Chapter Nine

Two things that especially characterize different ethnic groups are first, language, and second, food. Anybody that has traveled abroad has experienced how much it means to be able to hear one’s own language spoken. Not to be able to understand what is being said in your presence is an experience that makes you feel alone and homesick. The effect of strange and unknown food can also make you feel lonely. Yet, here is an opportunity to make bonds of friendship—if not with language, at least with food.

If you are responsible for a social and if your guests are from a different ethnic group from yourself, ask them to provide some healthful food that is characteristic of their people. You will learn to love some new foods and experience some delights that you did not know before. Almost every ethnic group has native vegan food that is characteristic to its culture. It is this vegan food that will add so much to a social occasion. If you are invited to be a guest at a home or private gathering and it is appropriate, offer to bring some food that is characteristic of your culture or subculture. Many times, even if of the same culture, a dish that someone else has made is of great interest at a social gathering. It is especially interesting if the name of the party who brought the food and a recipe is posted along with the dish.

As a longtime vegan, I have noticed that people are always interested in what I am eating. Food is a great social tool and has social meaning in every culture. Food tends to mean less in our fast-food American culture as compared to some other cultures. However, even in our "gulp down and run" pressure-cooker society, food still has social power. If we are positive about what we eat and enjoy it, not being apologetic about eating healthfully, people will want to know more about it for themselves!

The story is told of an attempt to introduce potatoes into a new society. The sellers put a sign over the potatoes that read: "For the rich only"! The potatoes sold like "hotcakes"! This brings up an important point about food in the social setting. Our society has class distinction labels on food. We have ideas that are class-driven. Nobody wants to look or feel "poor". Everybody wants to look, feel, and act "rich"! This seems especially true when it comes to eating. This will challenge you to break the "class barrier" of food and to eat healthfully! For example, brown bread is more healthful, if it is indeed whole-wheat, as compared to white bread, even though white bread is characterized as being "upper-crust"! The truth is, even the white bread crusts are impoverished! If there is one thing that characterizes our society today, it is change. This makes change fashionable and easier to accomplish. Be certain that your changes are nutritionally sound.

A distinguished guest came to our mission hospital once to help with a complicated spinal operation for tuberculosis. After the long surgery was successfully completed, we were eating a delicious lunch when my esteemed friend seemed fidgety. Finally he blurted out "I don’t understand!" We were enjoying a good vegan meal. I asked in surprise what he did not understand. He said: "When you come to our hospital you never eat our meat! Now at your own hospital you are eating meat!" Everyone at the table burst out laughing. My friend did not laugh. I explained that the "roast", that looked and tasted like meat, was a textured soy product. It was a meat-substitute that we ate on special occasions. I assured him that it was 100% soy and not meat at all. His reply surprised us all. "I am a meat eater. I know meat when I taste it. This is meat!" There was nothing that we could say that would convince my surgeon friend otherwise. So I said, "OK this is meat of the soy bean". I considered this a compliment to the manufacturers of textured soy meats. Once you have become accustomed to the vegan way of life, it will be difficult to imagine any other way of life! Enjoy good health!





Suggested Further Reading List:

Becoming Vegan. Brenda Davis, R.D, & Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.

Book Publishing Co., TN. 2000


BenBella Books, TX. 2005

Counsels on Diet and Foods. Ellen G. White

Review & Herald Publishing, MD. 1976

Counsels on Health. Ellen G. White

Pacific Press Publishing Assc. CA. 1951

Diet for a New America. John Robbins

Walpole, NH. 1987

Don’t Drink Your Milk! Frank A. Oski, M.D.

TEACH Services, NY. 1996

Food For Life. Neal Barnard, M.D.

Crown Publishers, Inc., NY. 1993

Food Revolution, The. John Robbins

Conari Press, CA. 2001

Foods That Cause You To Lose Weight. Neal Barnard, M.D.

