Healthy Living LIVE with Victoria Moran

Wow and we are live thank you everyone so much for being here and welcome to healthy living life I'm chef AJ and my guest today is Victoria Moran she is the author of Main Street vegan and twelve books she's been featured twice on Oprah and she was voted pitas sexiest vegan over 50 in 2016 she's the host of the Main Street vegan podcast the director of the Main Street vegan Academy which is an exciting week long intensive training in New York City where she trains vegan lifestyle coaches educators and entrepreneurs and please welcome welcome my friend and fellow Aires Victoria Moran thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today oh thank you for inviting me it's always so much fun to be with you and have an Aries fest yeah absolutely especially since we didn't get to see each other this year at Summerfest yes yes I took my dog to Canada because he gets so freaked out by fireworks uh as many of them do so you know just before we get we're gonna talk about something a little bit different than all of Victoria's wonderful books today you're gonna be excited to hear she's stuck her finger in another vegan pie but I just wanted to say and I've always wanted to say this you if words like lip rings if dictionaries had pictures instead of words like I always think that compassion would be a picture of John Pierre and I think the word lovely it would just be your picture that's what what I think of when I think of that word that's you just are just just throw your style I mean even though we're both Aries I'm sort of a beat them over the head Aries and you're sort of a like gentle kind of I mean we have the same message but I just love the way that you deliver it to people and you're so accessible and just lovely is the word of the day to describe Victoria Miranda back at you well thank you so this is so exciting because you are a film producer now tell us all about how you got started I mean I lock screen so they could just yeah it's so funny for a girl from Kansas City had to have these titles I mean I remember when I had my my first thing published I I had a little daily meditation published in the daily word magazine when I was 19 and even though it didn't have a byline I knew it was mine and that was really special and then to be an author and now oh my goodness to be producing a documentary it's like who knew life is gonna be this exciting so how this happened I always loved backstory I hope you and your viewers do as well a young man heard me speak at the Unity Church here in New York City mmm sometime in the kind of early mid-2000s and I never saw him after that he moved away to Florida got married a little girl and then on my Main Street vegan podcast which is a live radio show on Wednesday afternoons before it becomes a podcast that particular day we had a book giveaway and this gentleman won the book and I had a note from the engineer he wants you to call him so I did and he said I want to do a film to introduce vegan living to people who identify as religious or spiritual would you like to be the producer and my first thought is producers have lots of money then I didn't exactly have a cool million sitting around to invest in a movie and he said oh no that's not what I need from you I need connections and I said well those I have so we started working together almost three years ago now and the film is just about ready and I say that and anybody who's done a film are looked into the film business knows that there is a lot between just about and ready but I've seen it I've seen it in its entirety it's called a prayer for compassion the filmmaker is Thomas Wade Jackson and it's a beauty oh I can't wait so when can we see it and how can we help get the word out in the first place that it's going to premiere is going to be in Tempe Arizona in October and that will be a dr. stylish Rao and the climate healer zorg are having a conference so it's going to be there and then it's going to start to be all over everywhere we have a Unitarian Church and Connecticut that wants to do a screening we're talking about the Fiat screening in Kansas City so all that will be revealed there is a trailer you can go to my website Main Street vegan dotnet click on film projects and you can see the trailer there for a prayer for compassion it's so beautiful and it has people in it that we all know and love and other people that are brand-new and what's one of the things one of the many things that's so beautiful about it is that he has found people from not every faith on earth because there are many many many but it goes all the way from Native American to Zoroastrian and just about everybody in between he takes a trip to the UN climate conference in Morocco and talks with world religious leaders there he also goes to India and talks about dari because India is very familiar with being vegetarian but getting off the ghee and and the butter and the milk is an issue there so it's jam-packed well so how is this different from some of the other plant-based documentaries that we've been seeing sprouting up lately yeah well and there are many and they're wonderful and that's thrilling I think that it's a little bit like game changers is particularly geared to men and people who are interested in athletics and this is definitely geared to people who are religious or spiritual and the filmmaker has actually thought about doing one later on that is for ethical humanists people who don't have the idea of a divine presence but certainly want to be ethical in their living that's very valid too this one is for people who either are Christians Jews Buddhists Jains whatever or they have a deep spiritual path and feel that this connection to the great beneficence this idea that life has purpose and meaning these are the people that we're trying to to find and focus on and show this movie to because they've already signed on to a philosophy that has compassion at its core it would be really difficult to find almost any religion that doesn't have love there at its heart and I know there are all kinds of trappings you know our prophets better than your prophet and our books better than your book and you know all these things that humans can argue about and have wars over and all the things that have happened through history but there is at the core of every belief system that lasts this idea of love and mercy and of course for us as vegans all we have to do is take that just a little step further and you wind up making different choices about what you eat and where and how you live absolutely well I just want to tell you a couple of the comments heather saying that's so cool she loves that it has a spiritual view and our mutual friend JP says you can't get better than Victoria we love you because – Meegan ISM at its core is compassion I mean they're they're really to me they're synonymous absolutely when you look at the definition of compassion it is to feel with to feel with another so for most of my life very few people had the opportunity to feel with a farmed animal we didn't think about them we didn't know what they went through we just went to the