Why Russell Simmons Became A Happy Vegan

While I was doing some research about Russell Simmons it struck me that his approach writing his vegan book was very interesting. He made some inquiries about the diet habits of African people and arrived to the conclusion that those people usually ate beans and okra. In fact, animal products were no part of their diet. However, as a consequence of slavery meat-based meals became more and more usual to African people. Besides, the tragic loss of his mother who had fallen victim to cancer while his father succumbed to Alzheimer made him more committed to the vegan lifestyle as he made the animal-based diet of his parents responsible for their disease and their death. Read on to learn more about his very interesting biography.

“Regularly called a visionary, Russell Simmons is a business leader, a trendsetter and a cultural icon. His influence first spread after he cofounded the Def Jam record label in the early 1980s and hip-hop music took hold like wildfire. Later, he launched fashion lines, including Phat Farm, and media companies.

His latest book, “The Happy Vegan: A Guide to Living a Long, Healthy, and Successful Life” hit bookshelves in November.

Simmons grew up in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles. I caught up with him recently by phone as he was leaving New York’s Mercer Hotel in SoHo. He was headed to a radio interview with former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson (a fellow vegan) to talk about “The Happy Vegan” for a piece that will air on a podcast program.

Simmons was quick to tell me his intent in writing the book is to help spark change. He wants to push the “shift in consciousness regarding food and the awareness of the toxicity of animal foods.”

Likewise, he wastes no time in the book laying out his argument that eating vegan “can save your life. Not to mention save the world as well.”

In six chapters, Simmons, 58, covers the three core motivations for eating vegan – health, ethics and the environment. He also dispels misconceptions (veganism is “a change you can make without too much stress to your lifestyle or your pocketbook”) and offers how-to advice (when attending a party, “offer to bring your own dish”).

As in his other works, Simmons’ writing is confident and comfortable, making it easier to swallow the book’s sobering statistics and details about the toll animal agriculture takes on us and our world. For those new to the idea of vegan eating, “The Happy Vegan” offers a concise survey of the food and philosophy.

Before writing “The Happy Vegan,” Simmons penned a series of best-selling books on success, including “Success through Stillness” (about meditation) and “Super Rich: Inside and Out.”

His latest book outlines how vegan eating is one of three elements that make up his formula for a happy life, a lifestyle “centered around a plant-based diet, meditation, and yoga,” he writes.

He goes on to write how the “meat and dairy industries have limited our choices, narrowed our tastes, and taken away our true food traditions.”

When we spoke, I asked him about the loss of these authentic foodways. Simmons said while he was writing the book he researched the diets of African people who were captured and sold as slaves. He discovered that meat-based dishes commonly associated with African American cuisine are a product of slavery, not a reflection of African cooking traditions.”

Read the full story at pressherald.com!


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