn’t mean all the harm we are causing to animals and the environment is worth it when we can live happily and healthily without animal products. If you could live your life without harming anyone, why wouldn’t you?

  39. Matt Knox Reply

    So he’s 98, not 100. And there are plenty of people who eat meat, like anything, good in moderation. You don’t need an Internet click bait article to validate your life choices, make an informed decision for yourself about what you want and how you want to live. While I eat this massive burger.

  40. Mark Nasia Reply

    im all for a slave society that extends to 95 as long as you work, you don’t need to draw the Social Security that you are made to pay into, 🙂 sounds like i will hear “i know people who made bricks from straw, because the mud was good for their skin” 🙂 heavy heavy sarcasm, there are plenty that work until they die, that is called debt 🙂

  41. Valerie Brook Tomsic Reply

    ^^Elon is right!^^ There’s a whole new field called epigenetics…where they are finding out that lifestyle can EFFECT your genetic expression…*some things* like eye color cannot be changed but genes for diseases CAN be altered by lifestyle, most importantly what we EAT!

  42. Melanie Perry Reply

    Bob needs to read this too. If doctors aren’t giving him nutritional info, that’s unfortunate but he can do some reading on his own and make dietary changes that would allow him to ditch the cholesterol meds!

  43. Jean Pidacks Reply

    I read articles to him all the time. If he heard it directly from his dr, it would carry more weight. When I cook onions, & veggies it gags him.

  44. Jean Pidacks Reply

    Melanie Perry , it’s kind of like when I hear someone throw up, it gags me & I feel like I will t u, too. One time Chase was trick or treating & stepped in dog poop, & the smell made him throw up right on the spot. I believe it is real.

  45. Melanie Perry Reply

    I’m still skeptical but if bob can’t overcome his aversion to veggies or any other healthy foods, he will probably end up in an ER like dad, having major intervention. so he’ll have to decide which is worse – choking down food he doesn’t like or the alternative…

  46. Jean Pidacks Reply

    Trust me, I’ve been telling him for 13 years now that he eats way too much of the wrong food. He’s an adult, 56, I can’t control him. Is your father eating healthier?

  47. Melanie Perry Reply

    I don’t think so, he’s eating better than he did before but he still has a lot of room for improvement, for sure. He did join the ymca for a year, which is good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.