“I knew I never needed or wanted to eat animal products again”

Paul & Jenni BroomheadBy: Jenni Broomhead

In high school and college I tried every diet under the sun, but ever since I’ve been married I have always eaten a normal western diet.

I became aware of plant-based eating when my friend had cancer and we read The China Study in our research to find a good diet for her. It made sense to me, but I wanted to compare it with the Word of Wisdom. I noticed a statement in D&C 89:13 that I hadn’t thought about before, which completely supported a plant-based diet:

“And it is pleasing unto me that they [animal flesh] should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”

After I read that, I knew I never needed or wanted to eat animal products again.

It was a relatively easy change. I have always liked vegetables, beans, and legumes, so I didn’t have to learn to eat many new foods. I only had to cut out some of the old ones. With Pinterest, blogs, and other social media at our fingertips these days, it is very easy to find recipes and ideas for plant-based eating, even while travelling, and I have found that restaurants are very willing to accommodate my way of eating and provide me with delicious food ideas to try at home.

I didn’t demand that my family change. Although they think I’m weird, they don’t care what I eat or don’t eat. I hope that as my kids get older they will learn that plant-based eating is best for them and they will know how to do it because of watching me. Once my last two kids have left the nest, I don’t intend to buy or prepare meat at all. My husband will just have to eat healthier at home by default!

Since becoming plant-based last July (2014), I have enjoyed many unexpected blessings including 100% relief from hay fever and asthma, and marked relief from panic attacks and anxiety – all ailments with which I had previously suffered – and for which I had used many prescription medications – my entire life. I now take none of those medications. I love the food I eat, and it costs less and keeps longer than the food I used to eat that now seems to have contributed to my previous health problems.

When I read the Word of Wisdom again after reading The China Study, I felt a powerful witness that my Heavenly Father had given me permission to use animal products for food, but that He intended them to be used as a last resort, only when other food was scarce or not available. Initially, I only understood that animal products are not the best source of nutrition for my body and that is why I didn’t want to consume them, but over time I discovered that I began to think of animals differently! Although I was never one to support or sympathize with PETA, or to identify myself with “tree huggers,” I now find that I see animals as beautiful creatures with individual identities and personalities, and I feel sadness and disappointment when I see them being consumed when there is SO MUCH other food to eat.

Sometimes I even feel a little nauseous when I see my husband or someone else eating animal flesh. Their needless deaths – without thought or reason – makes me wonder how we are ever going to get to the point where

the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den. (Isaiah 11:8)

The Lord said,

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)

I don’t know how we could enjoy such a peaceful relationship with animals if they needed to be worried about us eating them! I don’t believe that we will be eating them, so why do so now? We have so much “knowledge of the Lord” already, there is no excuse to deny or ignore it.

Jenni Broomhead is 50 years old and lives in Spanish Fork, Utah. She and her husband Paul have been married 28 years and have 6 kids and one grandchild (another coming in October). She works at BYU as an events coordinator, a dream job because she loves to plan and host parties, showers, weddings and other events. Jenni is also a classical soprano and taught voice lessons in her own studio for 27 years and elementary music and choir in public school for three years. In her free time, she loves to do whatever the family is doing, ride bikes, travel to new places, embark on new adventures, spend time at the beach, and read.

Comments

  1. I have the privilege of working with Jenni at the BYU Faculty Center. She is a total delight, and she makes great food! Thanks for sharing your story, Jenni! I’ve LOVED getting to know you!

    • Same to you, Jane! And it’s so great to work with someone who “gets me,” and with whom I can share my exciting food discoveries!”

    • My family is very supportive and I really appreciate it. I know others struggle with family members who worry that they aren’t getting enough nutrients or protein, but my whole extended family is both supportive and intrerested in what I eat and why I eat this way. I’m blessed.

  2. Jenni, I really appreciated what you wrote about why we shouldn’t use meat in our meals. I also took special note of the following:

    “Since becoming plant-based last July (2014), I have enjoyed many unexpected blessings including 100% relief from hay fever and asthma, and marked relief from panic attacks and anxiety – all ailments with which I had previously suffered – and for which I had used many prescription medications – my entire life. I now take none of those medications. I love the food I eat, and it costs less and keeps longer than the food I used to eat that now seems to have contributed to my previous health problems.”

    I hope that many of the readers of what you have submitted here to my daughter Jane will strongly relate to what you told us in the just previous paragraph about your success in getting rid of vexing physical problems after becoming plant based almost one year ago!

    I also particularly hope that your husband will come around soon to appreciating and fully comprehending all the good things that have been coming about in your life since you became plant-based in your eating with the realization that that which you feel so strong about must be something that he perhaps should begin relating to and benefiting from.

    Best wishes to you and your husband!

    Neil Birch

    • Paul is very supportive and will eat whatever I make. He just eats the other stuff too. For now anyway!

  3. I feel exactly the same way! Especially regarding the preparation for the millenium. Although, after several years of being vegetarian, I only recently decided that although I won’t stop my boys from eating animal products I will not buy or make them myself because I refuse to support the unethical industry. It makes me so angry that all they care about is money and the government continues to feed children food that makes them sick just so they can get money. Just venting there. I am totally on your side and agree with everything you say! People have their agency. It hurts to see them do things that may cause them harm but we have to let them choose. <3 You are blessed to have a supportive family. I don't even talk about my diet because all I get is argument and criticism 🙁 That's okay. I know the Lord is happy with my choice and that is what matters most.

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