Magni Group, TX. 1997

Foods That Fight Pain. Neal Barnard, M.D.

Harmony Books, NY. 1998

Health Power. Aileen Ludington, M.D. & Hans Diehl, Dr.H. Sc., M.P.H.

Review & Herald Publishing, MD. 2000

McDougall Program, The. John McDougall, M.D.

The Penguin Group, NY. 1990

Ministry of Healing. Ellen G. White

Pacific Press, CA. 1905

Moooove Over Milk. Vicki Griffin, Ph.D.

Let’s Eat!, Hot Springs, NC. 1997

Nutrition for Vegetarians. Agatha Thrash, M.D. & Calvin Thrash, M.D.

New Lifestyle Books, AL. 1996

Nutrition & Wellness. Winston J. Craig, Ph.D.

Golden Harvest Books, MI. 1999

Proof Positive. Neil Nedley, M.D.

Admore, OK. 1998

Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism. William Harris, M.D.

Hawaii Health Publishers Co., HI. 1996

Seventh-day Diet, The. Chris Rucker & Jan Hoffman

Random House, NY. 1991

China Study, The. T. Colin Campbell, PhD. and Thomas M. Campbell, II

Websites — Internet Addresses for Good Health!

Black Hills Health and Education Center: P.O. Box 19, Hermosa, SD 57744

(800) 658-LIFE (5433) or (605) 255-4101.

Information on the lifestyle programs, Massage School, and Natural

Remedies Classes. e-mail:

Hans Diehl: CHIP (Coronary Health Improvement Project) programs

(866) SDA-CHIP. Videos, books, Lifeline, cruises.,

EarthSave—Taste of Health:

(800) 362-3648., (EarthSave International)

Hallelujah Acres: Seminars, live-in health programs, books, educational


(704) 481-1700 e-mail:

Hartland Wellness Center: P.O. Box 1 Rapidan, VA 22733

(540) 672-3100. Seminars, live-in health programs, books, educational

materials. e-mail:

Hartland Publications Bookstore (800) 774-3566

Lifestyle Centers of America: Rt. 1, Box 4001 Sulphur, OK 73086

(800) 213-8955. Live-in health programs, videos, educational materials. e-mail:

"Lifestyle Matters" with Dane and Vicky Griffin:

(866) 624-5433. Videos, books, seminars. e-mail:


Dr. John McDougall: The McDougal Health Center: Santa Rosa, CA

(800) 941-7111 or (707) 538-8609. Live-in health programs, books, cruises. e-mail:


Modern Manna Ministries—Danny Vierra: 517 S. Central Ave. Lodi, CA

95240. (800) 655-3228. Books, health food store, seminars. e-mail:

NEWSTART Healthcare: Ray Foster, M.D., P.O. Box 19, Hermosa, SD

57744. (605) 255-4101. Health information, recipes, Bible information. e-mail:

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM):

Dr. Neil Barnard; 5100 Wisconsin Ave., NW #400 Washington DC, 20016

(202) 686-2210. Books, Good Medicine + excellent teaching material. e-mail:,

Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center: 30 Uchee Pines Road, Seale, Alabama, 36875

(334) 855-4764. Live-in health programs, store, books, videos, excellent

teaching material-counselling sheets e-mail:

Weimar Lifestyle Center and College: P.O. Box 486 Weimar, CA 95736

(800) 525-9192. Life-in health programs, store, market and bookstore, e-mail: (shorter diabetes reversal programs)

(800) 634-9355 (WELL). Live-in health programs, store, books, Health and


Wildwood Lifestyle Center: P.O. Box 129 Wildwood, GA 30757

Healing magazine, Herb Shop. e-mail for the Journal of Health and


or (706) 820-1493

Tahoma Clinic & Dispensary—Dr. Jonathan Wright:

801 SW 16th St., Renton, WA 98055

(425) 264-0059. Clinic and dispensary, store, books, newsletter, health e-tips.