1. What are some of the most inspiring cultural shifts you have seen since Diet for a New America was published?
People are growing increasingly aware that what we do to the earth, we do to ourselves; that how we treat animals says something important about who we are as people; and that confining animals in factory farms produces food that is damaging to the health of our bodies, our world, and our spirits.
2. If you could change one mainstream misconception about our relationship to food, what would it be?
That we need dairy products to get adequate calcium and meat to get adequate protein. These myths have long been propagated by the meat and dairy industries, but the scientific evidence that they are untrue and damaging is compelling, consistent, and coherent.
3. In Voices of the Food Revolution, you talk to high-profile “changemakers” in the world of food. If you were to write a follow-up book, who would you love to see making a difference?
I’d like to see Al Gore talk about the really inconvenient truth, and instead of merely asking us to change our light-bulbs, ask us to change our diets. Like Bill Clinton, Gore has himself become a vegan, but he has yet to talk publicly about the enormous amount of greenhouse gas emissions stemming from modern meat production.
4. Do you think it’s more important for people to focus on the impact their food choices are making on their health or on the environment?
They are both profoundly important. The environment is our greater body. Our lives and health are inextricably interwoven with the rest of the earth community.
5. How do you maintain hope for change when faced with our current global situation?
I look out into the world, and I see a deep night of unthinkable cruelty and blindness. But when I look within the human heart, I find something of love there, something that cares and shines out into the darkness of our times like a bright beacon. And in the shining of that inner light, I feel the dreams and prayers of all beings. In the shining of that beacon, I feel all of our hopes for a better future. In the shining of our heart lights, we find the strength to do what must be done.
John Robbins is the author of best-selling books including Diet for a New America, Voices of the Food Revolution, and No Happy Cows.