In a span of 45 days, Eric Lindstrom lost three of his friends to heart attacks. All were in their mid-40s to early 50s.
Then came the day when he thought he too was having a heart attack. On arrival at the hospital, he was so heavy that four people had to lift him onto the examination table.
Eric made it home alive, but knew something had to change.
“I had become someone who would have to plan for at least six pall bearers,” Lindstrom writes in The Skeptical Vegan. How did he reach such a life-threatening state?
Meat, meat and more meat. For his 40th birthday, his friends had pandered to Eric’s lifelong, animal-based food addiction by giving him a cake made of meat loaf frosted with mashed potatoes!
Also on the menu were:
barbecued beef bits in teriyaki sauce
When he saw the cake, Eric admits,”I began to cry a little… because I was so overwhelmed with joy… Back in those days, meat meant the world to me and, eventually, my waistline and heart rate would pay for it.”
Even after his close call at the hospital, however, he still couldn’t change without a push. It came when he attended the plant-based Friday Dinner (coincidentally, the same dinner I wrote about yesterday) where Meena, a precocious 10-year-old girl, challenged him to go vegan.
So Lindstrom and his wife Jen decided to try author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s 30-day vegan challenge. After completing it, they agreed on a bet.
Whoever abandoned the vegan diet first would have to do the chores — cleaning, laundry and all other household tasks — for three months. The winner would just sit back and relax.
How did it go?
Well, the bet’s still on, and the couple are still sharing those chores. As Lindstrom writes:
“So, all this, all my veganism – a lifetime of no meat, dairy, eggs, or honey – started with ‘The Bet.’ The bet that, to this day, I refuse to lose.”
Full of similar anecdotes and humorous reflections, The Skeptical Vegan made me laugh whenever I sat down to read it. My daughter commented to me this afternoon that it was nice to see me laughing so much.
I guess I need to read more books like this!