grocery store or the restaurant and ate the food and that was it but now because of the internet especially lots of other influences as well people are able to see inside animal agriculture inside slaughterhouses and so this invitation to feel with the suffering and and the premature death of these beings we're invited to do that and many of us are doing that and that's one of the reasons that veganism is growing so much but what's really interesting in a religious setting is how difficult it is to get that across to a congregation I was at a really interesting meeting Sunday night here in New York City at the very famous Judson Memorial Church and Greenwich Village it's been around since I think he said 1851 and they were very big in the abolitionist movement and and suffragettes and civil rights and gay rights and all these things so it's a really wonderful church with a major social justice emphasis and the young man who hosted was an associate minister there and a vegan and he said it's just the hardest thing to get this message across to these beautiful people who will do anything for homeless people for the disenfranchised but it's a hard sell and so what we're hoping to do with a prayer of compassion is make that cell a little softer it sounds incredible Cheryl's saying that her calling to become vegan was in fact a spiritual calling I'm sure you're familiar with the quote until man extends his circle of compassion to all living things he himself will not find peace I am indeed yeah and it makes so much sense and I think what happens sometimes when people get involved in some sort of spiritual path and maybe it's yoga what's something that maybe they find in adulthood or maybe they rediscover the faith of their childhood and they really feel like I've got it now I've got the answer I have peace that I didn't have before hallelujah this is good and it is good but then when somebody says oh by the way it could be even better if you would look at veganism and interestingly enough so many religions have health and healing as part of their history as well we know that the yogic path which is grew up within the Hindu tradition has always talked about diet nutrition health and Christianity was a healing ministry from its earliest days and so when we offer veganism to people we're not just offering a way to end the horrible Holocaust for animals which obviously we need to be doing even if there were no other reason for making this change but we're also offering people a way to heal so it really covers all the bases I'll never forget about six years ago we were having dinner at New York outside at pure food and wine and somehow we're talking about the idea that a lot of them a lot of them I don't even want to say vegan doctors because they don't like the viewer a lot of the plant-based Piper's coincidentally are atheists don't like the word vegan and they use plant-based and I said to you I like the word plant-based because I'm not plant-based I'm plant exclusive and there's a big zactly right you know and I've been using that ever since then I'm not a plant exclusive diet I am vegan too but but it's interesting how so many medical professionals just shun the V word yeah I think that's too bad especially because if you look at the studies the studies use the V word because plant-based isn't specific enough if you talk to somebody like Mark Bittman he'd say one I'm playing bass I'm vegan till six come on that's plant-based across a fat sick and nearly dead says in his second film that is wonderful Australian accent that I wish I could imitate he said oh I've never felt better I'm being plant-based love being plant-based I'm 60% plant and 20% animal and 20% process and and so there are different ways I mean I realized that most of us and most of the people listening to this call viewing this on screen are used to Whole Foods plant-based which is vegan or just about but I was out for dinner in Columbus Ohio not long ago and went to dinner with a wonderful fellow in the movement and a couple of other people came along and they were going on and on about how wonderful it was to be plant-based and the woman was going to go back to school to be a plant-based physician and then when the waiter come came the woman ordered a chicken dish and the man ordered a lamb dish and I think because my jaw fell to the table the man explained oh we're not vegan were plant-based and we eat animal protein about twice a month well I don't know how often they eat it I just know they ate it that night and it was a real education to me because I'd always thought doesn't plant-based give you a kind of a lot of leeway and I thought wow I didn't know it was that much leeway that's crazy well so we have an interesting comment from Jennifer and and I think her comment is great because it has a lot of ramifications that I'm thinking about she says her female priests in Brighton UK is vegetarian and very interested in becoming a vegan it would be great if we could see this film and so maybe at some point you will franchise this and let like people all over the place have you know screenings like they've done with some of the other bills yeah we are prepared to do that already we already have translations into a few languages certainly we don't need a translation for the UK so that is something AJ if you could just put us in touch we'll make sure that she and her church can get the film absolutely because you know when you think about it just people that are heads of their flock whether it's a rabbi or a priest or a pastor they have so much influence on their congregation and one place I can already think of that would be a great place to screen it out here is in Redondo Beach where Pastor John Jensen and dietician Susan Jensen put on that's where we put on our healthy taste of LA may have the you know they have the people where they're learning this and that would be a perfect place to have a message like this because when a pastor or a priest or a rabbi does it it makes it a lot more acceptable and easy to get the congregation to do it because they're after church socials are going to be vegan and it's I think it's great it's a great in row is what I'm saying yeah well there are so many ways that clergy and congregations are doing this and what's really fascinating to me is that very often it's the congregation that influences the clergy so it doesn't matter where you start and it's really the same in any kind of connection it's not just about religion and and spiritual centers but if you've got your heart into this then you just need to speak up I know that in in my denomination it's kind of interesting unity it's a liberal Protestant church that was founded in the 1800s by very vocal vegetarians I'm pretty sure they would have been vegans if they had heard of it but they were really really strong vegetarians but over time that message after they died you know was lost but now there are some ministers who are trying to bring it back and in fact my podcast comes from their network they actually invited me to do that and said it's about time we get back to our roots so sometimes it's a hard sell even when it's