The Texan Mayor who Went Vegan

Out in Marshall, TX- or East Texas if you are from the Lone Star State- a vegan revolution is taking place (although, they prefer to call their lifestyle “plant based” which is probably safer for cowboys).

While BBQ and chicken and waffles are food groups in the south, so are obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. However, thanks to the mayor, they are becoming healthier and are proud of it. You can even order “vegan” food in restaurants!

From the NY Times article:

“Get Healthy Marshall was started by the five-term mayor, Ed Smith, and his wife, Amanda, who directs the nonprofit group. When Mr. Smith received a diagnosis of prostate cancer in 2008, he decided to treat it with aggressive dietary changes under a doctor’s supervision. He began eating only whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Scans later showed that the cancerous growth had disappeared.”

The Smiths believed that a plant based lifestyle could benefit others as well, so in 2011 they held two events in town featuring the former firefighter Rip Esselstyn (he wrote the New York Times best seller “The Engine 2 Diet”), one for firefighters, and the other for residents. When word of mouth drew nearly 200 people, the couple decided to underwrite an annual festival- New Year, New You Health Fest.

This is still Texas though and Mayor Smith understands that people are more receptive to the health message when they make the choice on their own and aren’t accosted with the animal-rights issue (although some have criticized him for not emphasizing it)- because in Texas, that’s a sensitive subject. Instead he says that people are on a spectrum from animal rights to health.

Whatever side of the issue people land on, we are just happy they are getting healthy and glad to have a public figure who is willing to take the time to share with his people. Texas is a lovely place, maybe it’s time for a Health Nut News road trip…or maybe I’ll have to come out for the next festival! Thanks Mayor Smith!

Source: NY Times