Question: Why are you a vegan?
Dennis Kucinich: First of all it started with love, as all stories do. I met someone years ago, fell in love, and found out she was a vegan. Now I didn’t know what a vegan was. And for those of you who are tuning in and you don’t know what a vegan is, I’ll make it simple. It starts with your approach to what you eat. It means that I don’t eat any meats, poultry, fish. I don’t eat any dairy products. You know there goes Iowa, right? In the book that I mentioned earlier, “Courage to Survive”, I talk about a bout with Crone’s disease that I had since I was a little kid. I didn’t know until years later in life that dairy products had something to do with irritating that condition. And so when I switched diets – this was in 1995 – I started to achieve a level of health that I didn’t have before. I lost a little bit of weight to be sure, and it became an adventure to find out what’s appropriate substitutes – beans, grains, tofu. There’s a lot of different substitutes that you can have in moving towards a vegan diet. But I had a level of health that I hadn’t experienced before. So I’m not gonna tell anyone, “Well this is the way you have to eat.” I can share with people what I’ve discovered by changing my diet. And I have enormous amounts of energy . . . and clarity, by the way. So I don’t feel like I’m dragging. And I have more energy than people half my age. I’m 61 years old, and you know I . . . I have a very young wife. And you know if you’re gonna be in a relationship, you better be in good shape because, you know, you’ve got to be able to have a lot of vitality. And I have enormous vitality because of my diet.
Recorded on: 10/19/07