in the teachings that and I think it's really in all the teachings of every religion and certainly when we hear from a jeffrey cohan of jewish feds when we hear from fris friedrich and dr. charles Kamoze who are Roman Catholics and we hear from Sohaib Sultan who's an imam at Princeton it's like yeah it's really in there but certainly something like in seventh-day Adventism we know that they recommend vegetarianism even veganism but not everybody does it and of course that's good you don't want to be in some kind of religion where there's somebody checking up on you all the time it is interesting how sometimes other things are so much easier to sell to people then let's not be addicted to animal foods anymore right right but you're right about the seventh they admit but Venice there's so many churches throughout the United States in the world we've got dr. Hans Diehl that would be a great place for this number to be seen and their other face like you say that are either vegan or near vegan or vegetarian like the uu Church's Universal Unitarianism has an ethical eating tenant and their faith and self-realization fellowship so it sounds like you've got a lot of places they could wear this movie could be seen lots of places and then we'd love to show it at some places where nobody's ever even talked about this before one of the things were excited about a lot of churches do this Daniel fest and they often do it in January because there's a story in the Bible that Daniel and his friends were captured and they refused the Kings dainty's they refused the alcoholic beverages and the meat and very fancy food and they wanted basic simple food they wanted the kind of food even dr. Esselstyn would approve of just beans and vegetables and at the end of the time they had more muscle they were stronger than the king's soldiers so these churches do the Daniel fast 21 days or 30 days basically being vegan and I always think the war if the phrase is so funny because it's like wow if these people are fasting for 21 days then I have vested for 35 years but it's still a wonderful way to get a sense and if you really do it right for 30 days you feel enough different that sometimes that's an invitation to keep going absolutely and I always feel that it's really sometimes hard to have compassion for animals while you're eating them yeah you know you cut that out and then everything in your life changes so sarah has an interesting question and I think about it because I know it's Summerfest every year Milton mills and Roberta Schiff present a faith-based a talk about veganism and she says does the movie address the biblical statement that man has dominion over animals this is what I hear from different people who are faith-based yes it goes into that two different occasions from two different fascinating people the first time it comes up is with jeffrey cohan of jewish veg and he really lays it on that what we're talking about is the same kind of Dominion that parents have over their children we're not supposed to eat them we're supposed to protect them and take care of them and he even goes into the Hebrew and explains exactly what that means and where it comes in the Bible which is adjacent to the place where we're told that the natural diet for humans is vegan and in fact Eden was vegan even the animals that are now carnivores were in the garden of paradise story vegans and and so were the people and then toward the end of the film we were very lucky to have Suzy Welch be part of this movie some of you know Suzy because she is a regular contributor on The Today Show she's also a business journalist she's got a couple of shows on MSNBC her husband is Jack Welch former CEO of GE and what surprises a lot of people is to learn that both Jack and Suzy are vegan and what surprised some people even more than that is that they are evangelical Christians and Suzi just gives us a preaching on Dominion and this idea that this Dominion is the Dominion that God for believers has over us the idea it's love it's tender mercy it's always being there it is exquisite care it is never leaving us in our time of distress it is love beyond love that is comprehended and we are told that that is what we are supposed to have with the animals it's really powerful yeah terrific so why do you think Victoria that so many if not most religions have left animals out of their circle of compassion I think it's cultural and if you look back to the time when virtually all of the religions that we think of as established were established it was when most people on this planet probably did have to depend on animals we weren't able to ship produce in from other places people were dependent on just what was going on and in their area and I think – there's something about evolution and when it's time for humans to grok to the next thing even in my lifetime I've seen what's gone on with civil rights certainly it's not where it needs to be but I remember when basically the US South had apartheid just like South Africa very very little difference there that has changed to a great degree I was there to see women's liberation get started the idea that there used to be job ads and they would say help wanted male Help Wanted female and the female jobs were teacher nurse caretaker and they were always at lower pay levels if there was a male and female job listing for the same job the male pay was higher that again it's not perfect but it's changed gay rights so many other things happened over time and it is time I believe with everything that's in me for animal rights and there is an interesting quotation attributed to Jesus where he said I have many things left to tell you but you cannot bear them now and I think well isn't that interesting because Jesus didn't talk about slavery I mean slavery was an evil then just like in the 1800s just like now in those places where it still exists but for whatever reason he didn't address that and I think you know what maybe this vegan thing is kind of like that maybe people just weren't to the point where they could embrace it when these religions were being formed but they can embrace it now and then of course there are some religions that have always had vegetarianism in them one that Thomas loves focusing on on the film is Jainism because James are really about ahimsa about dynamic harmlessness and they don't even eat root vegetables because you kill too many insects and microorganisms in harvesting them and they've never had eggs but interestingly enough because I think being in India where dairy is you know the sacred cow in Hinduism and that kind of comes across to others as well where the dairy is sacred to and so the Janes like the Hindus have always had dairy products but that's beginning to change it's very very exciting he interviews promoted Chitra bon who who's a wonderful Jain teacher her husband is considered one of the highest Jain Saints alive today and Thomas also when he goes to India gets to meet people that most Westerners are never allowed to meet and these are the Skyclad Jain Saudis thus the monks who give up everything including clothing Oh Skyclad it's just what you think it