Richard Oppenlander is passionate about what people eat. Trained as a dentist, he became an early advocate for plant-based diets; he opened several vegan restaurants in 1999 and now supplies hospitals, universities, and retail outlets with a line of ready-made organic vegan snacks. He regularly lectures on eating habits that affect human health and the health of our planet.
Oppenlander lives in Lawton, Michigan, where he and his wife transformed 150 acres from a commercial farm into an animal sanctuary. They raised their three children on a meat-free diet and are advocates for animal rights. In 2012, Oppenlander published his first book, Comfortably Unaware, which starkly reveals the ecological cost of eating meat. His newest title, Food Choice and Sustainability, explores the topic in greater depth.
What inspired you on this path?
I lectured for a number of years about the nutritional aspects of plant-based diets while studying the environmental aspects. I thought somebody would take over and bring the reality of our food choices to public attention, but it never happened. In fact, it went the …