After I switched to a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet, my youngest sister, Sunny, reminded me she tried going vegetarian a few years before me (after reading The China Study). I have no memory of this, but she said that when she told me she was going vegetarian, I gave her a very puzzled look and said, “Why would you want to do that!?” My how times have changed!
By the time I was eating plant-based, my sister had given up her vegetarian experiment. When I gave her a copy of my new book, Discovering the Word of Wisdom, she wasn’t ready, but in the back of her mind, she knew it was something she eventually wanted to do. She waited until she was ready, and then after reading the book announced that she and her family were going to transition to WFPB. This was in April 2014. I was thrilled.
Sunny’s two youngest children never got fully on board, but the oldest, ten-year-old Luke, did really well. Sunny enjoyed cooking all kinds of new foods, and Luke was great about liking them.
Then Sunny got pregnant. Morning sickness became a daily reality. Cooking, even thinking about food, went out the window. Sunny felt she’d have to put the WFPB experiment on hold. Luke, on the other hand, was willing to forge ahead as best he could, even though his mother was not able to do much to support him.
I live in a different state, but last July we were all in New York together visiting our brothers. I was pleasantly surprised to observe ten-year old Luke trying to eat vegan, pretty much on his own. With no demands, and no complaints, he cheerfully made the best of whatever the food situation was. What a kid! Impressed, I interviewed Luke about his experience. Here is his story.
I decided to eat a plant-based diet because I was having problems with my body hurting, especially when I woke up. Every day I would wake up and an arm or a leg would hurt. My stomach would also hurt. My mom said, “We’re going to try to become vegan.” I said, “No way, I can’t give up this stuff,” but I tried it, and I started feeling better. I love it now. I don’t hurt in the morning. I also used to be allergic to all nature. My nose was running, and I had to sneeze a lot, but after I became vegan, it was all gone.
It was not too hard to give up animal foods. We ate meat and dairy a lot, but I’m used to not eating them now. I’m giving up unhealthy foods in stages. I first gave up animal foods. Next I’m giving up oils and soda. I’m also going to try to eat less candy.
My mom made me good vegan foods like healthy plant-based chips and pizza. But when she got pregnant, she had to eat whatever sounded good to her because she has different cravings. So, now I usually have microwavable burritos or my dad makes us food. One time he made us some delicious spaghetti with healthy rice noodles, and he put tofu and veggies in it. It was really good.
When we went to New York this summer, I had to eat whatever I could because there were not many choices for me. So, I sometimes ate things I normally would not, and it started to make my stomach hurt badly, all day.
I want to be vegan when I grow up. I don’t believe people who say vegans can’t be strong. I think it is sad that people eat animals. We kill them just to eat them. We don’t need animals for good health. We just need vegetables and fruits.
Heavenly Father gave us the Word of Wisdom. It says to not drink coffee or beer or wine. It also says to only eat animals in times of need. Heavenly Father gave us the Word of Wisdom so we can be healthy. He is happy when we do not eat His animals because we are following His words, and we are letting His animals live. Pigs are some of my favorite animals.
Luke is the oldest of three. He loves video games (Minecraft is his favorite). He enjoys eating food and hanging out with his family and friends. He is in the 5th grade, and his favorite subject is math. He also likes karate!