is they don't wear any clothes they have no possessions and Thomas had been interviewing some other Jains and telling them about dairy and they were unfamiliar some of them like oh gosh well maybe I need to look into that but when he taught to this st. this man who has spent his life in meditation and prayer and this concept of ahimsa and he asked through the translator well what about dairy and the Saint says there is no justification to take dairy that's amazing because because I know you went to India for this documentary and I always found it interesting if somebody was at if they said they were a typical vegetarian not an ethical vegan then at least in the United States it's the cruelest industry of all of them and that it almost seemed like an oxymoron and you would think that with all we know now from people like dr. Leo Barnard about how dilatory is dairy is that maybe they would just stop they stopped not bad yeah well cultural traditions go very very deep and we certainly have plenty of them like that in this country and yet they can change I did something really fun this weekend I went to a Yankees game which is not something I do very often but it was one of the things on the silent auction table at a benefit for Catskill Animal Sanctuary and I just made sure I got those Yankees tickets so I went with my husband and my son-in-law and a friend and it was so interesting to see that really at the church of baseball I mean we're talking the house that Ruth Built how much vegan food now again it wasn't the super healthful kind of food that you and I like to choose but the idea that somebody could go to the baseball game and get the hotdog get the burger get the sausage get the burritos I mean it was all there and even five years ago it was not so things are changing all over fantastic I just want to point out if you hear some cooing we are not having difficulties and it's not Victoria's husband when we were testing the pound I'm like something wrong I keep hearing cooing oh well that's thunder there is a pigeon that my daughter rescued she does wildlife rescue she has a lovely little nonprofit here in New York City called urban utopia wildlife rescue and she specializes in urban mammals the bunnies and opossums and squirrels but the wild bird fund on the Upper West Side sometimes gets more birds than they can handle and so they ask Adair if she can take them so Thunder came with a group of other baby pigeons and almost nobody has seen a baby pigeon they're very funny-looking he bought a googol baby pigeon they're really interesting so she raised this group of fledglings and they were ready to go but thunder couldn't fly properly so she took him through with another group of babies and he still couldn't fly so they went to the vet and determined that he's blind in one eye so he can fly a little bit but he can't steer so he falls to the ground so this means that he needs to be a companion pigeon so a couple of months after adopting thunder of my daughter who is a performer had a great stroke of good luck and she was cast in a show a nine-month touring show as an aerialist and she has a lifelong vegan by the way Wow think that some of those strong powerful vegans built their muscles before they were vegan well not my daughter this is vegan all the way but she's gone for nine months and somebody needed to keep the pigeon and I have to tell you AJ I had no idea the kind of relationship that could develop between myself and somebody who lives in such a different body but still has interests and ideas and talents in fact we got thunder a little birdie basketball game attaches to the side of the cage and even being blind in one eye he figured out that the point of this game is to get the ball in the basket and he does it all the time I said does your dog get along okay with the pigeon not really it's it's earth and and we talked earlier about Eden being vegan and maybe someday earth will be Eden again but no I believe that my adorable little dog believes that this bird is a dog toy and he doesn't understand why all of his other dog toys are over there in the box where he can get to them and this one locked up but maybe someday he'll get lucky oh my goodness that's hilarious I do get the bird out daily or even a couple of times a day when my husband takes the dog out or a dog walker comes we go out in the courtyard and get a little bit of nature time it's so nice if anybody wants to follow me on Instagram main street vegan I have a lot of pictures and videos of thunder and I can promise you there will be more oh and that sounds fantastic it's so true what you say you never know how you can love an animal and I think while you're eating them it's not even a possibility you know I remember you know I became vegan 17 when I was 17 that's 41 years ago and I remember one of the things that really when somebody said you love your dog so much how could you eat that cow and I'm like oh yeah you're right I mean literally I'm like there was no argument night and it was that quick but I think I think people just did not make the connection like Melanie joy her book about why we love dogs eat pigs where cows people just if it's not a you know a cute little bunny or a cat or a dog people just you know I don't understand my summer food and summer pets they're all living and so to me they're all potentially pets or at least not food yeah yeah I remember we didn't have a lot of vegan propaganda back in the 80s when I was raising my daughter but there was a bumper sticker that said animals are my friends and I don't eat my friends right and I had one that said friends don't let friends eat animals are you familiar with dr. Richard Schwartz and his rook book Judaism in vegetarianism wonderful wonderful book and and his other one I think it's who stole my religion right you know we would have loved to have had him in the movie but he's living in Israel we did get by smelly ankle whit's is just my goodness I think one of the most powerful lines in the film is is when rabbi ankle that's is saying when I held my children for the first time and I felt this overpowering love like I'd never felt before he said this is the kind of love that God has for all his creatures and if any one of them were not here creation would be incomplete and for anyone who is a person of faith any faith when you think about that that's huge I mean if you love God then you just don't want to do that to one of his children to somebody he loves that much yeah and even if you quote don't love God if you're a mother that had a child how can you participate in the dairy industry when you see a veal calf being ripped from her you know it's just obvious yeah I I think the whole of women's rights movement is just a wonderful place for vegan infiltration and it has infiltrated quite a bit especially with young women I find with women more in my age group they're still cautious and and hang on to some very old ideas about calcium coming from dairy and I have to have it for my bones but you know we all hold on to old ideas we're all still growing you asked me about my little dog my little dog is an extremely picky eater and he