Tuesday, April 22, 2008

At Meatout, farmer tells of going vegan

This article is from Vindy.com.

Remember when Oprah got sued by Texas ranchers for daring to say something true about the beef industry?  Well this article is about the man that got sued along with her.  I thought it was pretty interesting.

Published:Monday, April 21, 2008

By Denise Dick

The speaker and Oprah Winfrey were sued by Texas ranchers after a 1996 show.

BOARDMAN — Get the meat out — of your diet.

Howard Lyman, a fourth-generation family farmer who no longer eats meat, was the guest speaker Sunday at the Great American Meatout sponsored by the Evergreen Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Glenwood Avenue.

In 1979, Lyman was paralyzed from the waist down because of a tumor on his spinal cord. He underwent surgery and the tumor was successfully removed.

“I decided that night that I would never go out for what the economics of something was,” said Lyman, who was living in Montana at the time.

Doctors told him that the tumor was caused by chemicals used on the farm. He decided to pursue organic farming.

He started researching diet and its effect on health. He weighed 300 pounds and suffered from high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

“I became a closet vegetarian,” Lyman said.

He lost weight and his blood pressure and cholesterol levels came down.

Then he became a vegan, someone who eats nothing from animals — no meat, no eggs, no dairy — and lost 130 pounds.

“I first became a vegan because of my personal health,” Lyman said. “I’m still a vegan today because of the animals. No animal has to die for me to live.”

Lyman worked for five years on Capitol Hill for America’s family farmers but became frustrated with slow implementation.

He appeared in 1996 on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for an episode about dangerous food. He talked about how the food fed to cattle includes ground up dead cows and other animals, potentially exposing people to mad cow disease.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration banned that practice in 1997.

Both Lyman and the talk-show host were sued by a group of Texas ranchers.

“We were sued in Amarillo, Texas,” he said. “Amarillo, Texas, is not the end of the world, but it’s clearly visible from there.”

The trial lasted six weeks and he, Winfrey and her production company were found to be not liable.

A series of appeals and filings in other courts followed, continuing for six years.

“The judge then threw the case out with prejudice, meaning it couldn’t be refiled,” Lyman said.

According to Lyman’s Web site, www.madcowboy.com, “it remains legal to feed cows ‘rendered’ — dead and ground up — parts of certain animals, including the blood of other cows, despite the fact that this practice may allow deadly illnesses to enter the food chain. In 1995, five million tons of processed slaughterhouse leftovers were sold for animal feed.”

Lyman has written books, “Mad Cowboy” and “No More Bull,” about the dangers of meat and dairy consumption.

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