Plant Based Teacher NOT Preacher
by Marcus Antebi
Article at a Glance:
I want to make one thing clear to anyone who reads my material or listens to me talk: I am not on a mission to convert the human race to a plant-based diet.
I would like it if the scenario of large numbers of people chose to improve their health by improving their diets in such ways came to be. But if that takes place in the future then it will happen with or without me.
It is within my sphere of influence to do a couple of things, though. Specifically, to help people improve their lifestyles and to lead by example by making the positive lifestyle changes that I recommend myself.
I have other goals. I want to be of service, make friends, and leave a positive message behind when it comes time for me to leave this planet. And I want to help people whose health and lifestyle problems are rooted in issues that go beyond dietary problems.
Diet is just one dimension of everyone’s personal growth cycle. So although I will advocate for lifestyle improvement steps, I will not either be obnoxious or “preachy” when I do so, and I will not attempt to develop programs that are too difficult for most people to handle.
As far as food and diet are concerned, I seek to encourage people to convert from processed garbage foods to wholesome foods. That is my primary concern and mission. Regarding my own diet, I am purely plant-based except for occasional use of honey. (I consider honey to be a plant-based food based on input I received from two of my food mentors.)
I do believe that the plant-based diet is optimal for a human being, as long as there are plant foods available for that person to eat. It goes without saying that eating other creatures would be a better option than starving to death. But in this day and age, at least for the majority of the world’s population, we have access to food stores, farms, and other options enabling us to have access to nutritious plant foods.
I have learned on my journey that people will not listen to me if I preach to them and they feel judged. Maybe I’d judge people and control them if I had an army to enforce my will regarding this. If I did that I’d probably demand that everyone be nonviolent, but how would I enforce that? So all I can do is put my message out on the airwaves and in printed materials and hope that people will enjoy it and benefit from it.
The vast majority of people I spend time with are not plant-based vegans. I do not judge them or what they feel that they have to do for their survival. The issues associated with plant-based lifestyles are complicated. I do want to make sure that I live my life in accordance with some simple principles. One of those principles is that I need to have compassion for other people rather than judge them and make them feel uncomfortable about what they do.
Having said that, if you come to me for advice I will passionately tell you what I think. I won’t hold back what I feel is the truth. If someone asked me to convince them of what I believe I might try to do so for about a minute and a half. I might do it for entertainment, but I wouldn’t expect results. One thing I learned when I was growing up is what would likely happen if an atheist and a rabbi sat in a room and tried to convince each other of their points of view. The atheist would likely leave more convinced about atheism, and the rabbi would likely leave more convinced about Judaism.
I have strong convictions about a plant-based diet based on my own experience, science, and knowledge that I’ve gained. I do want to help more people. And if I help some people move toward a plant-based lifestyle, I’ll be helping to spare the lives of some animals as well.