has some health issues and he is still not 100% vegan he's had his periods and then things the lot and then he can't be vegan or so says the doctor and I feel terrible about this I want my whole life to be vegan they certainly want my whole house to be vegan but you know sometimes things are just a little bit tough when you're living them out on earth right and I'm in the same boat as you all my dogs were adopted late and in the eye there is vegan as they can be but not a hundred percent now JP says compassion the ultimate ethic one of my favorite books that you wrote thank you Victoria oh that's bless your heart jump here I mean honestly and I know he doesn't care about people saying great things about him because he's about to missing and not himself but if reincarnation is true I would bet money that jean-pierre is st. Francis reincarnated he has a remarkable person and I've known JP since I think he was 18 or 19 and my daughter was just a toddler we went to these vegan potlucks that ted's agar had in the suburbs of Chicago and compassion the ultimate epic was a book that I wrote I didn't know when I wrote it that it was going to be a book I thought it was just the paper that I had to write for a fellowship I was actually getting a degree in comparative religions and I earned a fellowship and the only caveat was you study whatever you want as long as you leave North America so I went to the UK to study vegans and at the time that I did this I was not vegan yet I finally was able to make the complete switch in 1983 I did the research in in the UK in 1980-81 and it was the most wonderful experience and I was looking then at veganism through a religious spiritual lens and now that I'm working on this film so many years later it's really wonderful to see that come full circle tell us about India because that rat meadow the cows are sacred and but what did you find in India when you were doing this film anything you expected or didn't expect yeah well I did not go to India with the filmmaker to do the filming but I have been to India twice extended trips some time ago I think that for myself I was so surprised by India because I thought this is going to be the wonderful spot in a very long journey that I was on where I'm going to be able to rest in knowing that just about everybody is vegetarian just about everybody holds reverence for life as their highest ethic everybody's into ahimsa this is going to be cool well it was cool it's an amazing country but I was so shocked that things were not as I expected the first thing that really blew me away and and not we sometimes use that phrase in a good way this was not that was the treatment of the Bullock's the castrated male cows who are pulling unbelievably heavy loads and it's really this cycle of oppression because the people who were being cruel to the Bullock's were people who were very poor and life and society had oppressed them so everybody is a victim there but the work that's being done by PETA and animal aid with these street animals is is really wonderful the whole sacred cow and this milk thing within Hinduism and then within the Indian culture at large it's very historic very long-standing and very interesting so the belief there is not just that because the cow is sacred the milk is sacred but there's a belief that ghee clarified butter is really a medicine and it is considered a medicine in Ayurvedic medicine and it's very difficult to convince people that something that they have heard from the medical community from the religious community from their parents from their traditions may not be all it's cracked up to be and something that shocked me it was to learn that India is the biggest leather exporter in the world this is the place where cows are sacred but the way that happens is that when cows can no longer give milk when they can no longer produce babies and provide milk for that baby and people get some of it as well then they're generally put out onto the street so they're not slaughtered in fact in only two states in India is it even legal to slaughter a cow but they're out fending for themselves so they're very very thin they're often hit by cars they have so many problems and then at night bends of people from those two states where you can slaughter cows go through with trucks and pick up cows and take them for slaughter and the leather industry a lot of people don't know is also a human rights issue because to tan the leather young boys are in these horrible vats of very dangerous chemicals older people – but there's a lot of child labour in that industry and it causes so many health problems these people do not live a full life they also develop a very strange kind of vitiligo all of the melanin comes out of parts of their skin so there's just nothing good about killing animals for human purposes in any country whatever the history and you know sometimes we just have to say God bless you all who have come before me I appreciate you I honor the traditions but I have to go forward today 2018 with ahimsa as the guide and I'm gonna be vegan and that's what a lot of the people that Thomas talked to we're telling him okay terrific gene says this is an amazing interview and I want to read Sarah's comment which is interesting it says changing or religious paradigm is really no different than changing the medical paradigm ah how fascinating and one of the things in the film in addition to talking to all these very interesting religious people in India Thomas talks to a couple of vegan physicians one woman is an ophthalmologist and she talks about one of her very early patients who came to her because his type-2 diabetes had caused him to go blind in one eye and she told him to cut out he was already vegetarian but to cut out dairy and just with that step taken he recovered he reversed his diabetes his eyesight returned just amazing stories and again India is a very large country so we need stories like that to go viral and hopefully a prayer for compassion will help that to happen yeah so I know McCrory you've been involved with yoga ever since you were a teenager yes with the compassion or food or oh very much it was yoga that pushed me into vegetarianism I had tried to be vegetarian when I was 13 because I loved animals but I didn't know what to eat I tried to live on cottage cheese and fruit cocktail and I got really hungry and ended up relapsing on my mom's roast beef but when I was 17 and I started reading about yoga now at that time Yoga was not what it is now I read every book about yoga in the Kansas City Missouri Public Library and that was all three of them and then I read them over again and they all said of course if you're gonna be serious about yoga you have to be vegetarian now they weren't saying vegan but yogic vegetarianism means no meat no foul no fish no eggs so had I really been a good yogi all I would have had to have changed to go vegan was the dairy part but I was having eggs and all that I relapse back to fish a few times in those early days but yoga was always to prompt for me on the food thing first was ahimsa you can't grow your soul you can't expect to come to enlightenment whenever you are creating a physical vehicle out of substances of pain and suffering and horror there's also this discipline component you know Yogi's are very disciplined the idea is you get up early in the morning you do your physical practice you do your spiritual practice and then if you go off and have a cheese omelet somewhere it just does not compute it took me a while I was dealing with a binge eating disorder took a while for me to get from vegetarian – vegan I'm not proud of that it's just my story but the other part of yoga that was always fascinating to me was that the Yogi's were the first nutritionists and they were looking for the diet that would be most conducive to meditation so they talked about foods that they called Temasek and these are what we would today think of as junk food the stuff that's full of chemicals and artificial colors alcohol stuff that's been sitting around for a really long time and meat because it's actually rotting and so these kinds of foods the Yogi's said we'd make you really tired would make you not interested in higher thought or spiritual development and that if you eat that kind of food it makes you that kind of person and it's really interesting when you think about what are people being fed in our prison system those kinds of foods and then over on the other side the Yogi's talked about this principle of Rajas and rajasic foods that are very very stimulating so we're talking coffee or if you go to countries where they don't drink coffee and they make the tea so black and thick it could almost get up and walk salt lots and lots of spicy foods fried foods eggs these are all stimulants stimulants stimulants so if you want to meditate if you're eating those Temasek foods you fall asleep if you're eating the rajasic foods and can't sit still so in the middle the Yogi's said there's this beautiful group of foods that they called saatvik or balanced and these are almost what we would call a Whole Foods plant-based diet not quite but vegetables fruits whole grains legumes nuts and seeds and they did say milk from healthy cows so what I tell my yoga friends today is try to find a healthy cow and if you're talking about holistic health how can we have cruelty and environmental degradation and say oh yeah I'm doing this for my health absolutely so people have already changed their diet how do they get other people in their churches or synagogues or even their yoga centers to list to them without prejudice what they have to say yeah I think the first thing is attraction activism which is a phrase that I absolutely love and I guess I kind of stole it a little bit from the 12-step programs where they tell the recovering alcoholics if you have something that somebody else wants then they're gonna go to any lengths to get it so you really want to be again not like a setup I think one of the problems in the vegan world in the plant-based world today is that we all feel like oh my gosh if I'm not looking like some kind of fashion model or retired fashion model or an athlete then there's something wrong with me and even and this is one of my great pet peeves if someone becomes ill they don't even want to share it with their vegan sense because they're ashamed of that so not that at all this is earth this is not heaven things happen but I do think that if you can be as bright and happy and healthy as you can possibly be especially if things change for you if you started being vegan and you had some extra weight to lose and it came off easily and stayed off I mean I know for chef AJ and myself that's that's happened I'm walking around some 60 pounds lighter than I once was without dieting just with being vegan and getting recovery for the inner parts of that situation but I think to just really be there shining so you are the first point of activism action that's just being you and when people ask you things you don't want to tell them too much I remember a fellow named James Lennon who used to run the natural hygiene Society isn't it great now called the National Health Association and people would say to him well what's wrong with eating meat and he'd say hmm I don't know there's really anything wrong with it and they'd say yeah but you don't eat it do you and he'd say not very often and they'd say well how long has it been and he'd go 23 years how are you not even people you know the whole cell if they're really interested they're going to ask for more the other thing is to let the food do activism for you and lots of times people think well if you're really on a healthy kind of Whole Foods diet that's pretty basic but you know what that is the tastiest food out there anytime you go to some kind of banquet where everybody else is having rubber chicken and you get a beautiful vegetable plate they'll always say oh how did you get that well you know I got it because I'm vegan and you could be too and so to just bring wonderful food it doesn't always have to be rich cookies or anything but if you're into those they're great for bringing people along and just allow another thing that you can do is offer to give a workshop at your spiritual center about this so it's not that everybody has to listen to you and if they don't want to hear it that they feel it's being forced on them but just offer because a lot of people are interested in this they really do want to know a lot of people and a lot of spiritual people they feel for the animals they don't know what to do with it they're worried about how this would affect their family and their extended family and they don't know about the health benefits and they may think that there are health consequences so you can offer a wonderful workshop with food of course to just share all this what I do those at unity churches I call them the Fillmore diner because the founders of unity those vegetarians back in the 1800s that I talked about were named Charles and myrtle Fillmore so I say this is the Fillmore diner they're gonna go vegan with Charles and Myrtle and so you can find some way to to couch it in your church or your synagogue and I think that this is the age of the vegan miracle or the vegan synchronicity that because it really is time for animals to be liberated there's inspiration there are people that you're going to meet there are things that are going to crop up to make this easier that weren't there ten years ago but they're there now yeah terrific the great minds must think alike because when you mentioned about the banquet and your food look better and they said where'd you get that and you go cuz I'm vegan I always find a way in my life to always say because I'm vegan so if somebody complements my skin like you know well thank you it's because I'm vegan or whatever it is it's always oh you're so fun well it's because I'm vegan everything in my life I that's what I say that's the answer to everything and it probably is the answer it's a lot of stuff that's so true that's so true so it's speaking of diet have you done any tweaks to yours lately ah well you know I have been cuz I I am a little bit out there and some of my interests and I have discovered the medical medium Anthony William do you know I saw him in person in there Larry's right you did you told me that I forgot forgive me so what I have learned from him is the power of fruits vegetables herbs and wild foods I always knew they work good for me but the power in these foods is absolutely astonishing so I'm eating some things that I didn't eat a year and a half ago I discovered him last fall so the first thing it with anybody who's familiar with his work would know is the wild blueberry because I owned blueberries not only have all these amazing antioxidants like the cultivated blueberries but if you cut a cultivated blueberry it's clear on the inside so you're only getting the antioxidants from the skin the wild blueberries are smaller but they are blue all the way through and he says that these plants if there's a fire and they're burned to the ground like the terrible fires California has been experiencing with with climate change and all these things going on that if wild blueberries are burnt to the ground you don't have to find some seeds and replant they'll come back on their own they're just incredible adaptogens so every morning there are wild blueberries in my smoothie and some of the other foods that I'm eating that I never really thought about before I mean I ate them sometimes but I didn't eat them a lot I'm eating a lot of asparagus of cilantro which I know not everybody likes but if you do cilantro is supposedly something that helps push the toxic heavy metals out of the body and that we all have a lot of those just because of living in the modern era I'm eating papaya I'm eating our drinking lemon water every morning and I'm also drinking celery juice which is supposed to bring back the hydrochloric acid to the level that it was when you were 25 and and really helped with digesting your food and having a happy tummy so yeah lots more raw colorful food than I was eating before and I thought I was eating a lot of it before Wow well it's it sure looks good on you whatever you're doing you know I always thought you know I mean I'm not what I'm trying to say I'm not implying that you guys should get married because you're already married but if vegan were a country I could see you know dr. Neal Barnard as the as the president and you as the first lady without being married but you know what I'm going I'm trying to hook you guys up but maybe we could just read istrict so that the vegans carried the vote yeah we meet we need a vegan it would be so cool if there was a vegan country wouldn't it or a vegan island somewhere wouldn't it because that's one of the arguments that we get people say well there never has been a fully vegan culture well I'm not sure that we know that in fact every now and then they talk about finding some tribe that appears to be vegan or basically vegan but yeah it would be a good country and I would like to live there I just hope it's Manhattan [Laughter] we need one on the west coast to that where we can be bicoastal absolutely absolutely so um other than this fabulous film a prayer for compassion that you are the producer of is there anything else new in your life or work these days oh my goodness thank you for asking there's so much going on I run Main Street egon Academy which is just an amazing six days when people come in person to New York City and become certified vegan lifestyle coaches and educators and I'm just so proud of all of my graduates jail feels I'm sure a lot of your viewers there jail fields of the vegan air fryer and vegan pressure cooking and she's also the co-author with me of the Main Street vegan Academy cookbooks she came through our very first class and about a year later we had a student named Kat Mendenhall who is featured this month in Oprah's magazine because she has this fabulous vegan cowboy boot company in Dallas so it's just wonderful and amazing to run the school and see people now from 25 countries carrying the vegan message for health and peace and ahimsa and saving the planet that's one of the best things that I do and keeps me busy well well I just put I've been doing this all throughout the broadcasts alternating between your name and your website Main Street vegan net which coincidentally is where they can go to see the trailer for your upcoming film a prayer for compassion just by going to the click on film projects and they can see the the trailer so how can they see the film you know in their community yeah we're not quite debuted yet so if they can just stay in touch and I'm just gonna move this screen over a little bit I don't know if that affects anything but they can go to at compassion movie on Twitter or the website the compassion project film calm we changed the name in the past few months or on Facebook compassion movie and if anybody wants to sign up for my list for my newsletter over there at Main Street vegan dotnet we will be keeping you fully apprised of when it's available and actually I'm perfectly happy to give my email address Victoria at Main Street vegan net so if you want to have a meaning in your area whether it's at a religious institution or any place we would love to talk with you about that because obviously we want to get it in front of as many faces as possible vegans of course but non vegans are the ones that we really hope will see it and join us now that's terrific well we are mrs. Howard has gone so fast so I just want to ask you a question that I love to ask people that I interview interesting people who in your life has been the greatest influence to make you be so awesome well I think I have to say my nanny when I was a baby I've been through a series of nannies against my parents both worked and these was the days before daycare and they found this amazing woman Adaline de Soto I called her Dee Dee and they didn't know that she was into all kinds of cool stuff she had studied yoga and Reza christianism and theosophy and brought me up on all these fascinating ideas and she was actually the first person to share with me the word vegetarianism I brought the four food groups home from kindergarten and she said there are some people who never eat meat and they're called vegetarians and I could take you out to this restaurant and get you a burger made out of peanuts you'd think you were eating meat well we never went to the restaurant because she didn't drive but she was my biggest influence and I would say my first guru that's awesome I love I love learning stuff like that well it has been such a pleasure talking to you guys so please go to Main Street vegan got met and sign up to be on Victoria's mailing list so that when the film comes out you will be notified where there'll be a screening near you and you can find out more about the Main Street vegan Academy and listen to her podcast and all like that there because she is just awesome and thank you guys so much for watching thank you for telling us about this extraordinary film I can't wait to see it if I can help you get it anywhere in LA or host a screening I would be more than happy to do that we say yes oh thank you thank you guys so much for watching another episode of healthy living live i'm chef J and I make healthy tastes delicious


  1. Where to apply for the Main Street Vegan Academy…

  2. Excellent! Keep up the great work!

  3. The 'religion and veganism' topic is such an important one! My husband is Muslim and also Ayurveda doctor. He told me Muslims don't HAVE to eat meat but it is allowed. Animals should be killed with as much respect as possible. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen as written in the Qu'ran. Contrary to what many of us think, most Muslims don't know the Qur'an well at all and animals are mostly treated as objects.
    Anyway, I asked my husband: " Wouldn't it be even greater then, to reduce the suffering of animals to zero at all?"
    He was puzzled. He doesn't know but he thinks it would be possible 😉
    We both eat vegan at home and outside of home he is free to eat meat if he wants. However, he usually eats a little bit of fish only and refuses meat now.
    As Victoria said, it is incredible that cows are considered to be holy in India and yet they are treated quite badly in towns. I saw in some clips about India that they wander about and search food in dumps. They even eat plastic wraps 🙁
    Talking about India… An incredibly compassionate lady, Erika Abrams, her husband and staff take care of many injured animals there. The founded a rescue centre. My sisters and I are donating some money to them instead of spending it on birthday presents, for example. I'm inviting my friends to do the same and it's working 🙂 Be careful if you watch their clips on youtube (Animal Aid Unlimited India). You might be heartbroken.

    Thank you for the interview. You are both two of my favourite vegan ladies!

  4. another great podcast Chef AJ!

  5. Victoria Moran is simply awesome. Shes the whole package. Smart, compassionate and beautiful!!!

  6. I have only just discovered you but glad i have. I love your message and the way you deliver it. 🙂

  7. #AresRepresent 🙂

  8. Can't wait to see this film with such a beautiful message.

  9. Don't insects pollinate our fruits and veggie plants? Like bees make honey, does that make them our slaves?

  10. Great interview! Chef Aj, you have the most amazing connections thank you so much for sharing them with us all!

  11. Another wonderful interview, Chef AJ! Thank-you Victoria and Chef AJ for sharing your wisdom and experience.💗💗

  12. We switched to calling ourselves "whole food plant based " because most Vegans in our community eat mostly junk food. The bigger reason is because the vegan community does so much obnoxious behaviour to each other and omnivores we found the word vegan was a barrier to communication. We will use any labels that will allow us to get the message out.
    Great interview as always.

  13. My guess is pets are protected bec they are useful alive, whereas animals for food have no protection at all.

  14. It is normal in traditional diets to have animal products about 1x a month or maybe 1x a week. Jesus and the early christians probably all followed the mediterranean diet which does have some seafood. The christian bible has miracles involving both wine and seafood.

  15. AJ …. I visited her sites and Instagram….just quite interesting…..but ….I can’t believe I’m saying this but…..I have a large piece of property in the middle no where in South Carolina – that could be turned into … idk something that could really be something – a retreat- a study ground- a testing ground for ethical only things of course…idk, maybe something wonderful, I have over 100 acres in the Forrest 30 Miles inland from a Hilton Head. I would love to turn it into something wonderful given the right situation. U can email me at [email protected] if there are any ideas u can come up with. 🙂 …. tell dr Lyle this…. I think evolution lacks the passed down knowledge of simply sowing the right seeds. If we did from generation to generation, then why would we have ever needed to depend on animals for food (evolutionary – wise speaking)

  16. Victoria Moran is one of my favorite people ever! Victoria and AJ make a wonderful combination! Awesome interview! Thank you. All, if you are not yet familiar with the Main Street Vegan Podcast, you MUST subscribe. It's fabulous. I learned so much from Victoria and her wide array of guests. I even attended the Main Street Vegan Academy after delving into much of Victoria's work. She's amazing, as you can see!!! As a rabbi, I cannot wait for this film to come out. It is going to have great impact. Thank you, AJ and Victoria! Let's change the world! PS Hi Thunder and Forbes!!!

  17. My two favorite, smart, gorgeous, and yes, sexy vegan women. You two can light the world!!! Thank you both for all you for saving Mother Earth!!

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